DPS Secondary Science News

April 4-8, 2016

A Fresh Start

Here we are, rounding the third quarter and heading into the home stretch! I hope those of you on break this week has a restful vacation. I took a day and went to Congaree National Park, where I spent a delightful day in a kayak on Cedar Creek. If you like swamps, cypress trees, owls, woodpeckers, and water moccasins, I know just the place for you.

This week: I will be at Northern, Carrington, Riverside, Githens, and Southern. Our Gizmos Pilot Kickoff is Thursday, April 7 from 4:15-7:15 at SDC.

Upcoming Events

  • April 5: 8th Grade Science EOG Teacher Institute, 3:15-5:15 p.m., Carrington Middle School (selected participants only)
  • April 7: Gizmos Pilot Project Kickoff, 4:15-7:15 p.m. (dinner provided), SDC
  • April 12: Secondary Science Chair Meeting, 4-5:30, Carrington Middle School
  • April 12: 8th Grade Science EOG Teacher Institute, 3:15-5:15 p.m., Githens Middle School (selected participants only)
  • April 19: 8th Grade Science EOG Teacher Institute, 3:15-5:15 p.m., Carrington Middle School (selected participants only)
  • April 26: 8th Grade Science EOG Teacher Institute, 3:15-5:15 p.m., Githens Middle School (selected participants only)
  • April 27 Early Release Day Programs: Gizmos Pilot Project, Hockey Scholar with the Carolina Hurricanes, Genetics with Mika Tweitmeyer and Dr. John Willis (Duke), Tour of North Durham’s Wastewater Reclamation Facility (3-4:30 PM), and Citizen Science with the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. Look for these in True North Logic. I'm looking for a host for Gizmos and Hockey Scholar.

Quick News

  • Wondering where we stand in the Secondary Science Resource Adoption process? I have prepared presentations for Academic Services that reflect your selected options. The options must be approved by both Academic Services and the board.

  1. Middle School Science- combination of CIBL Kits and class sets of iScience from McGraw Hill.
  2. Biology: Pearson Miller and Levine (Standard) and SEPUP Biology (Honors)
  3. Earth and Environmental: EDC Lab-Aids class sets and kits
  4. Physical Science: Pearson Physical Science Concepts in Action
  5. Chemistry: Pearson Chemistry
  6. Physics: Holt-McDougal Physics

  • Can you help get our rocketry team to NASA? We started a GoFundMe campaign to raise funding for the team to travel to Huntsville, AL thismonth for the NASA Student Launch Program. The link is: http://gofund.me/mduqbt9w


Burroughs Wellcome Fund Accepting Applications for

Student Science Enrichment Program

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund has opened it’s application for the 2016 Student Science Enrichment Program (SSEP) grant awards. SSEP supports diverse programs with a common goal: to enable primary and secondary students to participate in creative, hands-on scientific activities for K-12 students and pursue inquiry-based exploration in BWF's home state of North Carolina. These awards provide up to $60,000 per year for three years. The application deadline is April 15, 2016.

For more information or to access the application, visit http://www.bwfund.org/grant-programs/science-education/student-science-enrichment-program

DPS Science Teachers and Partners Share

Congratulations to Brooke Sauer (DSA) who has accepted a NSF-funded research position in the Patek Lab at Duke for the summer.

INSPIRES leader Dana Haine shares:

We hope that you'll join us again for this year's 3rd Annual UNC-Chapel Hill Climate Change Symposium! The event seeks to highlight the latest research on climate change across UNC and North Carolina. The event will feature four keynote speakers and a poster session of postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduates conducting research on climate change.

Date: Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Location: Genome Sciences Building downstairs lobby and G200

Time: 3:00pm-6:00pm

Who: All students, faculty, staff, and the public are welcome to attend.

Student posters & cash prizes! There will be cash prizes awarded to the top 3 student posters (including a $500 first prize!). If you are conducting research on a topic related to climate change and are interested in registering for a student poster, please email Jenna Hartley (jennamh@live.unc.edu) by April 8th with the following information: Name, Department, and a working title for your poster. Poster spaces are limited, so email soon if you are interested!

Lakewood science teacher Laine Staton is looking for a new home for her microscope pictured here. Contact her if you are interested!

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Summer Science for Teachers

Workshop Sponsored by The Herp Project
June 10-12, 2016
Haw River State Park, North Carolina


If you are interested in running a field ecology program centered around reptiles and/or amphibians, come join our National Science Foundation funded Herp Project team of scientists, professors, and experienced student research assistants for a weekend in nature to learn how you can run formal or informal field ecology studies where you work. All participants will be provided with our new curriculum, a copy of The Box Turtle Connection, and other useful materials. We will share our curriculum and expertise, with presentations by local experts, as well as hands-on fieldwork, at the beautiful Haw River State Park. Includes food and lodging at Haw River State Park! Space is limited to 24 participants. Note: If you are accepted to participate in the program and cannot attend please let us know in time to fill your spot, otherwise there may be a $20 cancellation fee that applies. https://docs.google.com/a/uncg.edu/forms/d/1qMdxPbRDttGxIC5-E6UWbOrvaW54h6kKfvGV1H_T2Lw/viewform


Applications due Friday, April 29, 2016!

Application form is attached.

Workshop dates: June 15 – 16, 2016, 8:30 am to 5 pm

Fee: $95 (includes two lunches, due upon acceptance into the program)

Requirements: This workshop is designed primarily for high school teachers, addressing specific NC teaching standards. This 2-day workshop will explore topics related to the patterns and processes of biological evolution, with the goal of helping teachers to more effectively address evolution in their curricula. Information on available teaching resources will be provided, and ideas for effective classroom exercises will be presented in several hands-on activities.

Get signed up!

Email to Jason Cryan by April 29.


Date: June 23-24, 2016

Open to: Grades 6-8 Educators

Application Deadline: April 15, 2016

Join us to learn how to bring citizen science to your NC Middle School classroom! Citizen science provides students the opportunity to be engaged in real, authentic scientific research. Come learn about citizen science projects designed by NC Kenan Fellows as well as other citizen science projects to meet your curriculum goals. The Institute includes meals, lodging and a stipend of $120/day. Applications are available HERE.


For Middle School Science Educators Only

Registration is open for the latest workshop in the Rx for Science Literacy series, FoodMASTER Middle Science, a free professional development workshop for middle school science educators.


East Carolina University

Greenville, N.C.


Friday, June 17, 2016


9:00 am to 4:00 pm


Completely free

Register →

The one-day workshop will feature FoodMASTER Middle Science — a 10-unit curriculum resource that uses food as a tool to teach hands-on, minds on science to 7th- and 8th-grade students.

At Water’s Edge | Current Watershed Science for the NC Classroom

July 26-29, 2016

Trinity Center – Salter Path, NC

A FREE Professional Development Experience for North Carolina Educators

During this four day teacher institute, 8th -12th grade science teachers will conduct place-based, inquiry-based activities to explore and compare several unique coastal ecosystems and evaluate human impacts on these systems alongside scientists and expert environmental educators. Teachers will receive updated content knowledge and instructional resources designed to foster student learning of watershed science and stimulate awareness of actions that promote watershed stewardship. Content and activities are aligned with the NC Essential Standards for 8th Grade Science, Earth/Environmental Science and AP Environmental Science. Hands-on, real world, and STEM-based experiences will be emphasized – be prepared to get wet, sandy and re-energized!

This institute will begin at 11AM on Tuesday July 26th, 2015 and end by 3PM on Friday July 29th. Lodging is provided Tues, Wed, and Thurs nights.

This Institute is open to 8th -12th grade science teachers in North Carolina.

To apply, please complete the Online Application by 11:59pm on Sunday April 10th.

EPA’s Air Quality Workshop is FREE!

Date: July 12 - 13, 2016

Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Location: EPA/RTP Campus located in Durham

Website: www.airnow.gov/teachers

To Register: Contact Donna Rogers at rogers.donna@epa.gov


• Learn how EPA manages air quality in the U.S. and a report on North Carolina’s air quality

• Identify environmental health effects and risks

• Learn about EPA’s Air Quality Flag Program for Schools

• Tour EPA’s Green Building


• Learn EPA’s role in environmental research and management

• Experience interactive hands-on activities designed for classroom use

• Receive curricula, pamphlets, brochures, and fact sheets

Interested in the Sustainable Forestry Teachers’ Experience? Find details at: https://www.ncforestry.org/sfi-sustainable-forestry-cee-experience-for-teachers/ The cost is only $50. The NCFA and its partners pay for all food, lodging, and transportation once at the workshop. We also pay for a fun activities at each workshop for the teachers. Educators receive 18 CEU credits for attending and take back a wealth of knowledge to share with their students. Our application period closes on April 15th, 2016. Questions? Contact: Eddie Reese, 919-834-3943, 1-800-231-7723, ereese@ncforestry.org

North Carolina 8th Annual

Envirothon School for Advisors/Teachers

July 11 through July 15, 2016

$85 Registration includes meals & overnight accommodations (if requested) for

all five workshops. Registration $20 per day for 1 to 4 days of workshops.

Registration information at: http://www.ncagr.gov/SWC/educational/envirothon-envirothon_school.html

Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Short-Term Program

Opportunities Abroad for U.S. K-12 Educators

Announcing the launch of the 2016 Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Short-Term Program Online Application for U.S. K-12 educators!

Through the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program, U.S. K-12 teachers and educators can apply for grants to engage in 2-8 week collaborative projects abroad. Participants consult with and support projects with schools, non-profit organizations, teacher training institutions, and other educational organizations abroad. The grant award funds travel costs, lodging, meals, local transportation, and related costs.

Teachers may travel to: Botswana, India, Mexico, or Vietnam. Click here to view individual project summaries for details on program opportunities.


Application deadlines:

  • April 18, 2016 (Summer 2016 programs)
  • May 9, 2016 (Fall 2016 programs)

Eligibility Requirements: www.fulbrightteacherexchange.org/eligibility-short-term

Application Info: www.fulbrightteacherexchange.org/how-to-apply-short-term

This program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is administered by the Institute of International Education.

Summer Science for Students

Jennifer Brooks at the Durham County Soil and Water Conservation District shares:

The Resource Conservation Workshop (RCW) is a weeklong camp for students who are interested in conservation, the environment &/or our state’s natural resources. The camp is sponsored by the NC Division of Soil and Water Conservation and the NC Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. The RCW targets hopeful future environmental professionals by giving students a first-hand look at a wide array of conservation careers that they may not know about. Attendees are also eligible for a variety of scholarships only offered at the RCW. The Durham SWCD will pay all registration fees and provide a small stipend to a student for travel or meals. Priority will be given to rising seniors, but rising sophomores and juniors may apply. (HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES ARE NOT ELIGIBLE TO ATTEND)

June 26th - July 1st at NC State University

Application Deadline: return official application to the Durham SWCD office by 5pm Monday, May 2, 2016.

For information contact:

Durham SWCD

721 Foster St.

Durham, NC 27701 jbrooks@dconc.gov

Project PLANTS (Planting Leaders in Agriculture and Nature Through Science) is a two part program that immerses students in an intensive one week summer program broadening their knowledge of horticultural sciences and an after-school program that extends their exploration through the school year. Activities during the summer will build upon the rising seventh grade students’ knowledge from their sixth grade studies and strengthen their critical thinking, scientific inquiry, and scientific research abilities. The summer experience will generate a research project for each student to develop and conduct during the school year with guidance from mentors and participation in an after school 4-H club (transportation can be provided).

The cost of the program is $20 with financial assistance available.

Apply now: Here! For more information call or email the program coordinator, Sarah Dinger (914) 815-5226 / scdinge2@ncsu.edu

2016 Exploring the Earth Summer Camp. NC State University, through the Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences and The Science House, is offering this FREE weeklong summer day camp. Students will learn about various geoscience topics and participate in laboratory research techniques.

When: June 20-24, 2016

Where: NC State University, Jordan Hall, Raleigh, NC

Who is Eligible: Rising high school juniors and seniors only

For more information please visit the program web site: https://sciencehouse.ncsu.edu/programs/exploring-the-earth/

Horticultural Science Summer Institute, July 10-15, 2016

The Horticultural Science Summer Institute will be July 10-15, 2016 and is sponsored by North Carolina State University and North Carolina Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Program with the Department of Horticultural Science. High school-aged youth (rising sophomores, juniors and seniors) are invited to apply to a weeklong, residential horticultural experience on the campus of NC State University. The cost of the institute will be $550 with a $150 deposit due upon application acceptance. All lodging, workshop materials and field trips and most meals are provided. Scholarships may be available. Applications are due Friday, April 15th and notification of acceptance will follow shortly thereafter. Please contact Liz Driscoll at liz_driscoll@ncsu.edu or 919.513.7346/ 919.886.3424 with any questions or comments.

Youth should apply here by Friday, April 15th. For more information visit the HSSI webpage.

The 2016 Environmental Science Summer Program at Duke is now accepting applications. Please share this opportunity with rising Sophomores and Juniors in the Triangle Area. Please share this link with students: sites.nicholas.duke.edu/essp

The Duke BOOST program is accepting applications from middle school students (as participants) and high school students (as leaders). MANY, many DPS students have benefitted from participation in this amazing program. Check it out at: https://sites.duke.edu/boost/apply/


Creating Opportunities in STEM for Students with Disabilities

Wanted: High School Students who are interested in STEM and STEM Careers who have any disability but are in the Regular Education Setting or OCS. This program is for students with disabilities who want to learn more about STEM in a small group individualized setting. Includes daily field trips and lunch and snacks. Program includes one week session in the summer and monthly Saturday Sessions during the school year.

Location: Science House, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

Who is welcome: High School Students from any county in NC who can travel daily to the Science House for a week in the summer and monthly during the school year. No Housing is available or travel funds.

Value of the Program: $700, student cost: $50, funded by Biogen Foundation

For more details and application please go to: https://sciencehouse.ncsu.edu/programs/catalyst/ For any questions please contact: jbumenfeld@wcpss.net

Science Resources

FREE program for Middle Schools!

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, with grant funding provided by the Biogen Idec Foundation, is providing a LIMITED number of FREE programs for schools. The grant is designed to share activities from the museum’s Micro World Investigate Lab with schools across our state. Two programs are available to choose from and are entitled Tools of the (Scientific) Trade and DNA Exploration. For more information and registration contact Martha Fisk, curator of community outreach, at 919.707.9883 / martha.fisk@naturalsciences.org

The MarineQuest team at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, in partnership with NOAA through their Marine Debris Prevention through Education and Outreach Program, has developed a new app for tracking trash called iRefuz. The iRefuz app was developed to help users – students, teachers, and parents alike – become mindful of the choices they make before generating trash. The goal is that users refuse to create refuse (trash). In the app, each item of potential marine debris corresponds to a counter that records the choice not to generate this type of trash. The data collected via the app will allow developers to identify which items are most often refused. This information will be used to develop additional campaigns and interventions to reduce the production of potential marine debris.At this time, the app is available from the Google Play store.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mymobed.threeT Regardless of your mobile phone platform, you can still access the app’s web-based activity grid, from any device (phone, tablet, computer, etc.), here: http://www.uncw.edu/marinequest/TravelingThroughTrash.html

Each image on the activity grid corresponds to an item within the app. This is the same grid that users are directed to from within the app. Once on the site, users can interact with marine debris items by clicking on an item to reveal a PDF file with information about campaigns, educational videos, scientific articles, and upcycling activities.

Now recruiting for Fall, 2016! Student Engineers Network, Strengthening Opportunities in Research (SENSOR) Saturday Academy at Duke University

What? Hands-on education program to encourage careers in science and engineering by engaging 8th grade underrepresented minority students in materials science and water quality testing. Who? Students entering 8th grade Fall 2016. When? 12 Saturday sessions (Sep 2016- May 2017), plus field trip to Eno River State Park. Where? Duke University Campus. Interested? Visit – http://stiffrobertslab.pratt.duke.edu/sensor-saturday-academy Call – 919-660-5560 OR Email – adrienne.stiffroberts@duke.edu

School Year PD for Science Teachers

Water Quality Workshop, Eno River State Park, April 16, 2016, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Join veteran educators Holly Denham, Laura Webb Smith, and Liz Stabenow for a hands-on, feet-wet, workshop. Who should come? Educators, volunteers, and anyone who wants to take others into the creek for education and/or citizen science. You’ll learn about chemical, physical, and biological water quality parameters, including benthic macroinvertebrates. Workshop is free; however, deposit is required. To register, send a $10 check made out to Eno River Association to Holly Denham, Division of Water Resources, NC Department of Environmental Quality, 1611 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1611. For more information, contact Holly at 919-707-9009 orholly.denham@ncdenr.gov

Science in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Spring in the Smoky Mountains

April 29 -May 1, 2016 at the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is world-renowned for its diversity of wildflowers and salamanders. Explore cove forests and stream-side habitats for salamanders as well as the blooms of spring. http://naturalsciences.org/calendar/event/spring-in-the-mountains/

Science in the News


Over the course of four months, 97,100 metric tons of methane quietly leaked out of a single well into California’s sky. Scientists and residents are still trying to figure out just how much damage was done.


Some researchers argue that thinking of internal species as enemies, and eradicating them, is a potentially harmful mistake.

The Moon: Our Silent Guardian?

To solve a mystery about Earth's core, scientists looked to the moon. Viewed from space, Earth is a serene blue sphere. But beneath its surface, there is a roiling mass of liquid, nickel-iron alloy and solid iron almost 6,000 miles in diameter. The inner and outer core comprise almost a third of Earth's mass, and together they generate a magnetic field that shields life on this planet from harmful charged particles and radiation emanating from the sun. But Earth's core, perhaps, can't Read the full story

Why the New Sea Level Alarm Can't Be Ignored
National Geographic

The physics of ice predicts that sea level will rise twice as much by the end of the century as previously estimated. Read the full story

Why This April Fools’ Kiwi Hybrid Is Bananas
National Geographic

A viral video from last week describes a banana-kiwi hybrid. Read the full story

Billions of People Got Clean Water in the Past 25 Years
National Geographic

A new graphic shows where access to safe drinking water has gotten better—or worse. Read the full story

Corals Are Dying on the Great Barrier Reef
National Geographic

Australian government issues emergency response level and warns that bleaching may be linked to climate change. Read the full story

An Empty Beach Isn’t Empty at All.
National Geographic

If you lined up all of Earth's beaches they would reach to the moon. That's a lot of room for life. Read the full story