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Science Matters e-blast - August, 2014
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August, 2014
Science Matters Network in Michigan eBlast

In this E-Blast

LeadershipThe Science Matters Network in Michigan

      • Another FREE Gift for You in the NSTA Learning Center – Writing in Science
      • What is Science Matters?

Next Generation Science Standards

      • Parent Q and A
      • Next Steps for the NGSS
      • New Jersey Adopts the Next Generation Science Standards
      • NARST Publishes Series of Position Statements Supporting NGSS Implementation
      • State Science Education Standards Comparison Tool

Michigan Department of Education

      • Hands-On, Minds-Open: The Changing Face of Science Education
      • Interim Assessment Field Test Registration Still Open
      • Upcoming Deadlines

Information for Students (and Parents too!)

      • Zero Robotics High School Tournament
      • Send Your Name to the Asteroid Bennu!
      • Earth Science Week 2014 Contests
      • Capture the Imagination of Each Student
      • The Coleopterists Youth Incentive Award for MS and HS Students
      • STEM Youth Rover Challenge
      • Upcoming Deadlines

Grants and Opportunities for K-12 Teachers

      • Calling all 6-9 Teachers: Registration Now Open for the 2014-2015 eCYBERMISSION Competition
      • Raytheon Scholarships Applications to Open August 27 for K-5 Teachers
      • Supplement Your Stretched Budget
      • Discover New Approaches to Teaching STEM Concepts
      • NSTA New Science Teacher Academy
      • Association of American Educators Classroom Grants
      • Teachers Bringing Science to Life Contest
      • PASCO STEM Educator Awards
      • Upcoming Deadlines

Information for K-12 Teachers

      • Celebrate World Space Week
      • Speakers Proposals Now Available for the MACUL Conference
      • New Searchable, Free Teaching Resources on Climate and Energy in the CLEAN Collection
      • Understanding Science
      • Accepting Speaker Applications for the 2015 MSTA Conference
      • Upcoming Deadlines

Ideas from the TwitterverseInformation for High School Teachers

      • Relate Abstract Concepts to the Real World
      • Forestry and Michigan Education and Career Resources
      • Upcoming Deadlines

Information for Middle School and High School Teachers

      • Free App ChemCrafter
      • Bring Promising Young Minds Together
      • MSTA Presents “Teaching Science with Teachnology” in the Traverse City Area
      • Upcoming Deadlines

Information for Middle School Science Teachers

      • You Be The Chemist Challenge
    1. Information for Elementary School Teachers
      • Set Students’ Imaginations Free

Science Humor

      Science Related Lexophiles

June Contest WinnersAugust Contest – Win a $10 Panera Gift Card or a $10 Subway Gift Card

Here are your science education resources and announcements for August, 2014 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

Please Note: If you do not receive the full e-blast you can view it at: or request a Word/pdf version by emailing:


1. Leadership

“If you truly expect to realize your dreams, abandon the need for blanket approval. If conforming to everyone’s expectations is the number one goal, you have sacrificed your uniqueness, and therefore your excellence.”

Hope Solo

Thank you to Herm Boatin, Science consultant and lecturer, University of Michigan-Dearborn, for contributing this leadership quote.


The Science Matters Network In Michigan


2a. Another Free Gift for You in the NSTA Learning Center – Writing in Science

I hope you will enjoy this free gift that you can access in the NSTA Learning Center. The gift is a set of resources on the topic of “Writing in Science.” To access just visit:

Resources include:

  • GLOBE-Be a Scientist
  • Commentary: Science the Write Way
  • Five Good Reasons to Use Science Notebooks
  • Getting Past “Just Because”: Teaching Writing in Science Classes
  • Science the “Write” Way
  • And many more………….

If you have not joined the NSTA Learning Center yet, you can have an invitation to join sent directly to you, just send an email to: and an invitation will be sent directly to you.


2b. What is Science Matters?

Science Matters is an initiative from the National Science Teachers Association that promotes quality science education, resources, and professional development opportunities. Each state has a Science Matters Coordinator whose primary role is to be the point of contact for distribution of science resources and opportunities to the state network. Your state coordinator is David Bydlowski. You can contact him at:


Next Generation Science Standards


3a. Parent Q and A

Because the Next Generation Science Standards mark a significant shift in how science is both taught and learned, parents may be curious as to what their children's classrooms will look like. To help parents better understand the importance of standards and the role they play in education, NSTA has developed a short Q&A for parents. This tool explains what standards are in general and why the NGSS in particular are so critical for developing college and career readiness in the sciences. The Q&A is a great resource for science teachers, principals, and other administrators to distribute to and discuss with parents. Please visit:

for a Q and A for parents on the Next Generation Science Standards. The NGSS are meant to foster science learning to last a lifetime. For more resources for parents, please visit:


3b. Next Steps for the NGSS

The July 22 online issue of Education Week includes commentary by Arthur H. Camins, director of the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education at Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. Camins writes, "The National Research Council's K–12 Framework for Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards are designed to drive dramatic rethinking and improvement of science education for all students in the United States. Now decisions at the district, state, and federal levels will determine whether the new standards will promote substantive improvement. The NRC framework and the NGSS embrace three critical ideas: The first—a political idea—is that ensuring learning opportunity and quality for all students is not just a local matter, but rather an issue that demands a comprehensive strategy. The second—a pedagogical idea—is that orchestration of science learning is a complex undertaking involving well-sequenced student engagement in the practices of scientists and engineers in the context of investigating core disciplinary ideas and making meaningful connections across disciplines. The third—a civic idea—is that science learning has an essential role in supporting informed and reasoned democratic participation... Advocates for improvement in science and engineering learning should heed lessons learned from the cascading conflicts surrounding the Common Core State Standards. So far, the rollout of the NGSS has avoided the pitfalls associated with the Common Core. In that light, several observations about the science standards are in order." Visit the NGSS@NSTA Hub to get the latest NGSS news at:


3c. New Jersey Adopts the Next Generation Science Standards

On July 9, the state of New Jersey became the 13th to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), joining Rhode Island, Kentucky, Kansas, Maryland, Vermont, California, Delaware, Washington, District of Columbia, Nevada, Oregon, and Illinois. According to the State Board President, Mark W. Biedron, "The Next Generation Science Standards will enable schools to take science to the next level and to challenge and inspire students to embrace scientific inquiry both in and out of the classroom."


3d. NARST Publishes Series of Position Statements Supporting NGSS Implementation

The National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST), an NSTA affiliate, recently published a series of position papers addressing the network of changes needed to successfully implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The papers address eight key topics, including accountability, assessment, curriculum materials, engineering, equity, informal science education, preservice teacher education, and professional development. According to NARST's introductory statement, "the position papers are intended to provide a thoughtful, policy-oriented response to the NGSS from the standpoint of science education researchers, but aimed at the general public, science educators and policymakers." You can view the position papers by visiting:


3e. State Science Education Standards Comparison Tool

The State Science Education Standards Comparison Tool was recently released. This tool can assist states and districts that are considering revision or adoption of science standards by guiding them through a series of questions comparing two sets of standards. Because new science standards documents, including the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), differ greatly in structure and intent from other existing sets of standards, a traditional standards "crosswalk" document (which focuses on a one-to-one comparison of content standards) may not fully capture the extent of the differences between standards. Thus, the purpose of the comparison tool is to accompany a standards crosswalk document to help users gain a more thorough understanding of how two sets of standards compare on various aspects of knowledge development.

The tool will be beneficial to individuals and teams with some familiarity with both sets of standards being compared. Primary participants in the comparison process are likely to include staff members of a state education agency, but the tool might also be useful to district administrators, teachers, and developers of instructional materials or assessments. Other stakeholders in standards adoption processes, including representatives from the higher education and business communities, along with members of the public, might also be involved in a district or state's use of the tool. At the end of this process, users should have a clear understanding of how each set of standards was developed and how they each address important aspects of science education.

The State Science Education Standards Comparison Tool is available for download in both PDF and Word formats at:


Michigan Department of Education


4a. Hands-On, Minds-Open: The Changing Face of Science Education

The Hunt Institute developed this series of videos to document how leading K-12 educators are shifting their instructional practices to develop the critical thinking skills demanded in today’s economy and increase interest in science. With a dynamic and accessible format, these videos can provide diverse audiences, including educators, policymakers, and parents with a stronger understanding of how science instruction is transforming to better engage students and prepare them for success in a global economy. While these videos highlight teachers in North Carolina, these shifts are happening in other states across the country. Please refer to the accompanying Video User Guide for suggestions on how to best use this learning tool. Please visit:


4b. Interim Assessment Field Test Registration Still Open

Schools are invited to register to participate in the Fall 2014 Interim Assessment Field Test. Districts may have several schools participate but each school must register with a separate application. Interim assessments will be field tested in the content areas of English language arts (ELA) and mathematics for grades K, 1, and 2, as well as high school science (Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics) and social studies (US History & Geography, World History & Geography, Civics, and Economics). This field test is an important part of the test development process as we plan to provide interim assessments operationally in the 2015-16 school year.

Technology considerations: Schools may use Windows or Mac desktops and laptops to administer the field test assessments. Additionally, MDE is seeking schools to pilot the field tests on devices such as iPads, Chromebooks, and Windows 8 tablets (non-touch). Details regarding the minimum requirements for each device type is provided in the Michigan Testing Device Requirements document at:

To participate in the Fall 2014 Interim Assessment Field Test, please complete the registration survey for each school at:

Additional notes regarding the Fall 2014 Interim Assessment Field Test:

The ELA and mathematics interim assessments for grades K, 1, and 2 are aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

The science and social studies interim assessments are aligned to Michigan’s current High School Content Expectations (HSCEs).

The test window is September 15, 2014 through October 17, 2014. Schools may administer the field test assessments any time within this five-week test window.

More information about the Michigan Interim Assessments may be found at:


4c. Upcoming Deadlines

MDE Websites of Interest




Interim Assessments:,4615,7-140-22709_63192---,00.html

Michigan Merit Examination:,4615,7-140-22709_35150---,00.html

Michigan School Scorecards:,4615,7-140-22709_25058---,00.html

April 27 – May 11, 2015: Grade 4 Science MEAP

April 27 – May 11, 2015: Grade 7 Science MEAP

May 4 – June 1, 2015: Grade 11 (Including Science) Michigan Merit Exam

For more information, please visit:


Information for Students (and Parents too!)


5a. Zero Robotics High School Tournament

The Zero Robotics High School Tournament 2014 will take place this fall, offering U. S. high school students the opportunity to design experiments that will be tested in space. Zero Robotics challenges high school student teams to write their own algorithms to fly the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES. The competition starts online where teams compete to solve an annual challenge guided by mentors. Students can create, edit, share, save, simulate and submit code from a Web browser. After several phases of virtual competition, finalists will be selected to compete in a live championship aboard the International Space Station.

Registration for the competition closes on Sept. 24, 2014. The competition begins with a live webcast kickoff event from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Sept. 6, 2014. To be an official competitor, code for the 2D Practice competition must be submitted by Sept. 26, 2014. For more information about the tournament and to register your team to participate, visit

Zero Robotics is organized by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Space Systems Laboratory, Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation and TopCoder, and is sponsored by The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, NASA and the Center for Advancement of Science in Space.


5b. Send Your Name to the Asteroid Bennu!

NASA is inviting people around the world to submit their names to be etched on a microchip aboard a spacecraft headed to the asteroid Bennu in 2016. The "Messages to Bennu!" microchip will travel to the asteroid aboard the Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer, or OSIRIS-REx, spacecraft. The robotic mission will spend more than two years at the asteroid, which has a width of approximately 1,760 feet (500 meters). The spacecraft will collect a sample of Bennu's surface and return it to Earth in a sample return capsule.

The deadline to submit names online is Sept. 30, 2014. Participants who submit their names to the "Messages to Bennu!" campaign will be able to print a certificate of appreciation to document their involvement. For more information and to submit your name, visit

Participants who "follow" or "like" the mission on Facebook:

will receive updates on the location of their names in space from launch time until the asteroid samples return to Earth in 2023. Facebook fans also will receive mission progress and late-breaking news through regular status updates. For more information about the OSIRIS-REx mission, visit: and


5c. Earth Science Week 2014 Contests

The American Geosciences Institute is sponsoring a series of contests to celebrate Earth Science Week 2014. This year's celebration takes place Oct. 12-18, 2014.

Earth Science Week 2014 Photography Contest -- Open to All Ages

Earth science is the study of the geosphere (land), hydrosphere (water), atmosphere (air) and biosphere (living things). These spheres -- or earth systems -- are continually affecting and influencing one another. In our homes, in our neighborhoods, in our workplaces and in our public gathering places, we can observe the dynamic interactions of "earth system science." In a photograph, capture evidence of the connections of earth systems in your community.

Earth Science Week 2014 Visual Arts Contest -- Open to Students in Grades K-5

Earth scientists -- or geoscientists -- study land, water, air and living things. In particular, these scientists pay attention to the ways these "connected systems" affect each other. For example, scientists study how water shapes the land, how living things use air and how air and water act on each other. How do these connected systems affect you? Use artwork to show how land, water, air and living things are connected in the world around you.

Earth Science Week 2014 Essay Contest -- Open to Students in Grades 6-9

Our planet's land, water, air, and living things each affect and are affected by one another. Earth scientists observe these interactions among earth systems -- the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere. Scientists study these interactions to seize opportunities and address challenges in areas such as harnessing energy, farming land, ensuring safe water, preparing for natural disasters, protecting the environment and building communities. Explain one way that geoscientists’ study of Earth's connected systems is helping to improve the world today.

The entry deadline for all three contests is October. 17, 2014. Visit the contest websites for full details.


5d. Capture the Imagination of Each Student

The Technology Student Association (TSA) is devoted exclusively to the needs of students engaged in STEM. Open to students who are enrolled in or who have completed technology education courses, TSA has more than 190,000 middle and high school students in 2,000 schools spanning 48 states. TSA is supported by educators, parents and business leaders, who believe in the need for a technologically literate society. Members learn through competitive events, leadership opportunities and membership activities. Educators can explore TSA’s offerings in a guide entitled 2014 & 2015 Middle School Technology Activities. With competitive events that range from video-game design to structural engineering, teachers will find something to capture the imagination of and bring out the best in each of their students. Guided by their teachers, students will enjoy the challenge of TSA’s competitive events at local, state, regional and national TSA conferences. The competitions described in TSA’s guide not only support a broad spectrum of goals related to STEM curricula; they also promote leadership skills and focus on future career choices. Please visit:


5e. The Coleopterists Youth Incentive Award for MS and HS Students

The Coleopterists Society, an international organization of professionals and hobbyists interested in the study of beetles, has established a program to recognize young people studying beetles. The Society has pledged to provide up to $300 each year for the Youth Incentive Award Program. Each of the two awards (Junior and Senior) is a monetary grant of $150, award recipients also will receive up to $200 (Junior Award) and $400 (Senior Award) of equipment credit from the BioQuip Products catalog, In addition to monetary and BioQuip grants, award recipients will receive a one year subscription to the society journal, The Coleopterists Bulletin

This is for children of grades 7-12 only.

The objectives of the Youth Incentive Award are to:

  • provide encouragement and assistance to young beetle enthusiasts (grades 7-12).
  • promote the study of beetles, the most diverse group of insects, as a rewarding lifelong avocation or career.
  • provide opportunities for young people to develop important life skills such as leadership, cooperation, communication, planning and conducting a scientific study, grant writing and managing funds.
  • provide some financial support to enrich activities or projects.

A Youth Incentive Award Committee from the Coleopterists Society will evaluate the applications and will select up to two winners annually; one each in junior (grades 7-9) and senior (grades 10-12) categories. The selection committee invites proposals for topics such as field collecting trips to conduct beetle species inventories or diversity studies, attending workshops or visiting entomology or natural history museums for special training and projects on beetles, studying aspects of beetle biology, etc. The proposed activities or projects will be evaluated on their degree of creativity, educational benefit to the applicant, scientific merit, feasibility and budgetary planning. This Award is for proposals by individuals only. Each applicant is strongly encouraged to find an adult advisor (teacher, youth group leader, parent, etc.) to provide guidance in proposal development, but the proposal MUST be written by the applicant. The Coleopterists Society would also be happy to assist in establishing contacts between youth and professional Coleopterists.

Additional details and application forms for The Coleopterists Society Youth Incentive Award Program can be obtained from: Dr. David G. Furth; Entomology, NHB, MRC 165; P.O. Box 37012; Smithsonian Institution; Washington, D. C. 20013-7012 (phone: 202-633-0990, FAX: 202-786-2894, email: Also check The Coleopterists Society WebPage:

Applications for this year must be submitted by November 1, 2014.


5f. STEM Youth Rover Challenge

The Youth Rover Challenge is a multi-tier robotics education development program that is hosted, sponsored and operated by The Mars Society. The program commenced on August 6th, 2013 to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the landing of NASA’s Curiosity Rover.

YRC is a STEM related educational effort that is designed for schools and organizations with students or members in grades 5-12 to have the chance to build and compete at a global level with a LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 based robotic rover and competition arena intended to simulate the surface of Mars. The sandbox where the robotic rover operates is intended to be replicated so participants can operate the competition locally at your school, home or club. Winners of the best place times will be invited to one of 4 events held in each region.

The Rover built for the competition is pre-designed accomplish specific experiments (tasks) similar to what Mars Rovers accomplish today on the surface of Mars and other harsh environments on remote places on Earth. The competition is operated on-site at your self-built sandbox and the final operation of the field tasks are then videotaped and sent to YRC for submission. Teams that have submitted videos that show the final operation of the rover completing the tasks under a time limit are then ranked against other teams.

The challenge and its operation is designed to prepare students for the The Mars Society University Rover Challenge that has operated successfully for the last 8 years directed by The Mars Society.

The program is lead and operated by its Program Director, Chuck McMurray, along with Nicole Willett, the Director of Education. For more information, please visit:


5g. Upcoming Deadlines

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) offers a variety of fun and friendly competitions to engage your students in the pleasures of science beyond the curriculum. Please visit:

September 26, 2014: Deadline to register to compete in the Zero Robotics High School Tournament. Please visit:

September 30, 2014: Deadline to send your name to be etched on a microchip aboard a spacecraft headed to the asteroid Bennu. Please visit:

October 17, 2014: Deadline for K-12 Students to enter the Earth Science Week 2014 Photography Contest. Please visit:

October 17, 2014: Deadline for Students in Grades K-5 to enter the Earth Science Week 2014 Visual Arts Contest. Please visit:

October 17, 2014: Deadline for Students in Grades 6-9 to enter the Earth Science Week 2014 Essay Contest. Please visit:

November 1, 2014: Deadline for MS and HS Students to apply for the Coleopterists Youth Incentive Award. Please visit:


Grants and Opportunities For K-12 Teachers


6a. Calling All 6-9 Teachers: Registration Now Open for the 2014-2015 eCYBERMISSION Competition

Science teachers and the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) are on a mission to increase student interest in STEM education through the eCYBERMISSION program! Administered by NSTA, eCYBERMISSION is an online learning competition for students in grades six through nine. The competition challenges students to think about real-world applications of STEM by working in teams to identify a problem in their community and using scientific practices or the engineering design process to find a solution. Students can win on a state, regional, and national level, with national winning teams receiving up to $9,000 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds, valued at maturity.

Registration is now open for the 2014–2015 program year. Students registered by November 5 will receive a FREE STEM Research Kit, which includes a notebook, flash drive, and pencil.

For more information, visit the competition website at:

or contact eCYBERMISSION Mission Control at 1-866-GO-CYBER (462-9237) or via email at The deadline for registration is December 17, 2014.


6b. Raytheon Scholarships Applications to Open August 27 For K-5 Teachers

Want to bring Engineering is Elementary’s award-winning curriculum to YOUR classroom AND attend an outstanding PD workshop that prepares you to teach your best? Applications for the next round of Raytheon - EiE Teacher Scholarships open THIS MONTH on August 27th.

Bookmark this link:

and be ready to submit your application.

Scholarship recipients travel to Boston to attend an EiE professional development workshop and receive a complete set of classroom materials. The value of the scholarship is approximately $2,500.


6c. Supplement Your Stretched Budget

GetEdFunding is a free and fresh website sponsored by CDW•G to help educators and institutions find the funds they need in order to supplement their already stretched budgets. GetEdFunding hosts a collection of more than 2,600 (and growing) grants and other funding opportunities culled from federal, state, regional and community sources and available to public and private, preK–12 educators, schools and districts, higher education institutions and nonprofit organizations that work with them. GetEdFunding offers customized searches by six criteria, including 43 areas of focus, eight content areas and any of the 21st century themes and skills that support your curriculum. After registering on the site, you can save the grant opportunities of greatest interest and then return to them at any time. This rich resource of funding opportunities is expanded, updated and monitored daily.

Please visit:


6d. Discover New Approaches to Teaching STEM Concepts

The Siemens STEM Academy is a partnership between the Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education and the Oak Ridge Associated Universities. This special partnership supports an initiative devoted to providing professional development for educators in the rapidly evolving areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The Siemens STEM Academy gives teachers an online portal teeming with resources that support them in their lesson planning and implementation, while exposing them to new and groundbreaking learning methods and approaches to teaching STEM concepts. Through monthly “STEM Connect” virtual events, the STARs program and the Siemens STEM Institute, teachers have a unique opportunity to learn, share and discover the latest in STEM education.

Please visit:


6e. NSTA New Science Teacher Academy

Applications for the 2014–2015 NSTA New Science Teacher Academy are currently being accepted. The year-long program was established to help reduce the high attrition rate in the science teaching profession by providing professional development and mentoring support to early-career science teachers.

Science teachers located throughout the country who will be entering their second through fifth year of teaching and whose schedule is a minimum of 51 percent middle or high school science, are encouraged to apply to the program. For more information about the NSTA New Science Teacher Academy or to learn how to apply to become a fellow, please visit the Academy website at:

Applications must be submitted no later than August 22, 2014, to be considered.


6f. Association of American Educators Classroom Grants

These grants (average amount: $500) can be used for a variety of projects and materials, including but not limited to books, software, calculators, math manipulatives, art supplies, audiovisual equipment, and lab materials. Classroom grants are available to all educators who have not received a scholarship or grant from the association in the last 18 months. Application deadlines are October 1 and March 1.

Please visit: for more information.


6g. Teachers Bringing Science to Life Contest

Science teachers work hard to make STEM learning exciting and appealing for students. This fall, as part of the 2014 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD), an interactive learning experience that gets youth excited about STEM education, the National 4-H Council and Lockheed Martin are launching the "Teachers Bringing Science to Life—Presented by Lockheed Martin" contest to reward teachers for getting involved with NYSD.

The contest will run from August 1 until September 26, with the grand prize winner announced on October 6, and the runners-up announced on December 4. Science teachers who register for the 4-H NYSD experiment and submit three photos of their class conducting the NYSD experiment will be automatically entered into a prize drawing. Grand Prize: $1,000 cash, along with a $4,000 STEM classroom makeover. Runner-Up Prizes: Two $1,000 cash prizes and six $500 cash prizes. For more information, please visit:


6h. PASCO STEM Educator Awards

The PASCO STEM Educator awards, sponsored by PASCO scientific, in partnership with the National Science Teachers Association, recognize excellence and innovation in the field of STEM education at middle school and high school levels.

Eligibility: The applicant must be a 6–12 STEM educator. Individuals must have a minimum of 3 years teaching experience in the STEM fields, who implement innovative inquiry-based, technology infused STEM programs. One middle level and two high school level recipients will be awarded annually.

Award: A total of 3 awardees will be selected annually. Each awardee will receive up to $1000 to cover travel expenses to attend the NSTA national conference and be part of a STEM share-a-thon workshop, a $500 monetary gift, and a $5000 certificate for PASCO scientific products. The recipient of the award will be honored during the Awards Banquet at the NSTA national conference.

To apply click on the link below:

The deadline to apply is November 30, 2014.


6i. Upcoming Deadlines

Would you like a complete list of grants that has been provided by the National Science Teachers Association? NSTA has put these grant and their deadlines in an easy to follow calendar. It includes: deadline date, description, category, and grade level. To view this list, please visit:

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

Last Day of the Months of May, June, September, October and November, 2014: Binoculars for Young Citizen Scientists. Please visit:

August 22, 2014: Deadline to apply for the NSTA New Science Teacher Academy. Please visit:

September 26, 2014: Deadline to enter the “Teachers Bringing Science to Life” Contest. Please visit:

September 30, 2014: Deadline for teachers to apply for the MAEP Environmental Education Grants. Please visit:

October 1, 2014: Deadline to apply for the Association of American Educators Classroom Grants. Please visit:

November 30, 2014: Deadline for MS and HS Teachers to apply for the PASCO STEM Educator Awards. Please visit:

December 17, 2014: Deadline for teachers in grades 6-9 to register for the eCYBERMISSION Competition. Please visit:


Information for K-12 Science Teachers


7a. Celebrate World Space Week

Imagine an entire week of space-themed activities to enhance learning. Join educators and space enthusiasts around the world to celebrate World Space Week, October 4-10, 2014. World Space Week is the largest public space event in the world, with over 1,400 events in more than 80 countries held during the week of October 4-10.

In 2014, World Space Week encourages the use global navigation satellite systems space-themed activities. To learn more about World Space Week, find educational materials, and register your event, visit


7b. Speakers Proposals Now Available for the MACUL Conference


Share your experiences and knowledge with MACUL attendees, apply to be selected as a 2015 MACUL Conference Presenter.

Please review the following resources before beginning the online application.

Session Submission Information --

This year’s conference will feature several session types and well as a variety of strands. Which is the best for you?

Speaker Proposal Planning Worksheet –

Use this document to plan your presentation before beginning the online submission process.

Conference Session Review Rubric –

The Session Review Rubric is used to select sessions.

Submit Your Presentation once you have reviewed the above documents and planned your session, use the MACUL 2015 Speaker Proposal Form:

The deadline for submissions is October 1, 2014.


7c. New Searchable, Free Teaching Resources on Climate and Energy in the CLEAN Collection

Looking for well-vetted resources on climate and energy literacy for the classroom? CLEAN has just launched a brand new, searchable portal of online learning activities, videos and visualizations on climate and energy.

The Brand New CLEAN Portal offers the following resources and support:

1. The CLEAN search engine directs you to online activities, videos, and visualizations on climate and energy that are searchable by grade level, topic, and resource type. These resources have been reviewed by scientists and educators for accuracy and classroom effectiveness and provide additional insight and guidance on using the materials.

2. Join the vibrant CLEAN Network email list for updates on educational policies and science, discussions with experts, conference & workshop announcements, and weekly telecons (Tuesdays at 1 pm ET). Join the CLEAN Network email list by contacting

3. Follow the CLEAN team on facebook
or twitter

to see featured resources from the CLEAN Portal as well as climate extensions to help you stay up-to-date on the latest climate and energy literacy news!

4. CLEAN's guidance on teaching climate

and energy science

provides a set of essential principles to frame the science and inform your teaching strategies. Learn more about these scientific principles, why they are important and challenging to learn, strategies for teaching age groups, and get directed to relevant activities, videos, and visualizations for each principle.


7d. Understanding Science

Are you looking for a new or different way to explain how science works or why science matters to your students? The "Scientific Method" used to mean teaching a strict set of steps, today we no longer recognize this as the method followed in scientific research. The Understanding Science website put together by the University of California Museum of Paleontology provides a variety of teaching resources for all grade levels in one convenient location. Correcting student misconceptions about science is another topic that is also addressed by this website. To look at all the materials available to you, go to:


7e. Accepting Speaker Applications for 2015 MSTA Conference

MSTA is now accepting applications for the 2015 Michigan Science Teachers Association --Engineering Grand Ideas in Science – Conference

February 27-28, 2015 - Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Grand Rapids, MI

To submit a speaker application, go to:

The deadline to apply is October 6, 2014.

VENDORS, to submit your speaker application, go to:


7f. Upcoming Deadlines

Have you checked out the National Science Teachers Association’s Freebies for Science Teachers webpage? It is filled with free materials and resources. Check it out regularly at:

October 1, 2014: Deadline to submit a presenter proposal for the 2015 MACUL Conference. Please visit:

October 4 – 10, 2014: World Space Week. Please visit:

October 6, 2014: Deadline to submit a speaker application for the 2015 MSTA Conference in Grand Rapids, MI. Please visit:

November 8, 2014: MDSTA/DACTM Fall Conference at Woodhaven HS in Woodhaven, MI. Please visit:

February 26 – 28, 2015: MSTA Conference in Grand Rapids, MI. Please visit:

March 18 – 20, 2015: Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) Conference at COBO Center in Detroit, MI. Please visit:




8a. Ideas from the Twitterverse

Michele Corbat@MicheleCorbat

Any mtg that runs beyond 20-30 minutes w/o members being directed to turn & talk to a neighbor is probably burning out brain cells.

Jeff Thomas ?


El Niño likelihood decreased; even so, forecasters predict #ElNino will emerge in early fall:

Dr. Justin Tarte@justintarte

Let's help our students create a future that we will all want to be a part of...that's a good goal. #edchat #unionrxi

Laura Olabisi@Lkshumaine

Using a clinometer to measure tree height at #Harvard forest in 98 #tbt #WomenInSTEM #theresanappforthat

World Resources Inst@worldresources

Reading - These maps show how big data can fight climate change (@climateprogress)


Ck out the new #NSTA guide for parents about the Next Generation Science Standards @ParentsConnect @parenting #NGSS


#NSTA Blog post: Center Your Learning in the NSTA Learning Center

New Scientist@newscientist

Congratulations #Opportunity! #PluckyRover takes record for greatest land distance trundled on another planet 25 mile


New! The DIY World of #Maker Tools & Their Uses: via @coolcatteacher. #makered

Nature Conservancy@nature_org

Overabundant #deer are harming #forests: Our blogger asks the tough questions:


interesting commentary from @sciencegoddess: 11 Ways Women See #STEM as a 4-letter Word

Dave Burgess@burgessdave

A2: My own kids watch a ton of Vine and YouTube videos…I want them to MAKE them more. S's need to create not just consume. #tlap

Michael Podraza@EGHSPrincipalRI

Banning phones ignores reality that information flows around the globe in close to real time. Ignoring/banning this hurts kids! #tlap


June 2014 global #ocean temp warmest for any month on record per @NOAANCDC #StateOfClimate rpt

Michele Corbat@MicheleCorbat

A7 A must-watch from @RickWormeli on late work: #15GISD


Get maps, images & more from 2013 #StateOfClimate Report at… &…

Weird Things to Know@Know

Difference between information vs knowledge

Weird Science@weird_sci

New York city gets 15 times as much snow as the South Pole.

Todd Bloch@blocht574

Summer is for adventure learning! #mschat #michED #puremichigan @engaginged


ICYMI: How to Select and Design Materials that Align to the Next Generation Science Standards… #NSTA #NGSSchat #NGSS


Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day… @USCViterbi @beatricebiology #RSplaylist

World Bank@WorldBank

Watch: This is why the urban poor are most at risk from climate change: #whatsURrisk

350 dot org@350

The Climate Crisis is real. So is our movement. Let's show the world this September. (VIDEO) #climatemarch

Michigan Dept Edu@mieducation

Improved Michigan eLibrary offers more for adults and kids to access information:

Tom Murray@thomascmurray

I'm saddened by how much I continue to hear device focused conversation at #ISTE2014 - Focus on the learning, NOT on the technology. @All4Ed

Kelly Hobson@Hobson_k

Passive vs. Participatory Learning #slide2learn #aussieED


Information for High School Science Teachers


9a. Relate Abstract Concepts to the Real World

MIT BLOSSOMS video lessons are enriching students’ learning experiences in high school classrooms from Brooklyn to Beirut to Bangalore. The BLOSSOMS Video Library contains more than 100 math and science lessons, all freely available to teachers as streaming video and Internet downloads, and as DVDs and videotapes. Teachers can visit the BLOSSOMS Video Library anytime to browse and download lessons to use in their classrooms. They can search MIT BLOSSOMS by Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. Every 50-minute lesson is a complete resource that includes video segments, a teacher’s guide, downloadable handouts and a list of additional online resources relevant to the topic. Each lesson builds on math and science fundamentals by relating abstract concepts to the real world. The lessons intersperse video instruction with planned exercises that engage students in problem solving and critical thinking, helping students build the kind of instinctive knowledge that comes from hands-on experience. By guiding students through activities from beginning to end, BLOSSOMS lessons give students a sense of accomplishment. Please visit:


9b. Forestry and Michigan Education and Career Resources is an organization that has recently launched a Forestry career and education guidebook. Their forestry guide features career and employment information, internship listings, scholarships, instructor information, and a degree search tool. In addition, they have published career guides in other Public Service career areas such as EMT / Paramedic, Homeland Security, Emergency Management and Criminal Justice.

Accurate and actionable information for the Forestry fields can be difficult to find. They noticed a gap in the information provided by other sites and they set out to build a uniquely focused Forestry guide tailored to those exploring Forestry careers. All guides from their organization are no-cost and can be accessed by anyone. You can find their Forestry guide here:

They also recently launched a unique Michigan guide focused on providing career and education information. They provide a list of schools and programs from the U.S. federal government National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and provide interviews with fire experts in Michigan. On the career side, they provide income tables in Michigan for Firefighters, Fire Inspectors / Investigators, and Fire Service Supervisors, talk about fire training, and also have a full section dedicated to Public Service Careers. Anyone can access the Michigan guide here:


9c. Upcoming Deadlines

October 21, 2014: Vernier Data Collection Workshop in Detroit, MI. Please visit:

November 12, 2014: Michigan Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference. Kellogg Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. Please visit:,4561,7-135-3585_49005-329144--,00.html


Information for Middle School and High School Science Teachers


10a. Free App ChemCrafter

Chemical reactions don’t just happen. You have to make them happen. ChemCrafter lets you build your own lab to run fun and creative experiments. Use the Chem-o-converter to measure energy released, and gain points that unlock new experiments, equipment, and chemicals. Use your new supplies to craft more gases, liquids and solids. It is made available through the Chemical Heritage Foundation. It is free and available in the App Store.


10b. Bring Promising Young Minds Together

Brilliant is an online hub for the world’s most promising young minds to come together, connect and see how they measure up against one another. The site is designed for talented 11- to 18-year-olds who would probably be Googling for difficult math problems. Brilliant administers a diagnostic exam to new users and then begins delivering “tantalizingly tricky and hard” questions written by math and physics teachers. Because Brilliant’s team assumes their users already have a strong foundation in STEM topics, the site focuses on measurement: How can we structure practice in such a way that students will understand (a concept) by the end of the practice? And then how can we measure throughout whether they’re on track to understand the concept? On Brilliant, students can participate in this sort of academic socializing on a global scale. They can share their answers, and how they devised them, with the Brilliant community and their social networks. The data can be sifted by geography and age range. Students can access Brilliant on the web, Facebook, Twitter or an Android device. Please visit:


10c. MSTA Presents “Teaching Science With Teachnology” in the Traverse City Area

MSTA will presents workshop on October 25, 2014 from 9:00-3:00 at the NMC University Center Campus , 2200 Dendrinos Drive on Boardman Lake. The theme of the workshop is Teaching Science with Teachnology. The workshop is presented by Vernier Software and Technology Specialists in conjunction with MSTA.

Registration will begin at 8:30!

For registration:
MSTA member Fee - $10.00
Non Member Fee - $50.00, includes membership in MSTA
Pre-service Students - $25.00, includes membership in MSTA

SCECH credits available for $10.00!

For registration and program information, contact:
Sue Campbell at 734-973-0433
Tom Waclawski at

You can also learn more online at:


10d. Upcoming Deadlines

October 25, 2014: “Teaching Science with Teachnology” at the NMC University Center Campus in Traverse City, MI. For more information, please contact Sue Campbell at 734-973-0433


Information for Middle School Science Teachers


11a. You Be The Chemist Challenge

Get your students excited about chemistry with the You Be The Chemist Challenge:
a free, national academic competition for grade 5-8 students. The Challenge was created by the Chemical Educational Foundation® (CEF), a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing science and chemistry education. The Challenge tests students’ knowledge of chemistry concepts, scientific theories, and laboratory safety in an engaging, interactive format. Local and state competitions occur in the spring and the top student from each state (together with one educator!) receives an expenses-paid trip to the national competition in June.

To find out how your school can get involved, please complete request an inquiry form by e-mailing: or call 703/ 527-6223.


Information for Elementary School Science Teachers


12a. Set Students’ Imaginations Free

Monster Physics is a unique building app from Freecloud Design that engages students aged 9–11 in playing with physics. Students can build and operate their own car, crane, rocket ship, plane, helicopter, tank and more. In the BUILD IT section, students can build intricate, working contraptions with more than 68 different parts, including wheels, rockets, propellers, cannons, magnets, claws and wings. They can choose from different materials, such as metal, wood, plastic, rubber and ice. And they can connect parts together by welding them, drawing a rope or chain between them with their finger or using special dynamic joints to bring them to life. When students’ inventions are complete, Monster Physics will render the invention with its built-in physics engine and let students actually operate their creation in real time. The SOLVE IT section encourages students to think outside the box with 50 missions for students to solve. The missions include simple tutorials as well as mind-bending challenges. Many of the missions are open-ended and have a variety of solutions. Students use their problem-solving and creative-thinking skills while having tons of fun. In the LEARN IT section, students learn physics “hands on” through solving missions and building and refining their own inventions. In addition, a separate LEARN section introduces students to basic physics concepts, such as friction, force, mass and acceleration. The app is available for the iPad and iPhone at a cost of $0.99.


Science Humor


13. Science Related Lexophiles

When fish are in schools, they sometimes take debate.

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C.L.A.

The batteries were given out, free of charge.

A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.

A boiled egg is hard to beat.

Acupuncture is a jab well done. That’s the point of it.


14. June Contest Winners

In June, we gave away two $10 Panera gift cards. Here is a list of the winners:

Deb Taylor, Royal Oak Middle School – Royal Oak Public Schools
Kimberly Lolich, Chippewa Valley Schools

If you didn’t win, try again this month. Thanks to everyone for being part of the Michigan Science Matters Network.


15. August Contest – Win a $10 Panera’s Gift Card or a $10 Subway Gift Card

This month we have four great prizes to give away. The prizes are 1-$10 Panera’s Gift Cards and 3-$10 Subway Gift Cards.

To win one of these prizes, send an email to:
David Bydlowski
State Coordinator for the Michigan Science Matters Network

You MUST INCLUDE your name AND mailing address AND your school name/district. (If you want the card, sent to your home, please provide your home address.)

You may only enter once and only one entry per email address. Respondents 2, 6, 12, and 22 will receive a prize. We will post all of the winners in our next E-Blast. Good luck to you and thank you for being part of the Michigan Science Matters Network.

If you don’t win, try again next month. Thanks to everyone for being part of the Michigan Science Matters Network.


To subscribe to the Science Matters Network in Michigan e-blast, please visit:

Click on Teachers, and then click on Become a Point of Contact.

To unsubscribe from the Science Matters Network in Michigan e-blast, please email David Bydlowski, Michigan Coordinator for the Science Matters Network, at

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