DPS Secondary Science News

May 31-June 10, 2016

Counting Down (but not yet out)

Hope you've had an incredibly restful holiday!

Quick reminder that 6th and 7th grade science teachers may join me at SDC today from 3-4 (I will stay beyond that time for those with late schedules) to discuss feedback on possible revisions to the unit maps.

Chairs, your chemical inventories and microscope repair requests are due TODAY!

PLEASE MARK your calendars for our return to school session on August 24 (see below).

Best wishes to all those taking (and administering) EOC, EOG, and NCFE exams (basically, everybody)!

And, as this is likely the last newsletter for the 2015-16 year, here's hoping you have a MARVELOUS summer. May it be filled with lots of outdoor activities and fun.

This week: I will be at Lakewood Montessori, Riverside, and Hillside. Middle school teachers interested in revising their unit overviews and units will meet today, May 31, from 3-4 at the SDC.

Upcoming Events

  • May 31: 6th and 7th Grade Science Teachers Discuss the new mapping of their science units, 3-4, SDC. If you cannot attend, you may submit suggestions here: 6th grade revision recommendations OR 7th grade revision recommendations
  • May 31: Chemical inventories due to Linda Tugurian by May 31
  • May 31: Microscope and balance repair requests due to Linda Tugurian by May 31
  • July 8, 8:30-12 Year Round Kit Unpacking 8th Grade chemistry
  • July 8, 1-4:30 Year Round Kit Unpacking 6th Grade solar system
  • August 18 9-3:30 Traditional Kit Unpacking 6th Grade solar system
  • August 19 8:30-12 Traditional Kit Unpacking 8th Grade chemistry (new teachers only)
  • August 24 1-3:30 Introduction of new informational texts ALL SCIENCE TEACHERS

Quick News

  • PLEASE MAKE SURE you send your chemical inventories and microscope repair requests to linda.tugurian@dpsnc.net by the due date, Tuesday, May 31!

  • The books have been ordered! Please check with your textbook coordinator for disposal of old books. There is NO NEED to keep more than a class set of old books (and probably no need for that). Let it go, let it go!

DPS Science Teachers and Partners Share

NEW! Scott Ragan at The Science House shares:

The Science House is partnering with the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and the Golden Leaf Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC) to bring you this unique summer program designed for high school teachers AND students. This three day program will feature hands-on activities and lessons focusing on synthetic biology, engineering concepts in biology, and career development for bioengineering. https://sciencehouse.ncsu.edu/programs/bioengineering-in-the-high-school-classroom/ Teachers and students are asked to apply in pairs, one teacher and one student from a school. The high school science teacher will learn new lessons and activities they can integrate into their biology, chemistry, or physics classroom or short engineering modules to supplement their instruction. The students will be exposed to cutting edge content and careers that will increase their interest in bioengineering studies.

Grade Level(s): High School

Date(s): July 27-29, 2016, 9 AM to 4 PM

Location: NC State University, Raleigh, NC
Cost: Free (stipends offered to participating teachers and students)

Stipend: Participating teachers will receive a stipend of $300 ($100/day) and students will receive a stipend of $150 ($50/day).

Application Deadline: June 3, 2016. As noted above high school teachers and one of their students are encouraged to apply together. Individual teachers or students who apply will be considered if the allotted number of teacher/student pairs is not filled.

Summer Science for Teachers


[if !supportLists]· [endif]NC Museum of Natural Sciences

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Wednesday, June 29 – Thursday, June 30

9:30 am – 5 pm

$99 (includes take-home items such as rearing cages, books, posters, DVDs and other essential materials)

Join the Monarch Teacher Network for a two-day workshop all about monarch butterflies! Through hands-on instruction by experienced teachers, gather ideas to teach essential skills in literacy, math, science, geography, technology, Spanish, the arts and social studies at all grade levels… through the captivating story of monarchs. Walk away with all the materials you need to bring this exciting and dynamic subject into your classroom, including the knowledge, skills, materials and confidence to raise monarchs in your classroom and create an outstanding learning experience for your students.

Each participant receives: hands-on instruction by experienced teachers; rearing cages, books, posters, DVDs and other essential materials; strategies for butterfly gardens and “Monarch Parades”; inquiry-based science activities for all abilities; activities for Mexican/pre-Hispanic culture, history and Spanish language; activities for language arts, math, social studies, drama, and fine arts; distance learning projects with schools in Canada/Mexico/California; proven models for engaging community support; post-workshop on-going support.

Registration information: This workshop is being offered through the Monarch Teacher Network. Please fill out, print and mail the PDF on the Monarch Teacher Network’s website to register. Additionally, please send an email to Melissa Dowland (melissa.dowland@naturalsciences.org) if you are planning to register!

Genetics and Our Food Supply

Thursday, July 21, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.

NCSU Central Crops Research Station, on Business 70 W in Clayton, NC

$25 deposit (will be returned upon completion of workshop)

This workshop is designed for teachers of upper elementary to middle school students.

In this workshop, participants will meet with researchers in the field to discuss the improvement of crop plants by means of conventional plant breeding and genetic engineering. During the classroom portion of the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to try out several plant genetics activities. In addition, suggestions for how to engage students in balanced discussions on the pros and cons of both conventional plant breeding and genetic engineering techniques will be offered. Participants will receive a voucher of up to $250 value to purchase supplies for teaching plant genetics topics in their classroom.

This workshop is supported by the U.S. NSF Plant Genome Program IOS-1127076 and IOS-0822495.

Questions about this workshop? Contact Christy Flint at christy.flint@naturalsciences.org.

Teacher Workshop

The Nature of Art and the Art of Nature:

Connecting Visual Arts and Natural Science

Two-day workshop on Wednesday, June 22 and Thursday, June 23, 2016. 9:00 – 4:00

Offered by The Sarah P. Duke Gardens and The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Open to all K-12 teachers.

At the workshops, teacher will:

-explore hands-on art and science activities

-practice cognitive skills in science and art

-receive lessons and activities to use in the classroom

-receive partial CEU credit (1.2 CEUs)

Materials fees are $35.00. Space is limited to 25 people. Participants will be selected from the pool of applicants and notified by June 10th.

Register now for the Summer Workshop by Friday, June 3rd.

Summer Immersive Workshop: Art and Environment

Join fellow educators for a two-day workshop on art and the environment, June 21 and 22 from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm each day. Using the galleries and the Museum Park, participants examine how artists use the outdoors as material, subject, and inspiration. Register now, as space is limited!

This course earns 1 CEU, and lunch is provided. Much of this program takes place outdoors; participants should expect exposure to the elements and walking. Scholarships and travel stipends are available. For more information contact Gena Stanley.

Monday, July 25, 2016

North Carolina Central University, Durham

8:30 am – 4:00 pm

Rx for Science Literacy has partnered with the Center for Translational Health Equality Research (CTHER) and the School of Education at North Carolina Central University to present Healthy Children-Healthy World, a one-day workshop featuring an NIH-funded curriculum that introduces school-age children to concepts and activities that promote healthy lifestyle choices.

The Healthy Children-Healthy World curriculum is designed to engage teachers and students in lessons that integrate Common Core Math and English Language Arts and the North Carolina Essential Standards in science and healthful living for grades K-5. This workshop will help educators improve their use of cooperative learning strategies as a method for teaching health and wellness concepts that are vital to children who live in urban and rural communities. The workshop also will reinforce literacy, math and hands-on science skills. Specific topics include smoking prevention and food and nutrition.

Held on the campus of North Carolina Central University, the workshop’s lessons and learning will be extended through a session with faculty scientists and a tour of the NCCU research facilities.

Workshop participants will receive free copies of printed and electronic curriculum resources.

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

NEW! Ground Level Ozone: Advanced Air Quality

Monday, August 1 and Tuesday August 2, 2016

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the NC Division of Air Quality are partnering on the 2016 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.

The workshop is free, lunch will be provided, and camping is available at the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center.

The workshop will include:

- 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 and air pollution on snails and salamanders, and,

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

Visit the workshop North Carolina Environmental Education web page for more information: http://web.eenorthcarolina.org/net/calendar/details.aspx?c=5971299&s=120189.0.0.37430 To register for the workshop, contact Keith Bamberger at NC Division of Air Quality, keith.bamberger@ncdenr.gov or (828) 296-4500.

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

Student Opportunities

Engineering Opportunity for Middle School Students

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

Science Resources

Free Climate Science and Solutions Assembly for High Schools this Spring and Fall! There is still availability to schedule a free ACE Presentation at your HIGH SCHOOL this SPRING until the end of the school year! We have presented to over 2 million students at thousands of schools nationwide and over 80,000 students in NC. We would love to bring our program to your school! Check out our online trailer to learn more about our program. You can also request an ACE Assembly for your school at www.acespace.org/book. Interested in an assembly for the fall? We are scheduling fall presentations now.


The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will be accepting registrations for the 2016-2017 school year for our curriculum correlated classes and groups at our downtown location for grades PreK-12 beginning Thursday, August 18th.

NEW Fall 2016 Exhibit - Group Rates

Our fall featured exhibition, The Secret World Inside You (October 22, 2016-March 12, 2017), explores the rapidly evolving science that is revealing the complexities of the human microbiome and reshaping our ideas about human health. For prices, curriculum correlations, more information or how to schedule a visit today, please click here.

Classes and Labs

Descriptions of all classes will be available here on our website in July.

  • To schedule programs in our Investigate Labs, Living Conservatory or Naturalist Center (grades 5-12), please contact Debbie Huston at debbie.huston@naturalsciences.org or 919.707.9840.

School Year PD for Science Teachers

Candid Critters in the Classroom

Saturday, October 1, 2016 or Saturday, October 22, 2016, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Applications due August 5, 2016!

To apply, please complete this Google Form

Fee: $20 (due upon acceptance into the program, includes lunch)

CEUs: 7 contact hours

Candid Critters in the Classroom is an all-day workshop offered by eMammal scientists for North Carolina teachers to learn how to conduct authentic scientific investigations in their classrooms. In eMammal’s Candid Critters in the Classroom, students use wildlife cameras to study local wildlife at their schools and neighborhoods to help scientists answer real research questions about mammal distribution, management, and conservation.

In this workshop, teachers will: 1) be given lesson plans aligned to state and national science, math, and English Language Arts standards; 2) learn camera trap science and methods from eMammal scientists; 3) practice setting cameras and analyzing data; 4) learn how to incorporate eMammal in the classroom with a focus on students developing scientific questions; and 5) inspire students to build a positive relationship with nature.

Upon completion of this workshop, teachers will be provided with camera traps and accessories to conduct research at their schools and neighborhoods during the study.

Apply now! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1f-KTSQSNuwfV-wwvcXwvQc4t4eTF_iZRUE2POtLWsE8/viewform?c=0&w=1

Science in the News

Why do some birds lay blue eggs?


While you might be most familiar with "robin's egg blue", many species of birds lay blue-colored eggs. Why might this have evolved? Although scientists can't go back in time to observe the emergence of blue eggs, they can think carefully about which properties might be most different between blue and non-blue eggs... which is what these researchers did. They found that blue eggs absorb just the right amount of light to warm the egg, but not allow it to get too hot. Egg-cellent! Shedding L Read the full story

Mapping the Creatures Living Beneath Our Feet

National Geographic

A new atlas catalogs the strange and spectacular species that live in the soil. Read the full story

The Summer One Third of the Great Barrier Reef Died


April marked the twelfth consecutive month of record-breaking temperatures. That's an entire year of our planet, on land and in the sea, being hotter-than-ever-recorded since record keeping began in 1880. Such extraordinary warmth is affecting ecosystems globally, but perhaps the hardest hit are coral reefs, whose fundamental organisms are incredibly sensitive to the heat. Earlier this year, authorities in Australia reported that the Great Barrier Reef was in the midst of its worst bleach Read the full story

Hyena Myths Busted: Are They Really Hermaphrodites?

National Geographic

If ever an animal needed rebranding, it’s the hyena—a strong, smart animal that's often misunderstood. Read the full story

Get Lost in the Dark Beauty of a Russian Salt Mine

National Geographic

Sylvinite is mined for its potassium-bearing salt, but it also has an aesthetic appeal. Read the full story

After Tens of Thousands of Pigeons Vanish, One Comes Back

National Geographic

For five years, no one new the cause of “The Great Pigeon Race Disaster” until its champion returned home. Read the full story

Mysterious Markings May Hold Clues to Origin of Writing

National Geographic

Geometric signs on cave walls and ancient artifacts may be some of humanity’s earliest graphic communications. Read the full story