News 2021-22

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  • 6 Jan 2022 10:33 AM | NJSTA (Administrator)


    The Foundation for Health Advancement is accepting applications for the next cycle of its Middle and High School STEM Grant Program

    Grants of up to $2,500 will be provided to support innovative STEM programs in middle and high schools throughout New Jersey that increase students' knowledge and experiences in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. 

    We understand how important it is for students to continue to learn and stay motivated during the pandemic. The Foundation for Health Advancement hopes that teachers will utilize this grant program to fund initiatives that build excitement for STEM topics and careers. 


    Who Can Apply?


    STEM faculty members and STEM clubs supported by faculty members at public or private middle and high schools in New Jersey are eligible to apply.  Note: Schools must have a 501(c)(3) foundation in order to accept the grant. 


    Easy Application Process!


    The online application is short, simple and limited to a maximum of 500 words. Click here for the program guidelines and grant application.


    Important Dates:


    Application deadline: March 1, 2022 

    Selected projects will be announced by March 31, 2022

    Projects must be completed by June 30, 2023



    The Foundation for Health Advancement supports New Jersey researchers and students who are developing cures for diseases and solutions to health-related needs. Our programs grow new science-based businesses in collaboration with New Jersey-based research institutions and inspire students to pursue STEM majors and careers. 



  • 6 Jan 2022 10:29 AM | NJSTA (Administrator)


    The Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest empowers 5th grade students to advocate for an endangered or threatened species from New Jersey through a well-researched, creative essay and original art piece.


    Simple, Fun, and Free to Enter!


    Students may enter the contest with their class,

    or on their own at home!


    One winner from each county in New Jersey will be selected.


    Open to all New Jersey fifth grade students.


    Entries are being accepted through February 14, 2022.

    Download the 2022 Contest Kit
    Visit the Species On The Edge webpage


  • 22 Nov 2021 8:42 AM | NJSTA (Administrator)

    I am a Scientist Project (FREE ONLINE RESOURCE)

    By Megan Maddalena


    If someone asked you to describe what a scientist looks like, what are some of the first things that come to your mind? When I asked my students this question, many of their answers were very similar. If I were to summarize their responses into one it would be, “An older white male wearing a long white lab coat that sometimes has crazy white hair working in a lab.” This is a common stereotype of what scientists look like and I would wager that your description was probably not very far off from the ones my students gave me. 

    There are many issues with this stereotype and two of them stand out to me as being particularly detrimental to young students who are learning about different scientific concepts. One is implicitly telling students that if you want to work in science then you will always be cooped up in a lab researching and performing tests. The other, which is arguably more detrimental especially with ongoing calls for more diversity and inclusion in STEM careers, implies that most if not all scientists are white males. 

    As a science teacher, I know that not all of my students will go into STEM careers, however, it is my goal to let my students know that careers in STEM fields are not closed off to them simply because of their race or gender identity. I also want to broaden my student’s idea of what a workday in the life of a scientist can look like and it does not always involve working in a lab. Scientists that are currently working in all different scientific fields are more diverse than students might expect, but they need to be exposed to that diversity of people and research topics in order to realize that. This is where the “I am a Scientist Initiative” comes in. 

    The objective of the initiative is to “bring the science and stories of real-life researchers to classrooms nationwide”. This initiative has an amazing website full of FREE resources to help teachers introduce students to diverse, practicing scientists, in all different fields of research in STEAM careers. The site highlights individual scientists and goes into some detail about their childhood, schooling, hobbies & interests that they have outside of science, and of course what they research. The website alone has many great resources that can be used to create lessons for your students. I have come up with 3 different example lessons or projects you can do with your students that highlight this website. There is also a bonus example that can be used for young elementary grade levels. I myself have done examples 1 & 2 with my classes during previous school years and am continuing to do so this year. Example 1 was early on in the school year and Example 2 was right before and after winter break. All of the examples are great options or you can utilize the resources in any way that works best for you & your students in your classroom! 

    Example Lesson 1: Breaking the Stereotype & Exposure to the Scientists

    When I first introduced the students to the I am a Scientist website it was really a 1-day lesson just to get them to recognize the stereotypes of scientists when portrayed in the media or even the ones that are talked about in our history. I showed them this video to kick off the lesson. It got them thinking about the stereotypes around scientists and it also got them to realize they did not really know of any current practicing scientists. 

    I then showed students the Scientists Story Kits on the website and how to navigate between the different scientists. “The Slides” is a great option for students to use when looking at any one scientist in particular as it breaks down that scientist’s life story and what they research in a simple and digestible way. 

    After I showed them how to navigate through the different scientists I gave them some time to browse the ones that stood out to them to read more about them. Before they started browsing, I made sure they knew their goal was to read about at least 3 different scientists and decide to highlight 1 that stood out to them the most. 

    I had students complete a Google Form reflection to tell me about the scientists they read about, who stood out to them the most and why, and if anything was surprising about any of the scientists they read about. You can also have students share out in small groups so students can hear about other scientists or can share together if they read about the same one. 

    Example Lesson 2: What do they study & Who stands out to you?

    This example is a 1-day class activity that leads into a small project. The project can be scaled up easily for higher grade levels or if you want the project to last a longer length of time. 

    The 1-day activity portion of this example is a jigsaw lesson to have students investigate what each of the scientists on the website actually studies. Some students might find what a particular scientist studies to be quite interesting, however, they might not realize it without taking a look first. This activity is meant to have students work together and divide and conquer. 

    All students should receive a copy of a worksheet (digital or physical) that lists all of the different scientists’ names and the short term used to describe their research field on the main Scientist Story Kits Page. For example, the first person on the list is Noor Al-Alusi and she is an Epidemiologist. Some students might know what an epidemiologist is depending on the grade level but a majority likely have no idea that she studies the spread of diseases in communities (quite relevant to everything currently going on in our world right now). 

    Each student should look up a few different scientists (this will vary depending on your individual classes and the grade level of your students). Once students have filled in the scientists they were responsible for they will come back to their group and share their answers. By the end, all students should have a complete worksheet that lists each scientist and a simple explanation for what they study. 

    This can then lead to a small project. You can have students select 1 or 2 scientists from the list they are the most interested in. I had my students select 2 scientists. The first was to be chosen because they found what that scientist studied interesting and the other could be anyone they wanted, chosen for any reason. If you don’t want the project to take as long or if you need it to be longer you can have students select more scientists or only 1. With their scientist(s) selected, students then had to answer these 5 questions for EACH scientist they chose.  

    1. If you could meet this scientist what are some questions you would like to ask them? 

    2. Did you learn anything that surprised you about this scientist? 

    3. What do you have in common with this scientist? Or perhaps talk about how you are different. 

    4. Describe the scientist’s research field. Go into detail about what they study. 

    5. What questions do you have or problems do you see in the world that this type of science could help you address?

    I gave my students choices for how they wanted to answer the questions. They could have longer written responses in a Google Doc, Shorter responses that included visuals in Google Slides, and a Video recording of them answering the questions out loud. You can give students more options or fewer options as you see fit. 

    An optional extension is to have students share out in small groups about the scientists they chose. This was an opportunity to get the students to engage with each other about their projects and also continue to learn more about other scientists they did not choose. 

    Example Lesson 3: Biography of a Scientist Presentation 

    This example could be if you wanted students to take a deeper look at one scientist in particular. This could be paired with the 1-Day activity from example 2 (above) but it is not required. The idea is that you would have students select 1 of the scientists that they are going to take a deep look into. 

    Students will prepare a presentation that they will share with the class about their scientist’s life, their hobbies, what their schooling was like, what they have researched in their career, and what they are currently researching now. I would recommend having students utilize “the slides” and more specifically have them look at the slide titled “His/Her path to science” to help guide students with this. The slides for each scientist can be accessed by clicking on them from the Scientist Story Kits Homepage

    For older grades, students can be tasked with taking an even deeper look at what the scientist studies beyond the information provided on the I am a Scientist Website. Students would then present to the class or perhaps you could have them practice by presenting in small groups first. Students could give peer feedback before their final presentation. This is all up to your own discretion. 

    Bonus Example for Young Elementary Grades: 

    In young elementary grades, teachers can set some class time aside to show students one of the scientists from the website. Perhaps it could be a once a month activity for the students to see and hear about a scientist. Teachers can use the Scientist Story Kits to show students about the specific scientist for that day. If teachers utilize “the slides” that go along with each scientist they can tell students about that scientist’s life, what they study, what hobbies they have, and the students would also be able to see what that scientist looks like from their photo. 

    One Scientist that could be a great starting point is Noor Al-Alusi because she is an epidemiologist which means she studies the spread of diseases in communities which is quite relevant to everything currently going on in our world right now which would likely resonate with your students.

    Teachers can just have students listen and view the resources. They can also have students come up with or even practice writing questions they would want to ask the featured scientist if they were to meet them. Students can also come up with scientific questions (at an age-appropriate level) about what that scientist studies. 

    Elementary Teachers can also show students this video during the first session of highlighting a scientist to help them realize the importance of seeing diverse scientists and hopefully seeing a path for themselves to possibly pursue STEM in the future. 

    Resources: 

    Homepage for the I am a Scientist Initiative: https://www.iamascientist.info/ 

    Vision for the Initiative: https://www.iamascientist.info/vision 

    Scientist Story Kits Homepage: https://www.iamascientist.info/collection

    Resource Library: https://www.iamascientist.info/resource-library 

    Breaking Down Stereotypes Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0ZFXUpZ0-Y&feature=emb_title 



  • 22 Nov 2021 8:40 AM | NJSTA (Administrator)

    New Jersey Student Learning Assessment for Science (NJSLA-S) Committee Recruitment

     

    The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) annually convenes several science assessment committees to assist in maintaining the quality and integrity of the development of the science portion of the New Jersey Student Learning Assessment (NJSLA). To continue this effort, the NJDOE is seeking nominations from school districts for a diverse and experienced pool of educators and curriculum supervisors to participate on the science assessment committees for the NJSLA-Science program for grades 5, 8, and 11. The NJDOE asks that Chief School Administrators nominate qualified educators and/or curriculum supervisors by Wednesday, December 22, 2021. Districts may request an extension to Friday, January 7, 2022 by emailing John.Boczany@doe.nj.gov.


  • 22 Nov 2021 8:37 AM | NJSTA (Administrator)

    Peak Foliage at Woosamonsa Ridge and Other Nearby Preserves

    New Jersey State Science Day

    NJDEP Events

    November Raritan News

    Caring for the Earth: Opportunities for Religious Institutions to Protect Clean Water for Healthy Communities.

    2022 STEAM Tank Challenge - New Jersey School Boards Association

    This Week in the New Jersey Skylands

    COA's Virtual Cape May Student Summit 

    Join MOM's Organic Market's Mission to Save the Planet!

    NJSACC is Hiring + new Afterschool Jobs in Mercer County - learn more here | November 15, 2021

    Mercer County job posting

    To: EE Job Seekers (or Friends of...): October 25, 2021

    DEP Job Opportunities

    NOAA Announces new Environmental Literacy Program Funding Opportunity

    EPA Seeks Applicants for 2021 Environmental Education Grants

    Camden Invincible News

    Conquering the climate crisis one step at a time

    Treehugger: Good COP or Bad COP?

    What Technology Could Reduce Heat Deaths? Trees.

    52 Climate Actions That Can Change Behavior

    Family, School, & Community Engagement Newsletter: Presidential Memo Issued on Reopening Schools Safely

    Your Actions at Work: Pebble Mine Blocked

    ANJEE: Climate Change Mini Series---Winter Conference Call for Presenters

    The Project WET Warehouse Sale Starts Now

    Green Ninja Team News and Lessons

    Cloud Institute: Useful Resources for Educators

    Introducing GSNN's Updated GreenPrint

    NY/NJ PURPLE AIR LOAN RFP NOW OPEN + EPA Region 2 Citizen Science Bulletin - November 9, 2021

    NJ Watershed Ambassadors offer Workshops for Classrooms

    Rutgers University Announces Updates to the NJADAPT Suite of Climate Planning Tools

    SubjectToClimate: Check out our updated website!

    WSGN Newsletter: Winter Garden Lessons

    NJ Audubon News

    Project WET News

    Project Learning Tree Updates

    Stossel in the Classroom

    NY-NJ Harbor & Estuary Program's Annual Conference

    National Academies Resources

    Nature Explore

    WSGN: Fruit Trees at School

    Free Resources for Teaching How Science Works

    OCSCD Programs, Projects & News

    The 9 Best Eco-Friendly School Supplies of 2021

    Drop a Raindrop on This Magical Map and Watch Its Journey to the Ocean

    Boost Your Child's Nature Education with 'Outdoor School' Book Series

    NOW AVAILABLE: Motivating Local Climate Adaptation and Strengthening Resilience

    Your Inside-Out Fall Lineup: A workshop, networking with Richard Louv and a call for presenters

    15 Free Activities to Support Family Engagement in Your Outdoor Classroom

    i-Tree Update Coming

    SubjectToClimate: 500 Ways to Make Change

    Save the Date: NY-NJ Harbor & Estuary Program Annual Conference

    Hooked on Fishing Leadership Training

    Finding Nature: Social change requires systems change

    CWFNJ: Explorations November E-News 2021

    Earthday.org News

    Gardener News 2021 E-Newspaper

    NPSNJ: Hudson News, Book Club, Secret Seed Exchange and more!

    EPA: November Sustainable Materials Management Updates

    NPSNJ: Enjoy our Fall E-News

    NY-NJ Harbor & Estuary Program News

    OCSCD Programs, Projects & News

    Green Schools Network News

    USEPA Links & News

    Sustainable Jersey News

    Cornell Lab of Ornithology News

    Connecting Through Health, Wellness and Nutrition!

    Water Pages eNewsletters!

    U.S. Department of Education: Green Strides and ED Review

    CIRES Education & Outreach Newsletter

    These women are shaping the future of agriculture at Duke Farms

    Children & Nature Network Digests

    Water Pages eNewsletter!

    Finding Nature: A safer return to school could be just a step (outside) away

    Finding Nature: Celebrating Hispanic and Latinx leadership in the outdoors

    NAS: Fall Migration is Here | Lawsuit Victory | Heat Waves

     

    Go to EEdNews for full details! 


  • 22 Nov 2021 8:31 AM | NJSTA (Administrator)

    The New Jersey Department of Education announced that it has made available extensive online resources that school districts and educators can use to incorporate climate change education across K-12 classrooms beginning in the 2022-2023 school year. 

    In June of 2020, First Lady Tammy Murphy announced that the New Jersey State Board of Education adopted her initiative to make New Jersey the first state in the nation to incorporate climate change across its revised state K-12 learning standards. The NJDOE establishes the New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS), which determine what schools are required to teach in nine content areas across each grade level. With the adoption of the 2020 NJSLS, climate change education will be incorporated across seven content areas—21st Century Life and Careers, Comprehensive Health and Physical Education, Science, Social Studies, Technology, Visual and Performing Arts, and World Languages. The two remaining content areas, mathematics and English language arts, have not yet been eligible for review under the Murphy Administration given the five-year review cycle. The resources announced today will help educators meet the new climate change requirements so they can prepare students to understand how and why climate change occurs, the impact it has on our local and global communities, and to respond to climate change with informed and sustainable solutions. 

    “For a long time, many viewed climate change as an abstract problem, but here in New Jersey, we are already experiencing its devastating effects, including extreme flooding from recent storms,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. “This generation of students will feel the impact of climate change more than any other, and beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, our students will be the first and only in the nation to have climate change education incorporated at every grade level. By providing these resources to our educators, we are in turn equipping the leaders of tomorrow with the critical tools they will need to face the real-life challenges of climate change.”

    “New Jersey’s groundbreaking academic standards, and the accompanying resources that we are releasing today, will give educators, parents, and other stakeholders greater tools and information on the impacts of climate change,” said Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, Acting Commissioner of Education. “Students throughout New Jersey will enhance their understanding of how climate change poses a threat to our environment, and actions necessary to mitigate the threat.”

    The NJDOE’s Climate Change webpage provides resources such as: 

    • Instructional resources – such as webinars, instructional strategies, literature, and standards-based lessons – by grade level and by subject;
    • Links, videos, highlights and news stories to innovative lessons on climate change occurring in New Jersey schools;
    • Activities and projects for students in and out of the classroom;
    • Opportunities for students to take part in community engagement;
    • A link to the First Lady’s climate change webpage; and
    • A portal for educators and other stakeholders to share their stories, feedback and resources.

    Educators and other members of the public can obtain more information the NJDOE’s Climate Change Education Resources website.


  • 17 Nov 2021 9:23 AM | NJSTA (Administrator)

    November 30, 2021
    12:00 – 1:00pm ET

    The Board on Science Education of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is partnering with the Council of State Science Supervisors (CSSS) and the National Science Education Leadership Association (NSELA) to host a webinar on the role of leadership in supporting elementary science and engineering learning and teaching.  The webinar will be based on the newly released report Preschool through Elementary Science and Engineering: The Brilliance of Children and The Strengths of Educators (#BrillianceAndStrengths). 

    Join and engage in conversation with Betsy Davis (University of Michigan) and Tiffany Neill (Oklahoma Department of Education) as they highlight key findings and recommendations from the report for leaders.

    Register Today

  • 11 Nov 2021 12:17 PM | NJSTA (Administrator)

    The Lost Women of Science Initiative is a non-profit educational organization with the overarching goal of inspiring girls and young women -- especially those from communities chronically underrepresented in the STEM professions -- to embark on careers in STEM. The Initiative’s flagship is its Lost Women of Science podcast, producing four multi-episode seasons per year. As a full, mission-driven organization, the Lost Women of Science Initiative plans to digitize and archive our research efforts and make all primary source material available to students and historians of science.

    For every Rosalind Franklin, Hedy Lamarr or Katherine Johnson whose story has been told, there are dozens more whose stories remain unknown to the public at large, or even to contemporaries in their field. We’re talking about scientists who made tremendous contributions to their field but, for reasons of time and place and gender, have gone largely unrecognized.  We believe it is imperative – now more than ever – to tell the stories of women who shifted our understanding of the world around us but have been lost to history.

    The Lost Women of Science podcast series is an exemplar of top-notch journalism, training a lens on forgotten but heroic women of science. Each multi-episode season will focus on a different female scientist and will be told as a deeply reported, scripted, and scored audio narrative.

    Lost Women of Science is paying it both ways – forward as well as back. That is, as much as it revisits history, Lost Women of Science will also inspire young women working their way through the STEM pipeline.


  • 10 Nov 2021 11:20 AM | NJSTA (Administrator)

    Supporting Student Accessibility

    The November 2021 issue of Tech & Learning focuses on equity and accessibility, particularly in the areas of literacy, digital inclusion, English language learning and speakers of other languages, and special education. Read it free here


    Don't miss this opportunity to get fresh ideas and hear about new programs. Register for free today to view the sessions from our annual SmartBrief STEM Pathways Virtual Summit on-demand. Topics include SEL driving STEM education; STEM and STEAM for early learners; nurturing the STEM educator pipeline; crashing the barriers of equity and diversity; helping students see themselves in STEM career fields; developing the next-generation of entrepreneurs and creativity and design.

  • 10 Nov 2021 11:19 AM | NJSTA (Administrator)

    Did you know yesterday was National STEM/STEAM Day? I'm sure you had it marked on all your calendars!


    We have a new Empire State Building video about Sustainability that is amazing! It would be wonderful if you could share with other STEM teachers and post on any sites. Is there a FB page for Environmental Science teachers? This is perfect for it.


    How does a building as big as the @EmpireStateBldg use #innovation & #sustainability to make the impossible possible? @jasonlatimer from @impossiblescience takes a tour of the iconic building to learn why it’s considered a leader in sustainability and performs an impossible magic trick at the end!

    https://youtu.be/7lWmKswmkf0


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