DPS Secondary Science News

February, 2017

Opportunities for Science Learning and...Fun!

This month, Hillside will be hosting the Region 3A NC Science and Engineering Fair. If you haven't been to a science fair in a long time, have been thinking about starting a school level fair, or would like to just renew your enthusiasm for student scientific research, please join us on February 11 at Hillside. If you'd like to join us as a judge, please sign up here.

Next month on March 18, we'll host the NC Science Olympiad for the Durham area at Riverside High School. We can use all the help we can get! If you aren't coaching, please consider volunteering to help run or assist with an event, assist with registration, or help with scoring. To volunteer, sign up here. Even if you can't stay very long, consider joining us for this energizing science event.

If you know of others who might be interested in helping, please share this information with them!

Upcoming Events

  • February 4 Curriculum Writing Day @ The DPS Hub Farm
  • February 9, 16, 23, March 2, 9, 16: Biology EOC Teacher Academy @SDC
  • February 11, Region 3A Science and Engineering Fair @Hillside
  • February 15, Out of the Box PD (see below)
  • February 21, 7th Grade Kit Unpacking Machines, Forces, & Energy @Brogden
  • February 22-23, Microscope and Balance Repair (schools by request)
  • February 23, Biology Instructional Learning Tour
  • March 9, 8th Grade Science Grow Network Instructional Learning Tour
  • March 9, 16, 23, 30, April 6: 8th Grade Science Teacher Academy @Shepard
  • March 18, NC Science Olympiad Tournament B/C @Riverside

Quick News

  • Out of the Box returns on February 15! Look for the following science sessions:

    6476 Pioneering Therapy for Spinal Muscular Atrophy: Genetics, Biotechnology, and Protein Synthesis Participation enables you to bring a class to the Biogen Community Lab for a field experience Section 10704

    6476 Rain Gardens, Cisterns, and Stormwater Management Learn to make a school rain garden (and get funding, resources, and support) Section 10716

    6476 Research Opportunities for STEM Learning at Duke Build a partnership for authentic science and engineering research using Duke's Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility Section 10718

    6476 SECME and STEM Activities for High School Math and Science Section 10724

    6476 The Water Quality of Local Streams: An In-depth Look Discover Durham's databases and resources for local stream analysis Section 10728

    6476 Exploring Forces & Motion with Hockey Scholar from the Carolina Hurricanes Partner with the Carolina Hurricanes for STEM learning Section 10681

    6476 Gizmos for Secondary Science: A Closer Look Includes a free subscription for Spring term for Gizmos. New participants welcome. Section 10685

    6476 All About ESL (English as a Second Language) Newcomers and How to Help Them Succeed in Your Class Science teachers (among others) share successful strategies for ESL students Section 10666

  • The microscope and balance repair will take place on February 22-23. Schools receiving service: PLC, Riverside, Shepard, Northern, Carrington, and Brogden

  • GREAT NEWS! Our Gizmos pilot has been extended until May, 2017. If you are interested in getting in on this project, sign up for the session on Feb. 15.

  • Biology teachers should have access to Study Island for student biology review and practice. Check with your IF or Principal for details.

  • Interested in Science Olympiad? If you build a team, we will pay the registration fee (one team per school)! Our tournament is on March 18. Please register/get information for your team at http://www.sciencenc.com/team-help/coaches-corner/index.php

DPS Science Teachers and Partners Share

Daughter of "Hidden Figures" NASA mathematician and physicist (from Greensboro);


from Cynthia Colbert, Lucas Middle School

Grants and Goodies

Need some extra income?


for the Encore! Afterschool Program

The Department of Community Education is looking for teachers to lead clubs

in LEGO Mind Storm “Robotics” and Coding using “Scratch” to students in the

Encore! Afterschool program.

Scratch: Teach 15 students for 1 hr. /day, two days a week for 6 weeks (15 hrs.)

Robotics: Teach 15 students for 1.5 hrs. /day, two days a week for 6 weeks (*30 hrs.)

*This includes participating in a Tournament on Saturday, May 6th.

Teachers will be paid by Extra Duty at a rate of $20/hr. The Club Coach will work

under the supervision of the afterschool manager. Classes can be taught on a

M/W or T/TH schedule. Training materials will be provided prior to classes starting.

Questions? Contact: Mike Vadala at x 22234 or

(919)560-3698; michael.vadala@dpsnc.net

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is hiring North Carolina certified teachers as summer science educators for the GSK Science in the Summer Program.

Application information including required documents and dates are provided at the following link ( https://unc.peopleadmin.com/postings/113551 ) OR (http://sis.moreheadplanetarium.org/sis/employment). The deadline is February 17, 2017. Applicants should not wait to the last minute due to our online application process. Principals or assistant principals also MUST complete an online recommendation form.

"Finding Water"

2017 Water Conservation Poster Contest

Grade Levels: 6-8

Even though the earth is more than 70% water, only about 1% of it is easily accessible!

Show us where you would look for clean drinking water and how you would conserve it once found.


To schedule a presentation, please visit:

DurhamSavesWater.org or email: savewater@durhamnc.gov

Nominate an Outstanding Earth Science Teacher and Educator (OEST and OESE)!

Deadline is March 31, 2017!!

· Two separate awards: OEST and OESE

· Download the Nomination Form and Award Descriptions at: https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/energy-mineral-land-resources/north-carolina-geological-survey/geoscience-education/outstanding-educators-awards

Chemistry of Sports in a box...

In the world of competitive and professional sports, chemistry is more impactful than you might think. Discover the materials that chemists are creating to enable athletes to perform better and stay safer, as well as how analytical chemistry is advancing to detect performance enhancing substances in order to keep the playing field level for everyone. During this interactive event, your group will be able to network with young chemists and have an opportunity to ask questions live to the experts regarding the amazing work that is being done in sports science. ACS Program-in-a-Box is the easiest event you'll ever host because "it's all in the box." With very little effort (acquire the space and gather the crowd), you can host an energetic science event that engages chemistry students and early career chemists. Register now to receive a physical box of materials and resources delivered directly to you at no cost. Sign up at www.acs.org/PIB

Student Opportunities

The Patek Lab at Duke has been awarded a grant to fund a high school student summer fellowship. Contact Brooke Sauer (DSA) for more information.


GALS Science and Nature Summer Program

Duke is offering a free special opportunity for 8 high school girls to participate in two consecutive 5 day backpacking trips in Pisgah National Forest. The program is called Girls on outdoor Adventure for Leadership and Science (GALS) and it will focus on ecology, biology, geology, teamwork, and leadership. Please put this information in the hands of young women who you feel would be strong candidates for this amazing opportunity.

Details and application can be found on their website: https://sites.duke.edu/gals/

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

Please share this link with students: http://www.usaeop.com/programs/apprenticeships/hsap/

Girls in Science Program-- Great Smoky Mountains Institute

For Middle/High School Girls

The Tremont Girls in Science camp is for ages 12-15 and is held from June 12-17 at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. Partial scholarships are available for a week tuition of just $100. The camp includes outdoor exploration throughout the park, participation in citizen science projects alongside real scientists, and an opportunity for the girls to conduct their own field investigations. The goals are to keep girls excited about science as they move through their middle and high school years and to allow them to use scientific processes to answer questions they have about the natural world as well as meet many other girls that like the same things they do. Highlights of past Girls in Science Camps include salamander studies in a temperate rainforest, creek crawls in cold, mountain streams studying aquatic insects, an evening in Cades Cove watching the fireflies emerge from the grass, mornings working with specialists capturing and banding songbirds, and a campfire at week’s end. This camp has many partial scholarships available. The Girls in Science Camp application can be downloaded on the Tremont website


Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is hiring North Carolina high school students as summer student assistants for the GSK Science in the Summer Program.

Application information including required documents and dates are provided at the following link (https://unc.peopleadmin.com/postings/113548) OR (http://sis.moreheadplanetarium.org/sis/employment).

The deadline is February 17, 2017. Applicants should not wait to the last minute due to our online application process. Teachers also MUST complete an online recommendation form. The link for this form can be found within the above links. Please be sure to carefully read the instructions particularly regarding the recommendation section.

National Youth Science Camp

Two high school seniors have the opportunity of a lifetime - participation in the National Youth Science Camp (NYSC). Students receive a full scholarship to exchange ideas with scientists and other professionals from the academic and corporate worlds. The nearly month-long experience includes lectures and hands-on research projects presented by scientists from across the nation; overnight expeditions into a national forest; and a visit to Washington D.C. The selected delegates must not only demonstrate academic achievement in science, but also show potential for thoughtful scientific leadership. The NYSC experience is offered at no cost to its participants so that selected delegates may attend regardless of their financial status. Educational and recreational programming, as well as meals, lodging, and round-trip air passage on scheduled airlines are provided free of charge. Tentative dates are June 14 – July 8, 2017.

Application forms are available on the NYSC website http://www.nysf.com/w/programs/nysc/. Applications must be submitted by March 1, 2017.

Design Thinking
February 11, 2017 at 9:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M.
3039 East Cornwallis Road, Durham, NC 27703

Open workspaces, writing on the walls, and moving whiteboards is the perfect environment to get the creative juices flowing! Come join us in IBM’s Design Studio for this workshop on IBM Design Thinking. This workshop will teach students to put themselves in the user’s shoes while designing mobile app. Students will work in teams to using various interactive exercises to move an mobile app from concept from prototype.Tickets for this session will be available on our Eventbrite page starting on 1/19 at 5:00 pm

Science Resources

Citizen Science at School! Join North Carolina’s Candid Critters!

Have you ever wondered what mammals are living in the areas where you go every day? Who is hiding in the patches of “wild” near your work or home? What’s living in your local parks? That is exactly what we would like to find out! Candid Critters is a citizen science camera trapping project that will survey the mammals in the entire state of North Carolina. Participants in this ambitious project will help us set cameras in all 100 counties at over 28,000 sites throughout the state over the next three years! This type of data collection is unprecedented, and will only be possible with your help. We are interested in teaming up with individual citizen scientists as well as schools, libraries, museums, nature centers and more to help run cameras as well as recruit, engage, and equip citizen-science volunteers.

Data from this survey will be used to improve both conservation and management techniques for North Carolina’s wildlife. This collaborative project between the NC Museum of Natural Sciences and the NC Wildlife Resources Commission strives to engage the public to connect with nature in their local communities. If you are interested in joining our project or have any questions, please check out our attached brochure and sign up at NCCandidCritters.org.

NC River Basins- Interactive Map

Find out which river basin your live in using this interactive map (http://www.eenorthcarolina.org/riverbasins-gis-map.asp).

Explore the ecology of your area using the Discover Your Ecological Address Interactive map (http://ncdenr.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=6b03c62763074346957e6c5096814bee).

For more FREE resources and information regarding North Carolina's river basins, visit http://www.eenorthcarolina.org/riverbasins.html.

School Year PD for Science Teachers

Symposium on Horizons in Astronomy and Physics Education (SHAPE)

The Symposium on Horizons in Astronomy and Physics Education (SHAPE) is scheduled for Saturday, March 4, 2017 on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. Physics/Astronomy teachers and other science teachers are invited to this symposium on current advances in physics, astronomy, and the teaching of these subjects in secondary schools. Each year the symposium features talks by leaders in the field about astronomy and physics research, the application of physics in a variety of contexts, and physics and astronomy pedagogy. This year's symposium will include presentations on detecting gravitational waves, the physics of climate change, and nanobiophysics. There will also be hands-on activities and tours of research labs in the UNC Physics and Astronomy Department. A certificate for 0.8 CEU's will be awarded at the completion of the symposium. Information and Registration for SHAPE can be found at http://user.physics.unc.edu/~mcneil/SHAPE.htm Please register online early to help us plan for the event.

Rx for Science Literacy: What, Where, How and Why of Health Science Research

Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Duke University, Durham
8:00 am – 4:00 pm


Rx for Science Literacy will partner with Duke University to present Rx for Science Literacy: The What, Where, How and Why of Health Science Research. This is an introductory workshop based on NCABR’s comprehensive Rx for Science Literacy curriculum manual, which provides an overview of the biomedical research process.

Rx for Science Literacy: Chemicals, the Environment, and You

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Research Triangle Park
8:00 am – 4:00 pm


Rx for Science Literacy will partner with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to present Rx for Science Literacy: Chemicals, the Environment, and You. This workshop is based on a curriculum developed by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The curriculum focuses on the science of toxicology to help students understand the relationship between chemicals in the environment and human health. It also conveys the influence of chemicals on the health of living organisms.

Rx for Science Literacy: Human Genetic Variation

Friday, February 10, 2017
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Research Triangle Park
8:00 am – 4:00 pm


Rx for Science Literacy will partner with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to present Rx for Science Literacy: Human Genetic Variation. This workshop addresses the basics of human genetics, its potential to improve human health, and its application towards understanding and describing human evolution. Dr. Kathleen Vandiver from MIT will conduct a training session with a sample curriculum, using the MIT Edgerton Center DNA/RNA and protein sets. This workshop is most applicable to high school teachers and those teaching advanced middle school students.

Likin' Lichens Educator Workshop

Februrary 17 - 19, 2017

Lichens, these mysterious organisms, have fascinated people for years. Not a plant, not a fungus, but a surprisingly elegant combination of the two. Spend the weekend delving into the enchanting world of lichens as we learn their basic ecology, identification, and natural history during this field-based workshop. Workshop lasts from Friday supper to Sunday lunch. Workshop fee includes all instruction, materials, meals and lodging.

Cost for educators: Thanks to a generous grant from North Carolina Department of Transportation, this course is offered to 10 K-12 educators for a non-refundable registration fee of $50 per person. Two educators per school. Register now!


February 24, 2017 - February 26, 2017

  • Fee: $145 (includes lodging, some meals)
  • Join curators from the NC Museum of Natural Sciences and the NC Museum of History for a cross-curricular workshop to learn about the natural and cultural history of North Carolina’s coastal plain. Explore the longleaf pine ecosystem, one of our most biologically diverse habitats and learn about a range of topics from harvesting pitch to carnivorous pitcher plants!


MARCH 24 - 26, 2017

Experience the wonders of wetlands as we explore several aquatic NC habitat types. Discover first-hand how different these ecosystems are, and meet the diverse communities of amphibians, reptiles, and plants they support. Learn about life cycles, food webs, and the importance of bio-indicators.

More Details

Educator Trek:


APRIL 8, 9:30am - 4:30pm

This workshop will provide simple lesson plans that you can adapt for use with your own students that incorporate technology, math, graphing, data analysis, and writing as well as a list of available databases and other resources that will help you develop your own lessons and programs using citizen science data.

More Details

Summer Opportunities for Teachers

2017 Science, Teachers and Research Summer (STaRS) Experience

This two-week professional development program, hosted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, is designed to enhance high school science teachers’ understanding of basic research in biomedical sciences and enable them to transfer knowledge received from this program into classroom applications. After participating in exploratory lectures, lab investigations and group discussions, teachers will process what they’ve learned to develop lesson plans and classroom projects. Finally, through engagement and discussion with NIEHS scientists in various research labs and the NIEHS Clinical Research Unit, teachers will broaden their understanding of translational research processes. The program will run from Monday, July 10, to Friday, July 21, (excluding Saturday and Sunday). STaRS participants are expected to attend the full two-week program and actively participate each day from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. To offset costs associated with lodging, meals, transportation and time spent during the two-week program, participants will receive a $2,000 stipend. The stipend will be provided in two equal payments, which will be disbursed each week of the program.


  • Applicants must be currently teaching in a North Carolina high school.
  • Applicants must be available for the full two-week program (July 10-21, excluding Saturday and Sunday).
  • Applicants must have reliable transportation and be willing to travel to Research Triangle Park (which may include overnight stays at a hotel in Research Triangle Park on Sunday through Thursday each week).

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 17, 2017.

Real World Science 2017 Cohort

The National WWII Museum is looking for 28 5th-8th grade science teachers from across the country who want to spend a week in New Orleans learning how to teach hands-on minds-on science connected to WWII history. The cohort will spend a week in July in New Orleans, with workshops at the Museum, and a day and a half at the University of New Orleans’ Advanced Materials Research Institute for. Travel, room, and most meals are paid. For more information:

The National WWII Museum | New Orleans: Learn: For Teachers: Real World Science Summer Teacher Seminar Presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation

Applications are now open for the 2017 CDC Science Ambassador Fellowship!

The competitive fellowship is for teachers and educational leaders interested in bringing public health into current middle- and high- school classrooms. It includes a 5-day summer course (July 10-14,2017) at CDC headquarters in Atlanta, GA and a 1-year distance-based professional development opportunity. Applications are due February 15, 2017.

Save the Date: Ag Biotech Industry in the Classroom 2017

July 31 - August 4 | Meredith College | Raleigh, N.C.

Looking for new activities to share with your students? Wondering what technologies are key in agriculture today? Come explore this ag biotech focused professional development workshop, for high school science and ag teachers across North Carolina. Registration opens in March. LEARN MORE


Dates: June 17–25, 2017 with an orientation at the Museum on Saturday, April 22, 2017

Location: Yellowstone National Park, WY and MT

Activity Level: Moderate to rigorous, including walking/hiking at high elevations

Cost: $950 (includes round-trip air travel between Raleigh and Bozeman, MT, all ground transportation, instruction, and lodging)

Applications at: http://naturalsciences.org/learn/educators-of-excellence-institutes


Dates: July 25–August 1, 2017 (Mandatory pre- and post-trip sessions will be held in Raleigh on May 6 and November 4, 2017.)

Location: Belize, Central America and Raleigh, NC

Activity Level: Moderate to rigorous, including walking/hiking in tropical (high heat/humidity) settings, canoeing and snorkeling

Cost: $1,300 (includes supplies, round-trip air travel between Raleigh and Belize, all ground transportation, instruction, lodging and meals)

Applications at: http://naturalsciences.org/learn/educators-of-excellence-institutes

NC Sustainable Forestry Workshops

These workshop are designed to educate teachers about forestry and the importance of forestry to the state of North Carolina. 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. This year, it is touring Biltmore Estates in Asheville at the Mountain Workshop, and a wine tour/tasting at the Piedmont workshop. Educators receive 30 CEU contact hours for attending and take back a wealth of knowledge to share with their students. Our application period closes on April 15th, 2017. If you have any questions please contact Eddie Reese at 919-834-3943 ext. 2. or at ereese@ncforestry.org.

Science in the News

Hydrogen Squeezed Into a Metal, Possibly Solid, Harvard Physicists Say

Scientists have been chasing solid metallic hydrogen for decades. The latest claim, published in the journal Science, draws debate.

New Prospects for Growing Human Replacement Organs in Animals

Human stem cells could be implanted in an early pig embryo, making a chimera with human organs suitable for transplant.

A Genetic Fix to Put the Taste Back in Tomatoes

University of Florida scientists say they have found a recipe that would return flavor that has been lost through breeding of modern hybrids.

Ice That Sparkles Like Diamonds Washes Onto Japanese Shores

Nicknamed ‘jewelry ice,’ a rare kind of winter river ice on the northern island of Hokkaido has captivated locals and attracted photographers.

This Prehistoric Human Ancestor Was All Mouth

A cache of tiny sea creatures found in central China, in rock strata said to be 540 million years old, is described in the journal Nature.

In Many Species, a Family Dinner Means Something Else

Once thought to be aberrant behavior, cannibalism is common in the natural world — and for many species, not necessarily a bad thing.