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The Oregon Diploma was created to prepare our students for life in a time when technology is used to connect people around ideas and information in increasingly diverse ways.
Communication in the 21st Century is evolving at a rapid pace. The number of texts sent and received every day exceeds the Earth`s population. It took radio 38 years to reach 50 million people, yet Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months. If Facebook were a country, it would be the fourth largest country in the world. These amazing facts were recently published in the YouTube video, "The Social Media Revolution."
The world of social media is having a profound effect on how people are using technology to connect. The education community is no exception. Educators are increasingly turning to technology and various social mediums to connect with their students. They are posting lessons on YouTube (now the second largest search engine in the world with 100 million videos, and growing). They are creating websites, wikis, and blogs to enhance classroom lessons and foster student interaction around a topic. Many school districts use Facebook to share information and interact with their school community.
The Oregon Virtual School District (OVSD) is a resource Oregon educators are using to connect with students in new ways. It is a free educator resource for online teaching and learning designed to promote the use of technology in Oregon classrooms. OVSD offers Oregon public school educators the opportunity to find and share online resources, learn and use cutting edge online tools, and discuss how to put them to use in the classroom. Through OVSD, users can access Moodle, a web application that is used to create effective online learning sites. OVSD isn’t just a resource for educators. It houses free tools for students to create their Educational Plan and Profile, a student-focused component of the Oregon Diploma. Currently, 336 Oregon schools/ESDs and 32,460 teachers/students use OVSD. Click here for more information about OVSD and to create a free account.
Click here to get connected to the Oregon Diploma on Facebook.
2. Oregon Science Item Writing Opportunity
This spring (pending availability of funding), an opportunity is available for up to 16 experienced science item writers. Selected writers would need to attend one writing session March 22-25, 2010 in Salem. In addition, writers would complete remote item writing throughout the spring with the project ending June 30, 2010. This temporary employment with ODE will amount to approximately 60-80 hours paid at about $25/hr.
This project will also be an opportunity for up to four very experienced item review facilitators, which will require participation during the same dates in Salem and remote item reviewing over the extended period, for approximately 100 hours paid at about $28/hr.
Each item writer and facilitator must have their own PC laptop, with a private, non-shared, email address and will be responsible for learning to use ODE’s proprietary internet-based software for item entry.
Applications will be accepted until February 15th, and those who apply by January 30th will have first priority. The fact that Oregon teachers develop items for Oregon’s statewide assessment is hugely significant. Teachers willing to dedicate this amount of time in developing high quality items are truly contributing to the improvement of a key aspect of Oregon’s educational assessment system.
Professional Development Units (PDUs) will be given, if desired. For application forms for item writers or for reviewers/facilitators click here. For more information, contact Leslie Phillips.
3. OSLIS: A Research Tool for K-12 Students and Educators
Here is a resource already in place, won’t cost schools a penny, and will give Oregon students a leg-up. The Oregon School Library Information System (OSLIS) is a website that integrates information literacy skills with access to licensed periodicals databases. It is designed for K-12 students and educators and is funded through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant.
OSLIS provides three major resources:
Learn How to do Research links to resources designed to guide students through the research process.
Cite My Sources links to Citation Maker, a tool for creating a bibliography or a works cited page.
Find Information directs users to resources, including 18 Gale databases that are Lexiled and contain thousands of articles, images, and multimedia from encyclopedias, magazines, journals, newspapers, and e-books. Each school district has a unique user name to access the Gale databases.
School librarians or district library contacts can provide demonstrations to staff. Educators who know about OSLIS and use OSLIS can provide strong curricular support to students. Updates about OSLIS are available through the OSLIST listserv. Explore OSLIS and the Gale databases, and contact Jennifer Maurer, the School Library Consultant at the State Library, if you have questions: 503.378.5011 or email@example.com.
4. The Bard on the Brain – Set of 28, Just Pay Shipping
Dana Press is extending a unique offer on the book, The Bard on the Brain: Understanding the Mind
Through the Art of Shakespeare and the Science of Brain Imaging. The Bard on the Brain is now available for only the cost of shipping.
This beautifully illustrated, full-color book explores the beauty and mystery of the human mind and the
workings of the brain, following the paths of the Bard in 35 of the most famous speeches from his plays. There are stunning images of the brain from researchers around the world. This unique, modern take on the Bard examines the power of Shakespeare’s insights into humanity and the nature of the human brain, bridging the divide between art and science.
Dana Press is currently offering new copies of The Bard on the Brain, only in sets of 28, free except for
the cost of shipping. Shipping costs are approximately $30 per set of books. This offer is available while
inventory lasts. All requests for sets of The Bard on the Brain should come from individual teachers, departments, or programs. To request sets of books or a copy of the Dana Press book catalog, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
5. NASA Mission Chronicles
Visit the NASA Space Place websiteto access the Mission Chronicles where scientists and engineers on NASA missions share their experiences and findings. The NASA Space Place website also provides access to the bi-monthly newsletter and other teacher resources, and everything is available in Spanish as well as English.
6. Reaching Out to Spanish-Speaking Students
Many geoscience educators distribute AGI’s “Why Earth Science?” brochure to promote awareness of the importance of Earth science in K-12 education. To ensure that this vital message reaches the widest possible
audience, AGI has translated the publication into Spanish.
“Why Earth Science?” explains the importance of Earth science education for success in school, careers, informed decision-making, and civic engagement. To receive copies, contact AGI’s Geoff Camphire. English and Spanish versions of the brochure also are available online as downloadable files (scroll to the bottom of the page to access the links).
7. What Science is Telling Us About Climate Change
The National Science Foundation has published a new website titled, “To What Degree?” where they have made available video resources in which leading climate change experts discuss one of the most complex scientific puzzles ever to confront humankind. The topics include How Do We Know, The Water Cycle, The Earth’s Heat Balance, and The Carbon Cycle. More topics will be added in the future.
8. SSSA Offers Riches of Soil Science Education
The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a scientific organization that aims to support geoscience teaching and learning about soils. SSSA provides an educational resources webpage that includes lessons, activities, fun facts, sites of interest organized by soil topic and grade level, and soil definitions for the novice soil scientist.
9. Favorite Digital Gadgets
Tech-minded teachers from Education World have posted a list of more than 30 favorite digital tools and websites for the classroom. Among the many tools highlighted are Wordle, which creates a unique graphic display from a series of words; Let Me Google That for You, which helps students search the internet more effectively; and Crappy Graphs (math humor!), which teaches basic graphing skills.
10. Links to Free Science Resources
Looking for teaching resources? Check out a page called “Freebies for Science Teachers” on the National Science Teachers Association website. Updated periodically, this searchable “array of free resources for you and
your classroom” frequently features online links to publications, CD-ROMs, DVDs, videos, kits, and other materials for science education. For more, click here.
11. Free Lesson Plans and Alternative Energy Interactives
Science teachers can access free lesson plans and download alternative energy interactives through Montana State University's National Teachers Enhancement Network (NTEN). Lesson plans cover all grade levels with topics in Earth science, physical science, life science and space science, including multicultural science lessons developed by Native American teachers, and lessons on rocketry and physics written by a science teacher working with NSF-EPSCoR faculty at MSU.
The "Hydrogen and the Environment" website explains the connection between Yellowstone National Park and the quest for alternative fuels, including videos, student profiles and images, along with free downloads: an interactive map of Yellowstone microbes and an animation of how hydrogen is produced. Visit here.
12. Discovery Channel Free Lesson Plan Library
The Discovery Channel website offers free lesson plans for all areas of K-12 education, sorted by elementary, middle, and high school level.
13. Use Online Video in Your Classroom
Imagine hundreds of thousands of great short videos, and other media, explaining every topic taught to school kids. Imagine them rated and sorted into a giant Directory, making them simple to find. WatchKnow--as in, "You watch, you know"--is a non-profit online community devoted to this goal. WatchKnow is both a resource for users and also a non-profit, online community that encourages everyone to collect, create, and share free, innovative, educational videos.
14. Diversity and Adaptations for Elementary School
In the January 2010 issue of NSTA’s Science Class --the online companion to Science and Children, NSTA's journal for elementary school teachers— you'll find online resources that can help your students explore adaptations and diversity in a meaningful way. Click on the January 2010 Cover to view the full table of contents and read a free article ("Clues to the Past") from the issue. There is also a collection of additional online resources they've compiled that relate to Diversity and Adaptations, including In the News: Diversity and Adaptationsand On the Web: Diversity and Adaptations.
15. Observations and Data from Nature for Middle School
Using the great outdoors as an extension of your science laboratory gives you access to real-world data that students will find fascinating, relevant, and engaging. In the January 2010 issue of Science Class -- the online companion to Science Scope, NSTA's journal for middle school teachers—they explore strategies for taking your students beyond the classroom walls, and bringing the world into the classroom. Click on the January 2010 Cover to view the full table of contents and read a free article ("Exploring Sound with Insects") from the issue. There is also a collection of additional online resources they've compiled that relate to the theme of Observations and Data from Nature includingIn the News: Observations and Data from Natureand On the Web: Observations and Data from Nature.
16. Science and Literacy for High School
In the modern world, literacy involves more than just reading and writing. Students must be able to think critically about a text—no matter its form. This issue provides ideas and activities to help strengthen students' literacy skills in the science classroom—and beyond. From field-note poetry to lab reports to reading widely, these activities will help you incorporate reading and literacy in your classroom. The January issue of Science Class—an online companion to The Science Teacher, NSTA's journal for high school teachers—is devoted to the theme of Science and Literacy. In the modern world, literacy involves more than just reading. Click on the January 2010 Cover to view the full table of contents and access a free article ("Building Background Knowledge”) from the issue. There is also a collection of additional online resources they've compiled that relate to Science and Literacy including In the News: Science and Literacy and On the Web: Science and Literacy
17. Bubble Wrap® Competition for Young Inventors (Grades 5-8)
Sealed Air Corporation, the creator of Bubble Wrap® cushioning, is sponsoring the Bubble Wrap® Competition for Young Inventors to encourage students in grades 5–8 to demonstrate their creativity and ingenuity by creating an invention that incorporates the use of Bubble Wrap® cushioning. Three finalists will win a three-day trip to New York City, where the Grand Prize Winner will be announced at the Bubble Wrap™ Awards Ceremony on Saturday, May 22, 2010. The Grand Prize Winner will receive a $10,000 savings bond, while the 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive $5,000 and $3,000 respectively in savings bonds. The teacher/mentor of each finalist will receive a $500 gift card. In addition, the school of the Grand Prize Winner will receive a $5,000 donation. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, March 3, 2010. Bubble Wrap® cushioning was invented in 1960 by Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes, and was originally intended to be used as textured wallpaper. However, the two inventors quickly realized it was actually a superior cushioning material. Click here for more information and an entry form 18. Rubber Band Contest for Young Inventors (Grades 5-8)
The Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS), The Akron Global Polymer Academy, and The University of Akron are hosting the 2010 Rubber Band Contest for Young Inventors to encourage students in grades 5-8 to demonstrate their creativity and ingenuity by creating an invention that incorporates the use of rubber bands. This year there will be two separate divisions of competition – Arts & Leisure and Science & Engineering. Four finalists will be brought to Akron, Ohio, where the first place winner and runner-up in each division will be announced at an Awards Ceremony on May 1, 2010. The first place winner in each division will receive a $5,000 savings bond, while the runner-up in each division will receive a $2,500 savings bond. The top 8 semi-finalists who are not chosen as finalists will each receive a $50 gift card. The teacher/mentor of each first place winner will receive a $400 gift card, and the teacher/mentor of each runner-up will receive a $200 gift card. The deadline is February 10, 2010 and applications may be received via hard copy mail, email, or FAX.
Details for the competition are available online; for questions, email, or call at 330-376-8300; click here for classroom resources for teachers.
19.National Youth Science Camp
Encourage high school seniors to apply for the National Youth Science Camp (NYSC), an intense all expenses paid three-week camp (June 29 – July 23, 2010) that honors and challenges two graduating high school students from each state. Scientists who work on some of the most provocative topics in science today present lectures and hands-on science seminars and linger to interact informally with the student delegates.
To apply, students must download the application packet from www.nysc.org and follow the enclosed instructions. Applications must be received at the ODE no later than January 22, 2010. The NYSC is hosted and operated by the National Youth Science Foundation. Contact: Cheryl Kleckner.
The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) invites you to participate in the 5th Annual DNA Day Essay Contest! It is only open to 9th – 12th grade students this year.
The contest aims to challenge students to examine, question, and reflect on the important concepts of genetics. Essays are expected to contain substantive, well-reasoned arguments indicative of a depth of understanding of the concepts related to the essay questions. Essays are read and scored by at least two independent judges. A 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner are chosen for each question. Click here for more information. Submission Deadline: March 15, 2010 at 5:00 PM EST
22. Eyes in the Sky II Seeks Grade 9 to 12 Science Teachers
Eyes in the Sky II is a long-term professional development program that prepares high school science teachers to use NASA data and visualizations along with other geospatial information technologies. Throughout the program, teachers and students investigate both global and local environmental issues. The program includes four parts: 1) a 12-week online Web course, consisting of three 4-week modules; 2) a 7-day face-to-face summer workshop held onsite at a NASA research center; 3) one year of classroom implementation, ending with a virtual student showcase; and 4) an ambassador program for providing professional development for other teachers in participants' schools or districts.
Grade 9 to 12 science teachers will benefit from this program. Through participating, teachers will: 1) become proficient using NASA data and geospatial analysis tools; 2) receive a $1000 stipend for completing the online course and the 7-day summer workshop; 3) receive an additional $1000 stipend as compensation for delivering professional development as an Eyes in the Sky II Ambassador; 4) equip their students with geospatial technology skills that are in increasing demand in the workplace; and 5) obtain optional graduate credit through Northern Arizona University.
For more information about the Eyes in the Sky II program, including the online application click here. Applications are due by January 15, 2010. If you have questions, contact Carla McAuliffe or Erin Bardar.
23. Environmental Education Program Grant Opportunities
The Gray Family Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation is pleased to present the Environmental Education Program Request for Proposals 2010. The program will support four general goals:
Strengthening and developing programs that provide outdoor experiences for youth from early childhood through grade 12.
Creating, expanding, and improving programs that connect schools with their communities and provide students with practical hands-on experience in addressing environmental issues both locally and globally.
Supporting programs committed to creating comprehensive, significant, lasting change in educational systems, fostering improved understanding of and interaction with our natural systems.
Encouraging programs that explore and integrate boundaries between art and science, and connect creativity with the natural environment.
There are two deadlines for 2010:
For spring 2010, applications for the three listed categories are due on January 29th, with award notification by June.
For fall 2010, the deadline is July 30th for a single category—applications will only be considered for Overnight, Residential Outdoor School Programs for fifth and sixth grades, with award notification by December.
Please apply for no less than $5000. Grants will be made to schools, government agencies, and nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations. Up to $700,000 will be available for grants in the 2010 calendar year. Grant awards average from $10,000 to $40,000, but larger requests are considered.
For more information please refer to the Gray Family Fund Environmental Education Program Description on the OCF website. Direct applications and questions to: Lara Utman, 503-227-6846, or email@example.com
24. Award for Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching
Does someone you know teach earth science to students between kindergarten and eighth grade? Do they excel in their teaching through leadership and innovation, bringing new ideas and approaches to teaching about
our planet? If so, they may be eligible for the Edward C. Roy Award for Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching. Given annually, this award recognizes one classroom teacher nationwide for his or her leadership and
innovation in earth science education.
The winner will receive a prize of $2,500 and an additional grant of $1,000 to enable the recipient to attend the 2010 National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Annual Conference. To be eligible for this year’s competition, applications must be postmarked by February 1, 2010. To learn more about competition requirements, application procedures, and deadlines, click here.
25. Nominate an Innovative High School Science Teacher
Calling all U.S. high school science department chairs and administrators: It’s time to nominate teachers for the 2010 AAAS Leadership in Science Education Prize for High School Teachers. The $1,000 prize honors a high school science teacher who has advanced science education by developing and implementing an effective strategy, activity, or program.
Access prize details, nomination forms, and application forms. For more information, contact Lester Matlock. Deadline: 21 May 2010.
26. Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th-grade mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. To apply, teachers must first be nominated for the award. Online nomination forms are available at www.paemst.org. The 2010 Awards will honor Math and Science teachers working in grades K-6. (Save your enthusiasm for teachers of grades 7 - 12 for the 2011 Awards). Contact: Cheryl Kleckner.
27. How to Submit Articles or Suggest Topics
What topics should we cover in future issues? If you would like to submit information for this newsletter, please email publication-ready short articles by the end of the month to Cheryl Kleckner. Please include links and contact information, but no attachments.
28. ODE Resources (in every issue)
Past editions of the Oregon Science Teacher Updatewww.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?=1874
****Disclaimer--The materials contained in the Oregon Science Teacher Update produced by Oregon Department of Education are drawn from both internal and external sources and inclusion of external materials does not necessarily indicate Oregon Department of Education endorsement.****