December, 2019

Evaluations changes with NGSS adoption. Your help needed.


We have heard from several teachers that the ways in which they are being evaluated does not align with the pedagogical approach that NGSS requires. To support principals in better understanding what they might look for and expect to see in a classroom that is either fully engaged in NGSS or transitioning toward NGSS, we have been given time at an upcoming ISD-wide principals meeting to engage them in an activity and discussion about evaluation.

To that end, our ask is two fold:

  • We would like teachers to be involved in planning and hosting this activity. This would require meeting at least once after school to prepare our activity, and attending the high school principal meeting at the ISD on 2/7/20. We are looking at meeting to plan on 1/29/20 from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm.

  • Even if you are not able to support this activity, please let us know how you feel the evaluation rubric being used at your school could better support your teaching.

Please email both Sarah and Michael with any input / thoughts / responses.


Michael Pillay, Science/STEM Coordinator

Sarah Keenan-Lechel, MiSTEM Regional Director

NGSX Conference

If you have not had the Next Generation Science Standards training, please consider attending our NGSX training.

It runs over 5 days. Space is limited to 24 participants.

Registration link:

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Middle School Science Leaders Meeting

The Middle School Science Leaders Meeting will be hosted at the Genesee Career Institute (5081 Torrey Rd, Flint) on 12/16/19.

It will be a good opportunity with work with your counter-parts from other schools and discuss best practices.

There is a spot open for you!

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Shell Science Lab Challenge (courtesy of NSTA)

If you are or know a middle school or high school science teacher who has been able to provide their students with an exemplary lab experience in spite of limited resources, this is applicable.

Shell will provide lab makeover package as part of the prize.

Deadline application is 1/15/2020.

Using the sensors already in your or your students' cell phones to gather experimental data

You do have to download the Science Journal (by google) app but you can use the following sensors:

Accelerometer (in X, Y, and Z, planes)

Barometer (measured in hectopascals)




Linear Accelerometer

Magnetometer (measured in microteslas)


Sound Intensity (yes, in decibels)

I am certain there are experiments/performance tasks that you are already doing that can be enhanced by the use of these sensors.

If you want to take a look at some experiments that are already written:

There is a lot on here including experiments for multiple grade levels and disciplines.

If you want to take a look at experiments that only use the sensors in your phone, under the following link, if you select "Equipment", the option "Phone Only" comes up.

Celebrate the Mouse Biomedical Research Video Essay Contest

Even if you do not have many students who want to enter this contest, it can serve to open discussion in your classes about genetically engineering animals with certain disorders in order to test medications on them.

The use of ob/ob mice and db/db mice were debated in my college days and I believe that this topic as a whole is still very relevant. It is often difficult to find topics for claim, evidence, reasoning. There is potential in this debate for CER as well.

The following is information regarding the Celebrate the Mouse Biomedical Research Video Essay Contest

Encourage your 5th- through 12th-grade students to enter and share their knowledge about how mice have helped advance medical discoveries.

Contestants have the opportunity to earn CASH AWARDS by producing a five-minute (or less) video essay showing how mice have helped the lives of people and/or animals.

Students' original video essay entries should explain how they, a family member, friend, or pet have benefited from discoveries made possible thanks to work conducted with mice in biomedical research.

See last year's winning essay here.

Two categories:

5th through 8th grade and 9th through 12th grade. First-place winner in each category receives $500 and $500 for their school!

Visit for Official Rules and how to enter.

Entries must be received by January 31, 2020.


Questions? E-mail:

Nominate a high school student.....

100 High School Students America Needs to Know About™ Promo Video

100 High School Students America Needs to Know About™ is a national competition that showcases the next generation of forward-thinking entrepreneurs, student leaders, activists, radio hosts, designers and so much more!

Do you know a student leader or activist that is making a difference? How about a student who is working on the next big thing such as an app or a startup? Maybe a student who started their own business?

How about a student who is excelling in career technical education or volunteering their time after-school or weekends? Do you know a student who writes screen plays or authored a book, produced a film or hosts a radio show? Or a student that “beat the odds” under difficult circumstances?

Click on the PDF to read about the 2019 winners .

If you know a student that you'd like to nominate, let us know by filling out our nomination form found below and submit a photo (at least 1,000 pixels on the longest side) of the student along with a paragraph letting us know why he or she is a student America needs to know about.

Once chosen, 100 students will be featured on Workforce Career Readiness™ website and social media outlets that will be viewed by millions of readers throughout the country.

WINNERS will receive a frame certificate, Workforce Career Readiness™ swag bag filled with goodies, and most of all bragging rights.

Who Can Apply

The contest is open to United States high school students attending public, private, parochial, charter, or home-schools in grades 9-12 who are legal residents of any U.S. state or the District of Columbia.


The deadline is January 10, 2020 at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Winners will be announced March 2020!

Dr. Corinthia Price is the Founder & CEO of Workforce Career Readiness.™

Workforce Career Readiness™ is a leading organization that specializes in 21st Century College & Career Readiness and Entrepreneurship and Apprenticeship Education.

She is an award-winning recipient of the “Top 50 Most Influential Women in Business, Diversity in Business Award” and was recognized by Tiffany Pham, Founder & CEO of Mogul, as one of the 2018 Honorees for the Top 1,000 Companies with the Strongest Female Leaders.

Michael Pillay

Science/STEM Coordinator

Genesee Intermediate School District

Education and Learning