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T
he Oregon Science Teacher

April, 2017




March for Science: April 22nd

NSTA announced in March their support for the March for Science scheduled for Earth Day 2017, believing that scientific integrity and transparency have been questioned.


As teachers, we must stand with our colleagues to support the fundamental value of science in our society and help people to understand and appreciate scientific knowledge, the importance of fact-based evidence that is exemplified by science, and the need for all children to have a quality science education.


The March for Science is a great opportunity to communicate a positive message to the public and public officials about the value and power of science, engineering, and technology. The march gives us—the nation's teachers of science—the opportunity to step outside the classroom and help educate all citizens about the value and importance of science and science education. We also hope that this event serves as a catalyst for more attention on the pursuits of science.

There are thirteen satellite marches around Oregon from Portland south to Ashland, from Newport east to Bend and Pendleton.  Check out the Oregon Satellite marches near you here.


STEM Teaching Tool: Steps to Designing a Three Dimensional Assessment


This document contains a five-step process designed to help teams develop three-dimensional assessment tasks, aligned with the new vision for science education and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).


This is a companion tool to the “Integrating Science and Engineering Practices into Assessments” tool (which suggests activity formats to help teachers create three-dimensional, practice-based assessments) and to the checklist “Qualities of a Good Anchor Phenomenon for a Coherent Sequence of Science Lessons” (which outlines criteria to consider when selecting an anchor phenomena or design problem). All of these resources were created by Research + Practice Collaboratory members in response to a felt need among educators for tools to help develop new, three-dimensional activities and assessments.


Check out all of the STEM Teaching Tools, each focused on a specific issue and leverages the best knowledge from research and practice.


Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students


We invite you to explore this year's list of Outstanding Science Trade Books that builds on NSTA's 44-year history of identifying the very best in science books for students K-12. In the award-winning titles below, you'll find not only traditional science content but also engineering and design.


The books that appear in this annotated bibliography selected as Outstanding Science Trade Books were published in 2016. They are intended primarily for grades K-12. They were selected by members of a book review panel appointed by the National Science Teachers Association and assembled in cooperation with the Children's Book Council.


The panel looks at both content and presentation. Selection is based generally on the following criteria:

  • The book has substantial science content.
  • Information is clear, accurate, and up-to-date.
  • Theories and facts are clearly distinguished.
  • Facts are not oversimplified to the point that the information is misleading.
  • Generalizations are supported by facts, and significant facts are not omitted.
  • Books are free of gender, ethnic, and socioeconomic bias.

From the March 2017 issues of NSTA's grade level journals.


Teaching and Learning Articles


ElementaryDown by the Bay
The development of an outdoor learning environment does not always require building a structure or garden. Sometimes creating an outdoor space means using existing natural spaces for creative and engaging experiences. In this article, the authors share a process of reimagining an existing outdoor space as an experiential classroom ripe with new learning experiences.
From Science & Children, March 2017


Middle SchoolAre You Dressed for a Spacewalk?
Drawing connections between what excites students and what they do in the classroom can inspire them to pursue those interests later in life. Teachers and researchers have long posited that space exploration is inspirational to students. Taking advantage of this interest is a great way to show students that many academic fields are integral to space travel, thus raising their awareness of lesser-known science, technology, engineering and math careers.In the engineering activity described in this article, students are challenged to design a space suit.

From Science Scope, March 2017


High SchoolTotal Eclipse
This summer, on August 21, people across North America will experience one of the most beautiful astronomical phenomena: an eclipse of the sun. It will be a "must teach" moment, when all students will want to know the "what, when, why" of the event. In addition, many high school science teachers are likely to be asked about it, not only in their classes, but in discussions with colleagues, family, and community members. Research shows that many high school students —and adults—fail to correctly understand the Earth-Sun-Moon system. Use this article to help you with this "teachable moment" opportunity.
From The Science Teacher, March 2017


Research to Practice, Practice to Research: Promoting Equitable Access to STEM in a Summer Herpetology Fieldwork Program
The lack of equitable access to science learning for marginalized groups is now a significant concern in the science education community. In our commitment to addressing these concerns, the HERP Project was designed to provide citizens with increased access to herpetology and conservation education in three regions of North Carolina.  Working with local area teachers, students recruited students that mirrored the racial, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic demographics of the areas where the herpetology research experiences were held.
From Connected Science Learning, Issue #2


Deadline for Session Proposals is April 30th

Now is the time to submit your session proposal for the 2017 OSTA Fall Conference!

Share your expertise and great ideas to enhance classroom teaching and learning.  We all have unique talents, and there are colleagues that can learn from you.  We are in this together, and OSTA is here to bring teachers together to connect, collaborate, and celebrate great teaching and learning.


Learn more about the conference, and submit your proposal on our conference page.


We all have similar challenges; we all have similar goals.

It's time to collaborate!


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