High School Science Newsletter

April 2019

Welcome back from a much needed Spring Break. This is your April Science newsletter and I hope it finds you rested and energized to finish out the year strong. We all know full scale testing is right around the corner but before we go there, I wanted to share some updates and previews of what's to come in the world of science in Pasco.
Big picture

Curriculum Updates

Changes coming!

As many of you know, we have had teams of teachers working on suggested revisions to our maps. In addition, I have been working on updating the Secondary Science Learning Network so that all courses are equally represented and easily accessible. So, the major changes coming your way that will start to appear after May are...

  • New SLN Landing page layout, with all secondary courses represented.
  • A dedicated Tiered support section on each concept map
  • Forensic Science Scope & Sequence and curriculum maps
  • Revised Physical Science scope and sequence
  • Revised Environmental Science scope and sequence with updated concept maps and resources.
  • Updated and vetted Biology resources
  • Purposeful integration of the Nature of Science Standards into all courses

We know its a lot, but it's all work that has needed to happen for some time and has been done with ease of use and effectiveness in mind. Have no fear, we will be offering sessions at Together We Learn in July that will walk participants through the changes as well as set them up for success coming out of summer. Be watching for the TWL session info to sign up.

Clarification on Calculator Use for District Finals in Chemistry & Physics Courses

Chemistry & Physics Teachers,

It was brought to our attention that the Chemistry and Physics courses that are tested using the district finals (Chem, Chem Hon, Pre-AICE Chem IG, Physics, Physics Hon) indicated that a graphing calculator could be used. The computer platform used for testing has never allowed for a graphing calculator and only allows for a scientific calculator to be available through the system. After a thorough review of the items and discussion with teachers of those courses it was determined that a graphing calculator is not required for the district finals in those courses. All items would require no more than a scientific calculator. If schools plan to offer any of these district finals (Chem, Chem Hon, Pre-AICE Chem IG, Physics, Physics Hon) in paper format, students are not permitted to use a handheld graphing calculator, only a scientific calculator. This clarification is also more in alignment to state policy for courses requiring the use of calculators for state assessments.

Biology EOC Support

EOC Success for Me - This Pasco science resource was created a few years ago but still has some very valuable review materials, questions, etc.

Assessment Resources - Use the information provided by DOE about the bio EOC to help support your students and add to your instruction.

Professional Development Opportunities

Summer Science Symposium Offered by DOE

Last year the Florida Department of Education provided a Summer Science Symposium focusing on standards-based lessons and aligned activities. Teachers across the state were invited to participate in one of three regions. Last year’s attendees returned to their districts with a wealth of inspiring lessons focused on key standards for the courses and the subsequent annual assessment. Having participated last summer, I actually used parts of this training to help develop some fo the science academies offered this year.

Preparations are underway for another Summer Science experience for elementary, middle, and high science teachers in the form of a STEMposium. This year, in addition to engaging, standards-aligned lessons and activities, there will be breakout sessions focused on STEM education and careers.

This summer, the training will take place at Middleton High School

4801 N. 22nd Street, Tampa, FL From July 15th-19th.

Each district is allocated a set number of spots for participants. If you think you might be interested in participating in this awesome experience, please complete this application of interest by April 22nd.

Classroom Conservation Challenge!

April is Water Conservation Month in Florida and the perfect time to bring water conservation into your classroom.

April is traditionally one of the driest months of the year and the peak demand season for public water use. In an ongoing commitment to ensure the public’s water needs are met, local governments and water management districts have declared April as Water Conservation Month.

You and your students can take part by pledging to save at least 10 gallons of water per day. In recognition of your commitment to become a better water saver, we will send you a free conservation challenge kit!

Each kit includes a class set of:

  • Water Conservation pledge cards
  • "Save Water We Do!" stickers
  • "I Conserve" poster (one for classroom)
  • Daily Water Use at Home surveys
  • Pencils

For more information on how to take the pledge, free conservation education resources and other classroom project ideas, visit WaterMatters.org/Education.

Additional Information

Curriculum Map Feedback Form

The Science Curriculum Teams continue to meet to work on corrections and tweaks to the curriculum maps and resources. Please use this Curriculum Map Feedback Form to provide the Science Curriculum Team with input on our Science Curriculum maps to allow us to continue to refine them. Please be as specific as possible so that the team may constructively review the information and make an informed decision on how to proceed. Your input is critical to continuing to move Pasco Science forward!

Big picture

Science Fair - Science Fair - Science Fair

Pasco brought home some hardware!

We took 22 secondary students to the State Science & Engineering Fair this year in Lakeland. 10 came home with awards (some with multiple) and one with an $84,000 scholarship! We are so proud of these young scientists and know that their passion for science grows each time they learn from our science teachers.

For a list of all the participants and winners, click here!


Please continue to send us pictures of Pasco students who are engaged in the practice of science through exploration, discovery, research, discussion, analysis, argumentation or investigation. Feel free to use this hashtag to shout out the excellent things your students are doing and tag us @SciencePasco

Want to contact me?

Mark Butler

Senior Instructional Specialist

Science 6-12 & Environmental Programs