Integrating Science & Literacy
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 January 2017 Integrating Science & Literacy

In This Issue
· Award & Grant Winners
· Conference Preview

· Obtaining, Evaluating, & Communicating Info.

· Connecting Science With Literacy

· 4 Go-To Pre-Writing Questions
· 3D Lesson of the Month: AP Biology
· 3D Learning Tools
· GSTA Recommends
· General
· Elementary
· Middle/High

Quick Links
GA Performance Stds
CCGPS Literacy Stds
Science GSE
A Framework for K-12 Science Education
3D Learning Tools
Literacy and Science: Each in Service of the Other

The title above is borrowed from an excellent article of the same name by P. David Pearson, Elizabeth Moje, and Cynthia Greenleaf. Although the article was published in Science, it provides a very readable summary of key research on the interconnections between science and literacy. The take away message? Literacy must be an integral part of scientific inquiry in the classroom, as it is in the lab. Students cannot simply read about science, but they should use texts as they work to figure out explanations to phenomena. 
GSTA Recommends

Science in the Classroom

- Bob Kuhn, High School Representative

Science in the Classroom (SitC) is a collection of annotated research papers and accompanying teaching materials designed to help students understand the structure and workings of professional scientific research. The research papers come from recent and past issues of the journal Science, and therefore help students connect their classroom learning to cutting edge research. The site provides teachers guides and activities that use raw data from selected articles. There is also a link to the Science Education Portal, a collection of freely available education content published by Science.
Highlights from the NSTA Blog

The NSTA Blog provides perspectives on a range of important issues in science education from NSTA staff, authors, and leaders.  Here are some recent highlights from the blog.

Every Student Succeeds with STEM

NSTA invites you to join the Every Student Succeeds with STEM campaign to ensure that STEM education is a priority in the new federal education law, ESSA.

As you know, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) became law in late 2015, when President Obama signed the bipartisan reauthorization of the national education law and replaced No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

ESSA provides states and local districts with the flexibility and power to set new policy and funding priorities.

Every state is now developing a new plan to submit to the U.S. Department of Education detailing how they will implement ESSA.

You have the power to impact your state's plan by promoting STEM as a critical piece of a well-rounded education. Here are three easy steps you can take today:

  1. Navigate to the Every Student Succeeds with STEM campaign hub to learn more about the law and how to support STEM.
  2. Amplify the campaign by using one of the ready-made graphics to tweet or post on Facebook (and follow @success_STEM while you're at it).
  3. Contact your Chief State School Officer to promote STEM, using the tools on the campaign hub.

NSTA needs your help; visit the campaign hub to learn more and get involved so that every student will succeed!

Click here to get all of our legislative updates and action alerts and to learn more about ESSA.

Questions? Email 

Notes From the Editors

Share Your Great Ideas! Write for eObservations

Do you have a great lesson or idea to share with your colleagues? Help us make eObservations a valuable professional resource and gain recognition for your great work with students by submitting an article for publication. Each month, we feature articles of ~500-750 words that fit into one of the three series described below. In addition we invite classroom-oriented education research, or K-12 student scientific research. Articles should include 1-2 supporting images and one or more links to additional information or supporting files. Articles can be submitted to

Building Toward the GSE

This series is intended to build teachers' capacity for the new Science Georgia Standards of Excellence and to increase their understanding of the Framework for K-12 Science Education by highlighting model classroom lessons that support students in three-dimensional science learning. Articles should describe lessons that challenge students to integrate core ides, science & engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts to explain phenomena or solve problems.

Connecting Research & Best Practice

This series is intended to help teachers incorporate research-based best practices into their science and STEM classrooms. Articles should focus on curriculum, instructional, or assessment approaches that are demonstrated to support science learning within the context of Georgia's student assessment and teacher evaluation systems. Each article should provide relevant background information and practical guidance for classroom implementation.

Speaking Up for Science Education
This series offers a space for GSTA members to share their perspectives on key issues facing science education in our state and nation. We seek articles that inform and support members in acting as leaders and advocates for science education on the local, state, and national levels.
Have Something to Share with GSTA Members?

GSTA seeks to share announcements, information, and resources from not-for-profit or government-sponsored programs at no cost. We also offer paid advertising options for commercial interests that align with GSTA's goals. Please visit GSTA's Newsletter Information for details.

Engaging and Active Science Learning! FOSS engages students through experiences like active investigations and outdoor explorations that build understanding of core science concepts.
Serving Our Members
Congratulations 2017 Award & Grant Winners!

- Dr. Sally Creel, Awards & Foundation Chair

GSTA congratulates our 2017 award and grant winners, along with Georgia's finalists and awardees for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. These outstanding educators and students will be honored at the annual GSTA Awards Banquet during this week's conference. The Banquet will be held Friday night in the Rotunda Room at the Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Center.

National Geographic Learning is Georgia's source for K-12 science instruction.
Serving Our Members
Don't Miss Your Chance to Engage With STEM, Literacy, New Science Standards, & Your Colleagues at GSTA's 2017 Annual Conference

- Jeremy Peacock, Executive Director

We are just days away from the 2017 conference, and we are expecting record attendance. Although we have closed online pre-registration, it's not too late to take advantage of the many opportunities for professional learning and networking at this year's conference.  On-site registration will be available during the following hours.
  • Wednesday: 6-8pm
  • Thursday & Friday: 7am-5pm
  • Saturday: 8-9:30am
You can review the conference program or download the conference app here.  You'll find field trips, socials, and sessions on STEM, literacy, and other important topics in science education.  You'll also notice a big focus on the new Science Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE), which will be implemented next year. Review this listing of highlighted sessions that will help you understand and prepare to implement the new standards. You will also want to review the products and services offered by our exhibitors, who are working to update their offerings to support Georgia's new standards. In addition to sharing information in the exhibit hall, many of our sponsors and exhibitors are also offering conference sessions. And speaking of our sponsors, we want to offer special thanks to the following organizations for their support of the 2017 conference. We hope to see you in Stone Mountain!

Platinum Sponsors


Silver Sponsors


Bronze Sponsors


Stone Mountain 
Memorial Association

Why read about a case study when you can experience one?
Building Toward the GSE
Obtaining, Evaluating and Communicating Information: What Does it Really Mean for Students?

- Jeremy Peacock, Executive Director

Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information is one of eight science and engineering practices featured in the Science GSE, but, for several key reasons, it plays a different role than the remaining seven practices. First, scientists and engineers spend more than half their time reading and writing (NRC Framework, 2012). This statistic reveals the important roles that gathering information and communicating ideas play in science. Second, evaluating the validity and reliability of information gets right to the heart of the nature of science and scientific literacy. A conclusion written in a scientific text is valid not simply because it is written there, but only so far as it is supportable by physical evidence.  Third, the practice of obtaining, evaluating, and communication information (or Moulding's parallel framework of gathering, reasoning, and communicating; see figure below) provides an important context for the remaining practices. For example, scientific models might be used at various stages of an investigation to gather data, make sense of evidence, and communicate findings. Finally, the ability to take in information from a variety of sources, make sense of sense of that information, and logically communicate those ideas lies at the heart of the learning process.

For these reasons, this practice was given special significance within the Science GSE. You will notice that every standard, from Kindergarten through high school physics, begins with the phrase "Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information..." The underlying elements feature the remaining seven practices. This structure formalizes the connection between the Science GSE and Georgia's existing standards for literacy in science, and it communicates the role of obtaining, evaluating and communicating information as an overarching practice. As Philip Bell and his colleagues discuss in their NSTA article, the information practice should serve as part of a cascade of practices in which students obtain information from various sources, including their own investigations, and use other practices to make sense of this information. The article provides examples from elementary, middle, and high school levels.

Now that we know the role of obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in the Science GSE, let's look more closely at the practice, itself. The primary source for  understanding any of the practices is A Framework for K-12 Science Education, and the figure at left summarizes this practice, as presented in the Framework. As illustrated, the practice centers on students' ability to consume and produce scientific texts that might take many forms. In working with these texts, students should develop the ability to extract information, critique and build on new ideas, and communicate their own ideas clearly and convincingly. This will obviously look different at different grade bands and the matrix found on the NGSS@NSTA hub can help teachers provide appropriate support for their students. Students will especially need help with evaluating sources and evidence, and here is one tool I adapted from several sources to scaffold student thinking in this area. This MiddleWeb blog post also provides an excellent classroom example of students reading and writing like scientists. Teachers can also learn more about this practice in this short video from Paul Anderson or in this longer webinar from NSTA.
3-Dimensional Learning - IT'S ABOUT TIME - iat.comBuilding Toward the GSE
A Natural Fit: Connecting Science With Literacy

- Karen Garland, Elementary Representative

With the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE) and the increasing focus on STEM education, literacy in science is more important than ever. They are a dynamic duo, the perfect tag-team for expanding writing, reading, speaking, and listening skills! As we know, students learn best when the subject matter is meaningful and focused. Science education, therefore, gives literacy an authentic context that is connected to the real-world. "Education that is organized in such a way that it cuts across subject-matter lines, bringing together various aspects of the curriculum into meaningful association, provides children with a better understanding of the subject. It views learning and teaching in a holistic way and reflects the real world, which is interactive" (Shoemaker, 1989).

This does not mean that instruction includes just reading about science. Students go beyond what is being presented in class, as they observe, model, investigate, calculate, draw, and create! A study by Swan (2003) showed those students that observed and interacted with scientific phenomenon in combination with access to interesting texts gained greater conceptual knowledge of the science content and experienced greater engagement than those without the literacy connection.

Students have difficulty reading and communicating about the science if they do not have science knowledge. Likewise, students have difficulty learning science if they do not have literacy skills. If two subjects are taught at the same time, not only can more be taught in a given period of time, but instruction in one area reinforces and enhances learning in the other.

Therefore, to significantly enhance students’ comprehension, making it meaningful to their lives, choose from a wide variety of high quality literature by determining if it corresponds to an integrated content. If the interdependence is missing, the selection will not be useful for teaching in a truly integrated manner. For example, Mr. Popper’s Penguins is a popular trade book that delves into the fictional life of a group of penguins. It lends itself to being integrated with a habitat/ecosystem unit or the phenomenon of how can a penguin survive outside of Antarctica. The science content you might choose to teach in conjunction with this book could be connected to the biology and ecology of penguins, including life cycles, adaptations, food web, and ecosystems. However, to teach about architecture merely because it mentions Mr. Popper’s home renovations, would not be a true integration.

Alternatively, if you begin with science phenomena, look for outstanding literature that includes the topic you are going to explore. For example, if you want to teach about habitat destruction, endangered species, conservation, and food webs, There’s an Owl in the Shower connects biology and ecology. If your students are studying traits and genes, Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas, explains the theory of heredity in simple-to-understand language and examples. Earth science students can expand their understanding of a well-known mineral by reading The Story of Salt. With the volume of literature on the market, provides a list of exceptional K – 12 trade books that were chosen by a book review panel in cooperation with the Children's Book Council.

Merely assigning reading and writing tasks is not adequate. Therefore, integrated learning should be taught through modeling. Examples include:

  • Students recording questions, incorporating information they have read, organizing collected data, creating drawings, tables, and graphs, and supplementing a written product with a verbal or visual presentation.
  • Students being provided vocabulary for discussing the concept or topic, keeping a journal of writing on topics related to the lab, as there is a shift away from worksheets, and identifying questions by writing entrance or exit tickets out-the-door.

Here are some useful literacy strategies and resources for the science classroom:

  • Anticipation guides for activating prior knowledge, making predictions, and building curiosity of the new topic or phenomenon;
  • Close reading to deepen understanding of science concepts (after firsthand experiences with the phenomenon);
  • Double entry journals in which students post questions, make observations about the text, summarize, and make connections;
  • Graphic organizers that help students understand the texts' structure and/or to map out relationships needed to understand vocabulary;
  • Reciprocal teaching for allowing students to become the instructors of the content that they are studying;
  • Vocabulary flashcards for reinforcing key words needed for understanding science concepts. A robust vocabulary improves all areas of communication — listening, speaking, reading and writing ;
  • Science News for Students: Articles on a whole host of interesting science topics; and
  • ChemMatters: Chemistry-related articles written for high school students. 

For additional strategies and resources, please be sure to attend the 2017 Georgia Science Teachers Conference, which will include sessions that will emphasize the power of literacy to improve the quality of science instruction in Georgia classrooms.


  • Douglas, R, Klentschy, M.P., & Worth, K (Eds.). (2006). Linking Science & Literacy in the K-8 Classroom. Arlington, VA: NSTA Press.
  • Guthrie, J.T., Wigfield, A, & Perencevich, K.C. (Eds). (2004). Motivating reading comprehension: concept-oriented reading instruction. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  • "Literacy in Science | SciMathMN." Literacy in Science | SciMathMN. Minnesota STEM Teacher Center, 2017. Web. 16 Jan. 2017. .
  • Teaching science through children's literature. (n.d.). Retrieved January 16, 2017, from
  • Swan, E.A. (2003). Concept-oriented reading instruction: Engaging classrooms, lifelong learners. New York: The Guilford Press.
Science Carbonless Lab Notebooks - BARBAKAM.COM
Connecting Research & Best Practice
Four Go-To Prewriting Questions

- Jodi Wheeler-Toppen, Member & NSTA Press Author

The new standards require that our students do a lot more writing—to sort out their thinking, to explain to others, and to argue in support of a claim. Students will do better work (and you’ll have less of a grading headache) if they spend a few minutes planning before they write. Here, I’ll describe 4 prewriting questions that can be used before a variety of assignments to set students on the road to good writing.

1) What science ideas will you want to include?

Give students an opportunity to talk through the ideas they are going to write about. If they are making a claim, discuss where they should look for their evidence. If they are writing an explanation, have them “turn and talk” about what they need to say with a friend. You may even want to list phrases on the board related to the science they need to write. It’s ok if this means you essentially say all of the parts of “the answer” as part of the discussion. Students will learn from organizing the material into a coherent piece of writing.

2) What science terms should you include?

Students learn vocabulary best when they come to a moment when they need a new term. Have students brainstorm words that might be useful and list them in an obvious place, so that students can reference them as they write.

3) What writing words could you use?

Science writing is full of words that show relationships between ideas: therefore, however, in contrast, similarly, because, for example, and others. Introduce these words to your students and talk about the relationships they indicate. Then have students propose writing words that might be useful for a given writing assignment. Congratulate students who use them well!

4) Will you want to use formal or informal language in this assignment?

I often tell the story of my visit to Emory University as a prospective student when I was a senior in high school. I attended a seminar on “what to expect in your first year of college.” A student described her first experiences with her freshman roommate. She said:

When I spoke to my new roommate on the phone, she said ‘Well, I’m fixing to go…’ and I was shocked. What kind of podunk, backwards place was I coming to?

I had grown up in Savannah, and that moment was the first time I realized that “fixing to” wasn’t standard English. I swelled with indignation—how dare she suggest we were backwards because of the way we spoke. Far from “correcting” my English, she made me want to use “fixing to” loudly and proudly.

We risk causing the same pushback in our students when we tell them that their English is “incorrect,” especially if it is the language spoken by their community (and it is correct, I might add, in that context, as it leads to effective communication).

By talking about formal vs. informal language, we help students understand that there are different types of language, and that part of communicating is choosing the correct type for the situation.

It may take a lot of practice for students to understand which grammar constructs fall into which language category. So instead of marking a statement “incorrect”, try asking a student to translate, saying something like, “I can see you understand the science here. This sentence is written in informal language. What would you need to do to translate that into formal language?”

Likewise, there may be times when you want students to write for a different audience—I often have students write letters to classmates who were absent to explain what they should have learned. In those instances, informal language may be appropriate. Even then, it is good to make that explicit. Each time you ask the question, “Should you use informal or formal language?” you reinforce the idea that there are different types of language, and you empower students to use language in ways that will help them succeed.

Jodi Wheeler-Toppen is the author of Once Upon a Life Science Book and Once Upon an Earth Science Book: 12 interdisciplinary lessons to create confident readers (NSTA Press). More information on her books and staff development can be found on the web at

Building Toward the GSE
3D Lesson of the Month: You Are What You Eat - Argumentation on Marine Bacteria 

- Stella Guerrero, Member, Cedar Shoals High School (CSHS);Rachel Hicks, and Alden Winn Students, CSHS; Dr. May Ann Moran, Distinguish Professor, Department of Marine Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens

Transporters in bacteria are incredibly important components of cells; they are proteins on the membrane of the bacterial cell that allow molecules in and out. Two Cedar Shoals students completed summer internships working on transporters in bacteria in the lab of Dr. Mary Ann Moran, Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Georgia.

In this activity I am presenting data collected by my two intern students that show the growth of the marine bacterium Ruegeria pomeroyi using four different carbon sources; Xylose, Pyruvate, Glucose, and Acetate. They used these data to determine when to sample the cultures for subsequent studies on RNA using qPCR, since cells in exponential growth were needed. Their question involved determining how different carbon sources affect the expression levels of an ABC transporter gene in marine bacteria that is thought to transport xylose and possibly other related compounds.

Argumentation activities allow students to think and reason based on scientific data. These types of activities are very useful in AP Biology to prepare the students for the AP Biology exam.

Description of the Activity

The students are presented with a research question and will be given data to support their claim (hypothesis). The students will follow the format described by Victor Sampson and Sharon Schleigh, in their book; Scientific argumentation in Biology 30 Classroom Activities (NSTA Press, 2013).

This exercise addresses Big Ideas 2 and 3 and science practices (SP) 1-7 of the AP Biology curriculum. Activities like this one will teach students to analyze data, graph data, interpret graphs, and use statistics to find if apparent differences are significant. The last part of the assignment gives this activity the writing component needed in a science class. You can access the full activity here, and you can see student work samples in the photos above.

CPO Science - supporting the new GA Standards of Excellence!
Members: Remember to Vote in GSTA's 2017 Board Election

Voting for GSTA's 2017 Board Election will be open for members February 1st though 28th. Be sure to exercise your right to select our next slate of science education leaders. The following positions are open this year.

Visit the GSTA Elections page to learn about the candidate and cast your ballot.

Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Short-Term Program Opportunities Abroad for U.S. K-12 Educators

Through the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program, U.S. K-12 teachers and educators can apply for grants to engage in 2-6 week collaborative projects abroad. Participants consult with and support projects with schools, non-profit organizations, teacher training institutions, and other educational organizations abroad. The grant award funds travel costs, lodging, meals, local transportation, and related costs.

Teachers may travel to: Botswana, Colombia, India, Mexico, the Palestinian Territories, South Korea, or Vietnam. Click here to view individual project summaries for details on program opportunities.


Application deadline: February 15

"Exploring the Richness of EE: Your Practice, Profession and Partnerships" at the 5th Annual Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance Conference and Research Symposium 

Organization: Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia (EEA) in partnership with the Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance (SEEA).

Location: Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center, Buford, GA

Date: March 3-5, 2017

Registration and Cost: $175 for EEA members, $200 for non-members (includes a one-year membership). Friday, Saturday, or Sunday only registration and special event tickets are available. Register here.

Description: Join EEA as we host environmental educators from across the southeast region this year in conjunction with our annual conference. We have added several exciting components to our event and invite you to join us in celebrating 25 years of our professional association in Georgia. This year’s conference features a robust program with speakers from throughout the southeast and sessions on board governance, residential farm schools, natural communities and ecoregions, 3-D science, geology of the southeast, and much more. The conference will also feature a regional research symposium, Friday and Saturday evening networking socials, 5K fun run, and Sunday Family Fun Day. Do not miss this great opportunity to network with environmental educators from across the southeast and renew your practice!

STEMscopes Georgia - Contact <a href=

Recently left the Science Classroom? Retired?  Are You Interested in Teaching Teachers??

Become a STEMscopes Trainer!!

Accelerate Learning is looking for passionate science educators with availability during August and the school year to train on the implementation of the award winning, digital science curriculum, STEMscopes™.  We serve Pre-K through high school teachers.  This is a consultant position with the Professional Services Team that allows you to make your own schedule and has opportunities to grow with the company, Accelerate Learning Inc.  For more information and interest please send your resume and inquiries to">  To learn more about our products please go to

Interested in Evolution PD? Please Complete This Survey

I want to invite you to share your experience and interests in a possible professional development program I am trying to bring to Georgia teachers. If funded, this PD opportunity will pay for travel as well as a stipend for Georgia teachers who apply and are selected for each group. It will take place during the school year with three days in Fall and three in Spring so you will not be asked to give up your summer! We have listened to what you have said before about the need for PD that works for you and I am asking again for your help and input!

You are invited to participate in a research study to gauge interest in professional development for teaching evolution, unity and diversity of life in ways that are culturally responsive and provide teacher and student support. A link to the survey is provided at the bottom of this page. This survey will ask questions about your teaching experience, comfort levels with certain topics, content knowledge, and ideas about the nature of science and acceptance of evolution. The survey takes about 15 minutes for most to complete and the responses are anonymous. No personally identifying information is collected for the study, only some general location information (county) to look at locations where need/interest are greatest. Participation in this study is voluntary and will have no impact on your relationship with our institution, your district, or other entities. 

Thank you in advance for your help! 

Dr. Amanda Glaze

Click here to access the survey.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (978) 254-7431 or">by email. 

Want to Be a Virtual Judge for a National STEM Competition?

The fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are imperative to the future success of our students and our country. It is this thought that lead to the creation of the eCYBERMISSION competition (now in its 15th year), which is sponsored by the US Army and administered by NSTA. This free, National STEM Competition allows students in grades 6-9 to use real-world STEM application skills to research, hypothesize, experiment, and draw conclusions while meeting common core standards!

Because there are so many teams across the country submitting projects, we need help from volunteers like you who are passionate about STEM and volunteering their time in the education community.  

As a virtual judge, you'll spend your time (self-paced) between March 8 and March 24 of this year to review, score, and provide comments on team submissions. We ask volunteers to score 10-15 submissions, which on average, takes 30 minutes per submission. eCYBERMISSION provides a clear judging rubric for all submissions as well as support from the eCYBERMISSION Volunteer Team.

Registration is easyjust click here to get started. Thank you for your support in this community!

NSTA Now Accepting Proposals for 2018 National Conference in Atlanta

NSTA's 2018 National Conference will be in Atlanta, March 15-18. NSTA is accepting proposals for teacher sessions now through April 17, 2017.  Click here for more information and to submit proposals. Email">Linda Crossley with any questions.

NSTA Reveals Its Inaugural List of Best STEM Books for Students

- via NSTA Express

Looking to recommend a good STEM read to your students? Check out which titles made NSTA's new list of Best STEM Books K–12. The list of winning titles—selected by volunteer educators and assembled in cooperation with the Children's Book Council—includes thoughtful and engaging stories that explore a host of topics from Ben Franklin to genetic engineering. Teachers, librarians, parents, and anyone else who loves reading with children will want to get their hands on these titles.
Interested in a Physical Science Module on Sound in the Ocean

JASON Learning and the Navy are collaborating to develop "Sound in the Ocean", a digital, middle-to-high school curriculum module on sound and acoustics. This module will introduce these topics by exploring the work of professionals that use acoustics in fields as diverse as the music industry, national security, fisheries, and high tech, and will provide a range of digital and off-line learning activities to develop key concepts and skills. Access to the module will be free to early-adopter teachers through a grant from ONR (Office of Naval Research).

We are in the process of designing this module, with the goal of making it valuable and accessible to as many teachers as possible. To help us achieve this, we want to understand what the key gaps and challenges are for you in this area of instruction. Please take a few minutes of your time to complete the online survey here.

World of 7 Billion Video Contest

Back by popular demand, the World of 7 Billion student video contest can help you bring technology and creativity into your middle school high school science classes. The contest challenges your students to create a short (60 seconds or less) video illustrating the connection between world population growth and one of three global challenges: either climate change, ocean health, or rapid urbanization. Students can win up to $1,000 and their teachers will receive free curriculum resources. The contest deadline is February 23, 2017. Full contest guidelines, resources for research, past winners, and more can be found here.

Is there a BioGENEius in your classroom?

The BioGENEius Challenge is the premier high school student competition that recognizes outstanding research in biotechnology. Students compete for top honors by creating research projects to address one of three challenge areas: Healthcare, Sustainability, Environment. The Georgia winner will receive a travel award to compete nationally at the BIO International Convention in San Diego, CA for cash prizes totaling $20,000.

The local Georgia BioGENEius Challenge is sponsored by Arbor Pharmaceuticals. 

Earn professional development hours or university credit with Population Education this spring!

Population Education, in partnership with the University of Missouri-Kansas City, is excited to announce that registration is open for our spring 2017 online professional development course for science and social studies educators (grades 6-12). Discover student-centered learning strategies that use contemporary issues and real-world data to examine the social and environmental impacts of human population growth. Click here for more information and to register.

Paid Professional Development Opportunity for Teachers in Grades 6-12: Exploring the Deep Ocean with NOAA 

Did you know that 95% of the ocean remains unexplored? An essential component of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) mission is to enhance ocean science literacy and help others better understand why it is important to explore the ocean world. Join NOAA and Georgia Aquarium educators to learn more about the importance of ocean exploration and the current technologies used to explore the deep ocean. This 7-hour Professional Development will introduce standards-based, hands-on activities and online resources that guide classroom teaching and learning. Ocean health, unique underwater habitats, underwater mapping and remotely-operated vehicles are just a few of the topics to be addressed. 

Registration is required and space is limited! Please click here to register by February 3, 2017. You will receive a confirmation email from Kristyn Tumbleson, Director of Education at Georgia Aquarium, as soon as your spot is reserved. Educators will receive the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection Volume 1: Why Do We Explore? and Volume 2: How Do We Explore?, additional resources, a NOAA Ocean Exploration Certificate of Participation, continental breakfast and lunch, a tour of a local research vessel, admission to Georgia Aquarium and a $75 stipend.

Workshop Date & Time: February 25, 2017 8am - 4pm
Workshop Location: Georgia Aquarium Oceans Ballroom
Target Audience: Grades 6 - 12, although activities can be scaled to suit educator needs
Please click here to access the program flyer or visit to learn more.

2016 CDC Science Ambassador Workshop

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) invites middle- and high-school teachers to attend the 2016 Science Ambassador Workshop. This annual five-day professional development workshop provides training in curriculum design and teaching strategies that engage students in math and science using real-life epidemiology and public health science examples. During the first three days, CDC scientists lead workshop sessions on current public health topics and demonstrate a variety of teaching methods. During the final two days, workshop participants work collaboratively with CDC scientists to write lesson plans for our national lesson plan collection published on the CDC website.

The Science Ambassador Workshop takes place July 18–22, 2016 at CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. Workshop participants receive guided tours of CDC’s Emergency Operations Center and David J. Sencer Museum. In addition, teachers can earn 4.0 continuing education units. The workshop is free, but participants are responsible for their own transportation, lodging, and meals. Visit the CDC Science Ambassador website for information on how to apply. Applications must be received by April 15, 2016.

Announcing Genes in Space 2017 – Design and Launch your DNA Experiment to Space!

We invite students in grades 7 through 12 to design DNA experiments for space. Students will pioneer DNA research on the International Space Station to address real-life challenges of deep space exploration. Five finalist teams will receive mentoring from Harvard and MIT PhD scientists, present at the 2017 International Space Station R&D Conference, and receive miniPCR DNA Discovery System™ for their education institutions. Winners will also attend Space Biology Camp and send their DNA experiment to space!  Submission deadline is April 21st 2017.

Genes in Space is a partnership between miniPCR, Boeing, Math for America, CASIS, and New England Biolabs. The contest is free, and does not require equipment.  Proposals will be judged solely on their creative and scientific merit. miniPCR DNA Discovery System™ will also be awarded to the top 5 teams from grades 7 and 8 (Junior Scientist Awards) and to the school with the highest number of submissions from each of the 5 US regions (Constellation Awards).

Teachers – Here’s how you can turn contest submissions into a class assignment that's aligned with national standards.

 Find us on the web at 


eObservations Co-editors: Dr. Amy Peacock and Dr. Jeremy Peacock
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