Science Newsletter

December 6, 2015

OSTA is cohosting summer conference with OCTM

This year's Oklahoma Science Teacher Association conference will be held in conjunction with the Oklahoma Council for Teachers of Mathematics conference! Mark your calendars for this event, which is June 10.

K-8 STEM Institute

Save the Date! 5th Annual K-8 STEM Teacher Institute @ OSU will be June 24th! Please visit the event page as we want your input into session topics for this summer!

https://www.facebook.com/events/409419042582203/

Opportunity for High School Students: RESEARCH SCIENCE INSTITUTE (RSI)

The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) co-sponsor the Research Science Institute (RSI) and are looking for talented 11th Grade STEM Students! Do you have an interest in Science Technology Engineering or Mathematics and a desire to complete a research program at an unforgettable summer research program?


Apply to the (RSI) program to be held on the MIT campus June 26 to August 6, 2016. You will meet some of the world's most talented students and top scientists and have an opportunity to conduct research in exciting labs! The program is free to students except for travel to and from MIT. If you are a high school junior and interested in the program, take a look at the CEE website or RSI application materials, and more information about the program.


See application information at: http://www.cee.org/apply-rsi


If you’re interested and have any questions, please contact Maite Ballestero, Executive Vice President, Programs & Administration, maite@cee.org. See us on Facebook - look for Center for Excellence in Education!

Fleming Scholar Applications due February 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. Applications available at https://omrf.org/education-outreach/fleming-scholar-program/

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There is an important summer science opportunity for both high school teachers and students in chemistry and biochemistry at MU this summer. The Chemistry Immersion Program [CHIP] is a two-week professional development program for high school chemistry and biology teachers at the University of Missouri in Columbia. There will be two chemistry teachers and two biology teachers included in CHIP. Teachers will arrive on Sunday, July 10, 2016 and depart on Friday, July 22, 2016. During Week-I, teachers will refresh their knowledge of chemistry and biochemistry through chemistry and biochemistry laboratories, lecture, discussion, and collaboration with peers. During Week-II, CHIP teachers will teach the chemistry and biology concepts and laboratories to students attending CHIP.

MU Campus housing, dining, and one hour of graduate credit will be provided for all teachers accepted into CHIP. You will find additional information about both the teacher and student CHIP 2016 programs available on the CHIP website: http://chip.missouri.edu/ to access additional information.

To apply to become a CHIP teacher fellow, you should visit our website: chip.missouri.edu . From there you can navigate to the CHIP teacher fellows tab, which will give more information on our program, and the teacher application tab, which houses the application and lists all required materials. Applications and supplemental information can be submitted via email to chip@missouri.edu, or through postal mail to:

University of Missouri – Columbia
Attn: Dr. Renee JiJi
125 Chemistry Bldg.
601 S. College Ave.
Columbia, MO 65211

Applications will be accepted until all positions are filled.

High school students are also invited to register for CHIP [dates: July 17-22, 2016]. Please share the attached CHIP for Students flyer with your students. There is a $200.00 registration fee for high school students or rising college freshmen interested in joining the program. CHIP for students is designed to prepare students to be successful in collegiate chemistry, biochemistry, and/or biology. Scholarships are available for students requiring assistance.

We are looking forward to an exciting summer of science and hope you can join us!

Pringles Challenge

The idea behind the Pringles Challenge is simple. Your task is to design a package that will allow a single Pringles Potato Chip to be safely mailed through the US Postal Service to another location in the United States.


Students will work individually or in small groups to design their packaging. The package must adhere to US Postal Service guidelines and should be shipped during the window listed below, via First Class Mail. Schools will be working with a primary partner in an effort to match up the number of packages shipped/received.


Please answer the questions below related to your interest in participating in the Pringles Challenge. Information will only be shared with your partner teacher, when assigned.


Visit https://sites.google.com/site/pringleschallenge/rules-and-scoring and https://sites.google.com/site/pringleschallenge/scoring for information about rules and scoring. Todd Williamson is no longer running the challenge, but has given me permission to use parts of his site. I will update the site in the coming weeks.


Please complete this form by December 31, 2015. Partner schools will be announced by the end of January, 2016 with packages to be postmarked between April 1 and 15 and scoring completed by April 30.


If you have questions, please contact me at bbortz@cantoncountryday.org or through my YES! Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/YES-Young-Enthusiastic-Scientists/228840613819718?ref=bookmarks.

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Taking the science fair out of the auditorium and into cyberspace.

eCYBERMISSION is a web-based Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics competition for 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade teams. Your team will propose a solution to a real problem in your community and compete for State, Regional and National Awards.

eCYBERMISSION challenges you to explore how Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics work in your world.

EPS Foundation Great Ideas Grants

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Do you have a GREAT IDEA? Does your GREAT IDEA support student learning in Edmond Public Schools? Will your GREAT IDEA motivate students, provide hands-on learning, and inspire creativity? The Edmond Public Schools Foundation invites you to share your GREAT IDEA through the Great Ideas Grant Application!

The EPSF Great Ideas Grant Application is available at the link below, as well as on the edmondpsf.org website. The Great Ideas Grant Application will be open from Monday, October 12 through Friday, December 11.
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Important Dates

  • Saturday follow-up session: January 23rd, 9:00-4:30 EPSAC (Every Day STEM for All participants)
  • Smart Starts: January 28th (first-year teachers)
  • Science Standards Training (required for all secondary science teachers)- January 21 OR 22 (come in PLC groups)
  • OSTA/OCTM Conference- June 10


  • Middle school benchmark windows: December 14-18, March 7-11, May 9-14 (no May benchmark for 8th grade)
  • High school benchmark windows: December 7-11, March 7-11, May 9-14 (no May benchmark for Biology/PreAP Biology)
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Updated curriculum documents

The following curriculum documents are located in the appropriate folder on the R drive:


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Get connected!

Before you continue reading, drop what you are doing and rush over to Facebook to join our EPS science communities! They are #EPSsciSecondary and #EPSsciK-8. (Middle school teachers, you get to belong to TWO fabulous communities!) This is a space for you to ask questions and share resources and ideas.


And for those of you Tweeters (Twitterers?), you can connect with other EPS science teachers using the hash tag #EPSstem. I would also encourage you to use this hashtag to show off all of the cool things that are going on in your class! And don't forget to follow the official EPS science page @EPSscience while you're there.


There might be random awesome gifts given to frequent social media users. (hint, hint)