DPS Secondary Science News

October, 2017


As we get ready to welcome a new Superintendent, I find I am most appreciative of the leadership of the science teachers in our District. I am proud of all those of you who have stepped up to the plate and willingly shared your insight, lessons, and labor with other teachers. You have only to look at the variety of offerings in science for the upcoming Out of the Box to see the collaborative nature of our secondary science team.

Thank you for all you do for your students and for each other.

Upcoming Events- Details coming soon to your inbox

  • October 18 NCSLA Fall Summit
  • October 19-20 NCSTA Professional Development Institute (Greensboro)
  • October 19, Middle School Teacher Academy (8th grade science), 3-5 p.m. @ Carrington. Sign up
  • October 24-25 Bridging the Gap in STEM Conference (Raleigh)
  • October 25 Out of the Box PD Sessions (See details below)
  • October 26 Middle School Teacher Academy (8th grade science), 3-5 p.m. @ Carrington
  • October 31 Grow Network Learning Tours for Middle School Science
  • November 2 Middle School Teacher Academy (8th grade science), 3-5 p.m. @ Carrington.
  • November 9 Middle School Teacher Academy (8th grade science), 3-5 p.m. @ Carrington.
  • November 16 Middle School Teacher Academy (8th grade science), 3-5 p.m. @ Carrington.

Quick News

  • You will or have received an email from Safe Schools to complete the science lab safety training. Please make sure you complete this ASAP. I will work on getting credit for you. This training is REQUIRED this year for all science teachers.

  • In Biology Teacher Academy, we’ve been working on some new materials to support biology teachers. One of the things just completed is an overview of the Standard by Standard Resources for Biology. It is our hope that this will make the resources a little more accessible by providing links to all the various components of the resource.

Congratulations to our Science Teachers!

Signe Waldbauer, a 7th grade science teacher at Durham School of the Arts, has been awarded a $5000 Toshiba America Foundation Grant that will fund air quality investigations as part of her atmosphere unit.

Been recognized for something? Let me know, so we can celebrate your professional achievements!

Out of the Box for Secondary Science Teachers

Using Computer Simulations in STEM Classes

2:30-4:30 DSA, S208

Facilitated by Alice Griffeth, DSA

Small Group Instruction for High School Science

2:30-4:30, Hillside, 214

Facilitated by Amy Brock, Hillside High

Opportunities for Hands-on STEM Learning at Duke SMIF

2:30– 5:00, Duke University Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility (SMIF)

Facilitated by BeLedda Dixon, Duke University SMIF

Modeling Instruction in the Sciences

2:30-4:30 Early College High, Room 303

Facilitated by Charlotte Crone, Early College High

Promoting Effective Discourse in Middle School Science

2:30-4:30, Brogden Middle School, Room 203

Facilitated by Chris Campbell, District Science Coach

“What is in Food Color? DIY Gel Electrophoresis” with NIEHS &Triangle DIY Biology

2:30-4:30 Hillside, room 200

Study Island for HS Science

2:30-4:30, Webinar

Facilitated by Oscar Richard, Edmentum

Vocabulary Strategies for Biology

2:30-4:30 Jordan, room 148

Facilitated by Megan Frazier, District Biology Coach

Adding Backyard Rain Garden Design to your E-STEM program!

2:30-4:30, Lowe’s Grove, room 302

Facilitated by Mike Dupree, Durham Soil and Water Conservation District

Using and Evaluating Free, Researcher-Created K-12 Lesson Plans for Science

2:30-4:30, Hillside High, Room 116

Facilitated by Patrick, SCIREN

Teaching with Native Trees

2:30-4:30, DPS Hub Farm

Facilitated by Kim Smart, NC Museum of Natural Sciences

STEM in the Park Externships for Teachers. This session is full.

2:30-5, Onsite in RTP

Facilitated by Sarah Windsor, STEM in the Park

Out of the Box is BACK!

Registration is now open for our October 25th Professional Development conference!

What’s New?

  • Improved catalogue. Our sortable catalogue http://central.dpsnc.net/pd/oob?filterJ=Certified lists sessions according to their time, targeted subject areas audience and grade level to help you find just the right session to fit your needs.
  • Consistent start times. With very few exceptions, most sessions begin at 2:30 to give everyone across the district time to get where they are going.
  • Streamlined registration process. To register for a course, Certified staff only have to go to click on the selected session. It will take you the specific TNL session to sign up. Once your registration is complete, you will receive a confirmation email. That email serves as both the verification for your principal AND your ticket into your session. Please keep it handy!

Because space in each session is limited, you MUST register in advance through TNL to attend a session.

Registration Closes Friday, October 20.

Grants and Goodies

Did you know that even if you couldn't attend the recent SciREN Triangle event, you can still access the lesson plans scientists created for the event? The SciREN Portal has over 200 free, curriculum correlated STEM lesson plans available online! You can search by grade level, subject, and much more! These lessons are completely free and anyone can access them; all you have to do is make an account. You can do this by clicking "Register" in the top left corner of www.thesciren.org, and can learn more about using the portal here: http://www.thesciren.org/how-to-use-this-site/.

  • Here is a list of organizations who may be able to help you get in touch with scientists (and a few other resources).
  • Here is a communication guide to streamline your communication when scheduling a scientist visit. This guide was compiled by myself (a scientist) and Corie Hlavaty (a DPS educator) using our past experiences to help make sure everyone gets the necessary information to make these visits a success.


Celestron Optics is supporting classrooms who participate in citizen-science projects and could benefit by having high-quality optics. Whether you’re watching a bird feeder, going out on regular bird walks, or participating in a bio blitz… share with us how your students are practicing their science skills and what you could accomplish with a classroom set of these great Celestron binoculars. Binoculars will be given on a rolling basis through December 2017 until all 120 pairs have been distributed. Grant recipients will be selected at the end of each month, with 1-2 programs receiving the grant each month. As a grant recipient, you will be required to share your citizen-science experience using the binoculars through the BirdSleuth Action Map. Teachers at any school (both public and private) in the United States are welcome to apply.

Promoting Innovation in Science and Mathematics

Burroughs Wellcome Fund supports teaching professionals in their efforts to provide quality hands-on, inquiry-based activities for their students. PRISM promotes excitement for science and mathematics in the classroom by providing funds for materials, equipment, and supplies related to the implementation of high quality curriculum and activities in the classroom. This award provides up to $3,000 for one year to cover the cost of equipment, materials, and supplies. An additional $1,500 may be requested for professional development related to the implementation of new equipment or use of materials in the classroom. Awards are made to teaching professionals that hold a professional educator's license to teach in a North Carolina K-12 public school.

Big image

The NC Clean Energy Technology Center at North Carolina State University is sponsoring a student art contest on the topic of ways that we can take action to reduce air pollution from cars and trucks. Winners will have their artwork featured on billboards across the state to help spread the word about ways that we all can help keep the air clean. All billboards will direct people to learn more at www.fuelwhatmatters.org.

Artwork can be submitted through November 5. November 6 through 19 will be the voting period.

Student artwork should be focused on on the theme of actions that individuals and families can take to reduce the amount of air pollution from vehicles. Examples of actions that people can take to help reduce pollution from cars and trucks includes: walking, biking, using public transportation, car-pooling, using alternative fuels (such as electric vehicles, biofuels, and more), and not idling your car unnecessarily. Learn more about the alternatives at www.cleantransportation.org or www.fuelwhatmatters.org.

Submit Artwork

STEM Partnerships with NC Science Festival

Middle school classrooms can bring in a STEM expert to introduce students to new STEM careers and engage them through a hands-on activity as part of our Novozymes SciMatch program. Apply now so we can make a perfect match!

High school teachers of any subject are invited to bring our Science Spotlight into their classes anytime this fall or spring. Your students will engage in critical thinking and discussions of a key issue with science and policy implications. You’ll also have the opportunity to bring a STEM expert into your classroom (in person or virtually) to take the discussion to the next level with you students. Apply now to share this great program with your students!

NC’s Candid Critters in the Classroom: Kid Scientists Needed to Document NC’s Wildlife!

Do you ever wonder what animals lurk in the wildest parts of the state? Or in your own backyard? Now is your chance to discover the secrets of wildlife right here in North Carolina by participating in “North Carolina’s Candid Critters,” a new research project of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, NC Wildlife Resources Commission and NC State University. We are looking for K-12 teachers in all 100 counties of NC to help us collect mammal photographs by running camera traps with their students. Animal photos are an engaging way to get kids excited about science and the natural world. Plus, the photos generated turn into data, allowing students and scientists to map where animals live, and when and where they are most active across the state. We have lesson plans and automated data analysis tools freely available and aligned with NC standards in science, math, and ELA to make implementing Candid Critters in your classroom seamless. No matter what county you live in, you can borrow a camera trap from a nearby public library. While you are discovering what wildlife lives near you, you will be helping scientists learn more about the distribution of all mammal species across the state. To sign up and for more information, visit NCCandidCritters.org. If you have any questions please contact Dr. Stephanie Schuttler at Stephanie.schuttler@naturalsciences.org or 919-707-8088.

Big image

What is Stream Watch?

Stream Watch is a program designed for anyone interested in cleaning and/or monitoring a stream or river in their community. We have recently launched the capability of collecting crowd-sourced data into an interactive map.

Who Can Join?

Anyone is welcome to join! The minimum requirement we ask for is 2 litter pick-ups per year and submission of at least one photo per event. However, you can also turn your Stream Watch group into a data collection team and gather chemical data collection as well as macroinvertebrate data! Groups can be any size, any background, and from any corner of North Carolina. Ideally, we will have several groups in each river basin across North Carolina.

Click here for the application form and then email it to Lauren.Daniel@ncdenr.gov.

Student Opportunities in Science

Big image

Let Morehead's mobile programs bring the field trip experience to your school! Your choices include planetarium shows in our mobile planetarium (K-12), real-world science laboratory experiences in our mobile lab (6-12) or classroom enrichment visits (K-8) filled with hands-on activities and demonstrations with a Morehead educator.

Find out more in our Teacher's Guide or use our website to plan a personalized visit to your school!

Worried about funding this experience? Morehead's mission is to spread science education throughout the stat of North Carolina. Through the help of our generous donors we are able to offer scholarships for mobile outreach visits. Request scholarship funding when you complete your online reservation form or email our reservations team to find out more.

NC International Science Challenge (NCISC)

The NC International Science Challenge (NCISC) is a yearly North Carolina science competition for high school students. The selected students travel to Beijing, China to present their science research projects at the Beijing Youth Science Creation Competition the third week of March. The competition requires students to undertake a research project, write an abstract explaining their research problem and present their research to a panel of scientists and engineers. The students selected spend a week in Beijing presenting their research, meeting students from other countries, and experiencing various cultural and scientific events. The NCISC is offered jointly by the North Carolina Science, Mathematics and Technology Education Center (SMT Center) and the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.

More information is available at http://ncsmt.org/competitions/ncisc/. If you are interested in applying, be sure to review the components of a successful paper and the scoring rubric http://ncsmt.org/competitions/ncisc/components-of-successful-ncisc-research-projects/ and http://ncsmt.org/competitions/ncisc/components-of-successful-ncisc-research-projects/#prettyPhoto/0/

Questions? Contact Lisa Rhoades at the SMT Center, lrhoades@bwfund.org or 919-991-5111.

Big image

Bookings for class visits to the Biogen RTP Community Lab for the 2017-18 school year are now open!

The Biogen RTP Community Lab is a state-of-the-art, real-world facility where middle and high school students engage in hands-on biotechnology experiments and interact with Biogen employees. We hope to ignite the curiosity in students today to help shape the scientists of tomorrow. The Community Lab programs can be an extremely helpful addition to your curriculum. The labs were developed together with DPS and WCPSS teachers to reflect what is being taught in the classroom and cover several NC Essential Standards. 91% of students agreed that they learned something in the Community Lab program that they can use in their science class at school. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to show your students how their classroom learning connects to science in the real-world!

If you are interested in bringing your class this school year, click on the booking form link. Don’t wait! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CLabBooking17-18

PD Opportunities for Teachers

Big image

Project WET Teacher Workshop

Project WET is not just for science teachers! This multidisciplinary program places special focus on incorporating reading and writing strategies while teaching about water resources through hands-on, investigative and easy-to-use activities. The Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide 2.0 contains 90 water-related activities for K–12 students. All workshops are conducted by trained facilitators. Teachers and environmental educators are encouraged to join us for a day of classroom activities and water investigations.

What do workshop participants receive?

  • Project WET 2.0 Curriculum and Activity Guide with 90 hands-on classroom activities and lessons correlated to the NC Essential Standards
  • Hands-on demonstrations of select activities and strategies for use in the classroom
  • Six hours of training

Location: The Expedition School in Hillsborough, NC ~ on the beautiful banks of the Eno River

Date: November 10, 2017

Time: 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Cost: $21 for the Activity Guide

To register: Email lizstabenow@theexpeditionschool.com with your name, address, phone number, and preferred email address. The workshop may fill up quickly, so please be sure to read the confirmation email you receive.

Big image

New Rx for Science Literacy workshops announced for 2017-18

NCABR is excited to announce new workshops for the 2017-18 Rx for Science Literacy series. Because a limited number of seats are available, we encourage you to register as soon as possible. Registration is completely free.

Using Bioinformatics: Genetic Testing

Thursday, November 2, 2017
Duke University, Durham
8:00 am – 4:00 pm

Rx for Science Literacy is partnering with Duke University to present a one-day workshop featuring the curriculum Using Bioinformatics: Genetic Testing, which was developed by the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research. The curriculum explores how bioinformatics is applied to genetic testing. Specifically, the bioinformatics tools of BLAST and Cn3D are used to investigate the genetic and molecular consequences of a mutation to the Breast Cancer Susceptibility 1 (BRCA1) gene.

Participants will be introduced to principles-based bioethics in order to support their thoughtful consideration of the many social and ethical implications of genetic testing. Throughout the unit, participants are presented with a number of career options in which the tools of bioinformatics are used.
Big image

Join the Museum of Natural Sciences onsite or in the field for a professional development workshop this year! Our Educator Treks are online, and we’re excepting registrations now. The full listings are on our website at:http://naturalsciences.org/calendar/events/category/series/educator-treks/

Find Your Muse on the Millpond
Robertson Millpond Preserve, Wake County • Sat, Nov 11 • 12:30-5 pm • $55 • 4 contact hours
Join Museum Educators and Piedmont Poet Laureate Mimi Herman in an exploration of the connections between nature and writing. Discover an amazing swamp ecosystem as we paddle, and use the beauty of nature and the wonder of science as a means to express yourself through poetry.

Genes, Alleles, and Chromosomes, Oh My!
NCMNS • Sat, Dec 9 • 9-5 • $40 • 8 contact hours
Need a refresher on how DNA, chromosomes, genes and alleles are related? Want some tips on how to demonstrate the importance of meiosis to genetic variation? Spend the day in the Micro World Investigate Lab testing out a variety of hands-on genetics activities appropriate for upper elementary and middle school students and making instructional materials to take back to your classroom.

Where Swans Fly and Bears Walk
Pocosin Lakes Nat'l Wildlife Refuge • Fri, Jan 5 – Sat, Jan 6 • $90 • 12 contact hours
Experience one of the greatest wildlife spectacles in North Carolina and gain ideas for incorporating wild creatures into your teaching.

Mammal Collections
NCMNS • Sat, Feb 10 • 9-5 • $40 • 8 contact hours
Learn techniques used by museum curators to collect, prepare, and care for mammal specimens in a research collection.

Backbone of North Carolina
Sites along the Blue Ridge Parkway • Fri, Mar 2 – Sun, Mar 4 • $145 • 20 contact hours
Explore the geology of the North Carolina mountains as we travel along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway from Linville Gorge to Grandfather Mountain.

Secrets of the Swamp
Roanoke River near Jamesville, NC • Sat, Apr 7 – Sun, Apr 8 • $80 • 20 contact hours
Canoe and camp in a North Carolina swamp forest along the majestic Roanoke River and learn about the unique bottomland hardwood forest ecosystem.

Pitcher This: Plants that Eat Bugs
Green Swamp and Holly Shelter, near Wilmington, NC • Sat, Apr 21 – Sun, Apr 22 • $90 • 12 contact hours
North Carolina is home to an amazing diversity of plants, including some of the ‘most wonderful plants in the world,’ according to Charles Darwin. Join the Museum and the NC Botanical Garden to discover and learn about our wonderful insect-eating plants and the habitats in which they thrive.

Spring in the Mountains
Great Smoky Mountains National Park • Fri, Apr 27 – Sun, Apr 29 • $90 • 20 contact hours
Participate in ongoing research projects studying the impacts of air quality and climate change and bring home ideas to teach about our interdependence with the natural world.

Big image

Coffee Unites the World – How Your Morning Cup of Coffee Affects Birds, Economics, and the Land
with John Gerwin, NC Museum of Natural Sciences; Scott Conary, Green Coffee Buyer & President of Carrboro Coffee Roasters

Saturday, Oct 28; 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Join two local experts as they discuss coffee farming and how it impacts wildlife (especially birds), the land, and the people – plus enjoy a coffee tasting of brewed coffees from Carrboro Coffee Roasters! John will highlight the coffee growing/ harvesting process from Nicaragua and discuss birds and other wildlife found among various 'wildlife-friendly' coffee farms. Scott will talk about his involvement in coffee farming and processing, how the many factors involved can affect the final cup of coffee, and how it all intersects with the environment and the people who are so closely tied to the land. Fee: $10 ($9 Members)

Penny's Bend Hike

with Ed Harrison, Naturalist
Saturday, Oct 28; 1:00 – 4:00 PM

Enjoy a hike through the fall landscape of this 84-acre natural area managed by the NCBG surrounded on three sides by the Eno River in northeast Durham. Penny’s Bend Nature Preserve encompasses mature forests and remnant diabase glades and prairies with regionally rare plants. About 2 miles in length, much of this hike is on primitive trails over uneven terrain, with one short, steep climb up from the river. Fee: $22 ($20 Members)

The Wonder of Seeds – An Educator Workshop

Mike Dunn and Elisha Taylor, NCBG Natural Science Educators

Saturday, Nov 4; 1:00 – 4:30 PM

“Seeds are a marvel, worthy of our study, praise, and wonder…” ~Thor Hanson, author of The Triumph of Seeds

We are utterly dependent on seeds, so they are, indeed, worthy of study. Learn hands-on activities to help teach basic seed biology, plant-animal interrelationships, the marvels of seed dispersal, and much more. Take home a selection of native plant seeds to plant and gain ideas for discovery-based activities to enhance your teaching about seeds and plants. Fee: $25 ($22 Members)

Big image

We are excited to announce that Tremont's 2018 Program Catalog is online! Tremont has outstanding programs designed for next year and we hope you will join us for an adventure in the Smokies. Spend time learning and exploring Great Smoky Mountains National Park with our friendly Tremont staff. Registration for 2018 programs opens mid-October online at www.gsmit.org. You will simply register online at www.gsmit.org. The printed catalog will be mailed mid-October. If you would like to receive a copy of our catalog, email laurabeth@gsmit.org.

2018 Program Catalog

Science in the News

LIGO Detects Fierce Collision of Neutron Stars for the First Time

Seen and heard, the fireball is a stunning breakthrough into kilonovas, bursts of energy believed to produce metals like gold and uranium in the universe.


California Winds Are Fueling Fires. It May Be Getting Worse.

Some scientists think global warming may be making California’s autumn winds even drier, a “key parameter for fire risk.”


A Surprise From the Supervolcano Under Yellowstone

The conditions that lead to supereruptions can emerge within a single human lifetime, according to a study of the volcano’s remnants in the national park.


Genes for Skin Color Rebut Dated Notions of Race, Researchers Say

Humans have long shared a genetic palette for skin pigmentation, slightly tweaked by evolution, scientists report.