Adventures in STEM

April Edition

3rd Annual Innovation Exposition

On April 8th, McKinley School hosted the 3rd Annual Innovation Exposition, which is sponsored by the PUSD GATE office. This event inspires students to think critically and explore their interests and talents in STEM in one of six categories: Environmental Innovation, Scientific Inquiry, Creativity with 3D Printing, Science Fiction, Invention and Reverse Engineering. During the day, students that are competing are bused from their sites to talk to STEM community members about their work. Thank you to everyone that participated!!! More information and pictures from the event can be found here.

Tech Savvy (formerly Girls Science day)

On April 9th, Pasadena City College hosted Tech Savvy for girls. Girls in grades 6th-9th grade spent the day with Women in STEM learning more about what they do on a daily basis. Topics this year included: Programming Robots, Disease Detectives, Earthquakes, Building a Telescope, Jet Engines and many more! Parents were also invited to learn more on how they can support their girls in pursuing a STEM career. We had over 180 girls and over 20 parents in attendance.
After lunch, students, parents and teachers participated in the Marshmallow Challenge.

State Board of Education makes a decision regarding upcoming NGSS Assessments!

Assessment Design Features:


  • Assessment items, generated by evidence-centered design based task models, will assess the three dimensions of NGSS. (Every item will assess a CA NGSS DCI and at least one of the other two CA NGSS dimensions: one SEP or one crosscutting concept (CCC). Wherever possible, all three dimensions will be assessed within a single item; however, leading NGSS experts agree that this will not always be practical.)
  • Design makes use of a diverse range of item types.
  • This is a computer-based, two-stage adaptive assessment.
  • Group level feedback while ensuring individual student performance is measured fairly and comparably
  • Administered at grades five, eight and grade ten, eleven, or twelve. For the 5th grade assessment, Segments A & B will assess 5th grade performance expectations (PEs), Segment C will assess PEs from K-5. The 8th grade assessment will assess PEs from the 6 – 8 grade span in all three segments. The high school assessment will assess PEs from the high school grade span in all three segments (Earth, Life and Physical Science).
  • The assessment is designed to be administered in two hours or less.



Last points to note regarding the assessment:


  • The purpose of the 2017 Pilot Assessment will be to gather information on assessment items, not to generate scores. Grades other than those designated for assessment administration in the plan may also be asked to participate in the pilot.
  • Information on how a high school student is progressing in science will be available the year they take the assessment whether it is in 10th, 11th, or 12th grade, however, the scores will be ‘banked’ and reported for ESSA purposes during the student’s senior year.



Click here to see the entire powerpoint presentation.

High School Science Stakeholder Meeting

Monday, May 2nd, 3:45pm

351 South Hudson Avenue

Pasadena, CA

9-12 Science teachers and HS administrators are invited to join us in room 229 for a conversation on how the new state assessments will affect current course sequencing. Participants will receive updated knowledge of NGSS rollout and science course sequence options.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Apply Today to Assist in New Science Assessment Item Writing!

TODAY'S ADVENTURE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE CURRICULUM, INSTRUCTION AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT.

Our Purpose

The Pasadena Unified School District’s Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development department is driven by a commitment to prepare our students for college and career opportunities. We support student success by developing and refining curriculum, in conjunction with providing professional growth opportunities to our staff to ensure quality instruction for every child.