In The News

New Polymer Nanoparticle Shows Potential To Find And Kill Breast Cancer Cells

Posted: March 27, 2018

One major problem in treating cancer is identifying the location of small tumors and treating them before they metastasize.

In an effort to overcome that problem, researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have developed a fluorescing nanoparticle capable of finding tumors, lighting up upon arrival and being activated with light to generate heat to destroy the cancer cells.

A study in which these nanoparticles – Hybrid Donor-Acceptor Polymer Particles, or H-DAPPs – successfully located and killed breast cancer skills in mice is published in the current issue of the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.

"An unexpected result was how efficiently the nanoparticles localized to the tumors without any targeting agent," said the study's lead author, Nicole Levi-Polyachenko, Ph.D., associate professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Wake Forest School of Medicine, part of Wake Forest Baptist. "Achieving high enough levels of H-DAPPs within the tumor to allow it to be seen provides an advantage for knowing exactly where light should be applied to generate heat and kill the cancer cells."

Other investigators have developed nanoparticles to detect tumors or carry drugs, and Levi-Polyachenko's team has created polymers that strongly absorb infrared light and generate heat. Regarding the new nanoparticle, she said, "It was exciting to figure out the step for combining a heat-generating polymer with a light-emitting polymer to allow for detection and on-demand heat treatment."

H-DAPPs are made of electrically conductive polymers and are smaller than 100 nanometers (0.00000393701 of an inch) in diameter. Their small size and soft composition makes it easy for them to travel through the bloodstream to the tumor.

"There is much more research needed to ensure that H-DAPPs can safely be used in humans," Levi-Polyachenko said. "But we are enthusiastic about exploring the use of H-DAPPs with other cancer types and eventually in patients."

Click here to view original article. 


4 Science Leaders Joined/Renewed NSELA Last Week

Posted: March 27, 2018

4 science leaders have joined or renewed to NSELA last week.

They are: 


• Jody Bintz - BSCS; Colorado Springs, Colorado 


• Patsy Magee - Beaumont Independent School District; Beaumont, Texas
• Michelene Reiniger - Government Of Manitoba; Winnipeg, Manitoba 
• Nakia Sturrup - Hillsbourough County; Gibsonton, Florida

Please welcome them -- or welcome them back!

Members, you can connect to all NSELA members through the NSELA Member Directory. You must be signed in to access. Not yet a member? Join


This prestigious award recognizes and honors an outstanding administrator who, through professional work has demonstrated exemplary support for science education at the school, district, and/or county level. This award honors an administrator whose primary responsibility is outside the area of science instruction.

The award is presented at the NSELA luncheon held at the annual NSELA Leadership Summit. The award is accompanied by a check for $1,000 and a plaque donated by Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.

Jane Steinkamp is an incredible leader of leaders who is a great facilitator, negotiator, listener, and consensus-builder. Jane is the chair of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee science subcommittee. This is a strategic position for the 58 California counties with over 1000 school districts that has oversight as to how NGSS standards are implemented in all of California’s school districts. The science subcommittee is partnering with the K-12 Alliance @ West Ed., the California Science Teachers Association, the California Department of Education, and the California Science Project on the Statewide Roll Outs of NGSS. Through Jane’s shared leadership, a new model of collaboration for professional learning and implementation of standards is now the way science is done in California and impacting other subjects. The Roll Outs provide a two-day professional learning opportunity for district teams to learn about NGSS and share their learning. This powerful model is a great success and has led to the newly developed statewide Community of Practice that brings local leaders from around the state together to solve NGSS implementation issues and share successes.

Jane is also a wonderful leadership mentor. Along with Jane’s ability to motivate and encourage people at all levels of the educational system, her leadership style is shared and participatory.

Past accomplishments include working on a teacher team to develop project-based learning integrated modules, assistant principal, elementary principal, and district assistant superintendent for human resources and instruction. Her leadership provided opportunities for student learning in all academic areas including STEM. Due to STEM’s high priority in her current role as Assistant Superintendent, she provides ongoing support for the STEM group through the construction of a large FabLab that serves her county teachers and students to be exposed to cutting edge resources. Outdoor experiences for students are another priority.

NSELA and Kendall Hunt are proud to recognize Jane Steinkamp’s exemplary leadership as an administrator. She is truly making a difference in science/STEM education in California



This prestigious award recognizes and honors an NSELA member, who through  professional work, has demonstrated outstanding leadership in science education at the school, district, county, regional, and/or national level.

The award is presented at the NSELA breakfast, held during the annual NSTA National Conference. The award is accompanied by a check for $1,000 and a plaque donated by Pearson.

The 2018 awardee, Dr. Chris Schaben, is a passionate science/STEM education leader who inspires teachers and students. He is highly skilled at inclusive practices, communication, and collaboration among diverse stakeholders to find unique and efficient solutions for solving problems.  His work as Principal Investigator for two grants has moved his district to a student-centered science program. Through Dr. Schaben’s shared-leadership model for the K-12 Comprehensive Science Teaching and Learning Grant, professional learning opportunities are available for K-12 teachers of science, special education, and ESL. Teachers apply for support in learning that will improve science instruction in their classrooms. The teacher learning is fostered by a partnership with a Science Instructional Coach.  About one hundred teachers have participated, some for multiple years.

Dr. Schaben increases opportunities through other projects for staff and students in his district.  As the PI for the Competitions in the Classroom grant, two district high schools participated in a school-wide Student Space Flight Experiments Program, which led to two experiments flying aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor STS-134. A goal of the grant was to incorporate experimental design as a non-fiction and technical writing experience for all students with a competitive high-altitude balloon launch culminating event.  Chris has been actively involved with the Metropolitan Science and Engineering Fair Inc. for 15 years and is the current President. His leadership has increased student participation in the regional science fair and provides more opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds.


Free Summer Science PD For Teachers At The National WWII Museum

Posted: March 20, 2018

Real World Science is a weeklong summer seminar for middle school math and science teachers that explores key STEM concepts using real-world WWII examples. 28 teachers from across the country will come to New Orleans to experience hands-on how necessity, knowledge, perseverance and skill lead to inventions, innovation, and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), just like in World War II.

PROGRAM DATES: July 15 - 21, 2018

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE: The seminar application is open to any 5th-8th grade science teacher (public, public charter, private, and parochial), and who will be teaching a science course to students in the same age group in the 2018-2019 school year.

Applications will be evaluated through a competitive process that will include information on teaching experience, a short written statement, and two letters of recommendation. Two spots will be reserved for qualifying Louisiana teachers. Teachers newer to the classroom are encouraged to apply.
Applications will be accepted from January 8 – March 16, 2018.

Click here for more information and to apply.

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