March, 2020

Chemistry Workshop and Earth and Space Science Standards

We had a successful day of work at the last Chemistry Workshop on February 5th. We worked on the Earth Science Standards that make sense for chemistry and came up with two viable maps.

The standards we focused on were HS-ESS1-1, HS-ESS1-2, HS-ESS1-3, HS-ESS1-6, HS-PS1-8, HS-PS4-1, HS-PS4-3 and HS-PS4-4. There is overlap with physics but when we meet, one of the items we will need to discuss is spiraling this content. As we looked through the evidence statements, it becomes more apparent what goes towards chemistry and what is more physics. To be honest, a lot of the content can be interpreted in a different manner for chemistry and physics.

In the workshop, we were able to go through the Big Bang Theory and come up with some activities/phenomena for items that branched out of it. As you can imagine, we could only do so much in the time we had, so this work will continue during our next meeting on May 27th.

If you would like to join us, we welcome your input. I feel like we are making some headway with this being that we now have a plan in place. The more people collaborating on this, the better.

Here is the link to sign up:

A big thanks to Dr. Zach Constan who joined us virtually to help with some of that content and answer questions.

(If you are not familiar with the picture in the upper right, take a look at )

NGSX Training

Training in the Next Generation Science Standards will be available this June. This conference runs over 5 days from June 22nd through the 25th and then on Monday, the 29th.

It has been some time since this training has been offered locally. If you have not attended a NGSX Conference yet, it is highly recommended that you do so.

Modeling Training

If you are interested in modeling in science, sessions for this summer are now available.

If the date is listed as TBD, click on the link. Some of the dates will show up on the corresponding page.

If you are on the fence about being a part of this, please read the following:

Our past works (46!) have all received rave reviews from participants. Our Pre-Post- surveys of teacher practice suggest that workshops on Modeling Instruction are deeply inspirational, impacting their commitment to the teaching profession, confidence supporting the kind of student centered science investigation and sense making called for by the NGSS vision, and success facilitating substantive model based reasoning and academically productive classroom discourse. A student survey we administered produced findings that in comparison to other students, those in science classrooms using Modeling Instruction liked and valued their science education and believed they could succeed in STEM related careers, should they choose to pursue such careers. They also indicated they were gaining much more experience with the Science and Engineering Practices and Cross Cutting Concepts of our NGSS-based standards.

Information about graduate credits, stipends, SCECH's etc are in the flyer below. (right click, open in new tab to make the flyer bigger if it is difficult to read)

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IceCube Masterclass at Michigan State University

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory is located at the South Pole. This one day master class at MSU allows students to work with a physicist on data gathered at the IceCube.

I have had three students attend this masterclass in the past and they raved about it.

It is an amazing opportunity for your students.

If you do have a student or students interested in nuclear physics/chemistry and the beginning of the universe or what happens in exploding stars, this may be the experience that starts them down a career path. Keep in mind that one of the best nuclear physics/nuclear chemistry graduate schools is located at Michigan State.

A big thanks to Jeffrey Donenfeld who has kindly allowed the use of his pictures below.

As you can see from Jeffrey's pictures, the researchers work in extreme conditions. Your students have the opportunity to be a part of this project.

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Dr. Kopper letter regarding the IceCube MasterClass....

Dear all,

I am pleased to announce that we have just opened registration for the 2020 IceCube MasterClass, held here at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Michigan State University on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 from 9:00am-5:00pm.

The MasterClass is a one-day activity where high school students join a research lab. Students participate in a guided analysis of real data from the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, located in Antarctica at the South Pole. They meet and talk with young researchers and learn about science careers. The main goal is to show to the students that they can be a researcher, if they want to.

Registration is free but mandatory, and we usually fill up pretty fast. Students can register as individuals or in small groups, but registration is always done through a teacher. Teachers are invited to join us during the MasterClass but are not required to.

Registration is available at this link:

Find more information, please visit our MasterClass site:

A poster can be found here:

Thank you,

Claudio Kopper

Associate Professor
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Department of Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering (CMSE)
Michigan State University
567 Wilson Rd, Room 3231
East Lansing MI 48824
United States

phone: +1 (517) 884-5567

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Dates for all Science Professional Development/Workshops for the rest of the 2019-2020 School Year

I will keep this smore updated if times change. It has all the pd's including the high school subject areas, middle school leaders, elementary leaders, and any for which we have guests coming in.

STEM Scholars Program at Mott Community College

This is a great opportunity for any of your students interested in a STEM related career with plans to attend Mott Community College.

This is in the flyer but to emphasize, students may receive a scholarship to cover the total cost to attend Mott for two years.

The following is from Jessica Bixel, the STEM Scholars Program Coordinator:

Our upcoming application deadline is March 24th and we will work with students who submit an application online to gather all their other application materials so they are considered for Fall 2020. Again, we have more scholarships than ever to give away this year.

Jessica's contact information is on the flyer below:

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Summer Workshop-Coding in your classroom (ICSAM)

A big thanks to the Dr. Dan Weller and his team from Michigan State for providing us with a one day workshop: Introduction to Adding Coding to your Physics Classroom.

It was productive and informative.

If you are interested in attending the full workshop, the flyer is attached below.

Units in both Chemistry and Physics will be covered.

There is a stipend available. Feel free to contact the ICSAM staff at

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If you are wondering why bother with coding, I have included the beginning of a problem from a freshman physics exam at MSU. The rest of the problem runs over several pages so I have not included it below. If you do want to take a look at it, feel free to email me.

(used with permission)

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Middle School Science Leaders

We will be meeting on March 16th and May 14th.

The plan is to go through an activity or activities that can be used in your classrooms.

If there is anything specific you would like to work on, feel free to email me.

Elementary Leaders

Our next meeting is on March 26th. We will be mapping so if you have been working on a template, please bring it. We will likely have more than one way of doing this mapping but all that means is that we can split into groups and share out after.

I am hopeful that we will still have time to work through an activity. K-5 teachers are all welcome.

We have another meeting scheduled for May 20th.

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Connecting to our local universities-Events at the University of Michigan-Flint

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Math Field Day at the University of Michigan-Flint

This is a high school math competition. I believe UM-Flint has been hosting it for some time. Math and science go hand in hand so perhaps you will have some students interested.

From the Georgia Science Teachers Association:

All Grade Levels-Lesson plans with phenomena.

The standards listed are Georgia State Standards but with a bit of exploration, this should be a valuable resource for you.

If you are looking for phenomena to use in class, take a look:

Flint Regional Science Fair

If you hold a science fair at your school or maybe you have a student or students interested in their own research project, then take a look at the Flint Regional Science Fair.

Their website is quite comprehensive. It includes previous winners and contact information.

If you are looking ahead to next year and would like to get a feel for the competition, you can meet the organizers on March 14th from 9:45 am to 10:30 am at Kettering University. All the details are below:

This year's competition will be held from March 13th through the 15th. Public viewing is from 1 pm to 5 pm on March 14th at Kettering University. Information below:

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Earth Echo Challenge

This Middle School focused project looks to engage students in creating a plan to protect local biodiversity.

The top ten teams get to present their plan in Washington, DC. There is a grant awarded to the top three teams in order to put their plan into action.

Teach Engineering

This resource was shared by a fellow teacher.

He felt the following statement summed it up:

"The activities emphasize open ended problem solving and encourage learning through iterative process. Brain storming of new ideas to apply science and math concepts, testing prototypes and analyzing data to foster stem literacy"

Summer Professional Development in Computer Science

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Science/STEM Coordinator

Genesee Intermediate School District

Education and Learning