Science News

Updates and Resources for Elementary Science

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Orchard Park Elementary Science

Your Elementary Science Instructional Leaders:

Eggert- Amanda Wilcox
Ellicott- Mary Claire Vivian
South Davis- Emerson Smith
Windom- Judy Schaner

Orchard Park Science Website

NYS Grade 4 Science Performance Test

Wednesday, May 25th 2016 at 9am to Friday, June 3rd 2016 at 11am

Within your buildings

Please contact your building IL for specific dates, times, and locations.

NYS Grade 4 Science Written Test

Monday, June 6th 2016 at 9-11am

Within your buildings

The test is to be administered in the classroom.

Moving Forward in the Development of New K – 12 Science Education Standards for New York

by Consortium Co Facilitator Arnie Serotsky

On July 21 and 22, with seven members representing the Science Teachers Association of New York State, the New York State Science Education Consortium met to review progress so far on the development of K – 12 Science Education Standards and to provide guidance to Science Curriculum and Instruction and Assessment associates of the New York State Education Department.

Representing STANYS for the two days of intensive discussions were current Executives, including President Gene Gordon, President Elect Glen Cochrane, and Treasurer Sandi George; Director for Elementary Science Mary Thomas, former College DAL Patricia Price; Assistant Conference Chair and former Intermediate Director Steve Fielman; and past Presidents Fran Hess, Fred Pidgeon, and Arnie Serotsky. Representatives of the Long Island STEM Education Leadership Association, the Capital Area Science Supervisors Association, the Science Council of New York City, the Biology/Chemistry Professional Development Network, and the BOCES Science Coordinators were also participants.

NYSED Science Associate Will Jaacks gave an update on the changes at the Department, especially the appointment of a new Commissioner of Education, MaryEllen Elia, and the departure of Senior Deputy Commissioner Ken Wagner, now Commissioner for Rhode Island. These changes, along with the appointment of several new Board of Regents members, prompted the question: where does science stand? Given the unanimous vote of support for the Strategic Plan by the “former” Board of Regents, and the support and encouragement of Ken Wagner before he left the Department, the possibility of science “flying under the radar” was considered. While the current NYSED leadership and the Regents may be focused on NCLB (No Child Left Behind), graduation requirements, teacher evaluation (APPR), and Common Core implementation, no one has told us to stop our efforts in developing new science standards and we are proceeding with the goal of producing a draft to present to the Regents in the winter of 2016.

The general plan is to have a preliminary draft by mid August that would go through several review groups (including the Consortium) and then be posted for public review from late October through early November. There will be several opportunities, including scheduled presentations and workshops, to discuss and provide feedback on the standards at the STANYS Annual Conference to be held in Rochester on the weekend of November 6 – 9.

As of this writing, the development of a New York State version of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is well under way. K – 12 teams of standards writers have been at work adding, editing, and deleting material in the various components of the NGSS in all subject areas and levels. These teams are comprised of a number of experienced current and retired science teachers who are also assessment writers. Their efforts are financially supported by the Assessment Office of NYSED and under the supervision of Science Associates Will Jaacks and Ann Crotty.

At the Consortium Summit, in addition to reviewing ‘to date’ standards development, in depth discussions led to recommendations on issues and questions such as:

  • Should the NYS version follow the established format of the NGSS?
  • In which components of the NGSS should necessary content changes be made?
  • How should the NYS version of NGSS Standards be adapted to support Regents courses?
  • What should future NYSED science curriculum documents include?
  • What can NY science educator professional organizations do to build awareness of and support implementation of a NYS version of the NGSS?

As the founding organization, major participant, and major supporter of the New York State Science Education Consortium, STANYS will continue to serve in the Science Standards development process on behalf of its members as advisors, writers, reviewers, and down the road in the implementation process as New York State’s science education professional organization.

- See more at:

Possible Block Time Activities

Below are websites that give ideas on simple science experiments that students can do independently, possibly during block time as enrichment &/or reinforcement activities.

How can I Incorporate Science Into my ELA?

Make Science Part of your Morning Routine - Add a Science Prompt to your Morning Work! Here are some suggestions for writing or discussion - you decide!

  • How can you make a shadow on a sunny day, a cloudy day, or in the middle of the night?
  • Why does ice float?
  • How would you describe (item) using the properties of matter?
  • How are a cat and a fish similar? How are a cat and a tree similar? How are them different?
  • Using only three pieces of paper, how could you make the tallest structure? How would you know? Draw it, try it.
  • What would be the easiest way to move your desk? to move a boulder?
  • Why do you think some magnets are stronger than others?
  • How do owls use the items in the forest where they live?
  • How can you help reduce garbage/pollution?
  • Why do some animals have fur and others have feathers?
  • How can you estimate what time of day it is if you have no clocks?
  • Argue the point that the food of any animal can be traced back to plants?

Added Bonus - these are all aligned to NGSS!

Science Interactive Websites

Below are interactive websites that are aligned to the current units of study for each grade level.


Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

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