Learning Through STEM & Engineering Design
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 February 2017 Learning Through STEM & Engineering Design


In This Issue
· GSTA Election Results
· Science Learning Through STEM & Engineering Design
· What is energy?

· 5 Steps to STEM Certification

· Real World STEM: Building an Aquatic Habitat

· Solar System App Rev
· 3D Learning Tools
· GSTA Recommends
· General
· Elementary
· Middle/High
Sponsored by:

Quick Links
GA Performance Stds
CCGPS Literacy Stds
Science GSE
A Framework for K-12 Science Education
3D Learning Tools
Boeing & The Teaching Channel Bring Engineering & 3D Learning to the Classroom

The Boeing Company teamed up with Teaching Channel to create 10 Science and Innovation curriculum modules that center on engineering design problems. The modules were originally designed by teachers paired with Boeing engineers, but they have undergone multiple stages of revision designed to adapt them to better meet the goals of three-dimensional learning. These modules and the iterative process used to transform them into three-dimensional learning experiences both provide excellent models for Georgia science teachers who wish to integrate engineering into the Science GSE.  Read more about the project in Kate Cook Whitt's post on the Tcher's Voice blog.

GSTA Recommends

The Go-To Guides for Engineering Curricula
With the implementation of the Science GSE, your students won’t just be scientists—they’ll be engineers. But that doesn’t mean you need to reinvent the wheel. Respected science educator Cary Sneider has done the groundwork for you, collecting a full range of time-tested curriculum materials to seamlessly weave engineering and technology concepts into your math and science lessons. In this set of grade-band-specific volumes, you’ll find descriptions of instructional materials specifically created for—and tested in— science classrooms at your level.
STEM Teaching Tools on Engineering Design

As the name implies, STEM Teaching Tools provides an extensive and growing collection of useful research briefs on all areas of STEM and science education. Relevant to this month's theme of Learning Through STEM & Engineering Design, are three STEM teaching tools that (1) expand the definition of engineering in the science classroom,  (2) help teachers connect engineering design to students' everyday experiences, and (3) help teachers connect engineering design to science learning.

Engineering Design Triangle (grades 9-12) from NGSS

Practice Brief 7 - Learning STEM Through Design: Students Benefit from Expanding What Counts as "Engineering" 

Practice Brief 39 - How can students' everyday experiences support science learning through engineering design?

Practice Brief  45 - How to focus students' engineering design projects on science learning

Forsyth County Teachers & 'Science Ambassadors' Featured in NSTA Reports

In the February edition of NSTA Reports, Associate Editor Debra Shapiro profiled three programs that engage high school students in teaching science to younger students. The Science Ambassadors Program between North Forsyth High School and Coal Mountain Elementary School was started by GSTA Secretary Denise Webb and Past President Donna Governor. Read more about this outstanding program here.
    Georgia High School Student Named to SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Youth Advisory Council

    Richmond Hill High School student Jesse Freeze has been named to the 2017 SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Youth Advisory Council. The program seeks to develop youth conservation leaders and for young people to help shape programming at both facilities. Read more here.
    Georgia's Deputy Superintendent Previews the New Science Standards

    Dr. Caitlin McMunn Dooley, the Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning at the Georgia Department of Education, provided a brief overview of Georgia's new science and social studies standards on the Georgia.gov blog. Read her post here.
    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 gstanews@gmail.com.

    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.

    Sponsored by:Everything you need in one kit! Each FOSS module includes all the materials needed to complete the Engineering activities, along with step-by-step instructions to help you facilitate each investigation.
    Serving Our Members

    2017 GSTA Election Results

    - Dr. Marion Reeves, Nominations Chair

    Congratulations to the newly elected leadership to the GSTA Board. This organization strives to provide strong leadership as an advocate for science teachers throughout our state. The candidates for office each year help provide the organization with voices that speak for all portions of our state. There was a strong slate of candidates this year for your vote as members, and the following will serve in the coming years in the offices listed.

    President Elect
    Sarah Eales
    Vice President
    Donna Barrett-Williams
    College Representative
    Amanda Glaze
    Middle School Representative
    Donita Legoas
    District 1 Director
    Marc Pedersen
    District 3 Director
    Chinita Allen
    District 5 Director
    Stephanie Miles
    District 7 Director
    Nicole Page
    District 9 Director
    Kristina Istre

    District 11 Director
    Jenna Rhodes

    We encourage all members to become involved in district activities, legislative outreach, and opportunities to present and share with colleagues at conferences. We also encourage the members to begin now to consider either running for office next year, or encouraging worthy candidates to run. The offices that will be on the ballot next year are: President Elect, Secretary, Elementary Representative, High School Representative, and District Directors from the even-numbered districts.

    Sponsored by:
    National Geographic Learning is Georgia's source for K-12 science instruction.
    Building Toward the GSE

    Science Learning Through STEM & Engineering Design

    - Dr. Marion Usselman & Dr. Roxanne Moore, Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC), Georgia Institute of Technology

    In recent years, the notion of “STEM Integration” has taken hold, often proposed as a cure-all for what is, in effect, a general dissatisfaction by educators and policy-makers alike with the state of the nation’s K-12 science and mathematics education.   A recent report from the National Research Council promoted a research agenda to better define STEM integration, and to determine which components of an integrated curriculum or learning experience are most important for improving student learning outcomes. As part of this effort, the Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping Integrated to Unlock Potential (AMP-IT-UP) project, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF award #1238089), has designed, piloted and assessed integrated curriculum materials for middle school engineering, science and mathematics classrooms. The project, which is a collaboration between the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Griffin-Spalding County Schools, has produced extensive curriculum materials that are implementable in a wide variety of environments, and that are freely available.

    All of the AMP-IT-UP curriculum materials emphasize students experiencing science and mathematics practices, particularly those practices related to data—how you generate reliable data (Experimental Design), how you best represent or visualize it (Data Visualization), and how you make decisions based on data (Data-Driven Decision Making).  These practices are made explicit in mathematics and science 1-week problem-based modules, and all come together within 18-week STEM Innovation & Design (STEM-ID) connections classes.  The three STEM-ID classes, which satisfy the Engineering and Technology middle school course standards for 6th, 7th and 8th grade, incorporate science and mathematics practices, as well as foundational mathematics skills, within the context of engaging engineering design challenges.  The six science practices that are most emphasized within the STEM-ID courses are depicted in the table below.

    Science Practices in STEM-ID Courses

    1)   Asking questions (science) and defining problems (engineering)

    3)   Planning and carrying out investigations

    4)   Analyzing and interpreting data

    5)   Using mathematics and computational thinking

    6)   Constructing explanations (science) and designing solutions (engineering)

    8)   Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information


    The following is an example of how science and mathematics practices are emphasized within the STEM-ID courses.  In the 6th grade course, students are challenged to design a carnival game based on a pneumatic catapult (shown in the accompanying photograph).  The students are given some requirements, such as that a player should have no more than a 20% chance of winning a large prize, which they use to define their problem (practice 1). Students then collect data using existing carnival games and analyze the odds of winning (practices 3, 4, and 5).  They next develop a procedure for testing the performance characteristics of the pneumatic catapult (practice 3), design a carnival game based on those characteristics (practice 6), and validate the odds of winning by collecting additional data (practices 3, 4 and 5).  They run profit analyses based on the price of the prizes they are giving away and their odds of winning to determine the profitability of their game (practice 5) and present their game design and profit calculations to the class and carnival director—the teacher—to show that they’ve met all their requirements (practice 8).  In this way, the students are immersed in a compelling context (carnival games) and grapple with an open-ended engineering design challenge while engaging in science practices. 

    The results to date suggest that students in STEM-ID classes experience significant learning gains in science and mathematics over those students who were never enrolled in these integrated engineering and technology courses. These results support the idea that enabling students to practice their science and mathematics, within the context of engineering, can benefit student learning, and that engineering can be a logical point of integration across STEM disciplines.

    For more information and access to all the AMP-IT-UP curriculum materials, including STEM-ID courses and eighteen 1-week modules for Math and Science courses, visit ampitup.gatech.edu.

    Connecting Research & Best Practice

    What is Energy? Really?

    - Dr. Cary Sneider, Associate Research Professor, Portland State University
    Sponsored by: Why read about a case study when you can experience one? www.cogenteducation.com

    I recently had an opportunity to attend my first GSTA conference.  I was most impressed with the organization, the large number of participants, and most of all, the teachers I met. They were friendly, interesting, and very thoughtful science educators. 

    This article celebrates the fabulous high school teachers who attended my workshop session on energy.  Titled “Beyond Rube Goldberg,” the session started with a Rube Goldberg cartoon, depicting a silly chain of events, involving energy transformations, to activate an automatic napkin.  You can see the cartoon, titled Professor Butts and the Self-Operating Napkin and first published in Collier's in 1931.  A common 8th grade activity is for students to engage with energy transformations by creating their own Rube Goldberg inventions.

    The remainder of the workshop featured the different ways that energy is treated in different disciplines in Georgia’s high school performance standards, and the difficulties that students have in learning about energy from the viewpoint of physics, chemistry, life science, and Earth and space science.  Despite the ideal, expressed by chemist Melanie Cooper, that the same definition of energy should be applied across the disciplines, the concept is still treated very differently in each discipline, both in Georgia’s standards and in the NGSS.

    I concluded with my own metaphor of energy as “value.” In the example I gave, a $1,000 check can be used to purchase a used car.  A year or two later the car can be traded in for $800 in cash, which can be used to buy a certain amount of groceries and so on.  The underlying concept of “value” suggests that there is a quantitative relationship among these very different things, and that during each transformation—from check to car to cash to groceries—some of that value is “lost” to the environment. That metaphor was intended to capture the idea that different forms of energy have a quantitative relationship with each other that can be expressed in joules, and that whenever there is a transformation from one form of energy to another, some energy is “lost” to the environment.  Of course energy is conserved, but not all is transferred in the way we intend.

    During the last 20 minutes of the workshop participants had an opportunity to discuss their own conceptions of energy that could be applied across all of the disciplines. They captured a number of aspects of energy that were not part of my metaphor of energy as value.  Here are the ideas that the participants were willing to share. Direct quotes are initalics.

    Energy is an effect.

    • Energy is not easily defined. It is easier to observe and record the effect it has on molecules, etc.
    • Energy can’t be directly observed, but we can observe its causes or applications.
    • Energy is discussed in terms of its effects—not what it is.

    Energy is change.

    • Energy must be explained as mutable. Change is mutable. Even Star Wars “The Force” may potentially be a way to explain energy in various disciplines.
    • Energy is change in any physical process.
    • Change!

    Energy is relevant to our environment.

    • Carbon footprint.

    Energy is confusing.

    • We learned that whatever preconception we already have is mostly flawed.
    • High school students have formulated their own opinion of energy before getting to high school.
    • Energy is a socially articulated abstraction to describe a fundamental relationship.

    What shall we do as teachers?

    • I never thought about energy in all of the sciences. We should start younger teaching about energy so our students do not have a mental block about it when they get older. 

    Editors Note: NSTA offers some excellent resources to help teachers understand and teach the difficult concept of energy.

    Sponsored by:
    3-Dimensional Learning - IT'S ABOUT TIME - iat.com
    Building Toward the GSE

    5 Steps to STEM Certification

    - Dr. Sally Creel, STEM & Innovation Supervisor, Cobb County Schools


    I walked into Mrs. Mickus’s science classroom to see the floor crowded with groups of engaged students.  They spilled into the math classroom next door and out into the hall.  They are eager to explain about the treatment plans for their patients.  Each group of students was given a case study from the Sheppard Spinal Center.  They were challenged to take on the roles of various patient caregivers – from physician to physical therapists – and determine the best course of treatment.  

    These students aren’t in their first year of medical school.  They are students in one of Georgia’s newest STEM Certified Programs, Cooper Middle School.  Students in schools across Georgia are being challenged with STEM-infused learning opportunities.  Students work in collaborative groups to solve real world problems using their knowledge of science, math, engineering and technology.  The reason why so many schools are making STEM a priority is simple.  STEM is everywhere in everything.  

    The Georgia DOE offers schools the opportunity to earn STEM Certification.  Schools must demonstrate how they meet the criteria and components listed on the STEM Certification Continuum.  Earning the coveted STEM Certified banner from the GA DOE takes a minimum of 3-5 years of hard work!  Where does a school interested in growing a STEM program start? Here are five steps to help you get started.

    1. Establish a STEM Team – STEM Teams come in all shapes and sizes.  They are generally comprised of 5-10 STEM interested stakeholders.  An administrator is an essential STEM Team member.  Additional team members can be teachers, parapros, parents, business/community partners, and more!  My motto is “Never STEM Alone!”  Having a team will make the workload manageable and the STEM implementation sustainable.  
    2. Conduct a STEM Inventory – What STEM practices are already in place? What are some short-term and long-term STEM goals? The Cobb STEM Department developed a simplified one-page STEM Implementation continuum to help schools visualize what it takes to earn certification.  The STEM Implementation Continuum is not an all-encompassing list, but does help schools get a handle on what it takes to earn certification.
    3. Visit STEM Schools – Schools are opening their doors and allowing administrators and teachers from other schools into their classrooms to see STEM in action.  They are sharing their journey and lessons learned on the road to STEM Certification.  This collaboration is beneficial to the visitors as well as those being visited.  Both receive inspiration and feedback to improve.  
    4. STEM Professional Learning – Providing teachers access to quality STEM PL is essential.   Professional learning can come in many forms.  Of course there are traditional staff development sessions, conferences and courses.  Consider a non-traditional approach to STEM PL. Develop your own STEM Professional Learning Network or PLN.  Twitter is a great source to build a PLN.  I was skeptical at first too, but 2 years later I’m a believer.  I started out following various leaders in the STEM world like @NSTA, @STEMGeorgia, @GSTANews.  I looked at who these people followed and followed the ones that will help you on your journey! (You can even follow me @STEMSally.)  Participate in a STEM focused Twitter Chat like #NSTAchat or better yet organize your own! 
    5. Just Do It – Have an idea for a STEM challenge or lesson?  Just try it!  Find a buddy and collaborate to plan an integrated STEM experience for your students.  Keep the focus on our standards and your desired learning outcomes.  Don’t worry if your STEM experience is not perfect or if it doesn’t go as planned.  That’s the best part of STEM – the REDESIGN!  What will you do to make it better next year?   
    Students in every school in Georgia are being offered STEM Infused learning opportunities.  The goal of STEM Certification is to ensure that the number of students who have access and the quality of these STEM opportunities increases.  Learn more about Georgia STEM Certification at http://stemgeorgia.org/ and STEM practices in Cobb at www.STEMCobb.com.  
    Building Toward the GSE

    Real World STEM: Turning a New Pond Into a Vibrant New Aquatic Habitat

    - Robert Hodgdon, Member, Richmond Hill Middle School

     Sponsored by:Science Carbonless Lab Notebooks - BARBAKAM.COM

    Along the coast of Georgia, whenever a large subdivision or complex is built, drainage systems connected to small ponds must be part of the design to deal with storm run-off. The students at Richmond Hill Middle School and McAllister Elementary School in Richmond Hill, Georgia, used the construction of such a pond on the new McAllister Elementary School campus as an opportunity to “build” an aquatic ecosystem nearly from scratch. 

    A year after the drainage pond/borrow pit was dug, middle school students from the Richmond Hill Schools Ecological Field Studies Program conducted a thorough analysis of the pond which included depth profiles, water chemistry, bottom surveys, and seine net surveys. 

    This initial survey indicated that the water chemistry was favorable and that nature had already “seeded” the pond with some small Gambusia minnows and even a few Bluegill which were transported to the pond most likely on the legs of wading birds as tiny newborns or eggs. Gambusia feed primarily on zooplankton and small macroinvertebrates, so from their large population students were able to infer that the population of phytoplankton and the availability of detritus at the base were also at healthy levels. These data were used by Georgia Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologists Chris Harper and Jason Howard to determine a stocking plan for the pond. 

    Three months after the survey, the two men met with members of the Field Studies Program and about one hundred 5th grade students from McAllister Elementary to stock the pond with 700 Bluegill and 400 Channel Catfish fry. Students and staff had the opportunity to release hundreds of these fry by hand after an on-site ecology lesson presented by the biologists. 

    One year later, Field Studies students returned to the pond to conduct a seine survey to determine fish survivability rates following the hottest summer on record in many years. With the assistance of Mr. Harper, students also deployed eight artificial fish attractors made from scrap pvc, irrigation tubing, and other durable, non-hazardous scrap materials. These were partly in preparation for the next stage of habitat building which would involve the release of Largemouth Bass as an apex predator. The middle school students understood that without an apex predator, the population of Bluegill would reproduce uncontrollably and within a few years overshoot the carrying capacity for the pond. Students in the 7th grade Advanced Content Life Science class study the effects of the manipulation of an apex predatory on a food web (see Robert Paine’s work with the Pisaster ochraceus starfish in Washington state and the sea otters of the Northwestern U.S. and Alaska or studies related to the wolves of the Yellowstone ecosystem.) The survey results were favorable. Numerous small fish were captured in the seine nets. 

    In February, 2017, students from the AC Life Science class returned again to assist Mr. Harper in the release of twenty-five Largemouth Bass, each approximately 23 cm in length. Students from this class and members of the Field Studies Program will continue a longitudinal study of the new McAllister Elementary School pond. The data and observations will be shared with community stakeholders and incorporated into ecology lessons. This project is one of many currently being carried out by students in the Field Studies Program (grades 6-8) and 7th grade students in the AC Life Science class. 

    Students are involved in a number of site-based and problem-based activities, citizen science, and service learning. Students are conducting research in a 5000 sq. ft. agricultural and native wildflower research garden, in local fresh and brackish wetlands, and in a host of other areas. Some of these projects take place on the Richmond Hill Middle School campus while others take place elsewhere, often with partners from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services, GA Department of Natural Resources, and Ft. Stewart Fish & Wildlife. These activities clearly support what most science teachers already know to be true about science education: students learn best through engagement, particularly engagement that is purposeful, relevant, and that provides benefits to a group of stakeholders.  

    For more information about this project, please contact DNR Fisheries Biologist Chris Harper at Chris.Harper@dnr.ga.gov.

    Speaking Up for Science
    Solar System App Review

    - Jennifer Jones - Jones is a practicing teacher and graduate student at Brenau University.  Jones completed this review in Dr. Karen Henman's Science Innovations course as part of her specialist program.  Karen is GSTA's District 2 Director.

    There are so many fun and really amazing apps for teachers to incorporate into their lessons. One such app is Britannica Kids: Solar System. This app is focused on teaching children interesting and important information about our solar system. The app includes high definition pictures, videos, and diagrams of planets and the sun. It also has detailed articles about each planet and the sun. I think kids would love this app because there are jigsaw puzzles, memory match games, and magic square games. Teachers would love this app because it addresses the standard in an engaging way for students to explore and gain new information about the solar system. This app is best to address the fourth grade standard about the solar system.

    S4E1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to compare and contrast the physical attributes of stars and planets.

    1. Ask questions to compare and contrast technological advances that have changed the amount and type of information on distant objects in the sky.
    2. Construct an argument on why some stars (including the Earth’s sun) appear to be larger or brighter than others. (Clarification statement: Differences are limited to distance and size, not age or stage of evolution.)
    3. Construct an explanation of the differences between stars and planets.
    4. Evaluate strengths and limitations of models of our solar system in describing relative size, order, appearance and composition of planets and the sun.(Clarification statement: Composition of planets is limited to rocky vs. gaseous.)

    I found this app to be very easy to use and understand. However, I do wish that the informational articles had a read aloud feature or different levels of passages for students to access. For my ELL students, these articles would be fun to look at, but reading the articles would be very difficult for them to do independently. I think my students would really enjoy using this app because the pictures are so detailed and exciting. They would also enjoy playing the puzzle games and memory match games. I found that the app was very informative, but it also provided enough interaction for students to apply what they have learned through the quiz feature. This app would be great to incorporate into a unit on the solar system for fourth grade. I could see this app being a valuable resource to allow students to conduct some research on their own. Students could be assigned one planet or focus on just the inner or outer planets to research. They could do a project or poster presentation on their assigned planet or planets. It would also be fun for students to compare the inner and outer planets using the app features. I think this app could also be great for a small group rotation. Students could read the articles and complete the learning games as part of small group independent rotation assignment. Although, this app does cost $1.99, I have found that the apps that cost money were more interactive and engaging for students to use. Overall, I was impressed with the features of this app, and I could certainly see this app being used in my classroom.

    Sponsored by:
    CPO Science - supporting the new GA Standards of Excellence!

    District 8 GSTA 3D Science Saturday: Focus on the GSE

    Who - All K-12 science teachers, including preservice teachers, are invited to join your GSTA District Directors to explore three-dimensional science teaching and learning, and prepare for the 2017 implementation of the new Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSEs) for Science.

    What – Join us for a half-day workshop (10am-2pm) introducing teachers to the three-dimensional approach to science learning based on A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Engage in a model lesson, explore the dimensions of the Framework, and identify phenomena for your students to explore. Three-dimensional learning is the research-based approach in which students simultaneously engage in science and engineering practices (e.g., engaging in argument from evidence) while learning and applying core ideas (i.e., GPS content standards) and crosscutting concepts (i.e., big ideas like patterns or structure & function). The 3D approach is being promoted by the GaDOE, aligns to the goals of the Milestones science assessments, and provides the foundation for Georgia's new Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSEs) for Science. You will leave the workshop with sample 3D lessons that align with the new GSEs, access to a collection of phenomena that connect student explorations to the new standards, and a better understanding of how to apply the 3D approach in planning your science lessons.

    WhenSaturday, March 4, 2017, 10 am-2pm

    Where – Coastal Georgia Center, 305 Fahm St, Savannah, GA 31401. This session is being co-hosted by Dr. Katie Brkich and Dr. Amanda Glaze of Georgia Southern University, and the Georgia Science Teachers Association (GSTA).

    Cost - $25 for 4 hour PD, Optional boxed lunch $18 added

    To register, visit this link and select the GSTA (Saturday Only) option. Email Dr. Katie Brkich, District 8 Rep, for more information.

    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.

    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 aglaze@georgiasouthern.edu

    Sponsored by:
    STEMscopes Georgia - Contact <a href=

    Atlanta Science Festival Educators Toolkit

    The Atlanta Science Festival invites all Georgia educators to participate in the festivities March 14-25, 2017! Check out the Atlanta Science Festival's Educator Toolkit to discover great events for students and teachers (including our Launch Event with astronaut Mark Kelly), field trip opportunities, contests, and unique professional learning opportunities like these:

    STEAM Leadership Institute 
    March 16, 8:30am to 4:30pm at Georgia Tech Research Institute. $125/person ($100/person for groups of 3+)

    Are you wanting to help your school become more STEAM focused, but not sure how? Georgia Tech’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) invites you to the 2017 STEAM Leadership Institute. This event will feature interactive, educational sessions, engaging STEAM focused work groups, and panel sessions with experts in the field. This event is designed for leaders and administrators at K12 schools.

    Genes in Space and on Earth too: bringing DNA discovery into your classroom
    March 24 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm at North Springs High School, 7447 Roswell Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30328. $25

    Solve a food contamination crisis at the International Space Station using the essential biotech techniques of PCR and electrophoresis. Then find out about the Genes in Space science competition where teachers and students design authentic DNA research proposals for space. Competitors can win biotech equipment for their schools and winners will get their experiments launched to the International Space Station!

    Sun, Earth, Moon and the Solar Eclipse in 2017

    March 24, 8:30am-3:30pm, venue TBA. FREE with advanced registration.

    Discover rock and soil types on Earth, the Moon and on Mars, volcanism, impacts, accretion and differentiation! Learn how to get your students ready to experience the upcoming Solar Eclipse. This educator workshop will certify in-service, pre-service, and informal educators to handle and borrow NASA's lunar samples and meteorite collection. Designed for K-8 educators.

    Learn more here.

    Light Matters STEAM Event at the High Museum

    On Teaching Appreciation Day at the High Museum of Art, Citizen Science HD will be hosting a STEAM event called Light Matters for teachers, parents, and students. This event will be held on March 19th from 12-5 in conjunction with the Atlanta Science Festival, and have interactive demonstrations to learn about microscopes, light, and how to build and use a microscope.

    The event is sponsored by an NIH-Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) that establishes a new Georgia STEM program, Citizen Science HD (citizensciencehd.com).  Prior to the event, Citizen Science HD is holding a free image competition for K-12th graders. Any age can submit an image using a microscope or phone until the submission due date of March 5, 2017. Photos will be judges on creativity, visual appeal, and subject matter.  Winners will receive prizes and their image will be displayed at the High Museum of Art during the Light Matters event. Full details on the image competition and Light Matters can be found at citizensciencehd.com/atlanta-science-festival.

    Admission to the High Museum and Light Matters is free for teachers plus one guest on Teacher Appreciation Day. All others pay regular High Admission.
    Georgia Geographic Alliance Teacher Feature Spotlight

    The Georgia Geographic Alliance would like to give special recognition to a K-12 educator every month with our new “Teacher Feature” spotlight. We are specifically looking for teachers that integrate place-based learning and geographic education into the classroom creatively and effectively whether it be in science, social studies, or beyond! Nominations will be reviewed monthly. Winners will receive a certificate and gift bag of materials and resources from the Georgia Geographic Alliance and National Geographic, and will be featured in our newsletter and online. Nominate a teacher now at georgiageography.org
    GYSTC Excellence in Science Teaching Symposium for K-8 Teachers

    This summer, GYSTC will offer a series of 3-day professional development experiences across the state centered around the new Science Georgia Standards of Excellence for elementary and middle school educators.

    The symposium will include the following:
    • Deeper, grade-specific orientation to the new Science GSE
    • Supplemental curricular materials specific to your grade level
    • Explore connections of how 3D science relates to improving student learning
    • Exposure to a range of instructional strategies connected directly to the new standards
    • Real higher order teaching and learning experiences utilizing uniquely created STEM Innovations lessons
    Download a Free Pack of High School Engineering Articles

    - via NSTA Express

    Read and download seven of the top-rated engineering articles from NSTA's award-winning high school journal, The Science TeacherDownload Here

    AMTA Summer Workshops Coming to Neighboring States

    The American Modeling Teachers Association will offer an introductory workshop and a physics-specific workshop in neighboring states this summer. The modeling approach is student-centered, inquiry-based, and adaptable to the Science GSE.  AMTA will offer a one-week Intro to Modeling Pedagogy in Gilbert, South Carolina, June 19-23. AMTA will offer its two-week Physics I workshop in Birmingham, Alabama, July 10-21.
    Science 2.0: Developing the Computational Thinker

    - via NSTA Blog

    Ben Smith and Jared Mader continue their series focused on the International Society for Technology in Education standards with a look at computational thinking. View video and read the full blog here.


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