Welcome to Your Home for Science Education in Alaska
ALASKA SCIENCE EDUCATION MOVES FORWARD: Online, in-person, and outside
National Science Teachers Association provides ideas for phenomena for students, teachers, and families to explore and talk about together
Alaska Science Teachers Association was established as a non-profit over 40 years ago with the intention of providing teachers with the opportunity to network with colleagues and promote the importance of science. Today we describe our mission and goals this way:
MISSION: To inspire, promote and support excellence
in science education
* Advocate science literacy for all Alaskans.
* Promote the exchange of information about science and science education among researchers, scientists, institutions, public leaders and science teachers.
* Recognize indigenous knowledge and diverse ways of knowing about science and the natural world.
* Encourage the development of a skilled and knowledgeable work force in science related careers.
We would like to invite educators of all ages to become leaders in science education and to think about taking a role on our board when one arises. Click on the mug to start a conversation. After all...
New Alaska Science Standards Adopted
by State School Board in June 2019
The new standards incorporate a practice widely accepted across the country in science education, referred to as Three Dimensional Learning. By this, teachers will involve students in science and engineering practices (what people DO in science), cross-cutting concepts (big ideas that recur throughout the fields of science), and disciplinary core ideas (more topic-specific principles and facts.) Additionally, the writing and review teams took care to refer to phenomena that use Alaskan experiences in illustrating the information to be learned.
Soon the Department of Education and Early Development will be providing toolkits and reference on the state web site to make it easier for teachers individually or as a staff to make the transition. Testing using the new standards as the basis will begin Spring of 2022.
Meanwhile the National Science Teachers Association has many resources to help teachers, using the Next Generation Science Standards as a guide. Try some out!
ANNOUNCING THE PRESIDENTIAL AWARDS
FOR EXCELLENCE IN MATH AND SCIENCE TEACHING 2017 AND 2018
2017 Jennifer Childress
Secondary Science at Diamond High School, Anchorage
2017 Josh Hall
Secondary Math at Diamond High School, Anchorage
2018 Dawn Wilcox
Elementary Science at Campbell STEM Elementary, Anchorage
2018 Angie Wright
Auke Bay Elementary, Juneau
For more information on how to apply for the PRESIDENTIAL
AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN MATH AND SCIENCE TEACHING
The 2020 nomination period is for elementary teachers and is open from now until May 1, 2020. Don't wait! The process of applying is itself professional development in its purest form, away from the oversight of administrators or actual instructors. It is a time for self-reflection and celebrating your
intrinsic gifts as a teacher. Keep science and math education moving forward and in the news!
If you have applied before, please note that there have been some changes made. These include the allowance of up to one break in their video, opportunity to respond to state-level reviews through an addendum in early June, more detail provided in instructions related to responding to the Five Dimensions of Outstanding Teaching prompts.
To all teachers of science in the Last Frontier 2020-2021:
In these times demanding tremendous flexibility and creativity, you are so appreciated! You are modeling the very essence of exploration in STEM. The educational goals are mostly pretty clear, but the path to get there is different in every community. And might be different next week.
And all this at a time when the importance of understanding science and math has never been more clear. How do viruses work? What can we do to prevent transmission? What do we do if someone gets sick? How fast does it spread?
I have been so inspired by the creativity of health care workers and others finding ways to protect themselves and community members and make do without their first choice of equipment.
It is both a challenge and a gift that some students are learning from home, not able to tap into the lab stations you would have set up, less able to really work with their classmates in "real time," and maybe they don't have all the materials or connectivity they would need. But it's also a great time to see the science all around them. Remember that great book that came out in the 1990's called The Way Things Work by Neil Ardley and David Macauley? It answered a lot of questions for me, let me check my misconceptions, and the diagrams were great fun. The book has been updated to include new technology and could be a fine resource for students to explore the machines in their own homes. It could lead to more questions and more innovations, and provide a "phenomenon" to kindle the learning of science fundamentals appropriate to their age.
And now that the new Science Standards for Alaska are widely disseminated and links to professional development are being made available, we are more than ready for dialogue about them. There are opportunities to network through a brand-new list-serve offered through the Department of Education and we continue to use both of the Facebook pages, Alaska Science Teachers and Alaska Science Teachers Association.
Please strongly consider joining ASTA this year, and NSTA (national), too, so we can strengthen our voices to build opportunities in science. We want to know what you need to put your best foot forward for your students and to enjoy the journey with them.
Patty Brown, ASTA President 2019-2021
THE MISSION OF ASTA
To inspire, promote and support excellence in science education.
SOME PAST CLASSROOM PROJECT GRANTS AWARDED
Cindy Fabbri in Fairbanks: Hydroponics as a model for inquiry
Rebecca Watts in Juneau: Trail camera to monitor wildlife movement
Michelle Ganoza: Building and programming robots
USEFUL LINKS FOR TEACHING
RIGOROUS AND RELEVANT SCIENCE IN ALASKA
K-12 Energy Lessons
Standards-based Curriculum for teaching about our aquatic resources in grades K-8.
Alaska Science Forum by Ned Rozell--short written pieces explaining Alaska phenomena
CONSIDER ATTENDING A NATIONAL CONFERENCE OR WORKSHOP THIS SPRING OR SUMMER!
Summer Student Opportunities