DPS Secondary Science News

September, 2016

Summer Science Spectacular

I hope you've had a wonderful holiday weekend! I spent most of mine outdoors, including a lovely afternoon kayaking and watching eagles at Jordan Lake. It's been a busy start to the school year and the break was much appreciated. Hope you enjoyed yours!

Please take a look (below) at the Optional Early Release Day Sessions for secondary science-- we will be re-opening our Gizmos Project (please join us!), learning about science fairs, exploring labs and lessons in physical science and learning to use the Mastering resources for AP Science-- lots of options to meet your early release day needs...

Currently scheduled visits:

Week of 9/6: Learning Leadership Network, Lakewood, Carrington, Riverside

Week of 9/12: Brogden, Hillside, Jordan, Shepard, IF Meeting

Week of 9/19: Carrington, Neal, Githens, High School Learning Leadership Network

Upcoming Events

  • September 6 3:00-5 @ Lakewood Montessori Middle School: Chemistry Kit Unpacking for all NEW 8th grade Science Teachers
  • Septeber 13, E-meeting, High School Science Chairs, 8:00 a.m. Details will be sent to chairs.
  • September 14, Early Release Day Optional Sessions
    • GIZMOS for the Science Classroom @ Hillside 2:30-5:30
    • A Science Fair Primer @Hillside 2:30-4:30
    • Mastering Resources for AP Science @ Hillside 2:30-4:30
    • Labs and Lessons for Physical Science @ Riverside 2:30-4:30
  • October 6 8:30-3:30 @The Frontier; NC Life Science Kit Unpacking for 8th grade Science Teachers
  • October 13 8:30-3:30 @SDC: Cells and Systems Kit Unpacking for 7th grade Science Teachers

Quick News

  • Good news, Middle School Science Teachers! We've heard you! Our electronic resources for the McGraw Hill Science are going to be available for each student and each teacher. Look for details coming soon! We are testing this out with some early adopters; as soon as we have the kinks worked out, I will let you know!

  • We've been working on new curriculum overviews and unit maps! Check yours out here: http://central.dpsnc.net/science-secondary

DPS Science Teachers and Partners Share

Young Women in Bio Free Event @ Biogen September 22 for 6th and 7th Grade Females

Have you ever wondered what goes on at one of North Carolina’s largest independent biotechnology companies? 6th and 7th grade girls are invited to see Biogen's work come to life as they experience the tools and techniques used to discover, develop, manufacture, and commercialize innovative therapies for people living with serious neurological, autoimmune, and rare diseases. Registration is now open for this incredible free event happening on Thursday, September 22nd. Oh, did we mention there will be pizza? http://womeninbio.org/eventdetails.aspx?EventId=29729

Durham Big Sweep
October 1, 2016

Want to know how you can participate in the famous Big Sweep? Step 1: Pick a section of a stream, creek, or river that needs to be cleaned. Step 2: Rally you friends, family, compadres, and co-workers. Step 3: Spend a fun Saturday morning cleaning up your desired work site. Step 4: Celebrate being awesome. Stay tuned for more details and how you can sign up.

Grants and Goodies

NCSTA Innovative Curriculum Support Grant

NCSTA members may apply for funds for supplies, materials, equipment, printing, travel and other expenses related to an innovative curriculum project involving students in a unique way. These funds are not intended for student travel such as field trips or for the personal gain of the Project Director. A committee will select recipients based on: innovativeness, establishment of need, realistic plan of action, ability to replicate, and the number of persons benefited. If awarded the grant, you must submit a two-page summary of the project and an article in The Reflector and a presentation at the conference. Grants up to $1,000 will be rewarded.

To apply, complete the online ICSG application form by the deadline, September 15th (Fall Deadline) or March 15th (Spring Deadline).


Enter for a chance to fly to an NSTA Fall Conference for Free! Details are here!

BWF is currently accepting applications for our Career Award for Science and Math Teachers for K-12 teachers with 5 or more years of experience teaching in a NC public school classroom. It provides a total of $175, 000 over five years, $10,000 per year for materials/supplies, $10,000 per year for PD, and $10,000 per year as a salary supplement (taxes, etc must be taken from that). If the teacher remains in the classroom for more than 5 years, then they will receive a $25,000 supplement. DPI typically supports a 12-month contract for the teacher. More info is available on our website. The application deadline is September 15, 2016.

The Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network (RTNN) is pleased to announce a new priority deadline for the Free-Use of Facilities Program: September 26, 2016. This program provides access to RTNN's nanotechnology fabrication and characterization facilities for educators, academics, students, and small-businesses, who would otherwise not have the financial resources to use.

More information about the program can be found on the RTNN website. Application instructions are available online. Contact rtnanonetwork@ncsu.edu with any questions or concerns.

Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program

Announcing the launch of the 2017-2018 Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching (DA) Program

You may be eligible to participate in a unique international professional development opportunity for 3-6 months through the Fulbright Program! By conducting educational research abroad, U.S. teachers gain new skills, learn new instructional methods and assessment methodologies and share best practices with international colleagues and students. Teachers also have the opportunity to expand their understanding of other cultures and international education systems that will enrich their U.S. schools and local communities with global perspectives.

Teachers may travel to: Botswana, Finland, India, Israel, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Palestinian Territories, Singapore, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam

*Countries are still pending and may change. Please visit the program website for updates.


Application deadline: December 1, 2016

This program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is administered by the Institute of International Education.

Student Opportunities

Engineering Opportunity for Middle School Students

Now recruiting for Fall, 2016! Student Engineers Network, Strengthening Opportunities in Research (SENSOR) Saturday Academy at Duke University

What? Hands-on education program to encourage careers in science and engineering by engaging 8th grade underrepresented minority students in materials science and water quality testing. Who? Students entering 8th grade Fall 2016. When? 12 Saturday sessions (Sep 2016- May 2017), plus field trip to Eno River State Park. Where? Duke University Campus. Interested? Visit – http://stiffrobertslab.pratt.duke.edu/sensor-saturday-academy Call – 919-660-5560 OR Email – adrienne.stiffroberts@duke.edu

High School STEM Teachers The NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) has exciting opportunities to perform innovative research alongside highly-acclaimed NASA scientists! We are currently recruiting motivated high school STEM educators and graduate students to participate in NASA’s Climate Change Research Initiative (CCRI), a year-long research opportunity in New York City dedicated to the scientific study of global climate change. Applications will be accepted between August 25, 2016 and September 19, 2016. Contact Megan Dansby Russell (megan.r.dansby@nasa.gov) or Matt Pearce (matthew.d.pearce@nasa.gov) with any questions.

Science Resources

The Society for Science & the Public is excited to offer, through the generous support of Regeneron, free annual subscriptions to Science News to public high schools and public charter schools who sign up now.

  • Do you need to cover current science topics in your classroom?
  • Are you interested in your own professional development and staying current on scientific advances?
  • Could you use an educator guide that provides questions and activities related to the current issue that are aligned with NGSS and CC standards?
  • Are you excited about sharing a science resource throughout your school?

Sign up now for Science News in High Schools and, at no cost to you or your school, receive 10 hard copies of the biweekly magazine, free digital access for the entire faculty and student population and a teacher guide that provides questions, activities and links to the standards to support your classroom learning.

Free Climate Science and Solutions Assembly for High Schools this Spring and Fall! There is still availability to schedule a free ACE Presentation at your HIGH SCHOOL this SPRING until the end of the school year! We have presented to over 2 million students at thousands of schools nationwide and over 80,000 students in NC. We would love to bring our program to your school! Check out our online trailer to learn more about our program. You can also request an ACE Assembly for your school at www.acespace.org/book. Interested in an assembly for the fall? We are scheduling fall presentations now.

NEW Fall 2016 Exhibit at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Our fall featured exhibition, The Secret World Inside You (October 22, 2016-March 12, 2017), explores the rapidly evolving science that is revealing the complexities of the human microbiome and reshaping our ideas about human health. For prices, curriculum correlations, more information or how to schedule a visit today, please click here or contact Debbie Huston at debbie.huston@naturalsciences.org or 919.707.9840.

School Year PD for Science Teachers


  • Friday, September 09, 2016
  • 5:30pm - 9:00pm

The SciREN Triangle Networking Event and Museum Open House is an information exchange night just for educators! The event showcases the wide array of Museum programs and opportunities for both teachers and students available both on- and offsite. Through a partnership with SciREN (Scientific Research and Education Network), educators can meet more than 60 local scientists ready to distribute curriculum-centered lessons based on their research! Online registration is available for this FREE event at http://www.thesciren.org/networking-events/sciren-triangle/


  • 3:30pm Friday, September 23, 2016 - 6:00pm Sunday, September 25, 2016
  • Explore the geology of the North Carolina mountains as we travel along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway from Linville Gorge to Grandfather Mountain. Practice rock and mineral identification with hand samples and at outcrops in the field. Learn about the processes that have shaped our mountains.


Nature Research Center, Natural World Investigate Lab, Raleigh, NC

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

6–8 p.m.

Fee: $35 (includes insect resource manual, pinning board, butterfly display box, numerous exotic butterfly specimens)

CEUs: 2 contact hours

Prepare, pin and mount a variety of spectacular tropical butterflies. Learn the various techniques used to catch, preserve and mount these and other fascinating arthropods. Explore the possibilities of insect collecting in your backyard.

To register for Butterfly Pinning and Backyard Bug Collecting: Educator Trek Registration Form (PDF) – Complete, print and mail this form to register for Educator Treks. Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email and/or mailed receipt. Workshop details will be sent via email one to two weeks prior to the workshop.


Prairie Ridge Ecostation

Saturday, October 8, 2016

9:30AM-4:30PM (6.5 contact hours)

Fee: $25

CEUs: 6.5 contact hours

Aquatic insects are fascinating creatures and useful as environmental indicators. In this workshop, you will learn how to sample/collect aquatic insects from both a stream and a pond, practice aquatic insect identification, and learn about aquatic insect behavior and adaptations. You will also gain hands-on experience doing a few lessons that can be adapted for use with your own students that focus on how aquatic insects can indicate human impacts on aquatic systems. Cost provides a basic sampling kit, including a hand-held net, kick net, and feather forceps.

To register for Aquatic Insects 101: Please email Chris Goforth at chris.goforth@naturalsciences.org.

Science in the News

These Invisible Organisms Hold the Key to Life on Earth
National Geographic

Microbes are the dominant force on the planet, says author Ed Yong. Read the full story

Deadly Fungal Infections Are Growing Antibiotic Resistance

Fungicides used in agriculture may be impacting the effectiveness of some medicines Read the full story

African Elephant Population Declines By 30 Percent

A census of African savanna elephants in 15 countries between 2007 and 2014 found the population decreased by 144,000 animals. Read the full story

World’s Oldest Fossils Discovered Due to Climate Change
National Geographic

Ancient microbes from 3.7 billion years ago were only found due to melting ice in Greenland. What else is out there? Read the full story

You've Never Seen Jupiter Like This

Even from afar, we always knew Jupiter was a bit of an oddball, and upon closer examination we were correct. On Aug. 27, NASA's Juno spacecraft, with all its instruments blazing, swooped within 2,500 miles of the Jovian surface and beamed back the first-ever images of its north pole. It was the first of 36 planned flybys planned for the mission, so there's plenty more where this came from. Still, even from the first 6-megabyte download, Jupiter's revealing why it's unlike any other planet Read the full story

See Distant Galaxies Gleam and a Weird Spot on Saturn
National Geographic

Also this week, a satellite sees hurricanes threatening Hawaii and a NASA probe peers at methane-covered slopes on Pluto. Read the full story