STEM News Splash

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Office of Public Instruction

October 2019

STEM News Splash

ROADS on Mars flyer-pic of Mars with a rover on it and the spelled out acronym ROADS as Rover Observation and Drone Survey

ROADS on Mars Challenge

ROADS on Mars Challenge is a STEAM PBL project for grades 3 through 12.  The Montana Learning Center (MLC) is hosting this student challenge for Montana. Registration is now open and you can contact Ryan at the MLC, ( for more information.

Teacher Learning Hub: Two Free online courses open for registration: 

Crosscutting Concepts: Making Learning Real Through the Big Picture

Facilitated, Oct 28 - Nov 24:

User Ratings: 3.8  3.8 stars  This course focuses on the third piece of the 3 Dimensions of Science Learning, the Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs). The CCCs relate directly to deeper learning plus tie the practices & core ideas to the real world. In this course, you will become familiar with the CCCs and have an opportunity to apply them to the classroom.

3D Learning in Your Classroom

Facilitated, Oct 28 - Dec 8, 2019:

User Ratings: 3.8  3.9 stars  This course will introduce the NGSS Framework which focuses on the science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, core ideas and the journey of becoming a 3D Science Teacher. Teachers will find that many of the practices fit well with other content areas students are exposed to and what you are already doing in the classroom. Designed for all grade levels, K-12! Participants will have both grade level and vertical discussions with their peers. 

Montana Science Olympiad

The Montana Science Olympiad is a great opportunity for students and teachers.  School membership/registration is open but will close on October 18th!  The Olympiad takes place in Bozeman at the MSU campus on November 26.  Between competitions the Science Olympiad has coordinated a variety of opportunities for students and coaches to explore various labs and facilities, on and off campus .  

Free Glacial Lake Missoula video series

Students can be detectives in their own backyard, discovering clues left behind by Glacial Lake Missoula. This 30-minute series can be used as phenomena or as part of your students' exploring.  There are more curricular materials available through the Montana Natural History Center.

The ID Naturalist Program

Montana Natural History Center has a new science and nature program call ID Naturalist.  It has been designed to support MT Standards & NGSS. Learn more about this program by watching the ID Naturalist Video.

High School Junior's Student Opportunity: Western Aerospace Scholars program 

Registration now open for HS Juniors:  This program runs from Nov-June and  is free for High School Juniors. This opportunity has two phases:

  • Phase 1: Students complete an online course starting in November (successful completion of the course allows phase 2)
  • Phase 2: Attending a 7-day STEM camp at the Montana Learning Center at Canyon Ferry Lake (MLC) where students work with STEM professionals, NASA scientists, and university professors.

National STEM Scholar Program for MS Science Teachers

The National STEM Scholar Program is a training and networking opportunity for middle school science teachers. Ten Scholars will be selected for this professional development in 2020, taking place May 31 through June 6, in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Applicants must have a minimum of two years science teaching experience in middle school.  Applications are due by February 1, 2020. 

Parent, Student, Administrator, and Educator Feedback Needed

Science assessment is in transition.  The Montana OPI Assessment division needs comments from educators, parents, administrators, and students in order to meet ESSA requirements, so please comment and share the link.  Your feedback is very important to us. The science assessment survey will be open from now until Nov 15, 2019.

Calendar of Events & Opportunities


Keep updated with new opportunities, professional development, and science resources at the Montana OPI's Science Page.  

This message was sent by Michelle McCarthy, Science Instructional Coordinator.  You can reach Michelle by email at or by calling (406) 444-3537.  

The OPI is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation, require an alternate format, or have questions concerning accessibility, contact the OPI ADA Coordinator, 406-444-3161,, TTY 406-444-0235.