GO IN DEPTH

Welcome Back to School!

Photo Credit: Clipart.com.

Congratulations on a brand new school year, teachers! We're excited to have you back and to offer useful resources to help you plan out the year of teaching ahead! Whether you're a twenty-year veteran rocking a high school lab or a newly certified teacher fresh out of college headed to an elementary school classroom, we have lessons and tools to help you pass along your knowledge to your students.

Since last spring, we've added a bunch of new resources. We have seven new lessons relating to winners or finalists of the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books. They include lessons on food webs and chains, honeybees and colony collapse disorder, cellular life, and plate tectonics and continental drift. These lessons are a great way to support Common Core goals through your STEM classroom.

We've added some resources relating to next week's solar eclipse, including a tool for an app from NASA that will allow students to participate in citizen science in the hours surrounding the event. (The app also has non-eclipse projects for longer term use.) We've also added three new Science Update podcasts: one on how ravens have the ability to plan ahead (similar to apes and humans), one on how snakes in a cave in Cuba cooperate to catch bats, and one on a new technology, mobile power reactors, that could convert plastic garbage into gasoline and diesel fuel. We have more than 400 of these mini-lessons that share contemporaneous research through audio and text, and we particularly suggest them for aural learners.

We know classroom management is always a key topic at this time of year, and we have several lessons that address this: Creating Classroom Rules helps students develop an understanding that that classroom rules exist to help people get along in a group and to keep people safe. My School as a System invites students to explore systems by thinking about their schools as systems and focusing on a social rather than scientific understanding of the concept. Making Good Decisions lets students practice the skill of reasoned decision making and anticipate the consequences of their choices. What Can I Do? asks students to identify their feelings and learn some constructive ways of handling conflict.

Science NetLinks is not the only classroom-friendly project AAAS has to offer educators. Our STEM Volunteers program pairs teachers with active or retired STEM professionals for classroom visits and activities during the school year based on mutual needs and interests. While our project is based in the Washington, D.C., area, we also point to programs around in the country you may be able to take advantage of locally. Science in the Classroom is a collection of annotated research papers and accompanying teaching materials designed to help high school students understand the structure and workings of current professional scientific research. Recent topics covered include peer review, eco-leadership, and rat behavior. Science in the Classroom also offers collections of resources on concussions, honeybees, sleep, and cancer; educator resources; a portal for free resources from Science; and an opportunity for educators to get involved in the packaging and presentation of these materials. Project 2061 conducts research and develops tools and services to make improvements in the nation’s education system as a whole. Some of their recent work has focused on assessing student knowledge of energy concepts.

Finally, Science NetLinks would love to be able to give you more of what you're looking for. What are you missing? What would you like to see more of? Are there things you're seeking that you're having trouble finding on our site? Are there content areas you'd like to see additional lessons in? Do you need more website referrals for your students? More blog posts on professional development opportunities? We're happy to take your suggestions and inquiries into consideration in creating upcoming content for our site.

In the meantime, have an awesome start to the school year! We look forward to hearing from you.

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