November 10th, 2016
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BPS Science Department

Congratulations on receiving Science News!

  • Muniz Academy - Leslie Wright
  • Dearborn STEM Academy - Marna Eckels
  • Greater Egleston H.S. - Suzanne Gill

Helpful Links

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BPS Science Practices

Science News


PD and resource needs... Seeking your input!

Recently, Holly and I have had the chance to hear from some school leaders about PD opportunities that they feel science teachers need to better engage, support and challenge their students. We are well aware of how difficult this academic year is -- we are teaching to one set of standards while trying to transition to a new set of framework expectations. Your days are filled with trying to find or develop rich, cognitively demanding tasks that measure high on the DOK scale, working toward your school-wide Instructional Foci, using formative assessment data to make instructional decisions and identifying just the right artifacts to showcase your strengths as a science teacher! We seek to provide PD and resources that target the key areas that you find the most difficult or isolating.... working together with colleagues across the district to make sense and lighten the workload is one of the many "urban advantages" that we have!

We ask you to provide us with some information about PD sessions that you feel would best support you and your work with students. We hope that you will spend a few moments of your time completing this google form to share your thoughts with us!

We won't be doing a newsletter until early December, so, in the meantime, we look forward to seeing you at the Science Social on November 18th and hope you enjoy some restful and restorative time with family and friends at the end of the month.

~Holly and Pam


School Spotlight - McCormack M.S.

Biomimicry in Action
Kris Gyrmonpre's 7th graders partnered with Sue Okerstrom from Lichen Labs and Peter Lawrence from Biomimicry New England on a biomimicry adventure!  They traveled to a local park to collect samples to view under an electron microscope. The purpose of viewing these samples under the electron microscope was to identify some structural adaptations of organisms.  Students are using inspiration from this experience to invent their own examples of biomimicry in action.  At the top of the newsletter is a grasshopper eye and spider up close! Below in order from left to right is a grasshopper leg and pollen grain.  At the bottom is the tip of a moth's proboscis and the scales on a moth's antenna.

Opportunities for Teachers


Harvard Museum of Natural History
Free professional development program

February 22-24, 2017 from 8:30 am- 3:30 pm. Get ready for the new middle school science standards in biological evolution and earth science. Program includes free kit of fossils and books to keep for your classroom, free parking during the program, and free return field trip for you and your students including transportation. For more information visit our website. 

Genetics and Social Justice: Workshop for Teachers 
Personal Genetics Education Project
Harvard Medical School
77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA 02115 (free parking available)

Join us for an engaging workshop that will examine how genetics and issues of social justice intersect. As genetic technologies become more widespread, how can our society ensure that education about and access to this information is available to all people?

We create interdisciplinary lesson plans that explore how increasing access to genetic information will affect individuals, families and society. Social studies, biology, humanities, health, law, and government teachers and administrators encouraged to attend (all content areas welcome).

Topics include:
•Introduction to Personal Genetics
•American eugenics movement
•Reproductive genetics
•Facilitating Difficult Conversations

Register here. For more information, click here or contact Lauren Tomaselli at or (617) 432-1797.
77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA 02115 (free parking available)

NOAA Teacher at Sea Program

We are pleased to announce NOAA's Teacher at Sea Program will accept applications for 2017 starting in November. Applications and references are accepted only through our online application system from November 1 - 30, 2016. The application closes at 5:00 pm ET on November 30. Flyer

Until then, interested applicants should:

1. Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more about program eligibility and expectations.2. Download the pdf preview of our application to review the questions that we ask and, if so inclined, begin preparing responses.

Free Digital Literacy and Computer Science Workshops Opportunities:
Robotics + iSENSE Science Workshop – K-12

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Teacher-in-Residence, BirdSleuth K-12 Cornell Lab of Ornithology
BirdSleuth School Garden Grant

A big thanks to science specialist Denise Baszkiewicz from the Mather Elementary for sending us pictures of her students participating in science centers!

Opportunities for Students


Clean Energy Day for K-8 Students
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is accepting applications for the Clean Energy Activity Day Program. This Program funds a one day specialized Clean Energy Activity Day for elementary and middle school students.  

Successful applicants will propose a one day Clean Energy Activity Day event to take place either Monday to Fridayor on a Saturday. The proposed event will include a hands on learning opportunity for students either at the students’ current place of education, or a clean energy business or organization.
The event will be geared towards one of two age groups:

  • Kindergarten to 4th Grade (K-4); or
  • 5th Grade to 8th Grade (5-8). 

MassCEC anticipates awarding up to ten (10) “Clean Energy Day” events up to $8,000 per application from Track 1 or up to $10,000 per application from Track 2.  
Applications for this request for proposals are due no later than Friday, December 2, 2016 at 4 p.m. 


Free from the Society for Science & the Public: 
Science News in High Schools

Society for Science & the Public's Science News in High Schools program brings Science News magazine to high schools across the U.S. and worldwide. The program offers teachers and students access to the latest in-depth reporting on science topics — transforming how students and educators interact with science in the classroom by providing them with real-world examples, information, and inspiration.

Click here to bring Science News in High Schools to your school

The Science News in High Schools program launched in September 2015, as part of a larger commitment to create a more scientifically literate society. Science News, published since 1922, provides an approachable overview from all fields and applications of STEM. The magazine is written by a staff of experienced science journalists, many with Ph.D.s in scientific disciplines.

With generous new funding from Regeneron, the Society is able to offer Science News in High Schools to 4,000 additional public high schools and public charter schools for the 2016-2017 academic year.

If any high school teachers apply for this and receive this generous gift, please let us know at

Science Fair Central

Boston Citywide Science Fair March 3rd & 4th, 2017

The Awards Ceremony will be on Thursday, March 9th at the Bruce C. Bolling Building, 2300 Washington Street.

In order to submit school winners to the citywide fair, you should complete your school fair by the end of January. 
  • Pre-approval from SRC Committee must be completed by 12/16/16
  • All registrations are due 2/6/17

Check the BPS Science website for more details in late November.
Science Fair Scicasts

Teacher Guides

  1. Are you having trouble accessing teachers guides? Click here!
  2. ONLINE ACCESS to FOSS teacher guides can be acquired by logging on to ASPEN and adding the "Science Page" to your side bar. Click on the "Science Page" and look for the "Resources" box. There is a PDF document called "FOSS Instructions" which explains how to log onto FOSSweb and has all the access codes on page 11.
  3.  The teachers guides for the new units will be delivered with the kit. They MUST be returned when your rotation with the kit is complete. Due to budgetary challenges we can no longer provide hard copies, but will provide online access.
  4. We are in need of an old or extra teachers guides at your school that are no longer use. Please take a look in closest, filing cabinets, attics, basements for teachers guides to help us share this resource to teachers in need. They can be dropped off at Campbell Resource Center anytime.

Classroom Corner

Check out Haven Daniel's display on the language of argumentation! Haven is the science specialist at the Perkins Elementary School. The 2nd grade New Plants unit is underway with plant investigations and propagation.


Teacher Feature

Rich Wilson a former BPS Math teacher at Hyde Park High school is participating in the, Vendée Globe which is the only non-stop solo round the world race without assistance! Check out Rich's page with all his race data!

Photo from

Science Socials

November 18th, 2016
Yard House, Fenway
126 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA 02215


Check out the Science Social schedule for the whole year at the blogspot!

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Our mailing address is: 
Boston Public Schools Science Department
1216 Dorchester Ave
Boston, MA 02125

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