More than 25 Years of Changing Lives – One Dream at a Time
Since 1984, more than $27 million have been awarded to organizations serving approximately 115 million people in virtually every state in the U.S.
AHF was established by American Honda Motor Co., Inc., to commemorate its 25th anniversary in the United States and to show its appreciation of America’s support through the years. It is Honda’s desire that in every community in which it does business society will want Honda to exist.
Help meet the needs of American society in the areas of youth and scientific education by awarding grants to nonprofits, while strategically assisting communities in deriving long-term benefits.
The American Honda Foundation engages in grant making that reflects the basic tenets, beliefs and philosophies of Honda companies, which are characterized by the following qualities: imaginative, creative, youthful, forward-thinking, scientific, humanistic and innovative. We support youth education with a specific focus on the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects in addition to the environment. When considering the American Honda Foundation as a potential funding source, please note the following:
Nonprofit charitable organizations classified as a 501(c) (3) public charity by the Internal Revenue Service, or a public school district, private/public elementary and secondary schools as listed by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
To be considered for funding organizations MUST have two years of audited financial statements examined by an independent CPA for the purpose of expressing an opinion if gross revenue is $500,000 or more. If gross revenue is less than $500,000, and the organization does not have audits, it may submit two years of financial statements accompanied by an independent CPA’s review report instead.
Youth education, specifically in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, the environment, job training and literacy
Other Important Information:
Organizations may only submit one request in a 12-month period. This includes colleges and universities with several departments/outreach programs
The grant range is from $20,000 to $75,000 over a one-year period
Proposals should be submitted online. Click here to start the online process
No faxed applications will be accepted
Support materials such as annual reports, pamphlets/brochures, newsletters, articles, DVDs, etc. should be mailed to the following address: American Honda Foundation
NSTA Student Competition Teams to Participate in April 22 (TODAY) White House Science Fair
Student teams from NSTA’s student competitions—Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision, the U.S. Army’s eCYBERMISSION and the DuPont Science Essay Competition—will join President Obama for the White House Science Fair on Monday, April 22, starting at 11:30 a.m. ET. The president will speak at 2:25 p.m. The event will be webcast live at www.whitehouse.gov/live.
Elementary students Evan Jackson, Alec Jackson, and Caleb Robinson (at right) from Flippen Elementary School in McDonough, Georgia, will present their 2012 National award-winning ExploraVision project “COOL Pads: Shoulder Pads that Keep Players Safe from Overheating.”
Hayden Hilst, Riya Kaul, and Rebecca (Becca) Mackey (at left) from Jenks East Intermediate School in Jenks, Oklahoma, will present their eCYBERMISSION winning project that explored the benefits of using technologically advanced energy and water efficiency devices in their school.
Representing the 2012 DuPont Science Essay Competition will be Mike Espy from Little Snake River Valley High School in Baggs, Wyoming, for his essay titled “Moo-ing Energy,” and Cecelia Poole, from Carvel Academy in Bear, Delaware, for her essay titled “Breathe Easy: Bronchial Thermoplasty.”
The President hosted the first-ever White House Science Fair in late 2010 to celebrate the student winners of a broad range of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions from across the country. As part of the Administration’s Educate to Innovate campaign, the President told students in 2010 that “If you win the NCAA championship, you come to the White House. Well, if you’re a young person and you produce the best experiment or design, the best hardware or software, you ought to be recognized for that achievement, too.” Congratulations to these teams for their achievements, and plan to watch the White House Science Fair live Monday at 2:25 p.m. ET.
Congratulations to the 2013 DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition Winners
This year’s winners of the DuPont Challenge researched and wrote about some of the world’s most pressing issues: Feeding the World, Building an Energy Secure Future, Protecting People and the Environment, and Innovative Science. Twenty-six NSTA members judged the nearly 10,000 thought-provoking essays, selecting eight winners. This is quite an honor for the students and the sponsoring science teacher. The winners will receive US Savings Bonds, reference materials from Britannica Digital Learning and NBC Learn, and much more. Grand prize and first runners-up winners along with a parent and sponsoring teacher are packing their bags for an all-expenses paid trip to Orlando, Florida, and the award ceremony at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Learn more about these amazing winners of the 2013 DuPont Challenge here.
National Environmental Education Week Resources
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan relates how environmental education can be a tool to improve student health and engagement in STEM fields in a public service announcement for National Environmental Education Week (EE Week). “We know so many of the jobs of the future are in the STEM fields, and there are so many great ties between STEM education and environmental education,” he said. View the PSA here.
Secretary Duncan will also announce the second annual U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools and first-ever District Sustainability Awardees on April 22 at 10:30 a.m. ET. Honored schools and districts will have an important role to play modeling best practices for all schools who wish to provide an education geared toward the challenges and jobs of the future, which is why the Department of Education will release a report with summaries of each of the honorees.
As expected, President Obama’s FY2014 budget request includes a major reorganization of federal STEM education programs, and comprehensive immigration legislation introduced last week by the Gang of Eight contains funding for STEM education. Read all about it in this issue of the NSTA Legislative Update.
Register for April 30 Web Seminar on Crosscutting Concept; Energy and Matter—Flows, Cycles, and Conservation Prepare for NGSS in your classroom by learning more about the important crosscutting concept of Energy and Matter—Flows, Cycles, and Conservation. This web seminar will be held April 30 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. ET. Join Andy Anderson in this great professional development experience that will explore the role that energy and matter play in science, how student understanding of energy and matter might develop over the course of K–12 education, how learning about energy and matter can take place during the learning of disciplinary core ideas by engaging in scientific and engineering practices, and what studying energy and matter really looks like in the classroom. Visit the NSTA Learning Center to register.
Dive Into NGSS with the NSTA Reader’s Guide to the Next Generation Science Standards The e-book is available now and the print edition coming in May. Written by science education expert Harold Pratt, the publication gives readers a deep understanding of NGSS core ideas, scientific and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts. To order, visit the NSTA Science Store. View the standards online at www.nextgenscience.org or www.nsta.org/ngss. Want your own print version of the entire NGSS (coming this fall)? Pre-order your print version now at the NSTA Science Store.
Three New Everyday Science Mysteries Books for K–8 Classrooms
Everyone loves a good mystery—and thousands of teachers love the way the Everyday Science Mysteries series gets K–8 students engaged in real experimentation about real science content. Our three new releases in this bestselling series each focus on a specific content area—Earth and space science, physical science, or biological science. The stories come with lists of science concepts to explore, grade-appropriate strategies for using them, and explanations of how the lessons align with national standards. They also relieve you of the tiring work of designing every one of your inquiry lessons from scratch.
Member Price: $20.76 | Nonmember Price: $25.95
Scholarships for New Science Teachers—Apply by August 1
Special career-enhancing experiences for middle and high school science teachers in their second through fifth year can be found through the New Science Teachers Academy, a yearlong professional development and mentoring program that offers unique support and resources. Hundreds of teachers will be chosen to participate in the 2013–2014 Academy and take advantage of cost-free, consistent online professional development activities along with face-to-face educational experiences. Simply apply and take control of your career. Principals should consider making this a priority for their newest science teachers.
To find out more about the Academy and how to apply for a scholarship, visit www.nsta.org/academy. The application deadline is August 1.
Lab Out Loud Episode 95: Helping Students Imagine Mars
This week hosts Brian Bartel and Dale Basler talk with David Delgado, lead of the Imagine Mars project from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The Imagine Mars Project gives students a chance to work with scientists and engineers to build and design a future human community on Mars. Listen to Lab Out Loud to learn about the project and other educational outreach opportunities from JPL.
Focusing the Lens on STEM
Do you need help implementing engineering concepts in your early childhood classroom? Are skills development in math and science preparing students well enough for integration of technology and engineering into the curriculum? Get hands-on experience and practical knowledge for improving student performance in STEM subjects. Learn how to put an action plan into place. Participate in panel discussions and teacher workshops that include instructional models and activities. Attend NSTA’s second STEM Forum & Expo in St. Louis, Missouri, May 15–18.
PreK–2 (Early Childhood)
Effective STEM Partnerships
Successful K–12 STEM Schools
Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards
State STEM networks—How Are They Working to Change STEM Education?
STEM in Urban Science Education and Engaging—and Keeping—More Girls and Minorities in STEM
Public/Private Partnerships, Out-of-School and Informal Programs that Excite Students to the World of STEM
Putting the “T” and “E” in Your STEM Program
A Whole School Approach to STEM: What You Need to Know
Online Courses from the American Museum of Natural History
Are you interested in learning about evolution? Do you want to know more about Earth or the solar system? Are you looking for graduate or professional development credit? If so, check out the Seminars on Science program from the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). Online courses run from May 27 through July 7 and include Earth: Inside and Out; Climate Change; The Solar System; Evolution; Genetics, Genomics, Genethics, and more.
Each course is available for graduate credit and is co-taught by an experienced educator and a scientist. For more information, or to register, visit www.amnh.org/learn or contact AMNH directly.
Calling All Teachers! Know a student with a genius idea for a science project that could help make the world cleaner and greener? Here is a chance to share it with the world and win cash prizes! Popular Science magazine in partnership with Delta is hosting its 1st Annual Science Fair and is now accepting submissions for best original science projects in the category of sustainability.
This nationwide competition is open to elementary, middle school, high school, and college students. Judges will select one Grand Prize winner and runner-up winners in each of the four educational divisions. Prizes include cash awards and the chance to see your project in the pages of Popular Science magazine!
NBC Learn, in partnership with the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, looks at the Science of Innovation. More than just a single event or brilliant idea, innovation is a process that anyone from a garage tinkerer to a federally-funded scientist can take to discover new solutions. This 11-part series, narrated by NBC’s Ann Curry, highlights top innovators from across the country working on innovative projects in industries such as healthcare, energy, transportation, and agriculture. Free lesson plans are provided by NSTA.
NBC has a regular TODAY Show feature called Class of 2020 where they are following a class of students in a particular classroom through their 13 years of schooling. Now 5th graders, the class recently participated in their school district’s Division A Science Olympiad. (See the posting giving details about the Division A Tournament recently held in Putnam City that hosted over 270 participants from 15 teams)
TODAY Show cameras were there as students prepared for the Egg Drop and GUNK competitions in advance of the tournament which they also covered in the story. They picked up the story 2 weeks out from the Tournament that the students began preparing for two months in advance.
The report also gave a shout out to the Division B and C Science Olympiad.
Feel free to share this story with administrators and teachers (friends, family, school board members, students…). It gives a very quick look at the excitement for learning generated by a tournament as well as the student engagement in the practices of science that make Science Olympiad such a valuable part of any STEM Education program.
I hope you all enjoyed your time with friends and family over the holidays! With the start of a new year I have numerous exciting opportunities to share with you, including the kick off to our process for revising the Oklahoma C3 Science Standards.
We are now accepting applications for those that are interested in serving on the Oklahoma C3 Science Standards Revision Committee.
The Oklahoma C3 Science Standards Review Committee will consist of two teams:
(1) Writing Team: As a participant of the Writing Team, individuals will be required to attend on-site meetings and will participate in the writing of the revised Oklahoma C3 Science Standards.
(2) Draft Team: As a member of the Draft Team, participants will be asked to review drafts of the standards developed by the Writing Team and provide feedback. Reviews will be conducted electronically and will not require on-site meetings.
You will find a copy of the application HERE. You may complete the application digitally and submit it to me by e-mail by clicking on the submit button on page 4 of the application.
You will need to attach the application as a document to the e-mail as the submit button just provides a direct link to my e-mail.
The committee will be composed of science educators, scientists and engineers, and business, industry, and community members.
If you have any questions about the process or if you have issues with the pdf document, please feel free to contact me.
2nd Draft of the Next Generation Science Standards Just Released:
Last week Achieve released the second (and final) public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). All science educators, administrators, and other stakeholders are strongly encouraged to review the draft and provide feedback online to Achieve during the comment period, which ends January 29.Review the draft here.
NSTA has a vast collection of materials organized by topic and disciplinary core ideas to help you study the second public draft of NGSS. Find them here.
Take a look at the short video developed by Matt Krehbiel, Science Education Program Consultant for the Kansas State Department of Education, that will help you to navigate the Next Generation Science Standards website and the Achieve survey.
Learn more and sign up for one of these upcoming NSTA webinars on Engineering Practices in NGSS (1/15); Using the NGSS Practices in the Elementary Grades (1/29); or Making Connections Between NGSS and Common Core Math and ELA (2/12).
Read and download NSTA’s growing collection of monthly journal articles exploring the Framework. Articles examine the practices, crosscutting concepts, connections to common core, and more. Watch for upcoming articles on the core ideas by Rodger Bybee, Joe Krajcik, and Michael Wysession.
Engage: If you increase the light intensity for elodea will the rate of photosynthesis increase? Let students answer this question on a sheet of paper and commit and toss their responses making sure they explain the reasoning behind their response. Explore: Then let students decide in small groups how they want to plan the investigation, collect data, and report out data. Explain: Lead a class discussion around the class findings and assist in explaining why they got the results they got. Evaluate: Return to the engagement question and let students redo their responses or back up their original response with evidence from data they collected or information gained from the lesson.
Elaborate: Have students predict which areas of the world would have the greatest plant biomass, and explain the impacts that destruction of those areas could have. (Thanks Brandi Parson Williams for the elaborate idea from the #OKSci Facebook page). There also might be some great articles for students to explore in this elaboration.
NAE, AFT Partner to Build Common Core Tools:
The two national teachers’ unions have won $11 million to build an online warehouse of instructional tools for the Common Core State Standards. Student Achievement Partners, whose founders led the writing of the standards, is also a grantee. It will work with the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association and their teachers to build the tools and post them on Student Achievement Partners’ website. Read more about it!
Oklahoma State Department of Education Common Core Regional Meetings:
· Bartlesville for Elementary Teachers (January 18) 12:30-4:00 pm
· Bartlesville for Secondary Teachers (January 18) 8:00-11:30 am
· Hugo for Elementary Teachers (February 22) 12:30-4:00 pm
· Hugo for Secondary Teachers (February 22) 8:00-11:30 am
· Weatherford for Elementary Teachers (March 29) 12:30-4:00 pm
· Weatherford for Secondary Teachers (March 29) 8:00-11:30 am
Nominations period is open! Nomination Deadline is April 1, 2013.
Start considering great 7-12 science teachers now!
Geoscience Education Teachers’ Retreat: February 8th (evening – February 10th (morning)
The geosciences are the most underrepresented area of all science fields! Come work with geologist, Dr. Jim Puckette, and science educators Drs. Toni Ivey and Julie Thomas to learn more about geology and how it connects to your biology, chemistry, and physics classroom!
The retreat will take place at Roman Nose State Park. Participants will receive a $50 travel stipend, $150 participant stipend, and room and board while at Roman Nose State Park.
Earth and Space Science Education in Oklahoma Stakeholder’s Summit: February 15th
On February 15, 2013, I Toni Ivey will chair an Earth and Space Science Education Stakeholder’s Summit on the Oklahoma State University campus. This event will focus on three main questions with regard to Earth and space science education in Oklahoma: Where are we? Where do we need to be? and How do we get there? Please see below for more information on how to register.
Also, If you have colleagues that you fell would be interested in taking place in the conversation, please forward this message to them. The summit hopes to have representation from across business, industry, and education in Oklahoma.
High School teachers are eligible to bring up to 7 students(sophomores and/or juniors)to NLD. Teacher/student teams will visit labs of three OSU STEM Labs and engage in activities related to faculty research.
Space is limited so register today! Teachers can register at:
11th Annual Regional JSHA Competition: March 1st-2nd
Oklahoma State University is hosting the 11th Annual Regional JSHA Competition. High School students present original research and compete for cash scholarships (up to $200, regionally and $12,000 nationally).
OSU covers travel and lodging expenses and there is a $500 award for the teacher who brings the most high school (10th-12th grade) student presenters. See this Flier for details!
Fleming Scholar Program: Application Deadline February 1st
The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation is now accepting applications for the Fleming Scholar Program. If you know any scientifically passionate students, will you please encourage them to apply? This program grants selected students an opportunity to work side-by-side with real life, biomedical research scientists for eight weeks during the summer. Scholars also get paid and housing is provided for those who qualify. Applicants do NOT need to have any prior science or research experience. We seek students with passion, curiosity, diligence and enthusiasm.
Submit online application by February 1
Send (or have sent) up to three recommendation letters by (or postmarked by) February 1 deadline
Possess strong enthusiasm for science
Be a high school senior or college freshman, sophomore or junior
Be a graduate or soon-to-be graduate from an Oklahoma high school
New NRC Report Identifies Key Indicators for Gauging Progress in K–12 STEM Education
The National Research Council (NRC) released a report last week, “Monitoring Progress Toward Successful K–12 STEM Education,” that identifies key indicators for measuring progress in K-12 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The indicators are meant to serve as a guide for Congress and other federal agencies to develop and implement a “national-level monitoring and reporting system.”
Some of the indicators identified in the report include
How much time elementary teachers devote to science instruction
The extent to which districts are adopting instructional materials aligned to the common-core standards in math and recent guideline for new science standards
The level of teachers’ STEM content knowledge
Number of, and enrollment in, different types of STEM-focused schools and programs in districts
Extent of teacher participation in STEM-specific professional-development activities
Inclusion of science in federal and state accountability systems
Amount of state and district staff dedicated to supporting science instruction
Federal funding for STEM-focused research (in keeping with priorities previously spelled out by the NRC)
Study Finds Little Correlation between Time Spent on Homework and Better Course Grades for Math and Science Students
A new study led by Indiana University found that there is little correlation between time spent on homework and better course grades for math and science students, but a positive relationship between homework time and performance on standardized tests.
27th Annual DuPont Challenge Kicks Off Competition Year with a New Focus
Year 27 of the DuPont Challenge—a national writing competition for middle and high school students—kicked off last week with a new focus on addressing global challenges. The DuPont Challenge calls on students in grades 7–12 from the United States, Canada, and U.S. territories to research, think critically, and write an essay that provides innovative ideas on the world’s most pressing challenges, or demonstrates the application of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to our daily lives.
This year, the Challenge asks students to take a solutions-focused approach and address one of four categories in their 700–1,000-word essay:
Together, we can feed the world.
Together, we can build a secure energy future.
Together, we can protect people and the environment.
Together, we can be innovative anywhere.
Students and sponsoring teacher prizes include savings bonds, teaching grants, exciting trips, and much more. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2013. For more information, including official rules, entry forms, and details on awards, please visit the Challenge website.
Teacher Education, Professional Development, and Grant and Award Opportunities
Alan Shepard Technology in Education Awards
With this award, the Astronauts Memorial Foundation, in partnership with NASA and the Space Foundation, will recognize the accomplishments of one outstanding K–12 teacher or district-level administrator and his or her contributions to lifelong learning through the application of technology in the classroom or professional development of teachers. The award will be presented at the 29th National Space Symposium (April 2013) in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The winner will be flown to Colorado Springs, where hotel accommodations will be provided. The winner will receive a commemorative trophy with his or her name engraved and a $1,000 monetary award. In addition, the recipient’s name will be placed on a plaque honoring past recipients that is housed in the Center for Space Education at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. For more information, click here.
Distinguished Fulbright Awards in Teaching Program
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs offers Fulbright grants for U.S. primary and secondary classroom teachers, guidance counselors, curriculum specialists, curriculum heads, Talented and Gifted coordinators, Special Education coordinators and media specialists/librarians to participate in international exchanges for three to six months. By living and teaching or conducting research overseas, U.S. teachers gain new skills, learn new instruction and assessment methodologies, and share best practices with international colleagues and students. Teachers also have the opportunity to expand their understanding of other cultures and international education systems that will enrich their U.S. home schools and local communities with global perspectives. Participants must
Be a U.S. citizen
Be employed full-time at an accredited school in the United States or a U.S. territory
Hold a master’s degree
Be in at least their fifth year of full-time teaching
Demonstrate experience conducting professional development activities
Have received teaching awards or exemplary evaluations from a school administrator
Opportunities for the 2013–2014 school year are available in one of eight countries: Argentina, Finland, India, Mexico, Morocco, Singapore, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Applications are due December 15, 2012. For more information, click here.
Knowles Science Teaching Fellowships
The Knowles Science Teaching Foundation, an advocate for beginning teachers and the teaching profession in general, is now accepting applications for its 2013 Teaching Fellowships. Valued at up to $175,000 and renewable for up to five years, the highly competitive Fellowships are awarded to new teachers committed to teaching science, technology, engineering, and math in schools nationwide. For more information, click here.
Encouraging Girls in Engineering
The Society of Women Engineers Aspire website provides K–12 teachers with curriculum, learning resources, and outreach programs to involve girls in the world of engineering. For example, click on Get Girls Involved in Engineering to access Engineering Guides for middle and high school girls, as well as a list of opportunities for girls to participate in engineering–based after-school programs. The Teaching Resources section includes video biographies of female engineers.
ACS Guidelines and Recommendations for Teaching High School Chemistry
These guidelines are designed to help teachers, supervisors, and school administrators strengthen high school chemistry programs nationwide. Not a course or a professional development outline, the guidelines focus on the broad requirements necessary to teach chemistry to all high school students from diverse populations. Topics include classroom and laboratory environments, safety, the big ideas in chemistry, strategies and technologies for teaching diverse learners, and the professional responsibilities of chemistry teachers.
Teaching About Hurricane Sandy
The National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) EcoSchools USA program has created new web pages and resources for schools and students to better understand Hurricane Sandy, climate change, and natural disasters. Education pages contain information, links, and resources for the following topics:
What are hurricanes?
What is the link to climate change?
How can you help kids cope with natural disasters?
Sponsored by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the contest asks students to choose one of the stories from the NASA Spinoff 2011 book, then use the information in the spinoff story to make their own 3-minute video. The finalists from each grade level will be flown into a NASA location (still to be determined) and win prizes including scholarship funds for college. Register an “intent to participate” now. Video submissions are not due until January 2013. For more information visit the competition website.
TEAMS 2012 Student Competition
TEAMS (Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics and Science) is a one-day competition for students in middle and high school that allows them to apply their knowledge of skills in science, technology, engineering and math to issues facing our global society. Focused on and annual theme, original academic and innovative concepts are developed for the competition based on the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges. Engaging in the challenges requires critical job-readiness skills such as teamwork, analytical thinking and thinking, and multi-dimensional problem solving. In 2013, students will discover the engineering involved in cyberspace security.
TEAMS competition registration and information can be found here.
International Students Carbon Footprint Challenge
This project unites high school students worldwide as they calculate their individual footprints using an online “footprint calculator” (a series of questions) and post class data on a world map. They then enter discussions about their footprints and how to work toward solutions to globally shared environmental issues. The website includes instructions and lesson plans for introducing the footprint calculator to students and using the collected data in the classroom.
What Is Science Matters?
Science Matters is an initiative by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) to bring content, news, and information that supports quality science education to parents and teachers nationwide.
Science Matters, sponsored by the ExxonMobil Foundation and Shell Oil Company, builds on the success of the Building a Presence for Science program, first launched in 1997 as an e-networking initiative to assist teachers of science with professional development opportunities. Building a Presence for Science—now Science Matters—reaches readers in 34 states and the District of Columbia.
Why does Science Matter? Science is critical to understanding the world around us. Most Americans feel that they received a good education and that their children will as well. Unfortunately, not many are aware that international tests show that American students are simply not performing well in science when compared to students in other countries. Many students (and their parents!) believe that science is irrelevant to their lives.
Innovation leads to new products and processes that sustain our economy, and this innovation depends on a solid knowledge base in science, math, and engineering. All jobs of the future will require a basic understanding of math and science. The most recent ten year employment projections by the U.S. Labor Department show that of the 20 fastest growing occupations projected for 2014, 15 of them require significant mathematics or science preparation to successfully compete for a job
This is why Science Matters. Quality learning experiences in the sciences—starting at an early age—are critical to science literacy and our future workforce. Feel free to publish this information in school newsletters and bulletins, and share it with other parents, teachers, and administrators.
It’s time to check your schedule and finalize plans to be in attendance at the 2012 OSTA Fall Conference
“Saving The World Through Science”
First and foremost, this is the best science staff development conference you will find in Oklahoma this year. Second, the conference agenda brings together some of the most relevant topics for science teachers that you will find anywhere at any time.
Want to learn about the Next Generation Science Standards? Learn about it here, from Vanessa Westbrook, one of the NGSS writers!
How about Forensic Science? At Saving the World Through Science you can learn from professors who teach the top Forensic Science school in the country at UCO!
Wondering about how to work with students in studying glocal Climate change? Learn from climate scientists who are actively engage in climate research at the University of Oklahoma!
Need to know how scientists determine the age of ancient artifact through radiometric dating? Learn about the techniques and process from a scientist that does the work himself!
Trying to implement the Common Core State Standards ELA guidelines for science, social studies and technical fields into your course work? See how science graduate students at OU utilize these same recommendations as tools to develop effective communication and writing skills in the science research they produce.
Need more information of the AP Biology redesign, yep, we got that too!
Look at the OSTA Conference Agenda below. From keynote address to one hour sessions, to two half-day institutes, OSTA’s Saving the World Through Science promises to be a full day of fantastics learning experiences that will reap dividends for you and your students.
Don’t forget the OSTA Awards Reception at the Zoo on Friday evening at 6:30 PM. Help honor the recipients of the Annual OSTA Awards and mingle with science education leaders from around the state and nation! Sign up when you register. Thanks to generous contributions from the OKC Zoo and Pearson, the Awards reception is now FREE! Details are found here.
Click the link to register for the 2012 OSTA Fall Conference. The special pre-conference rate has been extended until November 8th!
Whom: Grades 2nd – 8th pre-service and in-service classroom teachers within any subject area
What: an 11-day summer NASA STEM teacher institute
When: June 5th – 15th, 2013
Where: the University of Oklahoma
Why: The Oklahoma NASA Space Grant Consortium is sponsoring a summer institute for NASA’s Space Science Mission Directorate. We call this Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE). Use the excitement of aerospace education to motivate students with a research-based, hands-on STEM curriculum across all subject areas. Enhance your teaching by aligning these motivational activities with the National Standards and the Oklahoma CORE.
Cost: Selected participants will receive NASA funding that covers the cost of: ten nights lodging, meals for eleven days, morning and afternoon refreshment breaks, handout materials, curriculum notebooks, “mini ground school”, orientation flight in University owned aircraft, flight materials and logbook, model rocket projects, and more!
*Basic Principles of Flight
*Classroom Application of Remote Sensing
*Unmanned and Manned Satellites
*Living and Working in Space
*Hands-On Rocketry and Model Rocketry
–Experience Interactive Flight in University-Owned Aircraft
–Field excursions to Science Museum Oklahoma, Sam Noble Museum, History of Science Museum, the National Weather Center, the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, and the Oklahoma Geological Survey.
2013 MTPE Teacher Applications are due in the Oklahoma NASA Space Grant Office at the University of Oklahoma no later than 5PM on Thursday, October 11th , 2012. All applications will be reviewed on a competitive basis. To receive an application, please contact Kat Rigby at 405.325.5537, or via e-mail: KatOKSG@ou.edu .
This week: (1) Updates on Oklahoma Science Assessments (2) Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers (3) Grant for Teachers (4) Student Opportunities
Greetings Science Educators!
I have received many questions of late about the scientific and engineering practices associated with the Next Generation Science Standards. The scientific and engineering practices were developed to clarify the meaning and application of “Inquiry in the Classroom.”
NSTA is presenting a series of free web seminars explaining the practices and the practical use of them in the classroom. The first web seminar was held on September 11th on “Asking Questions and Defining Problems.”
“Asking Questions and Defining Problems” is a practice that supports Common Core Literacy Standards for Science.
Questioning occurs throughout scientific investigations and drive science. Scientists ask:
· What exists and what happens?
· Why does it happen?
· How does one know?
· How does one communicate phenomena, evidence and explanations?
The webinar provides information pertaining to the practice of Asking Question and Defining Problems (at time point 35:40) and examples of questioning in classroom practice (at time point 44:18 in the web seminar).
One of the classroom examples provided in the web seminar focuses on the following lesson outline:
· Start with a driving question: “What is going on inside our bodies that helps us get energy to do the things we do?
Driving question should be linked to students’ past experiences so…
students can generate their own questions from the driving question
Are there different types of energy?
Let the driving question drive the investigation and the activities developed for student exploration of the question.
During the investigation secondary questions will arise that will continue to drive the investigation or lead to a secondary investigation
Informational text can be brought in for students to analyze as a means to answer secondary questions that arise from their investigations.
The investigation as well as any informational text brought in should lead to an explanation for the driving question
The web seminar further explores the application of “Asking Questions and Defining Problems” in a science classroom through additional examples and research. I believe many of you will find that you utilize this structure in your classroom already. However, I hope you will find the information valuable as you begin to explore this practice further.
1.Science Assessment Memo: Latest Updates on Oklahoma Science Assessments
· Please see the Attached memo regarding the most recent information pertaining to science assessments School Year 2012-2013
2.Free Earth Science Workshop for Educators: More! Rock in Your Head
Attention 3rd – 8th plus Earth & Environmental Science Teachers! Join us for
More! Rocks in Your Head
Instructor: Mrs. Janie Schuelke*, Houston, Texas
Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 (limited to the first 45 to register)
Location: Chesapeake Energy Corporation, 6100 N. Western, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73118
The meeting will be held in the basement (Conf. Room B111) of Building 9. The shuttle will pick up from the parking lot directly across the street, south, of Mamasita’s Restaurant. The address is 1121 NW 63rd St. The shuttle will begin picking up at 8:00am and will make a couple of trips from the lot to deliver guests to Bldg. 9 until 8:30am. The shuttle will return guests beginning at 3:30pm.
Cost:FREE!!! Lunch and snacks are included!
Sponsored By: Oklahoma Geological Foundation, Chesapeake Energy, Oklahoma Geological Survey, and the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board
More! Rocks in Your Head manual Rock Samples (Labeled and bagged)
Mineral Samples and Test Kit Hunt for Fossil Fuels oil exploration game on CD
Tapestry of Time and Terrain geologic map of USA Oil and Natural Gas book
Laminated Generalized Geologic Time Section Energize Your Future book
Certificate stating 6 hours of training BINGO prizes, more ….
Description: Educators are invited to participate in, “More! Rocks in Your Head”, a full-day Earth Science workshop. This nationally acclaimed workshop course will cover a full scope of Earth Science topics for teachers, who will be guided in each section with background information, vocabulary, projects, cross-curricular segments, and ideas for the gifted and talented students. All projects are hands-on, making Earth science a fun and memorable learning experience. Environmental processes will be discussed along with rock formation, mineral identification, geologic landforms, mapping, and fossil fuel formation plus alternative fuels.
*Janie Schuelke, program creator and instructor, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in geology from the University of Houston. After working for Geophysical Services, Inc. from 1977-81, Janie was a substitute teacher and taught a geology class at College for Kids, a summer program for Gifted/Talented Third through Eighth graders. Many of the activities taught in this workshop were created for the College for Kids program. Ms. Schuelke has been producing this workshop for nearly 15 years enhancing and increasing the teaching of Earth Science across the United States, and training more than 3500 teachers.
TO: Science Coordinators and Teachers of Grade 5 and 8 Science, and Biology I
RE: 2012-13 Grades 5 and 8 Science and EOI Biology I Assessments
Science testing within the State of Oklahoma has been in a state of transition since the adoption of new academic standards in spring of 2011. The purpose of this memo is to clarify changes which have occurred to the science assessments since the new academic standards were adopted and to communicate the testing plan for the Science 2012-13 testing year. The following summary explains the changes which have an impact upon testing.
A change in academic standards:
During 2010-11 the Science Priority Academic Student Skills (PASS) standards were revised by committees of Oklahoma teachers and community stakeholders and were adopted by the Oklahoma State Board of Education in Spring 2011. These new science standards, PASS (revision 2011), replaced the science standards which had been previously taught in Oklahoma classrooms since 2002.
When new academic standards and objectives are implemented, assessments go through a transition period. During this transition time, new test questions are developed and field tested in order to meet the blueprint criteria for alignment. It takes at least one year before the criteria for test alignment to the new standards can be completely met.
Science assessments administered during School Year 2011-12 contained both operational (scored) items based upon PASS 2002 and field test (non-scored) items based upon PASS (revision 2011).
Upon receiving the USDE No Child Left behind (NCLB) waiver, Science PASS (revision 2011) standards and objectives were renamed the Oklahoma C3 Science Standards. Currently, Oklahoma C3 Science Standards are comparable to the PASS (revision 2011) standards.
During SY 2012-13, both operational and field test items will be referenced as the Oklahoma C3 Science Standards (revision 2011).
A change in rigor:
Under direction from the United States Department of Education (USDE), the State science assessments have continued to require Oklahoma science students to use higher level thinking skills. The OCCT Grade 8 science and Biology I assessments have increased the cognitive demands on students from previous years.
The following Depth-of-Knowledge(DOK) transition chart illustrates the gradual increase in cognitive demand on the OCCT science assessments:
OCCT Science Assessments DOK Transition
EOI Biology I
For SY 2012-13, the OMAAP science assessment DOK will remain at the 2011-12 level as illustrated below in the OMAAP Depth-of-Knowledge (DOK) chart.
OMAAP Science Assessments DOK
A change in Achievement Standards:
The science academic standards revision of 2010-11 resulted in new objectives and skills being added at each assessed level for Grades 5 and 8. Specifically for Biology I, the objective realignment resulted in one less content standard, while other standards gained objectives.
The academic standards define the content and processes which will be covered on the OCCT and OMAAP tests. A committee of Oklahoma science teachers and science curriculum experts met and revised the OCCT and OMAAP test blueprint. Therefore, the emphasis changed to align with the new Oklahoma C3 Science Standards (revision 2011).
When the academic content and emphasis of the OCCT and OMAAP Grades 5 and 8 science change, student performance level expectations also change.
Given the number of changes, the old cut score may not adequately capture student performance. Thus, science standard setting committees will meet following Spring 2013 testing. These committees of content experts will be tasked with (1) evaluating the reasonableness of the current cut scores given the changes, (2) establishing new performance levels as needed, and (3) setting new cut scores for the OCCT grades 5 and 8 science, and Biology I assessments.
What do these changes mean for Oklahoma students and science during SY 2012-13?
OCCT Grades 5 and 8 Science
Instruction should focus on the new Oklahoma C3 Science Standards (revision 2011) for the 2012-13 school year.
Spring 2013 Grades 5 and 8 science tests will assess the Oklahoma C3 Science Standards (revision 2011).
The Oklahoma C3 Science Standards (revision 2011) reflect content changes; therefore, Grades 5 and 8 students will receive individual scores on these tests following the early June standard setting.
For 2012-13, the test results will be used in calculations for the A-F Report Card.
OCCT and OMAAP Biology I End-of-Instruction (EOI)
Instruction should focus on the Oklahoma C3 Science Standards (revision 2011) for the 2012-13 school year.
The 2012-13 Biology I EOI test will assess the Oklahoma C 3 Science Standards (revision 2011).
Students’ scores will be based on operational items aligned to both the process and content standards and will follow the established 2012-13 test blueprint. Field test items do not contribute to student scores.
For 2012-13, the test results will be used in calculations for the A-F Report Card.
Optional Re-Test and Winter/Trimester Test Windows (Biology I EOI only)
Second time testers who received instruction prior to this school year shouldparticipate in the Optional Retest Window before the traditional Winter/Trimester Window where they will be administered a test aligned to the prior PASS Biology I Standards (version 2002) and previous DOK levels.
Students participating in the optional re-test window will receive a performance level score three working days following the close of the Trimester testing window.
Students enrolled in Biology I for the first time during SY2012-13 will be administered an assessment based on the Oklahoma C3 Science Standards (revision 2011) during the traditional Winter/Trimester Window.
Students participating in the traditional Winter/Trimester Window will receive a score following the June 2013 standard setting.
The Office of Accountability and Assessments recommends:
Availability of Results
Online OCCT Second Time Test Takers (Students who received science instruction prior to fall of 2012, including those who need a read-aloud accommodation*).
Optional Re-Test Windows for Winter/Trimester and Spring
PASS Biology I Standards (version 2002)
Online – Three working days after the close of the Winter/Trimester testing window
Online OCCT First Time Test Takers (Students who receive instruction fall of 2012 and thereafter).
Traditional Winter/Trimester Window
Oklahoma C3 Science Standards (revision 2011)
Online - late June 2013
Paper/Pencil OCCT and OMAAP
Traditional Winter/Trimester Window
Oklahoma C3 Science Standards (revision 2011)
Paper/Pencil – late June 2013
*Second Time Test Takers who need both a read-aloud accommodation and a performance score prior to June 2013 in order to meet graduation requirements, should take the online version of the test during the retest window. Either a text-to-speech functionality will be available for the online test or a small group read-aloud could be arranged by the Building Test Coordinator. Call the Office of Accountability and Assessments, (405) 521-3341, to find out more information regarding this option.