News Article Archives - OpenSciEd

Mark your calendars for the 2024 National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) Conference in Denver, Colorado! OpenSciEd is thrilled to join educators across the country who are passionate about providing high-quality student-centered science classroom experiences. In collaboration with our partners, we are hosting 28 sessions designed to enhance your practice and give you the tools to successfully implement OpenSciEd in your classrooms. A few of our sessions will also be part of the Professional Learning Institute. Don’t miss the chance to gain knowledge that will take your teaching to the next level and further your career goals!

Here’s a snapshot of what you can expect from our sessions at #NSTA24:
  • Strategies for Success: Get hands-on experience with our curriculum and learn how to implement our OER units in your classroom. Discover tips for fostering student engagement, facilitating productive discussions, and assessing student understanding.
  • NGSS Alignment: Delve into how OpenSciEd materials thoughtfully weave together learning in the three dimensions of the Next Generation Science Standards. Explore how our units promote crosscutting concepts, disciplinary core ideas, and science and engineering practices.
  • Deep Dive into our High School Units: Take a closer look at our high school curriculum units. Discover how they engage students with compelling phenomena, build students’ scientific knowledge, and address some of the greatest challenges of our time, like climate change and environmental justice.
  • Essential Instructional Strategies: Expand your toolkit with practical strategies to support diverse learners, expand who is a “knower” in the classroom, and leverage technology to enhance student learning.

This is your opportunity to share teaching successes and challenges, gain valuable insights from OpenSciEd developers and experienced educators, explore instructional strategies that will enhance your science instruction, and leave #NSTA24 feeling re-energized and empowered to create transformative learning experiences for your students!

Check out our sessions!

Professional Learning Institute

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PLI-1: OpenSciEd High School Biology Unit B.1 Curriculum Launch Workshop Series
Wednesday, March 20 • 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Colorado Convention Center – 201

Immerse yourself in OpenSciEd’s innovative learning and gain a deep understanding of the High School Biology Unit B.1 Ecosystem Interactions & Dynamics. Experience the lesson from a student’s perspective and gain a toolkit of resources and strategies to facilitate OpenSciEd in your classroom confidently.

PLI-2: OpenSciEd Middle School: Teachers, Coaches, and Administrators Revealing Students’ Brilliance
Wednesday, March 20 • 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Colorado Convention Center – 203

Experience how OpenSciEd’s materials can help you reveal your students’ brilliance! This professional learning institute will simultaneously prepare you to teach the first unit in the OpenSciEd middle school program and provide the support you need to advance your practice so learning is both driven by student questions and leads to the foundational science learning they need to be successful.

PLI-3: Introducing OpenSciEd High School: Helping Students See Science and Engineering in Meaningful Phenomena and Problems
Wednesday, March 20 • 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Colorado Convention Center – 207

Join us to learn how OpenSciEd materials can help you build high school science learning experiences anchored in compelling phenomena and meaningful community and global problems.

Thursday, March 21st

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OpenSciEd 101 for School and Districts Leaders – What You Need to Know
Thursday, March 21 • 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Colorado Convention Center – Mile High Ballroom 1E

Experience how students learn in an OpenSciEd classroom and learn what tools exist to support teacher implementation.

SPEAKERS:
Matthew Wlodarczyk (Capitol Region Education Council: Hartford, CT)
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Customization for Relevance to Support Students’ Equitable Sensemaking: Strategies and Tensions
Thursday, March 21 • 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Colorado Convention Center – 712

Experience strategies a group of middle-school science teachers used to customize the OpenSciEd curriculum to better support students so you can use to customize the OpenSciEd curriculum to create opportunities for equitable sensemaking in the classroom.

SPEAKERS:
Jason Buell (Postdoctoral researcher: No City, No State), Brian Reiser (Learning Sciences, SESP, Northwestern University), Claire Hiller (Chute Middle School: Evanston, IL), Stephanie Baldwin (Haven Middle School: Evanston, IL), Kafi Chase (Chute Middle School), Yang Zhang (Northwestern University: Evanston, IL)
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OpenSciEd HS & MS Enhancements from Carolina
Thursday, March 21 • 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Colorado Convention Center – 403

Sponsoring Company: Carolina Biological Supply Co.
Experience the Carolina Certified Version of OpenSciEd for Middle School and High School!

SPEAKERS:
Cory Ort (Carolina Biological Supply Co.: Burlington, NC)

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What is OpenSciEd HS? What do teachers who use OpenSciEd have to say?
Thursday, March 21 • 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Hyatt Regency Denver – Centennial Ballroom D

Experience key components of OpenSciEd HS’s instructional approach. Learn how OSE’s storyline approach, curricular routines, student discourse strategies, and assessment systems work together to help students build equitable science learning experiences.

SPEAKERS:
Zoe Buck Bracey (Senior Science Educator and Director of Design for Justice: Colorado Springs, CO), Kate Henson (University of Colorado Boulder: Boulder, CO)

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OpenSciEd High School Chemistry: How can we find, make, and recycle the substances we need to live on and beyond Earth?
Thursday, March 21 • 2:20 PM – 3:20 PM
Hyatt Regency Denver – Centennial Ballroom D

Explore how students can build their understanding of atomic structure and function by diving deep into OpenSciEd Chemistry’s unit C.3 Molecular Processes in Earth Systems​.

SPEAKERS:
Michael Novak (Northwestern University: Evanston, IL), Nicole Vick (Northwestern University)
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Substitute Plans that Support Student Sensemaking and are Easy to Implement
Thursday, March 21 • 2:20 PM – 3:20 PM
Colorado Convention Center – 203

You have a coherent phenomenon-based learning plan for your students, and midway through, you get sick or have jury duty– now what?!? This session will highlight approaches to substitute plans that are flexible, easy to implement, and support student learning.

SPEAKERS:
Sarah Delaney (OpenSciEd: San Carlos, CA)
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OpenSciEd High School: Developing and using models to explore inheritance and variation of traits through an investigation of cancer.
Thursday, March 21 • 3:40 PM – 4:40 PM
Hyatt Regency Denver – Centennial Ballroom D

Explore OpenSciEd’s B.3 Inheritance & Variation of Traits unit to understand how students build an understanding of genetics by investigating gene mutations linked to cancer.

SPEAKERS:
Kate Henson (University of Colorado Boulder: Boulder, CO)

Friday, March 22nd

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Afar: Introducing the OpenSciEd High School Energy, Forces and Earth’s Crust Unit
Friday, March 22 • 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Hyatt Regency Denver – Centennial Ballroom D

Explore Physics Unit P.2 Energy, Forces & Earth’s to grasp how students understand fundamental Earth Science ideas related to plate tectonics, radioactivity, convection, and rock formation at a HS level.

SPEAKERS:
Diego Rojas-Perilla (BSCS Science Learning: Colorado Springs, CO), Zoe Buck Bracey (Senior Science Educator and Director of Design for Justice: Colorado Springs, CO)
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Working Smarter Not Harder: Grading That’s Good for Students and Teachers
Friday, March 22 • 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Colorado Convention Center – 203

Grading that supports student sensemaking doesn’t have to keep you at school all night. Learn approaches to grading that prioritize 3D sensemaking and utilize technology, collaboration, and existing resources so you can have your evenings back.

SPEAKERS:
Sarah Delaney (OpenSciEd: San Carlos, CA)
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Exploring OpenSciEd High School from Carolina
Friday, March 22 • 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Colorado Convention Center – 403

Sponsoring Company: Carolina Biological Supply Co.
Experience a model lesson from OpenSciEd for High School and see how the new Carolina Certified Edition makes these high-quality instructional materials even better! Leave with classroom resources.


SPEAKERS:
Cory Ort (Carolina Biological Supply Co.: Burlington, NC)

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Fostering Collaborative Science Discussions with OpenSciEd
Friday, March 22 • 9:20 AM – 10:20 AM
Colorado Convention Center – 203

Fostering collaborative discussions is an ongoing process to reflect upon often. Join two veteran OpenSciEd teachers as they share successful strategies to help students set goals, gain confidence speaking with peers, and eventually engage in a more student-led learning experience.

SPEAKERS:
Samantha Stickley (Teacher), Heather Galbreath (Lombard Middle School: Galesburg, IL)
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OpenSciEd High School: How did polar bears evolve, and what will happen to them as their environment changes?
Friday, March 22 • 9:20 AM – 10:20 AM
Hyatt Regency Denver – Centennial Ballroom D

Explore OpenSciEd’s Common Ancestry & Speciation Unit. Investigate how coevolution between organisms and Earth’s systems has occurred in the past and what will happen in the future.

SPEAKERS:
Kate Henson (University of Colorado Boulder: Boulder, CO)

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Effectively Engage Students in the SEP Asking Questions with the Question Formulation Technique + OpenSciEd
Friday, March 22 • 10:20 AM – 11:20 AM
Colorado Convention Center – TBD

Learn how to engage your students in the, the Question Formulation Technique (QFT), to help them develop questions and ideas about phenomenon in an OpenSciEd unit.

SPEAKERS:
Rebecca Garelli (Arizona Science Teachers Association)

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Effectively Engage Students in Developing and Using Models with this 5-Step Routine!
Friday, March 22 • 10:40 AM – 11:40 AM
Colorado Convention Center – 103/105

Engage as student learners to experience an OpenSciEd middle school lesson and learn how to implement an effective 5-step modeling routine for making sense of phenomena adapted from the text “Ambitious Science Teaching” with middle school students.

SPEAKERS:
Rebecca Garelli (Arizona Science Teachers Association)

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The OpenSciEd High School Assessment system
Friday, March 22 • 10:40 AM – 11:40 AM
Hyatt Regency Denver – Centennial Ballroom D

Explore the structure of the OpenSciEd High School assessment system across Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

SPEAKERS:
Nicole Vick (Northwestern University), Zoe Buck Bracey (Senior Science Educator and Director of Design for Justice: Colorado Springs, CO), Kate Henson (University of Colorado Boulder: Boulder, CO)

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Overcoming Obstacles: Strategies for Supporting Implementation of High-Quality Instructional Materials in Science
Friday, March 22 • 1:20 PM – 2:20 PM
Colorado Convention Center – Bluebird Ballroom 2A

Explore solutions to common challenges in implementing high-quality science instructional materials in schools. In this session, presenters will share practical strategies for how they navigated alignment and buy-in barriers to support the successful implementation of OpenSciEd in MS classrooms in TN.

SPEAKERS:
Jessica Proffitt (Director, Academics: Richmond, VA)

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Designing for Justice in OpenSciEd High School
Friday, March 22 • 1:20 PM – 2:20 PM
Hyatt Regency Denver – Centennial Ballroom D

Explore how OpenSciEd HS helps students use science ideas and practices to make sense of design problems that emerge from complex systems at the nature-human divide.

SPEAKERS:
Zoe Buck Bracey (Senior Science Educator and Director of Design for Justice: Colorado Springs, CO), Jamie Noll (BSCS Science Learning: Colorado Springs, CO), Diego Rojas-Perilla (BSCS Science Learning: Colorado Springs, CO)

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Next Generation Science Explorations for Middle School Students
Friday, March 22 • 1:20 PM – 2:20 PM
Colorado Convention Center – 301

Sponsoring Company: Vernier Science Education
Discover solutions for phenomenon-driven middle school curricula, including materials developed by Vernier for OpenSciEd. Bring 3D learning to life with sensor-based experiments such as Matter Cycling and Photosynthesis in this interactive session tailored for educators adopting NGSS standards.


SPEAKERS:
Nüsret Hisim (Vernier Science Education: Beaverton, OR), Colleen McDaniel (Vernier Science Education: Beaverton, OR)

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An Engaging Introduction to OpenSciEd for High School
Friday, March 22 • 1:20 PM – 2:20 PM
Colorado Convention Center – 101

Sponsoring Company: Activate Learning
Learn about transitioning HS science courses to phenomenon-based instruction putting students at the center of the learning process. See how students develop explanations for phenomena by doing the science! Experience how OSE can be used to achieve the goal of moving to 3-dimensional instruction.

SPEAKERS:
Jodi Bahr (Activate Learning: Greenwich, CT)

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Supporting Absent Students: Strategies to Keep Them Learning (and Your Sanity)
Friday, March 22 • 2:40 PM – 3:40 PM
Colorado Convention Center – 203

Engaging students in phenomenon-based 3D science learning is challenging, and when students are absent, it can feel impossible. In this session, participants will take away strategies for supporting absent students in staying engaged in learning when they miss classroom instruction.

SPEAKERS:
Sarah Delaney (OpenSciEd: San Carlos, CA)

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Building Climate Science across OpenSciEd High School
Friday, March 22 • 2:40 PM – 3:40 PM
Hyatt Regency Denver – Centennial Ballroom D

Explore the OpenSciEd approach to climate science across the 3-year sequence of HS biology, chemistry & physics. Learn how the curriculum integrates core disciplinary ideas across units to build students’ understanding by exploring the effects and equitable responses to the global climate crisis.

SPEAKERS:
Ann Rivet (Teachers College, Columbia University: New York, NY), Zoe Buck Bracey (Senior Science Educator and Director of Design for Justice: Colorado Springs, CO), Kate Henson (University of Colorado Boulder: Boulder, CO)

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Effectively Engage Students in the SEP Asking Questions with the Question Formulation Technique to Improve Driving Questions
Friday, March 22 • 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Colorado Convention Center – 601

Learn how to engage your students in the, the Question Formulation Technique (QFT), to help them develop questions and ideas about phenomenon in an OpenSciEd unit.

SPEAKERS:
Rebecca Garelli (Arizona Science Teachers Association)

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The Matter-Energy-Forces Triangle: A Common Approach to Make Sense of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Earth Science in OpenSciEd
Friday, March 22 • 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Hyatt Regency Denver – Centennial Ballroom D

Explore a unifying framework used in OpenSciEd for making connections between matter, energy, and forces across Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Earth Science. Dig into this tool in free NGSS-aligned units to explain phenomena and consider how it could be applied to other phenomena in your context.

SPEAKERS:
Jamie Noll (BSCS Science Learning: Colorado Springs, CO), Diego Rojas-Perilla (BSCS Science Learning: Colorado Springs, CO)

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OpenSciEd Middle School from Carolina
Friday, March 22 • 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Colorado Convention Center – 403

Sponsoring Company: Carolina Biological Supply Co.
Experience a model lesson from OpenSciEd for Middle School and see how the new Carolina Certified Edition makes these high-quality instructional materials even better! Leave with classroom resources.

SPEAKERS:
Cory Ort (Carolina Biological Supply Co.: Burlington, NC)

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Encouraging Equitable Participation During a Discussion in the OpenSciEd HS Classroom
Friday, March 22 • 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Colorado Convention Center – 101

Sponsoring Company: Activate Learning
Classroom communities make sense of what’s being investigated through discussions; it’s key to ensuring all students’ ideas are shared and valued. This session focuses on discussion types used to help draw out student ideas, negotiate and refine them, and support communicating in scientific ways.

SPEAKERS:
Jodi Bahr (Activate Learning: Greenwich, CT)

Saturday, March 23rd

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The Matter-Energy-Forces Triangle: Experiences of teachers using this framework to help their students make sense of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Earth Science with OpenSciEd materials.

Saturday, March 23 • 11:40 AM – 12:40 PM
Colorado Convention Center – 302

Join this panel discussion that highlights the strategies that three science teachers use for adapting the Matter, Energy, and Forces framework, a tool integrated into OpenSciEd materials. This tool aims to support student sensemaking of disciplinary core ideas across multiple domains.

SPEAKERS:
Kathryn Fleegal (Denver Public Schools: Denver, CO), Diego Rojas-Perilla (BSCS Science Learning: Colorado Springs, CO)

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Meeting the Challenges of Math & Computation with OpenSciEd High School
Saturday, March 23 • 11:40 AM – 12:40 PM
Colorado Convention Center – 102/104

OpenSciEd HS engages students with complex, flexible, and purposeful mathematical thinking to meet the NGSS. In this session, presenters will illustrate how NGSS practices 4 and 5 (analyzing data and math) are central and supported as students develop explanations, models, and solutions in chemistry and physics.

SPEAKERS:
Michael Novak (Northwestern University: Evanston, IL), Kate Henson (University of Colorado Boulder: Boulder, CO)

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Adapting Instructional Materials to Focus on Climate Justice: A High School OpenSciEd Physics Example
Saturday, March 23 • 11:40 AM – 12:40 PM
Colorado Convention Center – 108/110

Learn how to adapt instructional materials for local contexts while elevating issues of climate justice and addressing ethical responses to the climate crisis. Presenters will use a case study approach, demonstrating how a high school physics unit from OpenSciEd was adapted to specifically attend to Indigenous land rights and sovereignty.

SPEAKERS:
Philip Bell (University of Washington: Seattle, WA), Kelsie Fowler (University of Washington: Seattle, WA)

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Questions and Crosscutting Concepts in OpenSciEd High School: How can we support students in asking good questions?
Saturday, March 23 • 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Colorado Convention Center – 102/104

OpenSciEd High School units consider all student sensemaking to be three-dimensional – including the questions that drive the unit. Explore examples from biology, chemistry, and physics to show how targeted anchor lessons help students ask productive questions.

SPEAKERS:
Jamie Noll (BSCS Science Learning: Colorado Springs, CO), Kate Henson (University of Colorado Boulder: Boulder, CO)

Haven’t registered for #NSTA24 yet?!