Science Opportunities

ESU#9 Area Schools: Professional Development

Science Teachers,

The goal of this flyer is to keep you up-to-date on the current workshops and/or opportunities for professional growth in our area. Please feel free to contact me with updates, concerns, questions, or suggestions @

Bookmark this flyer address as it will automatically update as well as include past, present, and future opportunities for professional growth.

ESU 9 SciShare (Science Cadre) - November 5th

Limit of 10 registrants for the tour! There will be a waitlist for those who would like to join the morning group and then have curricular work time in the afternoon at ESU 9.

Questions? Contact

November 5th AGENDA:

8:30 - 9:00 a.m. Breakfast and Introductions

9:00 - 11:30 a.m. Gather, Analyze, and Communicate (See objectives below)

11:30 - 12:00 p.m. LUNCH at ESU 9 is provided

12:00 - 12:45 p.m. Travel time

12:45 - 2:35 p.m. As a collective group, observe science teachers in action at Grand Island Public Schools (Think of this observation as a "Learning Walk")

12:45 - 1:35 Grade 8, Westridge Middle School

1:45 - 2:05 Grade 5, Engleman

2:10 - 2:35 Grade 3, Engleman

2:35 p.m. Debriefing & Travel time

Reach for the Stars

Middle School Science Teacher - FREE OpenSciEd Webinars

6 - 7 p.m. Central Time

MS & HS Science Teachers:

Occasionally I have had teachers ask me about NOAA workshops or summer projects for teachers. Below is a bit of information about some. One in particular is a request from UNL. Please pass along the information in this email to your teachers as appropriate. Thank you.

Mike Moritz

1. Attached is information about a collaborative research project with UNL for which they are recruiting middle and high school science teachers (maybe FAA teachers too) to participate.

  • The basic tenet is range land/prairie management through fire and grazing practices. Teachers will be able to tie it back to their science/research curriculum.
  • A stipend, a trip to Texas A&M for a week in June 2020 and other support is included. Sounds like a good deal!
  • Contact information is in the flyer if anyone desires more information.

2. NOAA Teachers at Sea (and other stuff) for any teacher

3. NOAA Educator Opportunities (generic) for any teacher

Physics Teachers:

Science Coordinators,

We are moving in to high gear on the final push for registration for the upcoming Workshop at UNL on Saturday, October 12. It is a joint “Astronomy Education Workshop” and “Fall Meeting of the Nebraska Chapter of the American Association of Physics Teachers”. All high school and college teachers of either physics or astronomy are encouraged to attend. This is the 19th such event that has been hosted at UNL.

It is a daylong event with:

-- two plenary presentations from acclaimed visitors

-- attendees choose from among three simultaneous longer (90 minute) sessions

-- attendees choose 4 from among 16 breakout (30 minute) sessions

I have attached a shorter flyer for the event and a detailed schedule listing all sessions. Continental Breakfast, Lunch, Parking, and a ticket in the door prize raffle are provided. Please share this information with anyone who you think might be interested in attending. Interested teachers should register at

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions.



Dr. Kevin M. Lee
244D Jorgensen Hall
Research Associate Professor
Department of Physics & Astronomy
Center for Science, Mathematics, & Computer Education
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0299
Phone: (402) 472-3686
FAX: (402) 472-6148

NATS Pop-up Workshop Registration January 24-25, 2020

Science Classroom Assessment

Register below for the NATS pop-up workshop with science teachers and science professional development people in your district:

NATS Pop-up Workshop Registration January 24-25, 2020 at ESU10 in Kearney

Session Title:

Tools & Processes to Support Development of Quality Science Classroom Assessments developed by the SCILLSS project
Date: Friday, January 24 - for Science coaches and professional developers from ESUs and districts
Date: Saturday, January 25 - for classroom teachers and professional developers from Friday
Come to learn about the principled-design approach to creating quality classroom assessments and use the tools/templates developed by the project to support this development. Friday, professional developers will learn about and get access to the suite of materials available to lead the training in their districts or regions. Saturday, grade level groups and professional developers will work together using the process and tools to create a science classroom task.

Strengthening Claims-based Interpretations and Uses of Local and Large-scale Science Assessment Scores (SCILLSS) is one of two projects funded by the US Dept. of Education.

****There will be a limited number of participants that can attend, so sign up early! You will receive an email confirmation from Rhonda True, SCILLSS Project Coordinator, Nebraska Department of Education, securing your spot.

2019 Nebraska Severe Weather/Preparedness PSA Contest details are available!

This contest is open to seventh and eighth grade students!!

We have some very creative kids in our state!!

They can do an Infogram, a PSA or a Short video with a theme of severe weather safety/preparedness. All entries must be submitted electronically by November 25, 2019.

Please see attached flyer for details and be sure to share this with all of your middle schools!!

2019 NAEM PSA Contest (002).pdf

NCCR Science Survey:

This is a needs assessment. All survey questions are OPTIONAL. Please provide honest feedback regarding our Nebraska College and Career Ready (NCCR) Science standards implementation. The data collected will drive what assistance and support ESU 9 will offer this school year. Your feedback truly matters!

Would a dichotomous key help you through your reflection?

🇺​🇵​🇨​🇴​🇲​🇮​🇳​🇬​ 🇩​🇦​🇹​🇪​🇸​:

Sept 19-21: NE Science Conference @Younes in Kearney (NATS) Registration Coming Soon

Oct 22: K-6 NCCRS-Science (ESU 10)

Oct 21: Teaching and Learning Conference (ESU 9)

Oct 23: 6-12 NCCRS-Science ...focus on formative and classroom summative assessment (ESU 10)

Nov 5: SciShare Cadre (ESU 9)...Stroylines, Navigation, and Assessment

NDE Shares Professional Learning Opportunities:

Introduction to NCCRS-S Online Learning Modules: The Introduction to NCCRS-S modules are designed to present a foundation for future learning in additional courses. In this course, participants are introduced to; the key features of NCCRS-S and phenomena. Open this LINK to view instructions.

Eliciting Student Evidence–MINK Webinar Series: Begins October 24–Register NOW Join educators from Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas for our second series of webinars as we learn together. Details are available at the MINK website.

OER Microsites and Other OER repositories for PK - 12

State Microsites

Michigan - Social Studies textbooks by grade level, Science materials and CK-12 flexbooks for 4 - 8th grade, check out the Phenomenal Science Collection - Units of Study for lower grades are here

Connecticut - Storylines, units, tasks, and assessments are linked to the multiple DCI’s covered within. For multiple grades.

Iowa - Elementary Science Units K - 5

Utah - Flexbooks for Science for 3 - 8th grade a well as Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Earth Science with web pages with supporting materials for each book, lots of CTE content and materials

Wisconsin - Physical Science Textbooks and Materials, Life Science Textbooks and materials, Professional Development Materials

Illinois - All subject areas at all levels

Georgia - textbooks

Unwrapped Indicators by Nebraska Educators! Looking for vocabulary? Concepts? Skills? Level of Rigor?

Go to the Nebraska Open Educational Resources (OER) Commons:
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3 Ways to Know if You’re Using Quality Science Materials

3 Features of High-Quality Science Materials

1. “Phenomena don’t have to be phenomenal” but they should be intentional.

Phenomena are observable events that occur in the universe that students can explain or predict with their knowledge of science. Tides, sunrise, leaves changing color, and the way dew collects on grass are just a few of the many examples of phenomena.

Phenomena-driven instruction can transform classrooms into places where students’ curiosity and wonder are the foundation for learning, where building knowledge is centered around understanding the natural and man-made world around them, and where kids are honing the investigative skills of scientists that can benefit them no matter what path they ultimately choose.

But what separates average instructional materials from great ones is that the best materials are purposeful when presenting phenomena. They connect the phenomena students are exploring to the core science ideas and concepts students need to learn.

Chemical reactions often make impressive phenomena, but students need to be able to explain what caused the color to change, or what caused a gas to be released, or how the number and types of atoms were conserved during the reaction. Without opportunities to collect data or analyze information about the reaction to build these explanations, the reaction serves as nothing more than something interesting to see.

It’s easy to pick out all sorts of engaging phenomena to wow students, but if phenomena are only used to capture student attention, taught in isolation, or are irrelevant to students’ experience, we’re missing a huge opportunity.

Instead, these questions are at their best when students investigate them as a way to engage in science and engineering practices or to identify larger patterns and connections on their way to a deeper understanding of science content. In short, the content students must master should always guide the choice of phenomena, not the other way around.

2. Students have opportunities to do the thinking, questioning, designing, and discovering for themselves

The phenomena we choose matters, but so does the way students engage with those phenomena. We must be wary of materials that do the work of students for them, explaining phenomena too readily or presenting content as a series of facts and terms for students to memorize.

For example, we should shy away from content that simply shows students a video of an eclipse to generate interest and immediately follows this video with text that describes how an eclipse occurs. Instead, students should have opportunities to generate their own questions and ideas about the cause of an eclipse, and then engage in opportunities to model or test their own ideas as they make sense of this phenomenon.

Quality materials provide common entry points and opportunities for students to ask their own questions, collect their own evidence, and construct their own explanations connected to science content.

What’s more, well-designed materials offer structures that support kids in thinking like scientists: in identifying patterns so that they can understand cause and effect relationships, in digging deeper into systems and models to test ideas or develop explanations based on the data they’ve collected and the knowledge they’ve been building.

The research shows that students are most likely to excel when they are engaging in science rather than just learning about it. The best materials support teachers in creating classrooms where students are not simply passive recipients of facts, but active participants in constructing their own knowledge.

3. Learning objectives are meaningful and connected to the standards

As educators, we all understand that the lessons and units we’re teaching students have bigger learning goals attached to them: goals for the day, goals for the week, goals for year. The materials you’re using should display that same level of understanding and connection to those larger learning goals, and the standards students and teachers will ultimately be held accountable to.

In examining science materials, it’s a good idea to take a look at how the learning objectives are presented to both the teacher and the student. It should be clear how each objective relates not only to the performance expectations but to the larger standards for a particular grade-level or grade band. Assessments play a role here as well: how students are evaluated must be directly connected to what the materials present and the knowledge kids are spending their time building.

Teachers and students will be in a much better position if materials are clear about how each learning objective is connected to the bigger picture. Programs can offer many different pathways for meeting the standards, but those paths should be evident to the ones guiding and participating in the learning.

The Support Teachers and Students Deserve

We know that instructional materials are not the silver bullet. But we also know that materials can make a difference in what and how students learn. Teachers who will be inspiring the next generation of science leaders deserve the support of great content that provides exciting, intentional opportunities for kids to explore the natural and man-made world and develop a deep understanding of how it works.

I believe that only through working together can we ensure all students have access to science education that will prepare them to be citizens who can make informed decisions and leaders who can work together to discover and develop solutions to our most urgent challenges.

National Geographic! Geo-Inquiry Experience! Paid! Check it out...

In 2019, the National Geographic Society will be hosting a Summer Institute for middle school teachers from across North America. The National Geographic 2019 Summer Institute will be held Monday, July 15 - Saturday, July 20, 2019 at the Jackson Campus of the Teton Science Schools in Jackson, Wyoming. During the institute, National Geographic will train selected educators to be facilitators of in-person outreach and professional development for National Geographic Educator Certification and the Geo-Inquiry Process. Throughout the week educators will spend time reviewing adult learning principles, learning more about National Geographic Society’s educational values, and becoming expert facilitators.

National Geographic will cover the cost of all food, accommodations, and transportation for educators teachers during the institute. Participation in the summer institute is the first step in a partnership with the National Geographic Society. For the commitment to National Geographic and this initiative, each educator will receive a $600.00 stipend paid in installments over the course of the 2019-2020 academic year. Prior to applying for this opportunity, please review this document to understand the expectations associated with participation. To be considered for final selection, please complete this application form by January 28, 2019. If you have any questions regarding the National Geographic 2019 Summer Institute please reach out to the Educator Network at

Science Teacher shares her expertise in DESIGN CHALLENGES:

Kristen Benton of Kenesaw: Check it out!

Scout Mindset

Interested in training your students to think on their own, be more observant, and argue with evidence? Checkout the "SCOUT MINDSET" @

Constructing MODELS:

#3. How to best support the construction of a MODEL: Try this TED Talk: "Got a wicked problem? First tell me how to make toast!"
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How is your NE College & Career Ready Science Standards implementation going?

Here's an interactive booklet to help you along your journey!

University of Nebraska State Museum & V I R T U A L Field Trips


Visit "Archie" and company from your classroom! No need to schedule transportation, pack a lunch or even leave your school when you visit us on a Virtual Field Trip. Our educators and scientists interact with your students on a variety of science and natural history topics through our live, interactive videoconferencing programs. Classes are designed to fit within your schedule, curriculum needs and are aligned with science standards. Many of our programs include a physical kit with hands-on materials to enhance your visit.

Thanks to Brandon Timm at Aurora Public Schools for sharing this information. If you have questions, he has experienced such a field trip and utilized a kit. Contact

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G O O G L E - Science Fair

Google Science Fair is an online global competition in partnership with LEGO® Education, National Geographic, Scientific American and Virgin Galactic. The competition inspires teens to solve real-world problems through the application of science, technology, engineering and math.

We have a full library of teaching materials and exercises to take into the classroom to help get the ideas flowing. Focused on the problem-solving process, these materials are flexible enough to adapt to virtually any teaching style, subject or grade. These resources have also been accredited with a Seal of Readiness from the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE), meaning they meet high standards focused on helping build foundational technology skills.

In addition to the resources, we also have a teacher kit containing a set of exciting challenges for you to choose from. There are five missions for students to work on in small groups, these are timed challenges designed to be accomplished in 45 minutes or less.

If your students are looking for help on how to get started, on the website there are resources to provide inspiration and support for every step of their project - from start to submission.

Dive into classroom materials

Cultivate Access: Accepting Applications!

Do you know a high school sophomore or junior who wants to positively impact the world?

Do you know a student that has an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)?

If so, encourage them to join the Cultivate ACCESS community.

Cultivate ACCESS (Agriculture Career Communities to Empower Students in STEM) aims to increase participation of under-represented groups from rural Nebraska in agricultural careers through a holistic mentoring and development program.

We are currently accepting applications for the inaugural class of Cultivate ACCESS scholars to participate in the program during the 2018-2019 school year. Scholars will be mentored by a career professional closely aligned with their demographics and career interests. College student ambassadors will provide additional mentoring through regularly meetings with the scholars. Cultivate ACCESS Scholars will gain valuable employability skills including leadership, teamwork and communication. Scholars will be invited to celebrate their achievements and future goals at an end-of-the-year celebration.

Visit for application instructions or contact us at for more information.

This project was supported by the Women and Minorities in STEM Fields Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant #2017-38503-27167.

SCIENCE FAIR [Will be updated SOON!]

REGIONAL FAIR @ Hastings College: ____________________

(RP) = Regional Participant

Adams Central Jr./Sr. High School (RP):____________________

Harvard (RP)

Hastings Middle School (RP): _______________________

Lawerence/Nelson: _____________________________

Sandy Creek Middle School (RP): _______________________

Silver Lake (RP): __________________________

Red Cloud: ________________________

Central Nebraska Regional Science and Engineering Fair in Curtis, Nebraska on ____________, 2018. Interested and have questions, please contact

Handbook Link:

If your school participates and/or hosts a Science Fair, please contact Thanks!

Raising Nebraska

Squeeze the Most Out of your
Field Trip Experience at Raising Nebraska

Pick your Day
Pick Your Time
Pick Your Program
Spring Registration Available Now!
Phone: 1-308-385-3967

Click Here:

STEM in the Elementary Classroom!

Want to join ESU9 for Science Olympiad?

Click here:

What is Science Olympiad?

"Science Olympiad is an American elementary school, middle school and high school team competition in which students compete in 'events' pertaining to various scientific disciplines, including earth science, biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering. Over 7,300 teams from 50 U.S. states compete each year." (

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Professional Development Specialist

"Educating, Empowering & Inspiring Lifelong Learners"