Monday, January 12, 2015

Happy New Year!!! Full STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture/Arts, Mathematics) Ahead!!!

Next Generation Accountability Systems: An Overview of Current State Policies and Practices

Over the past six years, there has been a significant shift in education. States recognized that students were not being taught at levels that adequately prepared them for college and careers and stepped up to develop and implement more rigorous standards. As a part of this transition, states have also committed to better supports for educators to adapt to the new standards, better assessments to measure student learning, and better accountability systems to understand where schools are struggling and how to help them improve. Read more here

Evaluation of the Math Professional Learning Community 2013-2014

Available evidence suggests that participating PLC members improved their confidence in leading informal math activities and used successful math instruction strategies more often. Gains were particularly strong among staff members with no prior math instruction experience. For example, while just 38% of staff with no prior experience agreed that "I am comfortable leading math activities" at the start of the PLC, all reported that they felt comfortable doing so afterwards. Read more here

NGSS: Things to Know in January 2015

1) NGSS Evidence Statements for High School were just released (evidence statements for elementary and middle school are under development). These statements are available for each high school NGSS performance expectation and provide additional detail on what students should know and be able to do in order to satisfy that performance expectation. For more information, see the Front Matter.

2) Need a visual to help show why science education standards need to be updated.
Check out this infographic.

3) Need guidance on NGSS implementation? Checkout the Guide to Implementing the next Generation Science Standards just released by the National Research Council.

And now to shine the spot light on the real STEM Stars of Region 3!!! Let's take a look at some of the STEM learning activities that our expanded learning program practitioners have engaged the children of Region 3 in recently:

Name of Out-of-School-Time Provider: Sacramento Chinese Community Service Center

Name of District: Sacramento City Unified School District

School Site: Caroline Wenzel Elementary School

Grade Level of Activity: 1st and 2nd Grade

Number of Students Who Took Part in the Activity: 20

Type of Activity: RAFT Table Top Hovercraft

Learning Outcomes - Students were able to learn about: 

  • Friction
  • Air Pressure
  • Motion
  • Inertia

SCCSC ASES students making their very own hover craft.

STEM and Other Pertinent Educational Articles

1) The Economic Benefits of Closing Educational Achievement Gaps
    (Center for American Progress)

2) For Women and Girls, The Common Core is a Step Toward Equity
    (Center for American Progress)

3) A Third Grader's Plea for More Game Based Learning (KQED)

4) Strategies for Keeping the Brain's Attention (Edutopia)

5) The 8 Minutes that Matter the Most (Edutopia)

6) 5 Tips for Helping a Student Find the Right Book (Edutopia)

7) Facilitating Academic Rigor (Big Universe Blog)

8) Tweeting the Read - Aloud: Engaging and Motivating Readers (Edutopia)

9) How are kids spending their time after school? (America After 3PM)

10) After School Guide to SNAP- Ed Program ( NEOP)

11) 12 Weeks To A 6-Figure Job: Coding Bootcamp (NPR)

12) Building Supportive Relationships in After School Volume #2 (SEDL)

13) Project WET Gazette (Water Education Foundation)

STEM (and other Integrated Core Content) Activities/Videos/Websites/Podcast

1) Why Emotional Learning May Be As Important As The ABCs (Podcast)

2) Families Geek Out!! Try These DIY Experiments at Home (Podcast/Activities)

3) Science Friday Home Science Highlights of 2014 (Activities)

4) Trees of Knowledge: Sparking Curiosity (Video)

5) STEM Education Resource Site (Resources)

6) NGSS POD Work Group STEM Ecosystems Presentation (Video Presentation)

7) SMUD Resources for Teachers and Students (Resources)

STEM Grants:

1) Community Action Grant: The AAUW is offering Community Action Grants to 
     individuals, AAUW branches, AAUW state organizations, and community-based 
     non-profit organizations that propose programs promoting education and equity for    
     women and girls. One-year grants of $2,000-$7,000 will provide seed money for new 
     projects whose topics include a clearly-defined activity that promotes education and  
     equity for women and girls. Two-year grants of $5,000-$10,000 will provide start-up 
     funds for longer-term programs that address the particular needs of the community 
     and develop girls' sense of efficacy through leadership or advocacy opportunities. 
     Special consideration will be given to projects focused on K-12 and community        
     college girls' and women's achievements in science, technology, engineering, or 
     math (STEM). (Deadline January 15, 2015)

     Deadline: January 15, 2015     Letters About Literature (LAL) and the Center for the 
     Book in the Library of Congress 
     Up to $1,000 for students in grades 4-12 who write a 
     letter that explores an inspiring book, short story, poem, 
     essay, or speech.

3)  C - Span Student Cam
     Deadline: January 20, 2015
     Up to $5,000 for students in grades 6-312 (up to $1,000 for their schools) who create 

     winning video documentaries.

4)  Toshiba America Foundation GrantClassroom Innovators! Toshiba America 
     Foundation accepts applications from teachers who are passionate about making
     science and mathematics more engaging for their students. $5,000 is the grant 
     award amount (Deadline February 1, 2015)

5) P.E. Equipment Grants:
     Deadline: March 1, 2015     Batters Up USA
     Free baseball and softball equipment for local organizations serving youngsters up to 

     age 13.

6) Project WET Grants, Scholarships & Contests (January - March Deadlines)

7) Free Award Winning Go Gil Go!! Curriculum (Deadline Ongoing)

8) Grant Wrangler Database (Ongoing)

9) Power of Discovery Grant Database (Ongoing)

STEM Professional Development / Misc. / Events / Contest

1) Region 3's Commitment to Quality Expanded Learning Programs Conference 
    (January 26, 2015) ($25 per participant)

2) After School Gets Techie with Weebly (February 12, 2015) ($25 per participant)

3) SMUD: Chemical Reactions (Grades 5-12) (Free) (February 19, 2015)

4) SMUD: Project WET (Grades 4-12) (Free) (March 7, 2015)

5) SCOE: Project WET (Grades 4-12) (Free) March 3 Day 1 and March 10 Day 2)

6) California STEM Summit 2015 (L.A. March 16 and 17, 2015)

7) SMUD: Chemical Reactions (Grades 5-12) (Free) (March 19, 2015)

8) SMUD: Energy and Me!! (Grades Pre K- 3) (Free) (March 21, 2015)

Thanks again for all that you do in the field. Please keep us posted about STEM events/activities in your area. Please feel free to contact us at any time.

Monica Gonzalez-Williams (SCOE: Region 3: After School Regional Lead):

Phil Romig: (SCOE: Science Curriculum Specialist):

Mark Drewes: (SCOE: Project Specialist II: After School):


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