January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

ScienceProfOnline.com: Free Biology Education Resources for Instructors, Students & Parents

Posted: Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

by Tami Port

ScienceProfOnline.com is a web resource I started developing several years ago, in cooperation with Colorado high school science teacher Alicia Cepaitis. The purpose of the site was to make all of the biology teaching materials that we have created over the years available, free of cost, to other instructors, students and parents. Below is a summary of what the site offers.

Free College & High School Biology Resources
SPO features completely developed and classroom-tested college-level microbiology, cell biology, general biology, and soon anatomy & physiology course materials. Resources available include PowerPoint lectures, laboratory exercises, homework assignments, practice test questions, study guides, sample syllabi, as well as science photos and video library. These college and high school materials are organized a couple of ways:

Virtual Classrooms
These are the main pages where I have my microbiology and cell biology students go to directly access course material during the semester. These are essentially ready-made micro and cell classes that any instructor teaching these subjects could use. Currently we have instructors and students from 100 countries around the world and all 50 US states utilizing our resources as complete courses or pick and choose pieces to supplement lessons. All resources can be modified and customized to suit the individual using them. For examples of these course main pages see:

“Instructors Corner” Main Pages
Rather than being organized as a complete course that students would access directly, “Instructors Corner” pages have links to all of the site’s teaching resources organized by topic. If an instructor is looking for a basic inorganic chemistry or molecular genetics lecture and supporting class materials, these can easily be found in the “Instructors Corner”.  For an example, visit The Science Prof Online Instructors Corner.

Free Grade School, Home School and Parent Science Education Resources
I have young children and wanted to do more home science projects with them. So, I also developed an area of the website for kids, where we could post the science experiments and activities that we do at home. Topics include frog metamorphosis and care, flatworm regeneration and care, pond life, home microbiology experiments. We are also developing a new monarch butterfly metamorphosis page and a section referencing additional kid-friendly science resources. Many of these topics include detailed observations, experimental design, science coloring pages and word search activities. As with the Virtual Classrooms described above, the kid science topic pages can be used, as is, for class science projects, or teachers can pick, choose and modify any of these resources.

The main page for these kid science activities is our Home School and Classroom Science Main Page

More about ScienceProfOnline.com Website
The ScienceProfOnline.com website does have some advertising on it. These ads generate a very modest income from the site that helps compensate us for the thousands of hours we have put into making our teaching materials available. We continually try to hone the ads to be minimally obtrusive and maximally relevant to the topic of the page they appear on.

The materials on ScienceProfOnline.com are particularly useful for new instructors looking for fully developed, classroom-tested resources as well as experienced instructors seeking some new materials to add to their curriculum. CSTA members, please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments on the ScienceProfOnline.com website.

Tami Port, MS, is a biology instructor at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Chief Executive Nerd of ScienceProfOnline.com and is member of the Michigan Science Teacher Association (MSTA).

Written by Guest Contributor

From time to time CSTA receives contributions from guest contributors. The opinions and views expressed by these contributors are not necessarily those of CSTA. By publishing these articles CSTA does not make any endorsements or statements of support of the author or their contribution, either explicit or implicit. All links to outside sources are subject to CSTA’s Disclaimer Policy: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.

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STEM Conference Hosted by CMSESMC

Posted: Saturday, January 14th, 2017

The Council of Math/Science Educators of San Mateo County will be hosting the 41st annual STEM Conference this February 4, 2017 at the San Mateo County Office of Education. This STEM Conference is the place to get lots of new lessons and ideas to use in your classroom. There will be over twenty-five workshops and a variety of exhibitors that provide participants with a wide range of practical and realistic ideas and resources to use in their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs from Pre-K to grade 12. With California’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, we are dedicated to ensuring that we prepare our teachers to take on these educational policies.

Teachers, administrators, and parents are invited to explore the many exciting aspects of STEM education and learn about and discuss the latest news, information, and issues. This is also an opportunity to network with colleagues who can assist you in building your programs and meet new friends that share your interests and love of teaching. Register online today!

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.

Submit Your NGSS Lessons and Units Today!

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

Achieve has launched and is facilitating an EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science–a group of expert reviewers who will evaluate the quality and alignment of lessons and units to the standards–in an effort to identify and shine a spotlight on emerging high-quality lesson and unit plans designed for the NGSS.

If you or your state, district, school, or organization has designed NGSS-aligned instructional materials, please consider submitting these in order to help provide educators across the country with various models and templates of high-quality lesson and unit plans. 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.

Opportunity for High School Students – Los Angeles County

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

An upcoming Perry Outreach Program on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children in Los Angeles, CA. The Perry Outreach Program is a free, one-day, hands-on experience for high school and college-aged women who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine and engineering. Students will hear from women leaders in these fields and try it for themselves by performing mock orthopaedic surgeries and biomechanics experiments. 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.

Science Education Policy Update

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

January 2017 has proven to be a very busy month for science education policy and CA NGSS implementation activities. CSTA has been and will be there every step of the way, seeking and enacting all options to support high-quality science education and the successful implementation of CA NGSS.

California Department of Education/U.S. Department of Education Science Double-Testing Waiver Hearing

The year started with California Department of Education’s (CDE) hearing with the U.S. Department of Education conducted via WebEx on January 6, 2017. This hearing was the final step in California’s efforts to secure a waiver from the federal government in order to discontinue administration of the old CST and suspension of the reporting of student test scores on a science assessment for two years. As reported by EdSource, the U.S. Department of Education representative, Ann Whalen, a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary John King Jr., committed to making her final ruling “very shortly.” Deputy Superintendent Keric Ashley presented on behalf of CDE during the hearing and did an excellent job describing the broad-based support for this waiver in California, the rationale for the waiver, and California’s commitment to the successful implementation of a new high-quality science assessment. As previously reported, California is moving forward with its plans to administer a census pilot assessments this spring. The testing window is set to open on March 20, 2017. For more information visit New CA Science Test: What You Should Know.

Learn More…

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.

NSTA Los Angeles Conference Features Many CA Science Leaders

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

The early-bird registration rates for the 65th NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Los Angeles is just days away (ends Feb. 3). And as the early-registration deadline approaches excitement is building for what is anticipated to be the largest gathering of science educators (both California and nationwide) – with attendance expected to reach 10,000 or more. If you have never had the pleasure of attending the NSTA National Conference, I recommend you visit their website with tips for newcomers that describe the various components of the event. A conference preview is also available for download. Learn More…

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.