Science Newsletter-November 2021


Updates from the Ohio Department of Education

Teachers Sought to Pilot Curricula for Grade 3 and 7

The Ohio Department of Education is seeking Grade 3 educators to pilot their Eye of Integration unit that integrates standards-aligned content across multiple subject areas including math, language arts, science, social studies and technology. The unit is centered around the rich history of one of Ohio’s treasures: The Wilds, a non-profit safari park and conservation area located southeast of Zanesville, OH. 

The Office of Learning and Instructional Strategies will host a virtual meetup on November 17, at 3:30 p.m. to share the details of this Eye of Integration curricular unit and solicit interested teachers to pilot this unit in their classroom during the 2021-2022 academic year. Join the conversation or express interest in piloting

7th-grade educators are also sought to pilot a new Grade 7 curriculum in coordination with H2Ohio; Governor DeWine's water quality initiative which works to address serious water quality issues impacting Ohio and securing this essential natural resource for present and future generations.

This resource is an economic driver for growth whose value is expected to increase over time. As an abundant freshwater state, it is critical to secure this resource. 

Educators are asked to pilot an eight-week learning module that organizes Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide 2.0, into a cohesive unit that with the addition of supplemental texts integrates: science standards 7.ESS.1, 7.ESS.2, 7.ESS.3 and 7.LS.2. This unit is intended for late spring when wetlands are most active. A presentation by Ohio Department of Natural Resources on the restoration, creation, and enhancement of wetlands is included. Mini lessons will supplement Project WET and introduce students to Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Students will then explore GIS through EPA "How's My Waterway" application.

The Ohio EPA has secured grant funding from the National Environmental Education Training Program and will be able to provide FREE Project WET training to interested educators as part of this project.

Please email Laura Manns  or Kara Freimark for additional information.

Educator Opportunities

Project Dragonfly Accepting Applications

Miami University’s Project Dragonfly is accepting applications now through early 2022 for graduate courses and master's degrees that offer extraordinary experiences through zoos and botanical gardens in the United States and 15 countries throughout the world. 

 Earth Expeditions are study-abroad courses that take place online and in Africa, Australia, Asia, and the Americas. Earth Expeditions courses can be taken as stand-alone graduate credit, or they can build toward the Global Field Program (GFP) master's degree. The GFP combines summer field courses worldwide with web learning communities, and students can complete the GFP master's part-time from anywhere in the United States or abroad.

 Project Dragonfly also offers the Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) master's degree that combines web instruction from Miami University with experiential learning and field study through AIP Master Institutions in the U.S. Applications for Miami's 2022 cohorts are being accepted now with place-based experiences provided through Master Institutions in Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Jacksonville, New York, San Diego, Seattle and St. Louis. 

Graduate tuition for all programs is greatly reduced because of support from Miami University.

SECO Offers FREE Professional Development

The Science Education Council of Ohio (SECO) has several professional learning opportunities coming up in the 2021 academic year.  Starting in November SECO will host quarterly virtual meetups for teachers in grades 5, 8, and Biology to foster discussion and sharing of resources and ideas. To find dates and times visit the SECO website

SECO is also pleased to announce a recent grant award from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation! This grant provides for free PD for Ohio educators on the Grid Method Mastery Framework. These sessions will be led by Chad Ostrowski and other members of the Teach Better team.

The series will consist of an in-person meeting and two follow-up virtual sessions in the winter of 2022 in the Northwest, Southwest and Central regions of the state. 

Registration will be opened to all Ohio educators. For an intro to this framework, please view the recording of the November Kickoff event on the SECO website. If you would like to learn more about the Grid Method before, please visit: The GRID Method.

Finally, SECO will be hosting a five-session book study for members beginning in January on the book “Science in the City: Culturally Relevant STEM Education” by Dr. Bryan A Brown. The Kick-off event for this study will take place Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. as part of the monthly SECO webinar. Subsequent webinar sessions will begin in January. 

My NASA Data

Check out My NASA Data’s UPDATED Data Literacy Cube and Leveled Question Sheets to guide students’ exploration of line graphs, data tables, and mapped images of NASA Earth science data (or other sources of Earth data). These tools were created with the Next Generation Science Standards in mind. They help students develop their Data Analysis and Interpretation skills, as well as help them to recognize patterns, cause & effect, stability & change, and more! 

My NASA Data also makes it easier for teachers to differentiate for reading ability and language proficiency with the question sheets that are leveled with WIDA and Lexile ranges. There are leveled question sheets in Google Forms, to support flexible learning environments.

Interested in learning more? Contact Elizabeth Joyner 

Stone Lab Offers Virtual Field Trips

Stone Lab now offers educators the opportunity to teach Lake Erie science right in their 4th-12th grade classroom through its new Virtual Field Trips Program. The lessons, designed with hands-on components and videos by Stone Lab instructors, add Lake Erie science to teachers' current curriculum. For more information, please visit Stone Lab field trips.

It’s Time to Collect Milkweed Pods to Help Monarchs! 

Since 2015, many of Ohio's Soil and Water Conservation Districts have served as locations for residents to donate ripe Common Milkweed (Ascelpias syriaca) seed pods. The seed pods are given to the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative for use on pollinator habitat restoration projects around the state of Ohio to increase monarch and other valuable pollinator habitats in Ohio. The Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative is a collaborative effort of many government and non-profit organizations, as well as individual concerned Ohioans working together to preserve pollinator habitat. For more information on promoting pollinator conservation and proper milkweed seed pod harvesting visit OPHI. For more information on collection locations, visit Ohio milkweed pod collection sites

Registration Open for Virtual Field Trips to Ohio Pig Farms 

Ohio Pork Council's FREE, LIVE virtual tours connect students in the classroom directly with Ohio pig farmers live from their farms. Students will see inside barns, learn how pigs are cared for, the life cycle of a pig, careers related to the pork industry and more while also having the opportunity to ask questions directly to the farmer.

 In addition to being hosted within Zoom, these trips will be live-streamed and recorded to YouTube. Get details on individual trips and reserve your spot today

The Ohio STEM Learning Network Announces K-12 Grant 

The goal of the grant program is to foster the creation of new, sustainable STEM education programming in classrooms by investing directly in Ohio K-12 teachers and administrators. Educators may now apply through the Ohio STEM Learning Network STEM Classroom Grant Program for up to $5,000. 

Additional details including the application, funding requirements and tips for a successful application are posted at

Student Opportunities

NASA Job Shadowing Opportunities

NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement (OSTEM) has a strong interest in strengthening relationships with organizations that support students pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. The Shadowing Program is a one-day event held at NASA Glenn that is designed to allow high school students to explore career opportunities in STEM as well as business. The event features NASA Scientists and Engineers working in STEM fields at NASA Glenn, engaging in STEM activities and tours of NASA Glenn’s facilities.

Due to current health restrictions, Shadowing Days will be conducted as a virtual event. This event will include virtual tours of NASA Glenn facilities as presented by NASA Scientists and Engineers based on student interest. Due to software limitations, the event will be limited to the first 80 eligible registrations received. For more information and to register please visit NASA Glenn Shadowing

Ohio Energy Project Offers Renewable Energy STEM challenges and Virtual Fieldtrips for Energy Careers

FREE to all Ohio Schools! 

KidWind STEM Design Challenge Grades 7-12 

MacGyver Wind Lift Design Challenge Grades 3-6 

Careers in Energy Virtual Field Trips 
No-cost, live virtual webinar focuses on positions in renewable energy: 
Nov. 17: 1-1:45 p.m. Entri Foundry in Wapakoneta-Careers in Solar

USA Biolympiad Registration is Now Open

The mission of the USA Biolympiad (USABO) is to identify, inspire, empower, and support the next generation of life science leaders and to develop their international network. The USABO works to:

  • Identify highly gifted biology students to stimulate their talents.
  • Nurture curiosity and empower young biologists to develop their interest in life sciences.
  • Encourage an international network of biology scholars and future life science leaders.
  • Propel excellence and leadership in biology-based careers.

USABO is a four-tier competition that demands the very best of students in biology theoretical and laboratory knowledge. The top four students represent the USA at the International Biology Olympiad (IBO) as Team USA. Over 10,000 students register annually to participate in this prestigious opportunity.

For more information and to register your school, visit USA Biolympiad.

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,