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Co-Director Highlights the Museum’s New Master’s Degree Program

The Museum’s new Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program is the first urban teacher residency program offered by a museum and a unique 15-month teaching fellowship for people who want to share their passion for science with middle and high school students in New York State. On Saturday, January 7, the Museum will host an Open House for the program from noon to 2 pm or 2 to 4 pm, giving prospective applicants the chance to meet faculty and staff, find out more about how the MAT program is structured, and take behind-the-scenes tours of the Museum campus before the final application deadline on January 31. MAT Program Co-Director Ro Kinzler, who is also the director of the Museum’s National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLT), recently answered a few questions about this unique opportunity.

Why has the MAT program been created now?

New York State recently issued the opportunity for “non-traditional” institutions to offer master in education programs designed to prepare teachers in high-need areas for the first time—so the Museum has stepped up to meet this opportunity.

What type of applicant is the program seeking?

The program is seeking individuals with undergraduate or higher degrees in Earth and related sciences. We’re looking for recent graduates as well as folks already into their careers who are motivated to switch gears and become Earth science teachers for grades 7 through 12.

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3,300-Year-Old Jade Tool Raises Origin Questions

The discovery of a small jade tool that was dropped into the waters off an island in the Southwest Pacific about 3,300 years ago is stirring up questions about its origin. The reason for puzzlement: the small green artifact has a chemical composition that is unlike any other described jade, and it was found thousands of miles away from the nearest known geological source.

An international team of archaeologists and geologists from the American Museum of Natural History, the University of Otago (New Zealand), and the University of Papua New Guinea investigate this unusual specimen in a special issue of theEuropean Journal of Mineralogy on jadeitite, the rock that defines one type of jade.

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American Museum of Natural History

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