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Science Matters e-blast - January 19, 2014
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January 19, 2014
Science Matters Network in Michigan eBlast

In this E-Blast

1. Leadership

2. The Science Matters Network in Michigan

  • a. Another FREE Gift for You in the NSTA Learning Center – STEM

3. Next Generation Science Standards

  • a. Looks Like a Year Before Adoption of NGSS in Michigan
  • b. National Science Teacher’s Association (NSTA) Position Paper on NGSS-Part 3 – Implementation

4. Michigan Department of Education

  • a. Sign Up Now for Spring 2014 Interim Assessment Pilot: Registration Ending Soon
  • b. Two Michigan Schools Win NASA Challenge
  • c. Upcoming Deadlines

5. Information for Students (and Parents too!)

  • a. NASA’s REEL Science Communication Contest for High School Students
  • b. Global Student Challenge for Students Ages 15 – 18: Clean Tech Competition
  • c. Eastern Michigan University Hosting Conference for MS and HS Girls Interested in STEM
  • d. Showcase the Role of Technology in Education for K-12 Students
  • e. Kavil “Science in Fiction” Video Contest for Students in Grades 6 – 12
  • f. Craig Tufts’ Youth and Nature Essay Contest for Students Ages 8 – 18
  • g. DuPont Challenge Essay Contest for MS and HS Students
  • h. General Motors Foundation Grants STEM Scholarships to HS Seniors
  • i. Michigan HS Seniors Sought for National Youth Science Camp Honors
  • j. Upcoming Deadlines

6. Grants and Opportunities for K-12 Teachers

  • a. Alan Shepard Technology in Education Awards for K-12 Teachers
  • b. Science Literacy Opportunity for HS Teachers
  • c. Summer Job Opportunity – Washington Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University
  • d. Trees for Wildlife – Spring Application Begins
  • e. Discover the NSTA Learning Center and Choose a Free SciPack on January 30
  • f. Upcoming Deadlines

7. Information for K-12 Teachers

  • a. STEM Support Resources for K-12
  • b. The History of Space Photography Exhibit at GVSU
  • c. Investigate the Science of Snow
  • d. Darwin, A Naturalist’s Voyage
  • e. US Forest Service Offers New Digital Maps for Mobile Devices
  • f. Science and Engineering of the Olympic Winter Games 2014
  • g. National Wildlife Week: March 17 – 23, 2014
  • h. National Engineers Week: February 16 – 22, 2014
  • i. Upcoming Deadlines

8. Ideas from the Twitterverse

9. Information for High School Teachers

  • a. 2014 Envirothon Registration
  • b. Registration for Modern Physics Workshop at Wayne State University
  • c. Fermi II Tour for High School Teachers
  • d. Upcoming Deadlines

10. Information for Middle School and High School Teachers

  • a. CCSS Literacy in Science, Social Studies and Technical Subjects
  • b. Upcoming Deadlines

11. Information for Middle School Science Teachers

  • a. FREE Middle School Curriculum from BSCS
  • b. Upcoming Deadlines

12. Information for Elementary School Teachers

  • a. Meek Family Tim, Kerry, Amy and Ella Ditch TV for 100 Outdoor Activities

13. Information for Elementary School Teachers

  • a. Green School in a Lunchbox

14. Science Humor – Lots of Science Fun

15. December Contest Winners

16. January Contest - Win a $10 Starbucks Gift Card

Here are your science education resources and announcements for December 19 – January 8, 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

“Because I do not know what is important, everything is important. Since everything is important, I have to do everything. Because I keep trying to do everything, people see me doing everything, and they expect me to do everything. That keeps me so busy I do not have time to think about what is important!”
A.W. Combs, A. B. Miser, K.S. Whitaker in On Becoming A School Leader

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. 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 “STEM.” To access just visit:

Resources include:

  • How to Maximize Your Participation During the STEM Forum and Expo
  • Design Challenges Are “ELL-ementary”
  • STEM Beyond the Classroom
  • STEM Careers
  • First-Grade Engineers
  • Potato Problem Solving
  • STEM Day in the Park
  • 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.


Next Generation Science Standards


3a.  Looks Like a Year Before Adoption of the NGSS in Michigan

The Michigan State Board of Education met last week and started to make some decisions on the Next Generation Science Standards. 

They want to take time to study the standards before they are bring back to board including:
The structures needed for training of teachers
Time to think about and address the assessments
Timeline to advance standards

It's expected they'll be brought back to the November board meeting, then to the legislature, and back to state board for vote in December, 2014.


3b.  National Science Teacher’s Association (NSTA) Position Paper on the NGSS–Part III – Implementation

Achieving the goals of the NGSS will take a long-term systemic effort that requires significant changes in instruction, curriculum, assessment, teacher preparation and professional development, accompanied by extensive financial, administrative, and public support. It will also depend on all stakeholders at the local, district, and state level assuming a shared and collaborative responsibility for helping realize the goals of the NGSS. The responsibility for implementation cannot and should not be vested solely in teachers and other school-based personnel. To achieve the goals of the NGSS, NSTA describes the desired state of the components of implementation and the recommended roles and responsibilities of the key stakeholders that are necessary to achieve successful implementation with fidelity of the NGSS in schools, districts, and states.

Adoption is an important step in the implementation of the NGSS. Only with widespread state and local district adoption can the goal of common standards for all students in the nation be achieved.

For many school districts and teachers, both the number and degree of changes required to implement the NGSS will be significant. A considerable amount of preparation time is needed—before and after formal adoption—for science educators and school leaders to understand the changes or shifts, participate in the professional development or growth to support the changes, run trial or pilot work, and initiate the changes. Time is also needed to evaluate educators' growth and improvement and provide feedback as they work to become proficient in the new NGSS-based strategies, materials, and assessments. This dedicated time before full implementation is essential and will build awareness and understanding among stakeholders, while helping educators fully prepare for the NGSS.

An important starting point in understanding the goals, structure, and use of the NGSS is the Framework. NSTA recommends that the Framework be considered an essential companion document to the NGSS and be fully understood and used as the foundation of the standards.

Components to Achieve Full Implementation

NSTA considers full implementation of the NGSS to include the complete scope of changes or modifications necessary in all components of the K–12 science education system to support student accomplishment of the NGSS expectations. These components include instruction, curriculum, assessment, teacher preparation, and professional development, accompanied by extensive financial, administrative, and public support.

The components that follow are interdependent and should be aligned in a coherent manner. For the purposes of this statement, however, they are presented separately.

Teaching and learning are at the heart of quality science education. All students can develop science proficiency if the instruction provides them with opportunities for a range of scientific investigations and thinking, including—but not limited to—inquiry and investigation, collection and analysis of evidence, logical reasoning, and communication and application of information. The vision of the Framework and the NGSS is to engage students in the core ideas through the integration of science and engineering practices while making connections to the crosscutting concepts. Instruction, although varied in nature, should provide student proficiency in the following four strands (NRC 2007) and their related dimensions in the Framework and the NGSS:

Knowing, using, and interpreting scientific explanations of the natural world (disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts)

Generating and evaluating scientific evidence and explanations (practices)
Participating productively in scientific practices and discourse (practices)
Understanding the nature and development of scientific knowledge (practices and crosscutting concepts)


Michigan Department of Education


4a. Sign Up Now for Spring 2014 Interim Assessment Pilot – Registration Ending Soon

Schools are invited to register to participate in the Spring 2014 Interim Assessment Pilot. Districts may have several schools participate but each school must register with a separate application. Interim assessments will be piloted in the content areas of English language arts (ELA) and mathematics for grades K, 1, and 2, and science and social studies for grades 3 through high school.

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 Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCEs) and High School Content Expectations (HSCEs).

Participation in this State of Michigan authorized pilot test opportunity counts toward satisfying district participation requirement #4 of the 22i Technology Readiness Infrastructure Grant (TRIG).

To participate in the Spring 2014 Interim Assessment Pilot, please complete the registration survey at

Additional important information:

   * The registration deadline is Friday, January 31, 2014.
   * The test window is March 24, 2014 through May 23, 2014.  Schools may administer the pilot assessments any time within this nine-week test window.
   * As with all assessment pilots, test results will not be provided.

More information about the Michigan Interim Assessments may be found at


4b. Two Michigan Schools Win NASA Challenge

Students at two Michigan middle schools are out of this world when it comes to helping NASA solve several vexing space exploration problems.

NASA and the U.S. Department of Education chose Michigan and two other states to participate in a challenge designed to launch student excitement in NASA STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) content as part of 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) programs.

“As someone who strongly supports STEM and education technology in Michigan schools, I am pleased that two Michigan schools have been named among only four finalists participating in this 21st CCLC pilot project,” said State Superintendent Mike Flanagan. “As part of the challenge, students had opportunities to connect with NASA scientists and engineers to get feedback on their work, ask questions, and learn what it’s like to work at the space agency.”

Flanagan said NASA selected videos produced by Atherton Junior High and Washtenaw International Middle Academy among entries from eight Michigan schools and 50 entries overall to participate in the project’s Virtual Student Showcase. The two other selected schools are in Colorado and Virginia.

With a video called “Working Today, Parachuting Tomorrow,” Atherton Junior High tackled the parachute challenge while Washtenaw students designed a video game for astronauts. The video is called: “Good Banana, Bad Banana.”


4c. Upcoming Deadlines

January 31, 2014:  Deadline to apply to participate in the Spring 2014 Interim Assessment Pilot.  For more information, please visit:

February 3, 2014:  Deadline to apply to participate in the RAISE Program.   Please visit:


Information for Students (and Parents too!)


5a.  NASA’s REEL Science Communication Contest for High School Students

So you want to be a NASA producer? NASA is looking for talented high school students to create videos that engage younger students in earth science.

Students are consuming over 10 hours of media each day, and video is increasingly important to reach and engage this audience about science. NASA is hosting the second annual video contest, challenging high school students to produce a two-minute video for middle school students. The videos should communicate one of the following science concepts: how climate impacts ice and ice impacts climate, forest fire effects on air quality or water of the water planet.

Winning videos will be posted on NASA's website. Winners will also get the opportunity to be a NASA producer working with NASA scientists and communication experts in July 2014 to produce an earth science feature video.

The deadline for submitting videos is Feb. 21, 2014.  For more information and instructions for submitting a video, visit:


5b.  Global Student Challenge for Students Ages 15 – 18 – Clean Tech Competition

The Clean Tech Competition is a global research and design challenge for students ages 15-18 that promotes educational trends towards student-led, project-based learning. This year's theme, "A Solution to Pollution" challenges teams of student innovators to design a clean technology solution to this real-world problem. Students will work in teams to research a specific issue and design a solution. Finalist teams will then be given a stipend and paired with an expert mentor to turn their idea into a prototype. More information can be found at:

Teams that register prior to February 7, 2014 will be entered into a raffle to win a tablet for each team member (pending submission of their paper on March 7, 2014).


5c.  Eastern Michigan University Hosting Conference For Girls Interested in STEM

Eastern Michigan University is hosting a one-day conference for middle and high school girls interested in careers in science, math, engineering and technology related fields.  The conference, called Digital Divas, will take place on Friday, April 25 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. It's the fourth year EMU has hosted the daylong conference.

People who work in STEM fields —including companies ranging from Google to Mercedes— speak to girls attending the conference, expounding on the career options available in STEM fields. Girls are also taught how to use online platforms safely. Breakout sessions focus on coding, aviation, cyber law and cyber safety.  "It's opening their eyes to what's out there," explained EMU program manager Bia Hamed. "Women only hold 24 percent of all stem jobs. It's a very small percentage, so we want to encourage more females to go that route."

The event is free and lunch is provided. Last year, 450 girls attended the events, with schools from the area bussing in female students to attend the conference.  "By the time girls get to middle school they lose interest in technology and so this is our way to stir them up," said Hamed.

To attend the conference or have your child attend, email to RSVP.


5d.  Showcase the Role of Technology in Education

Do you have awesome student filmmakers in your class who want to show the power of technology in their classroom? If so, invite them to make a short film—less than three minutes—for the opportunity to show their film at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in the first-ever White House Student Film Festival. Students’ films should address at least one of the following themes: (1) how technology currently is used in their classroom or school; (2) the role technology will play in education in the future. Students might consider how technology helps with personalized learning, online learning, global collaboration, student creativity, making and tinkering, project-based learning or critical thinking. Examples include showing the use of technology as a creation tool, the use of technology in new and innovative ways or the use of technology to access high-quality online content and resources. The video contest has been created just for K–12 students. Finalists will have their short films shown at the White House. Finalist videos may also be featured on the White House website, YouTube channel and social media pages.  The deadline to apply is January 29, 2014.  For more information, please visit:


5e.  Kavil “Science in Fiction” Video Contest

The USA Science & Engineering Festival, in association with the Kavli Foundation, has launched the Science in Fiction video contest.

Using scenes from popular science fiction movies and TV shows, and video games, Gr. 6-12 students will create :30-:90 videos that investigate how science fictional scenes could be realized using current and developing technologies. The video contest culminates in a popular awards show, hosted by Bill Nye, as part of the Festival, which returns to Washington, D.C. on April 26-27, 2014.  

The contest officially opened for entries on Nov. 1, 2013 and closes Mar. 21, 2014. First prize is $2000 cash prize and a travel stipend to travel to Washington D.C. for the Expo. The second prize is $750 and the third prize is $500. The People's Choice Award prize is $250.  

For more information please visit the contest website:

Learn more about how teachers can use the video contest in the science classroom:


5f.  Craig Tufts’ Youth and Nature Essay Contest

In honor of long-standing employee and naturalist, Craig Tufts, the family of Craig Tufts, Family Summits Inc., and the National Wildlife Federation invites youth to enter the 5th Annual Craig Tufts Educational Essay Scholarship competition.  This competition is open to any young person between the ages of 8 and 18 to submit an essay (guidelines and requirements).  The selected entry will receive a once in a lifetime experience to attend a week-long summer outdoor adventure camp with a parent or guardian in Pacific Grove, CA.  Entries are due by March

28th.  Please visit:


5g.  DuPont Challenge Essay Contest for MS and HS Students

The deadline for submissions for the 2014 DuPont Challenge is fast approaching. Middle and high school students (grades 7-12) from the from the United States, Canada, and U.S. territories are encouraged to submit a 700-1,000-word essay that provides innovative ideas on the world's most pressing challenges, or demonstrates the application of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to our daily lives.

This year, the Challenge encourages students to consider how science and innovation can be used to meet the needs of the 21st century for food, energy, and protection. Students should address one of the four following categories in their essay:

   * Together, we can feed the world.
   * Together, we can build a secure energy future.
   * Together, we can protect people and the environment.
   * Together, we can be innovative anywhere.

Students and sponsoring teacher prizes include savings bonds, teaching grants, exciting trips, and much more. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2014. For more information, including official rules, entry forms, and details on awards, please visit the Challenge website at:


5h.  General Motors Foundation Grants STEM Scholarships to HS Seniors

The Buick Achievers Scholarship Program, funded by the General Motors Foundation, will accept applications for 2014 scholarships from Monday, Jan. 6, through 5 p.m. EST on Friday, Feb. 28.

This is the fourth year the Buick Achiever Scholarships will be awarded to students who excel in the classroom and give back to the community. To be eligible for the program, high school seniors or current undergraduate students must be looking to obtain a college degree in science, technology, engineering, math, also known as STEM, or other eligible fields related to the auto industry.

Created in 2011, the Buick Achievers Scholarship Program has awarded $16.5 million to students across the U.S. This year, the program will award 100 scholarships of up to $25,000 per year, renewable for up to four years, or up to five years for qualified engineering programs.

“The Buick Achievers Scholarship Program is helping students across the U.S. pay for and obtain a quality secondary education focused on STEM,” said GM Foundation President Vivian Pickard. “Through the program, we are helping to shape the next generation of leaders and innovators for the automotive industry and for other sectors important to the future success of our country.”

Students from the United States and Puerto Rico are eligible. To apply for the Buick Achievers Scholarship, or to register for more information, please


5i.  Michigan High School Seniors Sought for National Youth Science Camp Honors

Applications are being accepted for the 2014 National Youth Science Camp.

Two high school seniors from Michigan will receive a full scholarship to exchange ideas with scientists and other professionals from the academic and corporate worlds. The nearly month-long experience includes lectures and hands-on research projects presented by scientists from across the nation; overnight camping trips into the Monogahela National Forest; and a visit to Washington D.C. The selected delegates must not only demonstrate academic achievement in science, but also show potential for thoughtful scientific leadership.

The NYSC experience is offered at no cost to its participants, so that selected delegates may attend regardless of their financial status. Contributions to the National Youth Science Foundation® allow delegates to participate in this “once in a lifetime” experience. Educational and recreational programming, as well as meals, lodging, and round-trip air passage on scheduled airlines are provided free of charge.

Delegates arrive in Charleston, West Virginia, on Friday, June 27, and depart on Sunday, July 20, 2014. The NYSC is held near Bartow in the eastern mountains of West Virginia, within the Monongahela National Forest.

Michigan applicants will apply using the online NYSC Common Application process.
You may apply at:

Applications must be submitted by Friday, March 1, 2014.



5j. 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:

January 24, 2014:  Deadline for High School Students to Apply to Participate in the Washington Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University.  Please visit:

January 29, 2014:  Deadline for K-12 Students to enter the White House Student Film Festival.  Please visit:

January 31, 2014:  Deadline for MS and HS Students to enter the DuPont Challenge Essay Contest.  Please visit:

February 7, 2014:  Deadline for Students Ages 15 – 18 to enter the Global Student Challenge – Clean Tech Competition.  Please visit:

February 21, 2014:  Deadline for High School Students to enter the NASA REEL Science Communication Contest.  Please visit:

February 28, 2014:  Deadline for HS Seniors to apply for the Buick Achievers Scholarships.  Please visit:

March 1, 2014:  Deadline for Michigan High School Seniors to Apply for National Youth Science Camp.  Please visit:

March 4, 2014:  Deadline for the Siemen’s We Can Change the World Challenge.  Please visit:

March 12, 2014: Deadline for K-8 students to enter the 2014 Kirtland’s Warbler Young Artist Calendar Contest.  Please visit:

March 14, 2014:  Deadline for K-12 Students to enter the NASA Exploration Design Challenge.  Please visit:

March 21, 2014: Deadline for 6th – 12th grade students to enter the “Fiction in Science” Video Contest.  Please visit:

March 28, 2014:  Deadline for students ages 8 -18 to enter the Craig Tufts’ Youth and Nature Essay Contest.  Please visit:

March 31, 2014:  Deadline for MS and HS Students to enter the Engineering for YOU Video Contest.  Please visit:

April 1, 2014:  Deadline for K – 5 Students to enter the My Green School Art Contest.  Please visit:

April 15, 2014:  Deadline for Students in Grades 8 – 11 to apply for the TOMODACHI Toshiba Science and Technology Leadership Academy.  Please visit:

April 25, 2014:  Best Early Research Symposium at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, MI.  Please indicate your willingness to participate by contacting Dr. Desmond Murray at (269) 757-1641 and/or via email at

April 25, 2014:  Digital Divas Conference for Girls Interested in STEM at Eastern Michigan University.  To attend the conference or have your child attend, email to RSVP.

June 24 – 26, 2014: Grandparents, Grandkids and Grand Valley at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI.  Please visit:


Grants and Opportunities For K-12 Teachers


6a.  Alan Shepard Technology in Education Awards

Do you know K-12 teachers or district-level administrators who are making a difference in education through the use of technology? Recognize their achievements by nominating them for the Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award. The Astronauts Memorial Foundation, in partnership with NASA and the Space Foundation, will recognize the accomplishments of one outstanding individual and his or her contributions to lifelong learning through the application of technology in the classroom or in the professional development of teachers.

Technology personnel and K-12 classroom teachers who have demonstrated exemplary use of technology to enhance learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, are eligible for this award. School principals, superintendents or associate superintendents may nominate eligible candidates. The award will be presented in May 2014 at the Space Foundation's 30th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo. The deadline for applications is Feb. 3, 2014.

Applications and more information are available online at:


6b.  Science Literacy Opportunity for High School Teachers

The Strategic Literacy Initiative (WestEd) is launching another grant opportunity, this time for high school science teachers in Michigan. The grant is called "iRAISE" or Internet-based Reading Apprenticeship Improving Science Education.

iRAISE mirrors the work and development from the RAISE training, which is still on-going, but unlike RAISE, iRAISE is entirely online and no time is taken away from teachers' classroom practice.

They have spent the past year developing the iRAISE course with a small group of Michigan and Pennsylvania teachers; now they are ready to scale up. They will be soliciting 50 - 90 high school teachers from Michigan.  The deadline to apply is February 14, 2014.  Please visit:


6c.  Summer Job Opportunity – Washington Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University

George Mason University and the Washington Youth Summit on the Environment (WYSE) seek several dynamic and enthusiastic individuals to fill the positions of Faculty Advisor for a week-long residential student leadership conference held June 22-June 27, 2014. WYSE brings together 250 of the nations’ brightest rising high school juniors and senior (rising sophomores and juniors) for an experiential and intensive conference focusing on leadership and environmental science and conservation. The students will reside on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University, while taking advantage of Washington, D.C. and venues such as the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian National Zoo, and the U.S. Capitol. Detailed program information and a tentative schedule can be found at:

The Faculty Advisor will be responsible for providing students with the best possible conference experience. Each Advisor will be assigned to a group of no more than 25 students and will facilitate the assigned curriculum and discussion topics. The Faculty Advisor must be able and willing to interact in a large group setting and is responsible for the student’s safety and wellbeing at all times during the conference. Faculty Advisors reside in on- campus single room accommodations for the duration of the conference.

Each Faculty Advisor will receive $2,200 plus single room accommodations for the conference week (June 22-27, 2014) plus 3 training days prior to the conference (June 19, 20, 21). They expect the compensation to cover your travel and minimal meal costs during the conference.

Interested candidates should review the conference details at: then submit a letter of interest and resume, including references to:

Richard Friesner
Program Director
Washington Youth Summit on the Environment


6d.  Trees for Wildlife – Spring Application Begins

National Wildlife Federation’s Trees for Wildlife program is an educational and community service program dedicated to teaching children and adults about the important role of trees for both wildlife and our communities.  Youth and school groups may apply to potential receive free native trees, a planting guide and resource guide, along with guidance from NWF staff to assist in planning your tree planting event or community tree giveaway event.  Review the guidelines and apply today.  Time is limited.  All applications must be received by February 21st for Spring consideration.  

Please visit:


6e.  Discover the NSTA Learning Center and Choose a Free SciPack on January 30

Did you know there are more than 11,200 resources at your fingertips in the NSTA Learning Center? NSTA's online portal for teacher professional learning includes journal articles, lesson plans, interactive learning experiences called SciPacks, and more. These resources are available to help you refresh your content knowledge and develop new strategies for your pedagogical toolkit—and more than 3,900 of them are free!

Find out more about the NSTA Learning Center during a web seminar on January 30 at 6:30 p.m. ET. You'll get a guided tour of the Learning Center and the different types of resources available then have a chance to begin adding free resources to your Learning Center library. All web seminar participants will receive an $18 SciPack for free (21 topics to choose from)! Read more about this web seminar and register at:


6f. 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:

January 30, 2014:  NSTA Learning Center Webinar and Choose a Free SciPack.  Please visit:

January 31, 2014:  Deadline to apply for a Captain Planet Foundation Grant.  Please visit:

February 3, 2014:  Deadline for K-12 Teachers to Apply for the Alan Shephard Technology in Education Awards.  Please visit:

February 14, 2014:  Deadline for Teachers to Apply for the “100 of America’s Most Innovative Teachers” award.  Please visit:

February 14, 2014:  Deadline for High School Teachers to Apply to Participate in the iRAISE Science Literacy Opportunity.  Please visit:

February 21, 2014:  Deadline to apply for free native trees from the National Wildlife Federation.  Please visit:

February 28, 2014:  Deadline to apply for the $500 PITSCO Scholarship.  Please visit:

April 15, 2014:  Deadline to apply for the $1000 Teacher grants for water-related curriculum projects. Please visit:

April 15, 2014:  Deadline for High School Teachers to apply for the TOMODACHI Toshiba Science and Technology Leadership Academy.  Please visit:


Information for K-12 Science Teachers


7a.  STEM Support Resources for K - 12

According to a study conducted by Microsoft, only one in five college students felt like their K-12 education adequately prepared them for university STEM courses. This lack of academic exposure has dire consequences on college graduation rates — according to the Office of Science and Technology Policy, less than 40 percent of those who intend to major in a STEM field actually do so.  If you need resources to support your STEM instruction, please visit:


7b.  The History of Space Photography Exhibit at GVSU

Visit “The History of Space Photography” Exhibit at GVSU

From the earliest black-and-white photographs of the Moon to the most recent images taken from the Mars Curiosity rover, The History of Space Photography exhibition features 50 noteworthy images from the last 50 years of space exploration. These stunning and beautiful visuals, including video projections of celestial animations, were captured by astronauts, astronomers, and data visualization experts.

The exhibit will be on display January 15 to March 21, 2014 at the Art Gallery, in the Performing Arts Center on the Grand Valley State University Allendale campus.

Grand Valley State University Art Gallery is pleased to share these historic cosmic images with you.  The History of Space Photography exhibition is organized by the California/ International Arts Foundation and is guest curated by Jay Belloli, former Director of Gallery Programs at the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA.

More information may be found at:


7c.  Investigate the Science of Snow

Created by the American Chemical Society, the Chemistry of Snowflakes video tracks the formation of snowflakes from their origins in bits of dust in clouds that become droplets of water falling to Earth. The video explains that when the droplets cool, six crystal faces form, because water molecules bond in hexagonal networks when they freeze. Ice crystals grow fastest at the corners between the faces, fostering development of the six branches that exist in most snowflakes. As snowflakes continue to develop, the branches can spread, grow long and pointy, or branch off into new arms. As each snowflake rises and falls through warmer and cooler air, it thus develops its own distinctive shape.  To access the free video, please visit:


7d.  Darwin, A Naturalist’s Voyage

Darwin, A Naturalist’s Voyage is a virtual tour of Charles Darwin’s nearly five-year journey on the Beagle. The tour has 14 segments chronicling Darwin’s voyage from start to finish. Throughout the tour, viewers will see sketches from the journey, hear readings from Darwin’s journals and learn about the journey as a whole. The virtual tour is not limited just to Darwin’s work as a naturalist; it also explores social issues of the time, such as slavery.  Please visit:


7e.  US Forest Service Offers New Digital Maps for Mobile Devices

The U.S. Forest Service now offers access to a variety of visitor maps for people using Android and iOS devices.

“This mobile app makes it easier than ever to plan your visit to a national forest or grassland,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “By putting important forest information right at your fingertips, it will encourage more Americans to get outside and explore their forests.”

The digital maps are part of USDA’s work toward reaching President Obama’s initiative to create a paperless government that also provides the American public with better, more accessible information. Online customer surveys also indicated a desire for more online products and information, such as maps. The Forest Service is currently working on the first phase of a website redesign, expected to debut early in 2014, which centers on a map-based tool for planning trips onto our nation’s forests, grasslands and other special places.

The “Avenza PDF Maps” App, developed by Avenza Systems Inc., is available as a free download from iTunes and the Android Play Store. The app provides access to Forest Service maps, such as motor-vehicle-use maps, which are free while pages from national forest atlases are 99 cents and forest visitor maps are $4.99. Prices are pending for other agency maps.


7f.  Science and Engineering of the Olympic Winter Games 2014

The National Science Foundation has partnered with NBC Learn (the educational arm of NBC News) to release the "Science and Engineering of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games"--the latest installment in the Emmy Award-winning "Science of Sports" series. This enlightening 10-part video collection, narrated by NBC Sports' Liam McHugh, delves into the physics, engineering, chemistry, design and mathematics behind the world's foremost sporting event.

The segments feature a variety of sports stories, as told by some of the world's top athletes and record holders, along with perspectives and innovative research from leading NSF-supported engineers and scientists.

The series' diverse topics reveal how key engineering and science concepts and cutting-edge technology play an integral part in each athlete's respective sport and help maximize their performance at the 2014 Sochi Games.  To access these resources, please visit:


7g.  National Wildlife Week – March 17 – 23, 2014

National Wildlife Week 2014 will take place from March 17-23 this year and will celebrate wildlife and water.  Water is a life source for all living creatures (whether human, animal or plant), and each of us depend on having access to clean water. Over the course of the week, NWF and its partners will highlight this connection by exploring our waterways—from the mountains to the rivers to the oceans.

NWF will shed light on the connection between wildlife and water by featuring more than 40 different species across the country, from the endangered Hawaiian monk seals to swamp rabbits, whooping cranes and loons, spring peepers to spotted salamanders, rainbow trout to walleye and blue crab to dragonflies.

Please visit: to view resources and to sign up for eMail updates.


7h.  National Engineers Week – February 16 – 22, 2014

The Engineers Week 2014 theme is “Let's Make a Difference!”  Check out the Engineers Week Toolkit at: for tips and ideas to make your Engineers Week celebration a success.  Engineers Week posters are available.  Order yours today!


7i. Upcoming Deadlines

January 15 – March 21, 2014:  “The History of Space Photography” Exhibit at Grand Valley State University.  Please visit:

February 16 – 22, 2014: National Engineers Week.  Please visit:

February 20, 2014:  Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.  Please visit:

March 6 – 8, 2014:  MSTA Annual Conference in Lansing, MI.  Please visit:

March 12 - 14, 2014:  MACUL Conference in Grand Rapids, MI.  Please visit:

March 17 – 23, 2014:  National Wildlife Week.  Please visit:

April 3 – 6, 2014:  NSTA National Conference in Boston, MA.  Please visit:




8a. Ideas from the Twitterverse

Natural Leaders @naturalleaders
@IslandWood 's @benklasky @TEDx about the need to get kids outdoors daily, to boost their physical and mental health:

@NOAA just released its annual #climate report: 2013 was warmer & wetter than avg for contig USA, says @NOAANCDC

World Resources Inst @worldresources
Reading - BP: Global emissions to soar 29 per cent by 2030 (@BusinessGreen)

Wanted to compare snow depth for the West and see how much a diff a year makes--wow!

Rick Wormeli @RickWormeli
@grantwiggins There's tremendous insight on how to teach 10-15 yr-olds that's not getting into the hands of those who teach them.

ASTC @ScienceCenters
"What Is This ‘Polar Vortex’ That Is Freezing the U.S.?" (via @sciam)

USASEF @USAScienceFest
RT @nytimes: The brain, in exquisite detail

Steve Dickie @falconphysics
@MR_ABUD no frozen bubbles. Stuff's at school and the car won't start. So I did this instead

Salome Thomas-EL @Principal_EL
This is how we teach kids to become resilient! #edreform #teachers #education

Diana R. Johns @drjohns4msu
Changing the global food narrative - Comment - The Ecologist…

Bethany Beaudrie @bethanybeaudrie
Some of my favorites are on this list! Enhance Project-Based Learning with These 10 Powerful Tools

World Resources Inst @worldresources
Reading - 20 sustainability apps that made waves in 2013 (@GreenBiz) @WRIForests

Derek Braman @DerekBraman
Overused edu term of the year. #miched


Information for High School Science Teachers


9a. 2014 Michigan Envirothon Registration

You are invited to Celebrate 20 years of Environmental Education with Michigan Envirothon!   This years Regional Competitions will be held around the state March 11 - 28.  Form a team and join in for a day of hands on environmental education with Michigan natural resource professionals.  

Please visit: to find out more about Envirothon and to register.  


9b. Registration for Modern Physics Workshop at Wayne State University

The workshop will run from 8.45am to 12:30 pm on Saturday, February 1, 2014. The workshop will occur in the first floor computer lab of the Adamany Undergraduate Library on the Wayne State campus. Consult: for more details.


9c. Fermi II Tour for High School Teachers

Announcing the Detroit Local Section of the American Chemical Society Education Committee High School Chemistry Teachers Event

What:    Tour of the Fermi II Nuclear Power Plant
Who:     Bob Eberhardt, Fermi II Lab Director
Where:    Fermi II -- Frenchtown Charter Township, MI 48166
When:    Saturday, March 1, 2014 - approximately 9 am to 2 pm
(specific directions to follow by e-mail, including security clearance documents to be signed)
Cost:          The tour is FREE, but space is limited to 15 participants.


9d. Upcoming Deadlines

February 1, 2014:  Physics Modeling Workshop at Wayne State University.  Please visit:

March 11 – 28, 2014:  Regional Michigan Envirothon Competitions.  Please visit:


Information for Middle School and High School Science Teachers


10a.  CCSS Literacy in Science, Social Studies, and Technical Subjects

Teachers will be introduced to the Common Core Literacy in Science, Social Studies, and Technical Subjects Standards, to examine in detail how they can improve their subject area curriculum and instruction.  Specific attention will be given to the relationship of the literacy standards to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Science and Engineering Practices and the Social Studies Grade Level Content Expectations.

This three day professional development series (1/30, 1/31, & 2/21) for middle school & high school teachers of science or social studies is being offered through the Genesee Area Mathematics and Science Center (GAMSC) at the Genesee ISD.  

To register,


10b. Upcoming Deadlines

January 30 – 31, and February 22, 2014:  CCSS Literacy in Science, Social Studies and Technical Subjects at the Genesee ISD in Flint, MI.  To register:

February 28, 2014:  Cell Day!  Please visit:

April 1 – 6, 2014:  2nd Annual MSU Science Festival in East Lansing, MI.  For more information, please contact Renee Leone at

August 3 – 7, 2014:  Biennial Conference on Chemical Education at Grand Valley State University.  Please visit:


Information for Middle School Science Teachers


11a. FREE Middle School Science Curriculum from BSCS

BSCS Middle School Science provides a variety of ways to help your students meet the Next Generation Science Standards, including opportunities throughout each unit to engage in the practices of science.  The program is a student-centered, multidisciplinary science program funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Institute for Education Sciences, and available from BSCS.

The program comprises the following four units:

   * Earth/Space Science
   * Life Science
   * Physical Science
   * Science and Society

They developed BSCS Middle School Science using the most recent research on teaching and learning. The curriculum is available online only and is FREE for classroom use to teachers who agree to provide usability data and complete student pretests and posttests.  Results from their national field tests of BSCS Middle School Science are compelling. All students, including those from groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences, made statistically significant achievement gains across all units.  Please visit: to read a full report on research findings.

Visit the BSCS website at: for more information or to sign up to preview or use the BSCS Middle School Science program in your classroom.


11b. Upcoming Deadlines

March 6, 2014:  MEECS Training at MSTA in Lansing, MI.  Please visit:,4561,7-135-3308_3333-299654--,00.html


Information for Middle School and Elementary Science Teachers


12a. Meek Family Tim, Kerry, Amy and Ella Ditch TV for 100 Outdoor Activities

A CHALLENGE to their children to get outside and stop watching TV has led a family of four to complete 100 adventures in the past year.  Tim and Kerry Meek, from Arnold, Nottinghamshire, was afraid his daughters Amy, 10, and Ella, eight, were spending too much time indoors.  So he came up with a list of 100 activities for them to undertake as a family.  Check out the activities at:


Science Humor


13. Science Humor from the Twitterverse

Q -- What did the subatomic duck say?
A – Quark

Q – What did one cell say to his sister cell that stepped on his toe?
A – Get off MiToSis

Q – Why is electricity so dangerous?
A – Because it doesn’t know how to conduct itself properly.

Comment – Just doing a little light reading about photons.


14. November Contest Winners

In December, we gave away three $10 Amazon gift cards.  Here is a list of the winners:

Kavita Sadwal, Detroit International Academy – Detroit Public Schools
Nicole Stema, Brandon School District
Nick Miu, Sanilac ISD

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


15. January Contest – Win a $10 Starbucks Card

This month we have three great prizes to give away. The prizes are 3 - $10 Starbucks 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 1, 11, and 21 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

David Bydlowski, State Coordinator: --

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