STEM News Splash

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Office of Public Instruction



STEM News Splash

Montana Science Assessment Updates!

Testing Schedule Update

The New Montana Science Assessment (MSA) will take place this spring. 

Reporting and accountability are addressed in the science waiver that has already been granted, but unless the participation portion of the strategic waiver is granted, we are still subject to State and Federal assessment policies around participation (95% participation rate). Please watch the Assessment Bulletins, which will reflect updates on these waivers.

This will be the first assessment to measure the three dimensions of science, assess fifth and eighth grades, (11th grade takes the ACT for science), and take place completely online.  To help familiarize yourself with three-dimensional learning, the Teacher Learning Hub has the science standards foundational courses.  These are:

Rave reviews have come from educators who took them all in order. 

If you have a deep understanding of the three-dimensional standards, dig into the following resources for science assessment preparation:

ATTN: Superfund Communities

EPA Grant Teacher Workshop

Only twenty spots remaining!                                     June 21-25, 2021, at Montana Tech

ATTN: Teachers, grades 5-12, in or near a Superfund affected community, (such as Anaconda, Basin, Billings, Black Eagle, Bozeman, Butte, Columbus, East Helena, Helena, Libby, Livingston, Missoula, Monarch, Neihart, Somers, Superior)

The Clark Fork Watershed Education Program (CFWEP) is excited to offer an opportunity for teachers to collaborate with environmental scientists and educators. You’ll learn best practices for engaging students in authentic research and community outreach within the nation’s largest Superfund complex. In this program, you will create a community outreach project tailored to the needs of your own Superfund affected community. You’ll learn the CFWEP model of place-based science education and effective environmental communication. You’ll also learn grant writing skills and ways to uniquely engage your students in authentic scientific research related to environmental issues.

After the initial academy, you’ll participate in a facilitated online course (eligible for graduate level CE credits). During this course, you will be mentored in creating a community event that facilitates environmental stewardship and literacy. You’ll also get the opportunity
to apply for a grant worth at least $500 for your classroom.
Learn more through the Clark Fork Watershed Education Program Site.

Celebrate Solar Week

Solar System

Celebrate Solar Week — Spring 2021

Audience: Educators and Students in Grades 5-9, Informal Educators, Parents and Caregivers

Event Date: March 22-26


Solar Week provides a series of online educational activities focusing on the star of our solar system, the Sun. Students can explore solar careers and learn about sunspots, solar energy and solar storms. The website features scavenger hunts, games and an online, interactive discussion board where students can submit questions to solar scientists. Students are invited to attend a 30-minute webinar, and solar scientists will be hanging out in a virtual meeting space throughout the week to answer questions.

MT PBS Media Lab: Creating Media Projects

Join the MT PBS Media Lab starting March 15 to learn how to use tools for creating media projects in the classroom! In March, MT PBS will host in-depth workshops about Stop Motion Studio, iMove and Do Ink Green Screen. Learn from Montana teachers who are media-making experts how to use the tools that will help you feel confident teaching students how to use them. Media Lab workshops are FREE, will be held every Monday this spring and are open to ALL educators. OPI units are offered for those who participate. Everyone will have a chance to earn prizes and swag! Register today!

Registration is now open! 

Science Curricular Resources

How can you determine if curricular materials meet the standards?  How do you know if they are the best you can offer your students?

Check on the Montana OPI Science Page for vetted curriculum units/resources.

Summer Camps 2021

MLC Summer Camps 2021

All students entering grades 1-12 are welcome! Most camps take place at Canyon Ferry Lake where campers have fun fishing, kayaking, boating and swimming. 

All overnight campers also will experience the wonder of the night sky and learn about astronomy at our on-site observatories, which contain state-of-the art telescopes, including the largest public access telescope in Montana. Weather permitting, students will observe the Moon, galaxies, nebulae, star clusters and safely observe the Sun. 

Share these opportunities with your students.  Spark their interest in Science!  

FDA Virtual Professional Development

This is a virtual workshop event scheduled for July 12 - 16 and July 19, 2021.  

The FDA Professional Development Program in Food Science is a training program for middle level and high school science, agriculture, health, and family and consumer science (FCS) teachers. This program provides teachers with an opportunity to learn how to provide inquiry-based lessons in food science for their students. This ongoing program is supported and directed by the FDA and administered by Graduate School USA.  Find out more information at Teach Food Science.

Articles & News

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US Department of Education

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 or (406) 860-6619 (cell).  If you want to share out this subscription or unsubscribe you can change your email subscription status.

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