Science Update: February 2016

ODE Updates:


The Science Department of the Office of Curriculum and Assessment from ODE would like to hear from you regarding its future priorities.  Great opportunity to share what types of support you would like to see from the department in regards to quality science instruction.


In January, ODE announced updates to the test specification documents and released additional practice items. Attached files of the updated test specification documents as well as the additional released questions were sent to building principals through email.  In regards to test specifications documents, the PBA and EOY references have been removed and a simplified single blueprint is included.  The prior separation of hand scored and machine scored response attributes are now combined under one list for each item specification.  In addition, the reference to extended constructed response under item descriptions was removed as well.

As for the additional practice questions released, it was only for the EOY/Part 2  Practice Test for 5th and 8th grade. It was two additional questions for 5th grade and three additional questions for 8th grade. Please contact Susan Hakel if you would like these documents emailed to you.

Instructional Resources:

Here is a list of K-8 Content Specific Vocabulary  (Tier 3 words) aligned to Ohio’s Learning Standards for Science. The list is not intended to be exhaustive.  Be sure to reference the model curriculum to determine the level of understanding required for each term.

National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science:  A great resource for high school science teachers.   Cases can be used not only to teach scientific concepts and content, but also process skills and critical thinking.  Many cases are based on contemporary, and often contentious, science problems that students encounter in the news to make science relevant. Cases can be presented in a variety of formats and taught in a variety of ways, ranging from the classical discussion method used in business and law schools to Problem-Based Learning and Team Learning, with their emphasis on small-group, cooperative learning strategies. An annual subscription costs $25.00. This fee gets you access to the answer keys and teaching notes for the 500+ cases in our case collection. Please note that the cases themselves remain free of charge.

Spigot Science:  (Elementary/Middle)  Publications provide immediate immersion into  compelling science topics. Articles are multi-grade leveled; literal; inferential; inclusive of numerous creative activities. STEM-based content plus Geography, Language Arts, Social Studies, and more! Spigot Science bridges cross-curriculum “connections” to Reading, Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Geography, and Health

Shareworthy with your students!

The New Periodic Table Song

The periodic table song was made by ASAPScience to help students remember the elements, plus the new additions.  Be warned….it is quite catchy and it will probably be in your head for a day or two.

Theory of Relativity…simply explained by an Ohio high school senior.

Ohio high school senior Ryan Chester became the inaugural winner of a new college scholarship on Sunday night, winning $250,000 for his 7-minute film that uses simple props and hand-drawn graphics to explain Einstein’s special theory of relativity. Besides winning that money for himself, Chester also won $100,000 for a new science lab at his school in the Cleveland suburbs, North Royalton High, and $50,000 for his physics teacher, Richard Nestoff.

Professional Conferences:

STEM confe

Request for Presentation Proposals is NOW Open through February 9th.

Check it out here.  Submit via Survey Monkey:

 Conference and Registration,GENERAL

 Conference Features:

  • Registration Opens on January 25th; register by using one of two Options:

Option 1: Pay the $40 conference fee which includes a parking pass, breakfast, lunch, up to 6 contact hours, and conference giveaway.

Option 2: Pay the $30 conference fee which includes (no parking pass) breakfast, lunch, up to 6 contact hours, and conference giveaway.

  • Showcase of Regional Resources (Scheduled during lunchtime.)
  • Interactive Workshop Sessions (You participate and walk away with resources.)
  • Poster Sessions (Held during concurrent session times.)
  • Networking Sessions (Held during concurrent session times and organized by subject/graded level.)
  • Contact Hours (Up to 6.)
  • Parking Pass – (With Option 1 registration fees.)
  • Continental Breakfast and Lunch
  • Raffle(s) of educational Items

Important Conference Dates:

  • January 11th, 2016 – Request for Proposals OPENS
  • January 25th, 2016 – Registration officially OPENS
  • February 9th, 2016 – Request for Proposals CLOSES
  • March 10th, 2016 – Presenters are notified.


For Request for Proposal Information: Julie Steimle |556-6454| and Debbie Liberi |556-6419|

For Registration and Conference Logistics:  Florine Postell | 558-1814 |

Professional Development Opportunities:

How Necessity Creates Innovation in Science and Technology
July 17-22, 2016 in New Orleans, LA

The National WWII Museum is excited to announce a week-long professional development opportunity to take place in the summer of 2016 for middle school science teachers. Twenty eight teachers from across the country will come to New Orleans to experience hands-on how necessity, knowledge, perseverance and skill lead to inventions, innovation, and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), just like in World War II.

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE: The seminar application is open to any science teacher (public, public charter, private, and parochial) with between 2 and 10 years of teaching experience in 5th-8th grade science, and who will be teaching a science course to students in the same age group in the 2016-2017 school year. Applications will be evaluated through a competitive process that will include information on teaching experience, a short written statement, and two letters of recommendation.

COST: This seminar is supported by a grant from the Northrop Grumman Foundation. Teachers will receive free room and board in New Orleans, a travel stipend, and all seminar materials free of charge.


Looking for a way to develop your students’ critical thinking skills? How about helping them become better at making evidence-based claims. Do you want your students to engage in meaningful discussions about the science content they are learning? If you answered “yes” to any or all of these questions, there is a great professional development opportunity for you! The Ohio Resource Center at The Ohio State University is excited to offer Now I Get It! Scientific Argumentation in Middle School, an intensive professional development designed to help middle school teachers master the art of scientific argumentation and develop strategies for implementing argumentation in their classroom. Participants will:

  • Learn about the structure of a scientific argument
  • Practice scientific argumentation
  • Learn to integrate argumentation into inquiry-based science instruction
  • Increase standards-based life and physical science content knowledge
  • Participate in evaluation activities
  • Adapt current teaching materials to include scientific argumentation
  • Earn a $300 stipend
  • Receive two professional resource books and classroom materials
  • Attend a 5 DAY Saturday Institute
  • Participate in the online component of the program

Open to science teachers in grades 5-8.  Dates of Institute: Feb 13, March 5,  March 19, April 9, April 30 from 8:30-4:30.  Institute will be held at the Ohio Resource Center, 1900 Kenny Rd, Columbus. Graduate credit will be available for purchase.  Registration closes February 5th.

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