DPS Secondary Science News

November, 2017

NSTA comes to North Carolina and other opportunities

Have you heard?

NSTA is going to be in Charlotte in November, 2018. I hope you will consider presenting at this area conference. If you've never had the opportunity to attend a NSTA conference, it is an amazing opportunity, both to share your expertise with teachers across the nation and to gather resources for you and your students.

Along those lines, Kenan Fellowships are now open and recruiting fellows for next year. Please also consider applying for this leadership opportunity. In this newsletter, you'll see several other unique paid opportunities, including Duke's Academic Research STAR program and Modeling workshops through The Science House. The Science House is adding a middle school modeling course-- AND as a grant partner, DPS teachers have priority access to this opportunity.

If you need funding, consider a Burroughs Wellcome Fund PRISM grant (see details below). This local grant is relatively easy to write and can help you enrich the science experience of your students.

In the next few weeks, be sure to take time for yourself and your family and enjoy the break! Personally, I'm heading to LA to spend time with a very special 5 year old boy. I cannot wait!

Have a wonderful holiday!

Upcoming Events- Details coming soon to your inbox

  • November 16 Middle School Teacher Academy (8th grade science), 3-5 p.m. @ Carrington
  • November 30 L2N Network Meeting @ SDC
  • December 6 Early Release Day- optional sessions for: 8th Grade Science (Performance Assessment Tasks: Energy Resources Unit) and Biology (Power for PowerPoint). Look for details soon.
  • December 7 Lithosphere Kit Unpacking for 6th Grade Science, 8:30-3:30 @ SDC
  • January 11 L2N Network Meeting @ SDC

Quick News

  • Volunteers are needed for our Durham Regional Science Olympiad Tournament on March 3 at Riverside! This is a super fun day of science activity! Volunteers are needed for all aspects of the program including setup, leading events, awards ceremony, and cleanup. Sign up here: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0d49aca823aaf58-durham

  • You should have received an email from Safe Schools to complete the science lab safety training. Please make sure you complete this ASAP. I will be contacting Principals with the list of teachers who have yet to complete this. Thanks!

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Leadership Opportunity for Science Teachers

NSTA is coming to Charlotte! Apply to be a presenter!

The date of the conference will be November 29 - December 1, 2018.

Consider submitting a session proposal to present at the Charlotte conference. The deadline is coming quick....JANUARY 16, 2018! Three strands/themes that will be at the conference are: "Illuminate Literacy Through Science", "Amp Up Science Instruction", and "High-Voltage Science Strategies Beyond Standards".


Congratulations to our Science Teachers!

Congratulations to Laura Clarke at CMA who sucessfully renewed her National Board certification.

Been recognized for something? Let me know, so we can celebrate your professional achievements!

Grants, Goodies, & Opportunities

Durham Regional B/C Science Olympiad Tournament

The Durham Regional B/C Science Olympiad Tournament is on March 3 at Riverside High School. You can find more information about this tournament here: https://ncsodurhamregional.weebly.com/

Please make sure your school is registered if you have a team! We are quickly running out of spaces for teams. https://www.sciencenc.com/tournament-registration.php

EarthEcho Expeditions in an annual program hosted by Philippe Cousteau that brings STEM education content alive for today’s 21st-century learners and their educators! During October 2017, the EarthEcho team joined teachers and scientists in Southern California to examine water scarcity for this year’s EarthEcho Expedition: Water By Design. Now we want to bring one of our amazing partners to your classroom via YouTube Live!

Join EarthEcho International and Nathan Taxel Director of Outdoor Education at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, CA. This event will allow middle school students to explore land-based water pollution and how it impacts aquatic organisms as far downstream as the ocean. Students will have the opportunity to interact with our water expert and ask questions about some special aquatic guests! The YouTube Live event will take place on Monday, December 11, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. EST.

Learn more and register your class today here!

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Kenan Fellows 2018-2019 applications open in December

The Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership will begin accepting online applications for its 2018-19 Fellowship year on Dec. 1. Please continue to check their website often as new fellowships are being updated regularly. These exclusive 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 and high-tech manufacturing industries.

View the Fellowships available this upcoming cycle.

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.

Founded in 2000, the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership addresses the critical need for high-quality professional development for educators, and is the largest (science, technology, engineering and math) STEM-focused teacher leadership program in North Carolina.

Approximately 50 outstanding K–12 teachers from across the state are selected annually for this year-long program.

The North Carolina Science Leadership Fellows Program

Applications Due December 10, 2017

What is it? The North Carolina Science Leadership Association (NCSLA) Science Leadership Fellows Program is a leadership program that fosters science leadership in North Carolina.

What is it about? The purpose of the NCSLA Science Leadership Fellows Program is to enhance professional competence and develop the leadership abilities necessary for science/STEM leaders to operate effectively in various leadership positions in science education.

What topics will I learn about? Grant writing, Organizational Change, Conflict Resolution, Professional Development, etc.

Who can apply? Educators (formal and informal), science/STEM teachers, university science/STEM leaders, science administrators, science supervisors, etc

Where can I find out more information? http://ncsla.net/login/lead/science-leadership-fellows-program

Applications Due December 10, 2017

The North Carolina Science Leadership Association (NCSLA) provides opportunities for science educators at all levels to exchange ideas and information, promote the cause of quality science instruction, and influence the creation of policies and legislation. Today, science leadership begins in every school and includes lead teachers, department chairs, science coordinators and supervisors, university professors, state agency specialists, private science consultants, business and industry. No matter what role you play, NCSLA is your source for information and the place where your voice can be heard in improving the quality of science education across North Carolina. You can learn more at http://www.ncsla.net


Did you know that even if you couldn't attend the recent SciREN Triangle event, you can still access the lesson plans scientists created for the event? The SciREN Portal has over 200 free, curriculum correlated STEM lesson plans available online! You can search by grade level, subject, and much more! These lessons are completely free and anyone can access them; all you have to do is make an account. You can do this by clicking "Register" in the top left corner of www.thesciren.org, and can learn more about using the portal here: http://www.thesciren.org/how-to-use-this-site/.

  • Here is a list of organizations who may be able to help you get in touch with scientists (and a few other resources).
  • Here is a communication guide to streamline your communication when scheduling a scientist visit. This guide was compiled by myself (a scientist) and Corie Hlavaty (a DPS educator) using our past experiences to help make sure everyone gets the necessary information to make these visits a success.

Promoting Innovation in Science and Mathematics

Burroughs Wellcome Fund supports teaching professionals in their efforts to provide quality hands-on, inquiry-based activities for their students. PRISM promotes excitement for science and mathematics in the classroom by providing funds for materials, equipment, and supplies related to the implementation of high quality curriculum and activities in the classroom. This award provides up to $3,000 for one year to cover the cost of equipment, materials, and supplies. An additional $1,500 may be requested for professional development related to the implementation of new equipment or use of materials in the classroom. Awards are made to teaching professionals that hold a professional educator's license to teach in a North Carolina K-12 public school.

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North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center Teacher Awards

Each year, the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center offers awards that recognize individuals and organizations whose extraordinary contributions to science, mathematics, and technology education in North Carolina are helping to advance education in NC.

Categories include K-8 teacher, 9-16 teacher, informal educator, administrator, student leadership as well as awards that recognize businesses and organizations that support STEM education. Educator and student award recipients receive $1,000. Recipients of the awards are honored in the spring at the Celebration of Science, Mathematics, and Technology.

View http://ncsmt.org/awards/overview/ for more information and to see videos of last year's winners. Deadline to nominate is December 1.

STEM Partnerships with NC Science Festival

Middle school classrooms can bring in a STEM expert to introduce students to new STEM careers and engage them through a hands-on activity as part of our Novozymes SciMatch program. Apply now so we can make a perfect match!

High school teachers of any subject are invited to bring our Science Spotlight into their classes anytime this fall or spring. Your students will engage in critical thinking and discussions of a key issue with science and policy implications. You’ll also have the opportunity to bring a STEM expert into your classroom (in person or virtually) to take the discussion to the next level with you students. Apply now to share this great program with your students!

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What is Stream Watch?

Stream Watch is a program designed for anyone interested in cleaning and/or monitoring a stream or river in their community. We have recently launched the capability of collecting crowd-sourced data into an interactive map.

Who Can Join?

Anyone is welcome to join! The minimum requirement we ask for is 2 litter pick-ups per year and submission of at least one photo per event. However, you can also turn your Stream Watch group into a data collection team and gather chemical data collection as well as macroinvertebrate data! Groups can be any size, any background, and from any corner of North Carolina. Ideally, we will have several groups in each river basin across North Carolina.

Click here for the application form and then email it to Lauren.Daniel@ncdenr.gov.

Student Opportunities in Science

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Let Morehead's mobile programs bring the field trip experience to your school! Your choices include planetarium shows in our mobile planetarium (K-12), real-world science laboratory experiences in our mobile lab (6-12) or classroom enrichment visits (K-8) filled with hands-on activities and demonstrations with a Morehead educator.

Find out more in our Teacher's Guide or use our website to plan a personalized visit to your school!

Worried about funding this experience? Morehead's mission is to spread science education throughout the stat of North Carolina. Through the help of our generous donors we are able to offer scholarships for mobile outreach visits. Request scholarship funding when you complete your online reservation form or email our reservations team to find out more.

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Bookings for class visits to the Biogen RTP Community Lab for the 2017-18 school year are now open!

The Biogen RTP Community Lab is a state-of-the-art, real-world facility where middle and high school students engage in hands-on biotechnology experiments and interact with Biogen employees. We hope to ignite the curiosity in students today to help shape the scientists of tomorrow. The Community Lab programs can be an extremely helpful addition to your curriculum. The labs were developed together with DPS and WCPSS teachers to reflect what is being taught in the classroom and cover several NC Essential Standards. 91% of students agreed that they learned something in the Community Lab program that they can use in their science class at school. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to show your students how their classroom learning connects to science in the real-world!

If you are interested in bringing your class this school year, click on the booking form link. Don’t wait! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CLabBooking17-18

PD Opportunities for Teachers

Modeling Institutes in Secondary Science-- PRIORITY FOR DPS SCIENCE TEACHERS

Grade Level(s): High School Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Physical Science, & Middle School Science
Date(s): 2018 Summer Modeling Institutes
Location: North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Cost: Supported by a Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) grant from the US Department of Education and the NC Department of Public Instruction

Description: Modeling Institutes provide professional development in secondary science through a research-based, reform-oriented pedagogy called Modeling Instruction for science teachers in North Carolina. To learn more about Modeling Instruction please visit the American Modeling Teachers Association.

2018 Summer Modeling Courses:

  • Modeling Chemistry - June 18 - 29, 2018 (excludes weekend dates)
  • Modeling Physics: Electricity & Magnetism - July 9 - 27, 2018 (excludes weekend dates)
  • Modeling Middle School Science - July 16 - 27, 2018 (excludes weekend dates)
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The Duke Summer Training in Academic Research (STAR) Program is recruiting teachers to assist with their summer program (see details above). This is a paid opportunity. https://www.dcri.org/education/dukes-star-program/

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Join the Museum of Natural Sciences onsite or in the field for a professional development workshop this year! Our Educator Treks are online, and we’re excepting registrations now. The full listings are on our website at: http://naturalsciences.org/calendar/events/category/series/educator-treks/

Genes, Alleles, and Chromosomes, Oh My!
NCMNS • Sat, Dec 9 • 9-5 • $40 • 8 contact hours
Need a refresher on how DNA, chromosomes, genes and alleles are related? Want some tips on how to demonstrate the importance of meiosis to genetic variation? Spend the day in the Micro World Investigate Lab testing out a variety of hands-on genetics activities appropriate for upper elementary and middle school students and making instructional materials to take back to your classroom.

Where Swans Fly and Bears Walk
Pocosin Lakes Nat'l Wildlife Refuge • Fri, Jan 5 – Sat, Jan 6 • $90 • 12 contact hours
Experience one of the greatest wildlife spectacles in North Carolina and gain ideas for incorporating wild creatures into your teaching.

Mammal Collections
NCMNS • Sat, Feb 10 • 9-5 • $40 • 8 contact hours
Learn techniques used by museum curators to collect, prepare, and care for mammal specimens in a research collection.

Backbone of North Carolina
Sites along the Blue Ridge Parkway • Fri, Mar 2 – Sun, Mar 4 • $145 • 20 contact hours
Explore the geology of the North Carolina mountains as we travel along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway from Linville Gorge to Grandfather Mountain.

Secrets of the Swamp
Roanoke River near Jamesville, NC • Sat, Apr 7 – Sun, Apr 8 • $80 • 20 contact hours
Canoe and camp in a North Carolina swamp forest along the majestic Roanoke River and learn about the unique bottomland hardwood forest ecosystem.

Pitcher This: Plants that Eat Bugs
Green Swamp and Holly Shelter, near Wilmington, NC • Sat, Apr 21 – Sun, Apr 22 • $90 • 12 contact hours
North Carolina is home to an amazing diversity of plants, including some of the ‘most wonderful plants in the world,’ according to Charles Darwin. Join the Museum and the NC Botanical Garden to discover and learn about our wonderful insect-eating plants and the habitats in which they thrive.

Spring in the Mountains
Great Smoky Mountains National Park • Fri, Apr 27 – Sun, Apr 29 • $90 • 20 contact hours
Participate in ongoing research projects studying the impacts of air quality and climate change and bring home ideas to teach about our interdependence with the natural world.

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We are excited to announce that Tremont's 2018 Program Catalog is online! Tremont has outstanding programs designed for next year and we hope you will join us for an adventure in the Smokies. Spend time learning and exploring Great Smoky Mountains National Park with our friendly Tremont staff. Registration for 2018 programs opens mid-October online at www.gsmit.org. You will simply register online at www.gsmit.org. The printed catalog will be mailed mid-October. If you would like to receive a copy of our catalog, email laurabeth@gsmit.org.

2018 Program Catalog

Science in the News

Trillions of Flies Can’t All Be Bad


The world’s flies do much more than annoy us. Pollinating plants, cleaning up carcasses, swabbing drains — flies are part of every strand of the web of life.

The Secret to Long Life? It May Lurk in the DNA of the Oldest Among Us


James Clement has scoured the globe for supercentenarians, aged 110 and older, willing to contribute their genomes to a rare scientific cache.

Floating Cities, No Longer Science Fiction, Begin to Take Shape


At times, the story of the seasteading movement seems to lapse into self parody, but there are now companies, academics, architects and even a government working together on a prototype by 2020.

Dinosaurs Might Not Be Extinct Had the Asteroid Struck Elsewhere


Had the asteroid that doomed dinosaurs crashed nearly anywhere other than the coast of Mexico, they might not have gone extinct, researchers say.