Science Tidbits

August 2017

Welcome to 2017-2018 School Year

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Don't miss the solar eclipse on August 21st!


Use solar eclipse glasses or try one of these alternate eclipse viewing methods.

Below are sites with more information regarding the Solar Eclipse of 2017

Eclipse 2017

Great American Eclipse 2017

Let's Talk Louisiana Student Standards for Science


​​Dimension 1: Science and Engineering Practices
The practices describe behaviors that scientists engage in as they investigate and build models and theories about the natural world and the key set of engineering practices that engineers use as they design and build models and systems.

​Dimension 2: Crosscutting Concepts
Crosscutting concepts have application across all domains of science. These crosscutting concepts are the unifying ideas that appears in all of science. Some of these crosscutting concepts include cause & effect and patterns.

Dimension 3: Disciplinary Core Ideas
Disciplinary core ideas have the power to focus K–12 science curriculum, instruction and assessments on the most important aspects of science.


Natural phenomena are observable events that occur in the universe and that we can use our science knowledge to explain or predict. The goal of building knowledge in science is to develop general ideas, based on evidence, that can explain and predict phenomena to design solutions.

Watch the video below for more explanation about phenomena.

Phenomena Video

Try these links to find phenomenon to use in your classroom

6-12 Science Standards Overview

Thursday, Aug. 17th, 4:30pm

Norton Art Gallery

Join us to learn about the new Louisiana Student Standards for Science at the beautiful Norton Art Gallery. Sign up online:

Write a QSM Grant Webinar

Saturday, Aug. 12th, 2pm

This is an online event.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

NSTA Area Conference will be in New Orleans November 30-Dec. 2

Are you interested in attending the NSTA Area Conference in New Orleans? Have you attended at least 4 professional development opportunities provided by Caddo Science during the 2016-2017 school year? If so, email Lisa Nance at to enter your name into a drawing for a chance to win an opportunity to attend this amazing conference.

Caddo Science Symbaloo -- Featured websites

Check out Better Lesson

They are focused on aggregating and sharing the most innovative content and practices from the highest performing teachers across the country. They provide teachers with content information, resources, activities, images, videos and lessons to compliment the Next Generation Science Standards.

Check out Open Ed

OpenEd is the only K-12 educational resource library focused on aligning resources to learning objectives. Specifically, OpenEd uses machine learning to accurately align videos, games, and assessments to learning goals such as the Common Core State Standards, NGSS, TEKS and detailed taxonomies of fine-grained learning objectives (from Renaissance, ACT, and others). We believe teachers should be able to find the most effective resources for their students all in one place, and all organized by standards.

Check out Understanding Science

It is a great resource for learning more about the process of science. The resource goes much deeper than the standard "PHEOC" model of the scientific method by emphasizing peer review, the testing of ideas, a science flowchart and "what is science?" checklist. Understanding Science also provides a variety of teaching resources including case studies of scientific discoveries and lesson plans for every grade level.

Check out PhET Simulations

PhET from the University of Colorado provides dozens of fantastic simulations for physics, chemistry and biology. The website also includes a collection of teacher contributed activities, lab experiences, homework assignments and conceptual questions that can be used with the simulations.

Check out Periodic Videos

A wide array of videos about the elements and other chemistry topics.

Check out Scientists of the Smithsonian

Students can read and watch video about 21 Smithsonian scientists including a volcano watcher, fossil hunter, art scientist, germinator and zoo vet.

Science Safety Tip of the Day

How to View the 2017 Solar Eclipse Safely

Looking directly at the sun is unsafe except during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse (“totality”), when the moon entirely blocks the sun’s bright face, which will happen only within the narrow path of totality ( is external)).

The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” (example shown at left) or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun; they transmit thousands of times too much sunlight. Refer to the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters & Viewers(link is external)page for a list of manufacturers and authorized dealers of eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers verified to be compliant with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard for such products.

  • Always inspect your solar filter before use; if scratched or damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter.
  • Always supervise children using solar filters.
  • Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After looking at the sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the sun.
  • Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device.
  • Similarly, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury.
  • Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device. Note that solar filters must be attached to the front of any telescope, binoculars, camera lens, or other optics.
  • If you are within the path of totality ( is external)), remove your solar filter only when the moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark. Experience totality, then, as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to look at the remaining partial phases.

  • Outside the path of totality, you must always use a safe solar filter to view the sun directly.

  • If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on. Put your eclipse glasses on over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.

Note: If your eclipse glasses or viewers are compliant with the ISO 12312-2 safety standard, you may look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun through them for as long as you wish. Furthermore, if the filters aren't scratched, punctured, or torn, you may reuse them indefinitely. Some glasses/viewers are printed with warnings stating that you shouldn't look through them for more than 3 minutes at a time and that you should discard them if they are more than 3 years old. Such warnings are outdated and do not apply to eclipse viewers compliant with the ISO 12312-2 standard adopted in 2015. To make sure you get (or got) your eclipse glasses/viewers from a supplier of ISO-compliant products, see the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters & Viewers(link is external) page.

An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially eclipsed sun is pinhole projection. For example, cross the outstretched, slightly open fingers of one hand over the outstretched, slightly open fingers of the other, creating a waffle pattern. With your back to the sun, look at your hands’ shadow on the ground. The little spaces between your fingers will project a grid of small images on the ground, showing the sun as a crescent during the partial phases of the eclipse. Or just look at the shadow of a leafy tree during the partial eclipse; you'll see the ground dappled with crescent Suns projected by the tiny spaces between the leaves.

A solar eclipse is one of nature’s grandest spectacles. By following these simple rules, you can safely enjoy the view and be rewarded with memories to last a lifetime. More information: is external)

The Martian Book Study Success!

We hate we missed you for our book study of Andy Weir's "The Martian"! Several teachers gathered throughout the summer to study the book and gather resources for teachers and students to use in their classrooms. Those resources and information will be available soon.

Don't Forget When Ordering Chemicals for High Schools

Caddo Parish Schools recently completed a monumental chemical cleanup. 100's of bottles of out-dated, corroded, and not used chemicals were removed from high schools to ensure the safety of our students and teachers.

In order to safely remove chemicals from classrooms we must work through the Department of Environmental Equality (DEQ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to bring in qualified technicians to log chemicals, properly package chemicals, and safely dispose of chemicals stored in lab closets. This process is exceptionally expensive and time consuming. To limit the amount of unnecessary chemicals Caddo Parish has on hand, I asked your principals to include me in the ordering process for purchasing chemicals for your classroom using classroom fees. Please sent the purchase request to Lisa Nance at or fax to 318-603-6368 to request my signature for chemical purchases. I will send your school a copy of the SDS for each chemical ordered along with a signed copy of the purchase request.

Science Funnies!


Tweet us all the great things you have going on in your science classroom!