Science Newsletter

January 6, 2016

Science Standards Training

The final Science Standards Training will be held this month on either January 21 or 22. Your entire PLC is asked to attend one of the two sessions as a group, as you will be given time to work collaboratively to develop an OAS-aligned lesson. Use code 24 to reserve your sub.

Standards overview videos

Over the past year and a half, we have spent quite a bit of time talking about the new Oklahoma Academic Standards for Science. Yet, the idea of three dimensions of science may still seem a little bit foreign to us. Bozeman Science has created a video series that may help to demystify individual components of each of the three dimensions. Check the videos out! I recommend that PLCs get together and watch as a group. The link to all of the videos is below.

Sam Noble Museum Explorology

Applications for 2016 are now open! Are you an Oklahoma student or teacher who is wild about science? Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure of science discovery! Check out our website for information and applications:
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REAL WORLD SCIENCE—YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND TOMORROW How Necessity Creates Innovation in Science and Technology July 17-22, 2016 in New Orleans, LA

The National WWII Museum is excited to announce a week-long professional development opportunity to take place in the summer of 2016 for middle school science teachers. Twenty eight teachers from across the country will come to New Orleans to experience hands-on how necessity, knowledge, perseverance and skill lead to inventions, innovation, and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), just like in World War II.

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE: The seminar application is open to any science teacher (public, public charter, private, and parochial) with between 2 and 10 years of teaching experience in 5th-8th grade science, and who will be teaching a science course to students in the same age group in the 2016-2017 school year. Applications will be evaluated through a competitive process that will include information on teaching experience, a short written statement, and two letters of recommendation. Two spots will be reserved for qualifying Louisiana teachers.

COST: This seminar is supported by a grant from the Northrop Grumman Foundation. Teachers will receive free room and board in New Orleans, a travel stipend, and all seminar materials free of charge.

More information available at

Geo Camp for 5th-12th grade teachers

G-Camp for Teachers 2016 is an awesome opportunity for 5th-12th grade science teachers, district science coordinators, and TRC science project directors to experience and learn the principles of geology and Earth and environmental sciences in the field. During the two weeks, we will explore the landscapes of Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado, including volcanoes, mountains, sand dunes, faults, glacial features, streams, landslides, K-T Boundary, energy and mineral resource, and other exciting features.

We will travel by commercial bus to each field location and stay in motels. There are two participants per room. We cannot accommodate single rooms. Participants will receive a stipend to cover meals. Participants are responsible for getting themselves to College Station by departure time and getting themselves home after arrival back in College Station; other than that, participant expenses are covered.

Participants must be able to walk a couple of miles during the day, so being in good shape is a requirement. This walking is different than walking on the sidewalk or an athletic track. It is sometimes up and down steep inclines. It is on unpaved trails and many of the sites are at higher elevations than any location in Texas.

G-Camp 2016 will depart from College Station very early on Monday, June 27, and return in the late afternoon or early evening on Sunday, July 10.

The G-Camp application is attached and must be submitted by January 30, 2016. Thirty-two participants will be chosen by a selection committee, and applicants will be notified soon after selections are made.

For more information, visit the G-Camp web site at If you have questions, contact Dr. Rick Giardino at or Dr. Carolyn Schroeder at

McDonald Observatory Workshops

McDonald Observatory offers a unique setting for teacher workshops: the Observatory and Visitors Center in the Davis Mountains of West Texas.

Tours of the telescopes, discussions with the research astrophysicists in residence, and nighttime observations are an integral part of every workshop experience. Not only will you do inquiry-based activities aligned with science and mathematics TEKS and STAAR, you will practice your new astronomy skills under the Observatory’s dark skies, weather permitting, and partner with trained and nationally recognized astronomy educators. And, McDonald Observatory offers the international Galileo Teacher Training Program as part of each workshop.


  • 20 hours or more of Continuing Education Credit for Summer workshops
  • inquiry based activities that are TEKS- and STARR-aligned
  • immersion: lunch and dinner are at the Observatory
  • meet astronomers and discuss current astronomical research
  • practice basic astronomy skills

2016 Schedule, Fees and Information

Currently, scholarships for teachers are available for four of this summer's workshops, "Worlds Beyond Our Solar System", "Giant Magellan Telescope", "Venga! Explore Nearby Galaxies", and "Exoplanets and Our Solar System". For these funded workshops, room and board, program fees, and materials are provided by foundations and endowments. Funded or not, ALL of our workshops require accepted teachers to pay a refundable $100 deposit by April 4, 2016, and teachers are responsible for their own transportation to/from McDonald Observatory. For more important information, see below.


Solar System and BeyondJune 8-10K-8Available

Worlds Beyond Our Solar SystemJune 22-246-12Available

Giant Magellan TelescopeJune 26-286-12Available

Venga! Explore Nearby GalaxiesJuly 7-98-12Available

Exoplanets and Our Solar SystemJuly 11-136-12Available

Outside funding provides full scholarships for all U.S. teacher participants to attend "Worlds Beyond Our Solar System", "Giant Magellan Telescope", “Venga! Explore Nearby Galaxies”, and “Exoplanets and Our Solar System” workshops only. These scholarships cover lodging, meals, program fees, and instructional materials. Participants must arrange and pay for their own transportation to/from McDonald Observatory. Scholarship participants must pay a $100 deposit by April 4, 2016 to hold their reservation.

All programs include both day and night instructional sessions, materials, daytime tours, evening observing (weather permitting), lodging, and meals. Shared hotel rooms have been reserved for registered participants only. Participants who do not wish to share a room with another participant are responsible for reserving and paying for any other additional hotel room arrangements for themselves or accompanying family or friends. If you are participating in a workshop and will be arranging your own room, please let us know at least 45 days in advance of the workshop. Please be aware that some of the telescope observing activities will last until late hours.

All applications must be submitted by February 7, 2016. You should receive notification as to the status of your application on February 26, 2016. From ALL teachers accepted to any of the McDonald Observatory workshops, we require a $100 deposit to be made to our secure online system by April 4, 2016 to hold your reservations. If the deposit is not paid by this date, your spot will be given to the next qualified applicant.

More information is available at

Science Matters Mobile Museum

The most engaging way to learn is with hands-on experimenting. In the Science Matters Mobile Museum, students are immersed in a scientific learning environment. Filled with gadgets, gizmos and experiments, the museum is designed to engage inquiring minds and foster an appreciation of science and discovery. A field trip to a science museum can be very expensive and time-consuming for schools, especially in rural areas. With the Science Matters Mobile Museum, we can bring the same opportunities for fun and interactive science education to students in every part of the state.

OSTA is cohosting summer conference with OCTM

This year's Oklahoma Science Teacher Association conference will be held in conjunction with the Oklahoma Council for Teachers of Mathematics conference! Mark your calendars for this event, which is June 10.

K-8 STEM Institute

Save the Date! 5th Annual K-8 STEM Teacher Institute @ OSU will be June 24th! Please visit the event page as we want your input into session topics for this summer!

Opportunity for High School Students: RESEARCH SCIENCE INSTITUTE (RSI)

The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) co-sponsor the Research Science Institute (RSI) and are looking for talented 11th Grade STEM Students! Do you have an interest in Science Technology Engineering or Mathematics and a desire to complete a research program at an unforgettable summer research program?

Apply to the (RSI) program to be held on the MIT campus June 26 to August 6, 2016. You will meet some of the world's most talented students and top scientists and have an opportunity to conduct research in exciting labs! The program is free to students except for travel to and from MIT. If you are a high school junior and interested in the program, take a look at the CEE website or RSI application materials, and more information about the program.

See application information at:

If you’re interested and have any questions, please contact Maite Ballestero, Executive Vice President, Programs & Administration, See us on Facebook - look for Center for Excellence in Education!

Fleming Scholar Applications due February 1st

The Fleming Scholar Program was founded in 1956 as a way to give Oklahoma’s high school and college students “hands-on” biomedical research experience. The program is named for Sir Alexander Fleming, the famed British scientist, who discovered penicillin and in 1949 came to Oklahoma City to formally dedicate the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation’s first building. In the first news release about the program in 1956, the late Dean A. McGee, then Chairman of the Board of Directors’ Executive Committee, expressed the philosophy behind the program:

“We feel that students will greatly benefit from the opportunity of working shoulder-to-shoulder in the laboratories with our scientific personnel. Our scientists feel also that in this way they can make a direct contribution to the solution of the critical manpower shortage in the field of biology and medical research. We are shorthanded in terms of having adequate staff to do the job of expanding our knowledge in the field of human health, and perhaps by this program, we will be helping identify and stimulate the scientists of tomorrow.”

In 1982, the Fleming Scholar Program became a model for a national program funded by the federal government to bring the best and brightest high school and college students into contact with the best and brightest scientific and mathematical minds in government and non-government laboratories.

Today the Fleming Scholar Program remains popular, attracting as many as 100 applicants each year. Applications available at

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There is an important summer science opportunity for both high school teachers and students in chemistry and biochemistry at MU this summer. The Chemistry Immersion Program [CHIP] is a two-week professional development program for high school chemistry and biology teachers at the University of Missouri in Columbia. There will be two chemistry teachers and two biology teachers included in CHIP. Teachers will arrive on Sunday, July 10, 2016 and depart on Friday, July 22, 2016. During Week-I, teachers will refresh their knowledge of chemistry and biochemistry through chemistry and biochemistry laboratories, lecture, discussion, and collaboration with peers. During Week-II, CHIP teachers will teach the chemistry and biology concepts and laboratories to students attending CHIP.

MU Campus housing, dining, and one hour of graduate credit will be provided for all teachers accepted into CHIP. You will find additional information about both the teacher and student CHIP 2016 programs available on the CHIP website: to access additional information.

To apply to become a CHIP teacher fellow, you should visit our website: . From there you can navigate to the CHIP teacher fellows tab, which will give more information on our program, and the teacher application tab, which houses the application and lists all required materials. Applications and supplemental information can be submitted via email to, or through postal mail to:

University of Missouri – Columbia
Attn: Dr. Renee JiJi
125 Chemistry Bldg.
601 S. College Ave.
Columbia, MO 65211

Applications will be accepted until all positions are filled.

High school students are also invited to register for CHIP [dates: July 17-22, 2016]. Please share the attached CHIP for Students flyer with your students. There is a $200.00 registration fee for high school students or rising college freshmen interested in joining the program. CHIP for students is designed to prepare students to be successful in collegiate chemistry, biochemistry, and/or biology. Scholarships are available for students requiring assistance.

We are looking forward to an exciting summer of science and hope you can join us!

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Important Dates

  • Saturday follow-up session: January 23rd, 9:00-4:30 EPSAC (Every Day STEM for All participants)
  • Smart Starts: January 28th (first-year teachers)
  • Science Standards Training (required for all secondary science teachers)- January 21 OR 22 (come in PLC groups)
  • OSTA/OCTM Conference- June 10

  • Middle school benchmark windows: March 7-11, May 9-14 (no May benchmark for 8th grade)
  • High school benchmark windows: March 7-11, May 9-14 (no May benchmark for Biology/PreAP Biology)
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Updated curriculum documents

The following curriculum documents are located in the appropriate folder on the R drive:

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Get connected!

Before you continue reading, drop what you are doing and rush over to Facebook to join our EPS science communities! They are #EPSsciSecondary and #EPSsciK-8. (Middle school teachers, you get to belong to TWO fabulous communities!) This is a space for you to ask questions and share resources and ideas.

And for those of you Tweeters (Twitterers?), you can connect with other EPS science teachers using the hash tag #EPSstem. I would also encourage you to use this hashtag to show off all of the cool things that are going on in your class! And don't forget to follow the official EPS science page @EPSscience while you're there.

There might be random awesome gifts given to frequent social media users. (hint, hint)