BOCES 4 Science Update

Summer 2020

This newsletter is dedicated to providing updates on BOCES 4 Science units of study, professional development opportunities, and the latest information on teaching and learning through the lens of the NYSSLS.
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BOCES 4 Science Update -- Steven Montemarano, Director

"In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity" -- Albert Einstein


This quote has been a driving force to help BOCES 4 Science move forward throughout these uncertain times. We continue to work to support students, teachers, and schools with science education.


This spring (since schools closed in March), our professional staff at BOCES 4 Science has:


  • developed extension tasks for student to continue to explore science while at home -- which has included "low-tech" tasks that don't require internet connectivity
  • learned how to use Zoom technology to support digital learning opportunities for teachers
  • conducted over 20 digital professional learning sessions on our units of instruction -- which has engaged more than 400 teachers in professional development
  • recorded, edited, and uploaded professional learning videos to the BOCES 4 Science website (http://www.boces4science.org) so teachers have on-demand access to learning opportunities


We know this was a great start, but there is still much to be done. Currently we are working on our "Online Learning Plan" and "Alternative-Setting Plan". These plans will be available to support teachers to bring hands-on science to students whether they are at school, at home, or learning in a hybrid setting.


These plans will include:


  • lists of materials that can be sent home from the resource kits to support hands-on learning
  • management suggestions for teaching science in school without sharing materials
  • additional professional development videos
  • teacher and student slide decks that are aligned with our units of instruction and that link to other videos & interactive sites to support content development
  • opportunities to collaborate with our professional staff to support teaching and learning -- which can include content development, lesson planning, or modeling of lessons



We continue to work to support educators as you prepare for teaching in the fall. We believe that science education is vital for all students to help them prepare for college and career.


I invite you to connect with me around how we can better support you to bring hands-on science to all students. This can be from a quick email, phone call, or Zoom meeting. I am happy to meet and chat about our services.


Thank you for your continued partnership. Our core mission at BOCES 4 Science is to actively engage all students in amazing science -- and our collaboration with you gets us one step closer to making that a reality.

Online Learning Sample Screen Shots

Below are some sample screen shots highlighting some of the additional resources BOCES 4 Science professional staff are working on -- to combine pedagogy and instructional technology to maintain hands-on science for all students.
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Commentary -- In planning for reopening schools, importance of teaching science must not be lost

https://calmatters.org/commentary/in-planning-for-reopening-schools-importance-of-teaching-science-may-be-lost/ by Teresa Barnett, executive director at Community Resources for Science


Select Quotes from article:


"Not every kid will grow up to be a rocket scientist, but every kid deserves a chance to gain the scientific literacy they will need to be ready for a wide range of jobs of the future and to be informed citizens. Well-designed science lessons empower children to explore questions that arise from their emerging observation and understanding of the world they live in."


"Unless parents and business leaders urge state and local leaders to prioritize science...there is danger of science once again being viewed as an “extra” to sprinkle in now and then as time and funding permit."


"Yet, as we have seen so clearly during this pandemic: science literacy matters now more than ever."


"The next generation of doctors, immunologists, chemists, researchers and problem solvers are sitting at home – rather than in classrooms – seeing in real time how powerful STEM professionals are in rising to the challenges we face and designing solutions that will lead us out of this crisis. We owe it to the K-12 students of today to make sure they have learning experiences that allow them to wonder, explore, investigate and discover answers to their questions about the world they live in."


"Everyone can play a role: Parents, ask your school board, PTA and principal to make sure science is happening and supported. School leaders, as a matter of equity and social justice, ensure your teachers have training, support and curriculum which engages all students in critical thinking and problem solving that is relevant to their daily lives."


"If we fail, who will be there to solve the challenges when another pandemic, or inevitable climate challenges, emerge in the future?"

What is Three Dimensional Learning in Science?

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2020-2021 BOCES 4 Science Leasing Catalog

If you haven't yet submitted your order for BOCES 4 Science, there is still time. The 2020-21 Leasing Catalog includes information about our units of study (including correlation to NYSSLS, suggested unit length, and description of concepts) along with ordering information.


If you have questions, please contact Steven Montemarano at smontema@monroe2boces.org

Steven L. Montemarano

Director of BOCES 4 Science