Science Newsletter-February 2021


Updates from the Ohio Department of Education

Virtual Meetups: Recording and Resources Now Available
The recording and resource materials from the March 2 Virtual Meetup session on Obtaining, Evaluating and Communicating Information is now available on the Science Resources page. This is the 7th installment in the series on incorporating The Nature of Science from the Ohio Learning Standards for Science into your science classroom.

Save the date: 2021 Teacher Leadership Summit
Join colleagues from around the state on June 9 to celebrate and advance the role of teacher leadership in education. The virtual summit is free, so watch for registration coming in May.

Teachers and school leaders are leading the way with critical conversations, exciting education initiatives and heartfelt efforts to improve the futures of Ohio’s students, teachers and schools. At the center of Ohio’s strategic plan for education, Each Child, Our Future, are local teacher leaders and administrators who are driving continuous efforts to improve schools and enhance student success.
Educators won’t want to miss the opportunity to share their own rich experiences and perspectives during this exciting day of collaboration and learning.

Opportunities from Other Organizations

Be a Judge for the 2021 Virtual district Science Day
The Ohio Academy of Science is looking for judges for their District and State Science Day events. 

The Academy will once again be providing virtually judged District and State Science Days this year. Students who complete an inquiry-based science project or design and build a prototype solution are able to participate in the 2021 District Science Day without having competed in a Local, County, or other Independent Science Day.  This will not prevent schools or independent fairs from hosting a Science Day. If their resources permit and if safety protocols can be met, then a Local Science Day provides a great opportunity to unite stakeholders and communities to celebrate “hands-on” STEM learning. The District Science Day is the only pathway for students to participate in the State Science Day 2021, Virtual 2.0. The Ohio Academy of Science will also host a Virtually Judged Buckeye Science & Engineering Fair with the Finalists eligible to compete at the International Science & Engineering Fair in May 2021. BSEF Registration will be open to all projects, grades 9-12. It is recommended that teachers review projects of those students considering the BSEF and explain to them the increased rigor of the BSEF judging process.

Those interested in judging should complete the Ohio Science Day judging application.

For more information, please check out Ohio Science Day 2021.

NASA 80th Anniversary Essay Contest
NASA Glenn is celebrating 80 years of pushing boundaries and breaking barriers! NASA invites students in grades 4 – 12 to join the celebration by sharing how NASA Glenn's missions and people inspire their future careers or may change the way we live and work in the future. 

Essays will be judged only in comparison to other essays from the same grade band (4th – 5th grade students, 6th – 8th grade students, and 9th – 12th grade students). Judges will select up to twenty-five winners from each grade band (seventy-five total winners).

Winners will receive an invitation to participate in a live, virtual recognition event with NASA scientists and engineers, including virtual tours of NASA Glenn facilities. Students will have an opportunity to have their questions answered by the NASA researchers. Two winners from each grade band will have their essays published on a NASA Glenn web page.

Visit NASA more information.  If you need help or have questions about the essay contest, please contact:

Be the Perseverance Rover
NASA’s Perseverance rover has landed on Mars. In honor of this historic event, Nat Geo has created an augmented reality experience on Instagram where viewers can use images from NASA’s Perseverance rover to poke around on Mars. Explore the Jezero crater along with the Perseverance Rover, allow your eyes to view what the Mastcam-Z camera views. You can even take even take a selfie with the rover.

If accessing on a smartphone, start with the Instagram app. For more information and how to access the page on a desktop, go National Geographic.

Increase Student Engagement with INFOhio’s Science Online
Whether face-to-face, hybrid or remote, INFOhio’s Science Online, featured in January’s Monday Mini Lesson, will engage students in learning. INFOhio’s Monday Mini Lessons support educators integrating digital content into instruction and remote teaching. Each video showcases best practices for remote teaching using INFOhio's quality, digital content to support instruction.

January's focus for INFOhio's Monday Mini Lessons is using blended learning to increase student engagement. Learn more about how to use informational text articles, interactive experiments and simulations, activities and e-learning modules from Science Online to support blended learning and student engagement for high school students. Science Online is a resource recommended for grades 6-12 and includes content to help teachers keep their science classrooms current.

This Science Online mini lesson features the station rotation model of blended learning. Station rotation models include a variety of activities that allow students to gain knowledge independently, collaboratively and through direct instruction from the teacher. Developed for a biology class, this mini lesson focuses on three of Ohio's Learning Standards for Science and Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects 6-12.

Monday Mini Lessons will continue throughout the school year, focusing on new themes and practical applications for teaching using INFOhio's licensed digital content. Access all of INFOhio’s Monday Mini Lessons from the INFOhio website. Please contact INFOhio at with questions or comments.

Project Wild and Growing Up Wild Spring On-line Courses
Ohio Project Wild is convening spring virtual Project Wild and Growing Up wild courses. These workshops will be held using the Microsoft Teams platform.  Participation is self-directed except for a two-hour virtual meeting the first day. The Growing Up Wild course begins March 23, 2021, and Project Wild begins March 26, 2021.

Participants in the Project Wild course will complete six assignments, roughly 3-6 hours of work, and will receive both the K-12 Terrestrial and Aquatic WILD guides, an activity kit, and a certificate upon completion of the course. Space is limited!  Register online for  Project WIld  or Growing Up Wild today. Contact Jen Dennison, Ohio Project WILD Coordinator, with questions.

The resources in this newsletter are free and have been reviewed using the Department’s Science resource filter against established criteria. Copies of the completed filter forms are available upon request. Inclusion in this newsletter does not represent a recommendation to use a resource. Many quality resources are available beyond those included here. Educators should use their professional expertise to determine the suitability of any particular resources for use in their districts, schools or classrooms.

Send comments/questions to:

Robin Deems, Science Consultant,