April 1, 2017


The next member roundtable will be held on Friday, May 5th in Jackson. Our day will start at 9am in the Jackson School District at Liberty High School (125 North Hope Chapel Road, Jackson, NJ 08527) where we will have a morning PD meeting.

For the afternoon session, we have the opportunity to go to Six Flags for a private tour of the Safari. Representatives will also be available to discuss the other STEM initiatives the park is taking on. After that feel free to hang out in the park as long as you'd like.

To register your spot, please go to this link and sign up.


Kim Feltre announces life-term presidency as she graciously commits all her waking hours to making NJSELA great.

Kim has dismissed the other members of the executive committee and will stay on in perpetuity in this position, agreeing to do the work of all other officers. Thanks Kim!*


NJSELA will be offering our next set of professional learning workshops this summer, free to our membership and available to their teaching staff. The first date to put on your calendar is Tuesday, July 18th from 9-12. Location, details, and sign-up information will follow. The planned topic is Leadership and Instructional Strategies in the NGSS Era. We look forward to seeing you there!


NJSELA's Webmaster Kristen Crawford will be facilitating a Twitter chat on April 19th at 7:00pm. Log in and join members from NJSELA, NSELA, NJSTA, ASCD, NJPSA, and more to talk Education, Leadership, Science, and NGSS.

Follow us @NJSELA


A new document for gauging successful NGSS implementation is available at www.nextgenscience.org. This tool outlines 13 important indicators in three categories that can be used to measure NGSS implementation success at the district level.

A copy of this document can be found here.


NSTA has sent out an email to its membership warning about communications from the Heartland Institute. Several of my teachers were among the 25,000 teachers nationwide that received a free book "Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming" in their mailboxes. They looked through it, had a good laugh, and then lamented that warmer months were coming and they don't need kindling. That was my experience, yours may be different.

You can see NSTA's letter here.

My teachers and I looked on the bright side and talked about how this provided another excellent opportunity for us to educate our students on the importance of collecting data, evidence, and the process of scientific argumentation. Our job is to teach students to examine all the facts and think critically in order to construct the best explanation based on the evidence!



The Anton Banko Award for Excellence in Teaching Elementary Science recognizes outstanding teachers in Grades K through 5 who have demonstrated and ability to engage students in science using the NGSS. The recipient teacher will have their expenses (up to $1k) covered for the 2017 New Jersey Science Convention and also receive $2000 to purchase materials for their classroom.

For more information on this award, please follow this link.


On Wednesday, April 19th, 7:00 pm at the Liberty Science Center, Dr. Bonnie Bassler the Chair of the Molecular Biology Department at Princeton University will deliver a fascinating lecture entitled "Tiny Conspiracies: How Bacteria Talk to Each Other." She will also speak to high school students, particularly young women, about pursuing a career in the STEM field.

More information and registration details can be found here.


The Maitland Summer Institute is available to science teachers in grades 6-8. It is a five-day institute at the College of Saint Elizabeth (Morristown) where 24 teachers will gain a new understanding for science applications and classroom pedagogy.

Middle School teachers in grades 6-8 can apply - find the information flyer here.


(www.womeninbio.org) is the ONLY non-profit, volunteer organization for women that integrates all careers and levels in the life sciences. As part of the WIB organization, Young Women in Bio (YWIB) is a special initiative of WIB, designed to introduce middle and high school-age girls to careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

We are launching a New Jersey branch of this organization to complement the group that has already been operating in NY. Currently, we are looking for schools and districts that are interested in participating in New Jersey based activities. Our YWIB task force is reaching out to individuals who believe in the importance of STEM education for young women in the State of New Jersey.

Plans are set to launch a half day program this spring at St. Peter’s University and fall at Rutgers University in association with corporations focused on the biosciences and medical technology.

See the informational flyer here.

If you and/or your colleagues are interested in sending your students to one of these programs in New Jersey, please contact:

Janet Alder, PhD
Associate Professor, Dept of Neuroscience & Cell Biology
Assistant Dean for Graduate Academic and Student Affairs, GSBS
Rutgers University - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
683 Hoes Lane West, Research Building 357A
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Email: janet.alder@rutgers.edu
Office: 732-235-5392

*Darn, that was wishful thinking. Happy April Fools day. Yes, I know it's long past April 1, but it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. I was hoping to have someone measure Kim's blood pressure as she read it; it would have made for interesting data we could discuss at the next roundtable.