In The News

Happy Holidays from NSELA

The NSELA Executive Committee wishes all members a happy and peaceful holiday season. Look for information in our January newsletter about our upcoming election for regional directors for regions A and C and president-elect. 
 

Science Lab Safety and Science Investigation Standards

Posted: Dec. 2, 2021

NSELA member Dr. Sandra West Moody is requesting responses to the following 3 questions as she compiles information about science standards and lab safety across the country. Please send your responses to the questions below to Dr. Moody at [email protected]

1. Does your state have science facilities standards/rules such as ones Texas recently adopted (linked here)?

OR

2. Does your state have some type of guidelines similar to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) which has guidelines for all projects that receive state funding for construction or renovation (linked here)? Board members appointed by the state education commissioner, and the MSBA professional staff review the educational plans for all projects (other than accelerated repair) for conformity with guidelines and match them up with the district's architectural preferred alternative prior to allowing the projects to move to the schematic design stage. The schematic designs are also reviewed prior to reaching a project funding agreement with the authority.

3. Do any of your state standards include a clarification with the description of the 4 types of scientific investigations, such as was approved in Texas (see below)?

Texas adopted new science standards which will be use in the '23-'24 classrooms.  The Texas Academy of Science recommended a newer version of scientific investigations that include Descriptive, Correlative, Comparative and Experimental. See below. 

"Scientific and engineering practices. Scientific inquiry is the planned and deliberate investigation of the natural world using scientific and engineering practices. Scientific methods of investigation are descriptive, correlative, comparative, or experimental. The method chosen should be appropriate to the grade level and question being asked. Student learning for different types of investigations include descriptive investigations, which has no hypothesis that tentatively answers the research question and involves collecting data and recording observations without making comparisons; correlative or comparative investigations, which have a hypothesis that predicts a relationship involve collecting data with variables that are manipulated to compare results; and experimental investigations, which involve processes similar to comparative investigations but in which a hypothesis can be tested by comparing a treatment with a control."

 

EdReports Seeks Educators for High School Science Reviews

Posted: Dec. 2, 2021

We wanted to share a great opportunity, from our friends at EdReports, for deep professional learning on the Next Generation Science Standards with a national network of skilled educators aimed at supporting other educators with information to help them find quality science instructional materials. Currently 1,240 districts have benefitted from the work of EdReports educator reviewers, supporting almost 14 million students.

EdReports is a non-profit organization with a mission to empower educators with independent, credible, evidence-rich information about instructional materials to ensure students have what they need to be college and career-ready. They are accepting applications for reviewers for inaugural high school science review beginning in early April 2022. 

Who is EdReports looking for? EdReports is a by educator, for educator organization. Currently, classroom educators, district specialists, state specialists, non-formal educators, retired educators, and those pursuing advanced science education degrees participate in reviews. The profile of a science reviewer includes expertise in the Next Generation Science Standards and a commitment to quality instructional materials. 

What can I expect if selected to be a reviewer? EdReports plans to review five biology NGSS programs in the inaugural review. If selected, you will sit on a team of five reviewers who will be examining one set of materials with the support of EdReports’ science team. Reviewers can expect the following: 

  • New teams will begin with an in-depth training in April
  • Each reviewer spends about 5-10 hours per week throughout the process, including attending a one-hour virtual call with their team
  • A second event may be scheduled approximately halfway through the review to continue calibration and to provide cross-review team support for the inaugural high school reviews
  • Reviews are expected to be completed late 2022
  • Reviewers receive a host of benefits including more than 25 hours of professional development, a stipend per series reviewed ranging from $1,750 - $2,500 depending on the role you play on a review team, opportunities to learn with national experts in the field, and much more.

How do I apply? Visit EdReports’ website to learn more about becoming a reviewer and complete an application. Once you apply, an application task will be sent requesting demonstration of your NGSS knowledge. Following receipt of the application task, EdReports will schedule a 30-minute interview to learn more about you and share more about the upcoming review.

 

Wade Institute for Science Education - Focus Workshops

Connecting Science and Literacy in the Elementary Classroom: A Virtual Professional Learning Opportunity for Grades 3-5 Educators

Enhance your teaching strategies for integrating science and literacy in ways that foster critical thinking, academic language, and meaning making! Learn from the Wade Institute for Science Education and the EcoTarium how to shift your practice to teach your standards-aligned, grade-specific science content by using literature to spark minds-on, hands-on investigations that engage students in the Science and Engineering Practices. Identify ways to use books, productive talk, and science writing to teach science and participate in inquiry-based, phenomena-based investigations that explore engineering and life science topics through the lens of animal behavior. Connect your reading to real life and refine your scientific observation skills by examining the uniqueness of squirrels: the rodent you thought you knew. Return to your classroom with ideas and insights from peers along with a toolkit of 4 books and hands-on materials to immerse your students in science learning.

Registration Information

  • Virtual Sessions: March 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th, 2022 
  • Cost: $350 per person; $300 per person if attending with at least one other teacher from your school district
  • PDPs: 10 PDPs are available

 

Songbirds and Stewardship: Engaging Your Students with the Science of Migration Through Place-Based Learning and Citizen Science

A Hybrid Professional Learning Opportunity for Grades 5-8 Educators

Learn how to engage your students in citizen science through a place-based approach. Get an introduction to the fundamentals of place-based learning, participate in citizen science projects at Manomet, and develop guidelines, strategies and lesson plans to support all students as you establish citizen science environmental monitoring projects relevant to your school community. Bring back to your classroom firsthand experience investigating the phenomena of bird migrations as well as a curriculum packet provided by the Wade Institute for Science Education and Manomet!

Registration Information

  • Virtual Sessions: Wednesday, April 27th and Wednesday, May 3rd, 2022 
  • On-Site Session: Saturday, April 30th, 2022 at Manomet
  • Cost: $350 per person; $300 per person if attending with at least one other teacher from your school district
  • PDPs: 10 PDPs are available

Focus Workshops are multi-day professional learning opportunities that provide a deep dive into content and inquiry investigations focusing on one STEM discipline. Learn more and register online at https://www.wadeinstitutema.org/focus-workshops!

 

Enhancing Science and Engineering in Prekindergarten through Fifth Grade: CSSS/NSELA Sponsored Leadership Webinar - Nov. 30, 2021

Posted: Dec. 3, 2021

The Board on Science Education of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine partnered with the Council of State Science Supervisors (CSSS) and the National Science Education Leadership Association (NSELA) to host a webinar on the role of leadership in supporting elementary science and engineering learning and teaching. The webinar was based on the newly released report Preschool through Elementary Science and Engineering: The Brilliance of Children and The Strengths of Educators (#BrillianceAndStrengths).

Join and engage in conversation with Betsy Davis (University of Michigan) and Tiffany Neill (Oklahoma Department of Education) as they highlight key findings and recommendations from the report for leaders.

The recording, slides, and meeting information can be found on the Learning Center Here.

 
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