News 2020-21

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  • 18 Jan 2021 6:09 PM | NJSTA (Administrator)

    College (& High School) Chemistry During COVID: What Works, What Doesn't, and What I Need Help With!

    Monday, January 25th @ 7 pm

    This free webinar and panel discussion features Award-Winning Faculty who are teaching in person, on-line, and in hybrid settings. All science faculty are welcome to attend as most of the strategies can be transferred across science disciplines.  

    During the webinar, we will share labs that students can do at home, labs with virtual lab partners and discuss evidence-based strategies that work (and those that don't).  We will show you how to use programs like Nearpod®, PearDeck®, edpuzzle® and others, to check for understanding as well as sharing and viewing student data in a socially distanced way.  We are also excited to hear about the great things you are doing in your class to maintain the rigor of a college chemistry course in these challenging times.

    Click here to register:

    Meet your Presenters:

    Samantha Ramaswamy is the AP Chemistry teacher at Penn-Trafford High School in a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA where she is also the sponsor of the Science National Honor Society. She has taught every level of chemistry from academic up through AP. This year, Penn-Trafford High School runs on a hybrid schedule, with half of the student body attending every other day while the rest remain online. Sam earned her Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Purdue University and then her Masters degree in Science Education from Montana State University. Outside of the classroom, she is the president of the Pennsylvania Science Teachers Association and a teacher leader of APTeach where she is working to create a more collaborative network of science teachers.


    Michele Whitecraft is a dynamic teacher, lecturer and researcher. She takes a holistic interdisciplinary approach to education and is actively involved in advancing women and minorities in science. She has been the recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Secondary Science Education, the Tandy Scholar Teacher Award, and the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education, among others. From her unique research and consulting experiences with the:

    ●        Department of Energy;

    ●        National Science Foundation;

    ●        National Institutes for Environmental Health Science;

    ●        National Institutes of Health;

    and National Aeronautics Space Association, Michele has designed science curricula with real world experiments ranging from her work on the International Experimental Thermonuclear Reactor at Princeton to the artificial transmutation of the transuranium elements at UC Berkeley. Michele’s experiences with these national organizations and research projects have inspired her desire to help advance women and minorities in all scientific endeavors. Michele has been a member of the:

    ●        American Chemical Society;

    ●        American Association for the Advancement of Science;

    ●        Society of Women Engineers;

    ●        American Association of University Women;

    ●        Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development;

    ●        National Association of Research in Science Teaching;

    ●        National Science Teaching Association;

          Pennsylvania Science Teaching Association (Current Board


    •      Tompkins Cortland Community College Teaching Center

         (Current Board Member).          

    With more than 35 years' experience in teaching high school and college chemistry, Michele has authored several monographs and book chapters to enhance science education nation-wide and presented at several national and international conferences. She has publications in BioScience, Journal of Nuclear Materials, Human Ecology, The International Journal of Agriculture, Chemistry in Action and The Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics. Michele was an Education Policy Fellow for Pennsylvania from 2017-2018. Michele earned her master’s degree from Bloomsburg University and her doctorate from Cornell. She is currently an adjunct concurrent enrollment chemistry liaison and chemistry instructor at Tompkins Cortland Community College and a science education professor at Mansfield University.


    Registration link:

  • 10 Jan 2021 8:36 PM | NJSTA (Administrator)

    The COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in widespread and ongoing changes to how the K-12 education system functions, including disruptions to science teaching and learning environments. Students and teachers are all figuring out how to do schooling differently, and districts and states are working overtime to reimagine systems and processes. This is difficult and stressful work in the middle of the already stressful and sometimes traumatic backdrop of the global pandemic. In addition, students with disabilities, students of color, immigrants, English learners, and students from under-resourced communities have been disproportionately affected, both by the pandemic itself and by the resulting instructional shifts.

      Teaching K-12 Science and Engineering During a Crisis aims to describe what high quality science and engineering education can look like in a time of great uncertainty and to support practitioners as they work toward their goals. This book includes guidance for science and engineering practitioners - with an emphasis on the needs of district science supervisors, curriculum leads, and instructional coaches. Teaching K-12 Science and Engineering During a Crisis will help K-12 science and engineering teachers adapt learning experiences as needed to support students and their families dealing with ongoing changes to instructional and home environments and at the same time provide high quality in those experiences.

    The book is available for free as a PDF download. The Interactive Summary is a good first stop for busy educators.

    National Academies Press Book Announcement

  • 9 Jan 2021 3:35 PM | NJSTA (Administrator)

    5th- 8th grade subject area teachers that may be interested in participating in the FREE Panasonic Student Eco Citizenship Project with their students.

    This exciting FREE project will guide 5th-8th-grade students across New Jersey as they:

    1. Define environmental issues
    2. Create actions to help solve the issue
    3. Apply actions in their community to help solve the problem
    4. Evaluate actions conducted and share the results

    Student teams will be able to submit an Eco Diary into the New Jersey competition. Winners and their teachers will receive recognition and prizes provided by Panasonic. 

  • 21 Dec 2020 3:39 PM | NJSTA (Administrator)

    Student Sustainability Summit Call for Entries K – 12 Student Essay or Video Competition 
    “What can we do for environmental sustainability?” 
    (800 words or less) OR Video (3 minutes or less) for students in grades K – 12 
    Register Now! 
     The deadline for submissions is 5 pm on January 8, 2021. Finalists will be announced no later than February 1, 2021

  • 14 Dec 2020 9:15 PM | NJSTA (Administrator)

    OpenSciEd Teacher Workshop Series. 
    This is a 5-part series; each topic will be offered twice.

    For information about visit OpenSciEd

    Topic: Fostering Productive Classroom Norms
    Dates: January 27, 2021, or February 3, 2021
    Description: During this session, educators will gain deeper insight into the characteristics of effective classroom norms as exemplified by OpenSciEd’s Classroom Norms. Participants will explore the importance of classroom norms as the foundation for a productive learning environment for their students.

    Topic: Leading an Anchoring Phenomenon Routine
    Dates: February 24, 2021, or March 3, 2021
    Description: During this session, educators will gain more in-depth insight into the use of an anchoring phenomenon as a component of effective science instruction as exemplified by OpenSciEd’s Anchoring Phenomenon Routine. Participants will explore the importance of science phenomena as the catalyst for science teaching and learning.

    Topic: Facilitating the OpenSciEd Navigation Routine
    Dates: March 24, 2021, or March 31, 2021
    Description: During this session, educators will gain a deeper understanding of practices that encourage more effective student sense-making, as exemplified by OpenSciEd’s Navigation Routine. Participants will discuss what a classroom looks like when student understanding is central.

    Topic: Supporting Student Discourse in Science
    Dates: April 21, 2021, or April 28, 2021
    Description: During this session, educators will gain a deeper understanding of the benefits and characteristics of effective student discourse as exemplified by OpenSciEd’s 3 Discussion Types. Participants will focus on the importance of student discourse in sense-making and explore discussion strategies.

    Topic: Planning for OpenSciEd Implementation
    Dates: May 19, 2021, or May 26, 2021
    Description: During this session, educators will consider how to prepare for implementing OpenSciEd in their classrooms. Participants will receive a comprehensive overview of OpenSciEd’s design specifications to inform their planning.

    Register HERE

  • 14 Dec 2020 9:09 PM | NJSTA (Administrator)

    AGI Offers Award for K-8 Earth Science Teaching

    The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) invites science educators to enter its upcoming award competition, the 2021 Edward C. Roy Jr. Award for Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching.

    Given annually, this award is presented to one teacher of students ranging from kindergarten through grade eight in the United States or Key stages 1-3 in the United Kingdom. The award recognizes leadership and innovation in Earth science education.

    Entrants are asked to submit an application packet including a curriculum vitae or resume, letters of recommendation, an essay, and an exemplary Earth system science lesson plan, preferably that they have implemented in their instruction. Submissions are stronger if they address current trends in Earth science education, which this year may include ways that the teacher has effectively adapted instruction to address pandemic conditions, though this is not required.

    The winner of the Roy Award will receive a monetary prize of $2,500 and a travel grant of up to $1,000 to attend the upcoming National Science Teaching Association National Conference in Chicago, April 8-11, 2021. To be eligible, applications must be submitted by January 20, 2021.

    The award is given in honor of Dr. Edward C. Roy Jr., a strong and dedicated supporter of Earth science education. For more information on requirements, application procedures, and deadlines, please visit and/or view a brief webcast at Questions may be directed to

    About AGI
    The American Geosciences Institute (AGI), a federation of scientific and professional associations representing over a quarter-million geoscientists, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to serving the geoscience community and addressing the needs of society. AGI headquarters are in Alexandria, Virginia.

    AGI Contact:
    Geoff Camphire, Communications

  • 14 Dec 2020 9:06 PM | NJSTA (Administrator)

    Nobel Breakthroughs

    Wednesday, December 16
    9:00 a.m. PST | Noon EST

    On October 6, 2020, UCLA Professor Andrea Ghez won a Nobel Prize in Physics for her discovery of a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy. The next day, UC Berkeley Professor Jennifer Doudna won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of CRISPR-Cas9, a powerful genome editing breakthrough that allows scientists to rewrite DNA in any organism, including human cells. UCLA Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Emily A. Carter, a distinguished scientist and member of the National Academy of Sciences, welcomes the two Nobel laureates to discuss the science behind their discoveries, their current research, how they achieved world-class research results and the significance of their Nobel Prizes for women and youth who have a passion for science.

    Closed captioning will be available in English and Spanish.


    Those who RSVP will receive a confirmation email with a link to tune in.

    To watch past conversations, please visit

    For inquiries:

  • 14 Dec 2020 8:45 PM | NJSTA (Administrator)

    On Feb. 18, NASA will attempt to land a new rover on the surface of Mars. We invite students of all ages, educators, parents, campers, museums and other institutions to participate in the adventure of this historic landing. NASA has created a STEM Education Toolkit with links to the “Mission to Mars Student Challenge” to lead students in designing their own Mars mission, plus activities, lessons, interactives, social media and more to allow classrooms, families, and individuals to ride along. In addition, there will be a series of programs broadcast for educators and students in the days and weeks leading up to landing. As always, we welcome this opportunity to include diverse learners in the NASA family.

    Here are some of the particulars:

    • Named Perseverance and carrying a helicopter named Ingenuity, this car-sized rover is designed to search for signs of ancient microbial life and collect samples of Mars for return to Earth.
    • Landing events will be broadcast live on February 18 starting at about 11:00 AM PST/2:00 PM EST in English and Spanish with touchdown at about 12:55 PM PST/3:55 PM EST.  Watch live.
    • Your one-stop shop for extensive Perseverance education and public engagement materials and resources is the #CountdownToMars Mars 2020 STEM Toolkit.
    • Learn all about the “Mission to Mars Student Challenge” launching in January. The challenge culminates on Feb. 18, when students can land their missions along with the Perseverance Mars rover! Participants will also have the opportunity to join live stream Q&As with NASA experts and submit student work and questions for the landing day broadcast.
    • Find the schedule for televised educational events in advance of landing day at the Challenge and Toolkit sites and at Mars Watch Online.
    • Would you like a preview? Perseverance will be following much the same path as the Curiosity rover did in 2012. Watch Curiosity’s “Seven Minutes of Terror!” video.

  • 21 Nov 2020 11:57 AM | NJSTA (Administrator)

    We are excited to invite New Jersey to select two graduating high school seniors to attend the 2021 National Youth Science Camp (NYSCamp). 

    Traditionally, the NYSCamp ( has been a residential STEM program designed to honor and challenge some of the nation’s rising STEM leaders and provide them with opportunities to engage with STEM professionals and participate in exciting outdoor activities. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the National Youth Science Foundation (NYSF) cancelled the in-residence portion of the 2020 camp and instead hosted an entirely virtual NYSCamp experience for 2020 delegates ( Due to ongoing concerns about the pandemic, and taking into account the safety of our 2021 delegates, the Board of Trustees of the NYSF has elected to again cancel the in-residence portion of the 2021 NYSCamp and host a second virtual camp experience. The 2021 Camp will run from Monday June 28 to Wednesday July 21. Even with the virtual nature of the camp, delegates are expected to participate daily in camp activities for the entire duration of camp. The NYSCamp is offered to selected participants at NO COST so that talented students may attend regardless of their financial ability. 

    Please share this website with applicants:

    For more information, please visit our web sites at and

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