Music Video: We’ve Got To Be That Light – A Gift to America’s Teachers

 Posted by DrJeff on August 25th, 2011

 Copyright 2011  |  About this blog


A heartfelt thank you to

teachers across America

for their unwavering dedication

to the next generation.

Teaching is the eternal bond between young and old that is at its heart—joy.


Symphony of Science Remix
Keynote Address “Science – It’s Not a Book of Knowledge … It’s a Journey”
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) National Conference
March 2011, San Francisco, CA

Dr. Jeff Goldstein, Center Director
National Center for Earth and Space Science Education

John Boswell
Symphony of Science

Is YouTube Blocked For You?
The video below is ported from YouTube, which is the best way to view it. But if you’re blocked from watching YouTube, you can download the video to your computer.
Download mp4 file (87.5 MB):

If this video moves you, and you have a desire to say how, you’re invited to leave a comment at the bottom of the page:)

Accompanying essay The Art of Teaching

Why We Made We’ve Got To Be That Light
America, what has happened to joyful learning for our children? Should that not be their birthright? What has happened to joyful teaching for our teachers? Have we as a nation lost sight of this noblest of professions, and its selfless calling?

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Keynote Address: National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) National Conference, March 10-13, 2011, San Francisco

 Posted by DrJeff on February 2nd, 2011

 Copyright 2011  |  About this blog


At a time when it should be the birthright of all students to an education

that allows them to successfully enter the job markets of the 21st century…

At a time when America must inspire its next generation of scientists and

engineers if we as a nation are to compete in the technology markets

of the 21st century…


Are we rising to the challenge?


I have been asked to give the keynote address for the 2011 NSTA National Conference. There is no higher honor for a science educator than to be invited to address one’s peers at NSTA, and share both one’s love of learning and how it can be imparted to the next generation.


I am very aware that I’ve been asked to address possibly 10,000 teachers of science at a sobering time for both U.S. science education and the general education community. There is significant national emphasis being placed on science, and more generally STEM education, due to a recognition that our success is critical to America’s ability to compete in the 21st century marketplace. I agree deeply with this assessment (see , e.g., Troubled About America’s Future). Yet a significant systemic response has been to elevate testing to the point where one has to question whether testing still serves education, or education now serves testing. I am absolutely convinced that denying a joyful classroom to students AND teachers is not the road to success. And at this critical time for American education, there is a perfect storm. Severe budget cuts at the State and local levels have placed great stress on our school systems … and caused deep anxiety for our educators.


I believe the best thing I can do with this keynote, at a conference whose theme is Celebrating the Joy of Science, is to reaffirm that teaching is the noblest profession, that teachers are truly our future, and the joy of learning must always be the wellspring of our childrens’ experiences in our classrooms and our schools. And that the joy of teaching must always be the wellspring for all of our teachers who are so dedicated to passing a piece of themselves to the next generation.


We are a family … a family of educators. And in trying times, families come together so that the moral support of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. An NSTA conference is about family.


Finally, I need to repeat something that I said at the keynote for the NSTA Regional Conference in Kansas City last year. The future of America rests in our ability to train the next generation of scientists and engineers, make sure we open high technology job sectors that embrace graduates with good jobs, and work toward a more scientifically literate public so that we the people can make informed decisions. Science education is key, and the National Science Teachers Association provides coherence and common ground for this nation’s teachers of science. When it comes to America’s Future, I look upon NSTA as a national treasure.


Below is the full description of my keynote address for NSTA in San Francisco. And for anyone that would like to read more, I’ve provided numerous links to essays I have written on teaching, human exploration, and the nature of our existence.


I’ve also provided a link to a raft of posts that were designed to be used as lessons by teachers in the classroom. The aim is science education as conceptual understanding at an emotional level (read About this Blog.) And these essays address a range of topics across the Earth and space strand, including: climate change, solar system studies, history of exploration, and studies of the greater universe.


So … I invite you to grab a cup of coffee, get comfortable, and read some essays that I hope will provide brave new insights into our world, and how to joyfully bring them into the classroom. I also invite you, if you are so moved, to leave a comment below!


(And if you are going to NSTA in SF, come say hello:)



ps- you might want to follow me on Twitter: @doctorjeff and/or subscribe to this Blog on the Universe.



Keynote Address: Science – It’s Not a Book of Knowledge … It’s a Journey


Dr. Jeff Goldstein

Center Director

National Center for Earth and Space Science Education


Every parent remembers that magical time when our children first began to speak, that moment marking the beginning of an unending flow of questions. In our children we can see our humanity — our innate curiosity — and recognize the obvious … that we are born to explore!

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Blog News October 19, 2009

 Posted by DrJeff on October 19th, 2009

 Copyright 2009  |  About this blog


A great deal has been happening at the Blog this past month, so I thought I’d give you an update.


MESSENGER Flyby of Mercury, and Ongoing Updates

through Orbital Insertion in March 2011

We had a great time at Mission Control covering the MESSENGER flyby of Mercury live via Twitter September 29 through October 1. Judging from the tens of thousands of page views that week, lots of folks were going along for the ride. Cool! That’s why we did it!


I recently put up a MESSENGER Updates Post which will be providing ongoing updates through MESSENGER’s orbital insertion at Mercury in March 18, 2011. If you’ve not seen the Post yet, you’ll be surprised at how many updates there are already, and the other cool resources provided there, including a play-by-play of the nail-biting in Mission Control when we lost signal from the spacecraft near close approach, and the Twitter Archives of us Voices of Mission Control which allow you to relive the experience. Note the MESSENGER Updates Post can always be accessed from the TMN QuickLinks Box at upper right. Over the next 18 months, you’re also invited to use the MESSENGER Ideas for Lessons in the Classroom, and Educational Resources Post which addresses the nature of human exploration, the exploration of the Solar System, and the exploration of Mercury, with powerful essays, activities, and lessons.


A Presentation on the Universe For Your School or Community?

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