AP Biology Teacher Academy

NABT and BSCS in partnership with HHMI 

AP Biology Teacher Academy

Engage, Invigorate, Transform

The Academy is open to teachers of all biology courses. 

Registration is not limited to only those teaching AP courses.

Join leaders in biology education to

·         Focus on integrating the science practices (College Board/NGSS)

  • Strengthen how you teach AP Biology so students learn more meaningful biology and are more interested in studying biology in the future
  • Use the practices of science to help students learn big ideas and unifying concepts of biology

·         Practice scaffolding levels of inquiry into your courses

  • Analyze and enhance your current curriculum materials to better reflect the new Framework
  • Learn to use formative and summative assessment information to examine what your students understand
  • Develop a network of fellow biology teachers that supports excellence in biology teaching

Registration fee includes NABT Membership, choice of membership in CBTA, KABT or OSTA, lunch daily, opening reception, and closing dinner.

Dates: July 6-11, 2015

Location: BSCS Colorado Springs, CO

Registration: Early Bird (until 5/31) $500, Regular $550  Group rates available for multiple registrants (3+) from the same district/school

Find additional information here

Register here

Contact Cindy Gay with questions.

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NCSE Weekly Update: 5-8-15






House Bill 592, introduced in the Alabama House of Representatives on April 30, 2015, and referred to the House Committee on Education Policy, would undermine the integrity of science education in the state by encouraging science teachers with idiosyncratic opinions to teach whatever anything they pleased and prevent responsible educational authorities from intervening. Topics identified in the bill as likely to “cause debate and disputation” are “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, and human cloning.”

Modeled on Tennessee’s “Monkey Law” enacted in 2012, HB 592 would require state and local educational authorities to “assist teachers to find effective ways to present the science curriculum framework developed by the State Board of Education as it addresses scientific subjects that may cause debate and disputation”; it would prevent such authorities from prohibiting “any teacher of a public school from helping students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of all existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught within the curriculum framework developed by the State Board of Education.”

The bill’s lead sponsor is Mack Butler (R-District 30), who, discussing a different bill of his with Alabama.com (January 21, 2015), commented, “It takes a lot more faith to believe in evolution.” Except for a failed bill to establish a credit-for-creationism scheme in 2012, HB 592 is the first antiscience bill in the Alabama legislature since 2009, when HB 300, the last in a long string of “academic freedom” bills in Alabama, failed to win passage. The legislature will be in session for only eleven more days before adjourning.

For Alabama’s House Bill 592 (PDF), visit:


For the Alabama.com story, visit:


And for NCSE’s previous coverage of events in Alabama, visit:



“Creationism is still taught in dozens of faith schools [in the United Kingdom] despite Government threats to withdraw their funding,” reports the Telegraph (May 2, 2015), describing the results of a recent investigation by the British Humanist Association.

In September 2014, the Department of Education instituted a ban on the state funding of nurseries (for children 2-4) that promote extremist views. Although the main target of the ban were “nurseries linked to radical mosques or run by Islamic hardliners,” the Telegraph (August 7, 2014) noted, “Nurseries that teach creationism as scientific fact will be ineligible for taxpayer funding, under the new rules.”

Before the ban was instituted, the British Humanist Association identified ninety-one schools of concern. Subsequently, in January 2015, the BHA sent freedom of information requests to local authorities to ascertain whether those schools were still receiving state funds. Only fourteen of the ninety-one schools in fact lost their funding. Fifty-one schools still receiving funding were regarded as likely to be teaching creationism.

The BHA’s Pavan Dhaliwal told the Telegraph, “It is hugely disappointing … to discover that creationist schools have continued to receive state funds since the ban on their doing so came into force” and called on the Department of Education to address the situation.

For the May 2, 2015, story in the Telegraph, visit:


For the British Humanist Association’s press release about its investigation, visit:


For the August 7, 2014, story in the Telegraph, visit:


And for NCSE’s previous coverage of events outside the United States, visit:



California State PTA adopted a resolution on climate change and climate change education—entitled “Climate Change is a Children’s Issue”—at its annual convention in Sacramento, California, on May 2, 2015.

Observing that there is broad scientific consensus on climate change and the role of human activity in causing global warming, the resolution  calls for the California State PTA to “urge its units, councils and districts to educate parents on the impact of climate change on children’s health and future welfare” and for school districts to “educate students on climate and energy literacy and human sustainability.”

NCSE’s Minda Berbeco spoke in favor of the resolution, saying, “It is the mission of the California PTA to positively impact the lives of all children and families. By passing this resolution, we are telling our children, their teachers, and their schools that we, as their parents and guardians, are here for them, to support them as they learn how to navigate the challenges ahead and protect their future. I can’t imagine a more important positive impact.”

California State PTA involves nearly one million Californians who support the education and well-being of children in the state. The resolution will be submitted to the National PTA for its consideration.

For the draft text of the resolution (PDF), visit:


And for Voices for Climate Change Education, visit:


Thanks for reading. And don’t forget to visit NCSE’s website— http://ncse.com — where you can always find the latest news on evolution and climate education and threats to them.



Glenn Branch

Deputy Director

National Center for Science Education, Inc.




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TiffanyGram April 20, 2015



Greetings Science Educators!

I hope the week finds you well. I know several of you are in mid-testing season and I wanted to wish you and your students the best at this time. Speaking of assessments, the Office of Assessment is seeking recommendations for educators to participate in assessment committees for the upcoming year. If you are interested in assisting with and knowing more about the process, please see the announcement below regarding assessment.

I also wanted to provide and update on the two projects we are working on with OKSci teachers to develop resources for teachers and districts related to the new Oklahoma Academic Standards for Science.

  • The Oklahoma Science Framework Project is in full swing. We will be sharing a few early drafts related to this project in the next two weeks.
  • The Oklahoma Open Education Resource Project kicked off last Saturday. We hope to be able to share some early drafts related to this project at the end of the summer.

Lastly, I wanted to relay that several OKSci teachers are interested in doing a virtual book study this summer. The book we will be doing the study over is Teaching for Conceptual Understanding in Science. The discussion for the book study will be facilitated through a discussion board, so you can participate whenever you like or are able. See a sample chapter from the book at http://static.nsta.org/files/PB359Xweb.pdf

Assessment Update:

The Office of Assessments at the State Department of Education is seeking recommendations for highly qualified educators to participate in the upcoming Grades 3-8 and End–of-Instruction (EOI) Oklahoma Core Curriculum Tests (OCCT) Standard Settings, Blueprint Writing, Content/Bias Reviews, and Performance Level Descriptors Writing Committees.

For more information: http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/OKSDE/bulletins/ff2ef1

Textbook Adoption:

We’ve received several calls lately regarding textbook adoption, so I wanted to address a few of the questions in the science message.

Q1: Can you recommend a textbook?

A1: As a reminder, SDE employees are unable to give recommendations on any of the textbooks on the adoption list. However, science teachers are discussing the pros and cons related to textbooks on the OKSci Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/118400268320217/

Q2: How do I know what textbooks are on the adoption list and how do I contact publishers to order or get samples?

A2: Here are a few quick links:

  1. Check out the list of Approved Titles from the Oklahoma State Textbook Committee
  1. Order Publisher Samples
  1. Review Samples in-person at a Review Center in Oklahoma
  1. Contact Publishers through the Publisher Directory

Educator Opportunities:


You are invited to EdCampScience!  It is an opportunity to connect with other science educators to collaborate, explore, learn, seek, encourage, and create deep, meaningful, standards-based instruction, lessons, units, resources, and so on. This is EdCamp, an UNconference where there are no rules.  This is your chance to choose the sessions you want to attend, create your own sessions, or collaborate with friends to start or join conversations that are important to you.

To register and for details: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/edcampscience-tickets-16448283258

Oklahoma Green Schools Summit

The purpose of this event is to educate students, teachers and administrators on topics related to the five GreenSchools! Investigations (Energy, Environmental Quality, School Site, Waste & Recycling, and Water) and showcase how to use Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and service-learning to make an impact at your school. There will be student presentations, networking opportunities and awards for those making their school greener and healthier places to learn.

Date:    Wednesday May 13, 2015

From:   9:00-4:00

Location: Sand Springs

See Flyer for more details

Summer Research Experience for Teachers

This is a 5-week summer research experience, which provides science teachers with both experience conducting research and professional development in how to mentor students in science research and science fair competitions. This five-week internship runs from June 4th through July 10th with four follow-up days during the following school year.

Apply at: https://okstatecoe.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_e8WBTLJeIm2lVUF

Applications Due: April 27th

OKAGE Summer Institutes

The Oklahoma Alliance of Geographic

  • Water More Precious Than Gold – June 7th-11th
  • OKAGE GeoBootCamp – June 11th-13th
    • Space in each institute is limited and registrations will be accepted on a “first-come, first-served” basis.
    • Each participant may receive a small stipend upon successful completion of each institute.
    • Each institute will be conducted pending sufficient registrations and availability of funding.
    • Teachers who are accepted will receive a confirmation email with more details.
    • Teachers who are not accepted will be notified promptly.
  • See attached flyers for session descriptions and registration

Student Opportunities:

OSSM Summer Academy 2015

Spend a portion of your summer with us! Eagerly experiment, explore and create at the nationally renowned Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics during a jamb-packed, one-week summer academy.  Located on the 32-acre campus in Oklahoma City and right across the street from the world-class Oklahoma Health Center, be among the first students to attend the OSSM Summer Academy.  Fill your summer days learning from the best – a faculty experienced at teaching college-level curriculum.  The residential academy is geared toward students who are entering 9th, 10th or 11th grades.  Small class sizes will ensure plenty of one-on-one time with teachers who are experts in their fields.  The program is open to students from anywhere , so this will be an opportunity to make connections with like-minded individuals from many places.  OSSM is well- known for academic excellence in the fields of science and math; however, the summer academy will provide an even more diverse curriculum in addition to a variety of enrichment and recreational activities.

See link for details and registration: http://www.ossm.edu/outreach/ossm-summer-academy-2015/

NSTA New Releases: Sample Chapters

  1. The BSCS 5E Instructional Model: Creating Teachable Moment
  1. Teaching for Conceptual Understanding in Science
  1. Reimagining the Science Department

Stay Connected:

Social Media:

Twitter: @tiffanyneill

Facebook: #OKSci

Hashtags: #oksde #OKSci #OKSTEM

Sign Up for a Twitter account: https://twitter.com/

Accessing Archived Science Messages:

You can access Archived Science Messages I’ve sent out since March via the Oklahoma Science Teachers Association (OSTA) website. Scroll down to see previous posts.

Science Listserv:

Please encourage others to register for the science listserv and pass along the following registration link:

Register for Science Listserv

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have!

– Tiffany

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GoGreen and Save with NABT


Teach Biology and the Life Sciences?

NABT is where biology teachers belong!  And now you can join the National Association of Biology Teachers at a special low rate and GoGREEN as well by receiving NABT’s award-winning journal, the American Biology Teacher, in it’s online and iPad-enabled digital version.  Don’t miss this opportunity to join the professional organization that has meant so much to so many Oklahoma biology teachers for over 75 years!  Go to www.nabt.org and use the discount code GoGreen.

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Aldo Leopold – A Standard of Change


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Oklahoma Green Schools Summit


Join us to learn, share and network with other schools in Oklahoma that are going green!  Click Here to Register!


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Genes in Space Contest


THE CHALLENGE: Design a dna experiment for space

Genes in space is a national contest inviting teachers and students to design experiments that will solve real-life space exploration problems through dna analysis.


Help design a pioneering experiment that will open an era of DNA exploration in space.

Crew: U.S. students and teachers interested in science, technology, and space, in grades 7 through 12.

Location: International Space Station.

Contest Launch Date: March 17, 2015.

Closing Date: April 30, 2015.

Life as we know it is encoded in DNA. On Earth we use a process called PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) to rapidly detect and analyze DNA. PCR can make billions of copies of specific DNA sequences for study, in a process called DNA amplification. PCR has never been done in space, and now you can be among the first to propose a DNA amplification experiment for the International Space Station.

If you win, your design will become one of the first ever DNA experiments in space!


You’ll become part of the first generation of Space DNA Scientists and Innovators.

If your design is among the five finalists, you will work alongside scientist mentors and present your proposal to a panel of world class scientists, innovators, and educators at the ISS Research and Development Conference in Boston, MA.

The winning proposal will be performed aboard the ISS, and the students who design it will be invited to witness the rocket launch.


You’ll get to engage your students in a national competition that fosters 21st century skills, including:

  • Interdisciplinary connections between the biological and physical sciences
  • Collaboration among students, and between students and Ph.D. scientists
  • Experimental design to test a cutting-edge hypothesis
  • Solving real-world problems using the latest technologies
  • Creativity and innovation


  • Receive mentoring and coaching from Ph.D. scientists
  • Present their proposals at the ISS Research and Development Conference in Boston, MA.
  • Be awarded free miniPCR™ equipment for their educational institution.


  • Have their experimental design carried out aboard the ISS.
  • Be invited to witness the rocket launch.


Genes in Space is a National Science Contest inviting students in grades 7 through 12 to design a pioneering DNA experiment for space. Until April 30, participants can help solve real-life space exploration problems by designing and proposing a DNA analysis experiment to be conducted aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Five finalist teams will receive mentoring from world-class R&D scientists during May and June, and a donation of miniPCR equipment for their educational institutions. Finalists will present their proposals at the 2015 International Space Station R&D Conference, where a prestigious panel of scientists and educators will select a winner that will later have their experiment performed 250 miles above the Earth, using a miniPCR machine aboard ISS.


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NCSE Evolution and Climate Change Update – 3/3/2015






The American Federation of Teachers adopted a resolution in 2014 affirming the role of science in climate change courses.

Observing that “the political will to see a specific outcome is not a proper justification to overthrow models resulting from the scientific process” and that “powerful economic interests have shown willingness to deny the existence of climate changes,” the resolution affirms “the validity of using scientific inquiry methods to address the issue of global climate changes” and insists that “arguments against the current scientific model on climate change be subjected to the standard rigor and scrutiny of the relevant field instead of being subjected to manipulation by special interest groups.” The resolution ends by calling upon AFT’s members to “assist those engaged in overseeing science education policy to understand the nature of science, the content of contemporary climate science[,] and the inappropriateness of including non-science in our science curriculum” and to “promote these concerns and help resolve these issues in their home communities.”

NCSE is in the process of collecting statements supporting climate change evolution such as AFT’s in Voices for Climate Change Education.

For AFT’s statement, visit:


And for Voices for Climate Change Education, visit:



Science Culture: Where Canada Stands, a new report from the Council of Canadian Academies, includes data on Canadian public opinion about evolution and related topics.

Presented with “Human beings as we know them today developed from earlier species of animals,” 74% of respondents regarded it as “definitely true” or “probably true,” as compared to 47% of respondents in the United States in 2010.

Presented with “The continents have been moving their location for millions of years and will continue to move,” 91% of respondents regarded it as “definitely true” or “probably true,” as compared to 80% of respondents in the United States in 2010.

Presented with “The universe began with a huge explosion,” 68% of respondents regarded it as “definitely true” or “probably true,” as compared to 38% of respondents in the United States in 2010.

The percentage of Canadian respondents correctly answering these three questions increased from a previous survey in 1989, although unfortunately the rates from the previous survey are not reported.

The report is based on a survey of 2000 Canadians conducted by Ekos Research in April 2013; the results are considered to be accurate within +/- 2.2% at the 95% confidence interval.

For Science Culture: Where Canada Stands (PDF), visit:


And for NCSE’s collection of polls and surveys, visit:



NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview of Kristin Dow and Thomas E. Downing’s The Atlas of Climate Change: Mapping the World’s Greatest Challenge (University of California Press, 2011). The preview consists of thirteen full-color spreads with information on warning signs, polar changes, shrinking glaciers, ocean changes, everyday extremes, the greenhouse effect, the climate system, interpreting past climates, methane and other gases, threatened water security, threats to health, personal action, and public action.

“A rich and colorful collection of charts, data, case studies and clear text that explains the main topics that make up the many faces of climate change,” writes the reviewer for Frontiers of Biogeography. “An excellent introduction to the many dimensions of climate change— one that will engage and inform a wide range of readers. … In a crowded market of ‘introductions to climate change,’ the Atlas stands out for its clarity, range of topics and appealing presentation. It is much more than just the sum of its maps.”

For the preview of The Atlas of Climate Change (PDF), visit:


For information about the book from its publisher, visit:


Thanks for reading. And don’t forget to visit NCSE’s website— http://ncse.com — where you can always find the latest news on evolution and climate education and threats to them.

Glenn Branch

Deputy Director

National Center for Science Education, Inc.



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How Do Teachers Respond to Urgent, Science-Related Issues? Tell NSTA


NSTA has partnered with a national research firm and we need your help with a brief study on how teachers respond to urgent, science-related issues like Ebola.

As you know, K-12 teachers are critical to providing students with accurate and timely information about health-related issues. But researchers want to know:

  • How exactly do teachers respond when important and urgent issues like Ebola emerge?
  • How do teachers decide whether to address these issues in their teaching?
  • What types of resources do teachers draw on to design instruction?

Regardless of whether you’ve taught about Ebola, your help is needed.  Please take 5 minutes to register for the survey.

Our goal is to have over 3,000 science teachers –including elementary teachers—participate. The results will be announced, and will inform how science teachers respond to Ebola and other urgent and emerging health issues in the future.  All teachers who register and complete a survey will be entered into a drawing for cash awards.

Thank you for your participation.


Juliana Texley

NSTA President, 2014-2015

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A Special TiffanyGram – Volunteer Today for the Open Education Resources for Science Project

Greetings Science Educators!

I hope that each of you found some time to relax and rejuvenate during Spring Break and that some of you might be interested in an exciting opportunity to partner with the Oklahoma State Department of Education to curate Open Education Resources for Science.
If you attended one of the Science Standards Regional Workshops this year, you may recall me presenting a project that the Utah State Department of Education developed in conjunction with Utah science educators http://www.schools.utah.gov/CURR/science/OER.aspx . After receiving numerous requests from educators in our state to develop a similar resource for Oklahoma, we are moving forward with the Open Education Resource Project. In order to develop similar resources, we need your help!
We are seeking volunteers willing to serve as curators for the project.. Details regarding the project timeline and curator expectations are provided in the attached application. If you are interested in participating in this exciting project complete the short application and return to me by March 31st. Those selected for the project will be notified by April 2nd of their selection and the first of three working meetings will be held on April 11th in the Oklahoma City area. Travel reimbursement and lunch will be provided to participants at each of the three working meetings.
If you have additional questions regarding the application or project, please feel free to contact me at 405-522-3524 or Tiffany.Neill@sde.ok.gov..
Thank you in advance for your willingness to apply and serve on this ground breaking project!


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