DPS Secondary Science News

April, 2017

Finally, It's April!

What else can you say? It is APRIL! YEAHHHHHH! For those of us who haven't had spring break yet, it seems like it's been a long stretch, no?

I'd like to give a big shout out to the team at Riverside High School, especially Eric Weiss and Tim Velegol, who gave their entire Saturday to help make our Science Olympiad such a big success! It was a FABULOUS day.

If you are interested in learning more about Science Olympiad, please consider joining us for our Durham Division A (Elementary) Tournament on April 29, 2017. You can sign up at our SignupGenius at: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/409054aadad2aa2fb6-ncso. We’d love all the help we can get!

I hope everyone (who has a break coming) has a wonderful and restful break. If you are traveling, travel well and safely.

Upcoming Events

  • April 10-14 Spring break, traditional schedule
  • April 29 NC Science Olympiad Durham Tournament A Division @Southern
  • May 3 EOG Prep Party for 8th grade science teachers (details forthcoming)
  • May 3 Biology Teachers EOC Collaborative (details forthcoming)

Quick News

  • We have been given a trial access to Vocabulary.com for the remainder of the school year. You may want to give this site a try: https://vocab.com/try/2evxc9r

    When a teacher clicks on the link, they will be asked to either create a new account or to log in with an existing account. The teacher will then have full access to class usage reports during that period. Use their Google accounts and identify themselves as an educator then select their school. Students will have access when a class is created, but the teacher will always have access to informational text articles and vocabulary across all content areas.

  • GREAT NEWS! Our Gizmos pilot has been extended until May, 2017. Please make use of this resource while it's free-- your use determines what happens next!

  • Biology teachers should have access to Study Island for student biology review and practice. Check with your IF or Principal for details.

Durham Regional Division B/C Science Olympiad

Congratulations to all those who participated in the recent Durham Regional Science Olympiad! We are very proud of the DPS teams who competed.

Division B (Middle School)

4th place overall-DSA

6th place overall-Rogers-Herr, 1 event winner (qualifies for State Tournament)

School for Creative Studies, 1 event winner (qualifies for State Tournament)

Every DPS middle school that participated had at least one student receive a medal in an event.

Division C (High School)

1st place overall- DSA

3rd place overall- Jordan High School, 3 Event winners (qualify for State Tournament)

Middle College High: 2 Event winners (qualify for State Tournament)

Every DPS high school that participated had at least one student receive a medal in an event.

We have Grant Winners!

We had two DPS teachers win 2017 Biogen Foundation Ignite the Power of STEM in NC grants. In total, 39 grants were awarded statewide this year.

Lori Khan, Middle College High School: Community STEM

The goal of this project is to expand opportunities in STEM education through hands on experimentation. By partnering with the Hub Farm, a local urban community farm, students will complete environmental experiments and research at the farm.

Starlyn Robinson & Kennese Bass, Brogden Middle School: Cosmetic Chemistry Club

We are starting a cosmetic chemistry club at our school!! Our aim is to excite students about science and expose them to career choices that they may not have realized have direct connections to STEM.

Grants and Goodies

2017 Climate Education Toolkit

Announcing the 2017 Climate Education Week Toolkit! This web-based, multi-disciplinary resource is designed to help educate and organize around this year’s theme: Environmental and Climate Literacy. Earth Day Network provides this toolkit with the goal of educating and engaging K-12 students on topics like climate change, air pollution, environmental justice, and a how-to guide for turning knowledge into action.

Free Women in STEM Posters

NASA's Chandra X-ray Center created a great Women in Science page for last year's Women's History Month. Along with bios of past and current female pioneers, it includes a set of 10 printable posters that celebrate the role of women in the exploration of the world and Universe around us. These dynamic posters are high-res and would look great printed on large format printers, as well as in presentations. The collection even includes two of the women featured in the Oscar-nominated Hidden Figures movie

Bring Computer Science to Your High School!

Code.org is offering high-quality, no-cost professional learning for high school Computer Science Principles this summer through its network of Regional Partners. The signup deadline was just extended to 4/14, so act soon!

Why teach computer science in high school?

  • 90% of parents want their child to learn computer science in school
  • Students rank it their favorite subject after dance and arts
  • This is the top source of all new wages in the US (527,169 job openings nationwide). It’s the future!

No matter your experience or background, you can bring computer science to your school.

Computer Science Principles (Grades 10-12)

Designed to be far more than a traditional introduction to programming - CS Principles is a rigorous, engaging, and approachable course that explores many of the big, foundational ideas of computing so that all students understand how these concepts are transforming the world we live in. This is an AP course that can be taught as a non-AP course as well.

Apply now!

Student Opportunities in Science

BIOGEN COMMUNITY LAB Adventures in Biotechnology

The Biogen Community Lab is hosting an Adventures in Biotechnology free summer lab program for high school students. Mark your calendar! Applications open on April 10th and close April 20th. Visit our website for program details and application. Please forward attached flyer and information to any student that may be interested.

At Biogen’s Adventures in Biotechnology you will conduct a hands-on lab project, meet and interact with scientists and other biotech professionals, and get an inside view of a biotech company! You will learn about the drug development process while also doing and learning a series of biotech lab techniques. Each day will focus on lab work. You will work with DNA, proteins and bacteria to make green fluorescent protein!

Open to high school students currently in 9th - 12th grade.


Session I: July 17 - 21

Session II: July 31 - August 4

Session III: August 7 - 11


Each session meets daily from 9AM to 4PM, but only until 1PM on Friday. Lunch is provided.

On-line applications open on April 10th and close on April 20th.

Applications and details can be found at https://www.biogen.com/communitylab#summer-sessions

Contact us at: rtpcommunitylab@biogen.com


One-week session: July 10 – July 13, 2017

BRITE Futures’ FREE Biotechnology Summer Camps are designed to inspire students and give them a head start on identifying careers in science and biotechnology.

CLICK HERE for the BRITE 2017 Biotechnology Summer Camp- Application

NCDPI 2017 Student Leadership Institute deadline has been extended!!!

Applications deadline has been extended until Thursday, April 6th for the 2017 NCDPI Student Leadership Institute!

NCDPI will host the 2017 Student Leadership Institute from June 28-July 1, 2017 for rising 4th-12 graders at Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, NC. Institute facilitators will engage participants in active, minds-on, hands-on learning that will assist students and their adults mentors with developing the skills needed to engage in at least one service-learning experience when they return to their schools and communities.

Register your team to be a part of an exciting opportunity to build strong character, develop leadership skills and engage in service-learning experiences! This is a competitive application process with limited slots. The application deadline has been extended to Thursday, April 6th, 2017 by 5:00 pm. To find out more information and complete an application, visit the Character Matters NC site.

XSci – Experiential Science Education Research Collaborative Summer Experiences -Bayer USA

Please share with your students ages 14 – 16.

The Bayer USA Foundation and the Bayer Science and Education Foundation invites students internationally (Germany, India, Africa) and nationally (specifically from the Western Pennsylvania, Northern New Jersey, Northern California, Shawnee, Kan., Kansas City, and Greater Raleigh-Durham areas) to join XSci – Experiential Science Education Research Collaborative part of the University of Colorado Boulder for a two-week residential camp. Student learning experiences include:

  • Bio-mechanics of the Human Body
  • Form and function of Human Anatomy
  • High Altitude Physiology, Cognition and Treatment Procedures
  • Wilderness Medicine and Scenario Training
  • Mountain Ecology

All expenses and travel are covered by the scholarship. Deadline to apply is May 1, 2017.

2016 program: http://www.xsci.org/bayer-international-science-teen-camp-2016/

2017 Application: https://xsci.formstack.com/forms/bayer_application_2017

FREE 2017 Environmental Science Summer Program (ESSP) at Duke

What is ESSP? ESSP is a free-of-charge, intensive 2-week environmental science summer program at Duke, which has operated since 2012. High school students selected for the program have the opportunity to:

  • Work with outstanding interdisciplinary faculty
  • Explore local environmental issues
  • Collect data in the field (think: in the creek with waders!)
  • Receiving training with the Nicholas School's own first-rate Career Service professionals
  • Learn to give a presentation, ace an interview, and create a resume
  • Receive one-on-one college counseling


Science Resources



UTOTES includes six workshops held at your school over the course of a school year to help foster a culture of outdoor awareness and environmental stewardship. UTOTES also provides materials that allow teachers to easily implement activities, and a session with students to create or enhance an area for wildlife and learning on your school grounds.

More Details

2017 Forest to Classroom program: FIRE

We are thrilled to announce that the 2017 Forest to Classroom program for classroom teachers will be focusing on FIRE. We will take an investigative look at fire science and learn about North Carolina’s fire-adapted ecological habitats. Discussions will center around prescribed versus wildfires, fire as management tool, and how different state and federal agencies address the use or suppression of fire. The chance of more large fire wildfire complexes will most likely increase in coming years, so we will also learn how we can protect our homes and communities. Program will include field days, as well as classroom instruction. Classroom activities from Project Learning Tree and other curriculum will be used to help teachers carry back what they have learned into the classroom.

For more information, including registration and cost, please see the attached flyer or visit http://forestry.ces.ncsu.edu/f2c.

School Year PD for Teachers

2017-18 Project Based Learning Fellowship

Join a cohort of dynamic and innovative teachers of grades K-8 to implement Project Based Learning (PBL) in your classroom. During a year-long fellowship that includes a weekend field experience in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and training and mentorship in PBL by experienced educators, PBL Fellows will develop an issues-based case study (integrated thematic unit) that applies best practices of PBL to the standards that you teach. This year, preference will be given to teams of 2 or more teachers at the same grade level from the same school.


Saturday, August 26 – PBL workshop at the Museum

Friday-Sunday, October 27-29 – Got Elk Field Experience in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Sept 21, Jan 11, & Mar 8 – Mentoring Meetings at local schools

May 3 – Culminating Event at the Museum


$500 (Due upon acceptance into the program. Includes transportation, lodging and some meals for Got Elk field experience, and materials and meals during other workshops and meetings.)


[if !supportLists]· [endif]Applications from teams of two or more teachers from one school will be given preference (each individual should submit a separate application).

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Applicants should plan to teach in grades K-8 during the 2017-18 school year.

More details at:


Educator Treks at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Educator Trek:


APRIL 8, 9:30am - 4:30pm

This workshop will provide simple lesson plans that you can adapt for use with your own students that incorporate technology, math, graphing, data analysis, and writing as well as a list of available databases and other resources that will help you develop your own lessons and programs using citizen science data.

More Details


NC Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, NC

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Prepare, pin and mount a variety of spectacular tropical butterflies from our Living Conservatory exhibit. Learn the various techniques used to catch, preserve and mount these and other fascinating arthropods. Explore the possibilities of insect collecting in your backyard.

TEacher Summer Opportunities

The Science House is currently accepting applications for the 2017 Summer Modeling Institutes.

The Modeling Project is a Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) program that was awarded by the NC Department of Public Instruction with funds from the US Department of Education. This summer we plan to offer the following courses:

Modeling Chemistry: June 19-30, 2017

Modeling Physics I (mechanics): July 10-27, 2017

What is Modeling?

Modeling Institutes are professional development programs using a structured inquiry approach to science teaching to equip teachers with the content knowledge and pedagogical tools needed to transform their instruction and their students. Emphasis is placed on the use of basic models and modeling to teach content. Participants develop skills in fostering scientific discourse and presentation and in assessment of student learning. If you wish to learn more about Modeling Instruction you are encouraged to visit the web site of the American Modeling Teachers Association (AMTA): http://modelinginstruction.org/

Who is eligible to participate?

The Modeling Institutes are open to public, charter, or private high school teachers from North Carolina who will teach Biology, Chemistry, or Physics during the 2017-18 academic year. You must anticipate teaching the appropriate content during the upcoming academic year to participate in the summer course. Teachers and their administrators will be asked to sign a document committing to this stipulation. Out of state teachers are not eligible for this grant-funded project. Participating teachers will be paid a stipend for attendance. In addition teachers who are more than 35 miles from campus are eligible for campus housing and meal per diems.

For more information and to apply please visit:


Smokies Science Investigations, July 17-22

We are excited to announce to you a brand new summer youth program for students aged 13-17: Smokies Science Investigations, July 17-22.

This one week program is the perfect introduction to scientific investigation and deep discovery of the natural world. Participants will spend the week immersed in authentic field research and will engage the scientific process by designing and conducting their own experiments and presenting the results to local professionals. They will hold birds, catch salamanders, climb mountains, swim in rivers, and discuss their findings, all while forming tight bonds with each other and the national park.

Sound like fun?

1. Please tell your students! Post this flyer around school and send it to other schools in your area. This is a summer program they won't want to miss!

2. But this program isn't just for the students!

Wouldn’t you like to be able to do a project like the one pictured below with your students during the school year? This program is designed as a training to help science teachers transition to the demands of new standards that encourage more project-based learning. We are looking for a few teachers to be a part of this first cohort to facilitate this program alongside Tremont faculty.

We invite YOU to apply to partner with us as we pilot this new program. Come experience firsthand the impact of student-driven learning and investigation. Learn techniques to take back to your classroom through this 40+ hour practicum. Best of all, consider bringing YOUR students to Tremont Institute for a similar experience during the school year!

Apply here.


Teacher participants- $250

Teachers that bring 2 or more students - $200

Students brought by teachers - $400

Apply now! Contact Tiffany Beachy (tiffany@gsmit.org, 865-448-6708) if you have any questions.

See you this summer!

BioNetwork’s teacher professional development workshops

Are you looking for low cost, high return summer professional development? Your registration fee will cover lodging (for those who have significant travel), hands-on instruction, lesson plans, a box of take home supplies, a CEU certificate, the opportunity to engage with industry representatives, as well as lunch. Our workshops are interdisciplinary and feature differentiated instruction to make them the perfect complement for any curriculum from middle school to college!

Industry Immersion: The Big IDEA

July 18- July 20, 2017

This is the perfect opportunity to see first-hand the types of jobs that are the future of NC manufacturing. Participants will tour an advanced manufacturing site, learn a related and standards based activity for their classroom, and develop new industry based lessons/activities in a collaborative environment.

Biotech 101

June 27-June 29, 2017

The life science industry in NC is rapidly growing, with 31% more jobs today then there were just ten years ago. To be competitive for these jobs, North Carolina students will need a solid foundation in STEM and biotechnology. In order to provide your students with this foundation, you must first feel comfortable with the concepts. Shore up your skills with this workshop, which provides a foundation in basic biotechnology as well as innovative methods for incorporating it into existing curriculum and leave with the confidence and resources necessary to integrate these interdisciplinary concepts into your class!

Forensic Sciences

July 11-July 13, 2017

Do you have a foundation in biotechnology, and are you in the market for some fresh, new ideas for how to apply the concepts in your own classroom? Have you ever watched a crime show performing laboratory analyses and thought “I wonder how I could bring that into my classroom?” Don’t worry – BioNetwork has got you covered! Regardless of your biotechnology background, you can take your biotech skills to the next level at this exciting interdisciplinary workshop!

Water Quality

June 20-June 22, 2017

Biotechnology, marine science, and environmental science are often intertwined. In this workshop, you will discover ways to teach students all three topics at once, while sparking their interest in important societal issues. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the effects of microplastics on marine mammals, waste management in marine aquaculture systems, living shorelines, algal growth, and human health risks from non-point and point-source water pollution.

Explore the Faces of Ag Biotech

July 11- July 13, 2017

Looking for new activities to share with your students? Wondering what technologies are key in agriculture today? Come explore the faces of ag biotech in this three-day professional development workshop for middle school science, ag, and family & consumer science teachers. Learn about ag biotech on the farm, in the classroom, and in industry. This hands-on workshop will include a farm tour, lesson plans, a tour of a multi-national ag biotech company, and discussions around biotechnology's role in agriculture. This workshop is being offered in collaboration with NC Farm Bureau and the NC Biotechnology Center.

Alice Programming or App Inventor Programming at Duke University

We will be running several workshops and events for K-12 teachers at Duke University this summer related to Alice Programming or App Inventor Programming. One special event will be our Fourth Alice Symposium.

For more information or to apply to any of these four workshops/events:


1) Alice Symposium - June 20, 2017

On Tuesday, June 20, 2017 we will hold our fourth annual Alice

Symposium. We wil have several invited speakers and have presentations and

posters from teachers who have attended our previous Alice Symposium. The

Symposium is tentatively set to run 8:30am to 5pm.

2) Alice2 to Alice3 Workshop - June 21, 2017

Following the Alice Symposium on Wednesday, June 21, the Alice CMU team

will run a workshop on transitioning from Alice2 to Alice3.

3) TWO-WEEK BEGINNER ALICE WORKSHOP - JUNE 19-28, 2017 at Duke University

Middle school and high school teachers, apply now for a two-week summer

workshop to learn how to create Alice Virtual Worlds and to integrate them

into many disciplines. This is a free workshop with funds for lodging and a

small stipend. Continuing education credits are also provided. Preference

is given to NC teachers, though we always include a few teachers from other


The two-week workshop will be held June 19-28, 2017 (everyday, noon start on Sunday ) at Duke University.

Applications are now available on our website. The deadline to apply is

March 27, 2017, but applications will be considered after that date if

space is available.

The workshop is for middle and high school teachers of all disciplines to

learn programming using the Alice programming environment and to determine

how to integrate Alice into their discipline. Examples of integration

include 1) creating Alice worlds for presentations, 2) creating interactive

Alice worlds for students to use to learn concepts, 3) for students to

create an Alice world for a project, or 4) for students to use Alice for

problem solving. In addition to Alice instruction, teachers will have time

to experiment with concepts learned and time to develop lesson plans

integrating Alice into their discipline.

4) Not an Alice workshop, but we will be running a three-day Beginner App

Inventor workshop July 19-21, 2017 at Duke University in Durham, NC.

Thanks to funding from IBM, this workshop is free, includes lodging for

teachers not in driving distance, include free breakfast and lunch, free

parking and contact hours for CEU credits.

This hands-on workshop for teachers enables participants to utilize

Computer Science principles by creating mobile apps for the Android

platform using App Inventor, a free visual blocks-based programming

environment. We will be exploring curricular modules that use mobile app

programming to teach Computer Science principles and mobile computing

design concepts. We will utilize and create online materials that can be

used to provide your students more in-class time to engage in active

learning by creating powerful mobile apps in a problem based learning


See our website for more information and to apply.


Ag Biotech Industry in the Classroom 2017

July 31 - August 4 | Meredith College | Raleigh, N.C.

Looking for new activities to share with your students? Wondering what technologies are key in agriculture today? Come explore this ag biotech focused professional development workshop, for high school science and ag teachers across North Carolina. Registration opens in March. LEARN MORE

NC Sustainable Forestry Workshops

These workshop are designed to educate teachers about forestry and the importance of forestry to the state of North Carolina. The cost is only $50. The NCFA and its partners pay for all food, lodging, and transportation once at the workshop. We also pay for a fun activities at each workshop for the teachers. This year, it is touring Biltmore Estates in Asheville at the Mountain Workshop, and a wine tour/tasting at the Piedmont workshop. Educators receive 30 CEU contact hours for attending and take back a wealth of knowledge to share with their students. Our application period closes on April 15th, 2017. If you have any questions please contact Eddie Reese at 919-834-3943 ext. 2. or at ereese@ncforestry.org.


July 24, 2017 to July 28, 2017

Located at Ocracoke, NC 27960

North Carolina’s coastal ecosystems can provide rich lessons to enhance the high school biology curriculum, including how the living organisms within these environments demonstrate interdependence, adaptations, and stability. Close focus of these ecosystems will reveal the complex workings of carbon and nitrogen cycles, energy pyramids, and biochemical processes and energy use in the cell. Understand how humans impact these coastal ecosystems through population growth, technology, consumption of resources, and production of waste. Partner with biologists and other science experts to create lessons that will engage high school students and advance their learning of North Carolina biology standards.

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Science in the News

New Vaccine Could Slow Disease That Kills 600 Children a Day


A lower-cost vaccine provides strong protection against rotavirus, a diarrheal disease, and could be particularly useful in poorer countries, researchers said.

Waking From Hibernation, the Hard Work of Spring Begins


Emerging from the torpor of winter means a busy spring for these bears, bees, bats and squirrels.

A 7.4 Quake in Southern California? A Long Fault Could Make It Likelier


The Newport-Inglewood/Rose Canyon fault, extending from San Diego to Los Angeles, could rupture along its entire length, scientists have found.

A Dream of Clean Energy at a Very High Price


If a fusion experiment in France succeeds, it could shape the power plants of the future and contribute greatly to reducing planet-warming emissions.

What Makes a City Ant? Maybe Just 100 Years of Evolution


A century or so of evolution may have allowed tiny acorn ants to thrive in a warm, urban environment.