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.

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🇺​🇵​🇨​🇴​🇲​🇮​🇳​🇬​ 🇩​🇦​🇹​🇪​🇸​:

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)...Assessment & MORE!

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.

Open Educational Resources: Professional Development

We still have stipends available for the July OER work. Please pass this along to your networks of teachers.

Nebraska Science Open Educational Resources (OER) Hub Development

July 23, 24, 25 at Rowe Sanctuary 44450 Elm Island Rd, Gibbon, NE 68840

This workshop will provide both OER training and time to work within the Nebraska Hub curating science resources.

We will be selecting 45 participants for this work. A $750 stipend will be provided for attending all 3 days of the workshop. This is a flat rate stipend. Participants are responsible for paying their own transportation and lodging.

A block of 15 rooms has been held at the Holiday Inn Express in Kearney at a rate of $94 per night.

Dates of Block: 7/22/19-7/25/19. You are welcome to make other arrangements.

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OpenSciED - Middle School

Flyer is attached and available electronically at

Registration link is included in the flyer and also at


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Nebraska Project WILD & the Nebraska Natural Legacy Project - FREE

Join Nebraska Project WILD & the Nebraska Natural Legacy Project for a FREE two day in-depth educator workshop!

The LEED (Legacy in Environmental Education Discovery) Workshop is designed specifically for Nebraska’s formal 5-12 grade teachers to help them develop knowledge and passion about Nebraska’s unique landscapes and natural resources. Each summer, the workshop is located in a different Biologically Unique Landscape around the state where teachers and natural resource biologists join together to learn and work towards developing an group of teachers who are knowledgeable and passionate about out state! The 2019 workshop will highlight the Oglala Grasslands Biologically Unique Landscape.

June 24-25, 2019

(Must be able to attend BOTH days)

Oglala Grasslands Biologically Unique Landscape, Crawford, NE

What will participants gain:

You will learn about this area’s unique features including rocky outcrops and badlands which are dispersed among the region’s prairie to provide a unique and intricate landscape for many significant Nebraska species. Participants will engage with natural resource professionals who will share their knowledge and passion of the unique flora and fauna of this area in Nebraska. Learn about the area’s natural history, natural resources and ecology.

Who should attend:

This workshop is specifically designed for 5th -12th formal classroom educators in Nebraska. Teachers of all subjects will find this workshop useful and beneficial.

Each participant will receive:

· a wealth of knowledge to use when incorporating local ecology and natural resources into their curriculum

· numerous field guides and activities specific to this area.

Cost To Attend?

This two-day intensive workshop is FREE and includes all meals and lodging.

For more information, please contact:

Jamie Bachmann

Wildlife Education Assistant

Northern Prairies Land Trust

Office: 402-370-3374

Fax: 402-370-3256


This course, directed toward in-service teachers, comprises a 16-day inquiry-based field course and science-immersion discovery experience in Wyoming, Nebraska and South Dakota. The primary aims of this course are to improve educators' ability to teach inquiry, gain knowledge and understanding of geoscience, and to demonstrate effective teaching methods that teachers can integrate into K-12 science learning environments.

What recent participants said:

“I have never learned or done so much in 2 weeks ever in my life.” “I felt like I was on ‘Survivor’, and I was succeeding.”

“I’m inspired to continually bring up opportunities for wonder in my students.” “This is truly the best course I have ever taken.”

“I learned more about geology, myself, others, life, inquiry, etc. than I ever have or could have in one year.” “Awesome trip!”

We grew into a team that worked together & supported each other.” “The food was excellent! they should write a cookbook.”

Goals: To enhance the 'geoscience experience' for in-service science educators and their future students;

To demonstrate inquiry concepts and skills that K-12 educators are expected to understand and employ;

To inspire science educators to use inquiry and geoscience as unifying themes in their teaching activities;

To provide all participants with a 'tool-kit' of effective inquiry-based teaching practices in all science fields.

Details: All costs for food, accommodation & transport are provided at no cost. You get a fantastic trip, 3 graduate credits, and an amazing exposure to geoscience & inquiry. A 20% tuition reduction & $300 scholarship are available from NMSSI and the Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences to support your tuition. Your costs will be only ~$650, or $40/day for this wonderful experience and opportunity to network with other teachers & sharpen your skills in inquiry-based science.

Watch: Two short videos describe the course, and teachers describe how they benefitted from this engaging experience.

For more information and application materils, pleasae contact Dr. David Harwood

American Geosciences Institute (AGI)/ExxonMobil Exploration Teacher Leadership Academy: July 7-12. 2019.


Hello Science Education Leader:

It is my pleasure to invite you to assist us in recruiting teachers for the 11th American Geosciences Institute (AGI)/ExxonMobil Exploration Teacher Leadership Academies, which will be held July 7-12. 2019. Each year teachers meet in Houston for week-long academies at which they learn Earth science content, explore hands-on STEM activities, and gain real-world science experiences. This academy prepares teachers with geoscience teaching techniques, resources, and tools that they can share with their colleagues and students.

Funding from ExxonMobil and AGI covers academy-related costs for the teachers, including travel within the U.S. to Houston, meals, lodging, and educational materials. Participants have opportunities to interact with their peers from other locations, gain skills and knowledge for teaching Earth and space science, and develop plans for presenting effective teacher workshops.

We welcome applicants from all states and school systems serving U.S. students, including those that are part of the DoDEA network and U.S. territories. Teachers are encouraged to come as a team of two to four, from one grade level or several across the K-8 range, so that they can continue to support each other when they return to their local setting. Academy participants will be expected to lead one or more post-academy experience, which can be a workshop, conference presentation, or other professional learning events. We ask that all academy participants share what they learned, help spread geoscience awareness, and apply what they learned to their own students.

We encourage science supervisors, principals, science coaches, and other administrators to nominate teachers for the academy. We recommend that you nominate teachers before April because that is when the application review process starts. Nominated teachers will then receive more information about how to apply. The application process is competitive and we anticipate having space for up to 30 teachers, and we will continue to accept applications until the academy is full. Attached you will find a flyer that can be passed on to appropriate school contacts.

Thank you for supporting teacher professional development in geoscience and STEM.

Best wishes,

Ed Robeck, PhD
Director of Education and Outreach
American Geosciences Institute
4220 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22302
703-379-2480 x245

Sustainable Nebraska: Then and Now

The University of Nebraska Medical Center- Omaha has endorsed Central Community College’s Sustainable Nebraska: Then and Now school program as part of the statewide Nebraska Science Festival.

Central Community College in Hastings is offering a free school program for classes ranging from K-6 grades on Friday, April 5, 2019, 9-11am or 12-2pm. The program, Sustainable Nebraska: Then and Now, will compare sustainable living from Nebraska’s Native American and pioneer eras to practices we can all use today.

The program will feature: (see attached flyer for additional information)

  • Multiple tribal members from the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma.
  • Tours of CCC’s wind turbine (weather permitting) or wind turbine presentations from Bluestem Energy Solutions.
  • Pawnee “four sisters” gardening techniques and a service learning project of shelling Spotted-Like-a-Horse beans for the Pawnee Nation.
  • A modern “bubble house.”

CCC’s Environmental Sustainability Office, Ronnie O’Brien, “Little Corn Sister” to the Pawnee Nation and Hospitality Management instructor, and CCC’s Event Management students have developed this program to promote the sustainability 3C initiative of Central Community College.

For more information about the Nebraska Science Festival please visit

Also, for more information about the program please visit


INSTRUCTOR | +1 402 461 2572

TOLL FREE 1.877.222.0780

Central Community College maximizes student and community success.

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

Introduction to Soybean Science Institute

Click HERE to apply!

Application deadline is March 1, 2019
Who: Middle School Science Teachers
What: Soybean Science Institute: Obtain tools to help your students “think like a scientist” through inquiry and exploration! Enjoy a mix of expert scientist guests, and teacher leaders while learning and applying the shifts involved in the Nebraska College and Career Ready Science Standards.. Gain an understanding of the soybean as a whole system, develop a 3D lesson tied to soybeans, and test it out with participants as "students" to further refine your lesson idea.
When: May 28- May 31; June 4-7 from 8:30-4:30 each day.
Where: UNL East Campus, Lincoln, NE
Applications will be opened on February 15, 2019 through March 1, 2019.
Lincoln teachers will receive a stipend ($1200) and educational materials upon the completion of the institute.
Traveling teachers (those over 60 miles away) we are able to provide for up to seven teachers from outside of Lincoln to join us - supporting travel, lodging, and meals, in addition to the stipend.
If you have any questions, please contact Dr. James Blake (K-12 Science Curriculum Specialist, Lincoln Public Schools), or Teri Zimmerman, (Director of Education & Outreach, Nebraska Soybean Board)
Quotes from 2017 Participants:

“I had some understanding having lived on a farm on which soybeans were raised, but little scientific understanding—that has increased greatly”

“TONS of genetics opportunities, forces + motion unit (speed & strength of plant/root/leaf growth), farming practices in the modern era = engineering.”

“When learning about plants, soybeans would be a great vehicle for learning”

100% of participants agreed “The resources and supplies I received as part of the Soybean Science Institute will help my teaching.”

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!

Science Research Projects:

The Nebraska Junior Academy of Sciences is designed to promote science and technology across Nebraska by providing incentives for students to apply creativity and critical thought to solutions of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and engineering problems. It offers an opportunity for students to meet, exchange ideas, and discuss career possibilities with scientists and engineers from colleges and industries.

Students will develop a scientific research project, write an abstract of the project, and give an oral presentation the day of the competitions. Students will compete in two divisions: Grades 6-8 in the Junior Division and Grades 9-12 in the Senior Division. Each Regional Science Competition will select 6 junior and 6 senior high projects to advance to the State Science Fair. Judges at the State Science Fair will nominate ten Senior Division projects to attend the American Junior Academy of Sciences Conference. These students will present their research in a poster and round table session.

The State Science Competition will be April 11th 2019 at Nebraska Wesleyan University at the Weary Center. Students can win scholarships, medals, certificates and other special awards.

For rules and forms visit:

Randall Lienemann


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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"