On December 4 the White House issued a five year strategic plan for STEM education based on the vision that "all Americans have lifelong access to high-quality STEM education and the U.S. will be the global leader in STEM literacy, innovation, and employment."
To achieve this vision the report presents three goals that stakeholders should follow:
Goal 1: Build Strong Foundations for STEM Literacy
Goal 2: Increase Diversity and Inclusion Through Broader Access to STEM
Goal 3: Prepare the STEM Workforce for the Future.
The report includes a strategy for how federal agencies should plan, coordinate, and scale up their programs for STEM over the next five years and includes solid recommendations that STEM stakeholders in states and districts nationwide can follow and emulate. Read the report here.
FREE STEM Teaching Tools Just a Click Away
Looking for highly-usable Open Education Resources (OER) that will support STEM teaching? The STEM Teaching Tools website—funded by the National Science Foundation--is a research and development initiative of the University of Washington Institute for Science+Math Education.
Being a member of an NSTA Committee or Advisory Panels is a great way to connect with other science educators and give back to the profession. Applications are now being accepted through December 3rd. You can learn more about the responsibilities of each committee or advisory board by clicking on Standing Committees and Advisory Boards and Panels at https://www.nsta.org/about/governance/.
Students help Fred (a gummy worm) reach a life preserver (a gummy candy shaped like a life preserver) inside his capsized boat (an upside-down clear plastic cup) without falling off, using only four paper clips, and no hands!
FunScienceDemos—and Support Pages
These short science demos depict core science ideas students need to know before high school and support the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). A companion site—FunScience Support—offers resources to help teachers extend learning and deepen students' science understandings.
The Science of Baking
This infographic offers simplified explanations of the science of how and why common baking ingredients transform into cookies, cakes, and other baked goods. Teachers can use this visual guide to help students understand what happens during the baking process.
Find more free resources on NSTA's Freebies for Science Teachers page.
Interested in joining Science Scope's Manuscript Review Panel? If so, please email a copy of your resume or a short note describing your background to managing editor Ken Roberts at email@example.com.
Science Scope is NSTA's peer-reviewed journal for middle level and junior high school science teachers.
NSTA Executive Director David Evans will serve with 18 distinguished representatives from business, industry and academia on the new advisory panel appointed by the National Science Foundation to encourage U.S. scientific and technological innovations in education. The STEM Education Advisory Panel will advise a federal panel on matters related to STEM education and update the 2013-2018 Federal STEM Education Five-Year Strategic Plan, which was developed to improve the efficiency, coordination and impact of federally supported STEM education investments. Two NSTA/NCTM STEM Teacher Ambassadors— K. Renae Pullen and Bruce Wellman—and former NSTA President and Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision co-creator Arthur Eisenkraft were also nominated to serve on the panel. Read more about the National STEM Education Advisory Panel here.
NSTA started its new year on June 1, and our volunteer leadership team has been hard at work.
Greetings District IV NSTA members!
Will you be attending the STEM forum in Philly? If so, join us for a "no-host" dinner on Wednesday, July 11th, at 5:30. We'll meet at the NSTA booth in the exhibit hall. We'll have an opportunity to network and collaborate with colleagues from the tri-state region.
How are you planning to grow as an educator this summer? What are your professional goals? How can NSTA help you meet your goals? Let's open the door to conversation and get started learning and growing!
NJSTA Retiring President, Scott Goldthorp was elected to the NSTA Council as DIstrict IV Director, serving NJ, NY and PA.
District Directors are elected for a three-year term of office. District Directors must be NSTA members and reside and/or work in the district which they represent. Only NSTA members residing in districts for which directors are running for election may vote for their district’s director. See Operating Policies “Council” for the election cycle. Specific duties, obligations, and ways in which the Director can be helpful:
New NSTA Board and Council Members Elected
Congratulations to all the newly elected NSTA Board and Council members for 2018 who will take office beginning June 1. Dennis Schatz, senior advisor with the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Washington, will join the presidential chain this summer alongside 2017–18 President David Crowther and 2018–19 President Christine Royce.
How much science can you find in a shopping cart? Join NSTA on Thursday, November 16, 2017, from 6:30-8:00 pm ET, and engage your students with STEM though the science of food, including how it’s grown and processed for consumption.
This interaction with agriculture (InterAgtion) web seminar will share classroom-ready resources for investigating phenomena observed daily from farm to fork and the related science and technology careers.
More information and registration:
Date: Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
Districts will soon be working on plans for using funds under the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Will science and STEM be part of your district's ESSA plan? Join us for a webinar on November 14—co–hosted by Achieve and NSTA—where natinoal and district leaders will provide ideas you can use to improve student science outcomes in your district, and develop strategies around your district's science plans that can be incorporated into ESSA implementation.
Learn more and register:
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 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
NSTA Awards and Recognitions comprise more than a dozen awards, recognizing educators in varied science fields and at every career level. All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on December 15, via online submission, with the exception of the Shell Science Teaching Award, for which applications must be completed by January 13, 2018. No entry fees are required for NSTA Teacher Awards.
The ExploraVision competition for K-12 students engages the next generation in real world problem solving with a strong emphasis on STEM. ExploraVision challenges students envision and communicate new technology 20 years in the future through collaborative brainstorming and research of current science and technology.
ExploraVision is a science competition that goes beyond the typical student science competition and into what it takes to bring ideas to reality. A teacher will sponsor and lead his/her students as they work in groups of 2 – 4 to simulate real research and development. A teacher will guide his or her students as they pick a current technology, research it, envision what it might look like in 20 years, and describe the development steps, pros & cons, and obstacles. Past winners have envisioned technologies ranging from a hand-held food allergen detector to a new device to help people who have lost limbs regain movement in real time.
Learn more at: https://www.exploravision.org/
Did you know that the National Science Teachers Association has posted 30+ position statements representing the organization’s official stand on key issues important to the teaching and learning of science, as well as the membership’s response to these issues?
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