​NJSTA Maitland P. Simmons Memorial Award

2023 Summer Institute

      OpenSciEd Continued:                          Focus on Assessment   

Thirty-five science educators participated in the 2023 Maitland P. Simmons (MPS) Memorial Award Summer Institute entitled OpenSciEd Continued held from June 27- 30.  The OpenSciEd curriculum offers “free, high quality science instructional materials that are three-dimensional and centered on supporting equitable science sensemaking.”  The facilitators for this Institute included Haddonfield Science educator Lauren Pasanek, Pittsgrove Township Chief Academic Officer Scott Goldthorp and Liberty Science Center’s Associate Director Teacher Programs Anthony Bisulca. Each facilitated a portion of the whole group activities framing the Institute and also focused on guiding the Scholars through and engaging them in one of three chosen grade-specific units which will ultimately be presented to students.  These units were OpenSciEd 6.4 Plate Tectonics & Rock Cycling, 7.5 Ecosystem Dynamics, and 8.5 Genetics.   The hybrid program served science teachers throughout the state of New Jersey with the first day being held live at Liberty Science Center and the remaining days virtual.  Analysis of the data collected after the program confirmed that 75% of these Scholars would prefer future Institutes to be hybrid and majority agreed that the live first day with virtual remainder worked well.    

Many thanks to the NJSTA Executive Board and MPS Committee members who assisted and participated during the week.  Multiple evaluative data sources attest that the year’s Institute was a success and overwhelmingly productive.  One Scholar expressed, “Very engaging and enlightening! I got the opportunity to put on both teacher and student hats to experience instruction. I learned a lot about assessment and grading options as well! The hosts and facilitators were outstanding and they cared to know us both individually and as a group.”  Another wrote, “I am grateful for the one LIVE day to meet everyone and receive the materials, and the shorter virtual days helped with staying focused throughout the Institute and helped me to manage my family's schedule.  A Scholar appraised it best when proclaiming, “This is the first workshop in a very long time where I felt that I got the instruction and guidance that was advertised. While it was a relatively intense four day program, I felt like my time was honored and well-spent. I had a real sense that the facilitators were committed to making sure we could actually teach the unit with fidelity and confidence, rather than trying to "sell" us on how great OSE is.”  

Article compiled by: 

Cheryl Zanone
2023 Institute Administrator
NJSTA Maitland P. Simmons Memorial Award Committee


Click HERE for a PDF handout of this information for posting. 

This is a description of the event and faciliators. 

Audience: Teachers and Leaders of Middle School Science (Grades 6-8)

Dates/Times: This four-day Institute will took place June 27–30, 2023.

Workshop Model: Hybrid

Location and Time:

Day 1 Tuesday, June 27 LIVE at Liberty Science Center, Jersey City from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

Days 2-4 Wednesday through Friday, Jun 28-30 Virtual 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

NJ OpenSciEd Facilitators: Anthony Bisulca, Scott Goldthorp, Lauren Pasanek, and Wendy Wong

Sponsor: The Institute is supported by the NJSTA Maitland P. Simmons Memorial Award (MPSMA) Endowment.  It covers all Institute costs for participants who attend the full 4-day Institute.  Light breakfast and lunch will be served on Tuesday at Liberty Science Center. Participants, known as MPSMA Scholars, will also received upon completion of the 4-day Institute:

1.    One-year NJSTA membership

2.    One-year online access to NJSTA monthly newsletter and resources

3.  One-day admission to the October 2023 New Jersey Science Convention

4.    Certificate for 18 Professional Development hours

5.    Follow up support throughout the year at the virtual NJSTA Science Table

NJSTA is a 501(c)(3) organization.
© njsta.org 1996-2023   |   NJSTA 1905-2023
Report website concerns to the 

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software