Student Opt-Out of dissect, vivisect, incubate, capture or otherwise harm or destroy animals or any parts thereof as part of a course of instruction
from Michael Heinz,
Science Coordinator. Office of Standards, New Jersey Department of Education
With the start of a new school year, it is an opportunity to gently remind educators of New Jersey Statute 18A:35-4.25. In short, the law requires that a student be offered an alternative to dissect, vivisect, incubate, capture or otherwise harm or destroy animals or any parts thereof as part of a course of instruction. The law has been in place since 2005. The complete Statute is below.
18A:35-4.25 Refusal to participate in certain school activities related to animal dissection , etc.
2. a. A public school pupil from kindergarten through grade 12 may refuse to dissect, vivisect, incubate, capture or otherwise harm or destroy animals or any parts thereof as part of a course of instruction.
b. A school shall notify pupils and their parents or guardians at the beginning of each school year of the right to decline to participate in the activities enumerated in subsection a. of this section and shall authorize parents or guardians to assert the right of their children to refuse to participate in these activities. Within two weeks of the receipt of the notice, the pupils, parents or guardians shall notify the school if the right to decline participation in the enumerated activities will be exercised.
c. Any pupil who chooses to refrain from participation in or observation of a portion of a course of instruction in accordance with this section shall be offered an alternative education project for the purpose of providing the pupil with the factual knowledge, information or experience required by the course of study. A pupil may refuse to participate in an alternative education project which involves or necessitates any harmful use of an animal or animal parts.
d. A pupil shall not be discriminated against, in grading or in any other manner, based upon a decision to exercise the rights afforded pursuant to this act.
Middle school science and high school biology teachers are invited to submit an application to attend a free one-day workshop presented by Project 2061, the science education initiative of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. We are pleased to be able to offer the workshop at two New York locations, thanks to our partners at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, NY and at Teach for America in New York City.
The workshop, “The Use of NGSS-based Materials to Support Teaching of Middle School and High School Life Sciences and Their Physical Science Prerequisites,” is also open to science specialists or administrators with science curriculum responsibilities.
Led by the Project 2061 research and development team, the workshop will introduce participants to a pair of curriculum units designed to give students a coherent understanding of matter and energy in living organisms:
The workshop will demonstrate how the units tackle some common learning difficulties, including persistent misconceptions that many students have about matter and energy. Participants will also see how the units align with Next Generation Science Standards and will have an opportunity to try out some sample activities and explore online teacher resources that are available with the units.
Teams of two or more middle and high school educators are encouraged to apply, but all team members must submit separate applications. You will be notified by email if you are selected to attend. Certificates of participation in this AAAS-sponsored professional development workshop will be provided to all teachers who attend. A complimentary light breakfast and lunch will be served.
To submit your workshop application, click on one of the locations below:
Submission deadline: June 9, 2019
The course meets during the spring and fall.
Weekly Tuesday evening classes and two field trips from May 7 – June 22
Plus five evening classes during the Fall from September 17 – November 4
The Rutgers Cooperative Extension is offering their annual "Coastal Stewardship" course. The Coastal Stewardship course (formerly known as the Shellfish Gardener course) aims to educate stakeholders about the ecology of Barnegat Bay and to promote responsible stewardship of coastal marine resources while using shellfish biology, restoration, and aquaculture as the primary teaching tools.
These classes take place at the RCE of Ocean County, 1623 Whitesville Rd. Toms River, NJ. The cost of the course is $75 per person (checks made out to Ocean County Board of Agriculture).
To Register: Please register by Wednesday, May 1 by contacting Kelly Jurgensen (Administrative Assistant: firstname.lastname@example.org, 732-349-1152).
Click on the program flyer here for more detailed information about this course and how to register.
"Know the Bear Facts" education seminars are free of charge and available to municipalities, schools, homeowner associations, civic and environmental organizations and a variety of other audiences.
Program attendees learn all about the history and biology of the Garden State's largest land mammal, black bear research, and get common-sense tips on how to react if a black bear is encountered. The seminar also provides simple precautions that residents should take to discourage bears from entering a property, and how to react if a black bear is encountered.
The Division also offers educational publications about New Jersey’s black bears and for educators, the “Understanding Black Bears" K-8 Classroom Curriculum, all free of charge.
To inquire about scheduling a bear education seminar, or to receive bear publications, please contact Michelle Smith at (609) 259-6961 or Michelle.Smith@dep.nj.gov
For more information about black bears, visit www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/bearfacts.htm
July 15-19, 2019
CDC Headquarters, Atlanta Georgia
Middle and High School STEM Teachers
Learn curriculum design and teaching strategies that engage students in math and science using real-life epidemiology and public health examples.
Submit your online application by:
January 15, 2019
For more information, visit:
It’s Not Easy Seeing Green: The Complexities of Color Blindness | Bryan Kett | TEDxPasadena
NJSTA received this from the speaker: We hope you find it of interest and useful.
My name is Bryan, and I am a former science educator from Chicago. Over the past year, I had the privilege of writing (and rewriting and rewriting) a TEDx talk on the complexities of colorblindness. In it, I delve into the genetics behind the condition as well as the social and philosophical implications of perspective--a valuable insight for students and staff alike.
This talk embodies my years as an educator and serves as a valuable tool for any science educator to use in their classroom, and I wanted to share it with the NJSTA. You can see the talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdNN5GrD5cM
If you're at all interested, please feel free to disseminate the talk however you see fit. I'd be happy to talk more and help facilitate anything however I can.
Thank you for all you do. It matters a great deal.
New complimentary webinar from Science:
Deciphering aging: Linking senescence with DNA damage and the cell cycle
You are invited to hear our panel of experts on September 19, 2018, in this live, online educational seminar. For more information and complimentary registration visit: webinar.sciencemag.org
Date: Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Time: 12 noon Eastern, 9 a.m. Pacific, 5 p.m. UK, 6 p.m. Central Europe
Duration: 1 hour
About This Webinar
Senescence describes the complex cellular response to stress that includes irreversible arrest of the cell cycle and thus prevention of the proliferation of defective or damaged cells. This effect makes senescence a key component in the body’s tumor suppression response and initialization of repair pathways, providing a health-promoting mechanism. Conversely, senescent cells can accumulate in the affected tissues of persons with age-related diseases such as dementias, arthritis, atherosclerosis, and others—such accumulation is considered a hallmark of aging that drives many age-related pathologies. These seemingly contradictory roles make cellular senescence an interesting research target for developing cancer suppression therapies as well as improving health maintenance and extending the human lifespan.
During the webinar, the viewers will:
• Gain insight into the processes by which senescent cells contribute to tumor suppression
• Understand the impact of senescence on age-related dysfunction and chronic disease, and be introduced to potential therapies targeting senescent cells
• Have the opportunity to ask questions during the live broadcast.
Sheila A. Stewart, Ph.D.
Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
James L. Kirkland, M.D., Ph.D.
Questions? E-mail: email@example.com.
Produced by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office and sponsored by Cell Signaling Technology.
The Department of Biology, Behavioral Neuroscience, and Health Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Rider University is seeking candidates for a full-time (10 month academic year) non-tenure-track appointment as Lecturer in Biology. The initial appointment will be for three years subject to annual performance evaluation and is renewable based on performance and program need.
Responsibilities of the Lecturer include teaching and service. Teaching responsibilities entail 12 contact hours (4 classes and/or labs) per semester, and will primarily focus on delivery, development and maintenance and academic assessment of our introductory biology curriculum. Service responsibilities primarily focus on student academic advising, but may also include other opportunities within the department, college or university.
Candidates should have Master’s-level or higher degree in a biological science and a strong record in undergraduate education, pedagogy and/or academic assessment.. A PhD or other terminal degree is preferred. Candidates with an interest in STEM pedagogy research are strongly encouraged to apply.
The Rider University community is composed of faculty, staff and students from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. Candidates with a demonstrated commitment supportive of the multicultural needs of Rider University and the surrounding community are highly desired.
Please apply to position no. 316002 at http://rider.peopleadmin.com/postings/4899. Applications should include a cover letter with statements of teaching proficiency, curriculum vitae, and three professional letters of reference. Review of applications will begin immediately.
Rider University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer dedicated to excellence through diversity and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, handicap/disability, Vietnam-era/disabled veteran status, gender identity or expression, or any other non-job related criteria.
The Mars Student Imaging Project (MSIP) is a nationally recognized award winning authentic inquiry-based learning and student-centered education project. Students learn how science works by engaging in science research using data from a NASA spacecraft orbiting Mars. Students understand how science really works by actually being a scientist.
The Mars Student Imaging Project (MSIP) is an immersive and transformational way for students in grades 5 through early college to engage in scientific process and practices through authentic research experiences. MSIP enhances the teaching of traditional courses, such as physical science, Earth science, chemistry, and biology. MSIP also incorporates 21st Century Skills to help students be ready for the STEM workforce.
MSIP can be done through distance learning or as an independent research project. There is no fee to participate in the Mars Student Imaging Project.
You are invited to a free PD session for high school biology teachers and middle school life science teachers at the University of Pennsylvania on Saturday, March 3 (snow date, March 10), 9-12 AM. This PD will include:
If you plan to attend, please register by filling out the form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfR71QugDqdcFbxOP3TEn07uAZDqIvHjgMMAKaw0dCcD8wndg/viewform?usp=sf_link. Please register by Tuesday, February 27. We will provide Act 48 credits to participating teachers.
This PD session will be held in Room 115, Leidy Lab in the Biology Department of the University of Pennsylvania. Leidy Lab is located at 3740 Hamilton Walk. A map is available at https://www.facilities.upenn.edu/maps/locations/leidy-laboratories-biology (for an expanded map and directions, click on View on the Campus Map). Three-hour metered parking is available on Spruce St. and on 38th St. north of Spruce St. If you want to pay to park in one of Penn's lots or parking garages go to http://cms.business-services.upenn.edu/parking/lot-locations-and-daily-rates.html for information.
Happily, she followed up on my observation with an article that she and her collaborators produced in the Feb’17 issue of the NSTA journal Science Scope entitled From Fish Tank to Fuel Tank. Congratulations to Eileen Antonison and her students on successfully developing a STEM design to produce a biofuel from common algae that could replace the more expensive application of corn or soy plants as we do now.
Ms. Antonison is a STEM teacher at the Franklin Avenue Middle School in Franklin Lakes, NJ and an NJSTA Simmons Scholar. Though the generosity of grants and collaboration with two other teachers in the fields of technology and science, her students successfully transformed a common photosynthesis lab into a proper NGSS research investigation.
Among other STEM skills employed, the apps for Google Sketch-up, Python and Raspberry Pi helped the students design the growth chambers for the algae. Real World laboratory conditions with Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a Biosafety One organism, were utilized to regulate growth parameters, arguing further testing from data and generating many group discussion sessions. As often happens with science investigations, an “accident” resulted in an unanticipated outcome when two different fertilizers were inadvertently purchased. These micro-nutrients were tested individually anyway, and then mixed with no expectations of a difference. However, the results showed that they worked best if used together!
Read more about their foray into this exciting research in their article. Hopefully, while we are asking our students to communicate better through the NGSS experience, more teachers will seriously consider writing up their classroom experiences for publication!
From Fish Tank to Fuel Tank is available for download from the NSTA site.
By Linda Burroughs
Vice President / Central Region NJSTA
Science Education Specialist