April 2012 Newsletter - Arkansas Science Teachers Association



April 2012 Newsletter - Arkansas Science Teachers Association
Spring Branch, near Van Buren (Tim Edington)
Spring 2012
ASTA President
Cindy Cardwell, Lincoln JHS, Bentonville
Are We Ready for a Change? The Next Generation Science Standards are Coming!
Change is good! It can make us feel nervous, scared, or resistant, but also excited, bold and rejuvenated.
Ponder these as you think about upcoming changes in science education.
“Nothing endures but change.” Heraclitus
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” Norman Vincent Peale
“Change what needs changing…..not what’s easy.” Mac Anderson, Simple Truths and Successories
“Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly. Sir Francis Bacon
“They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.” Confucius
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi
What can we do to prepare ourselves for the changes that will occur with the release of the Next Generation Science
Standards? The answer that has been given by those involved with the development process at both the state and
national level has been “Become a student of the Framework.”
The National Research Council began the development of the NGSS by developing the Framework for K–12 Science
Education. You can download a free copy on the National Academies Press website. The Framework was a critical
first step because it is grounded in current research on science and science learning and identified the science all K–12
students should know. Next, in a process managed by Achieve, Arkansas and other partner states began developing the
K-12 science education standards based on the Framework. This process will be continuing throughout 2012. Go to
www.nextgenscience.org for more information.
The Framework contains three different dimensions.
Dimension 1 is “Scientific and Engineering Practices.” This section contains the process skills that students use when
doing science experiments and solving engineering design problems.
Dimension 2 is “Crosscutting Concepts.” This dimension contains what have been called the unifying concepts, big ideas
or themes of science.
Dimension 3 is “Disciplinary Core Ideas” which includes content from physical sciences, life sciences, earth and space
sciences, engineering, technology and applications of science.
So when you are looking for some reading to do while lying in the sun for spring break or summer vacation, be sure to read
the 320 page Framework document and be ready to make some changes!
ASTA Spring 2012 Page 1
ASTA Board Elections Fall 2012
Teresa K. Fuller, Past President
One of main duties of Past President is to establish a ballot for the next Board elections. This year we have the following
positions that will be open on the board: President-Elect, Recording Secretary, Elementary Director, High School
Director, Northeast Director, and Southeast Director. Here are the descriptions of each from the By-laws.
The President Elect shall:
1. Succeed to the office of President.
2. Chair the Convention Committee for the fall meeting of the Association (including program, site, meal
arrangements, and speaker(s)).
3. Assume the duties of the President in the absence of the President and the Retiring President.
4. Function as a working and voting member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee.
5. Serve as ex-officio member, without vote, on all Standing Committees.
6. Act as alternate for the official delegate to a NSTA convention.
7. Represent the Association (or appoint a representative) at the NSTA National Congress on Science
Education meeting with reimbursement of documented expenses to be paid by the Association, within
budgetary limitations.
The Recording Secretary shall:
1. Keep or cause to be kept, accurate minutes of all meetings of the Board of Directors and the Association and
shall within a month after each such meeting, send a copy of the minutes to each board member
2. Receive and file reports and programs of regular and special meetings of the Association
3. Attend all regular and special meetings or submit a written report to the President prior to the meeting.
The Level Directors shall:
1. Attend all general membership and Board meetings or submit a written report to the President prior to the
2. Maintain contact with teachers from their respective levels and with local, regional, and national
organizations, which serve their specific level.
3. Encourage quarterly newsletter article submission by their constituents and will submit an article of
activities for each newsletter
4. Keep the Board of Directors advised on trends/goals, needs, and opportunities at their particular level.
The Regional Directors shall:
1. Attend all membership and Board meetings or submit a written report to the President prior to the meeting.
2. Maintain contact with school districts and other science education units within their region.
3. Inform district contact persons of ASTA activities, meetings, and promote membership.
4. Encourage quarterly newsletter article submission by members and will submit an article of activities for each
The board meets four times a year: These four meetings usually occur on Saturdays are normally held at UCA with the
exception of the meeting at ACC in Little Rock. The level and regional directors positions are two years in length and
the recording secretary is one year. The President-Elect will move to President, and then Past President so it is
essentially a three-year position. In the past few elections we have had several unopposed positions on the board. I
would love to see multiple people running for each position and we welcome new people that will bring a fresh
perspective to the board. If you are interested in running for office please feel free to contact [email protected]
PS Is your ASTA membership expired? You may renew it at our website arkscience.org or use the form found
on the site to join by mail. [email protected] Membership Chair
ASTA Spring 2012 Page 2
Make plans now to participate in the 2012 Arkansas Curriculum Conference in Little Rock at the
Peabody Hotel and Statehouse Convention Center
on November 8th and 9th.
ASTA members, get busy and submit proposals to present at the ACC
next fall. We especially need proposals emphasizing good science
teaching that support “A Framework for K-12 Science Education,” the document
being used to write the Next Generation Science Standards.
What are some of your most successful ideas emphasizing life, earth, physical
science, or engineering content using experimental design or engineering design
activities? Others want to know how to do what you do so well.
The Arkansas Curriculum Conference 2012 online proposal submission is now
available https://new-www3.uark.edu/coehp/acc/.
The Online Proposal Deadline is April 27, 2012. Thanks for sharing!
Lynne Hehr, Director ACC
ASTA Mini-grants
Do you have a great idea for a project but just don’t have the
Are you afraid the application will be too complex?
Think again !!
ASTA will be awarding mini-grants for up to $500 for classroom supplies
equipment to ASTA members! Check out the requirements on the ASTA website, under
Grants and Programs.
Deadline for applications OCTOBER 1ST
Ann Ross, Awards Chair
ASTA Spring 2012 Page 3
April is Global Astronomy Month
to learn more about a photography contest using remote
telescopes, Globe at Night, Yuri's Night....all leading to ideas
to use in the classroom.
Check out the updated McDonald Observatory website
You won’t believe this new research-
Stunning Objects at the Edge of the Universe
In the following six chapters are hundreds of fun explorations into astronomy as a
classroom tool for learning how to theorize, experiment, and analyze data. The activities
are fully illustrated and contain detailed, step-by-step instructions as well as suggested
discussion topics.
Table of Contents | Everyday Classroom Tools
ASTA Spring 2012 Page 4
(live links)
Jessica Martin, 9th Nettleton JHS
On Saturday, February 18th I attended RADIOACTIVE! at ASU. That morning about 9:00 all the attending students met
with the professors who were running the event in one of the lecture halls in the science building, and they walked us
through the day's activities. We listened to a speech about Marie Curie, her life and legacy. The speaker, Carla
McClafferty, had written a book, Something Out of Nothing, Marie Curie and Radium, about what Marie's life was
like and how she persevered through struggles. My favorite part was when the speaker read from her book and told
us about Marie's early life.
After that we were split up into groups with students at ASU that were taking science classes under the participating
professors. Each group participated in two activities; my group learned how to use a Geiger counter and extracted
DNA from a strawberry. WOW! I didn’t know the paint on some plates is radioactive. While we ate, some more
speakers spoke to us about having a science-related career. They talked about how we can make a difference in the
world, and how glad they were that we were there. After everyone had eaten, we were transported a few groups at a
time to the Fowler Center. We had the opportunity to look at artwork created at ASU by student artists. It was
extremely cool. All the posters were incredibly well done, and many made plays on well-known movies.
Once everyone had arrived at the Fowler Center, we were taken to see the play entitled Pierre and Marie. When the play
was over we were allowed to speak with the actors about how they wanted to teach science using the arts. We were
allowed to ask any questions we wanted. After that we were allowed to leave after we filled out an anonymous
survey about the day. We left with a goodie-bag, and some prizes we had won through a name drawing. It was a
great day!
The symposium was funded by a grant received by ASU
professors, Dr. Ann Grippo and Dr. Amy Pearce.
July 26 & 27 at the Fayetteville Town Center
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Two day program will qualify for up to 12 hours of ADE-approved professional
Participants will experience field trips, workshops, presentations, networking, keynote
speaker, door prizes and a silent auction.
For more information about the Arkansas Environmental Education Association and how
to join, please visit www.arkansasee.org
Rob Beadel
[email protected]
ASTA Spring 2012 Page 5
What exactly are the Common Core State Standards?
CCSS are explicit literacy expectations for all content teachers, including science. They work on a continuum from
kindergarten to grade twelve, with the ultimate goal to prepare our students to be “college and career ready.” We may
have seen other programs come and go, but these standards are here to stay. Collaboration is essential in this
paradigm shift. Many teachers already collaborate with other content teachers; we will need to continue this.
Sometime we are unhappy when we feel we have to choose between content and literacy development, but these can
and do work together. By introducing literacy expectations into our science classes, we incorporate skills the students
already have.
if you have not already done these, you could:
1. Download the CCSS and become familiar with http://www.corestandards.org/
2. Check out the Arkansas link: http://www.commoncorearkansas.org/
3. Help create a vision for your school or department regarding literacy in science. Ask your teaching colleagues
“What does it mean to be a literate person in science?”
4. Volunteer to be a part of the common core committee. Ensure all voices and concerns are heard during this crucial
5. Begin planning with fellow science teachers as you consider next year. Do not wait until the fall to wonder how
this will affect your classes.
Bob Dylan said, “The times, they are a-changin’.” That is currently the case in education. It is exciting to be a part
of a paradigm shift; go, be an active part of it!
Jacob Hayward, Science Specialist NWAESC
Note from Editor: Click on almost anything
ASTA Spring 2012 Page 6
Arkansas Discovery Network Showcases Science-Based Dinosaur Exhibit
The Arkansas Discovery Network has introduced a new, customized travelling exhibit
entitled “Dinosaur Discoveries: Ancient Fossils, New Ideas.” The massive exhibit,
funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and custom-built by New York’s American
Museum of Natural History, spans 1,500 square feet and includes seven interactive
stations. WOW!
Dinosaur Discoveries provides a journey into the exciting world of modern paleontology. New dinosaur fossils
are being discovered faster than ever before, due to modern scientific methods. Dinosaur Discoveries
focuses on how dinosaurs lived, maneuvered, defended themselves, and how they eventually became
extinct. New discoveries, new technology and new ideas are helping today’s scientists piece together what
these living, breathing dinosaurs were really like.
Ever since the first dinosaur fossil was identified almost 200 years ago, people have wondered how these
fascinating animals lived, moved and behaved. At first, dinosaur hunters used only such tools as a keen
eye, shovels and compasses. Today, scientists also rely on everything from computer simulation software to
scanning electron microscopes.
Little Rock
January 14-April 7, 2012
Arts & Science Center for SE Arkansas
Pine Bluff
January 19-May 11, 2013
Museum of Discovery
May 25-September 1, 2013
Arkansas State University Museum
Sept 14-January 5, 2014
Texarkana Museums System
April 21-August 19, 2012
Museum of Natural Resources
Sept 1 – January 6, 2013
Center for Math-Science Education
GREAT Dinosaur clip (14 minutes)!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAvGyrBvMSQ&feature=related
Hands-On Professional
Development for
Fourth Grade Teachers
The Arkansas Discovery Network Summer Science Institute is a week-long professional development
opportunity designed to provide fourth grade teachers with five days of intensive, inquiry-based workshops
combining science and math. Since hands-on learning is the best way to engage students in science
education, with simple and recycled materials, participants will create activities that demonstrate complex
scientific concepts. In addition to focusing on academic subject matter aligned with the Arkansas Education
Frameworks, the program will serve as a platform for teachers to collaborate and support other like-minded
teachers. Teachers will earn 25 hours of professional development and will receive a $150 stipend
The workshops will be held at the Museum of Discovery located in downtown Little Rock from Monday,
July 23 through Friday, July 27, 2012.
For more information, or to register for the Summer Science Institute, please contact Kathleen Lawson at 501537-3071 or via e-mail at [email protected]
ASTA Spring 2012 Page 7
Hector Elementary School, AR Wins $10,000 Grant
Thanks to Vernier Technology
Congratulations! The Arkansas Department of Education has selected Acorn Middle School for submission to
U.S.E.D. Green Ribbon Schools Program to represent the State of Arkansas in the national selection
process. !! Part of the Ouachita River School District, the Acorn School includes environmental education in
its curriculum and has developed a 1 acre outdoor classroom. http://acorn.dmsc.k12.ar.us/
Awards will be announced April 23, 2012.
Kathy Rusert, Science and Reading Teacher, Acorn Schools, Mena, AR
Kathy Rusert teaches science in grades 7 and 8, science labs in grades 5 and 6, and remedial reading in the Acorn School
District in Mena, Arkansas. On any given day, students may be dissecting rats, testing ph levels, or working in the outdoor
classroom that she was instrumental in creating. Rusert believes in hands-on, interdisciplinary education, and uses PLT to
make the learning fun and meaningful. Her students have not only enjoyed science, but also have improved scores on
state standardized exams. Rusert regularly partners with area businesses and nonprofits to further her students’ learning
through field trips, research, and community service. Her awards include Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year in 2005 and
Outstanding Arkansas PLT Teacher of the Year in 2011.
PS. Ms Rusert has also published a fine, diabetic friendly Turkey-Potato Meatball recipe online with
TASTE of HOME website. http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Turkey-Potato-Meatballs
“This hearty "meat-and-potatoes" dish is one of my husband's favorite meals. We like them better than traditional
ground beef meatballs. Topped with a mushroom soup-based sauce, they're very savory and satisfying.”
When does she sleep?????????
ASTA Spring 2012 Page 8
Thinking STEM?
Start Early!
According to former NSTA President, Harold Pratt, students often enter the middle grades with
a lack of basic skills in science, as well as, a diminished interest in science.
Developed and funded through a U.S. Department of Education grant, STEM Starters addressed the need to
increase the quality and quantity of science education in elementary classrooms. Through research and
evaluation studies involving two Arkansas school districts, STEM Starters demonstrated that it: (a) increased
teacher content knowledge in science, (b) increased student achievement in science content and in
overarching science concepts such as systems or change, and (c) increased student and teacher skills in
designing science experiments (Cotabish, Dailey, Robinson & Hughes, 2011; Cotabish, Robinson, Hughes &
Dailey, 2011;).
To achieve these results, STEM Starters utilized a Peer Coaching Model of Professional Development. Over the
span of two consecutive years, participant teachers in Grades 2-5 attended week-long summer institutes and
received 30 hours of peer coaching services each year. Expert science instructors led the teachers through
the problem-solving units by modeling effective science instruction for high-ability learners. Emphasis was
placed on overarching concepts, higher-order thinking skills, inquiry-based instruction, experimental design,
and the use of technology.
STEM Starters and similar programs that provide content-specific professional development and in-classroom
instructional support are essential for needed improvements in elementary science classrooms.
For further information regarding STEM Starters and summer institute dates, contact Dr. Alicia
Cotabish at [email protected] or Debbie Dailey at [email protected] or by calling 501.569.3410
Getting Started with TI-Nspire™ in Connecting Science and Mathematics is a three-day workshop designed
to equip teachers with the knowledge and tools to excite and engage grade 7-12 students to tackle the
challenges of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The workshop will cover a variety a topics
including Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Precalculus/Calculus. Investigations will
include simulations using TI-Nspire documents and data collection probes with the Vernier DataQuest app.
The workshop will provide a foundation for the effective use of the technology and encourage math and
science educators to learn together in exploring activities.
David A Young, Fayetteville HS
The Science center for Teaching, Outreach, and Research on Meteorology (the STORM Project) at the
University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls) will sponsor a short course entitled “Studies in Air Quality for
Science Educators” on July 15-20, 2012. This intensive, one-week course is designed specifically for
middle school and high school science teachers. Participants will receive a stipend. Most expenses,
including travel, will be covered by the STORM Project. Out-of-state teachers are encouraged to apply.
For more information, see: http://www.uni.edu/storm/saqse/
ASTA Spring 2012 Page 9
THINKlittlerock is a nonprofit initiative for science education and critical thinking. This spring we began with
our Pilot Math program, working with more than 25 Air Force pilot and navigator volunteers from Little
Rock Air Force Base. These aircrew members have already worked with a variety of classrooms, our
specific criteria being 5th-12th grade within an hour driving distance of Little Rock. Our volunteers
communicate directly with teachers to provide engaging activities related to aviation and specific learning
objectives. Our second program for the fall is to expand on these successes and recruit volunteers from the
medical community of Little Rock. Soon, we hope to make a robust list of science-professions available as a
resource to educators. If you would like to volunteer your classroom for the fall semester, you can email
[email protected].com or visit THINKlittlerock.com for more information.
Kyle Sanders
[email protected]
March 3 2005 issue of Nature
Bubbles Get Hotter than the Sun
How it works: At low sound-wave pressure, a gas bubble
expands until an increase in pressure triggers its collapse.
During collapse, temperatures soar, as the researchers
observed from light emitted from the bubble. Image ©
Rapidly collapsing bubbles have long been known to reach astonishing temperatures. Now scientists have measured just
how hot. And they're surprised. "When bubbles in a liquid get compressed, the insides get hot - very hot," said Ken
Suslick of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "The temperature we measured - about 20,000 degrees
Kelvin [35,540 0F] - is four times hotter than the surface of our Sun."
The bubbles are driven to form and collapse in a process called sonoluminescence, in which a liquid is blasted with
high-frequency sound waves between 20 and 40 kilohertz. Inside a collapsing bubble, the temperature rises
precipitously. Atoms and molecules collide with high-energy particles to create plasma. The process emits light.
But the heating is so brief and localized that it cannot be measured directly with a thermometer.
The emitted light, however, can be analyzed to determine the temperature of the imploding gas. Previous measurements
of multiple-bubble sonoluminescence have found temperatures of 5,000 Kelvin, or 8,500 degrees Fahrenheit.
The light that is seen is coming from the outer surface of the rapidly shrinking bubble. Inside this surface, the
temperature is believed to be even higher. Some have predicted that in these extreme conditions nuclear fusion
might occur, but no conclusive evidence has yet been found.
Editor’s Pick of the Web for this Quarter!!
ASTA Spring 2012 Page 10
Destination Mars
Science Challenge:
Sponsored by De Queen Mena Educational Cooperative
The "Destination Science Challenge" project is intended to provide teachers with
an opportunity to enhance their STEM skills.
This challenge is designed to allow students to learn physical science, STEM education
and space science through inquiry-based lessons. The students then take what they
have learned and build devices to compete. Participating students will be divided
according to their age groups (Grades 5th-6th, Grades 7th-8th, or Grades 9th-12th).
There is a $5.00 registration fee for each student competing in each area of
The areas of competition are:
Sailboat - Sail a boat loaded with “cargo” a set distance in the shortest time.
Paper Airplane - Construct a paper airplane to fly through doorways.
Catapult/Trebuchet - Construct a catapult launch a large marshmallow and hit a target.
Paper Roller Coaster - Construct a paper roller coaster.
Mousetrap Car- Engineer a vehicle, powered solely by the one
standard-sized mousetrap.
Paper Rocket - Construct a rocket that will launch into the air with a
Egg-drop - Construct a container with minimum mass, so that a raw
egg will not break when dropped from a fixed height of 10 meters.
Toothpick Bridge - Construct a toothpick bridge that will support the most weight.
Schools from all over the De Queen Mena Educational Cooperative
area will be participating in the competition. It will be held at Mena
Middle School on May 17, 2012.
Contact Lisa Anderson, Instructional Specialist/Science at the De
Queen Mena Educational Cooperative at 870.386.2251 ext. 243
(office) or [email protected]
ASTA Spring 2012 Page 11
Karaoke Science connection
Check out the science songs by Mr. Parr. He has around 60 short videos that are
like karaoke. The lyrics are set to popular music of today and my students love them!
Here is one to check out dealing with continental drift, Alfred Wegener, etc. It is called
"The Crust is in Pieces" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wW23Z94yf24
Melissa Miller
How ‘bout that book?
Two good friends of mine, Darcy Pattison, the author, and Kitty Harvill,
the illustrator, have a new book out about Wisdom the Midway
Albatross. Wisdom is 60+ years old (oldest known surviving bird in the
wild) and has survived many disasters in her lifetime including the recent Japanese
tsunami. When the Japanese Tsunami hit on March 11, 2011, her nest was in the path of
danger, yet amazingly she survived. This is a beautifully written, beautifully illustrated
book that I urge you to share with your students. Check out the website at
Liz Fulton
Mucho Mas ---Check out Darcy Pattison’s website for all her books for your students!! She offers several
reading books and lesson plans and activities for teachers too!
ASTA Spring 2012 Page 12
Kate Lacy
Water Quality, and
Project WET
Cost: FREE!! FREE!! FREE!!
6 PD hours by attending the full day
Date: Tues., June 12, 2012
Location: Noland WWTP
1400 N. Fox Hunter Road, Fayetteville
Time: 8:30 — 4 PM
Join us at a special Project WET workshop!
Learn how to think, not what to think.
This workshop will explore the potential impacts to people and aquatic organisms. Over 80% of waterways tested in
the U.S. show traces of common medications. (Teleosis Institute ’08)The Arkansas Department of Environmental
Activities will include a walking tour. Wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes!
Quality’s Project WET coordinator, Barbara Miller, leads participants in fun, hands-on activities focusing on this current
topic. You will walk away prepared to present activities to students and the public.
A tour of the wastewater treatment facility , a tour of the solar biosolids drying facility and thermal dryer , and Guest
speaker on drug take back programs
More local options for drug take back programs
and information for your community.
Pre-Registration Required!
To register contact Barbara Miller at 501.683.5407 or [email protected]
REGISTER EARLY ! Spaces fill quickly.
June 12
8:30 - 4 PM
Noland Wastewater Treatment Facility
1400 N. Fox Hunter Road
Fayetteville, AR
June 21
8:30 AM - 4 PM
Paragould Light, Power and Cable
Paragould, AR
June 25
8:30 AM- 3:30 PM
University of Arkansas Extension Service
1770 Myers Street
Batesville, AR
To register contact Barbara Miller at 501.683.5407 or [email protected]
ASTA Spring 2012 Page 13
Project WET and W.O.W. Workshops
FREE Project WET and W.O.W., the Wonders of Wetlands
workshops for formal and non-formal educators of K -12. Earn 6
approved PD hours at a FREE fun, interactive wetland themed
workshop! This is a basic workshop -- no field work but there
will be outside activities, weather permitting so dress
June 14
9 AM - 3 PM
DeQueen/Mena Educational Cooperative
Gillham, AR
Register through ESC works #161412 at
June 19
9 AM - 4 PM
Lake Ouachita State Park
Mountain Pine, AR
Register through Barbara Miller, 501.683.5407 or
[email protected]
June 28
9 AM - 4 PM
Devil's Den State Park
West Fork, AR
Register through Barbara Miller, 501.683.5407 or
[email protected]
June 29
8:30 AM - 4 PM
Westside Waste Water Treatment Plant
15 S. Broyles Street
Fayetteville, AR
*** Includes a 1 hour tour of Woolsey Wet Prairie***
Register through Barbara Miller, 501.683.5407 or
[email protected]
Bay City Water Treatment Plant
ASTA Spring 2012 Page 14
Project Based Learning in the Biology Classroom
How would you like to have students asking you to teach them biology? How would you like to see kids discussing
biology terms and trying to solve a real world problem? What about a classroom where students are being creative
and engaged in what is going on the classroom? This is what happens in a Project Based Learning(PBL) in the
We have all been “doing projects” in biology (and other sciences) for many years but how is this different from PBL. This
year, the standard DNA model project, was a small portion of a project where students are working in a company that
specializes in genetic testing. The classic biology insect collection will be- come part of a project to identify insects for
a local farmer to determine if they are really damaging his crops. The ever present cell model became a giant
children’s exhibit for the local children’s museum. The leaf collection that students have been doing for years
expanded to be part of a project for local landscapers about local species that will best serve a particular purpose for
their next landscaping project. The students are still doing the same projects but now with a purpose of solving a
In the recent genetics projects my students walked into the biology classroom one morning and found a screaming
“baby” in the closet. (I borrowed a baby-think-it-over from the Family/Consumer Science department. And she
showed me how to make it cry) The mail brought a letter from their boss at the genetics testing lab they work for
asking them to help out the local museum with a new exhibit on DNA, a game company asking for help with a series
of trading cards about famous geneticists, and for them to prepare a report for the prosecutor’s office of evidence
about the crime of the abandoned baby. The students were extremely interested in figuring out who the parents
were of the baby. They were all suspects in the crime. By doing Punnett Squares on blood types that were assigned
and DNA electrophoresis on simulated DNA samples they were able to narrow it down to two of their classmates and
submit the report to the prosecuting attorney. They then did a video news report giving a follow up report on the
Other projects we have done this year include: creating nutrition plans for clients, designing a children’s exhibit where
they explore the inside of a giant cell, designing a prevention plan for MSRA, stop motion videos about where cancer
comes from, news reports about how someone could die from holding their urine to win a wii gaming system, and
Some people think that in PBL you just give them the assignment and let them learn it on their own or you just set them
free into the sea of information on the internet and hope they find the right information in the right context. This could
not be farther from the truth.
The project should be set up in such a way that the students need your expertise to guide them to complete their goal.
You then plan workshops and scaffolding activities that help them gain the knowledge that they need to complete
the task. This is when you do what you do best by teaching them through labs, activities, and direct instruction. I
personally feel that this way of teaching science is what we as science teachers have been doing for many years.
Many of us teach through hands on activities and inquiry. This model just brings it all together under the project
Science lends itself beautifully to this type of real world application. Science is not just what we know, it’s what we do.
The governor has committed to creating over 100 schools in the state of Arkansas that teach using the PBL model. I
am sure some of you have visited our school or the school in Lincoln this year and have seen what we are doing first
hand. It is coming to a school near you soon and I feel you will see this as a wonderful extension of what great
science teachers are already doing all across our state.
Theresa Fuller
ASTA Spring 2012 Page 15
Seven at One Blow, the Investigation of the Shoemaker and his Crime
What do gelatin, white picket fences, and flies have in common? They make for an easy and interesting science lab. A
terrible crime has happened and like the swat of the little shoemaker, flies are dying like. . . well, flies.
Before the investigation, students are told of recently painted white fences and a gelatin festival. After the festival,
someone in authority discovers colored specks all over the fences and this person w onders if vandals are to blame.
The story line is altered to make it specific to your area and circumstances. We used fund raising as the purpose for
the gelatin festival and our principal as the authority figure.
The lab is easy to implement and requires relatively few materials. A cage for fly hatching could be a small plastic storage
container with screen or pantyhose covered cutouts on the top and sides of the container. To make the access sleeve, cut
a hole in one side of the container and cut the toes from an old tube sock. Hot glue the opening of the tube sock to the
hole in the container, knot the sock. Just make sure the container will fit into a refrigerator for chilling the flies.
Teachers need to prepare the gelatin a couple of days before the lab and only use 150 ml (~ 5 fluid oz.) of hot water per
package. Allow gelatin to set in the refrigerator, uncovered for a couple of days so it will dry and firm somewhat.
Students did not have much trouble cooling the flies and transferring them to the Petri dishes but some of the gelatin
squares proved to be too large and a few flies were caught between the squares and the container causing a few fly
casualties. Students came up with many extension lab ideas after analyzing the data gathered during this lab.
Amy Wynia, ASU GK-12 Fellow, brought this lab to my attention last semester, and the biology students really enjoyed
it. Tanja McKay, Karen L. Yanowitz, Ann Ross and Staria Vanderpool developed this lab for an NSF funded CSI summer
camp at ASU – Jonesboro.
House Fly Experiment
Materials for each group
15 house flies in a Petri dish
1 Petri dish (100 mm x 15 mm)
containing four pieces of gelatin of various colors
Filter paper or printer paper to fit the empty Petri dish
Permanent marker
2 Gel ice packs (frozen)
Rubber band
Disposable gloves
1. Place your Petri dish of flies between the two ice packs for approximately 5 minutes.
2. As soon as the flies look dead (they are still alive, but have slowed down their metabolism), take off the ice
packs, and place the flies (carefully using forceps or your fingers) into the dish containing the gelatin (best to
3. grab them by their wings). Make sure you place the top back on the Petri dish to prevent the flies from
escaping. A rubber band placed around the dish works well to prevent flies from escaping.
4. Within a few minutes, the flies should be active again, feeding on the gelatin. These flies have been deprived of
sugar for the last 24 hours, making them extra hungry!! You should notice them feeding on the gelatin within a
few minutes.
5. Place the dish at room temperature for 12 – 24 hours, allowing the flies to feed on the gelatin.
6. After 12-24 hours, place the Petri dish containing the flies on the frozen gel packs. Let the flies cool down. Once
7. they have
8. slowed down and do not fly, place them into the Petri dish containing the filter paper.
9. Allow flies to defecate and vomit for 12-24 hours. Don’t ya just love this instruction? Editor
10. After 12-24 hours, the dishes can be placed in a freezer for 30 minutes to kill the flies. Flies can be removed to
allow the filter paper to be examined.
11. NOTE: In addition to wearing gloves, students should wash their hands after handling the flies and Petri dishes.
ASTA Spring 2012 Page 16
It is nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet
entirely strangled the holy curiosity of enquiry.
- Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions
Heating and Cooling
Thanks to Nettleton HS
Problem: How does depth in freshwater affect temperature and
how is it different in salt water?
Hypothesis: (write your own)
Materials: ice cubes (colored)
salt water
thermometer beaker
Obtain 200 mL of warm water in a beaker.
Measure and record the temperature of the water at the surface, the middle, and bottom.
Obtain an ice cube from the supply area and gently place in the water.
Measure and record the temperature of the water at each position every 30 seconds until the ice is
completely melted.
5. Repeat steps 1 – 4 using saltwater that you get from the supply table.
Time (s)
(degrees Celsius)
(degrees Celsius)
Analysis: Explain why you have varying temperatures from top to bottom in the beaker with freshwater and also explain
why your results were different in saltwater.
ASTA Spring 2012 Page 17
AAS Halberg
Ecology Camp at
Camp Clearfork
Audubon Society
Ecology Camp
Application forms for Audubon Ecology Camp 2012 are now available at www.arbirds.org
or from Liz Fulton at efulton114.sbcglobal.net
There will be two one-week sessions offered for 11-12 year olds
interested in ecology.
Dates are, first session-June 10-15, second session-June 17-22.
Fifty first-time Junior Campers will attend each session along with
twelve returning Senior Campers. Senior Campers attend by
invitation only. A third-year Advanced Camp will be held at
Mt. Eagle near Clinton from July 8-15 for twelve Advanced Campers
by invitation only.
This Camp has been enriching the lives and education of students
for over thirty years, giving them field experiences in geology,
ornithology, herpetology/amphibians, mammology, insects, and botany.
The camp fee for Junior
Campers is $300, which is around half the true cost for each student; the
Arkansas Audubon Society subsidizes the rest of the cost. Some financial aid is
available for qualifying students.
The Camps fill up quickly, so don't let your students, relatives, or friends
miss out on this once in a lifetime experience.
Liz Fulton
[email protected]
ASTA Spring 2012 Page 18
1. Anyone can submit an article, essay/opinion, request, announcement, or
report on past event or activity involving students, teachers, or Arkansas schools in general.
2. Begin the body of your message with
Title/Subject – writer/reporter and your position as teacher of… or as an ASTA Regional Director, etc.
And be absolutely sure to give me workshop dates and application deadlines, etc.
Rock Hunting in the Ouachita Mts April 22 Kate Lacy, George JHS, NW Director Registration due Mar 22
3. Then you may insert the article or write a note to explain what’s attached. Articles must be written in some version of
WORD and either pasted into the email message or attached as a Word document.
4. Do not send a note and a link to a webpage except for pictures you’d like used.
5. Do not attach a full flyer unless you have already written whatever blurb you’d like to appear beside the link.
(I’m good at setting hyperlinks so I can make sure your graphics, flyers, and so forth are active.)
3. Articles must be edited to fewer than 600 words except for Lab Procedures. I’ll set these up for whole pages.
4. Photographs must be attachments but you can list the captions within your email message and if you’re
clear, I should have no trouble putting these together. Be careful about obtaining permission for student photos.
5. I need all the nifty photographs and clip art you think might ever be used in Science Lines. Please put something in
the subject line like “graphics for future use” so I will know what you intended me to do with your links.
6. Unfortunately, if announcements come in after the deadline, I can’t promise to even read the messages while I’m
compiling that issue of the newsletter…..unless you say in the subject line “IMPORTANT – for Current Issue”.
Everything sent will be used at one time or another, if I can. I won’t purposely ignore an article unless
a) it duplicates another article that arrived first, b) its deadline has passed, or c) it is so long that I’d have to rewrite it all.
Sincerely submitted,
Kate Lacy, Editor
ASTA Board Meetings:
May 5- UCA
Sept 8- UCA
Nov 7- Peabody Hotel, Little Rock
Be there or
ASTA Spring 2012 Page 19
ASTA Board Officers and Regional Directors 2012
President: Cindy Cardwell- [email protected]
President elect: Alayna Duren- [email protected]
Past President: Teresa Fuller- [email protected]
Secretary: Heidi Cullum- [email protected]
Elementary Director- Denise Doyle- [email protected]
Middle Level Director- Jacob Hayward- [email protected]
High School Director- Mark Meredith- [email protected]
College Director- Umadevi Garimella- [email protected]
Northwest Director- Michelle Stubbs- [email protected]
Northeast Director- Annette Holder [email protected]
Central Director- Chance Duncan- [email protected]
Southwest Director- Kathy Rusert- [email protected]
Southeast Director- Lori Cingolani- [email protected]
Treasurer- Charre Todd- [email protected]
Newsletter Editor- Kate Lacy - [email protected]
Awards Chair- Ann Ross- [email protected]
Membership/Technology Chair- Teresa Fuller- [email protected]
Historian- Bonnie Moody- [email protected]
Listserv Managers Bill Fulton- [email protected]
Linda Shott- [email protected]
Safety Chair- Steve Zimmer- [email protected]
Public Relations- Minietta Ready- [email protected]
ASTA Spring 2012 Page 20