NJ Audubon's Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary in Bernardsville, NJ
July 23 to 27, 2018
Application deadline is March 15, 2018
New Jersey Audubon’s Teacher’s School of Ecology sponsored by Ashland, Inc. is a week-long program for elementary and middle school teachers. The program offers in-depth experiences that use inquiry as a basis for building effective field studies and understanding environmental issues. All activities and learning support STEM + Art concepts and skills as well as the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core.
Lessons will be drawn from a spectrum of topics including water quantity and quality, sustainable land use and environmental practices, and native species protection and invasive species control. We will focus on a different set of issues each day and provide field experience, lessons and resources to support your existing curricula. Also included will be information on the Eco-Schools New Jersey program that supports sustainable practices through the development of school-based eco-teams.
The institute will include outdoor activities as well as indoor problem solving—both focused on the local area. By connecting the classroom to the real world, teachers can help students become more aware of the world around them, take an active role in preserving their local environments and acquire the critical thinking, problem solving and basic life skills necessary to become informed global citizens.
For more information contact: Kelly Wenzel at 908-396-6506 or email@example.com
DOWNLOAD AND SHARE THE FLYER
Applying the Versatility of Chem Lab Reactions to Generate Understanding through Evidence
From the article "Modeling Periodic Patterns" in The Science Teacher, NSTA September 2017
Perhaps we might regard chemical experiments being taught in high school from a different perspective … one of a thinking process over a proof. Though redox and electronegativity are among many examples of concepts that must be learned and tested for, what makes them believable? Chemical reactions commonly used in high school potentially offer broader opportunities for the NGSS Teacher to engage students in learning to work the evidence. While it is always faster and easier (for a teacher) to simply give working definitions and draw models, processing given experiments for different purposes is far more memorable and open to valuable, formative discussion. This is what Ms. Dusty Carroll of Seneca High School is doing.
Ms. Carroll successfully used concepts in common reactions to provoke evidence rather than simply show a predictable response. Her high school classes were asked to draw on the evidence for thinking how two simple concepts - electron affinity and ionization energy - work. The NGSS approach to understanding changes occurring during a chemical reaction needed a working phenomenon for this – namely, the snatching of electrons from weaker atomic structures. While this paradigm is universally intriguing to humans, it is also evidential. Metals with acids and halogen/halide reactions provide the means to demonstrate the evidence desirable in showing comparative atomic structure functions and properties. For Dusty, it was another way to use chemistry to strengthen her students’ confidence in doing science as well as their reasoning abilities.
We have all found it difficult at times to generate a “wow” factor during lab work; but when Dusty’s students were asked to think through a reaction on their own based on evidence seen, she found that students were more pleased with their success since something they had considered difficult to understand was actually possible to show.
When asked what drew her to write an article on this topic, she modestly replied she wanted to share her ideas; but also wanted others to understand that she continues to tweak labs for deeper purposes and approaches within the NGSS. But isn’t that exactly what science is all about?
I asked if she considered any Real World applications in teaching her Property Reaction topics. She replied that perhaps the broader considerations of how materials work together should be considered, especially within the area of materials science. She advocates working with the students in seeing “patterns” with properties and posing questions. She asks her students to look for the “why” aspect. When there is no prior knowledge to use, patterns are very useful.
When I asked what motivated her students, she was quick to indicate that color really draws in the students when working with chemical reactions. Just like with elementary children, bubbles, color, temperature and other changes focus the interest. She also uses catchy phrases like “stealing an electron”; but later substitutes more appropriate worded phrases and definitions. Nevertheless, the metaphors certainly assist the visualization! Accurate communication is something she insists on, and notebooks are kept with drawings encouraged. Even though mistakes are made due to lack of experience (judging color, time of reaction, degree of change), these are qualitative errors that correct themselves over time. Students are not yet coming to high school with solid understandings of properties and equations.
As for assessing these developing skills in her students, she goes for the “storyline” approach that Mike Heinz introduced during one of his assessment seminars - reasoning being emphasized by evidence.
Dusty is delighted to share her ideas and has with her high school peers. She likes the Peer Review process and uses the feedback. As an active member of NJSTA, we hope to find more articles in NSTA’s The Science Teacher by her as she harnesses more of the NGSS approach.
Dusty Carroll can be reached at Seneca High School, Tabernacle, NJ or at
Submitted by Linda Burroughs, NJSTA Vice-President
Achieve is excited to announce the expansion of the Science Peer Review Panel!
Achieve's Science Peer Review Panel ("Science PRP") is an elite group of educators who work to evaluate and share high-quality lesson sequences and units that are designed for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Members of the Science PRP are part of the solution to a persistent problem in the science education field: not enough examples of high quality instructional materials designed for the NGSS.
Join the Science PRP by filling out the online application and connect with a network of educators across the country committed to advancing science education for all students, develop your expertise in the NGSS, and work to make better science instructional materials more widely available to the science education field. This opportunity includes free, valuable professional learning experiences designed to deepen your understanding of the NGSS and the evaluation process for instructional materials.
More Information and Application::
K-12 students are invited to attend a 30-minute scientific discussion with a polar scientist. Students will learn about Antarctic food web ecology and how scientists are setting up long-term experiments to understand our changing climate. These calls support the NGSS science practices such as planning and carrying out investigations, data analysis, modeling and asking testable questions.
Call Dates: January - March (topic depedent)
Application Deadline December 1: tinyurl.com/vtc-palmer
DOWNLOAD flyer for details.
Palmer Station LTER Website: pal.lternet.edu/
The TeachEngineering digital library is a collaborative project between faculty, students and teachers associated with five founding partner universities, with National Science Foundation funding. The collection continues to grow and evolve with new additions submitted from more than 50 additional contributor organizations, a cadre of volunteer teacher and engineer reviewers, and feedback from teachers who use the curricula in their classrooms.
TeachEngineering is a searchable, web-based digital library collection populated with standards-based engineering curricula for use by K-12 teachers and engineering faculty to make applied science and math come alive through engineering design in K-12 settings. The TeachEngineering collection provides educators with *free* access to a growing curricular resource of activities, lessons, units and living labs.
Formation of the TeachEngineering collection was funded primarily under the NSF National Science Digital Library program, aiming to establish a national digital library that constitutes an online network of learning environments and resources for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education at all levels. Many other generous sponsors and web partners have enabled its ongoing development and promotion.
The NGSS website, www.nextgenscience.org/, was recently updated based on multiple rounds of feedback from teachers, administrators, district and state leaders, and other NGSS advocates. Some webpages have been redesigned to provide clearer navigation for site users to search the standards and locate available resources.
Learn more: www.nextgenscience.org/news/website-redesign-makes-it-easier-search-standards-and-find-resources
Home page: www.nextgenscience.org/
Sign up to learn how to effectively assess the three-dimensional learning and teaching needed to realize the vision set forth in the Framework for K–12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards. Join NSTA for a virtual conference on Saturday, October 21, at 10 a.m. ET. Prices: Members $63; Nonmembers $79. View the presenters here and the agenda here.
The New York Academy of Sciences is proud to announce the release of its new Innovation Curriculum, a free resource to engage middle and high school students in authentic project-based learning!
Aligned to Next Generation Science Standards, this flexible curriculum teaches students how to solve challenges facing their communities—and communities around the world—by applying principles of scientific research and design thinking. Along the way, students will build STEM knowledge and develop 21st-century skills like critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication.
Use the materials to support students competing in the Future of Buildings and Cities Challenge starting October 19, or run a challenge of your own!
Download the Curriculum
This FREE resource is available in two forms.
Attend an Online Training Session
Thursday, October 12: 6–8 PM Eastern time
We are hosting a webinar to offer guidance to educators interested in implementing these resources. To register, visit: www.nyas.org/events/2017/webex-implementing-the-gsa-innovation-curriculum/
Join our Professional Learning Community
We are also hosting a FREE online community to provide ongoing support to educators as they use these resources with students. Get advice from expert teachers, connect with fellow educators, and more. To sign up, visit: docs.google.com/forms/d/1riRcRes7-TSWx6GYLWrBsf7v2HnkZ3i-jC9kbJ0wTz4/viewform?edit_requested=true
We recently received the following ad from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). We are sharing it here, because the free whitepaper offered by Amplify Science may be of interest to our membership.
More and more educators are making the instructional shifts called for by the Next Generation Science Standards and three-dimensional learning. Amplify Science asked some of our district and school partners across the country to help make your process easier by sharing their most important lessons learned.
"None of us was taught to teach this way. This is not business as usual. It's a shift in pedagogical practices."
- MaryMargaret Welch, science program manager for Seattle Public Schools
Download the whitepaper from Amplify Science to learn more about how teachers, schools, and districts have moved to the new standards and the lessons they have learned along the way. We cover:
Amplify Science combines NGSS-aligned content and pedagogy authored by U.C. Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science with today’s best practices in digital learning and design.
- The Amplify Science team
Webmaster's Note: You will have to register with the site and provide contact information in order to download the whitepaper.
What would it be like to LIVE as a cell?
Would Jupiter respond to a wall post by Copernicus?
Would an ant read an atom's updates?
Would a cancer cell debunk a gene's error?
In MySciLife, students live roles as science concepts, and science learning takes on a life of its own.
MySciLife is an instructional model that uses social learning to improve and personalize the student experience in science. Students are motivated to produce high-quality work as they learn and challenge one another in a creative, collaborative environment. MySciLife provides opportunities for students to practice digital citizenship, critical thinking, and written communication skills—all while using technology they know and enjoy.
MySciLife can supplement any middle school science curriculum. The MySciLife learning environment includes a resource library with materials aligned to Next Generation Science Standards to support you as you teach middle schools science topics. MySciLife is a product of The Source for Learning, a nonprofit educational company with a forty year history of service to educators.
NJSTA Webmaster's Note: Click on "Teachers Join Today" button to view full menu,
The Next Generation Science Standards
It is essential that all students have access to a high-quality science education that provides them with the skills and knowledge they need to be well-informed citizens, to be prepared for college and careers, and to understand and appreciate the scientific enterprise. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) recommends the adoption and implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS; NGSS Lead States 2013) as an effective, research-based approach to accomplish these goals and transform science education.....
Read the rest at: www.nsta.org/about/positions/ngss.aspx
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
Professional Online Supports for Teaching - The POST is an online newsletter that offers many resources including some for the NJSLS for science, otherwise known as the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), to make this implementation a smooth transition.
The current edition has links to STEM practice briefs, NGSS Early Implementer Districts’
lessons learned about professional learning, and information about the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse.
The screencast of the final NGSS webinar of the program year has been posted on the NAGT/AGI collaboration website.
The webinar, NGSS Across the Sciences Curriculum, happened May 11 and featured presentations from Dr. Jo Ellen Roseman (American Association for the Advancement of Science), Dr. James Kessler (American Chemical Society), and Dr. Aleeza Oshry (Howard Hughes Medical Institute).
You can see the screencast, the presentation slides, and additional resources from the presenters on the webinar page.
Mark your calendars now for the first webinar of next program year. On Speptember 14, we will have a webinar entitled Achieve Resources and Tools for NGSS Implementation featuring a presentation from Matt Krehbiel of Achieve, Inc. Read more about the webinar and pre-register at