Secondary Science Newsletter

January 8, 2015

Important Dates

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Shout Outs

Many thanks to Adam Delph, Jina Sloan, Carrie Clark, Shannon Toney, Ladine Kunnanz, Ellen Jezercak, Andrea Freeman, Jeannine Macrory, Debi Collett, Vanessa Berry, Ted Knatvold, and Penny Antkowiak for taking today off from their classes to work on the district Power Standards and SOAR guide!
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Fermilab Teacher Research Associates Program (TRAC)

Program Description:

Teacher Research Associates (TRAC) program appointments are expected to be available this summer at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois. Appointments are for a period of 8 weeks with a stipend of $700 per week. The goals of the TRAC program are to provide outstanding science, mathematics, computer science, and technology teachers with professional scientific, engineering, or technical experiences through summer research opportunities. The increased awareness and understanding of cutting-edge science and technology obtained by the teacher can be transferred back to the classroom.


The program is open to 7th through 12th grade teachers employed full time in public, private, or parochial schools with primary teaching assignments in science, math, computer science, or technology education. Teachers must be assigned a full time teaching load during the academic year prior to the appointment and expect to do the same during the following year. See for more information.


Selection is based on the applicant's educational and professional qualifications, commitment to teaching, references, compatibility of scientific interests with resources available at Fermilab, and the expected benefits of the research opportunity to the applicant, the applicant's home institution and Fermilab. Additionally, preference shall be given to applicants from schools and districts that emphasize and support the development of this research experience into programs that may be transferred back into the classroom.

Duration and Salary:

The appointment is for 8 weeks during the summer with a flexible beginning date. The salary is based on hours worked and is about $700 per week. There is no support for travel or housing.

Research Opportunities:

Research at Fermilab makes use of data collected at the Fermilab accelerators and at the LHC at CERN to probe questions in “high-energy” physics that seeks to understand the basic structure of matter and search for deviations from the Standard Model of particle interactions. Other research at the lab seeks to understand the origin of mass, measure the parameters associated with neutrino physics, detect dark matter, Dark Energy and make measurements of fundamental variables in Astrophysics. Fermilab is also intimately involved in the development of the leading-edge technology that makes it possible to do this science. See descriptions of previous interns and their projects at the following URL


Applications opened on December 5, 2014, and is expected to close February 20, 2015. Applications may be submitted online at More information can be obtained from the contact below.

OMRF Fleming Research Scholars (HS Seniors)- Applications due Feb. 1st

The Fleming Scholar Program was founded in 1956 as a way to give Oklahoma’s high school and college students “hands-on” biomedical research experience. The program is named for Sir Alexander Fleming, the famed British scientist, who discovered penicillin and in 1949 came to Oklahoma City to formally dedicate the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation’s first building. In the first news release about the program in 1956, the late Dean A. McGee, then Chairman of the Board of Directors’ Executive Committee, expressed the philosophy behind the program:

“We feel that students will greatly benefit from the opportunity of working shoulder-to-shoulder in the laboratories with our scientific personnel. Our scientists feel also that in this way they can make a direct contribution to the solution of the critical manpower shortage in the field of biology and medical research. We are shorthanded in terms of having adequate staff to do the job of expanding our knowledge in the field of human health, and perhaps by this program, we will be helping identify and stimulate the scientists of tomorrow.”

In 1982, the Fleming Scholar Program became a model for a national program funded by the federal government to bring the best and brightest high school and college students into contact with the best and brightest scientific and mathematical minds in government and non-government laboratories.

Today the Fleming Scholar Program remains popular, attracting as many as 100 applicants each year.


To apply for the Fleming Scholar Program, you MUST be:

  • An Oklahoma resident at the time of high school graduation.
  • At least 16 years of age.
  • Classified as a high school senior or college freshman, sophomore or junior at the time of application submission.
  • A United States citizen or permanent resident or have unrestricted employment authorization in accordance with applicable Immigration and Naturalization Service regulations (example: J-2 with Employment Authorization Document). Applicants with an H-4 visa are not eligible.
  • Willing and able to commit to the program’s entire eight-week time frame, which begins the first Monday following Memorial Day.

Scholars are selected based on aptitude and interest in science and math, academic standing, essays and recommendation letters written as part of the application process.

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The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) announces that applications are online NOW for our philanthropic leadership program for Oklahoma high school students: “OMRF Teen Leaders in Philanthropy: Philanthropy Is in Your DNA”.

The program is open to high school applicants who will be entering their sophomore, junior, or senior year in the fall of 2015.

This is the first program of its kind designed to educate Oklahoma youth about the non-profit profession, how non-profits work, and how teens can be philanthropists who work alongside non-profits in identifying community issues and achieving creative solutions. With the ever-growing importance of non-profit organizations in our community, it is imperative that we educate the next generation about how they can become philanthropists and be real partners with non-profit organizations. While using OMRF’s biomedical research mission as a backdrop to illustrate the importance of philanthropy, the focus will be on philanthropic leadership.

Students will learn leadership principles, earn service hours, and gain experience in a fundraising project of their own design. The program will meet monthly alternating between day and evening sessions throughout the school year.

OMRF invites Oklahoma students to apply and up to 40 students will be chosen through a selective process that includes an interview.

Applications and further information are available online at The application deadline is March 2, 2015

Announcing the 2015 ProjectCSGIRLS Competition for Middle School Girls!

ProjectCSGIRLS ( is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit working to close the gender gap in computer science and technology through running a national computer science competition for middle school girls and workshops around the country. Our competition challenges girls to be makers and use tech to develop projects with social impact.

The deadline to register for the 2015 ProjectCSGIRLS competition is February 15th, 2015 but if participants would like to request a mentor, they must register by February 1st, 2015. Projects are due April 1st, 2015 so encourage students to register early!

The ProjectCSGIRLS Competition for Middle School Girls challenges participants in 6th-8th grade to build something using computer science and technology that can help solve an imminent social problem under one of three themes - global health, a safer world, and intelligent technology. We're looking for projects that are powerful in their ability to change and disrupt the present in a positive way. Judges will select finalists, state winners, regional winners, and national winners. All regional winners will be invited to DC for our national gala, the ultimate celebration of girls in computing, in June of 2015 during which they will participate in workshops, listen to guest speakers, tour tech companies, participate in a formal awards ceremony, and showcase their projects to the public.

A link to the online registration form can be found here.

Please help us reach hundreds of middle school girls across the country through the 2015 ProjectCSGIRLS Competition for Middle School Girls by encouraging your students to register for the competition and have the unique chance to build a tech project with social impact! Outreach instructions (social media posts, email blurbs, etc.) can be found here. Our flyer can be found here.

If you would like to get involved as a mentor for competition participants, please sign up here. Or if you would like to judge participants' projects, sign up here.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at!

CHIP Teacher Fellowship for biology and chemistry teachers

Join us this summer for an exciting and interesting learning experience! All high school chemistry and biology teachers are welcome to apply. Four teachers will be selected as CHIP Teacher Fellows to attend both weeks of CHIP and receive room & board (if needed) and two hours of graduate credit at no cost. (Teacher Fellows will select chemistry or biochemistry as an area of program focus prior to attending CHIP.) Pre-service teachers and those not chosen as CHIP Teacher Fellows are welcome to attend the first week of CHIP with the option of paying for one hour of graduate credit and the cost of room & board, if necessary.

During the first week, teachers will:

  • Work with MU researchers to complete four two-hour chemistry labs and four two-hour biochemistry labs
  • Enhance or refresh knowledge of chemistry or biochemistry
  • Learn to use laboratory technology effectively to enhance student learning
  • Collaborate with other CHIP teacher participants designing strategies to engage students with laboratory technology
  • Plan to implement strategies developed through CHIP into their classrooms
  • Share knowledge gained with other teachers at professional conferences during the school year
  • Earn one hour of graduate credit

During the second week, CHIP Teacher Fellows will:

  • Engage CHIP Student Scholars with laboratories in chemistry or biochemistry
  • Implement, evaluate, and refine strategies to teach laboratory technology
  • Evaluate student learning as well as their own learning
  • Earn a second hour of graduate credit

Interested in becoming a CHIP Teacher Fellow? Click on the CHIP Teacher Application to apply (.doc version also available here).

CHIP is funded through grants from the National Science Foundation.

More information is available at

Join the ExplorOlogy® at the Sam Noble Museum for an innovative professional development experience!

WHO: Public, private or home school K-12 teachers. (Oklahoma residents.)

WHAT: During this innovative professional development experience, teachers will conduct scientific investigations with Museum and University scientists to build a deeper understanding of content, inquiry and the nature of science. This 4-day science investigation is geared towards teachers who want to incorporate science more effectively into their classroom.

WHEN: July 20 to 23, 2015

WHERE: Based at the Sam Noble Museum in Norman, some research groups may embark on day-trips to local field sites.

COST: This program is funded though the Sam Noble Museum and there is no cost to participants. A stipend, lodging and most meals will be provided.

HOW: Apply now!

More information is available at

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This is an invitation to participate in a three-week professional development opportunity for K–12 educators: From Mesa Verde to Santa Fe: Pueblo Identity in the Southwest. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and hosted by Crow Canyon, this NEH Summer Institute is an intensive study of Pueblo culture, history, and diversity.

The ancestral Pueblo Indians of the central Mesa Verde region of southwestern Colorado met world-altering challenges. They departed their ancestral homeland at the end of the 13th century, migrated into the northern Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico, and redefined themselves in the context of other Pueblo communities, only to be confronted by Spanish conquistadors, missionaries, and colonists. Guided by Crow Canyon archaeologists, educators, and American Indian scholars, NEH Summer Institute scholars will examine this little-known history by piecing together the data and perspectives of archaeology, ethnohistory, and oral history. The institute will be based at Crow Canyon; scholars will spend several days each at Mesa Verde National Park and at historic Pueblo and Spanish colonial communities in northern New Mexico. The workshop focuses on:

  • Pueblo culture, history, and identity
  • An in-depth exploration of Mesa Verde National Park
  • Migration, colonization, and revolution in the context of Pueblo history
  • Approaches to understanding the past: archaeology, oral history, and ethnohistory

The institute takes place June 28–July 18, 2015. Crow Canyon will select 25 K–12 teachers (including three graduate students studying K–12 education) from throughout the United States to participate. We welcome applications from all interested participants; previous anthropology or archaeology experience is not required. Each NEH scholar receives a $2,700 stipend to help cover expenses. For program details and application instructions, visit our website. The application deadline is March 2, 2015 (postmark). For information about all 2015 NEH Summer Institutes and Workshops, visit the NEH website. Questions? E-mail us or call 800.422.8975, ext. 146.

Cool Tool/Site of the Week: For Kids book series

Instructional Strategy of the Week: Bellringers/Warm Ups

One of my favorite teaching mottos is "Teach the well from bell to bell". Doing this means keeping students actively engaged from the moment they enter your classroom until they leave. This is often hard to do, especially in those first few minutes of class when teachers are busy with housekeeping tasks such as taking attendance or conferencing privately with students.

For this reason, many teachers turn to bell work (aka bellringers, warm ups) to get the class started on the right foot. Bell work can take many forms, as illustrated by the examples at

Many teachers of OCCT/EOI grades like to use bell work time as a way to give students a little bit of test prep each day. They select items that are similar to the OCCTs/EOIs, and have students answer those questions. Then, the teacher walks students through the process of answering the question, because often students need this skill modeled for them.

Here's a tip: When you use bell work for test prep purposes, use a random picker tool to choose a student to respond. The student can respond by either telling the class what the correct answer is AND why, OR the student can choose to point out why one of the distractors is not a proper answer for the question. The random selection helps to make sure that all students complete the task, while allowing students to choose how to respond allows them to have some ownership over the learning environment.

Click here for more instructional strategies.

Need Resources?

Check the R drive and Pearltrees frequently, as I am adding new resources weekly!

And please send me awesome lessons or ideas so that I can share those across the district.

Safety Reminder

Please review the following documents before beginning any activity that may pose a risk to students (directions for locating these resources are in parentheses).

  • Science Class Safety Information Sheet (R:\Safety Information\Internal Policies)
  • Secondary Science Safety Notebook (R:\03 High School Resources\Science\Secondary Science Safety)
  • Review all documents in R:\03 High School Resources\Science\Secondary Science Safety

If you have any questions at all regarding safety in the science classroom, please contact me.

Updates from the Science Curriculum Office

Representatives from each middle school met today to begin prioritizing what should be taught under the new OAS-S standards. This work will eventually lead to the development of a new SOAR guide.

This work will be replicated at the elementary and high school level in the near future.

I will keep you updated regarding the progress of this endeavor.