The Biology Teachers Association of New Jersey

Our mission is to inspire and empower science educators

May 2016- Planting the seeds

NABT/BSCS Biology Teacher Academy Presented in partnership with HHMI BioInteractive

2016 woshop July 10-15, 2016

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The NABT/BSCS Biology Teacher Academy presented in partnership with HHMI Biointeractive focuses on promoting rigor in high-school biology and AP classes through meaningful classroom experiences and pedagogical strategies that engage students in scientific inquiry. The workshop is a collaborative endeavor of NABT Academy Biology Teacher-Leaders and Virginia Wesleyan College (VWC) faculty. Experienced AP Teacher-Leaders share teaching and learning processes developed through active participation in training provided by the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) and the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS).

Workshop attendees build common experiences through:

  • Lab work (e.g., protein electrophoresis);
  • Metacognition activities ("through the teacher lens")
  • Curriculum development focusing on content coherence
  • Experience with science practices
  • Work on the college's Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

Program participants experience ways to promote authentic biology experiences in schools with high-needs populations. Licensed Virginia teachers earn 50 re-certification points.

HHMI BioInteractive has provided critical funds for this project, and its partnership is gratefully acknowledged.

The Virginia Department of Education will assume the cost of registration, fees, and lodging for all Virginia school participants accepted into this program. To register, participants must pay $60 for membership in the National Association of Biology Teachers. Teachers from schools not meeting the state benchmark for accreditation in science will be given priority; however, this will also be available to a limited number of private high school biology teachers. Schools and school divisions are strongly encouraged to cover travel expenses for division participants as this cost is not assumed by the Department; however, this is not a requirement of the program.

Registration, fees, and lodging for non-Virginia teachers is $775.

This professional development program is funded by the Virginia Department of Education's Title II, Part A: Improving Teacher Quality program.

According to the Virginia state standards, several components are critical for student success in achieving science literacy:

  • identification of goals
  • demonstration of safety methods
  • effective use of instructional technology
  • investigation and understanding;
  • application of knowledge.

Workshop participants:

  • Develop and use an experimental design in scientific inquiry
  • Use the language of science to communicate understanding
  • Investigate phenomena using technology
  • Apply scientific concepts, skills, and processes to everyday experiences
  • Experience the richness and excitement of scientific discovery of the natural world through the collaborative quest for knowledge and understanding
  • Develop scientific dispositions and habits of mind including:
    • curiosity
    • demand for verification
    • respect for logic and rational thinking
    • consideration of premises and consequences
    • respect for historical contributions
    • attention to accuracy and precision
    • patience and persistence

Participants also work on developing a cohesive course that will enhance students' ability to 1) investigate and understand the material and to 2) apply the content.

If you have questions, please email Dr. Hilve Firek at

National Climate Game Jam Water!

Audience: K-16 students

Dates: April 15-24

In a White House Fact Sheet on Building a Sustainable Water Future released today, (, NOAA and partners announced a national climate game jam April 15-24 that will be held at​ multiple sites around the country. This event offers a unique opportunity for students, educators and scientists to work together on the development of climate game prototypes that span a range of platforms, topics, and audiences.

The Climate Game Jam Water! will encourage the creation of new game prototypes that allow players to learn about climate change and the impacts on water through a science-based interactive experience. Teams of students at schools or informal places can dedicate up to 48 hours of game design within the 10-day time period. Four age categories have been established along with five game categories (Hack this game, Paper Prototype, Analog Game, Basic Digital Game and Advanced Digital Game) Additional information about the game categories can be found at At each site, students will have virtual access to game developers, climate scientists to use open climate data and other resources to rapidly prototype new games that will help people better understand the effects of a changing climate on water, and how we can prepare for and adapt to them.

Game design teams will choose from important water related topics including changing precipitation patterns, freshwater supply and sources, ocean acidification, Polar issues, human use of water and marine/freshwater ecosystems. The spring game jam offers a unique opportunity for students to work as design teams, learn science facts, consider climate change impacts on water supply and produce engaging experiences for audiences of many ages. No previous experience with game design is necessary and most students play games so this is a perfect opportunity to use their interest in gaming along with investigating a critical climate topic.

The winners of the competition, along with the full list of game ideas and videos, will be posted at Winners will be invited to showcase their games in Washington, D.C. this summer. At the present time, we are recruiting host sites for the game jam around the country. Each site can establish limits to hours and audience. Sites at schools and informal venues must register to be eligible to submit 2-minute videos of game designs for judging. More information about the responsibilities of a site can be found at The portal includes a link to the site application, a full list of Game Jam partners, and a collection of links to places where visitors can learn more about climate change and its impact on water. Sign up to host a site:

We will confirm registration with the site point of contact. Come join the fun!

Kristin Hunter-Thomson, MSc, MAT Science Program Coordinator Rutgers, the State University 71 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 P: 848-932-3281 E:

Attention Marine Educators!!

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab offers a month long class in marine science for high school students. Students spend much of their time outside in the marine environments around Dauphin Island learning by doing. They receive more than180 contact hours of marine science from scientists, educators, and researchers over 4 weeks. Additionally, the class allows students to explore the variety of possible careers in the discipline. The course is approved by the state of Alabama for high school science credit allowing Alabama and most out of state students to earn credit.

Click here to view the flyer for more information!

Please direct any questions to Sara Johnson, Program Registrar at or 251-861-2141, 7515.

NJ Dept of Ed: Science Education Short Courses

The Office of Secondary Education is pleased to announce the availability of two free on-line Science Education Short Courses. The Institute for Science + Math Education at the University of Washington is producing a series of "Short Courses," acting as resource guides through a particular topic. Short Courses incorporate STEM Teaching Tools, other resources created by our team, and helpful tools created by outside sources. The courses can be explored individually or in a group setting, such as a departmental professional learning community or a day of professional development. The first two short courses focus on formative assessment and how to adapt curriculum materials to meet the demands of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science.

· SHORT COURSE: How to Develop 3D Formative Assessments for the Science Classroom

· SHORT COURSE: How to use Curriculum Adaptation to Adopt the New Vision for Science Education

Questions regarding the short courses should be sent to


Exploring Stars through the Electromagnetic Spectrum (July 11, 2016)

Spend the day (and optional evening) in a local observatory, collaborating with fellow middle and high school science teachers as you explore stars and the electromagnetic spectrum through a variety of investigations. Reflect on how best to modify lessons to highlight specific NGSS Science and Engineering Practices in your own lessons. More specifically, participants will carry out a series of activities that illuminate various parts of the electromagnetic spectrum and their astronomical applications; engage in investigations that exemplify several of NGSS’s Science and Engineering Practices; and reflect on how the investigations were modified to encourage the engagement of Science Practices and crosscutting concepts, and think about how these investigations may fit into local curriculum units.

The workshop will take place on Monday July 11th, from 8:30am to 3:30pm at the New Jersey Astronomical Association (NJAA) Paul Robinson Observatory in High Bridge, NJ. All participants (and their families!) are invited back to the Observatory (weather permitting) on the evening of the workshop for an optional private observing session from 7:30-9:30pm. Workshop registration may be found at and workshop fee of $30 is due at registration and includes all materials, lunch, PD hours, and a 1-year membership to NJAA. Space is limited to the first 25 applicants. For more information contact Theresa Moody ( or Missy Holzer, PhD ( This workshop has been made possible by the support of the New Jersey Astronomical Association, the New Jersey Earth Science Teachers Association, and SOFIA (the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy).


Sterling Hill Mining Museum 2016 GeoSTEM Academy: Natural Resources for a Sustainable Future (July 12-14, 2016)

Sterling Hill Mining Museum in scenic Sussex County is hosting their 2016 GeoSTEM Academy "Natural Resources for a Sustainable Future," July 12-14, 2016. New Jersey’s natural resources find their origin in the state’s rich and deep geologic history. Where did all these natural resources come from? Will there be enough for the future? This 3-day workshop explores New Jersey's deep geologic history (NGSS ESS1C) to find the origin of our natural resources and determine if they can be sustained (NGSS ESS3A). The Sterling Hill Mining Museum is the perfect living laboratory to host such a workshop, but the workshop also ventures out on a full-day field study to explore the 's geologic wonders of the region, which have provided us with natural resources for hundreds of years. Attending teachers will receive classroom resources to effectively tie the content into their curricula related to the two Next Generation Science Standards stated above, as well as professional development hours. The registration fee for this 3-day event is $75 ($60 for the first 2 days only) which includes workshop materials, lunch and snacks. Discounted hotel accommodations are available. Visit for more information and to register.


Climate Science & Sustainable Actions: A Summer Teacher Institute at Duke Farms (August 1-5, 2016)

Let the 2,700 acre Duke Farms property serve as your living laboratory and source of inspiration for exciting new lessons when you join a team of expert teacher-leaders for an action-packed weeklong summer institute. Participating teachers will conduct hands-on outdoor fieldwork, hear lectures from NJ’s top experts and develop NGSS aligned lesson plans that will bring the concepts of climate change and sustainability to life for students. Ample opportunities will exist for networking and collaboration with other K-12 educators. The workshop will take place at Duke Farms ( August 1-5, from 8AM to 3PM each day. The cost of the workshop is $150 per educator which includes all workshop materials and experiences, snacks, and lunch on Friday. For more information go to:

Pilot Testing NEW Evolution Curriculum

As you are working to close out another school year, we are looking ahead to the next! The Genetic Science Learning Center has developed an NGSS-aligned unit on Evolution for high school Biology and is seeking teachers to pilot test the unit during the 2016-2017 academic year. This exciting new six-week unit utilizes real data, science practices and cross-cutting concepts to explore the shared biochemistry of life, common ancestry, heredity, natural selection, and speciation.

Pilot Testing will involve:

  • Attending an expenses-paid training in Salt Lake City, UT July 26-29, 2016
  • Using the six week unit with 2 or more general biology classes during the 2016-2017 academic year
  • A $600 stipend upon completion of the Pilot Test

For more information and to apply visit:

Application deadline is May 15.

Questions? Contact Molly Malone, GSLC Sr. Education Specialist

Thank you for your consideration,

The Genetic Science Learning Center

Upcoming Events at Rutgers

The staff of the Geology Museum invites you to attend the Spring 2016 Friends of the Geology Museum meeting on Wednesday May 4th at 8 pm. The museum has been part of the Rutgers community since 1872 and in honor of the Rutgers University 250th anniversary this meeting will showcase some of the rich history behind the collections, architecture and people behind one of the oldest geology museums in the country. A panel of distinguished Rutgers University faculty and researchers will discuss and answer questions on various aspects on the history of the Geology Museum.

The Geology Museum is a vital connection between the K-12 and Rutgers communities. Please join us in celebrating over 140 years of continued service to the public at this historic event.

We sincerely hope you will be able to attend this event. Please RSVP by visiting the following website.


Rutgers Day is this weekend!

Save the date for the 2016 Rutgers Day Festivities! Activities will be held at the Geology Museum and all around campus.

Saturday April 30th, 2016


Ice Age Late Night on May 4th, 2016

Join us on Wednesday May 4th between 4 and 8 pm for our Ice Age Late Night!

Come chill with us and learn about mastodons, saber tooth cats, and the many other creatures that roamed this planet during the Ice Age. Demonstrations, arts and crafts and educational activities will be set up around the museum for this event and people are welcome to come and go as they please. We encourage all ages to come participate and learn something new!

No pre-registration is required for this event.


Big Brook Fossil Hunting Field Trip on May 7th

It’s not too late to sign up for our Fossil Hunting Field Trip on Saturday May 7th. This is the perfect trip for families and adults, so sign up now before spots fill up. Check out the following links to register and for more information.



FREE three-day educator workshop on nanoscience

Held on July 13,14,15, 2016 at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ (flyer attached). There are only a few spots available in this exciting new workshop, register today to reserve your place.

(can also be accessed at

Attending teachers will be able to:

  • Integrate nanoscience seamlessly into core science classes.
  • Meet a wide range of NGSS standards by incorporating engineering design projects in nanoscience.
  • Excite students about future technologies and careers in science.
  • Teach a half-year or full-year nanoscience elective using the curriculum developed and taught by workshop facilitator and Morristown High School teacher.

Nanoscience lies at the intersection of physics, chemistry, biology and technology. Students and teachers alike will love the amazing things they will learn and do using nanotechnology!


Tuesday, Oct. 25th, 8am to Wednesday, Oct. 26th, 4pm

100 College Road East

Princeton, NJ

“Celebrating 40 Years of Service to Science Education”

Interested in Participating as a Presenter??? Please consider presenting a workshop on behalf of BTANJ!

Consider submitting a program proposal or two…

Especially those K-12 programs that address:

K-12 Classroom Instructions Focusing on Implementation of NGSS...Lessons That Work!
Effective and Appropriate Use of Technology in the Classroom
Middle School Integrated Science Curriculum
Earth Science Instruction with an Eye on NGSS.

Online program proposals are being accepted.
The priority deadline to submit a program is May 15, 2016
Submit Program Proposal

Please forward to colleagues who have quality programs to submit.
Additional convention information may be found on our website at:

Questions about Program Proposals may be addressed to:

NJSC Office Services