KS Science Education Newsletter

October 2017

2016-2017 Kansas Science Assessment Score Reports: Video Included

In 2016-2017 students took the first Kansas Science Assessment built to target the 2013 Kansas Science Standards. Kansas Science Assessment student, building, and district score reports are now available in the Educator Portal your district and building testing coordinators can access.


The score reports follow the same format as math and English language arts. Please find a link here to help you walk through the reports and a video here about how to interpret them.


More information about the Kansas Science Assessment including performance-level descriptors can be found here.

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Implementation Pathway and Toolkit: What Phase Are You In?

A toolkit of resources has been created to help school communities implement our Kansas Standards for Science. You can find the toolkit of resources here.


  • You can use the map to identify progress made and future implementation goals.
  • Resources are available for each possible outcome within each stage.
  • These resources will be updated and maintained.

Upcoming Science Professional Development Sessions: Deeper Dive into the Two Newer Dimensions

KSDE has been working with a great group of educators and service centers/universities to provide science professional learning opportunities across Kansas. These sessions target science educator needs identified from recent surveys. KSDE will be hosting eight sessions this school year that target stages 2-3 in the implementation map above.


This training session focuses on developing a better understanding of the two newer dimensions of our standards that help students make sense of phenomena. The scientific method and term "inquiry" are better defined now with the science and engineering practices. The cross-cutting concepts are new to science education standards and link different disciplines in science. This session works towards the Kansans Can Vision results your district is working towards in the areas of post-secondary success and high school graduation.


  • Find dates and locations HERE.
  • K-12 educators who teach science and administration who support are invited.
  • These are full day sessions that begin at 9 am and conclude by 3:30 pm.
  • Cost is $20 per attendee that includes lunch.
  • You do not have to be a part of the service center to participate; anyone can attend.
  • Graduate credit available.
Register for KATS KAMP April 20, 2018

Kansas Association of Teachers of Science

NSTA/NCTM STEM Teacher Ambassadors from Kansas

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) received over 135 applications and selected ten teachers across the United States who will train and serve as teacher ambassadors to communicate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) teacher views in education policy discussions (all levels).


Bruce Wellman and Chris Herald were selected from Kansas. Bruce is currently teaching HS Chemistry and Engineering/Robotics with Olathe USD. Chris recently supported Manhattan-Ogden USD by serving as a STEM Project Coordinator and is currently teaching HS Chemistry.


We are excited for you two and we hope to grow from your expertise here in Kansas!

Learn While Teaching Project: Kansas Participant

The Next Generation Science Exemplar System (NGSX) supports teachers in bringing phenomena driven three-dimensional learning into their classrooms through professional development prior to, during, and following their teaching of NGSS-designed curriculum units. These units are free to use and there are units for each grade band.


Whitney Smith from Valley Center USD was chosen this past summer to join a group of educators nationally participating in this project. Whitney is using the storyline here and utilizing the tools here in her classroom. She is reporting high engagement and phenomena driven three dimensional learning in her classroom.


We are excited to learn more from Whitney and grow this work across Kansas!

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Pick Up and Go Resources: Facilitate Partner Conversations in Your Classroom

Scientists and other professionals routinely talk about their work — not just to share their results, but to make sense of their work at all stages, to gather feedback, and to refine their ideas and arguments.


Not sure where to start? Use this Talk Activities Flowchart to determine which talk activity fits best with what you are doing at the time. All activities come with ready to use resources.


Find more of these great resources on the STEM Teaching Tools site.