Oregon Science Teachers Association

Friday, October 13th Pre-Conference Workshops and Tours

We have a number of in-depth workshops scheduled that are sponsored by OSTA, and a selection that OSTA is Co-Sponsoring.  Click on this link for co-sponsored workshop information.

Workshops for:

In addition, we have also gathered some tours that are not only STEM oriented, but fun. Click on this link for tour information.

OSTA Sponsored Workshops

These Friday workshop sessions are meant to be deeper dives into the subject matter, four hours in length. The workshop will provide attendees with the opportunity to experience the subject as a student with the opportunity to discuss with colleagues how they can implement the ideas into their classrooms.

Registration fee for OSTA Workshops: 

OSTA Members: $75

Non-members: $100

Registration for these workshops can be added on to your conference registration, or may be registered for separately from the conference.  Registration for individual workshops are linked below.

General Audiences

The Japanese Art of Gyotaku (Fish Printing) in the Classroom

The Japanese Art of Gyotaku (Fish Printing) in the Classroom
Instructor: Bruce Koike, Little Pond Nature Prints
Location: Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus
Audience: General Audiences
Registration Limit: 12

This 2 hours hands-on, skill building workshop provides basic knowledge and "How To" about Gyotaku, the Japanese Art of Fish Printing. How this art form fits Next Generation Science Standards will be briefly discussed.  All supplies (fish, paint, paper, brushes etc) are provided. Participants should bring a spirit of exploration and adventure!


NSTA Press: The Power of Questioning and Investigating
Instructor: Dr. Lisa Nyberg, California State University, Fresno

Location: Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus

Audience: K-6

Registration Limit: 50

Learning about science begins with investigations of engaging questions: How does that work? How can I solve that problem? Why do things sink or float? How does the toy make sound? See how engaging questions and meaningful investigations help students build understanding of science concepts while giving purpose to literacy skill development. How can you make learning accessible through the use of carefully selected questioning strategies that promote analytical thinking? Experience hands-on investigating strategies integrated in a dynamic model to engage powerful instructional practices focused on Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards!

Wonder and Collaborate for the Next Generation: Using Science to Promote Language and Literacy Learning for All Students

Instructor: Carol Biskupic-Knight, Beaverton School District

Location: Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus

Audience: K-5

Registration Limit: 25

Creating a learning experience for all students to meet all standards is hard work and should not be done in isolation. Moving science instruction forward at the elementary level can be difficult given school and district constraints, barriers, and limitations. What if we used the wonder of science to engage students in a meaningful pursuit of knowledge, to think and act like scientists, thus providing the impetus needed to promote language and literacy. What if we collaborated using the Next Generation Science Standards as the instructional framework for integration to develop language and literacy in all students, but especially our English Learners? Experience active engagement of phenomenon-based activities throughout this session and receive support on how to have your students be captivated, capable and committed learners who are scientifically literate!


Middle School

Instructor: Dr. Terry Talley and Jan Lanse, Accelerate Learning
Location: Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus
Audience: Middle School
Registration Limit: 25

The Oregon Science Standards offer a rich opportunity to view science instruction through a whole new lens - STEM! Join us in this highly engaging and hands-on session as we model and address STEM through the Oregon Science Standards. We will use research-based STEM instructional strategies to integrate 21st Century Skills, Engineering Practices, and Cross Cutting Concepts to tackle the use of Models, Argumentation, Discourse, and CER. An Engineering Design Process will be used and investigated while solving a design problem and demystify the 3 dimensions of the NGSS!

NGSS for Middle School Space Science (AM)
: Berkeley Gadbaw

Location: Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus

Audience: Middle School

Registration Limit: 25

Come join us for a look into an NGSS aligned unit on space! See how engaging your students in a challenging phenomenon can drive instruction and provide a framework for teaching cross-cutting concepts such as patterns, systems and system models, and scale, proportion, and quantity. You will learn how students can use modeling to make predictions about the world around them and add to their model as more information is gathered. In addition, we will use a computer simulation to model gravity and its components.

NGSS for Middle School Data Informed Engineering (PM)

Instructor: Berkeley Gadbaw

Location: Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus

Audience: Middle School

Registration Limit: 25

Come join us for a look at how middle school students can engage in two (rockets and hot packs) meaningful, data informed engineering tasks. We will collect and share data that enable us to make better engineering design decisions. In this class I will model ways to have students use white boards to make their thinking visible and how to conduct a "board meeting" to share data as a class. We will also use the cross-cutting concepts to better explain what is happening in each of these design tasks in terms of matter and energy.

High School

Instructors: Lynda Jones & Dr. Mary Zelinski
Location: Oregon National Primate Research Center
Audience: High School
Registration Limit: 24
Learn a new way to enhance biology teaching and student learning using real-life biomedical technologies. This NGSS-aligned, National Institutes of Health-sponsored, free web-based approach to teaching basic biological concepts has students assume the role of oncologists who specialize in cancer treatment. Concepts are informed by a new field of medicine, Oncofertility, encompassing technologies to preserve fertility in patients before cancer treatment. Learn how to integrate cancer and therapies, cell division, anatomy, physiology, cryopreservation, fertility preservation, stem cells, ethics, and epigenetics into biology. Hands-on activities include exploring optimal cryopreservation solutions for storing tissues and a biomaterial that maintains 3-dimensional cellular structure.

Physics for the Next Generation: How Are You Hearing Me?
Instructors: Bradford Hill & Matt McCollum
Location: Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus
Audience: High School
Registration Limit: 25

This workshop aims to engage participants in a cell phone and telecommunications project. This 3D learning progression, like the 5 others that make up the Patterns Approach to Physics, integrates PBL, modeling, and the science and engineering practices. We begin with the phenomenon of a cell phone call where the student asks, "how are you hearing me?" That launches us into telecommunications and a learning progression that targets all the NGSS wave PEs, and how the ear works. In addition, participants will code a simple app to first encode binary digital information and then decode it back into a text message.

Biology for the Next Generation
Instructors: Caitlin Everett & Charlotte Denis
Location: Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus
Audience: High School
Registration Limit: 25
This workshop focuses on three-dimensional (3D) learning through intertwining the disciplinary core ideas of modern biology with the scientific and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts as described in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Teachers will experience the Patterns Approach of using inquiry experiments as a mode to learn content as well as how to integrate engineering and student-centered learning experiences into their instruction. Teachers will also learn how to structure their inquiry and engineering investigations with multiple designs to foster scientific discourse between students during the analysis of data. Resources and unit plans with a scope and sequence that address the NGSS high school life science discipline will be shared.

OSTA Co-Sponsored Workshops

These workshops are being sponsored by our partners in science education, and so registration is being handled by the sponsor, and cannot be added to conference registration.  Please check the links for more information and registration.

Combine elementary level science and literacy instruction—and now technology, engineering, and math, as well—with Picture-Perfect Science! The award-winning NSTA program features ready-to-teach elementary science lessons designed to help K–5 teachers integrate science and reading in an engaging, kid-friendly way.

Integrating Traditional Science with Design and Invention: Engage your students in real-life STEM modules.

Have you ever attended a terrific workshop and then found that you didn't have the time, funds or community support to teach the unit? That's not the case with these three workshops! Participating teachers will receive a set of integrated curriculum materials (slides, worksheets, resources) and a full set of matching classroom supplies to support teaching of each module, and an opportunity to join a cohort of supportive colleagues.

The following 3-hour workshops present highly engaging STEM units that can be completed over a two week period, and also extendable to three weeks. The activities can be adjusted to meet NGSS performance expectations at the high school level, and possibly late middle school level. Each of the modules provides opportunities for students to use their understanding of core ideas in science, and to solve a problem or meet a need through the engineering and invention process. The focus is on themes relevant to students' daily lives, and based on purposeful scientific inquiry that can be applied to students' design of their own engineering inventions.

Sponsored by the PSU College of Engineering/MESA and the Lemelson Foundation, the presenters are research faculty at Portland State University.

Instructors: Mihir Ravel, Cary Sneider, and Jennifer Wells

Location: Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus

Audience: High School, and possibly 8th grade

Registration Limit: 20

Clean Water. What happens when the “Big One” hits the Pacific Northwest? How do we get clean, safe water for our daily needs when water systems may be down for weeks? This scenario motivates a design activity to design and build a personal water purifier. The module starts with an introduction of the LifeStraw, an inspirational invention created to reduce misery and save lives in locations where fresh potable water is not available, and launches students into an inquiry phase to learn about common environmental contaminants and the purification properties of common materials.  This data is then used by student teams to design their own “personal water purifiers” that can remove various types of pollution, from particulates and protozoans to acids. The module combines core ideas in life science and chemistry to integrate science with engineering design and invention let students solve a problem of high relevance to our region.

Emergency Power.  What do we do when the power is down and the lights go out? This module expands on this real-life situation to let students explore the basics of chemical generation of electricity by exploring practical chemistry and designing their own emergency battery and LED light.  Moving beyond the typical qualitative lemon battery experiment, students engage in a team design project to systematically investigate the electrochemical properties of different metals and common household electrolytes (vinegar and lemons, but also coke, coffee, salt and Smarties!) that could be used to make a emergency battery to power a night light. This data is then used by the teams to design and optimize batteries that can power an LED emergency light for several nights.

Music Waves and Vibes.  What is sound? Why does the sound from a guitar or saxophone sound “musical”, and why does a guitar sound different from a ukulele or a violin? To find out, students engage in a number of activities to explore the properties of sound waves, vibrating strings, and resonators. A structured scientific inquiry of strings under tension using using a phone app lets students generate their own engineering data for designing a stringed instrument. The student teams then design and build their own stringed instruments mapped onto a specific frequency scale, and taking into account the role of harmonics and resonances that give musical sound its pleasant richness.


Tours are being arranged to showcase STEM in action in business and industry.

More tours are planned. We will update this list as the are confirmed.

Registration for tours can be added on to your conference registration, or may be registered for separately from the conference.  Registration for individual tours are linked below.

An In-Depth Tour of Vernier Software & Technology
How do you create and produce world-class sensors, interfaces, and software?  Find out on this in-depth tour of Vernier. Developing sensor technology for more than 130 countries, Vernier Software & Technology is a world leader in probeware with a reputation for extraordinary customer service.  Participants are invited to tour the company with David Vernier, former physics teacher and founder of the company. Visit our on-site Technology Museum, discover a bit about the company’s history, see new products demonstrated, and go home with a bag of science goodies.  Come check out Vernier’s LEED-certified building with cool science features such as solar panels, electrochromic windows, a saltwater aquarium, an augmented reality sandbox, and an indoor slide that is perfect for fun-loving science teachers. 2 PDUs will be provided upon completion.  Registration Fee: $5

Tour of OHSU SIM Lab
Explore OHSU's state-of-the-art Mark Richardson Interprofessional Simulation Center in the Collaborative Life Sciences Building to learn about:
• Manikin based training
• Standardized patient training
• Virtual reality and proceudural training
• Have an opportunity to meet a simulated patient used for training of disciplines including anesthesia, surgical services, healthcare, education and research.
Registration Fee: $30

Stickman Brewery Tour

Tour Stickman Brewing Company to learn the process of brewing beer, fermentation, and do some beer tasting along the way.  Your host is the brewmaster for Stickman Brewery where you will be tasting 4-5 beers, maybe some barrel tasting along the way.  After your tasting experience, you can purchase glasses of beer, food or growlers. Registration Fee: $20

Hawks View Cellars Tour
Get a wine tasting experience like no other at Hawks View Winery.  Winemaker Don is a biochemist who will lead the tour, discussing the picking, crushing, fermentation and aging of the the variety of wines.  There may be some barrel tasting as well as tasting their winery flight of 4-5 wines.  Glasses of wine, bottles and food are available for purchase. Registration Fee: $25

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