Montana Science Content Standards and Resources

Professional Development Request Form

Science Instructional Coordinator: Michelle McCarthy| 406-444-3537
Return to the K-12 Content Standards home page.

Announcements and Opportunities

2024

 
 
Carnegie Corporation on the Call to Action
ICYMI: BOSE, NASEM: Taking Stock of Science Standards Implementation Summit recording

 

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Grant or Paid Opportunities

Grant or Paid Opportunities

HIRING MENTORS for the MentorMT Program!

MentorMT offers grade-level and subject-area mentoring for new or underprepared rural teachers, helping them build effective pedagogy and content knowledge in their grade level and discipline. Over 100 K-12 teachers will be matched with mentors next year. Earn $500 for training plus up to $2000 for mentoring!

In June 2024 we will train 50 experienced Montana educators as mentors.

You could be one of them – apply today!

  • Information about benefits and the application
  • APPLICATION DEADLINE: Midnight Wednesday May 22, 2024

    Questions? Contact Jennifer Luebeck, MentorMT Director

    Email jennifer.luebeck@montana.edu or call (406) 994-5341

    Watch our website grow at www.montana.edu/crre/mentormt [montana.edu]

    MentorMT is a program of ASPIRE, a grant administered by the Center for Research on Rural Education at Montana State University and funded by Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies

    Two cohorts of Clean Energy Fellows in the Pacific Northwest.  These cohorts are open to formal and informal educators and those working in educational support to develop.  

 

  • The  Clean Energy Fellows in the PNW Offshore Wind Cohort  work to review and refine innovative and equitable tools
    for engaging students in the rapidly innovating Pacific Northwest offshore wind energy sector.   These Fellows receive a $5000 stipend and $2000 materials budget along with CE support, as well as connections from leaders in workforce development and industry partners. 
    • Please feel free to share this opportunity with any Montana educators who may be interested.  Currently, this opportunity is only open to educators located within a customer-owned BPA utility (mainly Western Montana).  Here is the map for an educator to determine if they are within a customer-owned utility territory. 
  • Petroleum Resources Workshop Connects K-12 Teachers with Oil and Gas IndustryMontana Technological University will hold a free workshop in the summer of 2024 for K-12 teachers to learn about the petroleum industry and its impact on their local community. Hess Corporation will sponsor the free Montana Petroleum Resources Workshop, which will include room and board for the week. Participating teachers receive 31 License Renewal Units or two graduate college credits from Montana State University-Billings. Montana Tech’s Petroleum Engineering faculty will lead the workshop, which will be held June 10-14 at MSU-Billings campus

  • Humanities Montananot just for social studies, has started their new grant openings!  Check it out and see if you could combine science standards to meet those goals!

  • 21st Century Community Learning Center Competitive Grant Update  The 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant provides funds to Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) and community-based organizations (CBOs). Grantees are awarded a minimum of $50,000 each year for 5 years. The 21st Century Community Learning Centers provide opportunities for academic enrichment during out-of-school time in a community learning center environment.  Services reinforce and complement regular academic programs and offer literacy and educational development to students and families. You can apply, see the timeline learn a little more on the website

  • CSX Community Service Grants (includes schools) with suggested ranges from $1,000 to $5,000

  • Aldrin Family Foundation Map Package Grant Application Aldrin Family Foundation has worked with donors to make Giant Mars and Moon Map packages available for distribution to individual schools, school districts, and informal education organizations throughout the country in areas where we believe they can do the most good, especially in under-served communities.

Challenges and Competitions

Challenges and Competitions

 

Student and Classroom opportunities

Student and Classroom Opportunities

K-8

JOIN US FOR A LIVE, VIRTUAL DAY IN THE FIELD WITH POLLINATOR RESEARCHERS ON MAY 22, 2024!

This is geared toward elementary and middle school students. We will facilitate age band breakout rooms with the researchers!

Join in the conversation with pollinator researchers and botanists as they walk through their longitudinal research study protocols in this 45-minute, interactive program. This program is a partnership between the MPG Ranch and the Missoula County Department of Ecology and Extension. Students will:

1. What’s a pollinator?

2. Why do we study pollinators?

3. How do we study pollinators?

4. Have wonders and ask researchers questions in grade groupings.

Wednesday, May 22, 2023 Register Now

9:00 am, 10:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 2:00 pm MOUNTAIN TIME

K-12

  • National Girls Collaborative Project

The Moonshot has launched a nationwide search for the 2024 Flight Crew - a group of youth advocates promoting the value of out-of-school STEM learning and equity in STEM for young people across the nation. 

Encourage girls, non-binary or cis-gender youth, ages 13-18, with experience in afterschool and summer STEM learning, to apply!

If you have any questions reach out to heather@mtafterschoolalliance.org

  • The Achievery, a free online digital learning platform has free cybersecurity practices lessons.

  • Air Quality Flag Program. This program is funded by the Montana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Flags, onsite training, and educational materials are free.  If you would like to get involved, contact mac.nollde@ontanahphc.org, (406) 763-1006.
  • Bugs, bugs, bugs!  Field trips, Classroom visits, Distance Learning, all available through Missoula Butterfly House, scholarships are available.
  • Coding: CS Ed Week, Computer Science for Educators-resources
  • EPA Region 8 (Mountains and Plains) offers virtual presentations to the general public, teachers and students on a variety of environmental topics. Presentations can be tailored for any age group and are offered during the school week. EPA also has lesson plans, activity books, pre-recorded presentations and games available.  EPA Region 8 offers informal mentorships to young people who are interested in finding out more about environmental/conservation issues, projects and careers. Students are matched with a subject matter expert who can discuss with the students their environmental questions or career paths. Mentorships can be one-time visits, a phone call, virtual meetings or last a few months depending on the student’s needs/interests. Mentees can be of any age. Teachers or parents interested in finding out more about these offerings should contact Wendy Dew at dew.wendy@epa.govor 303-877-0428
NASA:

When scientists and engineers want to communicate with spacecraft in deep space, they turn to the Deep Space Network, NASA’s international array of giant radio antennas. Next month marks the 60th anniversary of this communication network, and you can celebrate in your classroom with these new STEM resources.

Decoding Space Images

Grades 4-9

Exploring the Doppler Effect

Grades 9-12

Learn more about the Deep Space Network with STEM Lessons for Educators  and Activities for Students.

 

K-5

4-8

6-12

  • Re: Ideas for making learning more relevant (and providing perspective on current issues)

    Teacher Leaders in Montana History Cynthia Wilondek and Dylan Huisken (former MT Teacher of the Year) led a dynamite professional development workshop a few weeks ago on "Connecting Past to Present." They created a Google Doc with links to many resources and lesson plans. I'll only highlight a few here.

    • In the 2023 case Held vs State of Montana, kids sued the state of Montana over not doing enough to prevent climate change, claiming that the state's inaction violated the Montana constitution's guarantee of a "clean and healthful environment."  You can use this as an entry into discussing Montana's 1972 Constitution.
    • Digitized newspapers are a great way to research the history of current events, for example, the closure of a local business or bridge.
    • There have been a number of recent articles on trying to document all of the students who died at Indian boarding schools and returning the remains to their communities. This obviously connects to a study of the boarding school era. 
    • Discussions of dark money in politics today tie nicely with a discussion of the Clark-Daly feud, fight for the state capitol and decision to pass the direct election of senators after William A. Clark successfully bribed his way into the U.S. Senate in 1899.
  • City College at MSU Billings to host Women in Automotive Events:  City College at Montana State University- Billings will host free Women in Automotive events where participants can learn about basic car repair and maintenance. Both introductory and advanced classes will be available.

    • The introductory classes will teach participants how to maintain oil, coolant, and brake condition, and how to change a tire and measure tire pressure. The dates of the intro level classes are:

      • February 24, 2024

      • March 30, 2024

      • April 20, 2024

    • The advanced classes, meanwhile, will focus on fuel systems, emission systems, and electrical systems. Attendees will have the opportunity to bring their personal vehicles into the lab and will work with the instructors to identify specific components. The dates of the advanced level classes are:

      • January 6, 2024

      • May 11, 2024

    • All classes will take place from 10 am-1 pm; participants need to attend only one class. The Women in Automotive events will be instructed by Amy Hunt, an automotive technician at a local repair facility, and Kat Pfau, one of the automotive instructors at City College.All events are free and open to the public; participants are encouraged to register in advance. Lunch will be provided. 

  • NASA Graphing Global Temperature Trends for 5-12 
  • Climate Emergency Feedback Loops, 5 short Climate Change videos with curriculum guides, as seen on PBS
  • PBS LearningMedia: Grades: 6-12

9-12

  • Veterinary Medicine Careers Exploration: A Virtual Workshop for HS Students, Saturday, March 9, 2024 from 12:00pm to 2:00pm sponsored by the Humane Rescue Alliance. Registration is now open.

  • The Montana Aerospace Scholars (MAS) is a two-phase program for high school students to take part in an extracurricular experience that immerses them in aerospace-related activities. MAS is offered through NASA partnerships with the Montana Learning Center at Canyon Ferry Lake and the Northwest Earth & Space Sciences Pathways program.

    Phase One is a remote portion where students will make an introduction video and complete a research essay. These assignments help students build general space technology and career knowledge while allowing them to develop skills such as problem solving, creativity, proposal writing, and critical thinking.

    Students who pass Phase One will be invited to the in-person experience at the MLC campus, Phase Two. They will work as a team to plan a detailed mission to either the Moon or Mars, depending on their program. Other activities provided at this residency include learning how to fly a plane, engaging in engineering challenges, partaking in aerospace-industry tours, and interacting with NASA personnel. Students will also spend time observing objects in the night sky at our state-of-the-art observatory, featuring the largest public access telescope in Montana (weather permitting).

    If you have any students who are interested, please encourage them to apply! This program is FREE. Applications are due by March 1st.

    A description of the program, a FAQ document, and the application can be found here:
    https://montanalearning.org/apollo50/ [montanalearning.org]

    If you or students have any questions, contact Executive Director Ryan Hannahoe at MontanaLearningCenter@gmail.com.

  • Girls Who Code’s Free Virtual Summer Programs

Ready to shape your future and join an empowering sisterhood? Become a coder this summer with Girls Who Code! 

Girls Who Code’s free virtual Summer Programs empower you to build skills, community, and a professional network for your future, in the ways that work best for you. Choose your adventure with two free programs:

  • Curious to create your own computer games? In our two-week Summer Immersion Program (SIP), you’ll learn how to design your own games using p5.js, a JavaScript library for creative coding. Join classmates and our dedicated Teaching Teams in live virtual classrooms hosted by industry-leading companies like MetLife, Bank of America, Logitech, and Synchrony. We’ve got three rounds to fit your schedule: June 14 to June 28, July 8 to July 19, and July 29 to August 9.

    SIP is for current 9th-11th grade girls and non-binary students with beginner or intermediate coding experience, including program alums. Eligible students can even apply for a $300 SIP Student Grant [t.yesware.com] and laptop and hot spot access [t.yesware.com]!

  • Excited to explore the biggest topics in tech at your own pace? Our six-week Self-Paced Program offers tracks in Web Development, Cybersecurity, and – new for 2024 – Data Science + AI! From July 1 to August 9, you get to decide how and when to build your coding skills, and you can always ask questions in our Discord server or optional Student Hours.

    The Self-Paced Program is for current 9th-12th grade girls and non-binary students with beginner to advanced coding experience, including program alums.

  • Calling All Educators! 

    InvenTeam Applications open February 11th!

    Applications are open for the 2024-2025 InvenTeam grant year. The Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam initiative offers an unparalleled opportunity for high school students to cultivate their creativity and experience invention. The deadline for submitting applications for the first round of consideration is April 23, 2024. 

    Launching InvenTeam applications on February 11 is part of a larger celebration of National Inventors’ Day and International Day of Women and Girls in Science. We hope the creative and inventive forces are with you that day because inventing is fun! 

    If you are interested in learning about the InvenTeam application and process, LMIT is offering two webinars (March 19, and April 9) with Invention Education Officer Leigh Estabrooks and former InvenTeam teachers. For more information about those webinars, visit our website.

    HS Students interested in pursuing a career in education!  MSU Rural Pathways Program is starting a Bridge to College initiative whereby current high school students are invited to be part of an online professional learning community called the Future Rural Educators' Club, led by Glendive Superintendent Stephen Schreibeis.  The club will meet virtually 1-2 times per month and participation in the club enables students to apply for additional opportunities such as paid campus visits.  Informational and student flyers are attached.  If you have any questions, please contact Marcie Reuer at marcie.reuer@montana.edu
  • SD Pathways [solardecathlon.gov] is back this year, with more opportunities to bring a STEM in-person or virtual career talk into your high school classroom, club, or other student group. SD Pathways aligns with the following career clusters: Architecture & Construction, Information Technology, Manufacturing, and STEM fields. Sign up here to get a presenter in your classroom this Fall!

    There are a few great things about our program:

    • Students will be introduced to career and education paths they might not have known about before
    • SD Pathways also includes option pre or post activities
    • Our presenters go through training on how to work with high school students, as well as presentation slides and school visit guidance

We worked with over 1,000 students last year and are ready to work with yours too. Sign up here [forms.office.com] to get started, and then a team member will reach out to you to schedule a STEM career talk.

Teachers

Apply here [t.yesware.com] by the early deadline, February 14, 2024 for priority consideration or apply by our general deadline, March 22, 2024. Don't miss this incredible opportunity to level up your coding skills, kickstart your future, tap into lifelong career support, and have fun along the way!
Need help? Learn more with our program flyer [t.yesware.com], webinars [t.yesware.com], or FAQs [t.yesware.com], or email us at summer@girlswhocode.com.

 

 

 

Conferences and PD

Conferences and Professional Learning

  • Human Dissection for Teachers

    Course participants will practice proper dissection techniques on a human cadaver and identify, label, and explain its anatomical features. Through this experience, participants will gain insight into the three-dimensional relationship between the structure and function of different anatomical regions. This knowledge is useful for all science educators but is invaluable to those teaching human anatomy and physiology and/or hoping to inspire the next generation of healthcare professionals. 

    On the MSU-Bozeman Campus

    July 1st, 2nd, and 3rd: 5pm-9 pm

    July 5: 9 am-5 pm

    July 6: 9 am-noon

    MUST be present for all class sessions.  No exceptions.

    Registration is limited to eight students and closes June 3rd. 

    Register for BIOH 585 Human Dissection for Teachers (2 credits) by contacting Holly Thompson: holythompson@montana.edu or 406-994-7485.

    CSCI 581 Computer Science in the Classroom: Computational Thinking for Teachers (2 CR). *FREE FOR MONTANA TEACHERS! This virtual (synchronous) course examines the computing field and how it impacts the human condition. Exciting ideas and influential people are introduced. A gentle introduction to computational thinking using the Python programming language is provided. The course also introduces participants to robotic platforms. Offered virtually July 8 – July 12, 2024, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm daily. Taught by MSU-Bozeman Computer Science Faculty, Hunter Lloyd. *Full tuition stipend available for teachers in Montana who submit a letter of support from an administrator and a brief letter of intent. Visit the MSU MSSE program website for registration, application and other information: montana.edu/msse  or msse@montana.edu. (NOTE: you can take MSSE classes as a non-degree seeking student—you do not need to be admitted to the MSU Master of Science in Science Education (MSSE) program to take this course.)

  • We are in the process of recruiting elementary teachers who have an interest in improving science and engineering instruction in their classrooms. We started STEM STRONG in 2023 with approximately 160 elementary teachers located in four states. This project is a part of a DRK-12 study funded by the National Science Foundation that examines ways of sustaining professional learning outcomes. For the upcoming academic year, beginning in Summer 2024, we are recruiting up to X elementary teachers from North Dakota to join STEM STRONG. The project activities, which are described below, have been developed for teachers in grades 3-5 with a focus on supporting teachers and schools that serve rural communities.

    Here are 3 Reasons to Participate in STEM STRONG:

    1) All participating teachers will benefit from high-quality online professional learning to grow as science and engineering educators.

    2) All participating teachers will be eligible to receive a stipend, funds for classroom materials, along with continuing education credits.

    3) All participating teachers will contribute to our knowledge about professional learning outcomes for K-12 educators, and this may help us and others better understand the that specific supports influence the sustainability of professional learning over time.

    If you are interested in participating, please follow this link to provide us with your contact information: https://und.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9AIJFaytqu6D9MG

    Details about Participating in STEM STRONG:

    All participating teachers will receive targeted support from professional learning providers (through K-12 Alliance) focused on science and engineering instruction aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Topics will include 3- dimensional instruction and phenomenon-driven inquiry along with engineering design and design-based learning. o Two ½-day professional learning sessions are planned for Summer 2024. These sessions will be provided to participating teachers at a distance via Zoom. We expect for teachers to be synchronous for each of these 4-hour sessions. Professional learning sessions are tentatively planned for July 31 and August 7. o Throughout the academic year, we will also coordinate meetings among our STEM STRONG teachers as an online professional learning community (PLC). These sessions will occur outside of school hours, at a time convenient across our time zones, and we will use them to further our learning together.

    The professional learning providers and researchers will provide participating teachers with a variety of resources and supports that they can choose to use while developing and implementing science and engineering lessons during the 2024–25 school year. These “modest supports” do not require teachers to make significant changes to their curriculum or instructional materials.

    Teachers will receive a stipend of $1,600 for their full participation in project activities for the 2024–25 school year. o Teachers will also be eligible to get reimbursed for materials (up to $100) used to support science and engineering instruction in the classroom. o Teachers also have the option of purchasing continuing education credits through the University of Wyoming after completing the PLC sessions.

    Teachers participating in STEM STRONG will be asked to participate in some of the following research-related activities. o Complete surveys about science and engineering teaching and learning at the beginning and end of the school year. o Complete a survey about the quality and sustainability of the professional learning provided by STEM STRONG.

    o Distribute electronic letters we provide to your students’ parent(s) or guardian(s) informing them about this project.

    o Administer up to 2 science and engineering tasks in your classroom with students (like the SCALE task that was completed in spring 2024).

    o *Complete up to 3 teacher logs per academic year to describe your science and engineering instruction and may include sharing lesson plans, assessments, presentations, worksheets, blinded student work, etc.

    o *Participate in up to 2 short interviews, once after the Summer 2024 professional learning event, and another in April-May 2025.

    o *Volunteer to record yourself teaching engineering or science in your classroom. Afterwards you would work with a group of teachers to review these instructional episodes and reflect on your teaching. Note: We take teachers’ preferences into consideration, and you will have choices about participating in some of the activities listed with an asterisk*.

    You will not be expected to participate in all of these activities. We invite you to share this information with colleagues in your school or elsewhere who might be interested in participating in this project. Please do not hesitate to contact me, Principal Investigator Ryan Summers at ryan.summers@und.edu, if you have any questions about the project.

  • Join us at the first ever
    Montana STEM Ecosystem Statewide Call!

    Join us on May 15th at 11 am MST for a conversation with neighboring states and national initiative leaders on the impact of STEM learning ecosystems. Through a panel discussion, hear how STEM learning ecosystems are shaping education, the workforce, and policy. Gain insight into best practices, challenges, and opportunities for building and sustaining STEM advancements and the next steps for the Montana STEM Ecosystem.

     

     

    To learn more and to support this effort visit: 
     www.mtafterschoolalliance.org/stem-ecosystem

    The event is free and registration is required

     

     

  • Center to Support Excellence in Teaching (CSET) School Leaders Program: CSET's transformative School Leaders Program (SLP)!

Extended the deadline to June 21, 2024, giving you more time to seize this incredible opportunity. Our virtual program is designed to empower leaders like you to deepen your understanding of liberatory pedagogy and drive meaningful change in your school and community.

  • Participate in a Virtual Summer Institute from July 8-12, 2024.

  • Benefit from monthly professional learning sessions with CSET staff.

  • Receive personalized leadership coaching to support your growth.

  • Connect with a network of like-minded educators dedicated to dismantling systems of oppression in K-12 schools.  

This opportunity is open to K-12 school leaders and lead teachers worldwide. The program fee is $3,500 (USD) per school year, with the added bonus of earning 6 continuing education units at no extra cost. We encourage you to explore funding options with your school administrators.

Secure your spot for the 2024-2025 school year before June 21, 2024. Visit our website for further details and enroll today!

  • OPI Summer Institute - June 17 - 20, 2024, Bozeman, MT

  • STEM Summer Institute -  August 5 - 7, 2024 Bozeman, MT

  • MFPE Educators Conference - October 17 - 18, Bozeman, MT

  • Save the Date: LMIT Summer Professional Development Workshop

    Meet expert speakers, educators, and colleagues who will share activities and techniques that enable students from all walks of life to develop confidence in their ability to engage in STEM. Our evidence-based model, backed by published research and case studies, gives educators the tools to evolve their teaching and facilitation of K-14 student learning. Invigorate your teaching at this three-day event on the campus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earn 20 professional development points.

    From June 12—14, 2024, join us as we create the future together. 

  • Techbridge Girls Applications Open:  Techbridge Girls is recruiting out-of-school time (OST) educators to participate in STEM and equity training, curriculum, resources, and ongoing support. Services equip educators with gender- and culturally responsive teaching tools and program materials to support youth persistence in STEM and expose girls to BIPOC peers and role models from STEM fields. You can visit the Programming Information Session and Application to learn more about how to participate in this program. Resources include curriculum, materials kits, training, ongoing support, and access to mini-grant funding. All OST program partners who serve Black, Indigenous, and Latina girls and gender-expansive youth are encouraged to apply.

  • 2024 NEED National Energy Conference for EducatorsJuly 7-11, 2024 Philadelphia, PA

  • Interested in becoming part of "Green Schools?"  Subscribe to the Dept. of Ed and choose the newsletters that will help you!

  • Miami University’s Project Dragonfly is accepting applications for 2024 Earth Expeditions graduate courses that offer extraordinary experiences at global field sites in 15 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Americas. http://EarthExpeditions.MiamiOH.edu [earthexpeditions.miamioh.edu]

    Earth Expeditions can build toward the Global Field Program (GFP), a master's degree that combines summer field courses worldwide with web learning communities so that students can complete the GFP master's part-time from anywhere in the United States or abroad. Applications are now being accepted until January 28. Courses begin in May 2024. http://GFP.MiamiOH.edu [gfp.miamioh.edu]

    Project Dragonfly also offers the Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) master's degree that combines web instruction from Miami University with face-to-face experiential learning and field study through several AIP sites in the U.S. Applications for Miami's 2024 cohorts are being now being accepted until February 28, with place-based experiences provided at zoos and botanical gardens in Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Jacksonville, New York, San Diego, and St. Louis. http://AIP.MiamiOH.edu [aip.miamioh.edu]

    Graduate tuition for all programs is greatly reduced because of support from Miami University. NEW for 2024 Applicants: To help make a Miami education more accessible and affordable, the Miami University Graduate School will waive the $50 application fee for those who attend an Information Session preceding the fee payment step of the application process. https://miamioh.edu/cas/graduate-studies/project-dragonfly/highlights-and-digital-media/informational-webinars.html [miamioh.edu]

    Project Dragonfly reaches millions of people each year through inquiry-driven learning media, public exhibits, and graduate programs worldwide. Project Dragonfly is based in the biology department at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Established as a state university in 1809, Miami is one of the eight original Public Ivies and has a distinguished record of excellence in research and teaching in science and science education.

  • Supercharge Your Classroom

    Supercharge Your Classroom with Montana Field Science Data is a free, self-paced course for educators that consists of five modules. Through these modules, educators will learn to incorporate datasets from authentic Montana research projects into their own classroom.  The Supercharge Your Classroom course is sponsored by Montana NSF EPSCoR and was originally taught by Montana Partnership with Regions for Excellence in STEM (MPRES) educators Chris Pavlovich and Bill Stockton through the Montana Office of Public Instruction's (OPI)  Teacher Learning Hub

    Getting Started:  The Supercharge Your Classroom course takes educators through research-based approaches to complete an applicable product, a unit or lesson, for their classroom. Each topic is composed of a building background knowledge portion and an inquiry portion. These steps are designed to mimic best practices in the classroom of inquiry and explicit instruction. By progressing through the modules below, educators will deepen their understanding of Montana research and better refine their end product. Simply click each module title below to access content. 

    • After you have completed this course, please share your feedback and we will send you a free STEM kit for your class! If you'd like your survey responses to be anonymous, please email smrc@montana.edu to let us know you have completed it; otherwise, you can include your name, email and shipping address on the survey. Thank you!  Give us your feedback here

  • Interested in teaching about Climate Change?  Climate Generation is a nonprofit providing interdisciplinary climate change educator professional development.  Register for their newsletter and learn more!
  • More Self-Paced Science Courses:
    • Place-based Education: Your Local Watershed  STEM inquiry will guide you through problem-based learning with real-world authentic data. Engage your students in their community and see an exemplar curriculum that meets standards!*

    • Exploring NASA with Inquiry:  Earth and Space Science lessons and activities reinforced with NASA website!*

    • "Backpack Science" Inquiry Activities: Mapping:  Hands-on mapping activities and resources that can be integrated into science class, as well as, other disciplines!

    • Science Fair 101: Using Science Fair Projects in your Classroom:  Using Science Fairs in the classroom to meet MT Standards and 3 Dimensional learning!

    • New Montana Science Assessment This course presents an overview of the New Montana Science Assessment that was implemented in 2022 and provides guidance on how to best prepare your students for the science assessment by teaching you how to access and administer preparatory materials in your classroom. There are many opportunities for you to engage with the content and actually test out the practice questions before you introduce them to your students. Student-facing videos are included.

  • Are you missing Walt's Science eBlast?  I know I have been, and was so glad to see it back up and running as of January 2022!  However, in order to get back on the list please follow these steps:
  1. Go to NSTA (nsta.org)

  2. If you have an account, login and skip to step 9

  3. Click "Join" in the top right

  4. Scroll down and click "Create a Free NSTA User Account"

  5. Click "Continue and Complete Your Profile to Get Started"

  6. Enter our Name, Email and Password, click "Continue"

  7. Complete the form, click "Continue"

  8. Select your Areas on Interest, click "Get Started"

  9. In the top right click "menu" and then "My Account"

  10. Click "Manage Subscriptions"

  11. Select the "Montana Science Matters Listserve" is the one you want to subscribe to, click "Save"

NASEM: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering

NASEM Opportunities/Information

Subscribe to the NASEM Climate Resources at the National Academies Newsletter

Subscribe to the NASEM Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

Other News:

Past Coffee Talk Recordings:
Coffee Talk #1:  A Review of the Numbers
Watch the first in the series as Sean Smith from Horizon Research, Inc. provides an overview of the landscape of implementation described in a number of reports produced by Horizon. 
Watch the archived video

Coffee Talk #2:  Rural Science Standards Implementation
The second webinar in the series, moderated by Tom Keller, hones in on implementation efforts within rural communities. A panel discussion with small group think time was used to allow the science education community to reflect on and discuss how to best support rural science standards implementation efforts.
Watch the archived video


Coffee Talk #3:  Informal Ed Science Implementation
The third webinar in the series, moderated by Elizabeth Mulkerrin, includes panel discussion to consider the opportunities that exist within informal education spaces.
Watch the archived video

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEM Community

Vetted Curriculum

Finally some curriculum that "Meets Expectations" from EdReports  for MS & HS


Amplify 6-8 Science Curriculum Meets Standard Alignment, Meets Usability per EdReports

OpenSciEd 6-8 Curriculum meets standard alignment and meets usability per Ed Reports
 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BSCS Biology Life High School meets EdReports on aligning with standards and usability

 

Approved Montana Distance Learning Providers

Curriculum Case Study: A Massachusetts Town Boosts Students’ STEM Learning by Letting the Students Do the Talking, ‘It’s Real Life’

Can you believe it?!  Free science curriculum from OpenSciEd.  Currently they have middle school curriculum available and the High School curriculum is currently being piloted.  They are also scheduled to have an EdReports review.  When this data becomes available, it will be reflected here.

To be completely transparent, below is a response to my questions about this curriculum from Casandra Gonzalez, Science Content Support Specialist from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education where they have been using OpenSciEd for over two years in middle schools:

"OpenSciEd is an NGSS-designed curriculum where students use the science and engineering practices to figure out a scientific phenomena. There is a big emphasis on discussion, use of evidence, and what I have heard called “minds-on” learning. So the students do lab activities and experiments in each unit, but they are very much connected to the overall themes that they are figuring out. They don’t necessarily do a lab every day – some days are more dedicated to discussion or making sense of data. There is a lot of writing as well.

The biggest shifts are pedagogical. The content is usually well within the wheelhouse of the teachers. But it’s a shift from starting each class with “ok, this is what we’re going to talk about today” to “hey, who can tell me what we figured out in our last class? And what questions will still have to answer about our anchoring phenomenon?” The students are really co-piloting the unit.

The biggest challenges we have run into are – 1-the first time around, teachers take a longer time than estimated to do the unit. It usually stresses them out a bit. But by the second time around it is much easier and smoother. And 2-the students are often not used to the teacher really turning around on them and saying “no, I’m not going to tell you the answer, you tell me what the evidence says”, but if the teacher sticks to it and really makes it a classroom expectation, the students do rise to the occasion.

It is critical to have the PD along with the curriculum, and OpenSciEd has certified providers that do it. I also strongly recommend that whenever possible, building administrators or whoever is in charge of evaluating teachers also attend the PD, so that they know what to expect and are on board with the changes. OpenSciEd classrooms are not necessarily going to be quiet and orderly, so admin need to know that is not a bad thing.

One legitimate critique of the curriculum is that, in appealing to a national audience, there may not be locally/culturally relevant phenomena or connections for every place in the country. I think this is an important concern. My recommendation would be that if the teachers & students feel this way, they spend the first year trying to teach the curriculum “out of the box” so that they get used to the pedagogical shifts, which are critical and important. Then spend some time, maybe in PLCs or with support from experts on culturally relevant teaching, thinking about how they could modify the phenomena, the transfer tasks, or other components of the units to make them more relevant, but still staying true to the rigor and coherence of the units. I do also know that the middle school student materials are available in Spanish. I am hopeful that they will add more languages soon."

 

NextGen Science, NGSS, and Edreports release on, "Critical Features of Instructional Materials Design for Today's Science Standards: A Resource for Science Curriculum Developers and the Educations Field"  Released July 2021

NSTA's Daily Do Playlists are suggested instructional sequences of NSTA Lessons that can be used to help students coherently build science ideas over time.
 

Grant Funded NGSS Aligned 9th Grade Curriculum

  • Physics and Chemistry Course, The Montana Office of Public Instruction worked in conjunction with Washington, Idaho, and Oregon in the Northwest Earth and Space Science Pipeline (NESSP) grant that was sponsored by NASA.  One product to be shared among the states (if you so choose), is the following:
  • High School Integrated

                      High School Integrated Physics and Chemistry Course

                   Overview

                    The High School Integrated Conceptual Science Program (ICSP) is a NGSS-aligned curriculum that utilizes the conceptual progressions model for bundling of the NGSS, High School Conceptual Model Course 1 and strategies from Ambitious Science Teaching (AST) to focus on teaching practices needed to engage students in science discourse and learning. 

                    Course 1 is the High School Integrated Physics and Chemistry Course.   The goal of these units is to encourage students to continue in STEM by providing engaging and aligned curriculum. The focus of this year long course is on the first year of high school (freshman).  While the course is designed to be taught as a collection of  the units, each unit could be taught as a separate unit in a science course.  

                    A video about the new course shared its unique approach to learning and teaching. Wenatchee School District, one of the participating districts, wanted a way to share the program with the community. https://youtu.be/9AGk19YUi2o

                    Course 1 of the ICSP development was funded by Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pipeline (NESSP) which is funded through the NASA Science Mission Directorate and housed with Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium at the University of Washington.

 

Article:

 

2024

 

Name & Link

Dates

Participating Grade Levels

Registration

Montana Tech Sci & Engineering Fair

Mar 2, 2023

9-12

Division 1: 9-12 Registration OPEN

MSU-Billings Science Expo

Important Dates and Times

March 3 & 4, 2023

Elem, 6-8, 9-12

Elem & Middle School Registration

High School Registration

U of M

Apr 4 & 5 2024

6-12

OPEN

Great Falls College MSU Elementary School Science Fair

Mar 5, 2024

K-5

OPEN

Flathead County

Set up Mar 6,

Fair Mar 7, 2024

3-12

Open January 2024

Great Falls College MSU 6- 8 & 9-12 Science Fair

Mar 7, 2024

6-8 & 9-12

OPEN

Big Sky High Regional School Science Bowl

Mar 8, 2024

6-12

October 2, 2023

 

Intermountain Science and Humanities Symposium

Symposium Dates February 9, 2024

9-12

Deadline for Applications is January 20, 2024

Application Page

Montana Science Olympiad

April 19, 2024

6-12

OPEN

National Science Bowl

National Finals

April 25 – 29, 2024

6-8 & 9-12

 

March 2024

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

1

2

Montana Tech Regional Science & Engineering Fair Grades 9-12

3

MSU-Billings Science Expo

4

MSU-Billings Science Expo

5

Great Falls College Elementary School Science Fair

6

Flathead County Science Fair: Set up

Grades 3 through 12

7

Flathead County Science Fair: Set up

Grades 3 through 12

 

Great Falls College 6-8 & 9-12  Science Fair

 

8

Big Sky High Regional School Science Bowl

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 2024

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

1

2

3

4

U of M Montana Science Fair MS grades 6-8 (Division II) and HS Division I

5

U of M Montana Science Fair MS grades 6-8 (Division II) and HS Division I

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

Montana Science Olympiad

20

21

22

23

24

25

National Science Bowl: 6-8 and 9-12

26

National Science Bowl: 6-8 and 9-12

27

National Science Bowl: 6-8 and 9-12

28

National Science Bowl: 6-8 and 9-12

29

National Science Bowl: 6-8 and 9-12

30

 

2023

     Please notify me if I have neglected to mention a science competition in Montana!

Place

Dates

Participating Grade Levels

Registration and more information

U of M Adams Center

April 3 & 4

6-8 and 9-12

https://www.umt.edu/montana-science-fair/

Intermountain Science and Humanities Symposium

Mar 2 & 3

9-12

https://jshs.org/region/intermountain/

Mont Tech Sci & Engineering Fair

March 3

9-12

https://institute.mtech.edu/science-fair/

Flathead County Fairgrounds

March 9

6-12

https://www.flatheadcountysciencefair.org/

Great Falls Coll MSU Science & Engineering Fair

March 7

Elementary

https://www.gfcmsu.edu/sciencefair/

Great Falls Coll MSU Science & Engineering Fair

March 9

6-12

https://www.gfcmsu.edu/sciencefair/

MSU Billings Science Expo

March 3 & 4

1-12

https://www.msubillings.edu/scienceexpo/

Science Olympiad MSU Bozeman

March 8

6-12

https://www.montana.edu/smrc/mtso/school_teams.html

National Science Bowl

April 27 – May 1

6-12

https://science.osti.gov/wdts/nsb

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helpful Resources

  • Climate Change Resources: Interested in helping your students learn Climate Literacy?  PBS LearningMedia has a multitude of resources and lesson ideas for grades 3-12.  Michelle McCarthy is looking for feedback on how this works for you, please share your findings to MMcCarthy5@mt.gov.

  • Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes Educational Resources OpenSciEd Instructional Materials

  • Data Science:

    • Code.org

    • Crash Course Data Literacy Study Hall: Crash Course Data Literacy is a 15-video series that explores data literacy fundamentals. By the end of the course, you will be able to define foundational statistical concepts, explain methods for visualizing data, locate datasets, analyze data, and recognize ethical issues connected to data interpretation.

    • Data4Kids: To assist educators in supporting students’ data science learning, we created five “Data Stories” that educators can freely use and modify for their own uses and student experiences. Each story is a starter kit for educators at different levels–grades 3-5 (Band 1); grades 6-8 (Band 2); or grades 9-12 (Band 3).

    • Data Education in Schools: The Data Education in Schools Project is part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal Data Skills Programme, funded by the Scottish and UK Government. The Data Skills Programme brings together industry, universities, colleges, schools and others to provide routes into data or digital careers. FInd out more about our Project, our aims and our vision.

    • Phet Interactive Simulations: the PhET Interactive Simulations project at the University of Colorado Boulder creates free interactive math and science simulations. PhET sims are based on extensive education research and engage students through an intuitive, game-like environment where students learn through exploration and discovery.

    • Tableau Data Kids: We are here to help parents and educators discover new approaches to teaching young learners about data. Check out our engaging activities, fun visualizations, and tips for inspiring kids to explore the data that's around them every day.

    • Tuva Labs: The Tuva Data, Graphing, and Statistical Tools (or the Tuva Tools) enable students to easily explore, manipulate, and analyze data. Students drag and drop attributes into the plotting area to create a variety of graphs, including dot and scatter plots, line graphs, pie graphs, bar charts, histograms, box plots, and maps. They can visualize data in different ways to look for patterns and analyze data using mathematical modeling and statistics features.

    • Youcubed: Data Science K-10 Big Ideas are descriptions of the most important content in data science through the grades to help focus attention on ways to increase data literacy. Big ideas are those that are central to the discipline of data science, and that link understandings into a coherent whole.

  • ePals Bring global collaboration to your students

  • Real life Data Challenge: Inspired Classroom   

 

Montana Environmental Education Association (MEEA) mini grants for teachers:  Member Resources

*Covid-19 Toolkit for Montana Child Care & Out of School Programs 

Montana Science Assessment (MSA) and MSA Alt

New Self-paced Hub Course:  New Montana Science Assessment

     The state of Montana implemented the summative Montana Science Assessment (MSA) field test and the Alt MSA that aligns with the current science standards for the first time in the spring of 2022, as a scored test. 

Summative Assessment Preparedness and Resources Available

     The assessments measure the three dimensions of the science standards, the Science and Engineering Practices, the Disciplinary Core Ideas, and the Crosscutting Concepts.  

 

Science Alternate Assessment Information

MONTANA ALTERNATE ASSESSMENT FOR SCIENCE – NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS (NGSS)
ESSENCE STATEMENTS

Purpose of the Alternate Academic Achievement Standards in Science (AAAS)
The Montana Board of Public Education (Board) is responsible for adopting standards of accreditation for Montana schools including challenging academic achievement standards (see §20-2-121 and §20-7-101, MCA). All Montana public and non-public accredited schools are required to follow these standards of accreditation and participate in state assessments (see ARM 10.55.603):
Montana was a member-state of this consortium and leveraged the grant to help design, develop, and deliver the OPI’s Alternate Assessments that assess student proficiency and progress on Alternate Academic Achievement Standards (AAAS) in mathematics (math), English Language Arts (ELA), science, and English language proficiency (ELP) for students with significant cognitive disabilities (NCSC Brief 1 and ARM 10.53).
The AAAS set expectations of performance that differ in scope and complexity from grade-level achievement standards. In Montana, the AAAS are not adopted separately by the Board because they are the “same but different” standards-based expectations for students with significant cognitive disabilities. For students who, because of their disability, cannot participate in the state’s general assessment, the OPI has constructed and implemented guidelines for participation in the Alternate Assessment, including eligibility criteria (see Appendix A). The OPI meets the requirement of providing Alternate Assessments aligned to the State challenging academic achievement standards through its selection of the state assessments.
The decision to move a special education student to an Alternate Assessment has significant implications for the path that a student will take in their K–12 school career. It means the student is not able to participate in the general education curriculum even when provided with accommodations. A student who participates in an Alternate Assessment requires a modified curriculum. In addition, the IEP team for a student shall determine if the student meets the eligibility criteria for the Alternate Assessment. All students enrolled in accredited schools are expected to take part in state assessments in one of three ways:
1. Participate in the general education assessments without accommodations (ARM 10.56.104(1)).
2. Participate in the general education assessments with accommodations (ARM 10.56.104(1)).
3. Participate in Alternate Assessments when the participation criteria are met (see Appendix A and ARM 10.56.104(2)).

Formative assessment is valuable to teachers in the classroom.  Below are examples of formative assessment that align with the 3 Dimensional science standards. 

What does formative assessment look like in 3D Science?

Want to learn more about…

…how NGSA designed and developed 3-dimensional assessments using evidence-center design?

…how NGSA developed 3-dimensional scoring rubrics for formative assessment tasks?

  • Designing NGSS-aligned Assessment Tasks and Rubrics to Support Classroom-based Formative Assessment. We describe how principles of evidence-centered design inform the development of classroom-based science assessment tasks and rubrics that integrate three dimensions of science proficiency addressed in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The rubric development approach centers on the development of multiple rubric components, each of which corresponds to distinct aspects of proficiency of interest to teachers for classroom assessment.

…the NGSA 3-dimensional tasks?

…how NGSA designed and developed formative assessment tasks to promote equity?

Montana Science Standards

Comparison NGSS to Montana Science Standards

K-12

Standards and Resources

Model Curriculum Guides   

​​​​

Grade Level and Grade Band

Tech Directors: To access a machine readable version of the official Montana Content Standards for Science, please visit the 1EdTech CASE Network site.  Create a free login, select Montana Office of Public Instruction, and view or download the standards. The CASE version of the standards can be uploaded to student information systems, curriculum mapping programs, and a variety of other uses. Learn more about the CASE Network CASE Network FAQ