May 2016 Science News

May Visits, Summer Chem Removal, Announcements, Kudos & More

May Visits, Helpful Curriculum Resources & CEU Opportunities

Happy May everyone! It is certainly hard to believe that yet another school year is winding down!

I have missed sending out Smores on a monthly basis this year as the sophomore campaign has been exceedingly busy indeed. I will definitely try to get back to being consistent with the newsletters next year.

Also, last year, I conducted May visits at each school. I will not be able to fit those in this year in the same fashion. However, please let me know if you need anything, have questions, comments, concerns, etc....

****You can also bring up items to your Science Advisory Team representative as we have an upcoming meeting on Thursday, May 12th. I want to make sure that everyone feels supported and informed. I can't change everything that I wish I could, but I'm always striving to promote positive change.


****Here are some GREAT Curriculum Resources to check out for the Core 5 Science courses (Through a collaboration with the Statesville Team):



Earth Science:

Physical Science:



There are a few remaining UCPS sponsored opportunities for earning CEUs during this school year as well as at the start of the 2016-2017 school year.

1) May 12th, 4pm-6pm at the PDC; Science PLC Meeting. This awards 0.2 CEUs for any teacher that attends.

2) June 14th & 15th, 8:30am-3:30pm each day at Weddington High School: You can join the Science Advisory Team in constructing curriculum for various courses. Each day is worth 0.6 CEUs for a total of 1.2 CEUs possible.

3) August 19th; Location, time and more specifics are still to be determined. We will have our county Curriculum Kickoff. You can earn 1.0 CEUs total if you agree to conduct a content-oriented breakout session (see info below pertaining to this). Or, if you prefer to attend the event and not present during a session, you will earn 0.6 CEUs to start the next school year.

During August 2015, I had the assistance of three gentlemen (Noah Setzer, Ryan Williams and Vince Palmer) for the C & I Fair, as they conducted presentations. They will all earn 0.4 CEUs for their assistance in preparing for the event as well as 0.6 CEUs for attending the C & I Fair. In this way, they all get to the required minimum of 1.0 CEUs earned in order to show up for credit.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need assistance.

Summer Chemical Removal & REBINDS

Just as took place last year, there will be a chemical removal during the summer 2016. I anticipate that it will occur in late June. It should be a very small-scale effort this time around as opposed to last year's large overhaul. I will again come by the schools during May in order to box and label items intended for removal.

Tentative Schedule:

05/17= CATA and UCV, FHHS, Monroe

05/18= Piedmont, PRHS

05/19= Cuthbertson, MRHS, South Providence

05/23= Parkwood, UCEC

05/24= SVHS, Weddington

05/25= *Flex day to revisit/finish where applicable*

****Please let me know if your campus does not require this service so that I can concentrate efforts elsewhere as needed.

Thank you for helping keep your labs & storage areas clean and safe,


During the dates listed above at each location, I will assist with trying to locate, box and generally preserve books that could use rebinding service over the summer. This is very important from a general perspective for all the schools in the county.

Thanks for your support!

Announcements, Kudos & More


I know that there will be some shuffling within schools and departments next year. I sincerely wish all of you the best & hope that you've had an enjoyable time within UCPS! Please let me know if I can offer any professional assistance.

Also, I am always happy to hear of any teaching candidates that you may know of. Please provide me some information pertaining to this if you haven't already. It is of paramount importance that we not only retain, but recruit quality educators!

On that note, I believe that if we build relationships, that will be a key piece in hopefully maintaining our strong Science educators throughout the county. I would like to have our Spring Leisure outing on Saturday, June 11th (11:00am to 2pm) at Stallings Park:

I am envisioning a pot-luck type picnic, very family friendly overall, for fun and team-building as well. I will bring the family and hope many of you do the same!


1) Alissa Hammersmith of Cuthbertson was named a 'Hometown Hero'.

2) MRHS Science Fair Highlights:

  • a 1st place NC State Project came in second!!!
  • Two non-science and engineering fair team students came in 3rd!
  • half of the honorable mentions were from science classes, not the science fair team

3) MRHS: UNCC Science Fair Awards:

****(This is a letter from Neil Palkar a student at MRHS)****

Below please find the link I just received to the UNCC newsletter announcing my win and that of all the Marvin Ridge High School students:

I also want to give you a little background on my project. The project title is "Red fluorescent visualization of chimeric antigen receptor expression on T cells to detect immune response capability of targeting tumor-associated MUC1" and the goal of my experiment was to modify the immune system by genetically engineering T cells to actively seek and destroy cancerous cells containing the antigen known as tumor-associated MUC1. I was able to identify the modifications that took place through marking these alterations with mKate, a red fluorescent protein. I have been working on this project since last summer and also during the school year under the mentorship of Dr. Pinku Mukherjee and Dr. Yazdanifar in Dr. Mukherjee's lab at UNC Charlotte. I have learned a lot during this process and am thankful for that. I am proud to represent MRHS at ISEF in Phoenix, AZ, in May. Go Mavericks!


Neil Palkar

4) Monroe High School is hosting a Science Fair on May 11th!

5) Great work to all of the teams that participate in Science Olympiad, NC JETS, etc....

Thank you for all of your hard work and all that you do to positively impact students!!!!


Congratulations to Mrs. Miranda Calandro of CATA and family for their recent new addition!

Congratulations to Mrs. Amanda Starnes of Piedmont and family for their recent new addition!

Congratulations to Mrs. Kelly Pipkins (formerly Anderson) of Sun Valley for her recent wedding!