SECONDARY SCIENCE NEWS YOU CAN USE

MAY 2015

BioTeach


As you may know, last October, the Virginia BIO Foundation collaborated with the Virginia Department of Education and Virginia’s Director of STEM to host the first-ever BioTeach event as part of the Virginia Science Festival.

BioTeach was conceived by the Virginia Bio Foundation to connect companies with teachers interested in learning more about how the bioscience industry puts science to work by creating products and services that improve human health. Through BioTeach, the partners hope to help educate teachers on what it means to work in the biosciences in Virginia so that they can better inform their students about where their passion in science and technology can lead them!

We are thrilled to announce that due to its previous success, a second BioTeach is being held onMay 21st! Each company will host a complimentary open house for K-12 and community college teachers from 4:30 to 6:30 pm on Thursday, May 21st, during which food and drinks will be served, a presentation will be given on the company’s technology, and a tour will be conducted of the facility and operations.


We encourage you to learn more about the biosciences by visiting one of the participating companies:

§ Afton Scientific - Charlottesville

§ Cadence - Staunton

§ Engineered BioPharmaceuticals - Danville

§ Eastern Virginia Medical School - Norfolk

§ Virginia BioTechnology Research Park -Richmond

Please RSVP for this event by clicking on the following link: http://www.vabio.org/events/event_details.asp?id=633289&group

Governor McAuliffe Signs Environmental Literacy Executive Order

On Earth Day, Governor McAuliffe signed an executive order establishing the Virginia Environmental Literacy Challenge. The voluntary challenge will provide a pathway for classroom teachers and school division administrators to engage students in outdoor experiences and school sustainability projects that improve their understanding of the environment.

“Environmental literacy is a key component of my administration’s conservation efforts,” Governor McAuliffe said. “We need to make sure that our students are graduating with the skills and knowledge they need to protect Virginia’s natural resources. Learning about our environment is a great way for children to understand important scientific concepts that will prepare them for the new Virginia economy.”

“The natural environment is perfect for bringing together scientific concepts in a way that you can’t with a textbook,” Secretary of Education Anne Holton said. “Our school divisions are using innovative programs like this one to provide a top-notch scientific education to our students, and we couldn't be more proud of what they have accomplished.”

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TEACHER RESOURCES & OPPORTUNITIES

Teacher Resources

Virginia Science Activities, Models & Simulations (SAMS)

The Virginia Science Activities, Models and Simulations project engages students in middle and high school in practices that are essential for learning science through inquiry. The activities involve asking questions or defining problems, using models or sensors, collecting data, interpreting results, using mathematics, technology and computational thinking, constructing explanations and designing solutions based on evidence.

Resources by Grade/Subject

Locally Developed Assessments Web site

The Virginia Department of Education has published the Locally Developed Assessments Web site to assist school divisions in their transition from specific SOL tests to locally developed assessments. This page includes FAQ and definitions of key terms. In addition, the performance task development cycle that the mathematics department used in professional development on performance tasks in 2012 was revised to provide guidance on development in areas other than mathematics.


UPDATED Using Statewide SOL Test Results to Guide Instruction

Examples of Challenging SOL Content Based on Statewide Results. Click on a link to either open or save the presentation file. After opening the file, click on the “Slide Show” tab and then click on the icon to start the slide show from the beginning. If the presentation does not display properly, or if you do not have access to Microsoft PowerPoint 2010, click here to download the PowerPoint Viewer. Also, you may use the arrow keys or mouse to pause, resume or advance through the presentation.

Released SOL Tests & Item Sets

Tests and item sets representative of the content and skills included in the Virginia SOL tests. Visit the Released Tests & Item Sets webpage for more information.

Teacher Opportunities


Dominion Education Grants

Dominion is currently accepting on-line grant applications to encourage the development of new programs to strengthen math and/or science education in Kindergarten through grade 12 through the study of the environment or energy. Applications will only be accepted on-line.

Approximately $500,000 in K-12 educational grants will be awarded throughout seven states. Application deadline is May 15, at 5 p.m.

Focus Areas:

The educational grants align closely with company priorities, specifically:
• Environmental Education: projects to develop math and/or science skills through the study of the environment.
• Energy Education: projects designed to increase students' awareness of energy efficiency and conservation, energy sources or other energy-related topics.

Eligibility:
Accredited public and private elementary and secondary schools, institutions of higher education, state agencies and 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations in targeted geographic areas (listed below) are eligible to apply. Visit the website for complete details, sample proposals, budget restrictions and evaluation tips and to access the on-line application.

Augmenting Science and Special Educator Teams (ASSET) Academy - June 22 - 26, 2015

The Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Science and Health Education and Office of Special Education Instructional Services, in partnership with James Madison University, will again sponsor a collaborative science-inclusion special education institute at the University’s summer 2015 Content Teaching Academy (CTA). This exciting and successful program, Augmenting Science and Special Educator Teams (ASSET), is designed for science and special educator school teams working together to enhance all student outcomes focusing on improved content understanding, pedagogical strategies, collaboration strategies, and networking. The CTA (and the ASSET program) will run from June 22 - 26, 2015.

The Virginia Department of Education will assume the cost of registration, graduate tuition (3 hrs.), lodging, and meals for all public school participants accepted into the program. Teachers from schools not meeting the state benchmark for accreditation in science will be given priority; however, teachers from all schools should apply. School divisions are strongly encouraged to cover travel expenses for division participants as this cost is not assumed by the Department; however, this is not a requirement of the program.

Save the Date for the Statewide Environmental Education Conference - Oct. 7 - 9 at Natural Bridge
Planning is underway for the statewide environmental education conference to be held at Natural Bridge Oct. 7 - 9. Details will be posted on the Virginia Naturally website as they become available.

We are currently seeking keynote speakers for Oct. 7 and 8. Please tell us about speakers that you have seen or would like to recommend by filling out this short survey.

State of Virginia’s Environment Symposium

At this symposium, the State of Virginia’s Environment will be presented, with 16 expert speakers revealing the status of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, mollusk, insects, plants, fish, water quality, air quality, tidal wetlands, central Virginia rivers, ocean and marine environments, forests, land use, and geology. Each presentation will last about 30 minutes, beginning at 9 am, running concurrent sessions, and ending about 4:30 pm. The event will occur in the BioScience building at JMU. This symposium is sponsored by the Virginia Academy of Science. A $25 registration fee is required, space is limited. The fee includes a box lunch and drinks. The link for on-line registration is:

http://info.jmu.edu/scienceacademy/

In addition, Virginia Natural Resources Secretary Molly Ward will be our keynote speaker.

TEACHER OPPORTUNITIES

Schoolyard Botany – Free Workshop


Schoolyard Botany is a free professional development workshop for K–5 educators presented by the Flora of Virginia Project – Free Workshop Inspire your students to love the outdoors, and meet your SOL at the same time! Explore plants and their connections with culture, history, and art. You will use a selection of lesson plans inspired by the Flora of Virginia and the 2014 exhibition of the same name at the Library of Virginia.

Sample lesson topics: journaling like a botanist; comparing types of botanical art; practical uses of plants; changes in habitats; and using dichotomous keys to identify plants. Participants will leave with a palette of hands-on, often outdoor activities that will interest your students in the botanical world around them. Lesson plans are keyed to combinations of K–5 SOL in Science, Math, English, History, and Art. Each opens with an activity of sensory observation to encourage subjective learning, an approach inspired by Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods.

Registration required. Supplies provided. Lunch is on your own.

9:00AM-4:00PM, held at your choice of four different venues!

Registration required. Contact the venue of your choice to register!

§ Monday, June 22, 2015 - Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, Virginia

§ Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - Blandy Experimental Farm in Boyce, Virginia

§ Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond, Virginia

§ Thursday, June 25, 2015 - Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville, Virginia


Dominion Education Grants


Dominion is currently accepting on-line grant applications to encourage the development of new programs to strengthen math and/or science education in Kindergarten through grade 12 through the study of the environment or energy. Applications will only be accepted on-line.

Approximately $500,000 in K-12 educational grants will be awarded throughout seven states. Application deadline is May 15, at 5 p.m.

Focus Areas: The educational grants align closely with company priorities, specifically:
• Environmental Education: projects to develop math and/or science skills through the study of the environment.
• Energy Education: projects designed to increase students' awareness of energy efficiency and conservation, energy sources or other energy-related topics.

Eligibility:
Accredited public and private elementary and secondary schools, institutions of higher education, state agencies and 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations in targeted geographic areas (listed below) are eligible to apply. Visit the website for complete details, sample proposals, budget restrictions and evaluation tips and to access the on-line application.


Augmenting Science and Special Educator Teams (ASSET) Academy - June 22 - 26, 2015

The Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Science and Health Education and Office of Special Education Instructional Services, in partnership with James Madison University, will again sponsor a collaborative science-inclusion special education institute at the University’s summer2015 Content Teaching Academy (CTA). This exciting and successful program, Augmenting Science and Special Educator Teams (ASSET), is designed for science and special educator school teams working together to enhance all student outcomes focusing on improved content understanding, pedagogical strategies, collaboration strategies, and networking. The CTA (and the ASSET program) will run from June 22 - 26, 2015.

The Virginia Department of Education will assume the cost of registration, graduate tuition (3 hrs.), lodging, and meals for all public school participants accepted into the program. Teachers from schools not meeting the state benchmark for accreditation in science will be given priority; however, teachers from all schools should apply. School divisions are strongly encouraged to cover travel expenses for division participants as this cost is not assumed by the Department; however, this is not a requirement of the program.


Save the Date for the Statewide Environmental Education Conference - Oct. 7 - 9 at Natural Bridge
Planning is underway for the statewide environmental education conference to be held at Natural Bridge Oct. 7 - 9. Details will be posted on the Virginia Naturally website as they become available.

We are currently seeking keynote speakers for Oct. 7 and 8. Please tell us about speakers that you have seen or would like to recommend by filling out this short survey.

State of Virginia’s Environment Symposium

At this symposium, the State of Virginia’s Environment will be presented, with 16 expert speakers revealing the status of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, mollusk, insects, plants, fish, water quality, air quality, tidal wetlands, central Virginia rivers, ocean and marine environments, forests, land use, and geology. Each presentation will last about 30 minutes, beginning at 9 am, running concurrent sessions, and ending about 4:30 pm. The event will occur in the BioScience building at JMU.

This symposium is sponsored by the Virginia Academy of Science. A $25 registration fee is required, space is limited. The fee includes a box lunch and drinks. The link for on-line registration is:

http://info.jmu.edu/scienceacademy/

In addition, Virginia Natural Resources Secretary Molly Ward will be our keynote speaker.

STUDENT OPPORTUNITIES

Northrop Grumman Foundation Launches Middle School Contest to Promote STEM Innovation

Northrop Grumman Foundation has launched an online contest to encourage today's students to become tomorrow's innovators by creating classrooms and science labs that inspire. The Fab School Labs contest is open to public middle schools and will make five grants of up to $100,000 available to five winning schools to fund a school lab makeover. Beginning May 4 and continuing through June 12, 2015, teachers, principals, and school administrators can enter their eligible school by visiting www.FabSchoolLabs.com. The winning schools will team up with Fab School Labs contest partner Flinn Scientific, Inc., to design a state-of-the-art lab complete with all of the tools, resources, and furnishings needed.

Hurricane Science Webinar

The Hurricanes: Science and Society (HSS) Team at the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography is excited to announce that it has again partnered with the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center (AOC) to offer hurricane preparedness webinars for elementary classes. The purpose of these webinars is to raise awareness about hurricanes in advance of the 2015 North Atlantic hurricane season.

During the free, 1-hour webinar, students will hear from NHC scientists, as well as NOAA AOC personnel that fly into hurricanes. A presentation on region-specific hurricane science and preparedness will be given with interactive questions prompting student responses. Classroom questions will also be collected in advance of the webinar; as many of these questions as possible will be answered by the hurricane scientists. Many videos, visualizations, graphics, and other media will be included to engage students. Introductory materials and helpful links will also be supplied to all participating educators.

Schools/classes wanting to participate MUST REGISTER in advance. To register, please go to: www.hurricanescience.org/webinar

Southeast Coast: Tuesday, May 19, 2015, 10:00am ET ** registration will close by 5pm ET, May 18, 2015 **