Cobb Science

October News and Notes

Fall in Love with Science Competitions

October is the month that two of our big science competitions typically kick-off in local schools. Cobb has a plethora of active Science Olympiad teams. Elementary school coaches can attend our coaches training on November 1st from 4:00-5:30 at the HR Conference Room (590 Commerce Park Drive, Suite 140, Marietta) to learn about this years events and pick up consumable materials. Middle school coaches can attend Dodgen Middle School's coaching workshop on October 22nd from 8:30-2:00. This workshop includes classes about several of the events, plus a new coach class for coaches with 0-3 years Science Olympiad experience, and culminates with a Coach Roundtable lunch for new and experienced head coaches and their leadership teams.

Those schools participating in the science fair can find many new resources on our website (ES website: and MS/HS website: . Middle and high school teachers in particular will benefit from our overview video of GSEF required forms that we also require at our Cobb-Paulding regional fair ( Many of these forms have to be filled out prior to experimentation, so make sure you and your students are aware of all requirements. Projects involving human subjects (even for surveys), animals, and/or biologically hazardous substances need many additional forms and follow strict rules from ISEF. Remember that the elementary school fair will join with the 6-12 fair this year. Elementary fair participants do not need to worry about GSEF forms since GSEF is only open to students in grades 6-12. All schools should hold their school fair prior to January 27th, 2017.

Professional Learning Opportunities

New Science Standards

Ready to learn more about the new science standards?

Join us virtually in early November for our first webinar regarding the new standards. This 40-minute overview will introduce you to the major changes and new expectations of the standards. Check our website ( or Twitter (@cobbscience) for the date and Blackboard Collaborate link, available in mid-October.

Elementary, middle and high school teachers can participate in a grade-band specific, hands-on workshop to experience changes in instruction required by the new standards, tentatively set for November 2nd at Hawthorne OR Big Shanty ES. Our hope in offering two locations is to increase teacher attendance. Training

Cobb County has partnered with to offer free training to Cobb (and outside-Cobb) teachers on November 12th at Brumby ES from 8:30-3:30. Learn how to integrate computer science into K-5 curriculum. Register here

Quarter 3 Preview for Elementary School Teachers

Elementary (3-5) teachers-- join us on Monday, December 5th at Hawthorne to review quarter 3 standards and experience an accompanying inquiry kit. Whether you are a new or veteran teacher, there is something for everyone to learn. Each grade level session will be hands-on and collaborative.


New Digital Badge for 6-12 Teachers: Using Models to Teach Science

Our newest digital badge, written by Walton High School teacher Amanda Edwards, gives you a comprehensive and practical learning opportunity centered around model-making, a major focus in the new GSE. The coursework begins with exploring modeling standards relevant to your discipline or grade level. After reading several academic articles, you will reflect upon your newly gained knowledge and how you currently use models in your classroom. The performance assessment includes writing and implementing a modeling lesson.

Since the badge is an online learning experience, you can work at your own pace, doing however much or little at a time as you wish. Additionally, badges are competency-driven, meaning that if you already know a lot about modeling, you can skip any coursework you have already mastered and exhibit your knowledge on the assessments, allowing you to move through the badge more quickly. Earning a badge is a great artifact for TKES!

PLC's might be interested in working through this badge together, discussing one or two articles per week before individuals break out to take their own assessments, and collaborating to write modeling lessons.

Find the badge in our 6-12 Science Blackboard Shell, along with our other offerings: Understanding Digital Badges, Critical Thinking Skills in the Science Classroom (a three-part series with examples in the earth, life, and physical science classroom), and Twitter Titan.

School Spotlight

Mableton Elementary Earns Cobb STEM Certification

Congratulations to Mableton Elementary on earning Cobb's STEM Certification. Mableton has a robust gardening program, four specialty labs (STEM, STEM writing, math, and technology), a maker space, and a STARBASE program. In addition to designing thematic units and problem-based assessments, teachers also focus on a STEAM Book of the Month with students.

Mableton joins these other Cobb STEM Certified Schools:

Brumby Elementary, Cooper Middle School, Floyd Middle School, Ford Elementary, Hightower Trail Middle, Kennesaw Mtn. High School, Pope High School, Tritt Elementary, Wheeler High School

Instructional Strategy Focus

Using Models in the Science Classroom

S2L1d. Develop models to illustrate the unique and diverse life cycles of organisms other than humans.

S8P4f. Develop and use a model (e.g., simulations, graphs, illustrations) to predict and describe the relationships between wave properties (e.g., frequency, amplitude, and wavelength) and energy

SC2d. Develop and use models to evaluate bonding configurations from nonpolar covalent to ionic bonding.

As seen in the examples above, the new Georgia Standards of Excellence place a heavy emphasis on students making models of scientific concepts. A scientific model represents objects, phenomena, and physical processes in a consistent and logical way. A model can predict and/or explain. But what qualifies as a model?

Examples of models include:



-mathematical equations

-3-D structures/physical representations


-computer simulations

All models have limitations and it is important for students to recognize and explain them. Both teachers and students will need practice in understanding and utilizing models as we implement the GSE. Students' skills in using models will progress through the grade bands (

Please participate in our new digital badge, Using Models to Teach Science, for an exceptional learning experience written by Walton High School teacher Amanda Edwards. This badge is found in the 6-12 Science Blackboard shell.

Digital Tools