DPS Secondary Science News

June, 2017

Summer is nearly here...

As we wind down the school year, I've been reflecting a little on the important role that we, as science educators, play in helping our students become informed citizens. A recent article in the New York Times called particular attention to the challenge a science teacher in Ohio faced when trying to present evidence related to global warming in his classroom. According to Dan Kahan, a Yale researcher, “What people ‘believe’ about global warming doesn’t reflect what they know. It expresses who they are.”

Even so, research has found that "public-school science classrooms are also proving to be a rare place where views on climate change may shift."

The fact is you DO make a difference. You make a difference in the lives of students in a thousand little ways and in hundreds of big ways you may not even realize. It's about way more than test scores.

So, as we wind down the school year, take time to celebrate what you do and what you've accomplished this year. For those of you moving on to new adventures, we wish you well! Think of us fondly come the start of 2017-18.

And, for those of you who will be returning in July or August, have a wonderful, restorative break! I look forward to seeing you all when you return.

Upcoming Events

  • June 9 Last Day of Classes (TR/YR)
  • June 12 Biology Teachers are planning to celebrate their EOC challenge achievement with a catered dinner at the Treyburn Country Club...
  • June 12-23 Take 2 Biology and Take 2 8th Grade Science
  • July 12 Back to YR School Science Kick-off
  • August 23 Back to School Science Kick-off

Quick News

  • Science chairs! Please make sure your chemical inventory has been updated BEFORE leaving for the break. See directions in your email.

  • High School Science Chairs! Make sure you've sent me your chemical waste disposal request. Once the quote is given to us, we won't be able to make last minute changes.

Congratulations to our Science Teachers!

Mika Tweitmeyer (Riverside)...

On May 20, Mika was presented with a Women in Science Award by The Durham Bulls and Quintiles.

Been recognized for something? Let me know, so we can celebrate your professional achievements!

Grants and Goodies

Attend 2017 Bridging the Gap Conference for Free

We're excited to announce a special opportunity for K-12 educators to attend this year's Bridging the Gap STEM education conference (www.bridgingthegapnc.com) for free. This opportunity, called the Citizen Science Scholars program, is limited to the first 100 qualifying people who apply, and includes free conference registration and the following incentives (if applicable):

  • Substitute teacher reimbursement (up to $100 each day of the conference, not to exceed $200);
  • Lodging for one night (October 24, 2017) at an assigned hotel in Raleigh (if traveling more than 35 miles each direction to the conference);
  • Reimbursement of mileage at the state mileage rate (currently 53.5 cents per mile, but subject to change). Travelers must be further than 35 miles away (each direction) from the conference location to receive mileage reimbursement.
  • Citizen Science Scholars are required to attend at least two of four specially designated concurrent sessions about citizen science during the two-day conference and are encouraged to attend as many as possible.

The Citizen Science Scholars opportunity is made possible through the The Science House, at NC State University, Students Discover, which is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (Award # 1319293). The purpose of the Citizen Science Scholars program at Bridging the Gap is to increase awareness of citizen science and the ways in which citizen science can be used in classrooms to strengthen and enhance STEM education in North Carolina.

To learn more or to apply for a scholarship, please visit the program website at: www.bridgingthegapnc.com/citizen-science-scholars-registration/

About the conference

When: October 24-25, 2017
Where: North Carolina State University, McKimmon Center in Raleigh
Organized by: North Carolina Association for Biomedical Research

Bridging the Gap is a statewide conference that unites K-12 education, higher education, industry, government and other STEM groups to work toward the common goal of strengthening K-16 STEM education in North Carolina. Since 2012, more than 1,850 STEM stakeholders from North Carolina and beyond have come together at Bridging the Gap to share ideas and resources.

NC’s Candid Critters in the Classroom: Kid Scientists Needed to Document NC’s Wildlife!

Do you ever wonder what animals lurk in the wildest parts of the state? Or in your own backyard? Now is your chance to discover the secrets of wildlife right here in North Carolina by participating in “North Carolina’s Candid Critters,” a new research project of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, NC Wildlife Resources Commission and NC State University. We are looking for K-12 teachers in all 100 counties of NC to help us collect mammal photographs by running camera traps with their students. Animal photos are an engaging way to get kids excited about science and the natural world. Plus, the photos generated turn into data, allowing students and scientists to map where animals live, and when and where they are most active across the state. We have lesson plans and automated data analysis tools freely available and aligned with NC standards in science, math, and ELA to make implementing Candid Critters in your classroom seamless. No matter what county you live in, you can borrow a camera trap from a nearby public library. While you are discovering what wildlife lives near you, you will be helping scientists learn more about the distribution of all mammal species across the state. To sign up and for more information, visit NCCandidCritters.org. If you have any questions please contact Dr. Stephanie Schuttler at Stephanie.schuttler@naturalsciences.org or 919-707-8088.

Free Women in STEM Posters

NASA's Chandra X-ray Center created a great Women in Science page for last year's Women's History Month. Along with bios of past and current female pioneers, it includes a set of 10 printable posters that celebrate the role of women in the exploration of the world and Universe around us. These dynamic posters are high-res and would look great printed on large format printers, as well as in presentations. The collection even includes two of the women featured in the Oscar-nominated Hidden Figures movie.

Student Opportunities in Science

Protecting Human Health in a Changing Environment

June 12-15, 2017 (optional Leadership Training on June 16)

U.S. EPA, Research Triangle Park, NC

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Research Triangle Park, NC is offering a FREE 1-week Summer Enrichment Program to educate high school students about the EPA and how the Agency protects human health and the environment. Hands-on experiences, tours of campus facilities, case studies, and career explorations are emphasized.

EPA’s campus in Research Triangle Park is home to national and international experts in many fields, including air quality and sustainability. As the largest facility ever built by EPA, our buildings cover nearly 1.2 million square feet and house more than 2,000 employees representing 15 EPA offices. During the Program participants will be exposed to the many EPA careers available in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields as well as other careers and cutting edge research that serve to support EPA’s mission of protecting human health and the environment (epa.gov/careers).

Rising 11th and 12th graders are eligible to apply to attend the Program, and participation is limited to 25 students. Students will be selected based on their application (see reverse) and a teacher recommendation. An effort will be made to have as many schools as possible represented. There is no cost to attend, but participants must provide their own transportation and meals.

The Program is Monday-Thursday, June 12-15, 2017, from 9 am to 4 pm with an optional leadership session on Friday, June 16. The Program will be held at the U.S. EPA Campus at 109 TW Alexander Drive in Research Triangle Park, NC. Students must commit to attending the entire 4-day Program. Visitors must show a valid photo ID daily when entering the EPA campus.

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One-week session: July 10 – July 13, 2017

BRITE Futures’ FREE Biotechnology Summer Camps are designed to inspire students and give them a head start on identifying careers in science and biotechnology.

CLICK HERE for the BRITE 2017 Biotechnology Summer Camp- Application

FREE 2017 Environmental Science Summer Program (ESSP) at Duke

What is ESSP? ESSP is a free-of-charge, intensive 2-week environmental science summer program at Duke, which has operated since 2012. High school students selected for the program have the opportunity to:

  • Work with outstanding interdisciplinary faculty
  • Explore local environmental issues
  • Collect data in the field (think: in the creek with waders!)
  • Receiving training with the Nicholas School's own first-rate Career Service professionals
  • Learn to give a presentation, ace an interview, and create a resume
  • Receive one-on-one college counseling


School Year PD for Teachers

NCSU Master' Degree in Science Education-- Fellowships Available!

NCSU’s masters degree in Science Education is a convenient, online program for you to further your development as a teacher.

The deadline for application has been extended till August 1, 2017 to start Fall ’17.

Fellowships are still available to help with the cost of tuition, so apply ASAP.

See attached brochure for more information


- https://www.ncsu.edu/grad/applygrad.htm

- select “Science Education - Distance Track - MED” for desired program

- deadline Aug. 1, 2017 to start in Fall /17

- GRE not required!


- https://ced.ncsu.edu/science-scholar-leader-fellowships/

- fill out the application (includes two short essays, transcript, and letter of support)

Please contact Dr. Cesar Delgado with any questions, at cesar_delgado@ncsu.edu or 919 454 0522

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2017-18 Project Based Learning Fellowship

Join a cohort of dynamic and innovative teachers of grades K-8 to implement Project Based Learning (PBL) in your classroom. During a year-long fellowship that includes a weekend field experience in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and training and mentorship in PBL by experienced educators, PBL Fellows will develop an issues-based case study (integrated thematic unit) that applies best practices of PBL to the standards that you teach. This year, preference will be given to teams of 2 or more teachers at the same grade level from the same school.


Saturday, August 26 – PBL workshop at the Museum

Friday-Sunday, October 27-29 – Got Elk Field Experience in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Sept 21, Jan 11, & Mar 8 – Mentoring Meetings at local schools

May 3 – Culminating Event at the Museum


$500 (Due upon acceptance into the program. Includes transportation, lodging and some meals for Got Elk field experience, and materials and meals during other workshops and meetings.)


Applications from teams of two or more teachers from one school will be given preference (each individual should submit a separate application). Applicants should plan to teach in grades K-8 during the 2017-18 school year.

More details at:


Teacher Summer Opportunities

Assessment Writing with Measurement Inc

We are looking for chemistry, biology, physics, and earth science teachers from elementary, middle, and high school to fill out our item writer cohort. The working hours are flexible and there are no year-round commitments required. This is purely an opportunity for individuals that are looking to make some extra money over holidays or in between semesters. We are planning on having the item writer program start in early June and will continue throughout the Summer. Interested? Contact Andrew Hickey, ahickey@measinc.com).


NC Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, NC

Saturday, August 12, 2017

9 am – 5 pm

Fee: $25 deposit (Deposit will be returned upon completion of the workshop. Please send separate check if registering for multiple workshops.)

CEUs: 8 contact hours

Recommended for high school teachers, administrators, pre-service teachers.

Explore how DNA sequence analysis can be used to examine communities of microscopic organisms. Gain hands-on experience working with online sequence databases and analysis tools and learn how to use these resources with your students. Workshop participants will design a collaborative research project to take back and use in their classrooms. During the 2017-2018 school year, each participant’s class will contribute a set of samples to be sequenced, then will analyze and compare their sequence data to the larger group data set.

Get signed up!

Check out all the details and register online!

Rx for Science Literacy is partnering with Novozymes North America

Join us for a free one-day workshop featuring FoodMASTER Middle Science, a classroom-tested curriculum resource that includes 24 hands-on laboratory experiences and 12 health-focused extension activities for middle grade science classrooms. While the curriculum is intended primarily for middle grade science, its activities are scalable to meet the requirements of K-12 classrooms. This workshop will be held Thursday, August 3, from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm at Novozymes North America in Franklinton, which is located just 25 miles north of Raleigh.

Register for the workshop with this link.

EPA’s Air Quality Workshop for teachers

Date: July 11 - 12, 2017

Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Location: EPA/RTP Campus located in Durham; 109 T.W. Alexander Drive, RTP, NC

Credits: Criteria I Workshop for the N.C. EE Certification Program and up to 1.5 C.E.Us.

Website: www.airnow.gov/teachers

TO REGISTER: Contact Donna Rogers at rogers.donna@epa.gov

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Ground Level Ozone: Advanced Air Quality

Monday, July 31 and Tuesday August 1, 2017

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the NC Division of Air Quality are partnering on the 2017 Ground Level Ozone workshop. The first day will be held at the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The second day will be at Clingmans Dome (weather permitting). Instructors include air quality experts from NC Division of Air Quality and National Park Service.

Each person in the workshop will take home a thumb drive with the presentations, activities, and lessons. Each will receive a certificate for 12 hours of instruction for CEU Credit and an Educator Experience Form for the NC EE Certification Program. The workshop is free, lunch will be provided, and camping is available at the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center.

The workshop will include:

- Background information on air, air quality, and air pollution;

- An introduction to the new It’s Our Air Curriculum;

- classroom activities to cover the properties of air and air pollution;

- learning to detect the effects of ground level ozone in an Ozone Bio-monitoring garden;

- studying the effects of acid deposition on snails and salamanders, and,

- several activities focused on the study and reduction of air pollution.

To register please visit:


The NC Science Fair Training

Plan to attend a 1-day Student Research & Fair Workshop for the 2017- 2018 Academic Year. There is a $15 registration fee, but all attendees receive a $65 stipend for participation. Participants will be asked to implement a science and engineering fair for a class, grade-level or school during the 2017-2018 academic year.

All participants will be asked to complete a survey spring 2017.

Register Here: http://ncsciencefair.org/index.php/teachers/workshops

July 27 - Biogen Research Triangle Park

July 28 - Triad Math and Science Academy Greensboro

The following topics will be discussed during the workshop:

Learn how to foster and guide scientific and engineering research in the classroom.

Learn how to initiate, manage, and evaluate student science and engineering research projects.

You will be guided through the steps in planning a school or district science & engineering fair.

All materials and 0.6 CEUs for completion of the workshop.

For questions contact: Manley Midgett, Outreach Coordinator Phone: 919-218-7917



NC Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, NC

Saturday, June 24 – Sunday, June 25, 2017

9 am – 5 pm each day

Fee: $20 (includes lunch for both days; classroom materials)

CEUs: 16 contact hours

Recommended for high school teachers, administrators, pre-service teachers.

Based on her research on salt-adapted microbes (halophiles) and in collaboration with the NC School of Science and Math, Dr. Amy Schmid and her colleagues from Duke University have developed a five-part learning module that engages teachers in current scientific content and models how to integrate scientific inquiry into the classroom. During this two-day workshop, participants will perform the module’s five steps: (1) reading primary literature on transcriptional regulation of stress response, (2) formulating hypotheses and designing experiments, (3) measuring microbial growth, (4) calculating microbial growth rates using MatLab code and/or user-friendly Excel spreadsheets and (5) analyzing data. So that participants can implement the learning module in their classrooms, they will receive activity kits which will include background materials, booklet, interactive modeling Excel spreadsheets, a coupon for purchasing a Halobacterium growth kit from Carolina Biological, and assessment forms for students and teachers.

Get signed up!

Check out all the details and register online!

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Meredith Mathematics and Science Workshops, July 24-27

MMSI has two science workshops for upper elementary classrooms and middle grades that address science standards in hands-on workshops. Experienced science educators lead these two-day professional development programs. View information about each workshop and register for a professional activity that will enrich your teaching with tools that equip you to master the challenges that every effective teacher faces. - MMSI Meredith College or

(http://www.meredith.edu/academics/schools/natural_and_mathematical_sciences/mathematics/mmsi )

Smokies Science Investigations, July 17-22

We are excited to announce to you a brand new summer youth program for students aged 13-17: Smokies Science Investigations, July 17-22.

This one week program is the perfect introduction to scientific investigation and deep discovery of the natural world. Participants will spend the week immersed in authentic field research and will engage the scientific process by designing and conducting their own experiments and presenting the results to local professionals. They will hold birds, catch salamanders, climb mountains, swim in rivers, and discuss their findings, all while forming tight bonds with each other and the national park.

Sound like fun?

1. Please tell your students! Post this flyer around school and send it to other schools in your area. This is a summer program they won't want to miss!

2. But this program isn't just for the students!

Wouldn’t you like to be able to do a project like the one pictured below with your students during the school year? This program is designed as a training to help science teachers transition to the demands of new standards that encourage more project-based learning. We are looking for a few teachers to be a part of this first cohort to facilitate this program alongside Tremont faculty.

We invite YOU to apply to partner with us as we pilot this new program. Come experience firsthand the impact of student-driven learning and investigation. Learn techniques to take back to your classroom through this 40+ hour practicum. Best of all, consider bringing YOUR students to Tremont Institute for a similar experience during the school year!

Apply here.


Teacher participants- $250

Teachers that bring 2 or more students - $200

Students brought by teachers - $400

Apply now! Contact Tiffany Beachy (tiffany@gsmit.org, 865-448-6708) if you have any questions.

See you this summer!

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BioNetwork’s teacher professional development workshops

Are you looking for low cost, high return summer professional development? Your registration fee will cover lodging (for those who have significant travel), hands-on instruction, lesson plans, a box of take home supplies, a CEU certificate, the opportunity to engage with industry representatives, as well as lunch. Our workshops are interdisciplinary and feature differentiated instruction to make them the perfect complement for any curriculum from middle school to college!

Industry Immersion: The Big IDEA

July 18- July 20, 2017

This is the perfect opportunity to see first-hand the types of jobs that are the future of NC manufacturing. Participants will tour an advanced manufacturing site, learn a related and standards based activity for their classroom, and develop new industry based lessons/activities in a collaborative environment.

Biotech 101

June 27-June 29, 2017

The life science industry in NC is rapidly growing, with 31% more jobs today then there were just ten years ago. To be competitive for these jobs, North Carolina students will need a solid foundation in STEM and biotechnology. In order to provide your students with this foundation, you must first feel comfortable with the concepts. Shore up your skills with this workshop, which provides a foundation in basic biotechnology as well as innovative methods for incorporating it into existing curriculum and leave with the confidence and resources necessary to integrate these interdisciplinary concepts into your class!

Forensic Sciences

July 11-July 13, 2017

Do you have a foundation in biotechnology, and are you in the market for some fresh, new ideas for how to apply the concepts in your own classroom? Have you ever watched a crime show performing laboratory analyses and thought “I wonder how I could bring that into my classroom?” Don’t worry – BioNetwork has got you covered! Regardless of your biotechnology background, you can take your biotech skills to the next level at this exciting interdisciplinary workshop!

Water Quality

June 20-June 22, 2017

Biotechnology, marine science, and environmental science are often intertwined. In this workshop, you will discover ways to teach students all three topics at once, while sparking their interest in important societal issues. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the effects of microplastics on marine mammals, waste management in marine aquaculture systems, living shorelines, algal growth, and human health risks from non-point and point-source water pollution.

Explore the Faces of Ag Biotech

July 11- July 13, 2017

Looking for new activities to share with your students? Wondering what technologies are key in agriculture today? Come explore the faces of ag biotech in this three-day professional development workshop for middle school science, ag, and family & consumer science teachers. Learn about ag biotech on the farm, in the classroom, and in industry. This hands-on workshop will include a farm tour, lesson plans, a tour of a multi-national ag biotech company, and discussions around biotechnology's role in agriculture. This workshop is being offered in collaboration with NC Farm Bureau and the NC Biotechnology Center.


July 24, 2017 to July 28, 2017

Located at Ocracoke, NC 27960

North Carolina’s coastal ecosystems can provide rich lessons to enhance the high school biology curriculum, including how the living organisms within these environments demonstrate interdependence, adaptations, and stability. Close focus of these ecosystems will reveal the complex workings of carbon and nitrogen cycles, energy pyramids, and biochemical processes and energy use in the cell. Understand how humans impact these coastal ecosystems through population growth, technology, consumption of resources, and production of waste. Partner with biologists and other science experts to create lessons that will engage high school students and advance their learning of North Carolina biology standards.

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Science in the News

Climate Science Meets a Stubborn Obstacle: Students


A new teacher’s efforts to educate teenagers in Ohio coal country ran up against a cultural resistance to evidence of the human role in global warming.

In ‘Enormous Success,’ Scientists Tie 52 Genes to Human Intelligence


The genes account for just a tiny fraction of the variation in test scores, experts say. Many are yet to be found, and environmental factors are also greatly important.

The Worst Fat in the Food Supply


Trans fat bans led to fewer heart attacks and strokes.

The Biggest, Strangest ‘Batteries’


It’s tricky to store energy on an industrial scale, but engineers have devised clever workarounds. And as wind and solar grow in importance, so will storage technology.

NASA’s Jupiter Mission Reveals the ‘Brand-New and Unexpected’


Observations taken from the first few orbits of the Juno spacecraft provide a glimpse of the interior, the poles and the equator of the solar system’s largest planet.

Food Allergies Found in Less Than 4 Percent of Americans


The most common food allergen groups were shellfish, fruits or vegetables, dairy and peanuts, in that order.