Oregon Science Teachers Association

The Oregon Science Teacher (TOST)

This newsletter is sent out to members monthly. It contains the most recent information and resources to implement the 2014 Oregon Science Standards (NGSS).

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he Oregon Science Teacher

February, 2017

A Call for Session Proposals

Planning is underway for the 2017 OSTA Fall Conference October 13-14, 2017 at Portland Community College Sylvania campus in Portland. So save the date, and make plans to attend!

We are currently soliciting proposals for sessions in the following strands:

  • Phenomenon: Exploring your World
  • Equity: All Aboard!
  • Generating Energy Through the Interconnectedness of STEAM

For more information and to submit your proposal, see our 
Conference Page.

Submission deadline is April 30, 2017

Investigating Contemporary Science Topics vs "Settled" Science

In this STEM Teaching Tool Practice Brief, the reader is asked to consider why students should investigate contemporary science topics and not just "settled" science. 

"Settled" science topics simply confirm what is already known, but students can learn "basic science" through contemporary topics. The integration of contemporary scientific problems into K-12 instruction can give learners exciting ways to learn and apply disciplinary core ideas of science, engage purposefully in the science and engineering practices, and even make meaningful contributions to science, engineering and/or their communities through their investigations.

The brief provides things for you to consider such as why it matters, attending to equity, and recommended actions and resources.

Curated Resources for the NGSS

Classroom resources designed for the NGSS should meet the rigorous criteria of the EQuIP Rubric for Science developed by Achieve, NSTA, and other members of the NGSS Network. Designing for the NGSS means that the classroom experience is driven by students using the three dimensions of the standards to explain the world around them and design solutions to problems.

In lessons designed for the NGSS, teachers should be supported to connect students' real-world experiences coherently across lessons and units and to monitor student learning across the three dimensions of the standards. Work is currently underway to identify high quality example lessons and resources that meet this vision.

In the meantime, to support teachers and provide them with guidance on making the shifts called for in the NGSS, NSTA has recruited a group of curators to find and vet existing classroom resources that could be modified to be more in line with the vision of the NGSS. With modifications recommended by the curators, these resources (including book chapters, videos, lesson plans, simulations, and more) show how science teachers can adapt the lessons to better build toward the standards.

While not considered to be "designed for the NGSS", the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance for adapting existing resources based on the EQuIP Rubric for Science

Find these resources and more on the NSTA Hub: http://ngss.nsta.org/Classroom-Resources.aspx 

From NGSS Now, December 2016

Teaching and Learning Articles

: Constructing Arguments with 3-D Printed Models
Research suggests that student-developed models encourage discussion and a more in-depth learning of science content. But in each implementation of the lessons, the 3-D printed models surprisingly inspired unprompted and meaningful scientific discourse. In this article, the authors describe a fourth-grade lesson where 3-D printing technologies were not only a stimulus for engagement, but also served as a modeling tool providing meaningful learning opportunities.
From Science & Children, January 2017

Middle School: Using Systems Mapping to Plan Scientific Investigations
Systems Mapping is one pedagogical tool that middle school teachers can use to support students' planning of investigations. A systems map is a representation of a mental model that describes how people think the world works —it shows the interactions between components in a bounded area such as the circulatory system, an ecosystem, or a production line in a factory. The authors define the basic components of a systems map and also offer a way to assess student maps.
From Science Scope, January 2017

High School: Long-Form Science: Teaching with Extended Texts
Using an extended text in an upper-level science course is not a revolutionary idea. For example, many advanced biology teachers have been teaching Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2010), a book examining ethical issues in medical research. Indeed a diverse selection of science nonfiction texts is suitable for a high school course. Introducing a novel or nonfiction book into the curriculum can reward both teacher and student, offering deep immersion into science content, but may seem daunting to many teachers, especially those with little training in literacy instruction. This article offers strategies for teaching extended texts in the science classroom.
From The Science Teacher, January 2017

Research to Practice, Practice to Research: Insight From a Successful Collaboration of Formal and Informal STEM Educators
The design of an informal experience can vary widely. On one end of the spectrum are free-choice learning experiences, where participants determine what they want to learn, when they want to do it, and how and with whom they want to study. On the opposite end of the spectrum is nonformal learning, which includes any organized educational activity outside the established formal system, whether operating separately or as an important feature of some broader activity that is intended to serve identified learning clienteles and learning objectives. Opinions on intentionality of design differ, with educators championing a variety of strategies on the informal education scale, from accidental learning to task-conscious and self-directed learning, and everything in between. However, while free-choice learning is valuable in its own right, it is on the task-conscious and self-directed end of the spectrum that formal and informal organizations have the greatest opportunity to collaborate and work toward achieving their shared goals for learning outcomes.
From Connected Science Learning, Issue 2

Quick Links Feature: Awards

What's up with those links down below?
They are ways that OSTA provides our members with information and resources available for professional development, to honor our colleagues who have inspired us, and implement the 2014 Oregon Science Standards.

This month's featured link is the OSTA Awards page. We are half-way through the school year, and it is time to start nominating colleagues who have inspired or impressed you. Those individuals who have served their students in a way that excites them about science and engineering that leads to improved student achievement need to be recognized for the important work they are doing.

The 2017 winners will be honored at the awards event held at OMSI on the evening of October 12th. A great kick-off to the 2017 Conference on Science Education October 13-14 at Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus in Portland.

Nominate a deserving colleague today!

Quick Links


 OSTA Awards

 OSTA Elections
 OSTA Events

 NGSS Online

 Opportunities &

 Framework for K-12
 Science Education

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