MADSCI NEWS

Science and Technology's Semi-Regular Department Newsletter

January 15, 2016

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT

STEM IS SPROUTING AT MJS

Jason Erdreich comes to us after growing up in Philadelphia and graduating from The College of New Jersey in Ewing. At TCNJ Jason studied in Technology and Pre-Engineering Education spending any free time he had in either the woodshop or the rec center playing pick-up basketball!


Welcome Jason, what drew you to Madison?

I am looking forward to becoming a part of the Madison community. This town is absolutely beautiful and consists of supportive and friendly people. The education system is excellent, and I am really looking forward to being a part of the team that is continuing to bring new content, technology and ideas into the classroom. As a new teacher, I could not be in a better place. I have a lot to learn from the expert teachers all around me.


So what are your hobbies?

One of my favorite hobbies is hiking with my dog. We go on walks almost every Saturday through a park near my home. I also really enjoy restoring old cars. Unfortunately my dog is not as much help when I'm working on the cars as you might think! I try to get her to bring me a wrench, but fetch is not her strong suit.


Jason started when we got back from Winter break. In preparation for Semester 2 and the future you will see him bouncing around working on several things.

Jason has been working with teachers both at the junior school and the high school to understand what we are currently doing in STEM. One of his tasks is to assist in creating a new STEM curriculum, as well as helping plan for new STEM facilities in both schools. Once the second marking period starts Jason will have a full schedule of cycle technology classes at MJS, but he will also be spending some Wednesdays at MHS working on the Technology program there.

ADDRESSING 3 NGSS MYTHS

Kenneth L. Huff, board certified NY science teacher and NGSS contributor, has written a piece about 3 commonly heard myths about the NGSS. It's a good read, you can find it here. Even if you don't want to read the whole thing, give Myth 2 a look - this is exactly what I have hear from other districts who claim to be NGSS aligned.


That article, and others, can be found at the NSTA's NGSS Hub. If you aren't familiar with it, give it a look. http://ngss.nsta.org/ngss-journal-articles.aspx

THE QSAC ARE COMING! THE QSAC ARE COMING!

Please continue work on QSAC work and have it wrapped by 1/25. Make a list of missing signage (google cabinets, eyewash station, "not an exit" signs), get it to me and I will have some made up.


Other QSAC information (documents from the DOE) are in our shared folder here.

4 NEW ELEMENTS - WE ARE UP TO 118!

On December 30th the IUPAC announced verification of the discovery of 4 new elements - atomic numbers 113, 115, 117, and 118. Woo-hoo! How many does the current version of your textbook have?


Articles can be found here and here.

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PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

NJ SCIENCE EDUCATION INSTITUTE NGSS SUMMER INSTITUTE

Wil van der Veen, director of the Science Education Institute at RVCC, has announced this year's summer institute program dates. This is the program that Monica, Dawn, Carole, Kevin, and myself attended last summer. I can say that it was by far the best NGSS professional development I've come across to date, and I think the others would agree it was well worth the time investment.


This year they are running institutes by grade bands. The institute for Secondary ed teachers will run from July 25-29. The institute for Elementary will be August 8-12.


The Secondary Ed Flyer is at: http://www.raritanval.edu/uploadedFiles/community/njace/NGSS%20Summer%20Institute%202016%20-%20Grades%206-12.pdf


I will be registering participants starting February 1. E-Mail me if you are interested in attending - the sooner the better. I plan on sending everyone who is interested - it is a better experience in a big group!


A common question I have gotten is: can I go to the one day workshops offered during the school year? The response from Wil is that the one day workshops are not equivalent to what they do at the summer institute (even if you go to several). Also, it is more cost prohibitive, so preference will be given to those who plan to go to the institute.

NJDOE WORKSHOPS

Most of you are signed up for Mike Heinz's Model Curriculum workshops. As we work on curriculum over the summer it will be important that everyone has heard the same message from the state about implementing NGSS - right, wrong, or indifferent.


You can find the information on these workshops here: https://education.state.nj.us/events/?p=y

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