Breakout 1
Friday, Nov. 4 | 8:30-9:30am

Building Your ESTEAM: Using STEM to Solve Problems

Sarah Trent, Teacher - Jackson Independent Schools
Victoria Howard, Teacher - Jackson Independent Schools

In a quickly evolving world, our students need to be able to apply concepts learned to real life situations. It is the goal of our newly implemented program to help build these skills in our students. We are providing after school programming for elementary students to explore the 3-5 Science and Engineering Design Standards. Near the conclusion of the program, students will use all of their learning to design a service or product to solve a problem we face in Appalachia. In this session, we will be discussing how to infuse your science lessons with entrepreneurial skills to empathy map and solve problems. This will be a hands-on learning session with activities we use in the classroom.

Kentucky Engineering Exposure Network (KEEN)

Kyle McMahon, Transportation Engineer and Kentucky Engineering Exposure Network Statewide Coordinator
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

KEEN is a Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Program dedicated to teaching Kentucky's youth about engineering. The KEEN Program provides KYTC Engineers to visit schools throughout the state to discuss the applications of math and science in real-world situations. They provide insights into the opportunities and challenges available to students pursuing studies in the field of engineering. ​Presentations are adapted to different age groups and topics: the work of engineers, specific math, science, technological subjects, and scholarship programs. Our presentations cover many different subject matters in the STEM fields of math, science, technology, and engineering. The presentations are designed for elementary school, middle school, high school, and college students.

MAKING the most of your integrated lessons

Shane Pry, STEAM Experience Coordinator
Kentucky Science Center

Explore the way Kentucky Science Center focus on program planning processes that integrate multiple educations disciplines and NGSS into our Maker classes. How do we utilize the maker movement to cover multiple education topics? Also, discover ways to blend hands on programming with digital programming formats.

Grounding Instruction in Anchoring Phenomenon

Bonnie Embry, Science Education Consultant
Carolina Biological

Anchoring Phenomenon are powerful tools that can be used to introduce a unit of study, drive student motivation, and deepen understanding throughout a unit of instruction. In this session you will be guided through a series of instructional strategies aimed at just that. A sample Anchoring Phenomenon will provide a common experience which will be used to showcase how it can be used to elicit student noticings and wonderings, how it can be used to develop group consensus models and drawings, and how this leads to student generated questions for investigations which sets the stage for full units of instruction with the creation of a driving question board.

Science and the Arts

Lisa Senetar, PhbeaD

Dr. Lisa Senetar is a Kentucky native and self-taught artist who started making jewelry as a fashionably fun way to relax. After completing a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Chemistry, a doctoral degree in Biochemistry, and a postdoctoral research fellowship in Immunology, Lisa chose to step away from her scientific training and focus on her art. In 2007, she combined her science background with her passion for making jewelry and launched PhbeaD. PhbeaD, a playful combination of the words Ph.D. and bead, fuses science and art by creating lightweight resin and clay jewelry using polymer chemistry.

Strengthening Students’ Science Practices with an AI-based Teacher Alerting and Progress Monitoring Tool

Mike Sao Pedro, CTO/Co-Founder - Inq-ITS by Apprendis
Angela Marksberry, Science Teacher - Henderson County North Middle School

Teachers strive to help all their science students with more efficacy and efficiency. An artificial Intelligence (AI)-based dashboard can help teachers achieve these goals by providing them actionable alerts to identify, monitor, assess, and in turn, support students who are struggling, as they work. Join Angela Marksberry, former KSTA science teacher of the year, and us as we discuss effective monitoring and feedback strategies derived from our recent National Science Foundation-funded research. Learn how our AI-based dashboard can save you 9 minutes per student interaction, and give you immediate, actionable information to help your students who are struggling with science practices. This interactive session will show how our dashboard pairs with virtual lab performance assessments that auto-score students’ competencies based on what they do in the labs, not based on multiple choice questions like in other systems/dashboards. Teachers will also learn how to use integrated Teacher Inquiry Practice Supports (TIPS) conversation starters which have been shown to foster students’ learning. All attendees will leave with demo access to our materials that they can use immediately with students for authentic assessment and instruction of NGSS practices.

Breakout 2
Friday, Nov. 4 | 9:40-10:40am

Engaging middle school students in computational modeling using an online coding tool

Lin Xiang, Assistant Professor of Science Education
University of Kentucky

1.5 hour session

This interactive workshop will introduce middle school teachers to engage their students in computational modeling using an online coding tool—NetLogo Web. NetLogo Web is a free web-based coding tool that works on a wide range of devices, including Chromebooks, tablets, laptops, computers, and smartphones. Therefore, it is a convenient and engaging tool for secondary teachers to introduce computational modeling or coding to their students. This 1.5-hour session will be broken into three main sections. Participants will first get to know about NetLogo Web and create a basic computer model on it. Then, they will construct a computer model that represents the changes of states of matter. The session is concluded by discussing the classroom implementation of the modeling activity and its connections to Kentucky Academic Standards for Science. Participants will walk away with an NGSS-aligned computational modeling activity at the middle level and more NetLogo modeling resources.

Introduce Coding in your Elementary Classroom

Ryan Hunter, Computer Science Specialist
TechWise Academy

1.5 hour session

“My brain hurts but I’m having fun.” Do you want to be able to provide a similar opportunity for your students? Do you want to give them opportunities to safely fail, struggle, and succeed through problems in a controlled environment? In this hands-on session, elementary educators will learn easy and practical ways to introduce coding and computer science concepts into their classroom., Scratch, and offline activities will be demonstrated and connected to Math/ELA concepts for elementary students. Educators will also discuss Computational Thinking, the problem-solving framework that can apply to computer science but also every other discipline. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own device (tablet or laptop/chromebook) to follow along with the coding activities themselves.

Passion Projects: Engage your students and build your classroom community

Brianna Greenhill, Rowan County Senior High School Teacher
April Adkins, Rowan County Senior High School Teacher

Do you want to engage your students while fostering relationships and building 21st century skills? Do you want to give your students the freedom to explore their interests while encouraging a love of science? Join us to learn about our experience implementing Passion Projects in our science classrooms. You will also hear from former students and parents about the impact Passion Projects made on their learning. We will share the highs, the lows, and the pitfalls to avoid. Passion projects work can and do work at all grade levels and across all subjects. Let us help you find your passion and bring it back to school with you!

Use STEM Challenges to Integrate Engineering Design Standards into Instruction

Susan Beatty and Susan Barton, WK Gear Up STEM Consultants
West Kentucky Educational Cooperative

An essential component of the NGSS is the incorporation of engineering design into science instruction. Students need to develop the critical thinking skills to help them become better science, engineering, and technology-related problem-solvers now and in the future. For teachers who struggle with finding ways to make engineering design relevant and authentic, this session shares student-friendly, low-cost STEM challenges that help them integrate the engineering design standards of NGSS into existing units. As they engage students in the three dimensions of the standards, these tasks give students opportunities to practice problem solving in a systematic way and let them share their creativity and innovative ideas. Students are presented with a scenario and asked to identify the problem within it. Then, they consider, design, and evaluate potential solutions, choose the optimal solution, and build/create it and test it. We will offer advice about how to use these tasks at appropriate times during instruction, how to obtain/organize materials, and how to create a more scientific classroom that gives students freedom to make decisions, learn from mistakes, and figure things out on their own. We will freely share teacher background information and student handouts for one complete STEM challenge.

Colors From Space: Learning About Light in the Planetarium

Jessica Lair, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Jing Wang, Associate Professor
William Thornburgh, Assistant Professor
Eastern Kentucky University

1.5 hour session

Astronomers use light to determine everything we know about space. We will demonstrate how a planetarium can be used to teach about light and the some of the methods that are used in astronomy during an interactive show in the Hummel Planetarium. The show will cover the use of diffraction gratings to see the component colors of light, and how that allows us to determine the composition of stars, as well as a discussion of the electromagnetic spectrum and the ways that we “see” invisible light. We will also discuss our experiences teaching in the planetarium setting and opportunities at the Hummel Planetarium.

How to Make In-Person and Remote STEM Instruction Meaningful, Rigorous, and Equitable for Students

Vic Sampson, Professor
University of Texas

The session will give teachers an opportunity to participate in the same sort of rich and meaningful learning experiences that are called or by the NGSS. Such learning places the focus squarely on the nature of instruction. It is rooted in ongoing, active experiences that will prompt teachers to expand their content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and expand their beliefs about what is possible inside the classroom. The presenter will guide the participants in a series of focused, small-group demonstration activities that are structured like a typical day’s lesson, allowing teachers to experience instruction as students do. The demonstration activities will focus on making sense of how to re-introduce wolves and bighorn sheep in Nevada.

Building Opportunities for the Future

Erica Baker, KDE Science Consultant
Kentucky Department of Education, Washington County

The Kentucky Core Academic Standards call for science instruction for every grade level, for all students. Why teach science to all students at every grade? During this session, we will consider equity and justice through the lens of opportunity and access to science education. We will also be exploring what research has to say about why science is important in the early years. By providing guidance on effective approaches to science instruction in K-5, we will foster vibrant learning experiences our students need to be successful.

Breakout 3
Friday, Nov. 4 | 10:50-11:50am

Tapping Students' Curiosity with KET’s PBS LearningMedia: Free Science Resources for Grades PreK-12

Lynn Shaffer, KET Education Consultant
Kentucky Educational Television

We have all seen the innate curiosity and imagination at work in children and teens--tap into those traits with the help of KET’s free PBS LearningMedia, a repository of thousands of multimedia resources from trusted sources such as KET, PBS, NASA, and more; all-subjects content includes vigorous STEM collection of resources for students of all ages as well as many educator support materials.

Using the 5E Model in Science Education

Nancy Flowers, 3rd grade science teacher, National Geographic Certified Educator
Cumberland County

This session will focus on how to use the 5E instruction model (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate) specifically for science instruction. Come see why this model is the preferred method for science education, because it focuses on students being in control of their own learning. We will look at each component of the model and learn how to use the layout to smoothly guide lessons and peak student interest and engagement during all stages of learning. Participants will have the opportunity to practice each step of the 5E model using real NGSS standards and a personalized hands-on coaching session. Participants will also see examples of real classroom strategies for incorporating the model, as well as receiving a science planning guide!

How Science and Engineering are Intertwined: A Case Study of the Brent Spence Bridge

Kyle McMahon, Transportation Engineer, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
James Ballinger

The Brent Spence Bridge in Northern Kentucky carries Interstates 71 and 75 over the Ohio River and is currently accommodating more than 160,000 vehicles per day - twice the capacity it was designed to safely accommodate when it opened in 1963. The bridge also carries nearly 43 million tons of goods by truck annually, which is approximately 3 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product annually. This location has been identified as the second worst bottleneck for trucks in the country. A recent truck crash closed the bridge and extensive repairs were required to re-open this important connection. In addition, a new companion bridge is being developed to alleviate congestion and improve safety. This session will explore the science and engineering required for both the repair and new bridge projects.

Students' Ideas Matter! Linking Formative Assessment to Instructional Sequence

Patrick Brown, Executive Director of STEM and CTE
Fort Zumwalt School District

Exploring Students’ Ideas Matters! is a one-stop professional learning experience that will inspire you to reimagine how you teach. This session discusses how two popular teaching resources can be used in tandem: (1) Uncovering Student Ideas formative assessment probes and (2) Explore-before-explain teaching. We show how simple shifts in arranging and combining activities help students construct knowledge while allowing you to put the three dimensions of the K-12 Science Education Frameworks into practice. The session includes: (1) A concise review of research on why the order in which you structure your lessons is so critical; (2) The critical planning considerations for becoming an “explore-before-explain” teacher; (3) Ready-to- teach lessons that use science phenomena as a hook to provide an interdisciplinary learning experience; and (4) Reflection questions will spark thinking throughout the sequencing process and help you develop the knowledge to adapt these concepts to you

Recognizing, Reporting and Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect

Sara Jenkins, Programs and Trainings Coordinator - Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky
Janna Estep Jordan, Director of Operations and Prevention Education - Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky

Through lecture, injury identification, and case discussion, attendees are prepared to recognize, report, and prevent child abuse and neglect within their professional role. This workshop reviews Kentucky mandated reporting laws, definitions of abuse and neglect, what to expect after a report has been made to the authorities and outlines specific action steps which prevent child maltreatment.

Breakout 4
Friday, Nov. 4 | 2:15-3:15pm

Easy Higher Order Learning using Hypothesis Cubes

Rico Tyler, CO-Director, National STEM Scholars Program
Western Kentucky University

All effective teachers need to master creating and effectively using higher order questions and tasks. This session will introduce participants to hypothesis cubes. Hypothesis cubes are a simple, deeply engaging and highly effective way to create higher order learning tasks from content drawn from almost any subject. Participants will experience hypothesis cube examples along with tip to create their own.

Engineering The Classroom

Joseph Collins, Program Coordinator
Challenger Learning Center of Kentucky

What does engineering really mean, and how can we use it to build a better classroom? In this presentation we will discuss engineering skillsets and methodologies and learn how we can incorporate those skills into the classroom beyond a traditional STEM lesson. This is a broad overview which can be applied to any age range or content area, from dedicated STEM instructors to teachers who want to learn more about learning. The goal is to develop a classroom which is both exciting and engaging, with a high rate of knowledge retention. We will examine the role of the instructor in the classroom with a focus on inciting curiosity and critical thinking skills in young learners. From Pre-K to adult learners, education should be a fun and meaningful experience. We will share useful information on tools, techniques, and practices that can be used to better prepare the next generation of students for both working and living in the modern world.

The Aerospace Education Center: STEM at a Museum?

Bob Jones, Aviation Camp Director
Aviation Museum of Kentucky

Click here for a session overview

Learning about pathogen transmission, disease, and host defense with bacterial soft rot of supermarket produce.

Lou Hirsch, Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Pathology
University of Kentucky

Bacterial soft rot is a post-harvest plant disease caused by common soil-dwelling bacteria that are present on the exterior of produce from the field. Most people encounter bacterial soft rot when they noticed a terrible smell wafting out of their pantry, only to discover that a potato or onion rolled into the back corner and rotted into a pool of mush. Because the pathogens are easily cultured and fresh susceptible produce can be purchased from most stores, soft rot is an ideal disease to explore aspects of pathogenicity, host defense, and environmental variables involved with disease (especially in middle school and high school science classes). Depending on the variety of available produce, students can develop their own hypotheses based on host plant physiology (e.g., pH, skin type, pigments) and design their own experiments to learn more about how bacteria and their hosts interact during disease development. This standards-based laboratory experience is designed for middle school to college classrooms (with appropriate scaffolding) and encourages students to exert agency over their experiment by developing and testing their own ideas within a guided framework from the instructor.

3-D Science in a World of 8 Billion

Scott Townsend, Professor of Science Education
Eastern Kentucky University

1.5 hour session

This fall, the global population is set to reach 8 billion people. This is a teachable moment on how our species has expanded, overcome challenges, and shaped the Earth’s landscapes and ecosystems. In this hands-on session, participants will engage in hands-on activities (problem-solving challenges, simulations and modeling) that use real-world data sets and 3-D learning to analyze and think critically about some of the key ecological topics in Biology and Environmental Science courses (including AP) – population trends, climate change, land use, biodiversity, and ecosystem health. Presented activities emphasize students’ ability to analyze and interpret data as central to developing and using models, identifying patterns and designing solutions. The presenter will discuss how to implement these activities as part of broadening students’ understanding of sustainability and interdependent relationships in ecosystems. Participants will receive lesson plans and background materials in an electronic format, all matched to Kentucky Academic Standards.

Fun with Backyard Bass

Easton Copley, Conservation Educator IV Fisheries
Kentucky Departments of Fish and Wildlife Resources

Backyard Bass is a program offered by the Fisheries Division of KDFWR with one purpose in mind…to make learning to cast fun and easy! Endorsed by the Future Fisherman Foundation and used by angler education programs throughout North America. There is nothing else like the Backyard Bass equipment to create games and provide casting practice for students of all ages–elementary to young adults. KDFWR adds a layer to the program by providing teachers with a Fishes of KY poster, with fish names blacked out, so that students can compare the fish they “caught” with the poster and begin to identify the species. My session would include an explanation and history of this program, along with an overview of other programs Fish and Wildlife can offer educators (free of charge and statewide). Session participants will play the game, using casting rods and the posters. Giveaways will be available for participants.

From Phenomenon to Figuring It Out

Sandy Erwin, Outreach and Professional Learning Director
Cereal City Science

Cereal City Science K-8 curriculum showcases the power of modeling: reading, writing, and modeling to figure things out. Experience how to teach and learn across disciplines. Participate in figuring out K-2 and 3-5 science lessons designed to cross multiple literacy disciplines and build knowledge across grade levels. While figuring out phenomenon, participants develop models, talk about it, read about it, and write about it. Modeling becomes the scaffold for reading, writing and language. Learn best practices that will help students read text, produce text, and present their reasoning.

Breakout 5
Friday, Nov. 4 | 3:25-4:25pm

Engaging Students in Scientific Discourse

Stephanie L. Harmon, PIMSER Regional Teacher Partner
Amanda Prewitt, Madison County Elementary Science Teacher

Our students know how to talk but do they know how to talk about science? This session will explore strategies that students can use to enter a scientific conversation, share their thinking, and make scientific connections.

From evolution to climate change: Overcoming motivated reasoning with hesitant populations

David E. Long, Associate Professor of STEM Education and MSUTeach Director
Morehead State University

For most of the past century, especially in places like Kentucky, religious conservatives have had a fraught relationship with evolution. While this fraught affair is familiar to many Americans, this is neither the case worldwide, nor evenly distributed throughout the U.S. Increasingly, with demographic changes, religious conservatives are also political conservatives. In the past few decades, since anthropogenic climate change has begun showing its clear effects in our lives, most U.S. conservatives have had a skeptical relationship to climate change. Like evolution before it, this skepticism is not shared widely around the world, nor evenly within the U.S. Unlike evolution, climate change does not have a clear ‘home’ in U.S. science curricula. This talk will unpack some of the social and learning sciences insights on how and why people reject these areas of science, and provide educators with tools developed from practical classroom situations that are more effective than not to overcome evolution and climate change rejection in classrooms. Additionally, we will discuss the means by which climate change can be a bigger concern of our curricula. Attendees with leave with improved frameworks for class discussions and concept development.

Phemonoma is all around you...Bringing science from the outside to the inside

Kim Sparkman, Learning Acceleration Specialist

This session will walk participants through the thought process of exploring their surroundings and bringing science in.

  1. Answer the question what makes science real to our students 
  2. Description of an emerging experience I had with teachers where we walked a local trail and made science real for the students. 
  3. Step by Step process of finding phenomena where they are. (classroom, school, community) 
  4. Generate ideas and troubleshoot, bringing science into your classroom from your surroundings. 
  5. Closing thoughts

Developing Junior Engineers! Science and Engineering in the Classroom with Phenomenal Instruction

Tom Gantt, Manager, STEM Product Specialist
Amplify Education

Egg drop and more!  Learn how to take this activity, and other projects to the next level with phenomenal problem-based learning.  Teachers engage in student-driven Engineering Internships that incorporate all aspects of the new Science & Engineering Practices from the Kentucky Science Standards as well as Disciplinary Core Ideas from the domains of earth, life and physical sciences.   Working as students to construct an understanding of science ideas from investigation and text and apply those science ideas in designing solutions to an engineering problem. Participants then test and/or evaluate their solutions to see how well they meet a set of design criteria.  This exciting session will inspire educators with hands-on activities, digital tools, active reading, dynamic discussion, and reflection on their own teaching practices.  Teachers will leave armed with the ability to integrate phenomena-based science instruction around real-world problem solving into their classrooms.

  • Support teachers with a deeper understanding of the Science and Engineering Practices. 
  • Engage teachers with phenomena-based instruction, model units and lessons. 
  • Provide teachers with usable free resources.

Science in Motion

Michelle Grooms, Education Technology Consultant
Texas Instruments

Explore pedigrees & introduce dichotomous keys through the use of a robotic vehicle. Can you classify the species? In this hands on workshop we will put their unknown species (Rover) through a battery of tests and observe behavior. Work through the process of a dichotomous key to narrow in on which species they are observing.

Three-Dimensional Learning & Environmental Education

Brittany Wray, Education Director - Kentucky Association for Environmental Education
Katherine Bullock, Outreach Director - Kentucky Association for Environmental Education
Dr. Melinda Wilder, EKU Professor Emeritus, KAEE Education Consultant

1.5 hour session

Join this session to see how some of the national environmental education programs (such as Project Learning Tree, Project WET, and Project WILD) can support three-dimensional learning and the Kentucky Academic Standards for Science. You’ll get to participate in two EE learning experiences and receive a copy of the Project WET Sampler Curriculum & Activity Guide which includes 8 learning experiences ready for the classroom as well as the Project WET Kentucky Supplement which highlights local water connections. Learn how to access the myriad of professional development and classroom resources that can enhance your teaching and deepen student understanding.

STEM Teaching 101: Tips and Tricks for Pre-Service and New Teachers

Madison Staton, KSTA Board Member and Teacher
Butler County Schools
4:00pm - 6:00pm Session

Join us for a crash course in STEM teaching and learning! We’ll explore the essentials for setting up your STEM classroom or makerspace, planning unique lessons that are student-centered and NGSS-aligned, and creating real-world learning experiences that will get your students excited for your class! You’ll go home with a toolbox full of new ideas and resources and all of the materials you’ll need for a few ready-made STEM lessons perfect for any classroom!

Breakout 6
Saturday, Nov. 5 | 8:00-9:00am

Effective Intervention Strategies - Let’s Hook Students into Learning

Margo Dye, Regional STEM Coach
STEMscopes by Accelerate Learning

Let’s explore several intervention strategies to help struggling students in STEM. Come learn proven intervention techniques to help students. Let’s modify our traditional outreach to connect with students so that they gain a greater understanding, and accelerate student learning to grade level content mastery.
3 Take-aways:

  1. Explore intervention strategies to help struggling students in STEM.
  2. Discover effective vocabulary acquisition strategies that are built into the STEMscopes curriculum to build scientific understanding.
  3. Determine the next steps for intervention

Research Happens! Connecting your Students with Kentucky Scientists

Amanda Fuller, Executive Director - Kentucky Academy of Science
Patrick Goff, 8th grade science teacher - Beaumont Middle School, Fayette County Schools
Melony Stambaugh, Director, Kentucky Junior Academy of Science - Kentucky Academy of Science

Exposure to research experiences can inspire students to pursue a career in STEM, but incorporating research into the classroom can be daunting. We’ll share some easy options for connecting with Kentucky scientists to expand opportunities for students to engage in independent and group research. We’ll share advice on how students can imagine and execute a project that aligns with science standards, in the classroom, at home, outside, or somewhere else. The Kentucky Junior Academy of Science offers opportunities for students curious about science to see other students’ research and get connected with scientists doing work that interests them. Presenters: Patrick Goff, 8th grade teacher at Beaumont Middle in Lexington, will share his experience working with a group of scientists mentoring students on classroom research projects. Amanda Fuller of the Kentucky Academy of Science will show you how to connect with scientists all over the state. Melony Stambaugh, Director of the Kentucky Junior Academy of Science, will help your student scientists network with a larger community of students & scientists doing research and move them along a STEM career pathway.

Reinvigorating Energy Teaching via Research with Engineers

Justin McFadden, KSTA Board Member - University of Louisville
Brian Robinson, Associate Professor of Engineering Fundamentals - University of Louisville

This session will be focused on Engineering Design and Energy Engineering with the ultimate goals of 1) deepening high school teachers’ understanding of engineering principles, practices and design; 2) helping teachers engage their students in collaborative learning to meet the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS); and 3) discussing a professional learning experience for teachers that involved collaboration and interchange among UofL engineering faculty and industry-based personnel. More specifically, we will discuss several energy-focused research projects with UofL engineering faculty and middle/high school teachers that participant teachers experienced during 6 weeks in the summer of 2022. Both primary presenters have been involved in state and national efforts dealing with the transition of the NGSS into K-12 science classrooms, specifically engineering education.

From the Summer to the School Year: Tips, Tricks, and Activities From Our K-6 Summer STEM Program and How They Have Helped Improve Our Own Classrooms

Taylor Long, Elementary Teacher - Model Lab School
Maribeth Bowman, 2nd grade teacher - Madison County Schools
Ashley Wilkirson, STEM teacher - Fayette County Schools

Does the thought of teaching engineering to elementary students in your own classroom sometimes seem intimidating or overwhelming? In this session, a group of teachers (and future teachers) will share their experiences in teaching in an intensive summer STEM program for students in K-6. They’ll share activities they did, along with helpful “tricks” they’ve learned to improve their own STEM teaching when they went back to their own classrooms during the school year. We’ll also have door prizes of hands-on materials from our summer program to give away to lucky attendees as well as information packets for those interested in starting STEM camps in their own districts.

NGSS in the Primary Grades

Hillary McWhorter, 2nd Grade Teacher
Glendover Elementary, FCPS

Gain ideas for how to address NGSS with younger students. We will look at lesson ideas for Kindergarten and how to observe the effects of sunlight on Earth’s surface. From 1st grade how to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external part to help them survive. From 2nd grade we will look at ideas for how to analyze data from testing different materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose.

Let's Give Them Something to Figure Out!

Sandy Erwin, Outreach and Professional Learning Director
Cereal City Science

Inspire your students’ sense of curiosity and wonder with Cereal City Science! Gone are the days of students just “learning about science”. With a high quality, K-8 NGSS curriculum, like Cereal City Science, students are doing science as they take on the roles of scientists and engineers to figure things out. Developing models and activity summary boards gives students tools to explain phenomena. The “Let’s Give Them Something to Think About!” workshop begins with the introduction of a phenomenon and discussion on how to facilitate inquiry, Science Talk, and student-led investigations. Participants engage in modeling as a practice-rich tool for figuring out phenomena, use a summary board to document learning - keeping the storyline visible, and experience bringing it all together in the context of a multiple literacy lesson.

Breakout 7
Saturday, Nov. 5 | 10:20-11:20am

Rocketry + Avionics: Taking Data to New Heights

Heather Arnett, STEM Coordinator
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Inspired by recent space launches? Wondering how to capture the excitement with your students? Join us to learn how we use rocketry and avionics to teach data analysis and system engineering. This course allows exploration of Newton’s 2nd Law through guided video modules that develop foundation knowledge, building skills, and analysis of predicted and actual data.

Does Your Scientific Writing Research Hold Water? Tools to Help Students Test the Credibility of Science Reporting

Larry Moore, KET Education Consultant
KET| Kentucky Educational Television

1.5 hour session

Now, more than ever, in an online environment saturated by mis- and dis-information, it is vital to provide tools and techniques that students can use to verify the credibility of science related stories. The ability to separate fact from fiction will help them in many areas of life, from doing effective research in the completion of school assignments and acquiring the skills to do valid scientific research to knowing whether medical advice is clickbait or sound information to protect their health and safety. In this session you will learn about helpful and effective resources and techniques provided by KET, PBS, major universities, and respected science journalism experts.

Environmental Education and Outdoor Learning

Rae McEntyre, Science Consultant
Kentucky Department of Education

2 hour session

Multiple studies have demonstrated that exposure to nature increases the retention of subject matter content. Many schools teach or talk about environmental education, but are these the same? In this session we’ll discuss both these ideas and their relationships. Participants will explore the intersectionality while engaging in learning experiences from Project WILD and Project Learning Tree. Parts of this session will occur outdoors unless there is extremely inclement weather.

Student-Centered Science Notebooks in Your Classroom

Jessica Fries-Gaither, Science Department Chair and Lower School Science Specialist, Columbus School for Girls

In this session, I will share research and examples of best practices in science notebooking with elementary students. I’ll begin by reading an excerpt from my book, Notable Notebooks: Scientists and their Writings as well as an introduction to my book, Science Notebooks in Student-Centered Classrooms. At this time, I will also discuss the role that notebooks have played in science throughout history. Next, I will provide an overview of various styles of science notebooks, including interactive notebooks, field journals, and laboratory books. We’ll discuss the benefits of each type of notebook, and how notebooks support the eight science and engineering practices laid out in a Framework for K-12 Science Education. I will share the hybrid model that I use in the classroom. I will share student work samples from my classes (spanning first through fifth grades) and discuss how I use my students’ notebooks as both formative and summative assessment. The session will be interactive, with opportunities for participation and the opportunity to ask questions and discuss topics throughout.

How Planning and Planetarium Use Affect Students When Learning Astronomy

William Thornburgh, Assistant Professor of Science Education
Eastern Kentucky University

As we are coming out of the pandemic and teachers are considering out-of-school learning experiences, there are many interesting and engaging field trip opportunities for students to learn science. This presentation will discuss steps that teachers can take, from pre-trip preparation to post-trip connections, to complement teachers’ classroom instruction and improve the learning experience for students. Time is valuable and learning is always possible, so why not maximize opportunity and make it count? There are many informal science education venues, but the planetarium is one that possesses many unique characteristics that positively influence students. We will discuss how teachers and planetarium educators can collaborate to build a program that links planetarium visualizations and content with classroom concepts. Additionally, session attendees will learn specifics about the role of the planetarium on high school students’ attitudes, learning, and thinking about astronomical concepts when a multi-day planetarium experience was an integral part of the unit.

Climate, Water and Resilience Training

Brittany Wray, Education Director - Kentucky Association for Environmental Education
                 Katherine Bullock, Outreach Coordinator - Kentucky Association for Environmental Education
 Dr. Melinda Wilder, EKU Professor Emeritus, KAEE Education Consultant

2 hour session

Climate change is a complex topic that can be intimidating to teach. However, understanding climate, including, the ways it is changing and how that impacts the environment, is crucial to making informed decisions and, building resilience. This session is designed to help you teach about climate change in a holistic way and, provide your students with engaging educational experiences that will help them understand climate resilience, for communities and the environment. Participants will receive a copy of Project WET’s Climate, Water and, Resilience Activity and Guide which includes 9 climate-focused learning experiences.
Climate, Water and Resilience helps educators teach middle and high school students about climate and climate change using interactive, objective, science-based activities that students will enjoy. Unlike other Project WET publications, the activities in this guide are meant to be taught in sequential order. Each lesson is, a stand-alone activity and can be taught modularly; however, information from the first activity will help, students to understand the second activity, which will then help them to understand the third activity, and so on.

Breakout 8
Saturday, Nov. 5 | 11:30am-12:30pm

Resources Designed to Support Implementation of the KAS for Science

Erica Baker, KDE Science Consultant
Kentucky Department of Education and Washington County Schools

Have you been searching for resources to support your growth in the implementation of the Kentucky Academic Standards for Science? The Kentucky Department of Education has several available resources specifically designed to support administration, teachers, and families in creating vibrant student experiences that spark curiosity, motivation and engagement in the science classroom. We will explore the Science Standards Implementation Guidance Document, Evidence Based Instructional Practices for Science, Family Guides and Resources, and more.

Recognizing, Reporting and Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect

Sara Jenkins, Programs and Trainings Coordinator - Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky
Janna Estep Jordan, Director of Operations and Prevention Education - Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky

Through lecture, injury identification, and case discussion, attendees are prepared to recognize, report, and prevent child abuse and neglect within their professional role. This workshop reviews Kentucky mandated reporting laws, definitions of abuse and neglect, what to expect after a report has been made to the authorities and outlines specific action steps which prevent child maltreatment.

Breakout 9
Saturday, Nov. 5 | 12:30-1:30pm

Now Trending: Science Simulations to Make Things Stick!

Jenna Mercury, Content Specialist

Everyday events make us wonder. Some events are easily explained, but others, not. When these events are examined and tested through virtual simulations, they give students an opportunity to think. Why do some objects float and others sink? What is the relationship between velocity, position, and acceleration and what happens when an object is placed in a vacuum? Learn how to use virtual simulations to help students dig deeper and get inspired by science and STEM phenomena! 
Through this highly interactive session, educators will be able to understand the added value of including simulations to their current lab practices. Although hands-on activities are always important, simulations allow for a deeper understanding of content for all students. When coupled with hands-on learning, students can create more moments to explore, discover and apply new concepts. Simulations are repeatable (to allow for trial and error) so students can practice skills again and again to make STEM concepts stick!
Session Bonus: take a closer look at the newest addition: Interactive STEM Cases! Put your students into the role of a STEM professional tasked with solving real-world problems. Your students can learn foundational knowledge and use virtual labs to solve it and save the day!

Classroom Aquaponics: Fish, fun, and (f)otosynthesis

Kristin Hughes, Director of Education and Outreach
FoodChain Inc.

Hands-on learning that allows students to take charge is more crucial now than ever. To help create school cultures where on-campus agricultural practices are the norm and involve multiple classrooms and teachers, participants in this workshop will receive the knowledge to co-manage aquaponic systems with their students! FoodChain will lead participants through a 10 gallon aquaponics set up with innovative youth programming to educate about the food system and involvement with agri-tech innovation. Through discussion and sharing, participants will leave armed with lessons that connect to STEM, climate education, and healthy environments and communities. Participants will also receive information about FoodChain’s aquaponics farm tours, learn more about our Classroom aquaponics program, and be able to schedule installation of a classroom aquaponics system in their classrooms.

Professional Learning That Meets Your Needs

Brittany Wray, Education Director - Kentucky Association for Environmental Education
Katherine Bullock, Outreach Coordinator - Kentucky Association for Environmental Education
Dr. Melinda Wilder, EKU Professor Emeritus, KAEE Education Consultant

The eeCredentials program is designed to provide online, asynchronous, easy-to-access, and ongoing professional learning opportunities for educators across the Commonwealth. Think of an eeCredential as a micro-credential or a certificate that can be earned by completing a series of courses, designed to increase your knowledge and skills in a certain area. eeCourses are the building blocks for earning eeCredentials.
With more in the works, we currently offer 10 eeCourses that range from science content to effective pedagogy. eeCourses include a variety of tasks and assignments that are thoughtfully designed to engage participants in active learning experiences and be directly applicable to your teaching context. Participants who attend this session will get to preview the format and content of an eeCourse as well as participate in a representative learning experience. Through this session, presenters will seek the expertise of the participants to help inform the design of future eeCourses and professional learning experiences.

Using Mathematics to Deepen Understanding of Scientific Phenomena

Michael Sao Pedro, CTO/Co-Founder - Inq-ITS by Apprendis
Dr. Janice Gobert, CEO/Co-Founder/Professor of Learning Sciences & Educational Psychology - Inq-ITS by Apprendis

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) emphasize the importance of using mathematical representations to model, make predictions about, and deepen understanding of science phenomena. However, students often struggle at integrating mathematics and science in a myriad of ways. Join us to learn how graphical reasoning can help students bridge the STEM gap and achieve proficiency as envisioned by the NGSS. In this interactive session, you will learn how self-grading virtual labs paired with an Artificial Intelligence-based alerting dashboard can help your students become proficient at understanding graphs, making predictions, and using mathematics to deepen content understanding. Key takeaways include:

  1. deepened understanding of the design tradeoffs necessary to create rich, formative assessment activities capable of yielding fine-grained data about students’ difficulties; 
  2. techniques to help students who lack algebraic fluency bridge the gap between science and mathematics; and
  3. research-backed ways to provide real-time feedback to students that have been shown to improve their learning. 
All attendees will leave with demo access to our materials that they can use immediately with students for authentic assessment and instruction of NGSS practices, specifically using mathematics (NGSS Strand 5).

Building a Climate of Collaboration in Your Classroom

Missy Weatherly, National Board Certified Teacher - Boone County Schools, Stephens Elementary
Barbara Stegman, 4th grade classroom teacher - Boone County Schools, Stephens Elementary

Building a Climate of Collaboration in Your Classroom will give you ideas on how to strengthen student engagement, allow students to take ownership of their learning, and deepen student thinking and reasoning in a safe learning environment. By introducing your classes to  “Communicating in Scientific Ways,” students will be encouraged to listen to each other, ask clarifying questions, formulate new thoughts, and use evidence to support their new or changing ideas. Using a “Driving Question Board” for your units will help them take ownership of their learning since they see their questions are influencing the way the lessons are taught. “Idea Trackers” allow students to reflect on what they learned in each lesson and find the key ideas in that lesson. It can also go back to the essential question that started that lesson. All of these elements used in a unit will help create a safe learning environment for your students to learn and thrive.

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The Kentucky Science Teachers Association is an affiliated chapter of the National Science Teaching Association
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 23918, Lexington, KY 40523
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