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Science Matters e-blast - February, 2016
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Week of February 7, 2016

Michigan Science Matters Network eBlast

Here are your science education resources and announcements for the week of February 7, 2016 provided by the Michigan Science Matters Network. Please forward this eBlast on to other science educators in your school/district. If you have questions or comments, please forward them to:

David Bydlowski, Michigan Coordinator—Science Matters Network


Sue Campbell, MSTA Representative


Calendar of Events and Deadlines

February 8, 2016: MSTA on Twitter -- #MiSciChat at 8:30 pm (EST) Topic: How teachers are using phenomena to construct lessons and units that weave all three dimensions of NGSS into rich learning experiences for their students. 

February 12, 2016: Celebrate International Charles Darwin Day. Please visit:

February 18, 2016: Deadline to apply to become a NASA Astronaut Candidate. Please visit:

February 20, 2016: Pre-School and Early Elementary Workshop Featuring Project Learning Tree and Growing Up WILD Workshop at the City of Auburn Hills Community Center. Contact the City of Auburn Hills Registration office at 248-370-9353 to register.

February 26, 2016: Deadline for K-12 Educators to apply to attend the Great Lakes Conference at Michigan State University. If accepted, teachers will receive FREE registration and a $150 Stipend. To qualify, register at: 
then apply for the stipend at:

February 26, 2016: Deadline for Grade 5 – 12 Students to enter the Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest. Please visit:

February 27, 2016: Project WILD Aquatic and Flying WILD Educator Workshop at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History. Contact Brittany Burgess at (734) 647-6421 or to register or for more information. 

February 29, 2016: Deadline for Students in Grades 6 – 9 to enter the eCYBERMISSION Competition. Please visit:

March 1, 2016: Deadline to Apply for the Association of American Educators Classroom Grants Valued at $500. Please visit:

March 1, 2016: Deadline for K-5 Students to enter the DuPont Elementary Division Challenge. Please visit:

March 2, 2016: Deadline for K-12 Teachers to apply for the Motorola Solutions Foundation’s Innovation Generation STEM Grants. Please visit:

March 3, 2016: Michigan Science Standards for Administrators: K-12 Admin Boot Camp. Please contact:
Sue Campbell, MSTA Office: 734 973 0433 or

March 3 – 5, 2016: Michigan Science Teachers Association Conference in Lansing, MI. Please visit:

March 4 – 5, 2016: MEECS Training at the MSTA Conference in Lansing, MI. Please visit:,4561,7-135-3308_3333-372879--,00.html?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

March 7, 2016: Deadline for Middle School Teachers and Students to enter the Let It Grow Contest-From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil. Please visit:

March 9 – 11, 2016: MACUL Conference in Grand Rapids, MI. Please visit:

March 10, 2016: Deadline for K-12 Teachers to apply for the $1000 Kinder Morgan Foundation Education Grants. Please visit:

March 12, 2016 – Climate Science in the Classroom – A Virtual Conference Hosted by NSTA. Please visit:

March 31 – April 3, 2016: NSTA Conference in Nashville, TN. Please visit:

April 1, 2016: Deadline for K-6 Teachers to apply for the 2016 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Please visit:

June 21 – 23, 2016: Grandparents, Grandkids (ages 8-12) and Grand Valley 2016 Summer Camp. Please visit:

July 27 - 29, 2016: STEM Form and Expo Hosted by NSTA. Please visit:


Lists of K-12 Competitions, Challenges, Grants and Freebies

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) offers a variety of fun and friendly competitions for both teachers and students. Please visit:

Complete list of grants, provided by the National Science Teachers Association. To view this list, please visit:

Free grant finding resources for educators and educational institutions, just visit:

The National Science Teachers Association’s Freebies for Science Teachers webpage. Check it out regularly at:



K-12 Field Trip Funding – Wheels to Woods Program

The forestry community in Michigan appreciates your efforts to bring your students outside into the forest for exciting outdoor education. 

Recognizing that some schools do not have an adequate transportation budget, the Michigan forestry community has created a new “Wheels to Woods!” School Forest Bus Fund to help pay for bussing costs for an educational field trip to a nearby forest for K-12 schools. Wheels to Woods! is hosted by the Michigan Tree Farm Committee, a non-profit organization for family forest landowners. The American Tree Farm System is hosted nationally by the American Forest Foundation, the same organization that administers Project Learning Tree.

A Wheels to Woods! grant does not require matching funds, and will reimburse actual transportation costs up to $350 per bus after the educational field trip to the forest. Questions about Wheels to Woods! can be sent to Mike Smalligan at

You can request an application form from Scott Robbins at


“Where Over the World is Astronaut Scott Kelly?” Geography from Space Trivia Contest

During his year-long stay on the International Space Station, astronaut Scott Kelly wants to test your knowledge of the world through a geography trivia game on Twitter. Traveling more than 220 miles above Earth, and at 17,500 miles per hour, he circumnavigates the globe more than a dozen times a day. This gives Kelly the opportunity to see and photograph various geographical locations on Earth. In fact, part of his job while in space is to capture images of Earth for scientific observations.

Follow @StationCDRKelly on Twitter. Each Wednesday, Kelly will tweet a picture and ask the public to identify the place depicted in the photo. The first person to identify the place correctly will win an autographed copy of the picture. Kelly plans to continue posting weekly contest photos until he returns from the space station in March 2016.

For more information, visit


Grade 6 – 8 NGSS Aligned Units Being Developed, by Michigan Technological University

For information, please go to

Mi-STAR investigators are developing and testing the effectiveness of three initiatives:

A new integrated science curriculum for grades 6-8 that is aligned with state and national science standards and assessments, uses a problem-based approach to stimulate students’ interest, and demonstrates how science and engineering are used to develop new knowledge and innovative solutions to contemporary problems.

A new model for teacher education in integrated science that prepares pre-service middle grades teachers to engage students in science and engineering practice and emphasizes core ideas and cross-cutting concepts.

An in-service professional development program in integrated science that prepares teachers to integrate science and engineering in the middle grades and augments their science and engineering content-area knowledge and pedagogical skills.


Summer Engineering Experience for Kids

The Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) program is the solution of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) to the underrepresentation of African American students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields.

The free, three-week program is a pipeline designed to expose African American children to STEM fields as early as the third grade and through the twelfth grade. This exposure will be provided by young, black, collegiate students majoring in STEM fields. There are no eligibility requirements to participate in the program.

Please visit:


Connect, Communicate and Collaborate Around the Globe

How do the traits of hummingbirds, geckos, and other animals help scientists design robots? What does bird’s nest soup tell about Chinese culture? How do images, color, and text work together to communicate ideas that can change the world? These are just a few examples of the high-interest Experiences, or explorations, that students can work on collaboratively with peers in Afghanistan, Greece, Iceland, India, Italy, and other countries around the world through the free ePals Global Community.

STEAM, English language arts, and social studies are among the core curricular skills students practice within the larger context of cultural investigations on topics such as growing up in Turkey or Cambodia, the causes and effects of poverty globally, and recipes from Spain, Russia, Holland, and the American South that reflect regional beliefs and customs. Teacher materials include Experience descriptions, standards-aligned objectives, step-by-step tasks, thought questions, collaborative activities, and homework suggestions.

Marginal notes provide tips on grouping students and setting goals, and suggest ways students can contribute their ideas and solutions to charities and other real-world organizations.

Please visit:


New Michigan Science Standards

You can download a copy of the new Michigan Science Standards at:


Free Elementary Textbook: What’s Up in the Atmosphere? Exploring the Colors in the Sky

New Elementary GLOBE book on aerosols, with four activities: See the Light, Up in the Air, Why (Not) So Blue? Sky Observers. Please visit:

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