DPS Secondary Science News

January 25-Feb 5, 2016

This week...and next?

Wow. Every time I think I know everything that has to be rescheduled, I don't anymore. So, I'm just sending this as is. I'm sure I'll have to update you on something later... meanwhile, hope you've enjoyed the snow!

This week: I will be at Riverside, Lucas, Lowe's Grove, and Southern.

Week of Feb 1-5: I will be at Riverside, Northern, and Southern and with the 8th Grade teachers for Hydrology Kit Unpacking on Tuesday. I will be in Learning Focused Training on Thursday.

Upcoming Events

  • January 28, 3-5: High School Science Resources Open House, Riverside High School, room 124.
  • February 2, 8:30-4 8th Grade Hydrology Kit Unpacking @ The Frontier
  • February 2, 4-5: Secondary Science Resource Review Committee Meeting (to share feedback/reach consensus about top 2), Riverside High School, room 124.
  • February 4, 4-5: Mastering... Technology Resources for AP Sciences: Biology, Earth Environmental, and Chemistry, SDC. Sign up in True North Logic.
  • February 9, 4-5:30: Secondary Science Chair Meeting @ Riverside High School, room 124.
  • February 13, Region 3A Science and Engineering Fair, Hillside High School

Quick News

  • Want to help with Science Fair? The Region 3 Science and Engineering Fair is looking for a few good judges! We need YOUR help to judge elementary, junior and senior projects from Durham, Granville, Wake, Vance, Warren, Johnston, Wilson, Nash, Edgecombe, Halifax, Northampton, and Franklin counties. The Region 3A Science & Engineering Fair will be held Saturday, February 13, 2016 at Hillside High School in Durham and judges are needed from 8 am to 1 pm. If you are available to help out with this exciting event please visit sign up today!


  • GIZMOS Pilot Project begins with a workshop on the upcoming early release day (Feb. 24)! This information should be in your hands this week.

DPS Science Teachers Share

Amanda Briscoe at Riverside High School shares this opportunity:

Free Bioethics Conference in RTP on March 3, Sub reimbursement provided


Laura Webb Smith at the City of Durham (I know, not a DPS teacher...) shares:

This marine scientist would make a fabulous guest speaker for 6th graders. Read about her lesson plan and outreach efforts here: http://sites.duke.edu/heatherheenehan/for-teachers-and-students/. She’s based in Beaufort but I bet she’s in Durham several times a year!

Summer Science for Teachers

Interested in Modeling? NC State offers workshops for secondary science teachers that several DPS teachers have taken and thought were great. Check them out at: https://sciencehouse.ncsu.edu/programs/modeling/

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

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 (http://unc.peopleadmin.com/postings/90733) OR (http://sis.moreheadplanetarium.org/sis/employment). The deadline is February 29, 2016. 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. The link for this form can be found within the above links.

NCTA at the Program for Teaching East Asia, University of Colorado Invites Applications to 2016 Summer Institutes. Teachers selected for the programs will receive a travel stipend, room and board, and resource materials. Application deadline for both institutes is March 18, 2016.

  • Japan’s Olympic Challenges: 20th-Century Legacies, 21st-Century Aspirations. July 10-15, 2016. As it prepares to host the 2020 Olympics, Japan is focused on national renewal, even as it continues to negotiate postwar legacies that impact how Japanese people and the world see that nation. Open to secondary social studies teachers nationwide, this 5-day institute on the CU-Boulder campus will consider how the past and the future intersect as Japan prepares to showcase its accomplishments to the world. The institute will explore the impact of enduring issues on contemporary Japanese society, government, global and intra-Asian relations, and Olympic goals and aspirations. Go to for detailed flyer and application, available now at http://www.colorado.edu/cas/tea/ncta/downloads/Japan_SI2016_application.pdf. For questions, contact lynn.parisi@colorado.edu.
  • Korea's Journey into the 21st Century: Historical Contexts, Contemporary Issues. July 24-28, 2016. In this 4-day residential summer institute, secondary teachers will consider modern and contemporary South Korea's distinct history, geography, intra-peninsular and international relations, and transnational cultural transmissions (e.g., K-pop, film, and design). Participants will work with specialists to learn about the Korean peninsula beyond the media coverage, drawing on Korean narratives and texts to enrich their teaching about contemporary South Korea in the classroom. Click http://www.colorado.edu/cas/tea/ncta/downloads/KSI2016App.pdf for detailed flyer and application, available now. For questions, contact catherine.ishida@colorado.edu.

Educator Summer 2016 Opportunity to Explore Appalachia

The University of North Carolina at Asheville in partnership with East Tennessee based Agee Films have received a prestigious grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The NEH Teacher institute will be open to thirty K12 teachers and will explore the rich natural and human history of the Southern Appalachians. Our NEH Summer Institute will use insights from the study of environmental history to

examine the role of landscape in the shaping of culture and history, with the Southern

Appalachians as a powerful case study. Using the experience of Appalachia, we will see how environmental history presents new questions to interrogate past events, encourages an interdisciplinary approach to history, and presents an excellent opportunity for team teaching in the classroom. Additional information on the workshop can be found at the following website: http://appalachiafilm.org/neh

Looking for some great PD this summer? BioNetwork is offering several sessions (Biotechnology, Marine and Environmental Science, Forensics, Middle School Biotechnology) for teachers at low/no cost. You get materials to take back to school as well. Housing reimbursement is available for some sessions. Find the details at:http://www.ncbionetwork.org/educational-resources/professional-development. Register soon-- these classes fill quickly!

Summer Science for Students

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/

Science Resources

As part of our science resource review, we have a FREE Trial of Discovery Education Science Techbook! Check it out and let me know what you think!


User name: ncstbteacher

Password: discovery

Preview Weather Using the Enhanced Data Display

This map allows students to view a wide variety of weather data across the world. Different parameters can be selected individually or in combinations to analyze the behavior of the atmosphere. In addition, a specific parameter can be studied over a time period. Each parameter is shown as a layer. Layers can be viewed in a wide variety of combinations and some data sources can be animated over time.

To open the Enhanced Data Display, simply copy and paste the URL shown below into your browser.


The product is presently experimental and is being developed by the West Virginia Weather Ready Nation Pilot Project. The instructional possibilities for this application are endless.

The tool, called the Enhanced Data Display (or EDD), is still in its experimental stages, so the application will occasionally go offline while meteorologists and technicians tinker with it. When it's online and in good working order, though, the application is perhaps the most powerful tool available on the agency's website.

The EDD allows you to map out everything from radar and satellite imagery to forecasts, current weather observations, and even upper-air soundings taken from radiosondes attached to weather balloons. Of all of the EDD's excellent features is a nifty tool hidden behind a traffic sign up on the top-right portion of the application, called the travel hazard forecast.

Drivers, on your mark … The NC Gravity Games returns to downtown Lenoir on Saturday, April 23. Brought to you by Google and Appalachian State University, the NC Gravity Games features a gravity-powered race and science street fair designed to get young people revved up about STEM. In addition to traditional soap-box derby kit division, where students race pre-manufactured cars they’ve assembled and refined, the Gravity Games also features the scratch-made engineering division for teams to get creative with their designs. A great experience for your students, the Games promote teamwork, engineering problem solving and hands-on learning.

The NC Science Festival is now recruiting school, after school and club teams to represent the Triangle at the Games! If you would like more information, including details on our race sponsorship program, which includes a travel stipend and engineering professional mentorship, please contact Marissa Hartzler, Statewide Programs Coordinator at hartzler@unc.edu or 919-962-3274.

FREE classroom presentations! BioNetwork (from the NC Community Colleges) brings all supplies, equipment, and lessons to you! Did I mention free? And, they can stay all day, working with all your classes. Learn more and schedule at: http://www.ncbionetwork.org/educator-resources.

School Year PD for Science Teachers

Project Based Learning Fellowship The Museum of Natural Sciences and Exploris School are partnering on an exciting new program! Join a cohort of dynamic and innovative teachers of grades 4, 6, and 8 to implement Project Based Learning (PBL) in your classroom. Beginning with an immersive outdoor experience in a bottomland swamp, and followed by training and mentorship in PBL by experienced educators, PBL Fellows will develop an issues-based case study (integrated thematic unit) that applies best practices of PBL to the standards that you teach. Throughout the 2016-2017 school year, PBL Fellows will work closely with colleagues and mentors to bring a current North Carolina issue to life in their classrooms.

Friday-Saturday, May 6-7, 2016: Secrets of the Swamp overnight field experience
Tuesday, July 19, 2016, 9 am-3 pm: Dive into PBL workshop
Friday, September 9, 2016, 5:30-8:30 pm: Mentoring meeting
Thursday, November 3, 3016, 5:30-8:30 pm: Mentoring meeting
Thursday, January 5, 2017, 5:30-8:30 pm: Mentoring meeting
Friday, March 3, 2017, 5-9pm: Capstone presentations at the Museum

Fee: $300, due upon acceptance into the program
Qualifications: Applicants should plan to teach 4th, 6th, or 8th during the 2016-17 school year. In order to be considered for selection, applicants must commit to attend ALL meetings.

Applications and recommendations are due Friday, February 26, 2017. Email Melissa Dowland (melissa.dowland@naturalsciences.org) for an application.

More information at:


Science in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Below are all and winter educator workshops in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. All day-long workshops are free; multiple day workshops with lodging are at a greatly reduced rate through generous grant donations received by Friends of the Smokies. All workshops are eligible for CEU and EEC Criteria II and III credits.

Salamanders and Storms: Climate Change in the Smokies

February 19-21, 2016 at Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont

Every year we learn more about how climate change is impacting the Smokies and the Southern Appalachian Mountains. We bring in area experts to discuss this complex issue and will showcase several hands-on activities you can use in the classroom. Meals and lodging included. Register through Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont at http://www.gsmit.org/climatechange.html. Ten spaces are available at a reduced educator rate of $50.

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. To register, visithttp://www.naturalsciences.org/education/for-educators/educator-workshops/spring-treks. Cost: $75* (includes lodging at Lake Junaluska, some meals and transportation from Raleigh).


Renew your passion for teaching while gaining information, ideas, and insights to take back to your classroom by joining the Museum of Natural Sciences for an educator workshop! These professional development workshops provide opportunities for educators to increase their content knowledge, gain ideas to use in the classroom, and network with other educators. To register for Educator Treks, please fill out and mail a registration form and deposit. The registration form can be found on this website!


Offered as an outing for educators and the general public

Off the coast of Hatteras, NC

Friday, February 5 (depart Raleigh at 3:30 p.m.) - Saturday, February 6, 2016

Fee: $280 (includes transportation, lodging, and all day boat charter)

North Carolina has a huge variety of birds that visit the waters off our coast. Join Museum educators and ornithologists as we travel offshore toward the Gulf Stream and we learn about and observe some of our amazing pelagic birds. Winter is also a great time to spot migrating marine mammals, and we hope to encounter these as well!

Science in the News

Ninth Planet May Exist Beyond Pluto, Scientists Report


Two professors at the California Institute of Technology laid out an argument for the existence of a planet perhaps 4,500 times the mass of Pluto.

How to View Five Planets Aligning in a Celestial Spectacle


For the first time in more than a decade, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter will be simultaneously visible to the naked eye through Feb. 20.

Animals Die in Large Numbers, and Researchers Scratch Their Heads


Seabirds called murres are dying in Alaska, probably because of warming water. Some scientists fear that animal ‘die-offs’ are happening more often.

A Lake in Bolivia Evaporates, and With It a Way of Life


Lake Poopó was officially declared evaporated in December, forcing many people to leave the area.

2015 Was Hottest Year in Historical Record, Scientists Say


The bulk of the record-setting heat, NASA and NOAA say, is from long-term planetary warming caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases.

When the Water Turned Brown


As every major decision was made over more than a year, officials at all levels of government acted in ways that contributed to the public health emergency in Flint, Mich.

Who Ever Said No Two Snowflakes Were Alike?


A physicist in California has engineered a method to make “identical twin” snowflakes.