STEM Education Center at WPI

STEM Club

Wednesdays, October 16 & November 13, 4-6:30pm at WPI
The STEM Education Center invites you to join the STEM Club, a PD series for current and aspiring STEM teachers. It meets 4 times each year. Learn more and register...

  • The Oct. 16 session will feature the LEGO Duck: Norms for Creation mini-challenge by Tiffany Davis from Ash-West Regional School District and Vanessa Haerle from Sutton MS with a project titled Transportation Pipeline. This project engages MS students in designing a transportation system to safely carry materials from one location to another.

  • The Nov. 13 session will begin with the Back to Back Build: Focus on Communication mini-challenge by Tiffany Davis from Ash-West Regional School District and then the Zip-Line Challenge by Elisabeth Powers from St. Joseph Elementary School. This project will have you working in teams to carry a backpack down a mountain on a zip-line that you design!

STEM Week in Central MA

October 21-25, 2019
Join the Central MA STEM Network (CMSN) Ecosystem in demystifying the “who’s and what’s” of STEM by supporting the second annual Massachusetts STEM Week. We are excited for this opportunity to share STEM in Central MA in meaningful and impactful ways. Thank you to our dedicated partners who have already submitted events that will allow students in Central MA to “see themselves in STEM” and create new passions. It’s not too late to submit your event, simply follow this link to register. For a full list of Central MA STEM Week offerings, click here. Any questions, contact Nicole at nmanterni@wpi.edu.

Encouraging PreK-12 Principals & Superintendents to attend Education Leaders Talking STEM at WPI

STEM educators, please encourage your principal / superintendent to attend this special STEM Week event designed for education leaders to examine what high-quality STEM is and what high-quality STEM teaching should look like in their schools and classrooms. This session, the morning of October 23, will generate strategies for principals and superintendents to support high-quality STEM teaching and learning. Learn more and have them register by Oct. 14…

Integrated preschool STEM curriculum now available!

Seeds of STEM, an 8-unit curriculum for 3-5 year olds, was developed over 4 years with funding from the US Department of Education. The STEM curriculum was developed in partnership with teachers from the Worcester Head Start program, tested in almost 40 preschool classrooms, and revised with feedback from teachers to make it child and teacher friendly. The curriculum, which is aligned with the MA Framework for STE for PreK, is now available for implementation in classrooms. For more information contact Mia at mdubosarsky@wpi.edu.

FREE PDs for Educators - Register today!

Thursday, October 24
Thanks to the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council and the Central MA STEM Network (CMSN) Ecosystem, the STEM Education Center at WPI will be hosting two FREE professional development opportunities for educators in celebration of MA STEM Week.

STEM Community Event for Families with young Children

Thursday, October 24, 5:30-7pm, Worcester Head Start
Worcester Head Start and Seeds of STEM will host a special STEM community event for families with young children. Take part in problem solving activities with your preschooler in this fun and engaging evening. Light refreshments will be provided at this free event. Learn more and register by Oct. 21…

Designing My Future: a STEM Career Expo for Youth & Families

Wednesday, October 16, 5:30-7:30pm at the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester
Thursday, October 24, 4-6pm at the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster

Join us for an exciting STEM Week event where you can learn how the things you already love are surprisingly related to science, math, technology, and engineering (STEM) careers! At Designing My Future, hear from professionals about how they found their careers and learn about local STEM opportunities at after school clubs and colleges. This event is appropriate for all youth interested in exploring careers as well as adults interested in changing careers.

PLTW Networking Conference - Last chance to register!

Monday, October 21, 8am-3pm
Register now to come and hear the engaging and informative Keynote at this year's conference on Monday, October 21. Andy and Adam are part of the Boston Dynamics team working on the Spot robot, a quiet, four-legged robot with extraordinary rough terrain mobility and super-human stability. What has helped lead them to their successes? Project based classes, like PLTW, that provided ‘messy,’ ill-defined, real world problems that taught them failure is an opportunity to learn. More about the MA PLTW Networking Conference can be found here.

STEM PD in your School

The STEM Education Center professional development calendar is quickly filling up. If you are interested in having us do PD at your school, be sure to get your school / district on the list soon! For more information visit our webpage or contact Mia at mdubosarsky@wpi.edu.

For High School Educators - New blog entitled Electrifying America

After working for 40 years in the electric industry I created ElectrifyingAmerica.com to provide a basic understanding of that industry and its issues. I believe that the more that people understand the industry the more likely we are to develop viable solutions to the challenges facing the industry.

 The posts in ElectrifyingAmerica.com make the complicated issues facing the electric industry understandable for high school students. These posts are not issued in any particular order. However, I have organized them into the following three modules that appear as tutorials on the site:

 Module 1: The History of the Electric Industry

Module 2: The Current Status of the Electric Industry

Module 3: The Potential Future of the Electric Industry

 The posts in Module 1 cover the history of the industry including the electric current war between Edison, on the one hand, and Westinghouse and Tesla, on the other, the need for regulation, how electric service became commonly available and several large-scale blackouts.

 The posts in Module 2 cover how electric service is currently being provided including the use of large fossil fuel plants, introduction of renewable generation, partial deregulation of the industry and operation and protection of the transmission grid.

 The posts in Module 3 cover how the electric industry is likely to be transformed in the future including use of a carbon tax to combat climate change, use of increased electric consumption to combat climate change, descriptions of smart grids and micro grids and the role that electric utilities will play in the future.

 Each of the tutorials includes study questions based on the posts. I am hoping to get feedback from educators that will guide me in developing future posts that might be helpful in expanding the understanding of the electric industry.

 I. David Rosenstein

New from MA Department of Elementary & Secondary Education

Instructional Guidelines for 3-5th, 6-8th, Intro to Physics, and Biology

http://www.doe.mass.edu/stem/ste/?section=classroom

The intention of these documents is to help provide additional guidance around the instruction and content of the Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) standards. The selected standards represent a sample and should not be used as a complete curriculum guide. The standards in these documents were selected based on the new content or frequently asked questions from the field and should not be considered as more important than other standards. This guidance is aligned with the assessment expectations of the next-generation MCAS test based on the 2016 Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework . The information provided in these documents are not an exhaustive list of what will be assessed on the MCAS test. These documents may be updated as necessary; please refer to the revision dates on the bottom of each document.

Transition Plan for MCAS Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) Tests, Updated September 2018

In January 2016, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to adopt the 2016 Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Standards. These revised standards were incorporated into the 2016 Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework published in April 2016. The MCAS STE program will be transitioning to assess the new standards, as described below. The STE tests will also be redesigned for computer-based administration, as part of the Commonwealth's move to "next generation" MCAS assessments. This process will include the introduction of new test designs and new item types.

Grades 5 and 8 MCAS STE Transition

The grades 5 and 8 next-generation MCAS STE tests based on the 2016 STE standards  will be first administered in spring 2019. New achievement levels for these tests will be set in summer 2019. The tests have new designs and include assessing both the content and science and technology/engineering practices in the standards. Revised practice tests are also available.

High School MCAS STE Transition

Currently there are four high school STE tests: Biology, Chemistry, Introductory Physics, and Technology/Engineering, that can be taken at grade 9 or 10.

In June 2019, all four tests will continue to be administered and will be paper-based. A revised Introductory Physics Reference Sheet  will be used for the 2019 test.

The June 2019 Biology and Introductory Physics tests and the February 2020 Biology test will be based on "overlapping" standards from the 2001/06 and 2016 STE standards. The tests will consist of questions that align to both sets of standards, and the focus of the test questions will be on the overlapping content and skills between the two sets of standards.

The Department plans to administer next-generation Biology and Introductory Physics tests beginning in June 2020. The Department is recommending phasing out the Chemistry and Technology/Engineering tests due to low enrollment numbers. More information about the high school tests will be provided later in the year once a decision has been made.

If you have questions, please call 781-338-3625 or email  mcas@doe.mass.edu.


PLYMOUTH PUBLIC SCHOOLS SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY/ENGINEERING BLAKE PLANETARIUM

Open to the Public.  The only 4K Digital Full Dome Planetarium south of Boston with surround sound and integrated LED lighting.  It is a fully accessible facility and has seating for 72.  Join us for a LIVE planetarium presentation and learn how to find and identify planets, bright stars, and constellations that are visible in tonight's sky. Learn how to use a star map and take home your own copy.

The mission of the planetarium has been and always will be to intimately share Earth and space science with the school children of Plymouth. However, the planetarium is a local treasure that should be shared by all. Come and see for your self!

BLAKE PLANETARIUM 117 LONG POND RD PLYMOUTH, MA 02360

BOOKING DATES AND TIMES NOW - $150.00 PER GROUP MAXIMUM OF 72 PER GROUP -  APPROPRIATE FOR AGES 10+ - FREE PARKING FOR MORE INFORMATION BITLY.COM/BLAKEINFO

List of Overlapping Intro Physics and Biology standards for 2019 HS MCAS test

The lists of the "overlapping" standards from the 2001/06 and 2016 STE standards that will be assessed on theJune 2019 MCAS High School Biology and Introductory Physics tests are now posted to our website athttp://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/tdd/sci.html?section=transition. The June 2019 Biology and Introductory Physics tests will consist of questions that align to both sets of standards. The focus of the test questions will be on the overlapping content and skills between the two sets of standards.

Please note: The June 2019 Chemistry and Technology/Engineering tests and the February 2019 Biology test will only be aligned to the 2001/06 STE standards.

In addition, an updated crosswalk for the Introductory Physics and Biology standards was recently posted and can be found at http://www.doe.mass.edu/stem/ste/?section=planning.

The Next Generation test designs for grades 5 and 8 will be posted soon.  

Thank you in advance to all of the schools that are participating in the High School Intro Physics and Biology Tryouts this spring.

Questions? Email mcas@doe.mass.edu