Friday, April 10, 2015

After School STEM News for the Month of April

NGSS: Things to Know for April

1) Achieve and Teaching Channel collaborated to produce four videos that present an
    overview of the key innovations in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    and a deeper dive into each of the NGSS' three dimensions (Science and Engineering 
    Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas).

2) Curious about how science education will change with NGSS? Check out this chart
    from the National Research Council's free downloadable report, Guide to Implementing
    the Next Generation Science Standards. Guide to Implementing the Next Generation 

3) NGSS Question of the Month: Some of my colleagues have just started to explore the
    NGSS. What are your recommendations for introducing them to the promise of these
    new standards?

    Answer: Many resources are available that can potentially give you a good start. First,
    you'll get a good overview by reading the executive summary (pages 1-4) of the
    Framework for K-12 Science_Education, upon which the NGSS is based. Then, you
    might consider watching this short video about how to read the standards and look at
    this related overview from the National Science Teachers Association.

4) Watch NSTA 2015 videos to see highlights from the recent National Science Teachers
     Association conference in Chicago, including this interview with Dr. Okhee Lee. Dr.
     Lee, who previously served on the NGSS Writing Team, discusses her work with the
     standards and shares ways to ensure a quality science education for diverse groups
     of students.

5) The Science and Engineering Practices in the NGSS (often called "practices") are not
     meant to be used interchangeably with the word "skills" (often interpreted as mastery
     of an activity or procedure). As stated in the chapter on practices in the Framework,
     "This chapter stresses the importance of developing students' knowledge of how
     science and engineering achieve their ends while also strengthening their competency
     with related practices…. We use the term "practices", instead of a term such as
     "skills," to stress that engaging in scientific inquiry requires coordination both of
      knowledge and skill simultaneously." (pg. 41)

     This point is best illustrated by an example: think about a student who is developing
     and using models (an NGSS science and engineering practice). In order to do this
     effectively, students need to:

  • Have a grade-appropriate understanding of what modeling is and how models are               developed and used (the necessary knowledge), and
  • Actually create and use the model (often seen as the "skill")

       It is when both students' knowledge and skills come together that they can
       successfully engage in the science and engineering practices in the NGSS.

6) New K-12 Science Standards Emphasize Hands-on Learning by Sanden Totten,
    Southern California Public Radio March 26, 2015

7) West Milford schools set sights on new science standards by David M. Zimmer, March 29, 2015

8) Planning Investigations in 7th Grade by David Grossman,
    March 8, 2015

Now lets take a closer look at and see how one after school program is engaging its
students in STEM learning activities.

Name of Out-Of-School-Time Provider: Wheatland School District - After School

Name of District: Wheatland School District

Grade Level of Activity: 4th thru 8th

Number of Students Who Took Part in The Activity: 80

Type of Activity: Maker Tub

Learner Outcomes - Students will: 

  • Be engaged in Project Based Learning Activities
  • Learn about criteria and constraints during a die cut challenge
  • Learn how to work collaboratively on a task
  • Take part in a learning activity that incorporates all five principles of LIAS
  • Learn how to engineer a tower that could support a toy animal
  • Learn about squishy circuits and about creating a series
  • Learn about Physics; Potential vs. Kinetic Energy
  • Use academic register during learning activities
  • Learn using the Engineer Design Process

Students work collaboratively while engineering a tower made of cards.

Students show off their tall card tower that they have just engineered.

Students engineer a foam marble roller coaster and learn about potential and kinetic energy.

STEM / Expanded Learning / and Other Pertinent Educational Articles

3) Parents Play A Vital Role in Molding Future Scientist report by
    George Mason University

4) Being Human: The First Step in STEM Education by Ritankar Das
    (Scientific American)

5) Technology and Just-In-Time Learning by John Katzman and Shay David

9) Q&A: Raising Kids Who Want to Read by Corey Turner (NPR) 

10) Using Humor in The Classroom by Maurice Elias (Edutopia)

      by Anna O'Brien (Edutopia) 

12) Preparing a Classroom Culture for Deeper Learning by Elizabeth Garcia (Edutopia)

13) Strategies for Helping Students Motivate Themselves by Larry Ferlazzo (Edutopia)

14) Kids on The Move (After School Alliance Executive Summary)

STEM (and other interdisciplinary core content) Activities / Videos / Websites / Podcast

1) Are your students thinking critically? (Podcast on Teacher Cast)

2) Improving Parent Communication (Podcast on Teacher Cast)

3) Learn how to record a podcast with your students (Podcast on Teacher Cast)

4) After School Radio
    (Radio programs produced about after school topics by After School Alliance)

5) Great American Artists for Kids: Hands-On Experiences (Grades 2-6th CASRC)

6) The True Sport Stories (Grades 4-12 CASRC)
     (Empower students with the knowledge and decision-making skills to understand
      proper nutrition and healthy methods for engaging in sports.)

7) Explore It Activities Page (Exploratorium)

8) Earth Day Lessons (Edutopia)

STEM / Educational Grants: 

1) Grant Wrangler STEM Grants

2) Grant Wrangler Health and PE Grants

3) Power of Discovery Grant Databases

4) Power of Discovery Funding Opportunities

5) CREEC Grant / Resource Database

6) Project WET Grant Database

STEM / Other Content Area Professional Development / Misc. / Events / Contest

1) Workshops at Elliott Ranch Elementary Computer Lab on 
    4/11/15 and 4/25/15 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Free)

2) Workshops at Arden Middle School Computer Lab on
    4/18/15 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Free)

3) Collaborative Conversations in After School Programs (CCSS) (Free: April 23)

4) 2015 Central Valley STEM Conference (April 25, 2015 from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM)

5) Managing the Environment, Behavior Guidance, and Discipline (Free: April 27)

6) ConnectEd Studios: Hunger Games Challenge (Deadline: May 1, 2015)

7) Principles of LIAS: What Does It Look Like? (Free: May 6)

8) Social Emotional Learning (Free: May 7)

9) CalSac presents the Afterschool Challenge Registration Available (May 11-12, 2015)

10) Project WET Advanced Training (Free: May 11 and 18, 2015)

11) Skillastics Physical Activities (Free: May 2, 2015)

12) Techbridge STEM Activities (Free: May 3, 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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