What new standards mean for our young scientists


New shifts across the nation in science hope to unleash the research scientist in our students, preparing them better for a quickly growing STREAM job market. STREAM (Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) is the newest of acronyms which now has some school districts focusing on new investments in science, technology, math, engineering and now research. No one knows whether this newest of buzzwords will become as popular as "STEM" and "STEAM" have but what we do know is that schools are taking notice of the shift in focus to science. Districts are looking to prepare students for a growing market of STEM related careers that are predicted to grow at nearly twice the rate as non-STEM related careers according to the US Department of Commerce. (Langdon, 2014)

As you may well know technology is booming at Greenwich with the addition of Chromebook carts, remind 101, educational blogs and google classroom utilization by teachers. And while it may be all new to parents and students alike, access to education is more free and open than ever. Now students can submit homework, review teacher presentations, class notes and watch educationally supportive videos all on their cellphones. At an education conference in January CASDA BOCES will look into what technology means for school districts and how it can further enhance the education of students in the capital district. So what will this mean for your student in science?

Science is at the cutting edge of such changes. Research opportunities, inquiry-based labs, classroom flipping, competitions and symposia affiliated with INTEL, ISEF and universities have students learning science and skills in an entirely new way. Students are getting ahead in the game and learning ways to access curriculum and knowledge that they will utilize in both college and the workforce in such STEM related fields. Look for more changes to come to help enhance your students STEM education. Keep your eyes open for growing opportunities in both 2 and 4 year STEM-related college technical programs such as the local HVCC and ACC STEM programs. These are great programs with a great future for our graduates. See your guidance counselor for more information about these wonderful college STEM career paths.

The High School Forensics Course is BACK!

The science department is excited to once again offer Forensics at the high school level. This popular course which is taught by the Chemistry teacher, Karen Waters, explores many aspects of forensics science.

Before Thanksgiving in combination with the Business Law and Interns, Forensics took a trip to the New York State Police Academy where students learned about the history of the police academy, the requirements become a state trooper and different areas of the police department.

Currently Forensics is learning how to take fingerprints and techniques to lift prints and expose prints. Forensics is also learning about current fingerprint studies at local colleges such as UAlbany and identifying the fingerprint and gender of the person that left the print.

Draft 2 of NYS Next Generation Science Standards Released

NYS Education Department has released the second draft of their version of the NYS Next Generation Science Standards, a curriculum drafted in response to the public comment on the first draft of the standards. Public comment is open as of December 1st. Click on the link below to learn more.

Biozone: Biology for NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards)

The Living Environment classroom has made a shift in instruction to dive into a deeper understanding of science. The new workbook being utilized in the classroom, Biology for NGSS, is published out of New Zealand and focuses on the new national science standards. The book is a workbook, not a review book. It helps students develop a better understanding of research, data evaluation and inquiry-based science. It also looks to help students model to create solutions. Each page has pictures/diagrams/data and a short reading for students to synthesize answers and help illustrate biological concepts. The publisher writes...

"Biology for NGSS is an entirely new supplemental resource. It has been specifically written to support the high school life science requirements (HSLS) of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The three dimensions of the standards are integrated throughout the workbook:

The Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs) provide the structural framework for the workbook, dividing it into four sections. Each chapter provides activities to specifically address the performance expectations arising from the DCIs.

Science and Engineering Practices are supported throughout with activities to develop skills in analyzing and interpreting data, developing and using models, and constructing explanations from evidence. A supporting introductory chapter provides students with additional opportunities to practice the mathematical and inquiry- based skills required at this level.

Crosscutting concepts are identified throughout, allowing students to make connections between core ideas in different topics. "