May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Diversifying Science Classroom Practice – Engaging with the ‘Youtube Generation’

Posted: Monday, October 1st, 2012

by Brendan O’Brien 

What is www.60secondscience.net?

60SecondScience is a fully online International Video Competition sponsored by the Department of Education (DEECD-Innovation Next Practice Division), Victoria, Australia. Since its first iteration in 2008, it has enjoyed continual growth and appeal, from 30 Victorian school-only participants, to well over 300 science videos uploaded in 2012, with over 1100 registering from 40 countries. The competition is Free to Enter and links directly to required student outcomes over a number of Science, Citizenship and ICT Learning Standards. $10,000 in cash prizes is distributed each year, as determined by a prestigious International panel of judges. There are Divisions which cater for students of different ages.

Why is www.60secondscience.net used in Science Classrooms?

Teachers can engage the interests and skills of students in a way that increases the depth of their science knowledge as they hone their multimedia skills.  Many of today’s students are an entrenched part of  the ‘youtube generation’ and are more than comfortable with being producers of content, whereas other generations were comfortable as mere consumers of content. Many students are ‘over’ powerpoint reports by the time they get to secondary and High School settings, and are happy to shoot video on their smart-phones, flipcams, videocameras or webcams. The competition is easily adapted to be used not as an add-on, but as a contingent element within the existing science curriculum

How is www.60secondscience.net used in Secondary/High School Science Classrooms?

  1. Teachers give students the option of making a 60second video to demonstrate their understanding of a topic or unit of work they are studying/researching in any area of the senior science curriculum. Eg Chemistry-physics: Sublimation, Doppler Effect, Newton’s Laws, Occipital Lobe, Projectile Motion, Chemical BondingHot air balloon physics

Making a short explanatory video is often done as an alternative to producing a written report, poster or Powerpoint.

  1. Teachers give the student teams the option to make a ‘prac report video’ instead of the standard ‘written’ prac report. Eg. Photosynthesis, The Law of Reflection, Heart-rate, Thermal expansion, Displacement Reactions.

In both cases, students are required to research deeply and collaborate closely to refine their understandings and condense their knowledge to convey their key concepts and ideas into the 60second format.

 

How is www.60secondscience.net used in Primary/Elementary Science Classrooms?

Students work with their teacher on a particular science topic or integrated study unit, and produce a video over a number of weeks as part of their weekly routine. This can be used as a science teaching strategy at any grade level.
eg. Grade 3/4: The Mpemba Effect, Grade 5/6 Lemon Battery, Grade 1 Temperature, Grade 6 Plant Osmosis

How does www.60secondscience.net support Multicultural Classrooms?

The LOTE Divisions encourage entrants to use Languages Other Than English. Eg Cantonese, IndonesianItalian, Chinese, French, Cantonese, Malayalam,

Divisions:

International primary / elementary school division – $400/$100
International secondary / high school division $400/$100
International Open – $400/$100 professional/amateur film-makers, teachers.
International LOTE –$250 with English sub-titles, spoken in a Language Other Than English.
Best Cinematography – $250 for videos in any Division
Best Animation – $250 for videos in any Division
Worst Cola-Candy-Mint-Lolly video – All Cola-Candy-Mint-Lolly videos are AUTOMATICALLY registered in this Division) and the ‘Winner’ gets a Certificate + offer of free online video production and science workshop for teachers and students

The competition website has had well over 700,000 video downloads

2013 Deadline:
register by 5 August 2013, Upload videos by 5 August 2013 

Contact:

Brendan O’Brien
Science, eLearning | DEECD, Hume Region, Victoria, Australia |0438 420 027
Convenor: www.60secondscience.net
Twitter: @Brendano    http://twitter.com/brendano
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/60SecondScienceVidComp

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

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Participate in Chemistry Education Research Study, Earn $500-800 Dollars!

Posted: Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

WestEd, a non-profit educational research agency, has been funded by the US Department of Education to test a new molecular modeling kit, Happy Atoms. Happy Atoms is an interactive chemistry learning experience that consists of a set of physical atoms that connect magnetically to form molecules, and an app that uses image recognition to identify the molecules that you create with the set. WestEd is conducting a study around the effectiveness of using Happy Atoms in the classroom, and we are looking for high school chemistry teachers in California to participate.

As part of the study, teachers will be randomly assigned to either the treatment group (who uses Happy Atoms) or the control group (who uses Happy Atoms at a later date). Teachers in the treatment group will be asked to use the Happy Atoms set in their classrooms for 5 lessons over the course of the fall 2017 semester. Students will complete pre- and post-assessments and surveys around their chemistry content knowledge and beliefs about learning chemistry. WestEd will provide access to all teacher materials, teacher training, and student materials needed to participate.

Participating teachers will receive a stipend of $500-800. You can read more information about the study here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HappyAtoms

Please contact Rosanne Luu at rluu@wested.org or 650.381.6432 if you are interested in participating in this opportunity, or if you have any questions!

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption Reviewer Application

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

The California Department of Education and State Board of Education are now accepting applications for reviewers for the 2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption. The application deadline is 3:00 pm, July 21, 2017. The application is comprehensive, so don’t wait until the last minute to apply.

On Tuesday, May 9, 2017, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson forwarded this recruitment letter to county and district superintendents and charter school administrators.

Review panel members will evaluate instructional materials for use in kindergarten through grade eight, inclusive, that are aligned with the California Next Generation Science Content Standards for California Public Schools (CA NGSS). Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Lessons Learned from the NGSS Early Implementer Districts

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

On March 31, 2017, Achieve released two documents examining some lessons learned from the California K-8 Early Implementation Initiative. The initiative began in August 2014 and was developed by the K-12 Alliance at WestEd, with close collaborative input on its design and objectives from the State Board of Education, the California Department of Education, and Achieve.

Eight (8) traditional school districts and two (2) charter management organizations were selected to participate in the initiative, becoming the first districts in California to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Those districts included Galt Joint Union Elementary, Kings Canyon Joint Unified, Lakeside Union, Oakland Unified, Palm Springs Unified, San Diego Unified, Tracy Joint Unified, Vista Unified, Aspire, and High Tech High.

To more closely examine some of the early successes and challenges experienced by the Early Implementer LEAs, Achieve interviewed nine of the ten participating districts and compiled that information into two resources, focusing primarily on professional learning and instructional materials. Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Using Online Simulations to Support the NGSS in Middle School Classrooms

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

by Lesley Gates, Loren Nikkel, and Kambria Eastham

Middle school teachers in Kings Canyon Unified School District (KCUSD), a CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative district, have been diligently working on transitioning to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) integrated model for middle school. This year, the teachers focused on building their own knowledge of the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs). They have been gathering and sharing ideas at monthly collaborative meetings as to how to make sure their students are not just learning about science but that they are actually doing science in their classrooms. Students should be planning and carrying out investigations to gather data for analysis in order to construct explanations. This is best done through hands-on lab experiments. Experimental work is such an important part of the learning of science and education research shows that students learn better and retain more when they are active through inquiry, investigation, and application. A Framework for K-12 Science Education (2011) notes, “…learning about science and engineering involves integration of the knowledge of scientific explanations (i.e., content knowledge) and the practices needed to engage in scientific inquiry and engineering design. Thus the framework seeks to illustrate how knowledge and practice must be intertwined in designing learning experiences in K-12 Science Education” (pg. 11).

Many middle school teachers in KCUSD are facing challenges as they begin implementing these student-driven, inquiry-based NGSS science experiences in their classrooms. First, many of the middle school classrooms at our K-8 school sites are not designed as science labs. Learn More…

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Written by NGSS Early Implementer

NGSS Early Implementer

In 2015 CSTA began to publish a series of articles written by teachers participating in the NGSS Early Implementation Initiative. This article was written by an educator(s) participating in the initiative. CSTA thanks them for their contributions and for sharing their experience with the science teaching community.

Celestial Highlights: May – July 2017

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

May Through July 2017 with Web Resources for the Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017

by Robert C. Victor. Twilight sky maps by Robert D. Miller. Graphs of planet rising and setting times by Jeffrey L. Hunt.

In spring and summer 2017, Jupiter is the most prominent “star” in the evening sky, and Venus, even brighter, rules the morning. By mid-June, Saturn rises at a convenient evening hour, allowing both giant planets to be viewed well in early evening until Jupiter sinks low in late September. The Moon is always a crescent in its monthly encounters with Venus, but is full whenever it appears near Jupiter or Saturn in the eastern evening sky opposite the Sun. (In 2017, Full Moon is near Jupiter in April, Saturn in June.) At intervals of 27-28 days thereafter, the Moon appears at a progressively earlier phase at each pairing with the outer planet until its final conjunction, with Moon a thin crescent, low in the west at dusk. You’ll see many beautiful events by just following the Moon’s wanderings at dusk and dawn in the three months leading up to the solar eclipse. Learn More…

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Written by Robert Victor

Robert Victor

Robert C. Victor was Staff Astronomer at Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University. He is now retired and enjoys providing skywatching opportunities for school children in and around Palm Springs, CA. Robert is a member of CSTA.