We Win Success by Failing.

I’m bored with talking about success. By any metric, I’ve had the good fortune to enjoy a lot of success in my career as an educator. But I also fail a lot. And I know that I’m not alone. Failure is a significant part of educating kids. I don’t mean kids failing (hopefully that’s pretty diminished), I mean teachers failing to do the things they try to do. Things not working as planned. Mistakes being made. This kind of failure is more than just a thing that happens sometimes, it’s a significant part of the job. And it’s totally normal and expected.

So why do we hide it?

If you look at any public collection of educators, you’ll quickly see that discussion of success is much more common than conversations about failure. Any look at the #eduTwitter-scape or any of the Facebook groups for teachers is basically a wall-to-wall display of success. Kids doing amazing work. Teachers trying new things, and being delighted with the results. Everything working out exactly as planned (or even better than that). Which is lovely, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s not particularly reflective of the reality of teaching. Teaching is hard creative work, and like all hard creative work, people fail a lot.

The issue is even more glaring in science education, where teachers teach a field of endeavor that proceeds by failing. The central role of falsification in the scientific process is so essential that only presenting success not only warps perceptions of reality; it can distort our very understanding of it. And yet, we still pretend like things succeed in our classes more than they fail.

It’s easy to understand why this is the case. Generally speaking, people want to be perceived at their best, and for most people, their “best” is not when things they are trying to do aren’t working. It takes a degree of confidence to be willing to show one’s posterior on a regular basis. But in my experience, giving failure a public perch leads to a level of improvement in practice and product that is just not possible if all you talk about is success. Learning is nothing if not all about correction.

Assuming you agree with the above, the question becomes how to build a place for failure in your public life. I won’t pretend to have all of the answers, but I do have a few ideas that have worked well for me:

  1. Keep everything in Beta. Beta testing refers to the practice in technology development wherein a working, imperfect, version of a product is turned over to a large group of people to use. This everyday usage then provides the developers with a list of imperfections that would otherwise remain undiscovered if the developers were the only ones doing the product-testing. This philosophy is easily applied to education. The work that teachers do and the materials they create should live in a state of constant beta testing. By taking the default stance that work is imperfect, there is less discomfort when the imperfections in that work are discovered. Of course, this type of thinking is only helped by a willingness to make your work available to a vast professional learning network under pretty open terms of usage. Fortunately, in the modern era of easy-to-build webspace and free to distribute licensing, it’s trivial to set up a system wherein you can be a perennial beta tester. All it requires is a willingness to do it.

  2. Keep a Resume of Failures. I first discovered the concept of the resume of failures when I read this article. The example resumes that it included lead me to put up my own. I think more people should do this, and I hope that doing so on my end leads some of the tens of thousands of people who interact with myself and my digital footprint every year to realize that failing is a large part of why I’ve had the career that I’ve had. Who I am as an educator, and what I do is arguably much more a result of the failures that I’ve had in my career than it is of my successes1.

  3. Reflect on failures (and successes). I am a huge fan of reflective practice. My reflection tends to happen in public spaces. I find a lot of value in thinking aloud if for no other reason than that it invites correctives from a maximal number of wise minds. But even if a public airing of your reflective practice isn’t something that appeals to you, the act of reflecting itself is invaluable for learning from your experiences. There are a variety of tools that you can use to help you reflect, ranging from a notebook, a simple .txt file, or something a little more formal like 750Words or a blog. However you do it, the trick is to make sure that you actually stick to a routine of regularly engaging in reflection on the work that you are doing with the understanding that the purpose of that reflection is not to whinge about imperfection, but instead to think about how to improve.

These are three relatively easy ways to build a space for considering failure into your professional life. As always, it might be too much to try to do all three of the above at the same time. But the point isn’t to do everything that’s suggested (or even anything that’s suggested). Instead, it’s to work to make a space in your working life for acknowledging that however good we are as educators, however fortunate we have been in our work, we still fail a lot.

The Times They Are A-changing…

“Come gather around people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
And if your breath to you is worth saving
Then you better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changing”

– Bob Dylan

While the lyrics above may sound a bit ominous, they are also something to consider! It is an exciting time in New York State for science education…but it can also be an overwhelming time! When I started teaching high school science in 1985, communication was much more limited than now. The internet was not readily available, cell phones and text messaging had not yet been developed. For new teachers, developing lessons could be an overwhelming and isolating task. I was fortunate to start my career with a colleague that was more than willing to collaborate and was able to work with her to plan new lessons and work out the “kinks” as I began my teaching career.

As we begin the transition to NYSSLS and three-dimensional teaching and learning, the shifts in our classroom can be difficult to navigate alone. While some districts are actively working to begin the shifts, others are moving forward more slowly. If you are fortunate enough to work closely with a collegial department, you may have the support needed to begin to convert your lessons. For those of us that are the only discipline-specific teacher or work in a less than perfect department, there is a need to find resources and effective means of networking. The internet is a wealth of resources and information, but there is nothing like collaboration with another teacher to ease the burden of lesson-planning and gain professional expertise!

NOW is the perfect time to consider joining STANYS and encouraging your colleagues to join as well! STANYS has been at the forefront of providing professional development opportunities directly related to incorporating the new standards into classroom practice. The annual conference in November is only one of many opportunities. The Suffolk section has also provided local conferences for the past several years and is actively seeking ideas for providing the best possible support and professional development for its members. Membership has its benefits including:

the opportunity to network with science teachers across the state
reduced cost of attendance at conferences a chance to have your voice heard in science education concerns in NYS publications that will increase your awareness of issues concerning science educators reduced joint cost of membership in NSTA

We are looking for your input and feedback! Involvement at the local level of STANYS is an ideal way to learn more about NYSSLS and to increase your professional network of enthusiastic teachers. In this time of change, STANYS can be the support that you are looking for. If you are already a member, try to commit to attending a meeting or a conference to learn more about what we do. Approach your district for funds to attend the state conference. Encourage your colleagues, especially elementary teachers, to consider joining! If you are not a member, follow the link below to join! (Membership in the state level includes membership in the section level.)

Join STANYS Today!

Elementary Science Transition to NYSSLS

Having spent a career teaching high school science, I am now engaged with the world of elementary science. The adoption of the New York Science P-12 Science Learning Standards (NYSSLS) in December 2016 has apparently rejuvenated interest in elementary science. Recently retired (meaning time on my hands?) and involved with the transition to our new science standards based on A Framework for K-12 Science Education and NGSS, I was drawn into professional development opportunities. I’ve learned a lot about how students should learn science, reasons to shift to significant core ideas, how to incorporate engineering, provide meaningful hands-on experiences, and engage with phenomena. These standards should address the needs of all students, incorporate real-world scenarios and when possible be community-based. What really excites me the most about the NYSSLS is the impact this will have on our youngest learners.

The hours spent with our elementary colleagues has given me some insight into their challenges teaching science. Besides the many times that their students are involved in activities outside their classroom, most admit their world is driven by and focused on ELA and math. Teacher evaluation, APPR, and district initiatives typically don’t elevate science learning to the level it deserves. Many are lucky if they get a couple of hours a week of science. Unfortunately, some only do “science” by using the literacy-based science in the ELA domains and modules from www.engageny.org. I’ve seen a wide variety of programs with science “push-ins”, STEM specialists, family STEM nights, STEAM classrooms and varieties of publisher and BOCES kits. Even with that support, most admit science can be short-changed. Since the past standards outlined in Elementary Science Core Curriculum Grades K-4 isn’t grade banded, each district has been left to develop their own scope and sequence so there may be a lack of coherence or much repetition based on “favorite topics.” Students that transfer between districts and sometimes other schools within a district can miss important foundations of science literacy. Sometimes, it’s the grade 4 teachers have the primary responsibility of preparing the students for the Elementary-Level Science Test given in grade 4.

Our New York State P-12 Science Learning Standards is very different for our young learners. Grade banded P-5 with specific Performance Expectations gives teachers and curriculum designers guidance as to what students are expected to know and do at the end of instruction. Coherence is presented by the progressions in grade blocks of K-2, 3-5, MS and HS for the three dimensions (Disciplinary Core Ideas, Science and Engineering Practices, and Crosscutting Concepts). This means that students learning science using curriculums developed from the NYSSLS will experience increasing expectations in how they learn (Practices), what they learn (Core Ideas), and what they look for in the questions they ask (Crosscutting Concepts). Students are expected to construct their understandings by doing science. Much greater depth in learning occurs when the focus shifts from knowing about science to them figuring out about science.

Many elementary teachers admit to me that their students say science is their favorite subject but the teachers are looking for support. The teachers I’ve worked with are among the most pedagogically talented teachers. I have seen them run with a token of an idea and turn it into fun activities, make ELA connections, and be totally appropriate to their school community. The challenge for STANYS and the science specialists across New York is how to support the transition of elementary teachers into NYSSLS. I’ve worked as a life science consultant with teams of elementary teachers and other science specialists writing grade 1 and 2 for Science21 and I can admit it is very challenging. Many elementary teachers feel they lack the background and confidence to dive into developing curriculum for science. They also wonder what these standards will look like on the student assessment which can help when developing curriculum. Our elementary programs need a good curriculum that maintains fidelity with the intent of the new standards. The elementary teachers and administrators need the training to recognize materials that are aligned and provide constructivist learning opportunities. They should be aware of the limits of the science content in the NYSSLS so they’re not compelled to teach well beyond and be sure to address science literacy for all the students.

This is an exciting opportunity for our elementary colleagues to teach science and for students to experience science as a platform for interdisciplinary learning. It has been shown that students that learn science this way not only show significant gains in science but students of high needs subgroups exhibit high gains, and positive gains are also demonstrated in subjects other than science.* Districts need a plan, decide on resources, and provide the support for the transition to an NYSSLS based elementary science program. It’s time we take advantage of our young student’s natural inquisitiveness and sense of wonder as an opportunity to teach and for students to learn science.

*Smithsonian Science Education Center. (2015). The LASER Model: A Systemic and Sustainable Approach for Achieving High Standards in Science Education. Executive Summary. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution.

Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Seattle: Tales and Take-Aways from the West Coast

The Geological Society of America held their annual meeting in Seattle, WA, in late October. This year, I had the privilege of attending and presenting with a fellow New York State Master Teacher about training pre-service and in-service teachers to write and implement inquiry labs in an outdoor setting, in an Earth Science classroom. We had an amazing trip, saw and did a lot in our short time on the West Coast, and I have several take-aways to share.

Items I want to share, in no particular order:

  • Take advantage of excursions offered by conference planners. We thoroughly enjoyed the Foodie Tour of the Public Market (more commonly referred to as Pike Place Market). We enjoyed a variety of cuisines from creamy Greek yogurt to dungeness crab cakes, and the best New England clam chowder (yes, even though it’s on the West Coast, it is the national award winning recipe)! Our tour guide Heather was informative, dramatic at times, and gave a nice behind-the-scenes tour of this world famous location! Oh, and the “original” Starbucks is not actually the original…
  • The Sun shines in Seattle! A LOT!
  • The Seattle Monorail goes from downtown to the Space Needle in 90 seconds!
  • From the top of the Space Needle we saw the Olympic Mountains, the Cascades, Mt. Baker, Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens. It was a perfect day.
  • If I ever head back to the area, I would like to go and visit the Olympic Bike and Skate Shop, in Port Orchard, WA. You see, we met Fred Karakas, the shop’s owner atop the Space Needle. Fred is the MAN! He is a Vietnam veteran, leading a reunion of fellow vets to the Space Needle. With a background in biochemistry, Fred spent the better part of an hour teaching us how to get muscle cells to operate at their maximum level by completing his method of High Intensity Interval Training. We met Fred’s daughter, fighter pilot buddies, got a history of the entire area, saw him at lunch at The Collections Cafe, and ran into him again in the Chihuly Glass Gardens.
  • The ladies from Eastern Oregon deserve an award more so than their own bulleted section. These ladies are public school teachers who presented directly next to us. Their topic? The implementation of NGSS in Oregon public schools over the last four years. They have great ideas, and more importantly… they have experience in writing and implementing year’s worth of NGSS lessons! We are invited to Zoom with their planning group, and I cannot wait to learn from their expertise. Work smarter, not harder, people!
  • Great resources for implementing NGSS-aligned lessons include GETSI – GEodesy Tools for Societal Issues at: https://serc.carleton.edu/getsi/index.html and also InTeGrate – Interdisciplinary Teaching about Earth for a Sustainable Future at: https://serc.carleton.edu/integrate/index.html 
  • I am particularly interested in this from GETSI – Ice Mass and Sea Level Changes: https://serc.carleton.edu/getsi/teaching_materials/ice_sealevel/index.html 
  • It would be nice if there was a clearinghouse of sorts for people to share and save NGSS aligned lessons, for the rest of us to see, adapt, and share on a national level.
  • I need to join NAGT.
  • Dr. Lee is a professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. He is interested in working to promote better hydrogeology labs, and will share his expertise and an absolutely great artesian aquifer lab with us in the very near future!
  • There is a severe underrepresentation in geoscience education in the United States. We need to promote and develop geoscientists from all fields in the very near future. If not, the future of our nation may very well be in peril!

Here’s my view, looking south, from the Space Needle! Spectacular!

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Here’s my view, looking south, from the Space Needle! Spectacular!

IEP’s – Read them for an effective school year

Many general education teachers and new science teachers are being asked to teach special education students without support.  This is why I am here, to help, give tips tricks and support those who are given the difficult (but not impossible) task of teaching this diverse population of students the subject we all love.

As a science teacher, it is difficult to be on familiar terms with and understand which parts of the IEP are most important.  An IEP can be a very overwhelming document to read and dissect.  An IEP is the Individualized Education Plan that each special education student has.  No two documents are the same as no two students are the same.  The IEP became uniform in New York State 4 years ago.  This has made it much easier for students to go from school to school and the document is readily available.  Each part of the IEP is important, nevertheless some I have found to be more important in the teaching of science.

The first part of the IEP to give special attention to is the Academic Achievement, Functional Performance and Learning Characteristics often known as the (PLEPS).  This part of the IEP informs the teacher of the student’s academic strengths and weaknesses.  This part of the document will inform the teacher if the student has reading, vocabulary, mathematical or any other academic difficulties.  This is often where I find if the student can read independently or needs to be read to.

The next section to take a glance at is the Social Development section.  Due to the lab environment in many of our science classrooms it is important to discern how these students behave in social settings.  Many times, this section will let you know if the student is able or unable to work in cooperative learning groups. Below this section is the Physical Development section, which needs to be read to determine if the student requires any modifications in the lab setting.  Below Physical Development is the Management Needs section.  The section that important for the general education teacher are the Program Modifications that are located further in the IEP.

For the science teacher, the most important section to read and understand is the Supplementary Aids/Services and Program Modifications section of the IEP.  This section informs the educator what modifications the student needs on a daily, weekly or as needed basis.  Often this section explains if the student needs preferential seating, books on tape, copies of notes, refocusing and redirection, information broken into smaller parts, breaks, etc.  These modifications are imperative to the success of the student in the science classroom and the success of the student is dependent on receiving these modifications.   When on IEP direct, click the “Show details” and then the exact reason for the modification or how the modification needs to be given is shown.  This is a huge help in meeting the needs of students with disabilities because each one has their own set of needs and modifications.  What “special seating arrangements” means for one student may be different for another.  

Lastly, the section most general education teachers are familiar with is the Testing Accommodations section of the IEP.  This section explains what accommodations the student is entitled to for quizzes, tests and state assessments.  The IEP will explain how the accommodations should be given; for the example of “Extended time”, in the column “implementation recommendations” it will say 1.5X or 2.0X or Double time.  As the school year gets underway and you learn about your students if you feel that they are in need of another accommodation, do not hesitate to discuss it with the special education teacher, guidance counselor or school psychologist.  The input of the general education teacher is necessary for the success of the child and the coherent writing of an IEP.

All parts of the IEP are important to the success of each student and should be read and followed through.  For the science teacher and meeting the needs of the diverse population these I have highlighted are in my opinion the most important to help make the job a little easier and assist the students who already struggle.   If there is a part of the IEP that you do not understand, ask questions and inquire about the student.  As a special education science teacher it is always refreshing to have the general education teachers ask questions about their students, it shows you care and want to help them in any way that is possible.  Good Luck with the new school year! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Calling All Elementary Science Teachers: Building Great Science Units Around Phenomena

Wild Rabbit by Tim Felce

When we think of phenomena, we usually think of things that are big and dramatic, hence the expression, “that’s phenomenal!”  The biggest science phenomenon of the summer may have been the solar eclipse – huge and spectacular (unless you watched it from Long Island, in which case it may have felt like a bit of a tease).  The devastating hurricanes that came at the end of summer are also awe-inspiring (although devastating) phenomena.

But “phenomena” has a broader meaning.  In Next Generation science, a phenomenon doesn’t have to be big –it can be anything that sparks curiosity and makes us want to know more. A tiny ant carrying a larger insect, a drop of water clinging to a leaf, a magnified grain of sand are all phenomena that can be used to introduce science units because, more than anything, they can inspire us to ask questions like:  What is this? What is happening?  How does that happen? Can we change what is going on?   In Next Generation science, phenomena may or may not awe and amaze us, but they always make us wonder.

As elementary teachers we know all about getting kids to wonder – it’s a key part of our job.  Now, as we begin to introduce Next Generation units, we’ll be thinking very deliberately about phenomena that can anchor units as well as phenomena that can introduce particular lessons within those units.  The key is to choose phenomena that will get the students wondering, questioning, and lead us into investigations that allow them to discover core science concepts and make connections across disciplines.

Phenomena can be introduced as photographs, videos, demonstrations, sensory experiences; but the best may be those we bring students outside to directly observe.  For example: Rabbits are everywhere this fall.  Take young students outside to observe them!  Then show a photograph that highlights the ears.   This will generate lots of questions: Why do they have such big ears?  Do they hear better with those ears?  What if their ears were not so big?  This can be an excellent way to induce a grade 1 unit on sound, or a grade 4 unit on external structures of animals.   After the rain, take young students out to see earthworms on the pavement. Then do some digging and observe them in the soil.   This will generate lots of questions: Why do they come up from the ground when it rains?  Will they die on the pavement?  Will they drown in the water?  How do they move in the soil?  This can be a way to introduce a grade 3 unit on environment and survival, grade K unit on push and pull.

Getting outside provides us with an endless source of phenomena to grab student interest, generate excitement and elicit the kinds of questions we need in order to build understanding as our youngest students discover for themselves the amazing way our world works.  

Live the Science, Don’t Just Teach the Science

Over the years I have realized that there is more to teaching science than just sitting in a classroom.  We should live it.  The environment of Long Island has so much to offer.  There is something for each one of our disciplines, and all we have to do is look to our waters.  As a Professional Association of Diving Instructor (PADI) Dive instructor, I have been teaching students about the wonders of diving.   Being an AP Physics 2, Physics, Chemistry, and Living Environment teacher brings so much more to this activity.

My uncle Billy was an avid scuba diver.  I remember him telling me stories of all his diving adventures from around Long Island.   Because of him, I joined the diving club, Aquanuts, at the Hampton Dive Shop.  There I learned about so many other possible diving adventures to go on locally.  Often people think that scuba diving off of Long Island isn’t very good because visibility isn’t very good, but I learned that when you know where and when to dive there is so much to see and do.

As a first year AP Physics 2 teacher a lot of things dawned on me.   The unit I teach on fluids in AP physics 2 includes everything I teach in my “open water diver” and specialties of diving classes.  Once this realization hit me, I started applying many of the concepts of diving to AP physics 2.   Many of the demonstrations and discovery activities I use in the classroom where inspired by diving.  For example, my students calculate the amount of air required to generate buoyant force to lift things off the floor, they calculate the volume of a sealed bottle at different depths, and the students develop ideas about air consumption at depths.  Because of this, all summer I have been trying to develop labs where students can go on a field trip to the Dive Shop to test and discover these principles.   I want the students to learn from real life action in the pool.   I want the students to model the phenomena and discover and explain what is happening.

Educators should explore their curiosity and try something new.   Find a dive shop and experience what you teach.   The more you experience the better you will become as an educator.   For example last year I dove the Oregon wreck.  On March 14, 1886, the Oregon collided with another ship and sank to the bottom of around 100-foot depth just off the coast of Fire Island.   She was the fastest ship of her day using sails and steam engine.   Before the dive, I was told that all that was left was a three story high steam engine and boilers.   I did not think there would be much to see.   During my plunge into the Atlantic, the steam engine came into sight in all of her majesty.   Then I spent the next 3o minutes or so lost in all of the biology and wonders hidden in all of the nooks and crannies.  I was getting lost in the science and thinking of the history and people who were on that ship that fateful day.

Image result for oregon wreck dive

Related image

Another dive was of the USS San Diego.  On July 19, 1918, the Sand Diego was sunk by German Submarine U- 156 just south of Fire Island and was the only major ship lost during WW1.   She sits upside down on a sandy bottom at about 100-foot depth.  The dive was awesome and visibility was about 40 feet.   This ship has been underwater for about a 100 years and my curiosity got the best of me once again.   The holes that Mother Nature put in her gave me great areas to look inside and see the life of that now calls her home.

Shipwreck USS San Diego

Wrecks are not the only things to see locally when diving.  The Ponqugue Bridge provides a beach dive that offers so much ecology and goes a max of 30-foot depth.  Right at Shinnecock inlet, you can spend 40 minutes underwater and your wonder and amazement will grow.  Just to see how all of the creatures interact and how they hide and even the human impact of the environment and the symbiotic relationship that exist between humans and sea life.  The two bridges offer a home to the sea life.   They are attracted there for the food source and protection they offer.   Including the utility cable that lies on the floor of the canal.   You will find more and more hiding places for sea life.   The more I dive the site the more I find.

Image result for ponquogue bridge

Some of the fun is investigating the areas that you are going to explore.  There is so much history just sitting there on the sea floor.   I try to learn about the history before I dive the location.   I do this to pre plan my activity for safety, but also to learn where a ship had been, what people were on that ship and how that ship came to meet the sea floor.   If I did not dive our local stores I would never know of the German Submarines, artificial reefs and other ships that went down for various reasons.   It is so interesting to learn about the history and to compare the original diagrams of the ship to what they look like now.

What I am trying to say is that it’s great to venture out of the classroom not just in field trips but rejuvenate our love of the subject.   Try something new each summer vacation to get out of your comfort zone to feel more alive.  The more you learn and experience and the more ways you will have to provide the information to the students.  For more information please email me and if you have any ideas for labs you would like to see developed.   Also if you would like to set up an experience or get your certification please let me know.

Bibliography
http://njscuba.net/

Registration Information for the STANYS Fall Regional Science Conference at Hofstra

In order to register for the conference at Hofstra on Monday, October 16th, participants have three options:

Option A: Online Registration via Credit Card

Participants would be able to choose their workshop preferences while they register, on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that the online registration is not currently supported by mobile devices.

Option B: Registration by Purchase Order

School districts are encouraged to call Hofstra University in order to discuss the purchase order process (516-463-5750). The registration form below (Form A) must be used by each participant on the purchase order in order to provide workshop preferences and must be included when the purchase order is submitted to Hofstra. All purchase orders and workshop registration forms must be faxed together to 516-463-6006. Again, workshop registration preferences will be entertained on a first-come, first-served basis.

Option C: Registration by Phone

Individual participants that would like to register by phone can call Hofstra University (516-463-5750). Registrants would email or fax the registration form below (Form B) after registering over the telephone.

FORM A – STANYS FALL REGIONAL SCIENCE CONFERENCE

FORM B – STANYS FALL REGIONAL SCIENCE CONFERENCE – PHONE REGISTRATION

STANYS State Conference – More Change is Coming!

Science education in NYS is changing, so is the annual State Conference in Rochester!

Come join us November 4th through November 6th, as we roll out workshops focused on the transition to the new New York State Science Learning Standards (NYSSLS). In addition to these several workshops, the Directors-at-Large have collaborated with Subject Area Representatives (SARs) from each section from all over the state to develop half-day institutes that will immerse participants in three-dimensional style teaching and learning.

One noted change that you may observe as you register is the openness of the registration process. Besides the half-day institutes, breakfasts/luncheons, and the Paul Andersen Monday Institute, all workshops will be open enrollment for you to pick and choose your sessions using the official conference app. You must formally register for the three special events (institutes, Paul Andersen, and breakfasts/luncheons), but let your feet guide you to whichever other workshops you may be interested in. For example, if you are inspired by the Chemistry Institute Saturday morning and would like to learn more about chemistry phenomena, you are now free to change your entire conference schedule to find workshops that would meet this new need. You are no longer locked in to particular workshops, so the possibilities are endless!

Please be sure to visit the conference website to view the workshops. The conference app will be pushed out to registrants in early October to start building your custom schedule!

Many of the tried and true events are still happening, like the Wards Giveaway and the Wine and Cheese Reception, so come join us for three days of fun (and a little bit of learning too)!

Looking for Some Phenomenal Phenomena & Ideas on Designing Assessments?

Here are a couple of databanks of NGSS-related phenomena that teachers from various regions of the country have put together. If you find some more, feel free to include those links in the comment section!

Georgia Science Teachers Association: GSE Phenomena Bank

San Diego Schools: #ProjectPhenomena

TJ McKenna: Phenomena for NGSS

EDUConsulting: NGSS Phenomena Resources

With the phenomena, come the assessments. Check out the NGSS Task Formats to see some ideas on how to develop NGSS-style assessments.

News and Notes for the STANYS Suffolk Section