NJSTA Maitland P. Simmons Memorial Award

2024 Summer Institute

      OpenSciEd High School Curriculum Launch  

Calling all teachers of High School Physics!
Limited openings for High School Biology and Chemistry teachers!

OpenSciEd (OSE) is a free and open curriculum resource that brings science to life with phenomenon-based storylines, hands-on science investigations and engineering design projects aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The specifications integrate the three-dimensions of science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas.

The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) has collaborated with OSE to develop the instructional materials for the NJDOE’s High School Model Science Curriculum in biology, chemistry, and physics. This summer, the NJSTA Maitland P. Simmons Memorial Award (MPSMA) Committee is excited to sponsor this professional development opportunity for high school science educators and will now give preference for admission to those teaching High School Physics.

This is a whole new way of thinking about science and teaching. For example, in Physics, what about teaching matter, energy, and forces all together? And through the lens of phenomena such as why power outages happen and why the African continent is breaking apart?! It is great for student engagement and hits all NGSS standards.

This immersive professional learning experience will deepen teacher knowledge in the OpenSciEd instructional model selecting your choice of one of three subject-specific units:

Biology Unit B.1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, Dynamics

Chemistry Unit C.1 Thermodynamics in Earth’s Systems

Physics Unit P.1 Energy Flow from Earth’s Systems

For more information about the OpenSciEd instructional model and resources, please click on the logo.


For further information about the MPS Memorial Award Summer Institute, please contact

Cheryl Zanone njstasimmons@gmail.com.


Audience: Teachers and Leaders of High School Science (Grades 9-12)

This four-day Institute will take place June 24–27, 2024.

Scholars who are accepted must commit to attend each full day of the program.

Workshop Model: Hybrid

Location and Dates:

LIVE Day 1
Monday, June 24 from 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. in the NJ Center for Science, Technology and Mathematics at Kean University, Union, NJ. Light breakfast and lunch will be served.

Virtual Days 2-4
Tuesday, June 25, through Thursday, June 27 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

NJ OpenSciEd Facilitators: Dr. Mariel Kolker (Physics), Dr. May Jean Cheah (Chemistry), and Dr. Marisa Castronova (Biology)

Sponsor: The Institute is supported by the NJSTA Maitland P. Simmons Memorial Award (MPSMA) Endowment which covers ALL Institute costs for those who attend the full 4-day Institute. Participants, known as MPSMA Scholars, will also receive upon completion of the 4-day Institute:

1. One-day admission to the October 2024 New Jersey Science Convention

2. Certificate for 19 Professional Development hours.

3. Follow up support for NJSTA members throughout the year at the virtual NJSTA OpenSciEd PLC.

Join NJSTA for $25 at https://njsta.org/Join-us.

Successful applicants will be notified by May 1, 2024. After May 1, any additional remaining spaces will be filled on a rolling basis and/or a waitlist will be used.

Applications for the 2024 Institute are now closed. Please look for our 2025 Institute announcement in October. 

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