Science education news and updates from around the state and region.  

May 2016 Issue


You have received this email because of your involvement in science education reform efforts in the Olympic Educational Service District Region.  Every month we will provide a round-up of the latest information related to state and national standards and assessment matters as well as other relevant information related to science education reform efforts. If you are not interested in receiving the Science Matters newsletter please see the unsubscribe button at the end of this message.

Got Science Phenomena? 

What are the qualities of a good anchor phenomena?

The Research + Practice Collaboratory have put together a small write up on what qualities are needed for a good Anchor Phenomena for a coherent sequence of science lessons. 

To read more follow this link...


5 Tools and Processes for Translating the NGSS Into Instruction and Classroom Assessment

A set of Tools and Processes are designed to help leaders work with teachers on curriculum, instruction, and assessment

Here is a brief overview of the Tools and Processes:
  1. In Tool 1 the goal is to help teachers understand the three dimensions of the NGSS to develop a blue print for designing an instructional unit.
  2. In Tool 2, teachers start to plan the assessment and evidence of learning for their unit by taking Performance Expectations and developing evidence of learning specifications
  3. In Tool 3 educators learn about the 5 E instructional model
  4. In Tool 4 teachers use storyline and conceptual flow based on the 5E model to outline a sequence for teaching.
  5. In Tool 5 teachers develop a three-dimensional performance task to help evaluate what students have learned

Washington Bats


The Organization for Bat Conservation has a mission to teach children and adults about the importance of bats. They do this primarily through bat programs across the country.

As you may have heard, the fungus White-nose Syndrome, deadly to bats, has just been identified in Washington. The reach of this fungus to Washington has created an even greater urgency among conservationists and scientists to teach the public. 

We have received funding from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct web-based education programs for 4th graders featuring our live bats. Therefore there is no cost for schools to participate. The 45-60 minute programs involve one of our trained educators discussing and featuring 3-4 bats found around the world as well as an opportunity for students to ask questions. 

Learn more about the education program here

Here is a web-based bat education flyer

Engineering Resources for the Classroom 

If you are interested in finding classroom NGSS Engineering resources check out the NGSS@NSTA resource page.

Read more here...

Next Generation Science Storylines

Working to implement the NGSS vision in your classroom? 

A core challenge is the lack of curriculum materials that reflect the dramatic changes in this vision. Traditional textbooks, lesson plans, and units are not up to the challenge. Districts, schools, and teachers are finding they need to adapt current materials or create new materials to support this 3D approach to science learning.
Next Generation Science Storylines will provide you with some clarity on units designed with an NGSS Storyline as well as some tools to support you in designing your own. 

To help meet this challenge, the Next Generation Science Storylines project is dedicated to providing tools that support teachers in developing, adapting, and teaching with strongly aligned NGSS materials in classrooms around the country.

Learn more here....


Pacific Education Institute 

Interested in providing a rich outdoor science experience to students?

Concerned about how to help your students prepare for the MSP state testing of field studies, or are you looking for a way to address sustainability standards, Field Investigations will meet your needs. 

Workshop opportunity upcoming on Thursday, May 12, 2016

Learn more here

California Academy of Sciences 


bioGraphic is a new multimedia magazine—powered by the California Academy of Sciences about all things that awe in nature, biological science, and the ingenuity of humankind.



Get Help Navigating Your Certification Options

Professional development required for certification can help you develop as an educator and implement positive practices to promote student learning. However, certification is often confusing and sometimes feels overwhelming. Renewing, updating, moving from residency to professional certification, and understanding how to report what you’re doing may feel cumbersome.

On this WEA site you will find a set of four videos to support you and keep you organized in navigating the certification process here in Washington State. 

To learn more please follow this link


Teacher Learning at Naturebridge 


Are you eager to learn some Simple Methods for Outdoor Environmental Science Investigations? If so, please inform your K - 5 colleagues about NatureBridge's 14 hour workshop with professional educators on Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park, February 26 - 28, 2016. This workshop will: 

  • model effective and safe instruction outside the classroom walls. 
  • build confidence in engaging students in the NGSS practices of science. 

Registration is open through the end of day on February 11, 2016.



NGSS Science Assessment

New Resource for Science Assessment

How can science educators effectively support the integrated 3-dimensional learning called for by the Next Generation Science Standards? 

The Next Generation Science Assessment (NGSA) group is a multi-institutional collaborative that is applying the evidence-centered design approach to create classroom-ready assessments for teachers to use formatively to gain insights into students' progress on achieving the NGSS performance Expectations.

Learn more here...


NGSS for Principals

Want a reason to go chat with your principal? 

Use this recently released overview document specifically created for principals to share with your principal and let them know that you care!

To learn more follow this link....

NGSS Evidence Statements Available for K-12 

Increase your understanding of the Performance Expectations within the NGSS 

Do you want further clarity and description on the performance expectations for the high school NGSS standards?

Are you interested in viewing a break down of the science and engineering practices as relates to each and every performance expectation in the Next Generation Science Standards?

You can now view an Evidence Statement for each and every Performance Expectation at your grade level. These documents provide further clarify for instructional planning and assessment.

To read the Executive Summary about the Evidence Statements please follow this link

To read the Introduction and Overview please follow this link

To view your grade level Evidence Statements please follow this link
For more information regarding these updates please contact Jeff Ryan at