June 17th, 2013 Bob
from the National Center for Science Education
The chorus of support for the teaching of evolution continues, with statements from two biology departments at universities in Oklahoma.
The Department of Biology at the University of Central Oklahoma’s statement in part reads (PDF), “Evolution is defined simply as the change in allele frequencies (genetic makeup) in a population through time. … The theory of evolution explains the mechanisms that lead to these changes. … The theory is modified as new information is acquired through these tests; however, the overall theory of evolution continues to be upheld. Support for this theory comes from a variety of disciplines (e.g., paleontology, morphology, genetics, molecular biology, ecology, developmental biology, and biogeography). The theory of evolution is the unifying theory in biology and the fact of evolution is not controversial in the scientific community.”
The Department of Biological Sciences at Southwest Oklahoma State University’s statement reads (in its entirety), “Evolution is supported by overwhelming scientific evidence and is accepted by the vast majority of scientists. It is fundamental to understanding all areas of biology, including medicine and conservation. Therefore the Department of Biological Sciences at Southeastern Oklahoma State University teaches evolution throughout the biology curriculum. We are in accordance with the American Association for Advancement of Science’s statement on evolution. We are a science department, so we do not teach alternative hypotheses or philosophically deduced theories that cannot be tested rigorously.”
Both of these statements are now reproduced, by permission, on NCSE’s website, and will also be contained in the fourth edition of NCSE’s Voices for Evolution.
June 5th, 2013 Bob
BioBlitz! Oklahoma 2013
October 11th- 13th
Camp Simpson, Johnston County
IMPORTANT Information – Please read carefully the following information before registering:
Cost is $8 for students, $15 for non-students.
- 2 nights tent camping in designated area at Camp Simpson
- Event t-shirt
- Friday night meal
- Saturday morning early, light breakfast
- Full schedule of activities during the inventory
- 24 hours of BioDiversity!
We will be offering a meal on Friday night, because the closest town, Tishomingo, is about 25 miles from the camp. We will send details regarding the meal via email to all registrants a week before the event.
T-shirts are guaranteed to those who register two weeks before the event date (September 27, 2013). Registration will close one week before the event (October 4, 2013).
There will be NO ON-SITE REGISTRATION. All registration must be done prior to arriving at BioBlitz! Everyone must register individually – except children under school age (they may attend for free).
No registration fees will be refunded. If you are unable to attend the event, or if the event is cancelled, your registration fee will be considered a donation to future BioBlitz! activities.
BioBlitz! may be cancelled in the case of extremely, severe weather or wildfires. The event will be held if it rains. If cancelled, we will make every effort to reschedule the event. If you register, but do not attend, you will not be guaranteed an event t-shirt.
In appreciation of the dedication and hard work of our volunteer expert biologists, we will be waiving the registration fee for all taxa team leaders and activity leaders. If you fall into this category – don’t register (you will be contacted by BioBlitz! staff).
Spring at Camp Simpson, location of BioBlitz! Oklahoma 2013.
Photo by Greg Mayberry, Shawnee High School and BioBlitz! Participant
Our mailing address is:
Oklahoma Biological Survey
111 E. Chesapeake St.
Norman, Ok 73019
June 5th, 2013 Bob
Power of Teaching
Presented by The Oklahoma Writing Project
June 21, 2013
Moore Norman Technology Center
4701 12th Avenue NW
Norman, Oklahoma 73069
9:15-10:15 Panel Discussion featuring:
Benjamin L. Bates–Professor, Langston University, National Writing Project Board of Directors
Jane Bowen–Superintendent Moore Norman Technology Center
Josh Flores Director of Language Arts State Department of Education
Dr. Gregg Garn-Dean of Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education; University of Oklahoma
Bob Melton–Science Curriculum Specialist/District Testing Coordinator-Putnam City Schools
Panel Topic: The Impact of CCSS on Oklahoma Students
Concluding with Q & A from the audience
10:15-10:25 Refreshment Break
10:25-11:10 Breakout Session 1
11:15-Noon Breakout Session 2
Engaging and Active Breakout Session Topics:
Hands on Activities implementing CCSS
Impacts of OWP Summer Institute
Teacher Leader Effectiveness (TLE)
Technology in your classroom
Come and learn what the future holds for Oklahoma schools
Discover how Oklahoma Writing Project can help you meet your needs as you implement Common Core Standards in your classroom.
Register online at: http://tinyurl.com/teachingsymposium
Register at OWP Website: http://owp.ou.edu
Cost: $25.00 per person*
*Guest of 2013 Summer Institute Fellow attend for FREE
Registration Deadline: June 14, 2013
The Oklahoma Writing Project (OWP) is a site of the National Writing Project, a professional development network. OWP serves teachers of writing at all grade levels, primary through university, and in all subjects. The mission of the OWP is to improve student achievement by improving the teaching of writing and literacy by improving learning in Oklahoma’s elementary, middle, and high schools; Technology Centers and colleges.
May 30th, 2013 Bob
A special biodiversity event this summer!
The US Fish and Wildlife Service, Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge, and the Southeastern Bat Diversity Network are proud to announce the 2013 Bat Blitz to be hosted in Tahlequah, OK. This is a great opportunity for those interested in bat netting techniques, acoustics, identification, and networking within the bat community. Dates for the event are July 28 – August 1. Registration is only $25 for students and $50 for non-students. Lodging, food, travel to field sites, t-shirt, and float trip are included in the registration fee. Registration is now open until June 7th and will be limited to 100 participants.
More information can be found by visiting www.SBDN.org.
BioBlitz! Oklahoma is one of the many partners for this unique event.
May 28th, 2013 Bob
Register now, only a few openings remain!
Weekend workshop (Sept. 20-22, 2013) at the University of Oklahoma Biological Station on Lake Texoma
Topics include current climate science, inquiry-based learning, state curriculum and classroom issues
- Taught by experts on climate science and science education
- Open to science teachers, and science education students in Oklahoma and North Texas
- 16 hours of professional development credit
- Room, board, and materials are included in $25 registration
- For more information or to register, see www.oklascience.org or http://www.ou.edu/uobs/teachers.htm
Workshop organized and sponsored by: Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education, the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, the National Science Foundation, and the University of Oklahoma Biological Station
May 13th, 2013 Bob
In celebration of Endangered Species Day the OKC Zoo invites you (and guests) to a FREE viewing of a fun, entertaining documentary “Where Did the Horny Toad Go?”
Date: Saturday, May 25
Location: Education Bldg auditorium (OKC Zoo, 2101 NE 50th, OKC, OK)
Time: 6pm ~ activity stations for kiddos, 6:30-7:45pm documentary
Cost: Free (doesn’t include zoo admission if you choose to visit the zoo)
Reservations: not required. Seating limited to the first 300 people
May 7th, 2013 Bob
You’ve Got Mail: Session Proposal Notifications
The review process is over, and NABT is proud to once again feature hundreds of sessions and special workshops at the NABT Professional Development Conference. For four days, biology and life science educators will be discussing challenges and developing solutions. Share your curriculum and problem sets as examples. Have questions about standards and assessments ready. Whether you are a presenter or a participant, be prepared to learn from a community of master educators. Know that you will interact, engage, and enjoy this time with your colleagues!
May 31st is the deadline for Early Bird Registration. Make sure to take advantage of discounts on registration and accommodations by registering BEFORE you leave your classroom at 2013 Conference Registration. Special workshop, field trip and meal function tickets will be coming soon.
Please note: Session acceptance letters were sent by email last week, and all presenters should know the status of their sessions at this time. Acceptance notifications for special workshops will be sent by May 15th. All conference presenters must register by May 31st to have their sessions included in the program. Please contact NABT at email@example.com if you have not received your notice.
NABT Call for Proposals:
Biology Education Research Symposium
All researchers from 4-year, 2-year and K-12 areas are welcome.
The NABT Four-Year College & University Section’s Biology Education Research Committee invites you to submit a proposal to present your research in biology education at the 2013 NABT Professional Development Conference. This is a refereed session and all papers will go through double blind review. Reviews will be guided by the following criteria:
- Subject/Problem: Is there a clear focus, rationale, model, theory, or philosophy upon which the proposal is based?
- Design or Procedure: Are the methodology, procedure, design, and organization appropriate?
- Analyses and Findings: Do the syntheses of ideas or data analyses and findings appear to be appropriate and complete? Do the conclusions drawn follow from the data?
- Contribution: Do the conclusions contribute valuable insights into the teaching/learning of biology?
- General Interest: Does the presentation promise to be of general interest to NABT members?
The format will be a traditional presentation for papers by individual or co-authors lasting 15 minutes each with an additional five – ten minutes for questions.
In email text please include: Names of author(s) with organization affiliation (University, College, School System), Title of Submission, Abstract (up to 200 words to be used in program if selected), Contact information for notification.
Submit a WORD document of the proposal as an attachment (maximum five pages including references). Please write the title at the top of each page in caps. The body of the proposal should address the criteria as used in the review process: 1) subject/problem; 2) the design/procedure; 3) Analysis and Findings; 4) Contribution; and 5) General Interest. Proposals should be word-processed using a 12 font, single-spaced, with 1” margins format. Please DO NOT include author identifiers in this document. These WORD documents will be made into a PDF by the Chair of the research committee prior to submitting to the reviewers to ensure a blind review process.
Send your completed proposal document to NABTresearch@gmail.com with 2013 NABT Research Proposal in the subject heading. Members of the Research Committee will send copies of your document without names and affiliation to at least two reviewers. After review, committee members will select proposals with the highest scores for acceptance in the 2013 NABT Professional Conference Research Symposium.
The proposal submission deadline is midnight on June 15, 2013. Blind review will take place in June with final selection by June 30, 2013. Submitters will be notified of acceptance or denial in early July. All presenters are required to register for the conference and provide an electronic manuscript for distribution through the Proceedings. More information and proceedings from past symposia can be found at 2013 NABT Research Symposium.
Participate In Endangered Species Day On May 17th
The 8th annual national Endangered Species Day on May 17 offers biology, ecology, general science and other teachers an ideal opportunity to educate students about the importance of protecting threatened and endangered plant and animal species. In addition to classroom discussions, there are several ways they can participate in Endangered Species Day, such as:
- Plan a school-wide Endangered Species Day fair with exhibits.
- Arrange a special display in the school library.
- Invite a local expert to speak to the school/class.
- Work with a community/environmental group on a habitat restoration project.
- Attend an event at a local zoo, aquarium, botanic garden or other location.
Depending on your school schedule, you can plan events earlier in May, on Endangered Species Day (5/17) itself, or that weekend. Once a specific activity is planned, the class can register it on the Endangered Species Day website at www.endangeredspeciesday.org.
There are appropriate resources and other support items for your event. Be sure to check out the new and updated materials in the Endangered Species Day Toolkit on the website, including event planning tips, stickers, bookmarks, fliers, banners, passports, coloring/activity sheets (many of which can be downloaded and printed) and more. The website also features a Teacher Resource Center/Teacher Forum.
For additional information, contact David Robinson, Endangered Species Day Director: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got Lactase? New HHMI Short Film Released
Human babies drink milk; it’s the food especially provided for them by their mothers. Various cultures have also added the milk of other mammals to their diet and adults think nothing of downing a glass of cows’ milk. But worldwide, only a third of adults can actually digest lactose, the sugar in milk. Got Lactase? The Co-evolution of Genes and Culture tells the fascinating story of how people living in pastoralist societies evolved the ability to digest milk —a compelling example of the co-evolution of human genes and culture.
In this short film, you follow human geneticist Spencer Wells, Director of the Genographic Project of the National Geographic Society, as he tracks down the genetic changes associated with the ability to digest lactose as adults, tracing the origin of the trait to less than 10,000 years ago, a time when some human populations started domesticating animals, including goats, sheep, and cows. Combining genetics, chemistry, and anthropology, this story provides a compelling example of the co-evolution of human genes and human culture.
Watch the film online or order the DVD: The Making of the Fittest Vol. 2. You can also download the film guides for classroom discussion ideas, a student quiz, and teacher tips.
Free College Planning Website For Your Students
It’s graduation time and your students are thinking about the next phase of their education. Make sure they know about My College Options, the largest college and career planning community in the country. With over 94% of high schools and over 70% of high school students participating, this FREE website highlights thousands of colleges and universities that offer a wide range of post-secondary opportunities and resources for students to explore.
Registration with My College Options provides students with their personal online college and career planning profile, where their needs, talents and interests are instantly matched with colleges and universities across the nation. In addition to providing a vital link for students to the colleges that meet their needs, benefits and resources include test preparation, scholarship matching, and expert advice on the college planning process.
My College Options offers resources for parents, educators and counselors as well. Parents can learn about the transition from high school to college, research and be involved in the college selection process, and find essential information on the daunting task of paying for college. Counselors and educators can review the college matches for their students, compare their unique high school report to state and national statistics, and access our comprehensive college and career planning resource center.
For more information, please visit www.mycollegeoptions.org.
April 23rd, 2013 Bob
OK, open up your calendar…
Now, turn (or scroll) to November 2, 2013…
Pencil in (or type) “OSTA FALL STAFF DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE, UCO”
There you go. Now you can plan around that date and make sure you are able to attend the largest and best science staff development conference in Oklahoma.
Details to come!
April 22nd, 2013 Bob
Science Olympiad is proud to announce that winners from the 2012 National Tournament will be honored at the Third Annual White House Science Fair in Washington, DC, today, April 22, at a ceremony beginning at 2:25pm EST. At approximately 11:30am, live streaming video of exhibits will begin at the site below (Science Olympiad does not have an exhibit). Solon High School and Solon Middle School are represented by Coaches Donna Ross and Drew Kirian, along with students Stephanie Zhu and Achuth Nair. Watch for them in the crowd wearing their Science Olympiad medals with the red, white and blue ribbons!
Find out more here, where we’ll be adding photos and video throughout the day.
April 19th, 2013 Bob
Join The DNA Day Celebration
On April 25th, National DNA Day will commemorate the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003 (10 years ago) and the discovery of the double helix of DNA in 1953 (60 years ago). Don’t let these important anniversaries go unnoticed!
Partners like the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), American Society for Human Genetics (ASHG), Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), Learn.Genetics and many more have created free resources and organized events to help students, teachers, and the public learn about genetics.
NHGRI will partner with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History to celebrate National DNA Day on April 19, 2013. This unique day will allow students and teachers to learn more about genetics and genomics. The DNA Day celebration will include a morning of engaging scientific presentations and panel discussions with some of the nation’s leading historians, scientists, geneticists and physicians that will emphasize the wide breadth of careers within genomics and genetics. Participating groups will also have the opportunity to visit various exhibits at the museum and partake in activities that will be a part of the Smithsonian NHGRI Genome Exhibition that will open in June 2013.
Share Your Earth Day & DNA Day Resources On The NABT ecosystem
Are you looking for some Earth Day or DNA Day teaching resources? Are you looking to share some Earth Day or DNA Day resources with other teachers? The NABT ecosystem Resources Section is building a list of teacher recommended websites, videos, articles, and tools. Like all ecosystems, this network supports a diverse population of producers and consumers. The more resources that are posted, the faster the ecosystem will become one of your go-to sites for classrooms materials, professional development opportunities, and colleague-to-colleague interactions.
The NABT ecosystem is free to join and open to all biology teachers. Start connecting today at http://www.nabt.org/ecosystem.
After Earth: Free Resources & Scholarship Opportunity From Dr. Joe Levine
Global change is arguably the most important single scientific issue facing our species in the 21st century – and is also arguably the most difficult subject for biology teachers to address. It’s almost impossible to explain to students why changes in global systems are important if they don’t understand how those systems work. And those systems are fiendishly complicated. Harness the energy of After Earth, the upcoming science-fiction film starring Will and Jaden Smith, to engage students in the science of global change, mass extinction, and biodiversity.
Dr. Joe Levine (of Miller/Levine: Biology), has curated a new website, scouring the web, picking and choosing from a vast array of scientific information and images to create manageable and engaging lessons on the basics of global change. Found at http://www.lifeafterearthscience.com, the site offers free downloadable lesson plans on interdisciplinary topics including guided web research and writing activities. Striking images and mesmerizing animations based on satellite data bring core concepts to life on Earth Day … and throughout the school year.
Teachers can also apply for After Earth Scholarships to attend Dr. Levine’s Inquiry in Rainforests Course at the Organization for Tropical Studies in Costa Rica July 9-24, 2013. Scholarships for the course will cover tuition and estimated airfare for participants except for transportation to and from airports. The course scholarship page can be found at OTS Scholarships. The application deadline is May 3, 2013 and awards will be announced in mid-May.
Trip Of Interest: Evolution in Oklahoma & Texas
“The Oklahoma Evolution Road Trip”, sponsored by Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education and the Oklahoma Academy of Sciences, will take you on an exploration of Oklahoma and Texas, where strong support for creationism is contrasted with stunning evidence of evolution. Join Dr. Stanley Rice, Professor of Biological Sciences, and Dr. Gordon Eggleton, Professor Emeritus of Physical Sciences, both at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, from Thursday, May 30 through Sunday, June 2 on trips to fossils and dinosaur footprints in Oklahoma and north Texas, informational visits to two creationist museums, and discussion about evolution and education.
Registrations are now being accepted and the cost is $350 ($400 for a private room). All participants will be housed at the University of Oklahoma Biological Station on the shores of beautiful Lake Texoma, and registration includes accommodations, transportation, and most meals. With sufficient enrollment and donations, partial refunds may be available, especially for pre-college teachers, who will receive a certificate of professional development.
More information is available at http://www.ou.edu/uobs/evolution.html. Please register by May 1, 2013.
If you are interested in making a contribution to help offset the costs for pre-college teachers, please contact Stanley Rice at email@example.com. Contributions are tax-deductible.