2022 Chicago National Conference

July 21-23, 2022

Grade Level



Session Type


FILTERS APPLIED:6 - 8, Presentation, Developing Scientific Literacy in the Science and STEM Classroom, Assessment


Rooms and times subject to change.
3 results
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Installation Science Exhibits as Assessment Options

Thursday, July 21 • 2:20 PM - 3:20 PM

McCormick Place - W187c

STRAND: Developing Scientific Literacy in the Science and STEM Classroom

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To help develop more scientifically curious and literate students, we use scientific literature or documentaries to engage students in developing the NGSS science practices. Students find an interesting topic, generate a question, collect and analyze data and then develop a Science Installation that communicates their learning to the greater community. Our most recent class project had students study how to grow food in a simulated Mars environment with the conditions controlled by student programmed raspberry pis. High school students organized 6th graders to do hands on data collection. They created a 10x12 foot exhibit that looked like a Martian landscape and highlighted the equipment they used with the plants still growing. The display included QR codes to communicate data and research using student-created videos, infographics, and data tables. Other installations include a monochromatic yellow room where everything looks grey and allowed observers to learn about the properties of light and the ways light energy is used in photosynthesis, the way it can be used to promote electrons, and the way it produces color. Other exhibits include sound waves and a history or music and musical instruments, the chemistry of color, and an environmental study of our use of carbon.

Participants will learn how to guide students in the reading of scientific literature or the watching of documentaries in order to generate an authentic question and project. (How can we develop the capacity to farm on Mars? How does yellow monochromatic light produce the absence of color (an episode of Abstract, What can we learn about pollen structure from 3D printed files from Bayer’s agricultural division?) Participants will review a process to take the question and generate an authentic study that transcends a single class, grade, or discipline. (Students in 11th grade worked with students in 6th grade to test growing plants under controlled conditions that simulated Mars. Students in art and physics classes explored the properties of light and created a light-based art exhibit with science lessons on QR codes) Participants will explore a template for guiding students through the creation of an installation/exhibit that creatively shows the question, their experiment, their analysis, and potential solutions or conclusions in a creative and community-informing way. The exhibit is similar to an art installation with QR codes and experiment/study artifacts presented in a museum like scenario.

Elizabeth Helfant (Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School: Saint Louis, MO)

Digging Deeper into the Data with an Adapted CER Framework

Thursday, July 21 • 5:10 PM - 5:40 PM

McCormick Place - W185b-c

STRAND: Developing Scientific Literacy in the Science and STEM Classroom

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This session focuses on improved outcomes for students’ written science explanations when including data description prompts and instructional facilitation to adapt the CER framework.

Learn about the importance of a preliminary step of incorporating data descriptions when utilizing the CER framework to guide students’ written explanations and reasoning of data visualization.

Andrea Drewes (Rider University: Lawrenceville, NJ)

Supporting Learning Across All Three Dimensions Coherently from Unit to Unit Across Middle School

Friday, July 22 • 10:40 AM - 11:40 AM

McCormick Place - Skyline W375a

(Only registered attendees may view session materials. Please login with your NSTA account to view.)
Supporting Learning Across All Three Dimensions Coherently from Unit to Unit Ac

STRAND: Developing Scientific Literacy in the Science and STEM Classroom

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It has been common practice to move around units in science curricula based on teacher licensure, teacher preference, or state standards. However, the shifts in three-dimensional science learning supporting equitable science education emphasize the need for coherence intentionally helping students build the three dimensions, step by step, over time. We will describe a scope and sequence developed for the OpensciEd middle school program where each unit builds on the prior knowledge and experiences of all students to build increasing sophistication in all three dimensions, as they progress from unit to unit and grade to grade. We describe the strategies used to bundle performance expectations in a unit and for constructing progressions that build the elements of disciplinary core ideas, crosscutting concepts, and science and engineering practices (SEPs) coherently across the program. We describe how these instructional materials support teachers and students in connecting with and extending what students have figured out in prior units to build increasing sophistication with ideas and practices across the program.

Participants will learn strategies for developing and adapting unit to unit connections that support students in building each of the three dimensions coherently over time.

Brian Reiser (Northwestern University: Evanston, IL), Michael Novak (Northwestern University: Evanston, IL)

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