October 28th, 2011 Bob
Please Join Us for Oklahoma’s Energy Future Forum on October 29th featuring Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign National Director, Mary Anne Hitt. We will also have a panel discussion on the available resources in Oklahoma that can help us move beyond coal as well as two smaller discussions on clean energy policy and plugging in to the beyond coal movement.
There is no cost for registration and lunch is free, but only if you RSVP so we can get a proper head count.
Hope to see you there!
WHAT: Oklahoma Energy Future Forum
WHEN: October 29th from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
WHERE: OSU-OKC Campus, 900 N. Portland, Student Center, Conference South
8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Registration (Sign in, name tags, coffee)
Welcome from Oklahoma Chapter of Sierra Club
Keynote: “Making the Future Happen”
Mary Anne Hitt, Beyond Coal Campaign Director
Panel Discussion: “What We Have, What We Need: Transitioning Oklahoma’s Energy Resources & Production”
Panelists: Michael Ming, Oklahoma Secretary of Energy; Jim Roth, Phillips Murrah Law Firm; Rob Janssen, Kelson Energy; Chris Knapp, Apex Wind Energy
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Track 1: Joining the Beyond Coal Movement
Track 2: Policymakers Discussion: Clean Energy Policy in Oklahoma
Associate Organizing Rep
Sierra Club, Beyond Coal
Oklahoma City, OK
October 25th, 2011 Bob
Interested in bringing cutting-edge evolutionary science to your school and community? Apply by MONDAY, OCT. 31st to be a stop on NESCent’s 2012 Darwin Day Roadshow.
NESCent (The National Evolutionary Synthesis Center – www.nescent.org) is an NSF-funded evolution research center. To celebrate Charles Darwin’s contributions to science and society, we send our scientists on the road every year during “Darwin Day” (the annual, world-wide celebration of Darwin’s birthday on Feb. 12th) to talk to students, teachers and the general public about their research and career opportunities in science. Our focus is on small, rural communities (i.e., places that wouldn’t likely have a Darwin Day celebration if they weren’t a stop on our Roadshow). There is no cost to you, the teachers, and we’ll even leave you with a collection of evolution teaching resources.
For more information, and to apply to have your school considered, please visit roadshow.nescent.org or contact Jory Weintraub (jory at nescent dot org).
The application deadline is NEXT MONDAY, Oct. 31st.
October 19th, 2011 Bob
The NABT BioClub provides opportunities for students to share and promote interest in the biological sciences. Activities include preparing and presenting experiments and technical information before groups and sharing information about career, technical training, and college opportunities.
Students will meet role models in the professional biology community, and participate in national NABT special programs. A faculty member who is a member or affiliate member of the National Association of Biology Teachers is the BioClub Advisor.
To learn more about what the NABT BioClubs are doing, visit the BioClub Blog at
http://bioclub-bioclub.blogspot.com/ or Facebook. To find information about NABT BioClubs and how to start one at your school, go to the NABT BioClub page or contact George Sellers, the BioClub Section President.
Of the 75 BioClubs in the US and Canada, Ada High School currently has the only NABT BioClub in Oklahoma. OSTA Region 4 Representative Kay Gamble is the sponsor.
Carolina Biological Supply Company is looking for NABT BioClub chapters to field test new products. If you are interested in this opportunity, contact David Heller at firstname.lastname@example.org
NABT BioClub Section President:
405 Locksley Drive
Greenwood, SC 29649-9188
October 19th, 2011 Bob
The USA Biology Olympiad (USABO) is the premiere US biology competition for high school students. After two rounds of challenging exams, 20 students are invited to a residential training program at Purdue University where they experience labs and lectures with advanced biological concepts and exacting lab skills. The top four students go on to represent the USA at the International Biology Olympiad (IBO) in Singapore July 8 to 15, 2012. Online registration is open. To register, click on the following link http://www.usabo-trc.org. For more information on how your students may participate in the USABO, please contact Kathy Frame at email@example.com.
October 18th, 2011 Bob
NSTA Legislative Update
October 17, 2011
Senators Harkin and Enzi, chair and ranking member respectively of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, last week introduced a draft of their bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind). The 860-page bill includes a number of substantial changes to NCLB. It is anticipated that the Senate education panel will begin consideration of ESEA sometime this week.
Most importantly for STEM education advocates, the ESEA draft incorporates the STEM legislation introduced by Senators Merkley, Begich, Gillibrand, and Franken earlier this month.
The STEM legislation in the draft ESEA, which is supported by NSTA and the STEM Education Coalition, would reauthorize and strengthen the current Math and Science Partnership Program (Title II B) at the Department of Education by providing competitive grants to states and districts to improve student achievement in the STEM fields. (A provision in the language would transition the program from competitive to formula-based grants after a threshold funding level was reached.) States, districts, and state stakeholders would work together to:
- Encourage and inspire more students—especially those from underrepresented or disadvantaged groups—to study in STEM fields
- Strengthen quality STEM instruction and professional development programs
- Recruit, train, and support highly effective teachers in STEM subjects and provide robust tools and supports for students and teachers
- Close student achievement gaps, and prepare more students to be on track to college and career readiness and success in these subjects
- Develop a statewide STEM education plan.
Funding would also be available to provide mentoring and induction programs and to provide support for STEM related competitions.
NSTA and the STEM Education Coalition worked closely with Senator Merkley on this legislation, and were the first groups to support the legislation. We need you to support the STEM provisions in this ESEA draft by sending a letter to your Senator.
Read articles on the ESEA reauthorization effort in the Senate:
October 17th, 2011 Bob
Science Lab Challenge
The deadline for applying to the Shell Science Lab Challenge for your chance to win a $20,000 lab makeover support package is October 21,2011. If you haven’t already done so, we encourage you to get started on your application and contact us if you have any questions in advance of next week’s deadline. The process has been streamlined this year. Submit a short3-page narrative, vita, and letter of recommendation with your application. Download the application at http://www.nsta.org/shellsciencelab/
For helpful information and tips, we invite you to view the archive of the web seminar entitled, “Developing a Competitive Application for the Shell Science Lab Challenge.” The presenter, a past and present chair of a number of awards and recognition committees, shares insight into completing your Shell Science Lab Challenge application and provides tips for strengthening your submission for a chance to win your share of $93,000 in cash, equipment, and professional development opportunities.
View the web seminar archive at
Questions? Contact the Shell Science Lab Challenge team at NSTA at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703.312.9258.
Make-n-Take Classification Box Workshop: Oklahoma City Zoo
Sat. Oct 22, 10:00 – 11:30 pm
Connect your students with taxonomy by making & taking (home) your own classification resource box. You’ll have access to animal artifacts from mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates. Cost: $30 per person. Call the education department at 405-425-0218 to register. Spaces are limited!
Museum of Osteology Teacher Open House Nights
Dates: October 17th, 18th and 19th, 2011 4 pm – 7 pm.
Location: Museum of Osteology, 10301 S. Sunnylane Rd., Oklahoma City
Teachers are invited to join us at The Museum of Osteology for a special three night Open House complete with door prizes, hors d’oeuvres and beverages. Come see what the museum has to offer your classroom as a fieldtrip destination. Scheduled for three nights, 4 pm – 7 pm, for your convenience.
This event is FREE, but you have to RSVP to the email address below what night and time you would like to attend.
For more information or to RSVP: contact Joey Williams or 405-814-0006
Museum of Osteology’s Halloween Bash
Date: October 31st, 2011 6-9pm
Location: Museum of Osteology, 10301 S. Sunnylane Rd., Oklahoma City
Come celebrate The Museum of Osteology’s 2nd Annual Halloween Bash! Candy for everyone who shows up in a costume! Special prizes will be given away throughout the evening. 6 pm – 9 pm. This will be a safe, fun and educational stop for families who are out trick or treating. Special admission price, $3.00 per person (children under 3 are free).
For more information: mailto:email@example.com
Jody L Bowie
Director, Science Education
Office of Instruction, Oklahoma State Department of Education
October 10th, 2011 Bob
BioBlitz is this weekend! If you plan to attend and haven’t yet registered, you need to do so by Thursday morning.
There will be NO ONSITE REGISTRATION due to park regulations.
You can find all the logistical information regarding this year’s event on our website:
From the website, you can download a detailed schedule, get a list of recommended items to bring, print out taxa checklists, and find directions to Base Camp (at Buckhorn Campground).
It is very important this year for you to read through the participant guidelines:
Like our Facebook Page to get further updates on this weekend’s event.
If you have any questions, I will do my best to answer them quickly.
Looking forward to seeing you on Friday!
Oklahoma Biological Survey
University of Oklahoma
111 E. Chesapeake St.
Norman, OK 73019
October 3rd, 2011 Bob
Dr. John W. “Jack” Renner taught science education at OU from 1962-1988, His work on the Learning Cycle in the 1970′s lead to its use as foundation for the Biological Science Curriculum Study (BSCS) and the Full Option Science System (FOSS). The Learning Cycle approach and it’s underlying teaching philosophy of constructivism shows itself today in the inquiry approach defined by the National Science Education Standards (NSES) and the process skill development required by our own Priority Academic Student Skills (PASS). Jack was recognized for his contributions by NSTA with the Robert H. Carleton Award, which annually recognizes one individual who has made outstanding contributions to, and provided leadership in, science education at the national level and to NSTA in particular. It is NSTA’s highest honor. In like manner, the Jack Renner Award is OSTA’s highest honor given each year to a person or organization in recognition for significant contributions to science education in Oklahoma.
This year, we honor Dr. Victor Hutchinson, George Lynn Cross Research Professor emeritus for the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Hutchinson’s list of accomplishments is long and varied. A retired Colonel in the Army Reserve, a fellow in the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, a member of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, holder of leadership positions in the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, author or co-author for nearly 150 peer reviewed scientific papers, supervisor for 28 PhD’s … The list goes on and on and Dr. Hutchinson has had a very full and active career as a research scientist and University professor.
But our story goes back to the dark days of 1999 when members of the state textbook committee attempted to introduce creationist textbook disclaimers into any textbook used in Oklahoma that discussed Evolution. I attended those hearings and so did Vic Hutchinson and through his efforts and those of others the disclaimers did not make it into law. But from that experience was born Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education, founded by Vic with a small group of educators, scientists, theologians, laypersons, and persons interested in maintaining the constitutional separation of church and state. There have been political efforts every year since 1999 to inject religion into public schools and diminish or prohibit the teaching of evolution in Oklahoma science classrooms. And every attempt has been met by Dr. Hutchinson and his colleagues in OESE. He is a tireless advocate for quality science education in our public schools, a regular representative on our behalf in the halls of the legislature, and is a frequent speaker to school and civic groups as well as a commentator on radio and television. He maintains the Oklahoma Evolution listserv, and the OESE website has become a treasure-trove of resources about evolution, evolution education, and science and religion. OESE also sponsors a number of education efforts and by leveraging grants and donations, has made a Teachers Evolution Workshop available to Oklahoma teachers for each of the last six years. His efforts in this realm have been recognized by the Oklahoma Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, with their Constitutional Heritage Award, by the Tulsa Interfaith Alliance with their Award for Science Education and Anti-creationism Efforts, the National Center for Science Education, Friend of Darwin Award and now by the Oklahoma Science Teachers Association with the Jack Renner Distinguished Service to Oklahoma Science Education Award – Bob Melton
October 3rd, 2011 Bob
Each year, OSTA selects outstanding Oklahoma Teachers for recognition through it’s awards program. It is my honor this year to be able to present the award for Outstanding High School Teaching to Jody Bowie, recently a teacher at Putnam City High School.
Jody is not only an exceptional teacher, but has gained notice as a teacher leader as well. He is a frequent workshop presenter at technology and science teacher staff development conferences and is an adjunct faculty member for Southern Nazarene University where he frequently teaches about using technology in authentic ways to increase student learning. His workshops and classes are more than reporting how technology can be used, but is taught through the techniques and tools to be imparted. He is a frequent presenter for the extensive technology staff develop program within Putnam City Schools. He has attended and presented to OSTA Conferences as well as to the ISTE (International Society of Technology Education) conference. He has al attended the annual OESE Teachers Evolution Workshop at The OU Biological Station and currently recently served on the OSTA Communications Committee. He was the Oklahoma Technology Educators Association Teacher of the Year this past year and was one named as one of the 12 finalists for 2011 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year.
His classes are models of the 21st century classroom where student often operate in a paperless environment to complete authentic/ rigorous tasks using technology to collect data, analyze results, and report findings. He was recently awarded yet another grant which he is using to bring robotics study to his physics classes. His students are active and involved learners. They most frequently work in cooperative learning groups producing authentic products that require extensive study and rigorous research. Their assessments are electronic and Jody makes extensive use of rubrics and mastery learning protocols. They write extensively about what and how they are learning and have a open dialog with their teacher, who is more coach and mentor that dispenser of all knowledge.
Unfortunately for us in Putnam City, but fortunately for the state, Jody left Putnam City High School in August to accept the invitation from the Oklahoma State Department of Education to become State Science Director. Please congratulate Jody Bowie, recognized at the OSTA Fall Conference with the 2011 OSTA High School Teacher Award.- Bob Melton
October 3rd, 2011 Bob
Diana Spencer taught 22 years in a high school classroom before completing her doctoral degree in the biomedical sciences going to Tulsa Community College. She has a passion for reaching out to high school and community college teachers around her and giving any support necessary to allow for dynamic investigative lab activities. During the last five years, while teaching at Tulsa Community College Southeast Campus, Diana was the Principal Investigator on a National Science Foundation Advanced Technology Grant. The $385,000 grant titled, Stimulating Enthusiasm, Exploration and Discovery through Biotechnology Education (SEEDBEd), involved academies for middle school teachers, high school teachers and high school students each summer for four years. Diana also taught a number of workshops throughout the school year. Also, during the past five years she invited 100 area high school students to the annual Biotechnology Extravaganza for high school students. The extravaganza included guest speakers for the students as well as five hands-on activities for each student. Diana also served as the Project Director for the National Institutes of Health ARRA project, Medicines, Explorations and Discoveries in Biotechnology Education (MEDBEd). This $500,000 grant trained 79 teachers in 57 schools with Diana presenting 134 hours of workshops. The teachers left each workshop with thousands of dollars of equipment to take to their home schools. Through the MEDBEd grant, Oklahoma high schools received $308,245.00 in equipment and reagents with outreach to 8261 science students in those classrooms. In addition to grant writing, Dr. Spencer has made many conference presentations in Oklahoma and on both coasts. The following presentations are only a representative sample of Diana’s numerous conference presentations. In 2007, 2008, and 2009 Diana presented at the NSF ATE Principal Investigators Conference in Washington, D.C. She presented workshops at the fall OSTA conferences in 2009 and 2010. She presented at the national Bio-Link Summer Fellows workshop in 2008 and 2010 in Berkeley, California. Also in 2008, Diana was in attendance at the BIO Annual International Convention in San Diego and worked the Oklahoma booth. While in San Diego, she presented at the National Biotechnology Teacher-Leader Program Best Practices Day. In the spring of 2008 in Washington, D.C. she presented at the D.C. Biotech Dissemination and Mentoring Conference. Diana was interviewed by the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) and the interview was on the OCAST Innovations website as a podcast. Most recently, Dr. Spencer was invited to present a poster at the National Science Foundation Broadening Impact Conference in June of 2011. Diana’s professional involvement and professional activities have been numerous and of great value to many teachers and students.
As a result of Diana’s high quality of effective teaching, many former Jenks High School students were inspired to continue their quest for learning the biological sciences at the college level. Many have become professionals in various fields of science. Diana was well respected by her high school students as a master teacher. She was nominated by her colleagues and students for various awards including eight nominations for Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. She received numerous awards for her superior teaching at the high school level. While teaching at Tulsa Community College, Diana started a new Department of Biotechnology in 2007. Her biotechnology students have won numerous awards and scholarships and the new Department of Biotechnology has grown in student size by over 800% in only 5 years. A large part of this growth is a direct result of Diana’s students’ personal testimonials bringing new students into the program. Diana has also received numerous awards for her teaching and accomplishments while at Tulsa Community College. In addition, the biotech business community recognizes Diana’s students as highly qualified and is readily hiring graduates of the TCC program. Diana’s receipt of professional awards, her students’ receipt of academic awards, the growth of the TCC biotechnology program, and the successful careers of her students are all indicators of Diana’s highly effective and successful teaching techniques.
Please congratulate Dr. Diana Spencer, recognized at the OSTA Fall Conference with the 2011 OSTA Outstanding College/ University Teacher Award.