ASSISTments Users Conference and Paid Opportunity

ASSISTments will be hosting their Fifth Annual Users Conference on August 16 at WPI. It will be a fun and interactive day where novice and experienced users will delve into the wide variety of opportunities the ASSISTments features bring to the classroom. Learn more and register... They are also recruiting 7th grade teachers who use Engage NY or Illustrative Math to participate in a paid opportunity to provide ASSISTments with feedback for their new Teacher ASSIST feature.Learn more...

Information about Computational Thinking Survey

The survey is funded and conducted by TERC, a STEM education nonprofit in Cambridge, MA. We plan to leave the survey open until July 1st. This is when we will do the drawing for the Amazon gift cards. In the month of July, I will also send a link to a webpage that posts the results. The overall purpose of this survey is to better understand teachers' understanding of computational thinking. 

If you have any questions about the survey, please let me know. 

Here is the link again if you'd like to complete it: 

Michael P. Cassidy, Ph.D.

Senior Researcher

STEM Education Evaluation Center (SEEC)

TERC

2067 Massachusetts Ave

Cambridge, MA 02140

617.873.9719

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

Opportunity to Explore Integration of Computational Thinking and Elementary Math/Science

Are you interested in participating in a professional development study group designed to help you teach computational thinking, one of the major strands of the Digital Literacy and Computer Science framework, without having to add to your teaching load? Pending NSF funding, the Education Development Center is planning to offer two options: Introduction to Integration and Deep Dive into Integration.  Open to teacher across grades 1-6.  For more information and to complete the interest survey please click here.

MCAS Grades 5 and 8 Science and Technology/Engineering Computer-Based Practice Tests Are Now Available

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Update:

We are pleased to let you know that the MCAS Grades 5 and 8 Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) Computer-Based Practice Tests are now posted online and available at http://mcas.pearsonsupport.com/student/practice-tests-science. (You may need to refresh your browser if you have visited this page before.)

As a reminder, the 2018 MCAS Grades 5 and 8 STE tests will be computer-based tests. The items that count toward student scores will only include multiple-choice and open-response, however, students will experience new item types that are being field tested. The practice tests have been posted to prepare students for these new types of items.

We are currently updating our website to include the new test designs for 2019. Once these have been updated, we will send another announcement.

Thank you for your patience, and thank you to all of the schools that participated in the tryouts. This would not have been possible without your help.

Please share with your colleagues.

 

Help Spread the Word About STEM Teaching Tools!

Please help us get the word out on Twitter about our free resources for science educators! Retweet this tweet, originally posted by our editor, Philip Bell. When you do, you'll automatically be entered into a drawing for a full-color, hardcopy set of the entire STEM Teaching Tools collection. We're giving away 25 full sets!

These resources are co-authored by teachers and researchers with funding from the National Science Foundation. Please forward this email to colleagues who might benefit from these resources. Thanks for your help! 

If you're not on Twitter, it can be a great way to get daily updates from STEM Teaching Tools and other research-based, practical science education information. Sign up for Twitter and follow STEM Teaching Tools.

Center for the Advancement of STEM Education (CASE) at Bridgewater State University

A message from Kim McCoy, the Assistant Director for the Center for the Advancement of STEM Education (CASE) at Bridgewater State University.  

CASE offers hands-on laboratory experiences for students, professional development and lending labs for teachers, summer science programs for middle and high school students and access to BSU's Observatory and Project EarthView's twenty-foot inflatable globe. CASE programs directly impact more than 20,000 preK-12 students, teachers and community members each year. 

We plan to develop new hands-on laboratories in both our Watershed Access Lab (environmental science) and CityLab (biotechnology) programs.  As such, we are contacting you to assess curricular needs, so that we can develop programs that are best suited for your needs.  Below is a link to a brief survey.  We were hoping you could take a few moments to fill out the survey and also to forward this email along to other colleagues that may have insight as well.  Based on your responses, we will expand our offerings to provide students and teachers the opportunity to participate in relevant scientific experiences.

Here is the link:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfzkgD0u64ItdJJ_Boo7W9q6oC1vs8_kcEwck0v9tKvq94lEg/viewform

Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to your response.

Evolving Minds Project

How the Piloses Evolved Skinny Noses - An Introduction to Adaptation by Natural Selection for 5-11-year-olds. 

Developed by Developmental Psychologists at Boston University, and rooted in research, this storybook is ideal to accompany a unit on Adaptation in third or fifth grade.

For FREE books, and FREE supplementary materials and more information go to:  https://www.evolvingmindsproject.org/ 

2018 STEM & Career Education Initiatives Partnerships Advancing STEM Education Meetings - STEM & Career Education Seminar Series

The SE MA STEM Network is working with STEM stakeholders to develop and offer meaningful and informative programs in 2018. Stakeholders include students, parents, prek-16 educators, and representatives of business, government, and community organizations.

Registration and information on events will be sent to those on the mailing list by mid-January. Go to:  http://www.connectsemass.org/stem/index.html and click on JOIN MAILING LIST.

For more information, contact Katherine Honey, SE MA Network Coordinator, at khoney@comcast.net

 

Fab@School Match Grant Program

As part of an international consortium of research and education partners, led by University of Virginia, the Fab@School Initiative ...introduces engaging STEM teaching and learning earlier on in schools. ... To support this research initiative, the Reynolds Center for Teaching, Learning, and Creativity has developed a key tool in the program - Fab@School Maker Studio, a digital design and fabrication platform. The online software has been designed as a flexible on-ramp to meaningful STEM/STEAM learning, which introduces an engineering process specifically for use in K-8 classrooms.

Fab@School Maker Studio tools are easily adapted across grade levels - from step-by-step and ready-made standards-based projects - to recreating and modifying sophisticated inventions offered through a U.S. Department of Education i3-funded partnership with the Smithsonian.

Thanks to generous funding offered by mindSpark Learning through the Morgridge Family Foundation (MFF) and the Reynolds Center, we are inviting a limited number of schools/districts to participate in the Fab@School Match Grant Program.

Match Grant Opportunity

We are pleased to offer a matching grant of $1,750 per school, which will help provide:

  • A year-long school site license for Fab@School Maker Studio web-based, digital fabrication software program - compatible with Mac, Windows, iPad, Chromebooks, and other mobile devices.
  • Digital fabrication hardware (2 Silhouette Portrait digital fabricators).
  • Virtual professional development providing an overview of the software tools, as well as support for curriculum integration.

Subsidized by the $1,750 match grant from mindSpark Learning through MFF/Reynolds Centerthe cost to districts will be the $1,750 per school for the year-long Fab@School program.

To take advantage of this special invitation, please email: TLCGrants@reynoldstlc.org for further information about participating in this program. 

Research Opportunity for Teachers

A team of researchers is studying teacher learning in the Tufts Teacher Engineering Education Program (TEEP). Because engineering is new to elementary education, there isn’t a lot of research on how teachers learn new pedagogical practices or how to best prepare teachers to teach engineering. We are interested in studying what teachers notice in students’ engineering and how that shifts over the program. We are also interested in teachers’ reflections on their goals and instructional practices in engineering.

We are asking K-5 classroom teachers or specialists who are enrolled (or plan to enroll) in TEEP if they would like to participate in this research. Note: Participation in the research will not impact your admission to the program; decisions about TEEP admission will be made separately from this research study.

As part of the study, we’d ask that you talk with us at the start and end of the program about your prior experiences and current instructional practices. In each course, we’d also like to look at videos of students’ engineering together and ask you what you notice about students’ work—both in videos we have already and in videos you collect and share of students’ engineering from your classroom or afterschool settings. Finally, we would ask to look at your coursework across the program, including your posts and comments.

Your participation is voluntary; if you choose not to participate, your grade in the TEEP courses will not be affected. You can also choose to stop participating at any point. To compensate you for your time, we will offer you $750 for each course during which you participate in the study.

If you are interested in learning more or if you have any questions, please contact Dr. Jessica Watkins at jessica.watkins@tufts.edu.

Middle school science teachers wanted for study

The Center for Children and Technology at Education Development Center is looking for seventh and eighth grade science teachers to participate in a National Science Foundation-funded study called Playing with Data. The study looks at how teachers use data from games students play to make decisions about instruction. Participating teachers will agree to use a supplemental mini-unit, online game, and a teacher data dashboard to develop and track students' progress in argumentation skills. The mini-unit would be part of teachers' regular units on energy sources and includes lesson plans, classroom activities, and a final capstone project for classroom debate. Teachers will receive a $500 stipend at the end of the study. More information is available at the link above or by emailing Heather Kim.

Project Accelerate: Bringing AP Physics 1 to High Schools Not Offering this Opportunity

Project Accelerate is a National Science Foundation funded high school university partnership program bringing a no cost blended online AP Physics 1 course to schools that do not offer AP Physics. Schools throughout the New England states are eligible to participate in this partnership program.  

During the pilot year of Project Accelerate, although the sample size was too small to provide statistical significance, the raw data show Project Accelerate students outperforming their peer groups enrolled in traditional AP Physics 1 classrooms.

Project Accelerate combines the supportive infrastructures from the students’ traditional school with a highly interactive private edX online course. The primary instructional tool is the private online program containing instructional scaffolding specific to the target population, multiple assessment tools, simulations, and a suite of virtual explorations emphasizing science process practices. We embrace a minds-on philosophy throughout the online course and virtual laboratories are woven throughout the course. Although not required for participation, the project team will support and work cooperatively with those schools wishing to complement the online instruction with hands-on laboratories conducted at the partner high school site.

If you would like to learn more about this opportunity, kindly contact Mark D. Greenman.

Mark D. Greenman - Director Project Accelerate

Boston University - Physics Department

Office: 617-358-6729

Office: greenman@bu.edu

Material to be Assessed on 2018 Science and Technology/Engineering MCAS Tests:

The Department is pleased to present information regarding the "overlapping" standards from the 2001/2006 and 2016 science and technology/engineering standards that will be assessed on the 2018 MCAS grade 5 and grade 8 science and technology/engineering tests. The 2018 tests will consist of items that align to both sets of standards.

*As a reminder, this year's test (2017) is based on the 2001/2006 science and technology/engineering standards.

STEM Integration for Education Leaders

Join us for the STEM Strategic Plans Unveiling Ceremony on May 19, 10-12 at WPI.
Cohort V teams will share with the public highlights from their work on developing long-term STEM/STEAM plans. The event is free but registration is required. Email mdubosarsky@wpi.edu to RSVP for this event. 

STEM Integration for Education Leaders is a year-long program designed to provide individualized guidance to education leaders and administrators as they move to improve STEM outcomes for all students in their school/district.

In support of Massachusetts’ Plan for Excellence in STEM Education, the program helps participants develop a strategic plan for STEM integration to:

  • enhance students’ interest and proficiency in STEM subjects
  • increase graduation rates
  • support teachers as they become more effective STEM educators

More information can be found on the WPI website:  https://www.wpi.edu/academics/stem-education-center/professional-development/leaders

From the Cape Cod Regional STEM Network

Weekly STEM favorites:  STEM Summer Reading

We are starting a new series, Weekly STEM favorites, in order to share ideas, resources, and news you can use.  

This week is the Best STEM books, assembled by theNational Science Teacher Association in collaboration with Children's Book Council and other education groups.  Get ready for summer reading, for students and adults alike!

The Best STEM Books list gives a good range of age-appropriate books, and reading science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) trade books is the perfect way for students to build literacy skills while learning new ways to understand the world through STEM!  Read more about how the list was put together and the philosophy behind it, and then the full list is here!  Share with parents, librarians, and any one else who is interested in summer reading.

We hope that this is a great kickoff for your summer reading lists and sparks your STEM enthusiasm this week!

 

Recruiting Science Teachers

Building Systems from Scratch:  Research on the Development of Computational and Systems Thinking in Middle School Students through Explorations of Complex Earth Systems

 The Project: A group of science educators and researchers at TERC, an education nonprofit in Cambridge MA, and computer science experts and researchers at Northeastern University are collaborating on a curriculum design and research project that focuses on middle school students making computer games about climate science.

What it means for teachers and students to participate: This is Year 3 of the project. By next year, we will have undertaken two years of implementation and curriculum redesign in Cambridge and Newton with a total of 9 teachers. In Year 3, we will be conducting a comparison study.

We are asking you to be an implementation or comparison teacher.

What will teachers get:  Professional development to support implementation will consist of a 3-day summer workshop (18 hours), followed by 8-10 hours online and 8-10 hours of teacher-led study groups during the school year. In the summer following implementation, teachers will attend a 1-day (6 hours) wrap-up workshop.  They will earn PDPs for their work in the project, or they may participate in an additional 15+ hours of work to earn 3 graduate credits. In addition, they will deepen their understanding of effective practices in implementing the new standards.  They will contribute to research and a new curriculum that will integrate computers in STEM classrooms. Teachers will be paid a stipend for their work at a rate that is typical for similar work in their districts.

Please contact Eli Tucker-Raymond (eli_tucker-raymond@terc.edu) 617 873-9683 or Gilly Puttick (gilly_puttick@terc.edu) 617 873-9600 if interested or with any questions.

Educator Licensure & License Renewal Proposed Regulation Changes:

On February 28,  the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted 9-1 to send proposed changes to the Regulations for Educator Licensure and Program Approval (603 CMR 7.00), Educator License Renewal (603 CMR 44.00), andCertification of Supervisors of Attendance (603 CMR 13.00) out for public comment. The public comment period is open until May 1, and ESE encourages educators to weigh in on these proposals.  The Department anticipates that the draft regulations will return to the Board on June 27 for a potential vote.

The proposals are intended to streamline the regulations and licensure system, close loopholes, clarify certain provisions, and reduce regulatory burden. Public comment can be submitted via online survey through the links provided above or via email to 603CMR700PublicComment2017@doe.mass.edu.