DPS Secondary Science News

January, 2017

Giving Back, Teaching Science

In December, I began volunteering for Carolina Tiger Rescue. Those of you who have been in North Carolina for a long time might remember this organization as the Carnivore Preservation Trust. I thought, "Find a worthwhile science organization and volunteer some time." Learn something and do good, right? So far, I've only been through orientation, so I'll keep you posted on the progress. But, the reason I mention it is occurs to me that you never know what you don't know until you learn it. And what did I learn?

I learned that in North Carolina, you have to have a permit to have a raccoon in your house, but anyone can raise a tiger. Seriously. You can raise a large exotic endangered cat in your North Carolina home without a permit.

It's yet another reminder that we have a lot of work to do as science educators.

So, welcome back from break... let's get busy!

Upcoming Events

  • January 13, IF Academy
  • January 17, High School Science Chairs (Details TBD)
  • January 23, 1-4 NCSSM, All Urban Streams are NOT Created Equal: A Case Study on Creek Smart(R) Neighborhood Design. Sub reimbursement available for teachers at schools NOT having a teacher workday on January 23. Contact me if you need a sub.
  • January 25, Early Release Day (Please contact me if you'd like to visit the Science Cage)
  • January 31 Middle School Leadership Learning Network
  • February 4 Curriculum Writing Day @ The DPS Hub Farm
  • February 11, Region 3A Science and Engineering Fair (Hillside)
  • February 15, Out of the Box PD (see below)
  • February 22-23, Microscope and Balance Repair (schools by requested)
  • February 23, Biology Instructional Learning Tour

Quick News

  • The microscope and balance repair will take place on February 22-23. Schools receiving service: PLC, Riverside, Shepard, Northern, Carrington, and Brogden

  • GREAT NEWS! Our Gizmos pilot has been extended until May, 2017. Participating teachers should look for an email from me soon. If you are interested in getting in on this project, please contact me right away.

  • Need anything from the Science Cage? If you email me with a request, I will open up the Science Cage from 3-4 on the Wednesday early release day (January 25). I must know if you are planning to come (1 pair per school only, please) so I don't waste the time in the dark, dark science cage. Please email me if you are interested.

  • Out of the Box returns on February 15! Do you have an idea for leading a workshop? Have you submitted a proposal? If you are interested/are presenting, please let me know so I can help get the word out! I have some great sessions lined up: Biomedical Research at Biogen, Durham Water Quality: Local Data, Local Resources, Hockey Scholar (Forces and Motion with the Carolina Hurricanes), Partnering for Student Research with Duke Shared Instrumentation Facility, Rain Gardens for Schools, Exploring iScience with McGraw Hill (for MS), and more!

  • Biology teachers should have access to Study Island for student biology review and practice. Check with your IF or Principal for details.

  • Interested in Science Olympiad? If you build a team, we will pay the registration fee (one team per school)! Our tournament is on March 18. Please register/get information for your team at http://www.sciencenc.com/team-help/coaches-corner/index.php

DPS Science Teachers and Partners Share

The 2017 Energy Literacy Fellows Program (from Dana Haine)

A year-long teacher professional development program for grades 8-12 science.

8th grade and environmental science teachers are especially encouraged. This professional development opportunity will showcase current energy science, technologies and careers to enhance Energy Literacy Fellows' ability to deliver energy-related content, conduct STEM-based activities and promote STEM career opportunities to students. Fellows will interact with diverse scientists, engineers and industry representatives to receive up-to-date, curriculum-relevant content and engage in hands-on, inquiry-based activities designed to support learning about the science of energy.

Benefits include:

· access to current science content related to emerging energy issues and technologies

· over $200 worth of instructional materials to support hands-on STEM investigations including a class set (30) of Energy Infobooks from NEED ​

· access to a peer learning network and ideas for classroom integration

· credit towards CEUs and the NC EE Certification Program

· opportunity to attend the UNC CLEAN TECH Summit in March 2017

Click here to access the online application

All applications must be completed before 9AM on Friday, January 9th

Apply for a 2017-18 Kenan Fellowship

Applications for 2017-18 Kenan fellowships will be accepted beginning Tuesday, Nov. 1. These fellowships address the critical need to develop and empower high-quality teachers, who, in turn, make learning more authentic for students. The fellowship begins with a summer internship in a higher education lab or industry setting and is supported by 80 hours of professional development that focuses on building leadership capacity and proven instructional strategies. Fellowship projects have a unique set of criteria that in some cases is restricted by district, grade level and subject. Projects vary from scientific research to work experiences in the agriculture, energy and high-tech manufacturing industries. Each Fellow is awarded at least a $5,000 stipend, and must develop and implement relevant educational materials and/or programs based on their internship experience. Fellows remain in the classroom while completing the year-long fellowship. Please visit our website for information on how to complete an online application.

Grants and Goodies

The Biogen Foundation’s Ignite the Power of STEM Grants Program

supports teachers and schools in North Carolina to help them bring hands-on science programming to their students. Individual teachers may apply for up to $2,000. Schools may apply for up to $5,000. The application cycle runs October 15th through January 15th. Click Here to access our online system. The system will open on October 15, 2016.

If you have questions about the program, contact Christopher Fipps at cfipps@nccommunityfoundation.org or Leslie Ann Jackson at lajackson@nccommunityfoundation.org.

"Finding Water"

2017 Water Conservation Poster Contest

Grade Levels: 6-8

Even though the earth is more than 70% water, only about 1% of it is easily accessible!

Show us where you would look for clean drinking water and how you would conserve it once found.


To schedule a presentation, please visit:

DurhamSavesWater.org or email: savewater@durhamnc.gov

Nominate an Outstanding Earth Science Teacher and Educator (OEST and OESE)!

Deadline is March 31, 2017!!

· Two separate awards: OEST and OESE

· Download the Nomination Form and Award Descriptions at: https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/energy-mineral-land-resources/north-carolina-geological-survey/geoscience-education/outstanding-educators-awards

Student Opportunities

Announcing a special edition of UNC's Climate Leadership and Energy Awareness Program (Climate LEAP) for 2017 Climate Change & Community Resilience

This special edition of Climate LEAP is intended for highly motivated students who are interested in learning about the change climate impacts to public health and public health infrastructure, vulnerable populations and climate justice, planning and design for resilient communities. Twenty students will be selected to participate through a competitive application process. Climate LEAP is open to current 9th-11th graders who attend any school within a 30-mile radius of UNC-Chapel Hill. We especially welcome applications from females and/or those who identify as members of minority groups. Students should have an interest in learning about climate science and the solutions to address climate change to build the capacity of communities to respond to climate change.

Climate LEAP students will:

  • Participate in a FREE, 3-day nonresidential Summer Institute at UNC July 11-13, 2017.
  • Attend at least three academic year events (Saturdays or Teacher Workdays) during the 2017 calendar year. There will be a required event Saturday February 18, 2017.
  • Connect with youth from New York City’s Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School to study to how communities can prepare for and respond to climate change.
  • Explore how your community can prepare for climate change and protect its vulnerable populations; select students will have the opportunity to attend NYU’s May 2017 Social Justice Expo in New York City.
  • Learn about careers in public health, city and regional planning and social justice.

Application Materials

Visit climateleap.unc.edu to access student application and teacher nomination form. Completed applications are due by midnight on Monday January 16th, 2017. Students selected to participate will be notified on or before January 25th, 2017.

This year-long program is FREE and students will receive a modest stipend for completing the summer institute and upon the completion of three academic year events including the Feb 18th Saturday Academy.

The North Carolina Collaborative (NCC) Summer Research Experience Program

is recruiting high school students and teachers for its 2017 session! The NCC program provides an intensive research experience over 8 weeks in the summer, focusing on pharmaco-epidemiological research methodology and scientific writing skills. Participants are placed in teams and matched with Duke faculty mentors to work on an original, hypothesis-driven project, progressing through draft figures and tables, an abstract, a PowerPoint presentation, and a written thesis. The research experience is supplemented with content-related tutorials provided by Duke medicine and pediatrics faculty members, a statistician, a medical writer, and other research staff. The program also includes an intensive medical ethics seminar on the responsible conduct of research. Additionally, students (ages 18+) may experience clinical medicine firsthand by shadowing a physician on hospital rounds. Applications will be accepted starting in November. Check out the program website for more information: https://dcri.org/education-training/ncc-research/NCC-research.

FREE 2017 Environmental Science Summer Program (ESSP) at Duke

What is ESSP? ESSP is a free-of-charge, intensive 2-week environmental science summer program at Duke, which has operated since 2012. High school students selected for the program have the opportunity to:

  • Work with outstanding interdisciplinary faculty
  • Explore local environmental issues
  • Collect data in the field (think: in the creek with waders!)
  • Receiving training with the Nicholas School's own first-rate Career Service professionals
  • Learn to give a presentation, ace an interview, and create a resume
  • Receive one-on-one college counseling

Please share this link with students: sites.nicholas.duke.edu/essp

Science Resources

Citizen Science at School! Join North Carolina’s Candid Critters!

Have you ever wondered what mammals are living in the areas where you go every day? Who is hiding in the patches of “wild” near your work or home? What’s living in your local parks? That is exactly what we would like to find out! Candid Critters is a citizen science camera trapping project that will survey the mammals in the entire state of North Carolina. Participants in this ambitious project will help us set cameras in all 100 counties at over 28,000 sites throughout the state over the next three years! This type of data collection is unprecedented, and will only be possible with your help. We are interested in teaming up with individual citizen scientists as well as schools, libraries, museums, nature centers and more to help run cameras as well as recruit, engage, and equip citizen-science volunteers.

Data from this survey will be used to improve both conservation and management techniques for North Carolina’s wildlife. This collaborative project between the NC Museum of Natural Sciences and the NC Wildlife Resources Commission strives to engage the public to connect with nature in their local communities. If you are interested in joining our project or have any questions, please check out our attached brochure and sign up at NCCandidCritters.org.

NC River Basins- Interactive Map

Find out which river basin your live in using this interactive map (http://www.eenorthcarolina.org/riverbasins-gis-map.asp).

Explore the ecology of your area using the Discover Your Ecological Address Interactive map (http://ncdenr.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=6b03c62763074346957e6c5096814bee).

For more FREE resources and information regarding North Carolina's river basins, visit http://www.eenorthcarolina.org/riverbasins.html.

School Year PD for Science Teachers

All Urban Streams are NOT Created Equal: A Case Study on Creek Smart(R) Neighborhood Design-- A Special Opportunity for Earth and Environmental Science

We have a special opportunity to participate in a unique workshop! The session will take place on Monday, January 23rd from 1-4PM. Teachers will experience a curriculum unit that introduces students to watershed land cover features that impact stream health, as well as small-scale strategies to minimize storm water runoff. The unit follows the 5E Instructional Model and includes class discussions and activities, an interactive lecture, and a final assessment in which students apply what they have learned to design a green neighborhood that minimizes human impacts on stream health. Teachers will leave the workshop with a hard copy and an electronic copy of all curriculum materials in the unit.

The workshop will take place at the NC School of Science & Mathematics, Durham, NC. Directions and parking information are available at the link:


To Signup: Visit http://ellerbecreek.org/support/event-signup.html and click on “Teacher Workshop – Creek Smart Curriculum” IF THIS IS NOT A WORKDAY FOR YOU, please let me know if you need a sub! Questions?: Contact Chris Sajdak, Education and Outreach Coordinator at ECWA: americorps@ellerbecreek.org or (616) 403-0297

Rx for Science Literacy: What, Where, How and Why of Health Science Research

Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Duke University, Durham
8:00 am – 4:00 pm


Rx for Science Literacy will partner with Duke University to present Rx for Science Literacy: The What, Where, How and Why of Health Science Research. This is an introductory workshop based on NCABR’s comprehensive Rx for Science Literacy curriculum manual, which provides an overview of the biomedical research process.

Rx for Science Literacy: Chemicals, the Environment, and You

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Research Triangle Park
8:00 am – 4:00 pm


Rx for Science Literacy will partner with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to present Rx for Science Literacy: Chemicals, the Environment, and You. This workshop is based on a curriculum developed by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The curriculum focuses on the science of toxicology to help students understand the relationship between chemicals in the environment and human health. It also conveys the influence of chemicals on the health of living organisms.

Rx for Science Literacy: Human Genetic Variation

Friday, February 10, 2017
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Research Triangle Park
8:00 am – 4:00 pm


Rx for Science Literacy will partner with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to present Rx for Science Literacy: Human Genetic Variation. This workshop addresses the basics of human genetics, its potential to improve human health, and its application towards understanding and describing human evolution. Dr. Kathleen Vandiver from MIT will conduct a training session with a sample curriculum, using the MIT Edgerton Center DNA/RNA and protein sets. This workshop is most applicable to high school teachers and those teaching advanced middle school students.

Solar Eclipse Teacher Workshop

Saturday, January 28th, 2017, 11am

NC Museum of Natural Sciences


Are you ready for the 2017 Solar Eclipse? On Monday, August 21, 2017 in the early afternoon, the Earth, Moon, and Sun will line up for a spectacular dance playing out across the North American continent. What do you need to know? Where do you need to go? And how do you tell this story - physical, cultural, historical - to your unique audience? Expect to take home tools for exploring the eclipse phenomena with your family, friends, neighbors, students. Register online: https://form.jotform.com/70024423971147

Likin' Lichens Educator Workshop

Februrary 17 - 19, 2017

Lichens, these mysterious organisms, have fascinated people for years. Not a plant, not a fungus, but a surprisingly elegant combination of the two. Spend the weekend delving into the enchanting world of lichens as we learn their basic ecology, identification, and natural history during this field-based workshop. Workshop lasts from Friday supper to Sunday lunch. Workshop fee includes all instruction, materials, meals and lodging.

Cost for educators: Thanks to a generous grant from North Carolina Department of Transportation, this course is offered to 10 K-12 educators for a non-refundable registration fee of $50 per person. Two educators per school. Register now!


  • Fee: $145 (includes lodging, some meals)
  • Join curators from the NC Museum of Natural Sciences and the NC Museum of History for a cross-curricular workshop to learn about the natural and cultural history of North Carolina’s coastal plain. Explore the longleaf pine ecosystem, one of our most biologically diverse habitats and learn about a range of topics from harvesting pitch to carnivorous pitcher plants!

Summer Opportunities

Real World Science 2017 Cohort

The National WWII Museum is looking for 28 5th-8th grade science teachers from across the country who want to spend a week in New Orleans learning how to teach hands-on minds-on science connected to WWII history. The cohort will spend a week in July in New Orleans, with workshops at the Museum, and a day and a half at the University of New Orleans’ Advanced Materials Research Institute for. Travel, room, and most meals are paid. For more information:

The National WWII Museum | New Orleans: Learn: For Teachers: Real World Science Summer Teacher Seminar Presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation

Applications are now open for the 2017 CDC Science Ambassador Fellowship!

The competitive fellowship is for teachers and educational leaders interested in bringing public health into current middle- and high- school classrooms. It includes a 5-day summer course (July 10-14,2017) at CDC headquarters in Atlanta, GA and a 1-year distance-basedprofessional development opportunity. Applications are due February 15, 2017.

Applications are now open for the August 2017 BEETLES Leadership Institute

This Institute will take place from August 6th-11th, 2017, in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. Applications will close Monday, January 16th, 2017. This is the first of five FREE (including room/board and a travel stipend) Institutes, funded by the National Science Foundation, that will take place over the next three years. Each Leadership Institute will engage participants in stimulating conversations, build leadership expertise, share wisdom across a variety of programs, and model research-based resources for professional learning and student experiences.

NC Sustainable Forestry Workshops

These workshop are designed to educate teachers about forestry and the importance of forestry to the state of North Carolina. The cost is only $50. The NCFA and its partners pay for all food, lodging, and transportation once at the workshop. We also pay for a fun activities at each workshop for the teachers. This year, it is touring Biltmore Estates in Asheville at the Mountain Workshop, and a wine tour/tasting at the Piedmont workshop. Educators receive 30 CEU contact hours for attending and take back a wealth of knowledge to share with their students. Our application period closes on April 15th, 2017. If you have any questions please contact Eddie Reese at 919-834-3943 ext. 2. or at ereese@ncforestry.org.

Science in the News

Full Course of Antibiotics Is Best for Infant Ear Infections, Study Finds


In the study of 520 babies ages 6 to 23 months, a five-day treatment for babies was found to be lacking, unlike the standard 10-day course.

Spiking Temperatures in the Arctic Startle Scientists


A spate of extreme warmth is linked to climate change, and may lead to shrinking ice coverage and even more warming in the region, scientists said.

It’s a Bird Wearing Goggles, and Flying Through Lasers


A goggle-wearing small parrot helps scientists understand flight, and disabuses them of some false assumptions.

Iceland Is Drilling a 3-Mile Hole to Tap Magma Power


Powering Up Renewable Energy on Public Lands



A 7.8 the earthquake uplifted sections of the earth crust out of the water to create new land! Also see the video for some impressive footage and the blog post hyperlink for more pictures. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=89206&src=n

Drought and Fire in the Southeast