Bees collect pollen and nectar as food for the entire colony. The method by which bees collect pollen depends on the species.The fact that pollen is picked up by bees on their hairy coats, means that the pollen can then be transferred between plants.
Possible Guiding Question(s):What is the bee doing? What is on its body? What may happen if the bee visits a second flower? How does this help the flower?
Possible Instructional Use(s):After viewing the video, students can discuss what happens when bees visit flowers and would happen if they did not. Using the powder from Cheetos and the powdered sugar, students can use their hands as pretend bees "flying" from one bag to the next. Have them describe what they observed and how this relates to bees and other pollinators.
A man hiking around 11,00 feet above sea level in the Rocky Mountains came upon rocks containing the fossils of marine organisms.
Possible Guiding Question(s):How did marine fossils end up high in the Rocky Mountains?
Possible Instructional Use(s):This could anchor a lesson or series of lessons focused on how fossil evidence can be used to understand Earth's history and how plate tectonics drives changes in Earth's landscape.
The Next Gen Navigator is a monthly e-newsletter delivering information, insights, resources, and professional learning opportunities for science educators by science educators on three-dimensional instruction. The November issue focused on the theme of Science for All and English language learners, modeling to support language development, and making connections to students' cultures. You can review past issue and subscribe to the newsletter here.
Two Georgia Teachers Named Northrop Grumman Foundation Teaching Fellows Congratulations to Toneka Bussey of Tuskegee Airmen Global Academy in Atlanta and Teresa Cobble of Lovinggood Middle School in Powder Springs. Bussey and Cobble were among 27 middle school teachers (grades 5-8) selected as Teacher Fellows in the 2017-18 Northrop Grumman Foundation Teachers Academy. The Fellows—who hail from Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Australia—will participate in a number of science, engineering, and technology-related activities and professional learning opportunities. Read the press release.
GSTA and NSTA Offer Joint Memberships
In preparation for the 2018 NSTA national conference, GSTA and NSTA are offering joint memberships. You can join both GSTA and NSTA for one year for just $104, which is a savings of $15. The NSTA membership will, in turn, provide you with reduced registration rates for the national conference. Take advantage by visiting this special page on the NSTA site.
Number of Georgia High School Students in AP Computer Science Courses Nearly Doubles in 2017
In just one year the number of Georgia students taking an AP Computer Science (CS) exam has almost doubled. With the launch of AP Computer Science Principles (AP CSP) in the fall of 2016, the number of Georgia students taking an AP CS exam has expanded from 2,033 in May 2016 to 3,816 students in May 2017.
In Georgia, 1,942 students took the AP CSP exam in 2017 – and 77% of those students scored a 3 or higher on the exam.
The goal for AP CSP is to expose computer science to a more diverse group of students and broaden their understanding of how it might play into their future career – whether they choose to go into computer science or not. In Georgia, it has worked. The number of African American students taking AP CS more than doubled from 174 in 2016 to 352 in 2017, and the number of Hispanic students almost tripled during the same time from 122 in to 342.
With a unique focus on creative problem solving and real-world applications, AP CSP prepares students for college and career.
NSTA Legislative Update: HEA, Budgets, and Taxes
- via NSTA Express
Federal lawmakers kicked the can on final fiscal year 2018 federal spending to December 22, ensuring a pre-Christmas budget showdown; a surprise for teacher educators in the House Republican bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA); and a long-time STEM group will close at the end of the year. This, and more, in this issue of the NSTA Legislative Update.
Notes From the Editor
Implementing the Science GSE
Putting Science for All Into Practice(s)
- Dr. Patrick Enderle, Assistant Professor of Science Education, Georgia State University
The new Georgia Standards for Excellence in Science represent an ambitious vision for the teaching and learning of science in K-12 classrooms across the state, emphasizing students’ engagement in science practices as they learn about core scientific ideas and cross-disciplinary concepts. The Science GSEs also support teachers’ efforts to close the “opportunity gap” (Carter & Welner, 2013; Flores, 2007; Gorski, 2013) that many of our students experience. Too often, only gifted and talented students or those attending resource-rich schools have access and are considered capable to the kinds of instruction envisioned in the Science GSE’s (Pimentel & McNeill, 2013; Sampson & Blanchard, 2012). Thus, these new standards afford science teachers with opportunities to achieve more equitable classrooms by emphasizing the need to provide ALL students with rigorous and engaging science learning experiences.
Research conducted by several colleagues provides direct evidence that all students improve their learning when they learn science through these practices (Strimaitis, Southerland, Sampson, Enderle, Grooms, 2017). The study explored biology instruction in two similar high schools over the course of a school year. In one school (A), teachers implemented a large number of structured laboratory investigations and demonstrations narrowly focused on only two scientific practices – analyzing & interpreting data and constructing explanations, reflecting typical science instruction (Fulkerson & Banilower, 2014). In the comparison school (B), the teachers implemented laboratory investigations emphasizing several scientific practices, both investigative and explanatory. These practices help students build their science knowledge while improving their ability to develop and communicate that knowledge. Students at both schools completed similar assessments at the beginning and end of a school year where they experienced these different types of instruction. That data was analyzed to determine how much students learned among different scientific abilities and then compare those changes between the different schools.
The results of the study (Strimaitis et al., 2017) show that students, both “honors” and “general”, learned more when consistently engaged in investigations involving more scientific practices. On a content knowledge assessment, all students in school A, with narrowly focused investigations, demonstrated significant learning of science concepts over the course of the year, as did students in school B, with the more rigorous investigations. However, the students in school B, both honors and general groups, demonstrated a larger amount of conceptual learning than the honors group from school A (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Comparison of student group achievement on content knowledge assessment. Adapted from Strimaitis et al., (2017). Error bars represent + 1 SD. “d” is a measure of size for significant pre/post differences.
On an investigation task assessment, school A honors students demonstrated significant learning while the general students did not. In contrast, school B students, both honors and general, demonstrated significant learning around their ability to design and conduct scientific investigations (Figure 2).
Figure 2. Comparison of student group achievement on investigation performance task assessment. Adapted from Strimaitis et al., (2017). Error bars represent + 1 SD. “d” is a measure of size for significant pre/post differences.
Finally, on an argumentative writing assessment, only the groups in school B demonstrated any significant growth in their scientific writing abilities (Figure 3).
Figure 3. Comparison of student group achievement on scientific argumentative writing assessment. Adapted from Strimaitis et al., (2017). Error bars represent + 1 SD. “d” is a measure of size for significant pre/post differences.
The laboratories in school B were structured using the Argument-Driven Inquiry (ADI) instructional model (www.argumentdriveninquiry.com; Sampson, Enderle, Gleim, Grooms, Hester, Southerland, & Wilson, 2014). This model primarily focuses on changing the way students conduct laboratories in their science classes. The model involves eight stages that engage students in designing and conducting investigations to develop a scientific argument that responds to a guiding question. Throughout an ADI investigation, students are challenged to make their own decisions about how to collect and analyze data while also supporting their decisions and critiquing others using sound reasoning. ADI investigations give students multiple opportunities to learn how to argue from evidence and communicate scientifically, both verbally and through different forms of writing. Although such rigorous investigations require more class time, they allow students to experience more authentic science learning, particularly when compared to instruction involving mostly reading, note taking, and demonstrations. Further, it should be noted that the teachers in School B only implemented nine to twelve ADI investigations, whereas teachers in School A implemented 15 to 30 more typical “labs”.
Overall, these results show that ALL students benefit when they experience laboratories that have them using multiple scientific practices to make sense of phenomena. Instruction emphasizing practices, as called for by the Science GSEs, improves learning outcomes and students’ attitudes towards science in both urban and rural contexts, and among ethnically and linguistically diverse students (Calabrese & Tan, 2010; Lee, Quinn, & Valdes, 2013; Sampson, Enderle, Grooms, & Witte, 2013; Swanson, Bianchini, & Sook Lee, 2014; Yerrick, 2000).
The ADI model is one example of several that districts and science coordinators around Georgia are using to support their teachers’ efforts to align instruction with the new standards. Various instructional materials have been developed and are available through GSTA and NSTA, as well as the GADOE Science Ambassadors in each school district. An esteemed collection of science educators across the University System of Georgia and RESA organizations stand ready to assist their local districts.
For teachers, new instructional approaches present learning curves that can be intimidating. However, supported by evidence like in Strimaitis et al. (2017), as teachers learn and implement new approaches that align with the Science GSEs, they will also be working towards providing more equitable science instruction. Through courageous and determined efforts, you, the science teachers of Georgia, have the power to create a more equitable world by equipping ALL students to succeed.
Author Note: I would like to sincerely thank my colleagues, Dr. Natalie King, Dr. Renee Schwartz, and Dr. Jeremy Peacock for their thoughtful review and suggestions of previous drafts.
Barton, A. C., & Tan, E. (2010). We be burnin'! Agency, identity, and science learning. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 19(2), 187-229.
Carter, P. L., & Welner, K. G. (Eds.). (2013). Closing the opportunity gap: What America must do to give every child an even chance. Oxford University Press.
Flores, A. (2007). Examining disparities in mathematics education: Achievement gap or opportunity gap?. The High School Journal, 91(1), 29-42.
Fulkerson, W. O. & Banilower, E. R. (2014). Monitoring progress: How the 2012 national survey of science and mathematics education can inform a national K–12 STEM education indicator system.Chapel Hill, NC: Horizon Research, Inc.
Gorski, P. (2013). Reaching and teaching students in poverty: Strategies for erasing the opportunity gap. New York: Teachers College Press.
Lee, O., Quinn, H., & Valdés, G. (2013). Science and language for English language learners in relation to Next Generation Science Standards and with implications for Common Core State Standards for English language arts and mathematics. Educational Researcher, 42(4), 223-233.
Pimentel, D. S., & McNeill, K. L. (2013). Conducting talk in science classrooms: Investigating instructional moves and teachers’ beliefs. Science Education, 97(3), 367–394.
Sampson, V. & Blanchard, M. (2012). Science teachers and scientific argumentation. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 49(9), 1122-1148.
Sampson, V., Enderle, P., Gleim, L., Grooms, J., Hester, M., Southerland, S., & Wilson, K. (2014). Argument-Driven Inquiry in Biology: Lab Investigations for grades 9-12. Washington, DC: NSTA Press.
Sampson, V., Enderle, P., Grooms, J., & Witte, S. (2013). Writing to Learn by Learning to Write During the School Science Laboratory: Helping Middle and High School Students Develop Argumentative Writing Skills as They Learn Core Ideas. Science Education, 97(5), 643-670.
Strimaitis, A. M., Southerland, S. A., Sampson, V., Enderle, P., & Grooms, J. (2017). Promoting Equitable Biology Lab Instruction by Engaging All Students in a Broad Range of Science Practices: An Exploratory Study. School Science and Mathematics, 117(3-4), 92-103.
Swanson, L., Bianchini, J., and Sook Lee, J. (2014). Engaging in argument and communicating information: A case study of English language learners and their science teacher in an urban high school. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 51(1), 31–64.
Yerrick, R. K. (2000). Lower track science students' argumentation and open inquiry instruction. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37(8), 807-838.