DPS Secondary Science News

August 8-19, 2016

Summer Science Spectacular

Here's to starting off with a science spectacular! It's time for the Perseid Meteor Shower! Bill Cooke of NASA says, ""This year, instead of seeing about 80 Perseids per hour, the rate could top 150 and even approach 200 meteors per hour," Locally, the Morehead Planetarium will have a viewing at Jordan Lake on August 11 from 8:30-10:30 p.m. Sure, the Olympics are cool, but this is a science spectacular...

Btw, if you are teaching, you may enjoy this resource for the Summer Olympics: https://www.nbclearn.com/science-of-the-summer-olympics

8/8-12: I will be visiting CMA, Rogers-Herr, Early College and Hillside NT and working with high school teachers at the DPS Hub Farm on Wednesday afternoon.

8/15-19: I will visit Middle College and Hillside NT and working with IFs (Tuesday) & newly hired science teachers (Wednesday). On Friday, we will have a Solar System Kit Unpacking for 6th grade science teachers at The Frontier.

Upcoming Events

  • August 19 9-3:30 @ The Frontier (800 Park Offices Dr, Durham): Solar System Kit Unpacking for ALL 6th grade Science Teachers
  • August 24 1-3:30 @Riverside High School: Introduction of new informational texts ALL SCIENCE TEACHERS
  • September 6 3:00-5 @ Lakewood Montessori Middle School: Chemistry Kit Unpacking for all NEW 8th grade Science Teachers
  • September 14, Early Release Day Optional Sessions
    • GIZMOS for the Science Classroom
    • A Science Fair Primer
    • Mastering Resources for AP Science
  • October 6 8:30-3:30 @The Frontier; NC Life Science Kit Unpacking for 8th grade Science Teachers

Quick News

  • We've been working on new curriculum overviews and unit maps! Check yours out here: http://central.dpsnc.net/science-secondary

  • The books have arrived! Talk to you science chair to get your teacher editions. Electronic access information may be found here. Please check with your textbook coordinator for disposal of old books. There is NO NEED to keep more than a class set of old books (and probably no need for that). Let it go, let it go!

DPS Science Teachers and Partners Share

BWF is currently accepting applications for our Career Award for Science and Math Teachers for K-12 teachers with 5 or more years of experience teaching in a NC public school classroom. It provides a total of $175, 000 over five years, $10,000 per year for materials/supplies, $10,000 per year for PD, and $10,000 per year as a salary supplement (taxes, etc must be taken from that). If the teacher remains in the classroom for more than 5 years, then they will receive a $25,000 supplement. DPI typically supports a 12-month contract for the teacher. More info is available on our website. The application deadline is September 15, 2016.

Durham Big Sweep
October 1, 2016

Want to know how you can participate in the famous Big Sweep? Step 1: Pick a section of a stream, creek, or river that needs to be cleaned. Step 2: Rally you friends, family, compadres, and co-workers. Step 3: Spend a fun Saturday morning cleaning up your desired work site. Step 4: Celebrate being awesome. Stay tuned for more details and how you can sign up.

Student Opportunities

Engineering Opportunity for Middle School Students

Now recruiting for Fall, 2016! Student Engineers Network, Strengthening Opportunities in Research (SENSOR) Saturday Academy at Duke University

What? Hands-on education program to encourage careers in science and engineering by engaging 8th grade underrepresented minority students in materials science and water quality testing. Who? Students entering 8th grade Fall 2016. When? 12 Saturday sessions (Sep 2016- May 2017), plus field trip to Eno River State Park. Where? Duke University Campus. Interested? Visit – http://stiffrobertslab.pratt.duke.edu/sensor-saturday-academy Call – 919-660-5560 OR Email – adrienne.stiffroberts@duke.edu

Science Resources

The Society for Science & the Public is excited to offer, through the generous support of Regeneron, free annual subscriptions to Science News to public high schools and public charter schools who sign up now.

  • Do you need to cover current science topics in your classroom?
  • Are you interested in your own professional development and staying current on scientific advances?
  • Could you use an educator guide that provides questions and activities related to the current issue that are aligned with NGSS and CC standards?
  • Are you excited about sharing a science resource throughout your school?

Sign up now for Science News in High Schools and, at no cost to you or your school, receive 10 hard copies of the biweekly magazine, free digital access for the entire faculty and student population and a teacher guide that provides questions, activities and links to the standards to support your classroom learning.

Free Climate Science and Solutions Assembly for High Schools this Spring and Fall! There is still availability to schedule a free ACE Presentation at your HIGH SCHOOL this SPRING until the end of the school year! We have presented to over 2 million students at thousands of schools nationwide and over 80,000 students in NC. We would love to bring our program to your school! Check out our online trailer to learn more about our program. You can also request an ACE Assembly for your school at www.acespace.org/book. Interested in an assembly for the fall? We are scheduling fall presentations now.

NEW Fall 2016 Exhibit at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Our fall featured exhibition, The Secret World Inside You (October 22, 2016-March 12, 2017), explores the rapidly evolving science that is revealing the complexities of the human microbiome and reshaping our ideas about human health. For prices, curriculum correlations, more information or how to schedule a visit today, please click here or contact Debbie Huston at debbie.huston@naturalsciences.org or 919.707.9840.

School Year PD for Science Teachers


  • Friday, September 09, 2016
  • 5:30pm - 9:00pm

The SciREN Triangle Networking Event and Museum Open House is an information exchange night just for educators! The event showcases the wide array of Museum programs and opportunities for both teachers and students available both on- and offsite. Through a partnership with SciREN (Scientific Research and Education Network), educators can meet more than 60 local scientists ready to distribute curriculum-centered lessons based on their research! Online registration is available for this FREE event at http://www.thesciren.org/networking-events/sciren-triangle/


  • 3:30pm Friday, September 23, 2016 - 6:00pm Sunday, September 25, 2016
  • Explore the geology of the North Carolina mountains as we travel along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway from Linville Gorge to Grandfather Mountain. Practice rock and mineral identification with hand samples and at outcrops in the field. Learn about the processes that have shaped our mountains.


  • Saturday, October 01, 2016
  • 9:00am - 5:00pm

Candid Critters in the Classroom is an all-day workshop offered by eMammal scientists for North Carolina teachers, to teach them how to conduct authentic scientific investigations in their classrooms. In eMammal’s Candid Critters in the Classroom, students use wildlife cameras to study local wildlife at their schools and neighborhoods, which helps scientists answer real research questions about mammal distribution, management, and conservation. Upon completion of this workshop, teachers will be provided with camera traps and accessories to conduct research at their schools and neighborhoods during the study. Applications are due September 1, 2016.

Science in the News

LUCA, the Ancestor of All Life on Earth

A new genetic analysis points to hydrothermal vents as the planet’s first habitat. Read the full story

Defying Critics, Paleontologist Paul Olsen Looks for Hidden Answers Behind Mass Extinctions

From a childhood spent discovering fossils to tangling over questions of ancient life and death, this scientist constantly pushes the boundaries. Read the full story

See Three Volcanoes Erupt at the Same Time
National Geographic

Indonesia's Sinabung, Rinjani, and Gamalama mountains have all erupted in the past few days, sending great clouds of ash into the sky and disrupting travel. Read the full story

FDA Approves Genetically Modified Mosquitoes For Release In Florida
Popular Science

Today, the FDA released its final comment of approval for the use of genetically modified mosquitoes to be released in the Florida Keys. This “green light” comes after months long debates, including comments from the general public. The draft was originally put forth back in March by biotech company Oxitec, whose focus is insect control. Read the full story

Bizarre Horns of the Animal Kingdom
National Geographic

Don't mess with the giant eland of Africa, whose curved horns can reach up to four feet long. Read the full story