Elementary School Science Leaders Meeting

The Elementary School Science Leaders Meeting is scheduled on 1/14/20 from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.

We will be mapping the physical science standards and working towards a pacing guide for K-2. While this is the primary item on the agenda, if you teach grades 3-5 please feel free to attend. This is a workshop and not a conference. You will be working collaboratively with your peers from other schools.

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Adding Coding to your Physics or Physical Science Classes

Save the date! February 12th, 2020.

Consider having your students conduct an experiment in class or solving a problem on paper and then having them alter code in a simulation to match the experiment or problem.

Sounds like you, as the teacher, will need some serious background knowledge in coding....but you do not.

This one day conference is an introduction to adding coding to your physics or physical science classes using pre-written modules.

I attended a one hour session with this group. Having no knowledge of coding beforehand, I left feeling that with additional training I could implement this in the classroom.

Integrating Computation in Science across the Mitten (ICSAM) is a National Science Foundation initiative coming out of Michigan State University. This conference will be lead by this group.

If you find it useful, there is a week long workshop during the summer. They provide you with more in-depth information including training in creating your own modules.

Chemistry teachers, there some gas law modules being developed as well. With the training, there is potential for you to extend this aspect of ICSAM.

Once details are finalized, I will send out the information. Hopefully, we will be able to offer the one day session at GISD free of charge.

A couple of sites with simulations

This was shared, most recently, in the Middle School Science Leaders Meeting. These sites provide several free online simulations that could prove useful in your classes.

Mostly physics with some chemistry applications (High School and Middle School)

Has simulations for all grade levels including Elementary

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Michigan Earth Day 2020 Poster Contest!

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) invite Kindergarten – 5th Grade students to participate in the poster contest.

  • Poster content must be Michigan-themed. Students will need to include wildlife, plants, land, or freshwater ecosystems native to Michigan in their Earth Day 2020 Poster. They can be hand drawn or created on a computer. If fashioned by hand, the submitter must take a photo of it and save it to a PDF (portable document format) file.
  • Each school will hold their own contest and submit only the top three (3) posters per grade (K-5) for each school.
  • Posters must be submitted electronically using the Microsoft PowerPoint template provided, by February 28, 2020, to
  • The PowerPoint template contains designated lines for the student’s name, grade, school, city, teacher name, and email address. The template is also available online at
  • Posters will be judged based on the student’s creative use of native Michigan wildlife, plants, land, or freshwater ecosystems. Winners of the contest will be notified by March 13, 2020, and honored on Wednesday, April 22, 2020, at Earth Day 2020 in Constitution Hall, 525 W. Allegan Street, Lansing.

Download Earth Day 2020 Contest Submission Form

Questions? Contact Pam Howd (EGLE) at 517-284-6864 or

Visit for more details.

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Have your students explore the importance of trees in their own surroundings.

I-Tree has several tools including a mapping application that allows your students to place different types of trees around their homes or school.

The site measures the environmental and monetary value of having those trees. There is much more here.

It takes some time to look through their site but it will be time well spent.
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Connect to Arctic Explorers

Follow the latest expedition of the RV Polarstern, a 118 meter long, 19000 horsepower icebreaker currently on a one year expedition in the arctic.

MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) involves scientists from all over the world including Dr. Kerri Pratt from the University of Michigan.

If you would like to know where the Polarstern is today and for documentation on their day to day work, click:

An overview of the project is here:

The site includes educational resources. There are several articles written by the people on board about their research. When coupled with the day to day progress tracker, your students may find these science based articles engaging.

The video below of the Polarstern is from an expedition from a few years ago. Nevertheless, it gives an idea of how involved this project is and the real danger faced by the participants.

Von Kapstadt zur Neumayer-Station III - Das FS Polarstern unterwegs
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Michigan State University 2020 Health Science Scholar Institute Program

The Center of Excellence – 2020 Health Sciences Scholar Institute (HSSI) at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine is now accepting applications for twenty (20) students from the Flint, Grand Rapids and Greater Lansing communities for a four-week intensive Scholars experience.

The Institute will expose students to the world of medicine and the journey of becoming a physician.

The following criteria must be met by participants:

1. Current 10th and 11th graders with a minimum 3.0 GPA (unofficial transcript required)

2. Participating students are a member of at least one of the following groups:

African‐American, Hispanic (all races), American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander

3. Have a STRONG interest in becoming a physician (a MD specifically)

The Scholars intensive program is non-residential. The scholars will meet Monday through Friday and will require daily attendance and participation at the assigned community site. Programming for this four-week experience includes:

• Educational enrichment in the sciences at grade appropriate levels and preparatory support for college entry. For example: (math, science, reading and writing

• SAT preparation

• Cultural Competency Training (age and grad appropriate)

• Training in community-based participatory research (age and grade appropriate)

• Exposure to Medicine in the Arts – including literature and other works to explore Underrepresented Minorities in Medicine

• Use science, math and medical humanities to tackle community health issues in their respective communities

• Exploring and examining real medical cases daily

• Completion of a health-related community project

Please submit the completed application packet to:

Mrs. Theresa Blanks via email at, fax to (517) 884-0616

or send to:

Health Sciences Scholar Institute

Michigan State University

College of Human Medicine

1355 Bogue Street, B-211

East Lansing, MI 48824

No later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 3, 2020.

The application can also be submitted online.

Please see the link below for more information.

The first link will take you to the application:

2020 HSSI Application Packet

Copy and paste this link if above link does not work:

The second link will take you to the recommendation form: 2020 HSSI Recommendation Form

Copy and paste this link if above link does not work:

Students can send unofficial transcript to Ms. Deborah Sudduth via email at or fax to (517) 884-0616.

For further information or questions, please contact Mrs. Theresa Blanks at

Doing owl pellets and need a bone id chart.....

Take a look at

It is free to sign up and there are additional resources on the site.

Engineering game for K-2 graders

From the Smithsonian Science Education Center. A lesson planning guide is included. Students move blocks into place in order to meet the challenge.
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Middle School Teachers looking at different NGSS curriculums

One of the items that come out of the feedback from the Middle School Science Leaders Meeting was looking at different curriculums. The link below is from Stanford. It came through the NSTA.

It may be worth taking the time to look through to discuss in our next meeting.

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Happy Holidays and New Year

This newsletter is a bit early given the upcoming break.

Best wishes to all of you in this holiday season. I look forward to working with you in 2020.

Upcoming Professional Development/Workshops


Science/STEM Coordinator

Genesee Intermediate School District

Education and Learning