Climate Science Investigations (CSI)

This series of online learning modules teaches secondary and undergraduate students how to analyze and use NASA data to address commonly held misconceptions about climate change. Sequenced so that students progressively discover the evidence of climate change and human involvement, each inquiry-based module contains related reading and figures along with guided-reading questions and notetaking strategies; a PowerPoint presentation; investigations; and argument practices that allow students to review the content of the module and and also help teachers evaluate students’ understanding of the evidence and explanations. Module titles include Nature of Science, Weather and Climate, Energy: The Driver of Climate, Temperature Change Over Time, Causes of Climate Change, Impacts of Climate Change, What We Can Do, and Addressing Climate Skeptics’ Claims.

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3D Moon Board

Middle level educator and self-proclaimed science teaching junkie, Shayna Aldrich, has created a three-dimensional Moon Board to help middle level students visualize and better understand the cause of Moon phases and comprehend the two different views that are often given on a diagram (i.e., a view from space and the view from the Earth). Built with inexpensive supplies, the board offers an interactive way for students to visualize the phases of the Moon. Students place their head through a hole in the center of a board affixed with Styrofoam balls representing each phase of the Moon; as students do this, they are “seeing” the view from Earth (their head being Earth, or it could be explained that we LOOK out from Earth and see the Moon as it revolves around the Earth). To see each Moon phase, rotate the board counterclockwise (i.e., the direction of the Moon’s revolution around the Earth). Visit the website for directions and more information!

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High School Inquiry: Building Solitary Bee Nests

Developed by teachers participating in the National Center for Agricultural Literacy’s (NCAL) program, Translating Applied STEM Research into Secondary Science (TASRS), this lesson provides high school students with an opportunity to carry out an authentic scientific inquiry relevant to agriculture and participate in a citizen science project. In the lesson, students design and test several designs of trap nests (artificial nests for bees) to determine nest features that are necessary or preferable when trying to attract blue orchard bees for pollination services. Students contribute their results to a citizen science project, Native Buzz, based at the University of Florida. Lesson materials include Teacher Notes, Diversity of Bees PowerPoint, Lab Report Format and Rubric, Blue Orchard Bee Information Sheet, Bee Nest and Information Form, and Student Worksheet.


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Teaching Channel Videos

Get inspired by your colleagues and the effective teaching practices they are using in schools nationwide. Contributed by a dedicated community of educators, the science videos in the Teaching Channel’s Video Library address a wide range of K–12 subjects and classroom situations. Selected titles include “Evidenced-Based Academic Discussion: Getting Started” (elementary); ”Building Character With Lab Stations” (middle level); “Energy and Matter Across the Science Disciplines” (high school); and “NGSS: Crosscutting Concepts.” The videos showcase best practices in action and describe how each teaching practice supports Common Core State Standards; most videos also include ancillary material for teachers.


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Non-Verbal Learning Disability (NVLD) Project

NVLD is a complicated and poorly understood social and spatial learning disability that can affect children, adolescents, and adults. People with NVLD struggle with a range of conditions but specifically have difficulty with social skills and spatial concepts. A new website provides content and resources to help parents, educators, researchers, and others recognize the signs of the disability and learn about interventions that can most effectively help students with NLVD be successful in the K-12 school setting. In addition, Expert Blogs offer posts with more practical tips for parents and teachers, such as “Advice for Reading Comprehension at School or Home.”


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The Sci-Ed Innovators Fellowship

The mission of the Sci-Ed Innovators Fellowship Program is to build democratic science teaching expertise in NYC teachers, empowering them to engage underserved youth in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and computer science. Through democratic science experiences, students construct identities of themselves as capable citizens who use critical science agency to transform their own lives and bring about positive change in their communities.

What is the Sci-Ed Innovators Fellowship Program?

The Sci-Ed Innovators Fellowship Program is a yearlong experience, designed to engage and support New York City elementary, middle and high school science teachers who work in underserved schools. Through regular monthly workshops, dialogue with experts and peers, and a critical examination of their practice, fellows learn to transform their students’ experience by applying and further developing the Democratic STEM Teaching Framework, initially conceived by Professor Sreyashi Jhumki Basu. The Fellowship experience challenges participants to examine their teaching practices through the lens of the framework.

Fellows who are selected for the program participate in monthly workshops with like-minded STEM educators. Twice over the course of the year, Fellows present and publish a 3-5 minute digital story about their experience and also participate in the annual Sci-Ed Innovators Expo & Symposium with their students.

What do I get?

  • Enhance your professional network through participation in monthly workshops in a supportive community of practice
  • Receive mentorship from experienced science educators and charismatic practitioners of Democratic STEM Pedagogy
  • Analyze student and teacher work through the lenses of the Democratic STEM Teaching Framework and the Common Core teaching standards
  • Publish evidence of your changed teaching practice in an online community of like-minded practitioners
  • Present your work with a group of your students at the Sci-Ed Innovators Expo & Symposium
  • Receive a $2000 stipend

You will also:

  • Increase your knowledge of techniques to address major challenges facing urban science teachers and students
  • Become more reflective, evaluating your teaching practices in light of the ideas underlying democratic science teaching (student voice, shared authority, and critical science literacy)
  • Improve your leadership skills
  • Become involved in a dynamic group of science educators committed to further developing their practice and supporting their fellow teachers
  • Explore different ways of using digital tools in your classroom
  • Develop expertise using democratic STEM teaching methods to align your work with the Citywide Instructional Expectations


What is the time commitment?

  • Attend a kickoff and 8 workshops throughout the 2016-2017 academic year
  • Identify, define and put a solution in place for a unique Problem of Practice (PoP)
  • Present your experience at our midyear and end of year showcases
  • Attend the 7th Annual Sci-Ed Innovators Expo in the spring with a small group of students

In addition to the live component of the fellowship, online participation and preparation for the Saturday workshops are required.

2016-2017 Dates

  • Kickoff – Wednesday, August 24, and Thursday, August 25, 2016
  • Workshop 1 – Saturday, September 24, 2016
  • Workshop 2 – Saturday, October 22, 2016
  • Workshop 3 – Saturday, November 19, 2016
  • Workshop 4 – Saturday, December 10, 2016
  • Winter Showcase – Thursday, January 19, 5:30-7:30pm
  • Workshop 5 – Saturday, February 11, 2017
  • Workshop 6 – Saturday, March 11, 2017
  • Workshop 7 – Saturday, April 1, 2017
  • 7th Annual Expo & Symposium – Saturday, April 29, 2017, 9am-1pm
  • Workshop 8 – Saturday, May 13, 2017
  • Spring Showcase: Thursday, June 1, 2017, 5:30-7:30pm

The Kickoff and Workshops will be from 9am to 3pm at New York University.

Who should apply?

The Sci-Ed Innovators Fellowship is open to urban STEM educators in the NYC area. In order to be eligible for the fellowship, teachers must:

  • Have at least two years of teaching experience (including the current school year)
  • Teach full-time in the current academic year, with at least 50% of their classes in a STEM area
  • Teach in an urban school in or around NYC (preference is given to teachers in underserved NYC public schools)
  • Commit to fulfilling the expectations of the program

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Health and Climate Education Resources

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) offers educational resources that explore climate changes in Minnesota and how these changes are impacting human health. Targeted for middle level classrooms, the resources include the film, Health and Climate, which describes the ways people can adapt to and mitigate climate change, and teaching resources that promote the exploration of climate change and public health impacts in more depth. For example, teachers can access a climate change vocabulary list and a student study guide; a slide set and student handout describing climate change and health effects; a computer lab project that explores health data sets related to climate change; a trivia game; a create your own “doodle” or artistic rendering of climate change game; and a discussion guide.

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McREL Blog: Science

Check in to this blog from McREL’s expert researchers, evaluators, and educators to read and learn the latest research and best practices that support effective science instruction and student success. Archived posts have addressed topics such as the GreenSTEM Model, a project-based approach that uses science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) content and practices to investigate local environmental problems and design and implement solutions; small science; and school structures that create obstacles for STEM learning.


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OneZoom Tree of Life

This interactive guide to the relationships among all life on Earth raises awareness about the variety of life on Earth and the need to conserve it. Targeted for everyone interested in learning more about biodiversity and evolution, but particularly useful for high school and college biology and environmental science educators, the OneZoom software uses fractals to condense the tree of life into a single, zoomable page. Like an online map, users “zoom in” to areas of interest that reveal further details. Each leaf on the tree represents a different species, and the branches show how they are related through evolution. If a leaf is red, the species it represents is threatened with extinction. Leaves with a dotted outline represent parts of the tree yet to be completed.

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Study Guide for the Systems of the Body

Study Guide for the Systems of the Body

Have you ever wondered how you can eat the things that you eat or how you can breathe or move your arms? If you think about it, it’s pretty amazing that the human body can do all of the things that it does. Your body is made up of what are called systems. These systems are collections of organs and body parts that work together for a common goal. For example, your bones are all a part of the skeletal system. They work together to give your body shape and so that you can move. They also work together to protect your important organs, like your heart. The other systems that you have in your body are the circulatory, respiratory, muscular, digestive, and nervous systems. Each of these systems are very important, and everyone has them. It’s important for kids to understand what the systems of the body are so that they can understand how important it is to keep the body healthy.

  • Circulatory System
  • Respiratory System
  • Skeletal System
  • Muscular System
  • The Digestive System
  • Nervous System

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