April 2020 - Science Educator Update

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Oregon Department of Education

Oregon Science Teacher Update                                                              April 22, 2020

Students hands raised

We hope this update finds you well on this 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and we encourage you to take a few moments to reflect on the incredible work you are doing. Oregon science educators are amazing, and we appreciate all the support you are providing to your students!

The challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic has pulled us all in many different directions, and we are finding and developing new skills and ways of being. While experiencing this challenge together, we encourage you to find ways to care and connect with learning communities.  In support of this effort, we will be providing office hours to connect us every Thursday from 3:00 - 4:00 PM PDT from April 30th until June 11th. If you are interested, please use this link to participate . This will provide a platform to share promising practices and practical problem-solving strategies.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to Noelle Gorbett, Science Assessment Specialist, or Jamie Rumage, Science Education Specialist, if you have any questions or concerns.

For the most up-to-date information concerning COVID-19 responses, please see our FAQs page.  Additionally, the ODE COVID-19 webpage contains the most recent information available on how the 2019 Novel Coronavirus is impacting schools in Oregon. If you have an urgent health need, please contact your local health department or health care provider.

STEM Oregon

Distance Learning Facilitator Mini-Series *Additional Dates

Have you recently been thrown into facilitating online professional development, PLCs or meetings?  Are you feeling like your meetings aren’t as effective and engaging as you’d like them to be? Learn how to make the most of your collaboration time by leveraging online tools and apps in combination with video conferencing apps such as Zoom or Google Meet to take your meetings to the next level.

Join our mini-series focused on supporting Oregon K-12 administrators, educators, and TOSA's seeking skills, experience, and confidence in facilitating online professional learning for other adults. Led by Cristina Trecha, experienced online facilitator and leader of the successful statewide Oregon Science Project.

We are able to provide this mini-series FREE of charge through a grant from the South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership. Click HERE to register for one or all of these offerings.

  • Monday April 27 at 4:05 - 4:50 PM Introduction to Distance Learning* and Online Facilitation of Adult Learners An interactive introductory session to explore facilitating adult learners online in discussion and connection.
  • Wednesday, April 29 at 4:05- 4:50 PM Utilizing and Integrating Technology into Online Meetings This second session is an opportunity to learn how to save time and attention by gathering input and ideas from participants through strategic use of additional technologies into your virtual meetings. 
  • Monday May 4 at 4:05 - 4:50 PM Back End Logistics of Online Facilitation Specific to Zoom This Zoom-focused session provides a deeper dive into the platform to support the professional and smooth facilitation of virtual meetings, which requires an understanding of the back end of the platform.  Additionally, it will include troubleshooting tips for common issues or challenges.

*Although this series utilizes Zoom as a platform for participants, the first two sessions provide interactive approaches, tools, and resources that support facilitating adult learning in any online video-based platform

STEM Oregon

Patterns HS Science - Webinars

Would you like help with teaching high school science in a distance learning setting?

Please sign up here for opportunities to learn about the resources we have for each course, how to facilitate learning remotely to promote engagement and student success, and how to flexibly and inclusively provide assessment opportunities to students.

Each session will focus on one unit in the second semester of a single course and will include the following topics:

  • A review of the remote learning resources and assessments for the unit of focus for that session
  • Strategies to engage students in the science and engineering practices from home. - Strategies to provide formative feedback, as well as flexible and inclusive summative assessments
  • Time for Q&A and collaboration

All webinars will be from 3-4 pm.

  • Physics Unit 5 - Thursday 4/23
  • Biology  Unit 4 (or Unit 5 if there is more interest) - Monday 4/27
  • Chemistry Unit 5 - Tuesday 4/28

Click HERE to register for one or all three of these FREE offerings.

For questions please contact: Kristen Harrison Co-Director Portland Metro STEM Partnership at (971) 238-2050 or at www.pdxstem.org/.

STEM Oregon


STEM Week Oregon, May 9th – May 17th, 2020

Welcome to our 6th annual STEM Week Oregon, a state-wide movement to raise awareness, celebrate and engage in activities involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  

2020 is a unique year to say the least!  In a spring full of video conferencing, too much screen time, and too much time indoors, we are proud to announce our 2020 theme: 

STE(A)M Unplugged: Explore your world, Design your world

Oregon STEM Week traditionally celebrates all things STEM, plugged and unplugged, but this year we encourage you to think outside the box of STEM-as-tech and engage in all the ways STE(A)M impacts your world- observing nature, exploring the physics of balls and Frisbees and birds, getting your hands dirty in the garden or discovering the science of food in your kitchen.   

All you need to do to participate is sign up!  Let us know what you are doing: with your family, your class, your neighborhood.  Participate in daily themed challenges and submit photos and videos of your work to our Celebrate STE(A)M Gallery, or do your own thing and tell us about it!  STE(A)M is all around us- explore it! All entries are eligible to win prizes!  More activities = more chances to win! 

Registration will open next week on STEMOregon.org