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Newsletter Volume 50 No. 2 A Quarterly Publication of the Minnesota Science Teachers Association Inc.

Traveling Instructional Roads In Science Education is theme for 2014 MnCOSE

Winter 2014

Jon Kahle, Literacy Specialist at Eden Prairie High School will facilitate a workshop on Saturday titled, “Reading Strategies for the Secondary Science Classroom.” Clock hours will be available for attending this workshop. There will be a great line-up of strand speakers on Friday. Kathleen O’Donnell will share highlights of Twin Cities Public Television’s award winning STEM productions with emphasis on engineering and girls in science. Chris Pannell, Univerity of Minnesota Cancer Research, will deliver a talk on “Cancer 101: When Good Cells Go Bad.” Dr. Matt Morgan, Hamline University, will speak on “What to Do If Your Flipped Classroom Flops.” The Physics Strand speaker is Tom Brown, MSU Mankato who will deliver a talk on the guiding philosophies of 20th Century Educational Psychology. Descriptions of the keynotes, strand speakers and workshops can be found beginning on page 13

The 2014 MnCOSE (Minnesota Conference on Science Education) will be held at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato, February 21-22. Inspirational keynote and strand speakers will highlight the event as well as sessions delivered by dedicated and passionate teachers. There will be many opportunities for professional development for all teachers at this event. Fridays keynote speakers include Ramsey Musallam and Karen Oberhauser. Musallam’s address will be “Curiosity is the Engine of Achievement.” He will explore curiosity as a pedagogical tool and will emphasize why current movements in science and technology provide a “perfect storm” for today’s science educator. Musallam will also conduct a workshop on Saturday that will focus on establishing a learning environment grounded in inquiry. Oberhauser’s keynote topic on Friday is titled, “Dwindling Numbers for an Iconic Insect,” describing the importance of monarch butterfly conservation and the challenges it presents. Her Biology and Physics strand speakers Chris Pannell and Tom Brown workshop on Saturday is “Birds, Butterflies, Bees, In This Issue: and More: Citizen Science Projects for Classrooms.” Presidents Message...........................................................2 Oberhauser, from the University of Minnesota Department of Conservation............................................2 Monarch Lab was selected for the White House Citizen Science Champion of Change Award for her In Media Res ...................................................................3 Update from Science Specialist.................................... 6 extensive work in monarch citizen science. She is Opportunities........ .....................................................7-12 the founder and coordinator of the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project, a citizen science effort to moni- MnCOSE...................................................................13-19 Teacher Feature..............................................................20 tor monarch egg and larval distribution and abunBoard Directory.........................................................22-23 dance throughout the monarch breeding range.

President’s Address by Steve Walvig As we begin the New Year, it’s great to look forward to all that the new year has in store for us. For me the highlight of 2014 will be MnSTA’s Minnesota Conference On Science Education (MnCOSE) held from February 21-22 at the Verizon Wireless Center in beautiful Mankato. MnCOSE is MnSTA’s premiere professional development event d each year bringing Minnesota science education professionals together for sharing and growth. This year the keynote speakers are Dr. Ramsey Musallam, a chemistry teacher at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep in San Francisco, whose mission is “to meaningfully integrate multimedia into a hands-on, inquiry-based learning cycle” and to empower other educators to do the same and Dr. Karen Oberhauser, from the University of Minnesota Monarch Lab was selected for the White House Citizen Science Champion of Change Award for her extensive work in monarch citizen science. The 2013 Minnesota Conference On Science Education will also highlight featured speakers for each discipline strand. It will be another great conference, so make sure you and your colleagues are registered and consider sharing your expertise and experience as a session presenter. Proposals are still being accepted and presenters receive a discount on the MnCOSE registration fee. For more information visit Another highlight of the Minnesota Conference On Science Education (MnCOSE) I’m looking forward to is presenting the Medtronic “Minnesota Presidents message....continued on page 5

Department of Conservation by Ed Hessler “Here we are at the dawn of a new millennium, in the age of cyberspace and we are at the mercy of jellyfish.”—Lisa-ann Gershwin

The Anthropocene Recipe Book Proterozoic Jellies To oceans and seas-Overfish, overfish, overfish Acidify Add plastics-- all kinds, solids and plastic bags Stir in endocrine disruptors such as phthalates, bisphenol A and brominated flame retardants Slop in radionuclides Destroy bottom habitat with trawler drags Make use of long lines and drift nets Reduce oxygen through cultural eutrophication Build oil and gas platforms Spill oil Rim the sea bowls with piers Introduce species at random (eau de ballast is a good source) Pollute with anything at hand (dilution is the solution!) Do this under the pervasive influence of a climate changing sky Until recently, what I knew about jellyfish was quite limited to recalling their relaxing in-and-out motion, the dazzling colors of some, the ghost-like gowns of others, their use as wallpaper on computer screens and the problem they presented to long-distance swimmer, Diana Nyad in her swims from Cuba to Florida (painful stings). I also knew that there is a Department of Conservation...continuted on page 3

The MnSTA Newsletter is published four times each year by the Minnesota Science Teachers Association, Inc. Articles, opinions, book reviews and other information pertinent to Minnesota teachers are welcome. Please limit submission to 1 typed page, e-mail preferred (text file please). Deadlines for submission of articles are: Fall ............... August 1st Winter ............. November 1st Spring ........... February 1st Summer....................April 1st Send all correspondence regarding the newsletter to: Jerry Wenzel 22002 100th Ave Randall, MN 56475 e-mail: The MnSTA Newsletter is an exempt program service provided to the membership. A membership form is found on the back page. Materials found in the newsletter may be reprinted without charge. 2

MnSTA, Inc. is an IRS 501 (c) (3) Charitable Educational Corpora-tion, incorporated as a tax exempt, non-profit organization with the Minnesota Secretary of State. Donations and dues are tax deductible charitable contributions for itemized deductions on IRS form 1040 Schedule A. The newsletter is an exempt program service provided to the membership. A membership form is found on the last page.

MnSTA Newsletter

In Medias Res by Edward Hessler COMMONPLACING

Dept. of Conservation..................continued from page 2

In the 17th and 18th centuries, passages that captured the interest of readers were copied into notebooks known as common place books. Methods were developed to enter and to retrieve them. History and Nature of Science. “In my younger days, when I was pained by half-educated, loose, and inaccurate ways which we all had, I used to say, ‘How much women need exact science.’ But since I have known some workers in science who were not always true to the teachings of nature, who have loved self more than science, I have said, ‘How much science needs women!’”—Maria Mitchell “An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents. What does happen is that its opponents gradually die out, and that the growing generation is familiarized with the ideas from the beginning.”— Max Planck Nature. “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.” –Aldo Leopold

debate about whether they are individuals or colonies. I’d also heard about one of the jellies, Turritopsis, which has a life cycle made for investigation into aging. As it grows, it becomes younger and younger and then “dies” to start life anew. Upon “dying” Turritopsis disintegrates, then some of its cells reaggregate and form a polyp—a hollow tube with a mouth and tentacles at one end. These sprout the medusa stage, with the familiar bell-shaped dome and dangling tentacles we associate with jellies. (<http:// >) Its common name, the “zombie jelly” seems perfect. Jellies are in the news, especially about beaches closed because of them and sometimes the swimmers who discount those warnings to their peril, and now, a new book on their biology and, alas, their profound threat to the seas. Lisa-ann Gershwin is a researcher at the Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Services, Australia ( < >). So far she has discovered 150 new species, 16 of which are highly dangerous, and is known for her studies of box jellyfishes, some of which are described as the most venomous species on Earth ( < http:// >), the Irukandjis, miniscule relatives of the box jellies and nearly as venomous ( < jellyfish >), and jelly blooms ( < http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Jellyfish > Jump to ecology, blooms). Gershwin is the author of Stung! On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean. I’ve not read it, but it was the subject of a lengthy and informed review in The New York Review of Books, by Tim Flannery ( < >). Flannery’s biography is at least worth skimming ( < >). There is additional information on the web about the book and Dr. Gershwin which I’ve relied on here. One thing that caught my attention about Gershwin’s book is that it has an introduction by oceanographer and explorer, Sylvia Earle ( < http:// >). One of Earle’s well-known quotes is “People ask: Why should I care about the ocean? Because the ocean is the cornerstone of earth’s life support system, it shapes climate and weather. It holds most of life on earth. 97% of earth’s water is there. It’s the blue heart of the planet — we should take care of our heart.

“There will always be something new to discover: a minute moss never found before, a rabbit eating birdseed with the birds on a hungry November day, a bittern that stays only long enough to be remembered.”—Ann Zwinger” Geoscience. “I wish I could take people that question the significance of sea level rise out in the field with me. Because you just walk them up 30 or 40 feet in elevation above today’s sea level and show them a fossil beach, with shells the size of a fist eroding out, and they can look at it with their own eyes and say, ‘Wow, you didn’t just make that up’.” –Maureen Raymo “Rocks are records of events that took place at the time they formed. They are books. They have a different vocabulary, a different alphabet, but you learn how to read them.” –John McPhee Human Biology. “Sobbing seems to be peculiar to the human species. . . . The grief-muscles are not very often brought into play; and as the action is often momentary, it easily escapes observation. Although the expression, when observed, is universally In Medias Res..........Continued on page 4

Dept. of Conservation..........continued on page 4

Winter 2014


Dept. of Conservation..............continued from page 3

It’s what makes life possible for us. We still have a really good chance to make things better than they are. They won’t get better unless we take the action and inspire others to do the same thing. No one is without power. Everybody has the capacity to do something.” Among the things I learned from Dr. Flannery’s review was that in the early 1980s, a species of jellyfish, Mnemiopsis leidji, was accidentally introduced to the Black Sea via sea ballast. By around 2000 the Black Sea was jellified, its biomass was about 95% of all living things. Today, Mnemiopsis is partially controlled by another accidentally introduced comb jelly in the genus Beroe. Jellyfish have always been ready to take over oceans and seas they inhabit (Once they were dominant.), but until now they have held in check by the complexities of marine ecosystems through predation and competition as well as the quality of their abiotic environments. Gershwin’s book is a dismaying environmental chronicle. It is one more (big) thing about which to be deeply concerned. Jellies not only survive, they thrive when environmental conditions deteriorate. Let’s just say that they are voracious eaters and what is set in motion is a downward positive feedback loop in which jellyfish numbers increase. Flannery describes these conditions and some of a myriad of jellyfish biological features which make them such a threat. I must contrast Earle’s optimism about us having “a really good chance to make things better than they are” with Gershwin, who apparently started with the same view of the possibilities of the restoration of the world’s oceans and seas. Gershwin now thinks the takeover of the world’s oceans by jellies is merely a matter of time. What this means is that the oceans will be utterly different. The list of “no-mores” is long and deeply discouraging. We can try to do things to prevent this and we have much to learn about their biology/ ecology. I hope we do and perhaps that will make the difference, but I was gobsmacked by Gershwin’s advice: Adapt! Flipping classrooms is one thing; flipping ecosystems is quite another. We seem to be at it the latter as though we were short-order cooks. Hessler is the Executive Secretary of MnSTA

In Medias Res..........Continued from page 4

and instantly recognized as that of grief or anxiety, yet not one person out of a thousand who has never studied the subject, is able to say precisely what change passes over the sufferer’s face.”—Charles Darwin “Time and again, anthropologists have drawn lines in the sand dividing humans from other apes, only to see new discoveries blur those boundaries. By now every one of the Great Apes has been observed to select, prepare and use tools, crafting natural objects into sponges, umbrellas, nutcrackers, even pointed sticks for jabbing prey. Such traditions are transmitted across generations are transmitted across generations so that researchers in the new sub-discipline of ‘Primate Archeology’ are excavating stone mortars chimpanzees used thousands of years ago. Other apes are born able to scan and imitate the faces of their caretakers, much as human newborns to, and they exhibit rudimentary capacities for attributing mental states to others. Chimpanzees and bonobos who exhibit considerable empathy in some contexts, also sometimes help one another and may occasionally share food although, in the wild they usually have to be badgered first. Apart from language (no one challenges human exceptionalism on this score) remaining outliers distinguishing humans from nonhuman Great Apes mostly have to do with how much further along the continuum of other-regarding impulses humans fall.—Sarah Blaffer Hrdy Mathematics. “If one proves the equality of two numbers a and b by showing first that “a is less than or equal to b” and then “a is greater than or equal to b”, it is unfair, one should instead show that they are really equal by disclosing the inner ground for their equality.”-- Emily Noether “To those who do not know mathematics it is difficult to get across a real feeling as to the beauty, the deepest beauty, of nature ... If you want to learn about nature, to appreciate nature, it is necessary to understand the language that she speaks in.”—Richard Feynman Chemistry. “I am now convinced that we have recently become possessed of experimental evidence of the discrete or grained nature of matter, which the atomic hypothesis sought in vain for hundreds and thousands of years. The isolation and counting of gaseous ions, on the one hand, which have crowned with success the long and brilliant researches of J.J. Thomson, and, on the other, agreement of the Brownian movement with the requirements of the kinetic hypothesis, established by many investigators and most conclusively by J. Perrin, justify the most cautious scientist in now speaking of


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the experimental proof of the atomic nature of matter, The atomic hypothesis is thus raised to the position of a scientifically well-founded theory, and can claim a place in a text-book intended for use as an introduction to the present state of our knowledge of General Chemistry.” –Wilhelm Ostwald

created by us, not given to us by the natural or supernatural world. There is one world that exists, but many ways to talk about; many stories we can imagine telling about that world and our place within it, without succumbing to the temptation to ignore the laws of nature. That’s the hard part of living life in a natural world, and we need to summon the courage to face up to the challenge.”—Sean Carroll

“This means that we have here an entirely separate kind of chemistry for which the current tool we use is the electrometer, not the balance, and which Hessler is the Executive Secretary of MnSTA we might well call the chemistry of the imponderPresidents message....continued from page 2 able.”—Marie Curie Teacher of The Year” awards. Of the teachers nomiBiology. “The primary drivers of loss of biodiversity nated, two teachers (K-6 and 7-12) will be presented on land are well recognized to be habitat conversion/ destruction, invasive species and now climate change. awards at the 2014 Minnesota Conference on Science Education (MnCOSE) in February. Please consider (Overhunting took its toll on land in a much earlier era.) In contrast, all four of those primary drivers are nominating one of your colleagues for the 2014 Teacher of The Year award. Nomination forms can co-occurring in the oceans.”—Jane Lubchenco be found on the MnSTA website ( “Where in the world did antifreeze come and will be accepted until January 31st. from? Chi-Hing Cheng, Arthur DeVries, and col Please help MnSTA continue to grow by asking leagues at the University of Illinois discovered that your fellow teachers to join MnSTA, so they too can the antifreeze genes arose from a part of another, entirely unrelated gene. The original gene encoded a benefit from and participate in all the opportunities digestive enzyme. A little piece of its code broke off offered by our association. Most MnSTA members and relocated to a new place in the fish genome. From have one important thing in common - we love our this simple nine-letter piece of DNA code, a new profession! I hope to see you in Mankato this Februstretch of code evolved for making the antifreeze pro- ary and thank you for all the wonderful work you do. tein. The origin of the antifreeze proteins stands out as MnSTA Has Presence at EdMN a prime example of how evolution works more often by tinkering with materials that are available—in this case a little piece of another gene’s code—rather than by designing new things from scratch.”—Sean Carroll Physics. “Most people think of ‘seeing’ and ‘observing’ directly with their senses. But for physicists, these words refer to much more indirect measurements involving a train of theoretical logic by which we can interpret what is ‘seen’.”—Lisa Randall “There are actually three points I try to hit here. The first is that the laws of physics underlying everyday life are completely understood. There is an enormous amount that we don’t know about how the world works, but we actually do know the basic rules underlying atoms and their interactions — enough to rule out telekinesis, life after death, and so on. The second point is that those laws are dysteleological — they describe a universe without intrinsic meaning or purpose, just one that moves from moment to moment.

Mark Lex demonstrates the polymer instant snow to a group of student teachers from Northwestern University. Several hundred EdMN teachers, student and pre-service teachers and their families stopped by the MnSTA exhibit table to participate in hands-on inquiry based demonstrations. MnSTA also presented the sessions, “It’s Not Magic, It’s Science: Hands-on Science for Teachers,” “Messages “The third point — the important one, and the most subtle — is that the absence of meaning “out for Minnesota from the Next Generation Science Stanthere in the universe” does not mean that people can’t dards,” “Teaching Engineering Concepts and Skills,” and “Beyond Activity Mania.” live meaningful lives. Far from it. It simply means

that whatever meaning our lives might have must be

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Department of Education Science MCA Benchmark Report – What does it really tell us? In the fall 0f 2013, the Minn. Dept. of Education Assessment Division made available the Science MCA Benchmark reports that compare schoollevel performance with statewide performance on individual MCA items and their aligned. Each of the John Olson is the science horizontal lines repspecialist for the Department of Education. He will keep resents one question us updated on science educa- on the exam and it is tion in the MnSTA newsletter. coded with the bench-

would not be valid. Testing experts say that at multiple questions are needed about a piece of information (e.g. benchmark) to have a valid indication. Can we make a hypothesis (a tentative explanation based on some evidence) about how well the concept was learned? There is not enough evidence for that. Scoring better than the state average could result from poor performance on the item by “the state” and the school did not do quite that poorly. As with any data, caution must be used in the inferences that can be made from the data. It is important to frame any interpretation in the context of the school’s environment. Probably the best use of this information is to look at long-term patterns or to raise questions to be investigated. An initial question may be “What do my own formative assessments and unit tests tell about the understanding of the benchmark?” It would be good to look at information about the benchmark mark it assesses. The dashed vertical line represents in the Frameworks for Minnesota Mathematics and the average statewide performance on each question Science Standards website, so teachers can determine if their students did better stemtc. Under the overview tab, note the big idea that or worse relative to the state. A question with a green this benchmark supports. Was the concept taught in a line means the school performed significantly better way that the students can connect the concepts to big ideas and hence they will retain it better? than the state on that question and a question with With the advent of teacher evaluation programs, a red line indicates it performed significantly below districts will be exploring new methods of assessthe state average on that question. (The 2012 and 2013 reports for your school or district are available ing student learning, since 35% of the evaluation score must be based on student achievement data. In from Science, MCA data will be of limited use, especially So what can teachers of science do with that since the MCA assesses grade bands. Many districts information? Can we conclude that the benchmark was taught either well or poorly? Such a conclusion will be utilizing common assessments for part of that


MnSTA Newsletter

Department of Education-Opportunities score. Science teachers should start looking at quality assessments of science learning. Some possible resources: · Uncovering Student Ideas in Science series by Page Keeley, NSTA Press · Project 2061 Science Assessments – items based on common misconceptions · National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) released items · Items under the Assessment Tab of the Minn. Frameworks website A new report by the National Research Council provides some context and ideas for classroom assessments that combine science concepts with practices similar to the way Minnesota standards combine the Nature of Science and Engineering with content concepts. Developing Assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards is available for free download. Opportunities

engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education programming. Prior to accepting this position, she was the K-5 Science Specialist at Cedar Park Elementary STEM School for 5 years and was a fifth grade classroom teacher for 6 years. Dr. Kindem’s graduate teaching and research focuses on developing science-teacher enthusiasts, inquirybased teaching methods, and STEM integration. She has presented sessions on these topics at district, state, and national conferences. Cathy also has experience facilitating professional development and serving as a consultant. Cathy was the recipient of the 2010 Sylvia Shugrue Award for Elementary School Teachers for inquirybased science teaching, sponsored by the National Science Teachers Association. She also received the 2011 Elementary Science Teacher of the Year Award presented by Medtronic and the Minnesota Science Teachers Association.  Cathy will join other awardees for a reception at the White House and festivities in Washington DC in the next couple months.

Science Update January 2014 Note: MDE does not endorse any resource or event that is not conducted by MDE. News White House Announces Presidential Awardees The 2012 Awardees for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching were announced on December 20th. The science award for Minnesota goes to Cathy Kindem. From the PAEMST press release:

Cathy Kindem has been an educator for 12 years in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District. She is currently the Innovative Educational Programs Coordinator, which includes overseeing science, technology,

Events and Workshops

Magnet Schools of MN K-12 STEM Network, Jan. 10, West St. Paul Interested in collaborating with others who are creating and implementing STEM programming? The Magnet Schools of MN K-12 STEM Network is for you!  Join us for our second meeting at Hertiage E-STEM Magnet School to learn more about our network resources and to receive ideas for the National Engineering Week in February.  The event is FREE!  Please RSVP to Cathy Kindem ( by January 9th.   January 10, 9:00 – 11:00 am Heritage School, 121 Butler Ave W, West St Paul, MN 55118 Lab Safety Webinar, Jan 17 The Laboratory Safety Institute is offering a free webinar on “How to Develop a more Effective Lab Safety Program” at 10 AM Central time. Contact Ana Adams for registration information (

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Earth Science Teachers Conference, Feb. 7, Plymouth Registration is open for the February 7, 2014 Minnesota Earth Science Teachers’ Association Conference at the District 287 Conference Center in Plymouth. Sessions include the silica sand mining controversy, dark matter and energy, integrating STEM into lessons on rivers and geological time, and earth science iPad and web applications.  A pre-conference evening event includes a 3D printing facility tour.  All participants will receive clock hours, and graduate credit is available from Hamline University. http:// Minnesota Conference on Science Education, Feb 2122, Mankato Request your staff development funds now for the annual conference of the Minnesota teachers of science. The conference has full strands in elementary, physical science, life science and earth/space science. The keynotes are Ramsey Musallam from California on evoking student curiosity with tech tools and Karen Oberhauser from the Univ. of Minnesota on using citizen science to engage students. Highlights include: • tech Integration: 1 to 1 ideas, blended learning • Reading Licensure Opportunity • Citizen Science • Instruction: New ideas for the classroom, gaining new content knowledge • Networking with other science teachers • Much, much more!!! hint: some great social gatherings at Mankato watering holes. More information at the Mn Science Teachers Assn. website, MnSTA Regional Events Regional Directors of the Mn Science Teacher Association are hosting regional gatherings of members and other teachers. Already region 9 (southeast) and region 10 (southcentral) have held evening gatherings at interesting locations and do more. The events generally include food, networking and a program by MDE content specialists and local resources. Upcoming events include region 1 & 2 (northwest and northcentral) in Bemidji on Jan. 20 and region 5 (central) in St. Cloud at a date TBA. Contact your regional MnSTA representative for details. They are listed on the MnSTA website Board of Directors page Schoolyard Gardens Conference, Feb 28 Chanhassen Schoolyard Gardens provide an incomparable,

hands-on opportunity for students to meet state learning standards, engage with communities, partner with businesses, learn about healthy eating, and (re-) connect with the land. Whether you have already have a schoolyard garden, are thinking of building one, or want to bring one back to life, join us in February at the MN Landscape Arboretum and learn how a schoolyard garden works at every level in your community. Conference Website. Engineering Education for Educators @ UST Are you looking for an engineering foundation for yourself that will translate into engaged learning for your students? University of St. Thomas engineering and education professors offer courses for in-service educators. The choice is yours to sample a course, earn a graduate certificate, or earn a MA in Curriculum and Instruction. 2014 courses: spring - Engineering Design; summer - 1. Engineering in the P-12 Classroom, 2. Energy and the Environment, 3. Fundamentals of Electricity and Electronics; fall - Fundamentals of Engineering. $1200/course. More information at www. Environmental Education Conference – Rooted in Diversity, June 20-22, Sandstone It’s time to announce the 2014 Minnesota Association for Environmental Education Conference! The annual conference is a great place to connect with environmental educators across the state, learn about helpful resources for your classroom, and share your own perspectives on environmental education. Please join us in 2014 at the Audubon Center of the North Woods. Information will be posted at the MAEE website. Summer Educator Expedition to the Amazon, July 1 – 11, Peru Join an exclusive group of educators and the Minnesota Zoo as we embark on the adventure of a lifetime. From our jumping-off point in Iquitos, Peru, we will be transported by boat along the Amazon River system to several field sites where we will gain first-hand experience with the content we teach: from biomimicry to biodiversity to rainforest conservation and sustainable development. Working closely with faculty from all over the world, we will engage in field investigations and get hands-on experience with various tools and techniques for data collection. Experienced naturalist guides will orient us to the many won-


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Opportunities-Department of Education ders of the rainforest and help to develop a strong sense of place. Finally, we will engage with each other to explore strategies for using the Amazon as a vehicle for incorporating STEM education, inquiry-based learning, and conservation science into our classrooms. More information and details. Archeology in the Upper Mississippi River Valley, July 14 – Aug 1, La Crosse Walking beside thousand-year-old burial mounds, flaking raw stone into usable tools, learning how archaeologists move from broken potsherds to human behavior, and understanding how humans adapt to complex, ever-changing environments—our 2014 Summer Institute features all this and more. We’ll provide three weeks of intense, guided exploration into how Native American and Euro-American cultures have adapted to the Upper Mississippi Valley over nearly fourteen millennia. Application deadline is March 4. Details at Summer Institute for Climate Change and Energy Education, Aug 4 - 6 Integrate STEM content into any subject-area and deepen your ability to teach about energy and climate change with curriculum and experiences from this professional development event. The cost includes two nights lodging, meals, with curriculum and materials galore. Come for the free giveaways, CEUs and optional grad credit, and stay for the inspiring keynotes, guest scientists and campfire conversations with some of the Midwest’s best educators. Audubon Center of the North Woods, Sandstone, MN, Cost: $125 Learn more & register online. Teacher and School Awards and Opportunities MnSTA Teacher Awards Each year the Minnesota Science Teachers Association recognizes an elementary and a secondary teacher who demonstrate teaching excellence and submit a classroom project they want to implement. The award provides $1000 toward materials needed for the project plus recognition at the MnSTA conference. Information is at the MnSTA ( page. Presidential Awards The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is the nation’s highest award in these fields. Awardees receive local and nation recognition, a reception

at the White House and $10,000. This award is often a springboard to state and national leadership in the profession. This year K-6 teachers are eligible. Nominations and applications are now available at the PAEMST website. Classroom Technology Grants Education Minnesota is awarding grants of up to $3000 to members who work directly with students. The grants may be used to purchase mobile divises and supporting resources to use with students. They prefer projects that will put the technology in students’ hands, increase students’ use and understanding of technology, and have measurable or observable outcomes. The deadline is April 11. Details at Education Minnesota.

NSTA Awards The National Science Teachers has numerous award opportunities for teachers and other science educators. Most of them are sponsored by corporations and include awards of cash, materials and attendance at NSTA conferences. NSTA awards page. Student Awards, Competitions and Programs National Youth Science Camp Minnesota will select two seniors as delegates for an all-expenses-paid experience at a facility in the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia, June 27 – July 20. The National Youth Science Camp (NYSC) is a residential science education program that honors and challenges two graduating high school science students from each state. Scientists from across the nation present lectures and hands-on science seminars and linger to interact informally with student delegates. Delegates are challenged to explore new areas in the biological and physical sciences, art, and music with resident staff members. The NYSC experience includes overnight expeditions into the Monongahela National Forest featuring backpacking, rock-climbing, caving, mountain biking, or kayaking opportunities. A visit to Washington D.C. permits delegates to visit some of the nation’s premier scientific, governmental, and cultural facilities. More information and the application (due Feb. 16) are available online at For state-level questions contact Scholars of Distinction The Minnesota Scholars of Distinction program nurtures and recognizes distinguished achievement by highly motivated self-directed students. Each award area was developed through partnerships of educators, the business community and others. To earn this recog-

Winter 2014 9

Opportunities-Department of Education nition, students must complete required work in the Minnesota Academic Standards, demonstrate mastery of complex subject matter and apply their knowledge to challenging projects. Students may pursue one or more area of focus in any or all years of their K-12 education. Scholars of Distinction awards may be earned in the following areas: Leadership, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM), and Theater Arts. Scholars of Distinction website Minnesota High School STEM Communicator Awards The goal of these awards is to identify and encourage high school students who show exceptional potential in performing scientific and mathematical research, in communicating their research through writing, and in understanding the societal context of their research and results. Candidates submit a paper that explores a current issue relating to science, mathematics, technology and society, a transcript, and an assessment by the studentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s educational advisor(s). The top 10 papers will be recognized with a cash awards and medallions and published in the Minnesota Academy of Science Journal of Student Research. More information. Climate Change Academy in Alaska Global Explorers, in partnership with the National Park Service, is excited to invite your school to be part of an amazing educational travel program. By applying to this program, you and your students have the chance to participate in an expedition to the 2014 Climate Change Academy in the Alaska, partially funded by the National Park Service! Each school team includes 10 students and one educator. Details and applications are at Global Explorers. The deadline is Jan. 13. Girls on Ice Girls on Ice is a unique, FREE, wilderness science education program for high school girls. Each year a team of 9 teenage girls and 3 instructors spend 11 days exploring and learning about mountain glaciers and alpine landscapes through scientific field studies with professional glaciologists and mountaineers. The expedition to the North Cascades is July 28 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; August 8 and is open to girls age 15-18. Applications are due Jan. 31. Immersive Learning School Residency Immerse your students in a rich learning environment through the use of dome technology. Video

images are projected on the inside of a dome in an interactive exploration of a virtual environment of choice, from space to the inside of blood vessels. The residency is a month long, intensive program designed to work each day with designated teachers, students, and administrators to logically align the use of the dome technology to existing parts of the curriculum. For information, go to the Residency website: A Solution to Pollution Competition The Clean Tech Competition is a global research and design competition for high school students. Working in teams, students submit a paper based upon their innovation. Ten finalist teams get the opportunity to work with a mentor to bring their ideas to life! The competition allows students the opportunity to use project-based learning to solve real-world problems, and win up to $15,000! Visit the website for more information. The deadline for early registration is Feb 7. Davidson Young Scholars Students who will be 18 or younger as of Oct. 1, 2014 and are working on a graduate-level project in any field of study, should consider applying for a Davidson Fellows scholarship. The Davidson Institute for Talent Development offers high-achieving young people the opportunity to be named a 2014 Davidson Fellow, an honor accompanied by a $50,000, $25,000 or $10,000 scholarship in recognition of a significant piece of work in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Music, Literature, Philosophy or Outside the Box. Applicants must submit an original piece of work recognized by experts in the field as significant that has the potential to make a positive contribution to society. The scholarship may be used at any accredited college or university. The deadline to apply is Feb. 12. Additional information. Science and Engineering Fairs Provide your students an opportunity to do independent science research and fully realize the nature science and engineering standards. A science fair project has students explore an area of interest, design and conduct an experiment or engineering solution, and present their results to adult judges. The challenges they overcome develop skills and self-confidence. Many local and regional science fairs are conducted throughout the state. A good introduction to science fairs is to judge or observe


MnSTA Newsletter

Opportunities-Department of Education an event. • Anoka-Hennepin District STEM fair, (judges needed) Feb. 8 • Regional Science Fairs, various dates • State Science and Engineering Fair, March 30 – April 1 Engage youth in climate change solutions through video Make a video for Youth Voices of Change! Youth in grades 4-12 are invited to submit a video (maximum 2 minutes long) that shares solution projects or helps raise awareness about climate change issues for a chance to win great prizes, including: money for their project, new video equipment, and gift certificates to local businesses. Ten lucky finalists and their videos will be featured on the big screen at the Youth Voices Film Festival in the evening of August 22, 2014 on the Sustainability Stage at the Eco Experience at the Minnesota State Fair. Awards will be announced at that time. Read more about how to get involved online. Entry deadline is May 16. Engineering for You Engineering for You (E4U) is a video competition open to individuals in middle school and up. We are offering a $25,000 grand prize and $5,000 People’s Choice award as well as category prizes to the most inspiring 1-2 minute videos focused on how engineering serves human welfare and the needs of society. Contestants can choose any time period between 1964 and 2064 for their video. The contest will run from Nov. 1, 2013, to March 31, 2014.Learn more. eCYBERMISSION eCYBERMISSION is a free, online collaborative learning competition for students in grades six through nine offered by the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program. The competition challenges students to think about real-world applications of STEM by working in teams to identify a problem in their community and use the scientific practices or the engineering design process to find a solution. Students compete for state, regional and national awards, with potential winning of up to $8,000 in U.S. savings bonds. All registered teachers will receive an eCYBERMISSION Starter Kit, which includes lessons, resources and tools available to introduce the

competition in the classroom. Information and Registration Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision ExploraVision is a competition that encourages K-12 students to create and explore a vision of a future technology by combining their imaginations with the tools of science. Teams of two to four students research scientific principles and current technologies as the basis for designing innovative technologies that could exist in 20 years. Students compete for up to $240,000 in savings bonds for college and cool gifts from Toshiba. First- and second-place teams also receive an expenses-paid trip with their families, mentor and coach to Washington, D.C. for a gala awards weekend in June 2014. For information visit the competition website. School Family Nights at the Science Museum of Minnesota Promote family learning and science literacy for your school community by booking one of our new School Family Nights. Your school can reserve the museum’s interactive exhibits and special hands-on activities, allowing your students to engage in one-of-akind science learning with peers and family members. Programs are held on select Thursday nights from 5:30-7:30 p.m. or 6-8 p.m. beginning February. http:// MDE Contacts: John Olson, Science Content Specialist, john.c.olson@state. Dawn Cameron, Science Assessment Specialist, dawn. Jim Wood, Science Assessment Specialist, jim.wood@state. Doug Paulson, STEM Integration Specialist, MDE Website: Send submissions for the Science Update to John Olson Other Minnesota Connections: Minn. Science Teachers Association Mn Frameworks for Science and Mathematics Standards Connections between schools and businesses http://www. Environmental Education resources Minnesota Academy of Science:

Winter 2014


Opportunities Field Opportunities for Earth Science Teachers When was the last time you were in the field studying geology? Last summer? 5 years ago? Never? The Geological Society of America has several opportunities for Earth Science teachers to study geology in the field this summer. These trips will help you to use your observations and new-found knowledge so you can effectively communicate geologic concepts with our peers, students, teachers and the general public. Trips for this summer include: • Explore Australia’s Geology (June 15- July 6, 2014)This is an amazing GeoVenture experience to get a 12 day slice of the very best geosciences of Australia. Registration is due on April 30, 2014. • Illinois Basin Field Camp (June 15-19, 2014)Join GSA on this 4-day field camp to discover the hidden geological gems of the Illinois Basin in La Salle County. Registration is due on January 10, 2014. • Rocky Mountain Field Camp (June 21-27, 2014) This five-day field camp will take you around Central Colorado and will allow you to investigate some of the amazing geology that Colorado has to offer. Registration is due on January 10, 2014. • Mammoth Cave Field Camp (July 14-19, 2014) This field camp will focus on geology, karst, groundwater, biology, ecology, environmental science and a bit of archeology. Come explore the world’s longest cave with GSA! Registration is due on February 10, 2014 • Explore Hawaiian Volcanoes (Aug. 6-13, 2014) This seven-day field trip on the Big Island of Hawaii will introduce you to plate tectonics, hot spot volcanism and the geologic features and hazards associated with living on an active volcano. Registration is due on May 15, 2014. Visit to view the itineraries. Contact Davida Buehler at if you have questions.

( and NanoSpace® (http:// are eager to hear your feedback! Hopefully, you’ve had the opportunity to take advantage of the educator resources and Guide to NanoSpace®, and have put them to use in your classroom. We’d love to hear your thoughts and if you found it beneficial to your students. If you haven’t checked out NanoSpace®, we hope you will take the opportunity to do so – and then share your thoughts. There are over two dozen fun games to take your students on a scientific learning adventure including, the Periodic Memory game, MicroLab and 23 other interactive and educational games and activities to capture and retain your students’ attention. We are all committed to increasing science literacy in our youth. If you would take a minute or two to fill out this brief survey, our team would be very appreciative! Visit the Educators ( page and you will see “Educators, we want your feedback!” Click on the link to complete the survey.

NanoSpace® Requests Your Feedback! Many science teachers have already started using NanoSpace, the free interactive website designed to teach kids about the nanoscale world of atoms and molecules, in their classrooms. The renowned professors and scientists from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, who created The Molecularium® Project

12 MnSTA Newsletter

Minnesota Conference on Science Education-MnCOSE

Plan to join us in Mankato, Minnesota for our annual Minnesota Conference On Science Education. MnCOSE is our premiere professional development event that brings Minnesota science education professionals together for sharing and growth! Go to to register. To qualify for the early registration rate, check and or school voucher payments must be RECEIVED at MnSTA by the early registration deadline of January 31, 2014. Payments not received by this deadline will be charged at the Regular Registration Rate. Lodging information and reservations can also be accessed through the website.

Winter 2014


MnCOSE Keynote Speakers-Friday, Feb. 21 Ramsey Musallam TED Talks Education Speaker and Education Innovation Expert Keynote: As Sir Ken Robinson states: “Curiosity is the engine of achievement”. Using examples from the classroom, the research, and society, this keynote will explore curiosity as a pedagogical tool, and emphasize why current movements in science and technology provide a “perfect storm” for today’s science educator. Biography Ramsey Musallam is a secondary science instructor at Sacred Heart Cathedral in downtown San Francisco and serves as an adjunct professor of education at the University of San Francisco and Touro University. In addition to his role as a science instructor, Ramsey is the acting Science Department Chairperson and Director of Inquiry and Innovation at Sacred Heart Cathedral. Ramsey delivers keynotes, webinars and facilitates workshops for teachers nationally and internationally with a focus on using technology as a strategic classroom partner in designing learning environments grounded in inquiry fueled by student curiosity. Additionally, Ramsey is the host of the Infinite Thinking Machine, an internet TV show dedicated to sharing innovative ideas for teachers and students. Ramsey’s TED Talk “3 Rules to Spark Learning” is widely popular with classroom teachers, and was the lead talk on TEDs first ever PBS TV premiere, “TED Talks Education.” Upon graduating from the University of California Davis with a BS in Molecular and Cellular Biology, Ramsey went on to obtain a MA and Ed.D in Education from the University of San Francisco. Since graduating, Ramsey’s research interests have shifted from using Multimedia to manage student Cognitive Load, to a focus on harnessing Multimedia as a tool in cultivating student curiosity, inquiry and motivation. “As a full-time high school science teacher and department chairperson, I am passionate about building and sharing innovative learning environments grounded in inquiry and guided by curiosity. Student questions can be windows into dynamic and tailored blended instruction, but not the other way around.” - Ramsey Musallam

Dwindling numbers for an iconic insect Karen Oberhauser, University of Minnesota Despite their popularity and iconic status, monarch butterfly populations have been declining over the last 20 years. Because insect numbers are notoriously difficult to assess, and because they often show large year to year fluctuations, simply documenting this decline has been a challenge. It is now important to move beyond simple documentation, and toward responding to the challenge posed by monarch conservation, and insect conservation in general. Monarchs are negatively impacted by many human activities, and various scientists and monarch advocates have implicated habitat degradation and loss, pesticide use, climate change, vehicular collisions, invasive species, and pathogen spread in their dwindling numbers. K-12 teachers and students have been key to building the public recognition of monarchs—recognition that is unparalleled among insects. In this presentation, I’ll describe the amazing biology of migratory monarch populations, and the work of students, teachers, citizens, and scientists in documenting monarch numbers at all stages of their migratory cycle. I’ll then discuss threats to monarchs, and potential responses to these threats. Because conservation biology must be, at its essence, a science of hope, my focus is on positive changes as well as on the challenges posed by monarch conservation. Karen Oberhauser is a Professor in the Dept. of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, and is a member of the Conservation Biology; Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior; Fisheries and Wildlife; and Natural Resources Science Management graduate faculties. She and her students conduct research on several aspects of monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) ecology, including reproductive ecology, host-parasite interactions, factors affecting the distribution and abundance of immature monarch stages, risks posed by global climate change and pest control practices to monarch butterflies.. She has a strong interest in engaging K-12 students and teachers in inquiry-based science and promoting a citizenry with a high degree of scientific and environmental literacy. To this end, she has developed

14 MnSTA


MnCOSE Strand Speakers-Friday, Feb. 21 a comprehensive science education program called Monarchs in the Classroom. The program involves courses and workshops for teachers, opportunities for youth to engage in research and share their findings with broad audiences, a nationwide Citizen Science project called the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project, and curriculum development. Karen is passionate about the conservation of the world’s biodiversity, and believes that the connections her projects promote between monarchs, humans, and the natural world will help to promote conservation actions. She chairs the Steering Committee of the Monarch Joint Venture, a collaborative group of Federal and State Agency personnel, representatives from NGOs, and University scientists that are working to promote monarch and pollinator conservation in the US. She is an officer and founding member of the Monarch Butterfly Fund, working with colleagues and communities in Mexico to preserve monarch habitat near the monarch wintering sites in central Mexico. . At the University of Minnesota, she teaches Conservation Biology and is a co-director of the Conservation Biology graduate program. In 2013, she received a White House Champion of Change award for her work with citizen science.

Strand Speakers

Elementary Kathleen O’Donnell, Director, Family & Education Services, Twin Cities Public Television. Kathleen will share highlights of TPT’s award winning STEM productions with emphasis on engineering and girls in science including the newest season of SciGirls this year. In addition Kathleen will share resources from SciGirls and other PBS resources available for teachers to use directly with students. Kathleen O’Donnell leads TPT’s commitment to be the most valuable media service to children, youth, and the adults who care about them by fully deploying public media resources on-air, online, and in local communities. Her passion for closing the persistent opportunity gaps rooted in racial and economic disparities guide her work which includes resource development and quality systems policy and practice to promote successful P-16 pathways. Biology Chris Pannell, U of MN Cancer Research. His session is titled “Cancer 101: When Good Cells Go Bad.” Here’s a brief description: Cancer affects us all, either directly or indirectly. This presentation will

provide historical and cutting-edge information on how cancer affects us, how it arises, and how it is treated. Comparisons between conventional and personalized therapies will be presented. He is currently researching ways to devise novel immune-based strategies for cancer therapy. Currently he and his colleagues are focusing on two approaches. One is to develop plasmid DNA-based cancer vaccines. The second is to introduce antigen receptors into T cells to redirect their cytotoxicity to tumor targets. Chemistry Matt Morgan, Hamline University. Dr. Morgan’s session is titled “What to Do If Your Flipped Classroom Flops”. If you have tried flipping your chemistry classroom and it didn’t work, don’t despair! The hints and discussion in this talk may help. Dr. Matt Morgan grew up in Anderson, a small town in Northern California He began teaching at Hamline University in 2007, and was appointed to a fulltime position as Senior Lecturer in 2009. Morgan is active in the American Chemical Society and is currently serving as Chair of the local section. Morgan’s teaching duties include General Chemistry lecture and lab classes along with Hamline’s Chemistry and Society course. Chemistry and Society is aimed at students who are not science majors He encourages students to increase their critical thinking skills, becoming scientifically literate citizens and voters. He incorporates educational technology such as student response devices, online homework, and automated laboratory data acquisition in all of his courses. Morgan teaches a hybrid online version of Chemistry and Society that serves as a model for presenting scientific material, including laboratory exercises, in an online format. Physics Tom Brown, MSU Mankato, Assistant Professor of Physics. Dr. Brown received his PhD from Montatna state and his research interest is Physics Education. In his presentation he will discuss the guiding philosophies of 20th Century Educational Psychology as presented by the three main figures of the time: Dewey, Vygotsky, and Piaget. Along the way we discuss the implications of these theories on curriculum and pedagogical design in the physics classroom. “Let the Experts be the guide” is the theme of the session and the participants will work collaboratively to design what we imagine these three foundations of modern Ed Psych would have our Physics classes look like

Winter 2014 15

MnCOSE Workshops-Saturday, Feb. 22 Ramsey Musallam

Whether the catalyst be the common core, Next Generation Science Standards, changes within the College Board, or personal professional growth, establishing a learning environment grounded in inquiry is central to sound science instruction. Through a simulated experience, this workshop will share techniques for lesson planning and leveraging technology to fuel consistent and targeted inquiry experiences for students.

Birds, Butterflies, Bees, and More: Citizen Science Projects for Classrooms

Presenters Rob Blair, Katie-Lyn Bunney, Karen Oberhauser, Sarada Sangameswaran, Sarah Weaver (U of MN), and Michele Koomen (Gustavus Adolphus College) Brief Summary Citizen science provides an effective way to connect youth to nature and engage them in science and environmental learning! Learn how you can use birds, butterflies, bees, and more to jump-start exciting research in your indoor or outdoor classroom. Description Come to learn about how you can use citizen science in your classroom, and win exciting door prizes! This interactive session will spotlight citizen science projects that are ideally suited for youth. We’ll describe six projects (focused on butterflies, bees, birds, streams, dragonflies, and phenology) that we use during an intensive summer professional development for K-12 teachers. Then we’ll summarize ways in which the projects facilitated science and environmental education, and how disciplinary literacy is embedded within projects. All participants will have an opportunity to choose a citizen science project, practice collecting data, and build on their data to design a mini-research project. If you like what you learn, we invite to join us for an extended two week version of the workshop in summer 2014!

Read Like a Scientist: Reading Strategies for the Secondary Science Classroom

Jon Kahle, Literacy Specialist, Eden Prairie High School, Eden Prairie, MN Description: This three hour session will examine some of the research and

best practice in adolescent reading development and its possible applications to the secondary science classroom. Research in adolescent literacy is booming and there is much to offer the content area classroom teacher. During this interactive session we will explore strategies and practices that encourage and develop: • Close reading of text • Effective annotation techniques • Vocabulary development • Alternative texts • Motivation and Engagement Clock Hours: 3.0 Minnesota clock hours will be made available. This session is designed to meet the state requirements for Reading Preparation and/or Accommodation, Modification and Adaptation of Curriculum, Materials and Instruction. About the presenter: Jon Kahle is the Literacy Specialist at Eden Prairie High School and adjunct faculty at Hamline University. Jon has taught secondary English and reading for 24 years and is interested in adolescent literacy development and its impact on content area classrooms. He is a member of the Minnesota Reading Association, the Secondary Reading Interest Council, and the Minnesota Council of Teachers of English.

Conference Lodging

Two great local options are available to you for lodging during the Minnesota Conference on Science Education in Mankato! Plenty of hotel rooms will be available and we welcome you to come and explore our region. Mankato City Center Hotel 507-345-1234 $80 per night for either one king or two queen beds and a continental breakfast. Mankato City Center Hotel 101 East Main St Mankato, MN 56001 This block will be held until Jan 20, 2014. Mankato Hilton Garden Inn $79.00 per night for either one king or two queen beds. Mankato Hilton Garden Inn 20 Civic Center Plaza Mankato, MN 56001 507-344-1111 This block will be held until Jan 30, 2014.


MnSTA Newsletter

Winter 2014 17

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MnCOSE Vendors Thank you for your support!

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Winter 2014 19

Teacher Feature The featured teacher for this issue is Jeff Kujath. For the past ten years Kujath has been workJeff teaches high school biological science classes in ing part time for the Minnesota Lions Eye Bank the Kasson-Manorville school district where he has (MLEB) as a procurement technician (recover dobeen since 2009. Prior to his present teaching assignnor eyes from organ donors). He is now supervisor ment, Jeff taught for two years in inner city Milwauof the Rochester branch of MLEB and does the hirkee and at Rochester Lourdes High School. Two ing and training of techs. He sought and received years ago, Jeff brought the idea that his school district permission to bring students with to shadow him should participate in Project Lead the Way (PLTW.) during his eye recoveries. “This is a great benefit to teaching biomedical courses,” he says. He has PLTW is the leading provider of rigorous and innovative Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathemat- hired ten of his former students to do this job of eye procurement. Three of these students are now ics (STEM) education curricular programs used in in med school. elementary, middle, and high schools across the U.S. His school became one of only three schools in Min After graduating from high school, he dabbled nesota to achieve certified status in the biomedical pro- in research and attended medical school for a cougram. Last year he was selected by the PLTW national ple of years. Not satisfied with either, he decided organization to become a “Master Teacher” for PLTW. to try a career in teaching and loved it immediately. This involves training other teachers how to teach the He said, “Teaching is the most satisfying thing I PLTW curriculum. He was the first biomed master have tried. You have the opportunity to alter the teacher from Minnesota. He started and is now the lives of students you inspire forever and I take that advisor of Health Occupations Students of America seriously.” He added, “I try to push each student (HOSA) at his school. This club is for students who to their own limit. Each has a certain capacity want to learn more about health careers and getting them to achieve at that level can be a challenge. I want them to be as successful as they Kujath states that PLTW is a very fun way to teach can at what they want to do. I want to give them as there is not much lecture. He says, “students must the tools to be able to achieve what they want from seek out information, build models, do experiments life.” and investigations. Guiding them is trickier than it seems and I like this challenge. I don’t want to spoon Jeff Kujath facilitating one of the projects in his biomedical feed them and I don’t want to let them get frustrated class. so I need to know just when you need to step in with a timely hint.” Students are engaged with the material and these classes look nothing like typical classes. He states, “recently they had to build a model of angioplasty so they were digging through rocket club parts to find pieces that were just right for what they were visualizing for a model.” This looked chaotic with all of them doing their own thing while having to keep up getting them supplies, monitoring for misunderstanding, etc. He tells his students that he has high expectations of them but that they will also have a lot of fun. He states, “I do not get angry in the classroom with students but I do frustrate them!” He holds them to deadlines and they know what they need to do to get an A. In his college level courses they need to do two lab reports at 97% or better and then they can stop doing these big papers. A 96% grade gets their attention and they soon learn how to make a college level report. He charts out on the bulletin board year to year course scores on national tests for AP Biology and the PLTW courses so his students can see how past classes have done. He sees this as a challenge to try to get these averages to go higher and higher.


MnSTA Newsletter

Publication No. 11176

Introduction to GHS â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Pictograms

Acutely toxic


Gas under pressure

Burns skin Damages eyes Corrosive to metals

Explosive Self-reactive Organic peroxide

Acutely toxic (harmful), Irritant to skin, eyes or respiratory tract, Skin sensitizer

Carcinogen, Mutagen, Reproductive toxin, Respiratory sensitizer, Toxic to target organs, Toxic if aspirated

Toxic to aquatic life (optional)

Flammable, Self-reactive, Pyrophoric, Self-heating, Emits flammable gas, Organic peroxide

SAFETY-FAXî &#x2026;. . .makes science teaching easier.

11176 083012

MnSTA Board Directory

MnSTA Phone# (651)-523-2945

Below, you will find information about your MnSTA Board Members. The listing includes the board memberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s school (or organization), mailing address, work phone, FAX number, and e-mail address. The board wishes to make itself as accessible as possible for our members. Please feel free to contact your discipline representative, regional representative, or executive board members if you have ideas, concerns, or wish to help with the mission or operation of MnSTA. We are always looking for members who wish to serve MnSTA as Board Members, Non-Board Service Chairs or Members, and as Committee Chairs or Members.

Executive Board: Exec. Secretary

Ed Hessler

Hamline University, 1536 Hewitt Ave. MS-A1760,

W: 651-523-2945

F: 651-523-3041



Steve Walvig

The Bakken

3537 Zenith Ave. S


Past President

Mary Colson W: 218-284-7300

Horizon MS F: 218-284-7333

3601 12th Ave. So. Moorhead, MN 56560


Joe Reymann



DOE Science Specialist

John Olson

Dept.of Education 651-582-8673

F: 612-927-7265

St. Paul, MN 55104 Minneapolis, MN 55416

Discipline Directors: Biology

Nancy Orr-Johnson

Humboldt Secondary 30 E. Baker St.

St. Paul, MN 55107

W:763-242-4649 Chemistry

Carolyn Fruin

Eastview High School


Earth Science

Kate Rosok


Minneapolis Public Schools 3131 19th Ave S

Elementary/Greater MN Nicole Christofferson-Weston Menahga Public Schools

Minneapolis, MN 55407

216 Aspen Ave;

Menahga, MN 56464

218-564-4141X477 Elementary/Metro

Polly Saatzer Garlough Environmental Magnet 1740 Charlton St. W:651-552-0094

Higher Ed

Michele Koomen

W507-933-6057 F507-933-6020

Informal Ed

Larry Thomas

West St. Paul, MN 55118

Gustavus Adolphus College 800 West College Ave. SMM

St. Peter, MN 56082

120 W. Kellogg Blvd

St. Paul, MN 55102

W: 651-221-4507



Jerry Wenzel




Paul Lulai

St. Anthony Village High School 3303 33rd Ave

St. Anthony, MN 55418

W:612-964-5374 Private Schools

Carolyn Ocampo


Cristo Rey Jesuit HS


Eric Koser 507-387-3461 x 322

Mankato West H.S. F: 507-345-1502

2924 4th Ave. S

Minneapolis, MN 55408

1351 S. Riverfront Dr. e:

Mankato, MN 56001 W:

Region Representatives: Region 1&2: North

Laurie Arnason

South Point Elementary 1900 13th St. SE

East Grand Forks, MN 56721

W:218-773-1149 Region 1&2: North

Michael Urban


Bemidji State University 1500 Belmont Dr. NE #35 Bemidji, MN 56601

Region 3: Northeast

Elizabeth Kersting-Peterson Piedomont Elementary 2827 Chambersburg Ave.

W:218-336-8950 X 2759 F:218-336-8954

Duluth, MN 55811

Region 4: Westcentral Vacant


MnSTA Newsletter

Region 5: Northcentral Marie Zettel

Aitkin High School

306 2nd St. SW

W 218-927-2115 X 3313

Region 6: Southcentral Philip Sinner Renville County West

301 NE 3rd St. PO Box 338

W320-329-8368 F320-329-8191

Region 7: Eastcentral

Kari Dombrovski

Talahi Community School 1321 University Dr. SE



Region 8: Southcentral Philip Sinner

Aitkin, MN 56431 Renville, MN 56284 St. Cloud, MN 56304

Renville County West

301 NE 3rd St. PO Box 338

Renville, MN 56284

W320-329-8368 F320-329-8191

Region 9: South

Dana Smith W:507-232-3461X4114

Nicolette Public School 1 Pine St. e:

Nicollet, MN 56047

Region 10: Southeast

Sharie Furst

Kasson-Mantorville Elemementary 604 16th St. NE

Kasson, MN 55944


Region 11: Metro

Betsey Stretch


Minneapolis Public Schools 1250 Broadway

Minneapolis, MN 55411

Ancillary Positions: Database

Mark Lex 55416

Benilde-St. Margaretâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2501 Hwy 100 S W: 952-927-4176 F: 952-920-8889

Historian/Parlimentarian Fred Riehm

Retired â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;91

NSTA Dist. IX Director

Horizon MS

Mary Colson

St. Louis Park, MN e: 3601 12th Ave. So.

Moorhead, MN 56560

W: 218-284-7300 Conference Coordinator Jean Tushie

Eden Prairie High School

F 952-975-8020

W 952-975-4347

17185 Valley View Rd Eden Prairie, N 55346


Events Calendar If you have events you want placed on the calendar, send them to the editor - see page 2 for deadlines, address, etc.

Conferences / Workshops MnCOSE Minnesota Conference on Science Education Feb. 21-22, 2014 Verizon Center in Mankato Minnesota Earth Science Teachers Conference Feb. 7, 2014 Plymouth, MN MnCOSE Minnesota Conference on Science Education Feb. 20-21, 2015 Verizon Center in Mankato NSTA National Conference April 3-6 2014 Boston, MA

Winter 2014


Minnesota Science Teachers Association, Inc. Hamline University MS MS-A1760 1536 Hewitt Ave. St. Paul, MN 55104

Non-Porfit Org U.S. Postage PAID

Twin Cities, MN Permit No. 4197

MnSTA Regions

MnSTA Membership Application Form

Join the Minnesota Science Teachers Association (MnSTA), the professional organization whose primary goal is the advancement of science education. Mail this form along with your check to: MnSTA, Hamline University MS - A1760, 1536 Hewitt Ave., St. Paul, MN 55104


First name


Last name



Name Address



Zip Code



Phone number (include area code)

Phone number (include area code)

Preferred email address

Fax number (include area code)

Second email address

School district # (enter "P" if private)

q New Member

q Renewing Member

Rates (Check one): q Basic Membership ...................... $25 q First Year Teacher ...................... $15 q Retired Teacher .......................... $15 q Pre-service Student .................... $10 q Life Membership: to age 35 ..... $400 age 36-50 ... $300 over 50 ........ $200

Zip Code

Indicate the grade level you work with: level: q Elementary (K-6) q College/University q Middle/Jr. High School (6-9) q Informal Ed q High School (9-12) Choose up to three discipline mailing lists: q Elementary q Earth Science q Life Science q Physical Science

q Biology q Chemistry q Physics q Environmental Science

MnSTA Winter 2014 Newsletter  

The quarterly newsletter of the Minnesota Science Teacher's Association

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