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

In this E-Blast

  1. Leadership
  2. The Science Matters Network in Michigan
    1. Another FREE Gift for You in the NSTA Learning Center – Mentoring
    2. What is Science Matters?
  3. Next Generation Science Standards
    1. Attend a NGSS Conference From the Comfort of Your Home
    2. Frequently Asked Questions – Teachers Ask, NGSS Experts Answer
    3. A New Website to Support NGSS Implementation – STEM Teaching Tools
  4. Michigan Department of Education
    1. Middle and High School Course Mapping Document
    2. Upcoming Deadlines and MDE Websites of Interest
  5. Information for Students (and Parents too!)
    1. Design, Build and Fly a Model Rocket
    2. Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision STEM Competition
    3. Youth Learning as Citizen Environmental Scientists (YLASES)
    4. Future Engineers 3D Printing in Space Challenge for K-12 Students
    5. Upcoming Deadlines
  6. Grants and Opportunities for K-12 Teachers
    1. Serve in the National Education Arena – Albert Einstein Distinguished Fellowship Program
    2. Deadline for Shell Science Teaching Award Approaching – November 18
    3. Win a Shell Science MS or HS Lab Makeover Valued at $20,000 For Your School
    4. Dan Wolz Clean Water Education Grant
    5. $1000 Scholarships for Amazon Rainforest PD Workshop
    6. Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching for Secondary Teachers
    7. Application Deadline for the 2015 Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy Extended to Nov 16
    8. Apply for a Teacher Scholarship to Raft the Grand Canyon with NCSE
    9. Join the GRACE Project – GIS and Science for MS and HS Teachers
    10. Upcoming Deadlines
  7. Information for K-12 Teachers
    1. Bring the National Parks into the Classroom
    2. Take a Virtual Field Trip to the Polar Bear Capital of the World
    3. Investigate How the World Has Changed In Your Lifetime
    4. School Gardens
    5. Losing the Dark – Video on Light Pollution
    6. Get Your Classroom Prepared for Science Fair Season
    7. PBS Learning Media Student Learning Portal and Productivity Tools Are Now Live
    8. Plan to Attend the Fall Science Update at GVSU
    9. Upcoming Deadlines
  8. Ideas from the Twitterverse
  9. Information for High School Teachers
    1. Our Best Friend’s Genes
    2. Great Readings in Science
    3. Upcoming Deadlines
  10. Information for Middle School Science Teachers
    1. New Interactive Resources Encourage Students to “Dig” Into the Science Around Them
  11. Information for Elementary School Teachers
    1. Download a Free iBook – Expedition: Insects
    2. Get Inspired by Other Educators Contributions of their Students Learning About Birds
  12. Science Humor Silly Questions
  13. October Contest Winners
  14. November Contest – Win a $10 Starbucks Gift Card

Here are your science education resources and announcements for November, 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

“Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. ”

Louis "Lou" Holtz

Thank you to Herm Boatin, Science Consultant, for contributing this leadership quote.


The Science Matters Network In Michigan


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

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 “Mentoring.” To access just visit:

Resources include:

  • Classroom Management
  • Coaching to Build Support for Inquiry-Based Teaching
  • Mentoring New Science Teachers
  • Perspectives: Mentoring New Teachers
  • Realize Your Mentoring Success
  • Reform, One Teacher at a Time
  • Making Science Mentors
  • 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. Attend a NGSS Conference From the Comfort of Your Home

When teachers are asked what they like most about virtual learning experiences, convenience is at the top of the list. According to one teacher, "it was beneficial to learn about these topics from the comfort of my home and not worry about travel expenses and time spent traveling."

Join NSTA for an intensive one-day virtual conference on Saturday, November 15, to learn about engineering and scientific practices. This web-based professional learning opportunity includes interactive sessions on modeling, explanation and argumentation, and engineering, plus breakouts by grade level and discipline.

Engage with leading experts, discuss ideas with colleagues, and gain practical insights and strategies to better understand and apply key principles from the NGSS—all from the convenience of your home. Read the agenda and register today for this one--of-a-kind opportunity at the web address below:

No traveling means you can save $ and concentrate 100% on the information!

$79 for NSTA members and $99 for nonmembers.

Use the promo code “virtual10” at checkout and save $10 from the registration price.


3b. Frequently Asked Questions – Teachers Ask, NGSS Experts Answer

Over recent months, NSTA has tapped Next Generation Science Standards writers, implementation specialists, classroom teachers, professional learning providers, and other experts to provide insights on issues and topics surrounding NGSS. Their insights appear regularly in our NGSS blog series. The current reader favorite is How to Select and Design Materials that Align to the Next Generation Science Standards

by Joe Krajcik, an NGSS physical science writing team lead and one of several educators who helped develop the EQuIP Rubric for Science. Browse the entire collection here:

If you have questions that you'd like answered by one of NSTA’s experts, drop a line to


3c. A New Website to Support NGSS Implementation – STEM Teaching Tools

A new web site called STEM Teaching Tools

with professional learning tools to support implementation of NGSS, has just been launched. This effort has been developed through an NSF-funded effort called the Research+Practice Collaboratory

The new web site is

The twitter account is

Central to the approach with STEM Teaching Tools

is a new genre of professional learning tools they are calling Practice Briefs. Four sample briefs are attached that they are releasing on the web site this week so that you can get a sense of the approach. The content is also available on the web site along with background descriptions about each one. They have dozens of other practice briefs in development around specific dimensions of NGSS implementation, and they will be releasing them over time.

Each of the two-page briefs pull together the best knowledge from research and practice around a specific problem of educational practice related to NGSS. They have attempted to design them to fit into the busy lives of teachers while helping them reflect on and refine specific aspects of their practice. Each one describes the issue at hand, distills relevant perspectives and information, and links off to relevant resources and instructional tools to support further action and learning. They are developed through collaborations of researchers and practitioners. Some are written for classroom teachers; others are crafted for people working in other roles in the system (e.g., district curriculum specialists, state science supervisors, professional developers, informal educators). Other kinds of tools will also be shared through the site in the future.

They are hopeful that the tools might help support implementation of the vision associated with NGSS.


Michigan Department of Education


4a. Middle School and High School Course Mapping Document

Thanks to the efforts of Michigan’s Science Standards Review Committee, a model course-mapping document has been created. MDE hopes that districts will find this a useful tool in helping them plan the course offerings that they have at the 6-12 grades and also see it as a tool to help transition to integrated course models.

Please visit:


4b. Upcoming Deadlines and MDE Websites of Interest

MDE Websites of Interest

Academic Standards:,4615,7-140-28753_64839_65510---,00.html



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. Design, Build and Fly a Model Rocket

The Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC), sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the National Association of Rocketry (NAR), is the world’s largest rocket contest. It was created in the fall of 2002 as a one-time celebration of the Centennial of Flight, but the enthusiasm about the event was so great that AIA and NAR were asked to hold the contest annually. Approximately 7,000 students from across the nation compete in TARC each year. Teams design, build and fly a model rocket that reaches a specific altitude and duration determined by a set of rules developed each year. The contest is designed to encourage students to study math and science and pursue careers in aerospace. The top 100 teams, based on local qualification flights, are invited to Washington, D.C., in May for the national finals. Prizes include $60,000 in cash and scholarships split between the top 10 finishers. NASA invites top teams to participate in their Student Launch Initiative, an advanced rocketry program. AIA member companies, such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, have sponsored additional prizes, such as scholarship money and a trip to an international air show.

Deadline: December 12, 2014

Please visit:


5b. Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision STEM Competition

Thousands of teachers have turned to the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision:

STEM competition over the past 23 years. Students, led by a teacher, work in groups of two to four to simulate real research and development as they pick a current technology, research it, envision what it might look like in 20 years, and describe the development steps, pros and cons, and obstacles. If you haven't registered your team yet, it's not too late! Take a look at the sample projects:

and learn more. Deadline for submissions is January 30. To celebrate ExploraVision's 23rd anniversary, the top 23 teachers who submit over 23 eligible online entries will win a Toshiba Tablet.


5c. Youth Learning as Citizen Environmental Scientists (YLASES)

Through recognition and financial reward programs, Youth Learning as Citizen Environmental Scientists assists and rewards the implementation of inquiry-based, experiential science education where students do science and contribute to understanding of our environment. Grants range from support for taking simple measurements to teacher professional development and working for pervasive inclusion of student research projects in science teaching. Please visit:


5d. Future Engineers 3D Printing in Space Challenges for K-12 Students

NASA and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) have partnered to launch the Future Engineers 3D printing in space education challenge for K-12: “Design a Space Tool”.

They’re challenging the students of today to become the future creators and innovators of tomorrow by inspiring their creativity and imagination with the ultimate space challenge — designing their very own space tool to be printed on the first-ever 3D printer aboard the International Space Station.

Blast off with us and get involved today!

POC: Carol Galica, NASA Advanced Exploration Systems.

Entries close on December 15, 2015.


5e. 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:

December 12, 2014: Deadline for students to enter the Team America Rocketry Challenge. Please visit:

December15, 2014: Deadline for K-12 Students to enter the Future Engineers 3D Printing in Space Challenge. Please visit:

December 31, 2014: Deadline for High School Seniors to enter HQ’s Ordinary Object Redesign Student Contest. Please visit:

January 30, 2015: Deadline for students to enter the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision STEM Competition. Please visit:

January 31, 2015: Deadline to register for the Youth Rover Challenge. Please visit:


Grants and Opportunities For K-12 Teachers


6a. Serve in the National Education Arena – Albert Einstein Distinguished Fellowship Program

The US Department of Energy’s Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program provides a unique opportunity for accomplished K–12 educators in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to serve in the national education arena. Fellows spend 11 months working in a federal agency or US Congressional office, bringing their extensive knowledge and experience in the classroom to education program and/or education policy efforts. To be eligible for the fellowship, applicants must be US citizens with a minimum of five years’ full-time classroom teaching experience. Applicants must also have been teaching full-time in a public or private elementary or secondary school for at least five of the last seven years in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) discipline and must currently be employed full time in a public or private elementary or secondary school or district in the United States.

Deadline: Applications due by 5 p.m. (ET) on November 20, 2014

Please visit:


6b. Deadline for Shell Science Teaching Award Approaching – November 18

The Shell Science Teaching Award recognizes one outstanding classroom science teacher (K–12) who has had a positive impact on his or her students, school, and community through exemplary classroom science teaching. K–12 classroom science teachers are eligible to apply. Winners will receive $10,000 and an all-expense paid trip to attend NSTA's National Conference in Chicago next March 12–15. Two finalists will also receive all-expense-paid trips to the national conference. Learn more at:

and hear from past winners.


6c. Win a Shell Science MS or HS Lab Makeover Valued at $20,000 For Your School

Are you a science teacher succeeding in providing exemplary lab instruction with minimal equipment and resources? The Shell Science Lab Challenge offers you a chance to compete to win a school science lab makeover, valued at $20,000, by sharing your creative approach. Middle and high school science teachers (grades 6-12) in the United States and Canada who have found innovative ways to deliver quality lab experiences with limited school and laboratory resources and teach underserved populations are encouraged to apply! The deadline for submissions is December 19, 2014.

All winners will receive Ward’s Science lab equipment, Shell cash grants, NSTA memberships, and support to attend NSTA Conferences on Science Education. The grand prize winner and four national finalists will be honored at a special banquet and ceremony NSTA's National Conference on Science Education in Chicago March 12 to 15, 2015. For more information about the Challenge, download an application at:

or email

The sample exemplars for the lab challenge is located on the awards webpage at


6d. Dan Wolz Clean Water Education Grant

The Michigan Water Environment Association (MWEA) is pleased to announce the “Dan Wolz Clean Water Education Grant” for this year. The Dan Wolz Clean Water Education Grant was established eight years ago to heighten public awareness of the career opportunities our industry has to offer and to improve the quality and quantity of Clean Water community education in Michigan’s public schools. Dan Wolz was a true environmental steward of the earth. Thus, in recognition of the passion Dan had for education, this award continues to reach hundreds of Michigan students.

For full details and to apply - go to:



6e. $1000 Scholarships for Amazon Rainforest PD Workshop

Get your explorer on and apply for a scholarship to explore the Amazon rainforest next summer at the Educator Academy in the Amazon Rainforest + Machu Picchu

The July 1-11, 2015 Educator Academy in the Amazon Rainforest of Peru is a cross-curricular professional development workshop for K-12 formal and informal educators to learn and use:

* 21st Century Instruction: 5E Lesson Design ~ Inquiry-Based Exploration ~ STEM

* Inquiry Protocols & Resources: Project Learning Tree ~ Cornell Lab of Ornithology ~ & More!

* Global and Cultural Perspectives: Service Learning ~ Sustainability ~ Global Education

Join Al Stenstrup, Project Learning Tree (PLT); Lilly Briggs (Cornell Lab of Ornithology), Christa Dillabaugh, Amazon Rainforest Workshops; and Dr. David Pearson, Wildlife Travellers’ Guide to Peru; and work side-by-side with scientists Dr. Steve Madigosky, Widener University; and Randy Morgan, Curator/Entomologist, Cincinnati Zoo as you:

* Participate in citizen science projects and inquiry based field studies on a 1/4-mile Rainforest Canopy Walkway in one of the most biologically diverse environments on the planet.

* Spend a day in an Amazon village as you explore the complexities of sustainability and the role of education in creating a sustainable future for Amazon children.

* Work with fellow educators to explore strategies for using the Amazon as a vehicle for incorporating STEM education, inquiry-based learning, and sustainability science education into your classroom.

PLT Certification, BirdSleuth resources and 50 ASU PD Hours included. Academic Credit and Machu Picchu Extension optional. $1000 scholarship deadline March 1, 2015. Program cost is $1240 + air for scholarship recipients. Space is limited! Register early to secure your spot!

Get the details and download a syllabus and scholarship application at:

Contact or 1-800-431-2624 for more information


6f. Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching for Secondary Teachers

Do you know or are you an exemplary math or science teacher in seventh through twelfth grade? Please consider nominating him/her/them for the PAEMST Awards. The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is the highest recognition a K-12 teacher can receive for outstanding science or mathematics teaching in the United States.

Why apply? Recipients of the award receive the following:

• A certificate signed by the President of the United States.

• A paid trip for two to Washington, D.C., to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities.

• A $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.

In addition to recognizing outstanding teaching in mathematics or science, the program provides teachers with an opportunity to build lasting partnerships with colleagues across the nation. This growing network of award-winning teachers serves as a vital resource for improving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education and keeping America globally competitive.

Awardees are recognized for their contributions to teaching and learning and their ability to help students make progress in mathematics and science. In addition to honoring individual achievement, the goal of the award program is to exemplify the highest standards of mathematics and science teaching. Since the program's inception in 1983, more than 4000 outstanding teachers have been recognized for their contributions to mathematics and science education. If you know great teachers, nominate them to join this prestigious network of professionals.

Nominations are being accepted online:

for the 2015 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Teachers may nominate themselves or someone else (e.g., principals, teachers, parents, or other members of the general public) may nominate them for this award. The PAEMST Online Application opened on November 1, 2015. To apply, teachers must first be nominated for the award. Once nominated, teachers will receive an email with a login and password to access the online application. The application deadline for secondary teachers (Grades seven through twelve) is May 1, 2015. Elementary teachers (Kindergarten through sixth grade) are eligible to apply in 2016.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact, Betty Crowder, our State Coordinator, at:

In the meantime, please visit the Presidential Awards website to find the nomination form for the teacher of your choice! Why not you?

The rewards are worth the effort! You deserve it!


6g. Application Deadline for the 2015 Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy Extended to November 16

Third-, fourth- and fifth-grade teachers can apply to attend a week-long, all-expense paid professional development program that equips them with new ways to inspire their students in math and science. Don't let this opportunity slip away! Please visit:


6h. Apply for a Teacher Scholarship to Raft the Grand Canyon with NCSE

Apply for an all-expenses-paid eight-day raft trip down the Grand Canyon with the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). Winners will receive free airfare, lodging before and after the trip, and the trip of a lifetime, exploring the wonders of Grand Canyon with a team of scientists, educators, and science fans. Visit the NCSE site

to learn more about eligibility, requirements and what to expect from the trip. The deadline for applications is January 5, 2015.


6i. Join the GRACE Project – GIS and Science for MS and HS Teachers

The Michigan Mathematics and Science Centers Network is collaborating with Eastern Michigan and others to support the GRACE project to encourage the development and use of GIS science and social studies lessons in middle school through high school classrooms. There are many different ways you can get involved. If you know about GIS and you want to expand your use of these technologies in the classroom or you would like to know more (it is SUPER cool!) this would be a great project to get involved in. Also important to this project is knowing more about the NGSS and how GIS helps support NGSS-type learning in science. You don’t have to already know about NGSS…they will provide the PD for this purpose.

You can apply and learn more at the MMSCN website:

If you have any questions, please contact Mary Starr, the project director, at

The GRACE project will build upon a recent successful NSF-funded project that developed a model of geographic

information systems and technology (GIS/T) based education – in essence, the field of mapping data. The objective

of the earlier project was to prepare youth in economically disadvantaged communities for the prospect of careers

in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM). In the GRACE project this model will be taken to a

large number of students and teachers in grades 8-12 across the State of Michigan through a three-tiered learning process.


6j. 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 September, October and November, 2014: Binoculars for Young Citizen Scientists. Please visit:

November 11, 2014: Deadline to apply for the Dan Wolz Water Education Grant. Please visit:

November 16, 2014: Deadline for 3rd – 5th Grade Teachers to apply for the 2015 Mickelson ExxonMibil Teachers Academy. Please visit:

November 18, 2014: Deadline to apply for the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. Please contact Jeff Glodstein at:

November 18, 2014: Deadline to apply for the Shell Science Teaching Award. Please visit:

November 20, 2014: Deadline to apply for the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship. 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:

December 19, 2014: Deadline for MS and HS Teachers to enter the Shell Science Lab Makeover. Please visit:

December 21, 2014: Deadline for 5-12 Teachers to apply for the MCWT Robofest grants. Please visit:

January 5, 2015: Deadline to apply for a Teacher Scholarship to raft the Grand Canyon with NCSE. Please visit:

January 30, 2015: Deadline to apply for the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Program. Please visit:

March 1, 2015: Deadline to apply for the $1000 Scholarships for Amazon Rainforest PD Workshop. Please visit:

May 1, 2015: Deadline for secondary teachers to apply for the 2015 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Please visit:


Information for K-12 Science Teachers


7a. Bring the National Parks into the Classroom

National Parks by National Geographic lets students explore US national parks easily on their iPad or iPhone. This free app includes numerous features: global and interactive map views with filtering by activity and seasonality; a personalized user space to track favorite parks, activities, itineraries, photos and more; thousands of points of interest, all tagged with GPS coordinates for easy planning and locating; the top must-sees and must-dos for each park, curated by National Geographic editors; stunning photo galleries for each park, plus rare vintage images from the National Geographic Archive; photo tips from National Geographic photographers; sharing through Facebook, email and Twitter; and collectible park stamps. Please visit:


7b. Take a Virtual Field Trip to the Polar Bear Capital of the World

This fall Polar Bears International is again offering live virtual events called Tundra Connections. Throughout November, teachers can connect their classes to one of the live Tundra Connections broadcasts. During these live sessions, students will have the opportunity to ask questions and learn from some leading experts on polar bears and Arctic climate change. Through these experiences, students will learn about the animals of the Arctic and how they have adapted to survive in the harsh Arctic climate. Students will also see and hear about how climate change is affecting the animals of the Arctic. This year a set of broadcasts are devoted to STEM topics. Those broadcasts will include information about the technology that scientists use to track and count polar bears. Find the full schedule of virtual events on the Tundra Connections website at:


7c. Investigate How the World Has Changed in Your Lifetime

Your Life On Earth, a feature of BBC’s Earth website, shows you how the world has changed during your lifetime. Enter your birthdate, and Your Life On Earth will show you how much the world’s population has grown, how many new species have been discovered, how many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions have occurred since you were born—and much more! Please visit:


7d. School Gardens

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has launched their new webpage on school gardens. Explore the site to learn more about how schools can transform outside spaces into inviting wildlife habitat, while providing for powerful learning. Please visit:


7e. Losing the Dark – Video on Light Pollution

“The International Dark-Sky Association is the only non-profit organization fighting to preserve the night.” Video on how we can use light more responsibly. Please visit:


7f. Get Your Classroom Prepared for Science Fair Season

As you gear up for Science Fair season, get all the necessary tools you need to make your students' projects stand-out successes with Science Fair Central:

brought to you by Discovery Education and Elmer's. From project ideas to tips on how to create a winning display, Science Fair Central is the one-stop portal that houses FREE resources for teachers, students, parents and science fair directors.


7g. PBS Learning Media Student Learning Portal and Productivity Tools Now Are Live

PBS is thrilled to announce that PBS LearningMedia

now offers a student learning portal and a NEW suite of productivity tools for teachers. These exciting features make it easy to create personalized learning experiences for students — whether inside or outside of the classroom.


7h. Plan To Attend The Fall Science Update at GVSU

The Regional Math and Science Center cordially invites you to the 30th annual Fall Science Update. This year’s theme is "Celebrating Science Education: Past, Present, Future." The conference will take place Wednesday, November 19, 2014, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Eberhard Center on Grand Valley State University’s Pew Campus in downtown Grand Rapids. Fall Science Update is a full-day event that features a keynote speaker and includes multiple hour-long breakout sessions for K-12 science educators.

They are pleased to announce that this year’s keynote is Mr. Larry Fegel, a dedicated and passionate about science education. Known for his high standards and excellent teaching, his career has spanned over forty years in K-16 education.

Whether you are a new or returning teacher, this mini-conference promises to be an informative and relaxing day where you can take time to explore new trends and ideas in education. As always, this will be a day of learning and connecting with colleagues. They look forward to your participation.

The brochure and session registration form for Fall Science Update may be found at:

Please call (616) 331-2267 for more information. Also visit:


7i. 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:

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

November 15, 2014: Teaching for the 21st Century Humane Education Workshop at the Detroit Zoo. Please visit:

November 19, 2014: Fall Science Update at Grand Valley State University. Please visit:

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

March 12 – 15, 2015: National Science Teachers Association’s National Conference in Chicago, IL. 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

350 dot org @350

Emerging economies are destroying the myth that #CleanEnergy is only affordable to the wealthy…

Brian John Spencer @brianjohnspencr

8000 lighted balloons tracing the path of the Berlin Wall on the 25th anniversary of its fall:

TED Talks@TEDTalks

Stunning photos show the power of water and how it shapes our world:

NWS Western Region @NWSWestern

  Drought conditions to persist across much of the western U.S. through at least January.

#michED Live! @michEDlive

We might have started slow but thanks to @AnnSmart17 & @blocht574 we finished strong! Missed it? Click play! #MichED


NOAA #WinterOutlook says another warm #winter likely western US, South may see colder #weather


Information for High School Science Teachers


9a. Our Best Friend’s Genes

This new hands-on activity guides students through the steps of a genome-wide association study to identify SNPs associated with different dog traits, such as fur length and texture. Please visit:


9b. Great Readings in Science

Guide your students through various writings by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace with a new activity

aligned to the Common Core standards. It's a perfect companion to the short film Making of a Theory


9c. Upcoming Deadlines

November 10, 2014: Genetic Update Conference with Dr. Sam Rhine at Grand Valley State University. 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 Science Teachers


10a. New Interactive Resources Encourage Students to “Dig” Into the Science Around Them

Bring science to life this school year with new, engaging middle school resources

focused on the importance of soil, soil nutrients, and soil science to sustainable global crop growth and food production, brought to you by The Nutrients for Life Foundation and Discovery Education. Utilize a number of FREE resources and activities, including new interactive lesson plans and family extensions that are designed to engage varied learners and increase overall retention of core concepts. You can even step into the agriculture industry with four enlightening career spotlights!


Information for Elementary School Science Teachers


11a. Download a Free iBook – Expedition: Insects

Giant deadly hornets, gorgeous fluttering butterflies and stealthy crawling stink bugs: readers cannot tear their eyes away from these fascinating creatures. They can discover these and more mesmerizing world insects in Expedition: Insects, aligned with Next Generation Science Standards for grades 3-5.

In the book, readers travel around the world to visit six different types of insects in their natural habitats. The young explorers learn about how evolution is responsible for all the beauty, fearsomeness and awe found in nature's insects.

The book can be downloaded free for iPads or Macs from Apple's iBooks Store. Learn more about Expedition: Insects at:


11b. Get Inspired by Other Educators Contributions of Their Students Learning About Birds

Get inspired by the wonderful stories, videos, and images submitted by educators all over the world! Here are some highlights...

Fly Like a Bird

This amazing video (created with the help of a green screen) is fun and factual! You'll be amazed to see these costumed kids flying, eating, and calling like birds!


Check out this 2-minute video showing elementary students discovering, naming, and documenting the birds, bugs, and beyond found in their schoolyard.


Science Humor


12. Silly Questions

Your chemistry professor probably told you that there's no such thing as a stupid question, but she/he might change their mind if asked one of these stumpers:

Before light bulbs were invented, how did people get ideas?

Does it take 18 months for twins to be born?

If a circle is 360 degrees, why can't I cook food in one?

I just found out I am bipolar. Should I avoid magnets?

From which sheep do we get steel wool?

Is the water bug the natural predator of the firefly?

Did Schrödinger ever consider the fact that his cat had nine lives?

Why don't we try and land on the sun at night?

If oxygen was discovered in 1783 by Antoine Lavoisier, how did people breathe before then?

If the human body is ~90% water, why can't we put out fires with our bodies?


13. October Contest Winners

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

David Meyer, West Michigan Lutheran High School – Wyoming, MI

Deb Moran, Whitmore Lake Elementary School – Whitmore Lake, MI

Kavita Sadwal, Detroit International Academy – Detroit, MI

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


14. November Contest – Win a $10 Starbucks Gift Card

This month we have three great prizes to give away. The prizes are $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 2, 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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