May 2023 - Science Educator Update

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

Oregon Science Educator Update                                                                     May 3, 2023

May Heritage Month

May 2023

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month and Jewish American Heritage Month, the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America's history and are instrumental in its future success and honoring the generations of Jewish Americans who have helped form the fabric of American history, culture and society.

The National Park Service also has educational resources that observe the power of the presence, contributions, and endurance of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders with the National Park Service and throughout our nation's history. There is also a podcast on the voices of science and other stories and historical events connected to national parks and communities shared through National Park Service programs and partners.

Additional Resources: Hawaiians in the Oregon Country, Jews in Oregon, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Ideas for Teaching Jewish American Heritage Month

Mental Health Awareness Month Logo

May is also Mental Health Awareness Month. This national recognition raises awareness, helps to disrupt the stigma associated with mental health, and provides support and education. 

Mental health refers to the emotional, social, cognitive, behavioral, physical, and relational thriving of individuals and systems. ODE believes that mental health is centered within a continuum of care that meets each person’s needs for physical and emotional safety, security, social connection, identity, diversity, and purpose. ODE has a number of mental and behavioral health initiatives that focus on the prevention, intervention and response to the mental health needs of school communities.

2023 Oregon STEM Week Logo

Oregon STEM Week

Welcome to the 9th annual STEM Week Oregon, a state-wide movement to raise awareness, celebrate and engage in activities involving Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Register your STEM Week Event Here!  The STEM Week 2023 Map will be loaded on Oregon STEM to see your organization and others around you. 

  • At its root, STEM Week is a celebration of STE(A)M activities celebrated across Oregon!  This is your chance to get on the map and have your event(s) featured as Oregonians United in STE(A)M  Learning for ALL across our state.
  • All Ages, and organizations both public and private can show up here to delight in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math growth in schools, community based programs, libraries, museums, associations, industry, and more. 
  • It's time to show the exciting work being done to solve, overcome, collaborate, and build our collective future through this learning. This can be a special blowout week of activities or an opportunity to feature the regular STE(A)M activity you have already scheduled.

Oregon spring tulips in bloom with hot air balloons above

Science Teaching and Learning Resources

The following list highlights science articles, resources, professional learning opportunities, and free tools and materials:

  • Nobel Prize Summit - Truth, Trust, and Hope will bring together laureates, leading experts and you in a conversation on how to combat misinformation, restore trust in science and create a hopeful future.  Join this year’s virtual Nobel Prize Summit on May 24 - 25th
  • Dataspire: inspiring data & science literacy offers programs to work towards a more data and science literate society. They are currently offering an opportunity to focus on Climate and Health Data (May - July 2023). Classroom educators in grades 6-12 will be offered a stipend for their full participation.
  • On the Farm STEM Experience, a free professional development opportunity that will deepen your understanding and application of Next Generation Science Standards through the lens of food systems and sustainability. Taking place in the Willamette Valley area in Oregon from August 15-18, 2023. Apply by May 15th on the On the Farm STEM website.
  • The Portland Metro STEM Partnership and GOSTEM will be holding numerous professional learning opportunities Spring - Summer 2023 for the High School Science for All, aka "Patterns" courses (Physics, Chemistry, Biology). Thanks to the WRAP (Well-Rounded Access Program) grant, PMSP is able to pay each Oregon high school science teacher participant $50/hour to attend school year PD sessions. Participants must be registered for the course through Wild Apricot in order to be paid. There is no cost to register for these courses. 
  • Design, Selection, and Implementation of Instructional Materials for the NGSS (National Academies, 2018)  - This resource was developed from a workshop focusing on instructional materials design, selection, and implementation. It provides antidots from multiple perspectives on what leaders should consider including key areas of learning for leaders, critical actions, and the role of professional learning opportunities throughout instructional materials implementation.
  • New Vision for Public Schools has released their new Open Educational Resource (OER) High School Science curriculum materials. These materials focus on high school biology and high school earth and space science.
  • The STEM Teaching Tools has a collection of resources (playlists) for setting a vision of science education for administrators and classroom educators. In addition, the website hosts professional learning modules that were designed in collaborations with state science supervisors, administrators and classroom educators.
  • Science in Action: K-5 videos: In this video series, step inside elementary science classrooms to hear from innovative educators and see what unique strategies and lessons they implement in their classrooms. Shared from colleagues at the Georgia Department of Education.

Oregon State University Logo

Funding Now Available for Educators to Enhance Equity and Subject Literacies in K-8 Classrooms

A new partnership between OSU and ODE will commit funding to support hundreds of teacher leaders and teachers in working groups, led by teacher leaders like you, to co-design practical solutions and support teaching and learning for all students. Funding may include substitutes, stipends for teachers’ time, expert consultants, travel, and costs associated with meetings in Oregon, starting summer 2023 and through Fall 2024. Working groups will develop solutions to reduce inequities and accelerate K-8 subject literacies with multilingual learners, learners experiencing disabilities, and all students served within Oregon’s public education system. Project supports are available to develop problems of practice, leadership capacities, connections, and networking. 

Encouraging participation from leaders and educators working in the following areas including but not limited to:

  • K-5, 6-8 Math
  • K-5, 6-8 Literacy
  • Multilingual learners
  • Students experiencing disabilities
  • Literacy in content areas
  • Students' well being
  • Critical literacies of students, families, and educators due to pandemic related educational impacts

Leaders, educators, and others working in grades 9-12 and/or in higher education who are interested in problems of practice focused on, or connected across, K-12 systems are also welcome to participate.

To learn more, submit an idea for a problem of practice working group, or indicate your interest to participate, please click here.

Oregon School Library Information System Logo

LearningExpress Library and PrepSTEP Have AP Test Prep Materials

LearningExpress offers a skill-building and test-preparation product at no cost to the Oregon K-12 community, available within the Oregon School Library Information System (OSLIS). PrepSTEP for High Schools consolidates the resources from LearningExpress Library that are most relevant for high schoolers, and it is now the default platform on OSLIS. Among other things, PrepSTEP/LEL offers materials to help students prepare for AP exams. From the secondary grades’ "Find Information" page on OSLIS, click the LearningExpress logo, then go to the “Prepare for College” center, then access “Get Ready for AP Tests.” Please let your students know about this helpful resource. Contact your library staff or Jen Maurer, School Library Consultant at the State Library of Oregon, with questions or for more information.

Oregon Open Learning

Oregon Open Learning OER Office Hours 

The Oregon Open Learning team invites you to attend its OER Office Hours on the afternoon of Friday, May 5th. These gatherings are designed to facilitate connections and conversation both with the team and between Oregon educators who are exploring the possibilities that Open Educational Resources (OER) and the Oregon Open Learning Hub present. Whether you are new to the OER space or a seasoned advocate, your perspective is welcome and valued. Each session, facilitated by members of the Oregon Open Learning core team, will include space for questions, individualized support, and open discussion about OER and the Hub. Use this zoom link to drop in anytime between 1:00 and 2:00 pm PT.  If you have questions, please email


2023 OSTA Fall Conference and Upcoming Webinars

The Oregon Science Teachers Association is planning a 2-day conference with workshops and field trips on Friday, October 13th, and a traditional conference format (50 minute sessions) for Saturday, October 14th. The NGSS turns 10 this year and Oregon recently re-adopted the NGSS as the state science standards (6/2022). This conference is a wonderful opportunity to share best practices and other resources that support the NGSS, particularly 3-Dimensional Learning.

Students Hands Raised

Please do not hesitate to reach out to Deb Bailey or Kama Almasi, STEM Education Specialists, Mariela Salas Bao, Science Assessment Specialist, or Jamie Rumage, Science Education Specialist, if you have any questions or concerns.

The materials contained in the Department of Education’s Oregon Science Educator Update are drawn from both internal and external sources and inclusion of external materials does not necessarily indicate Oregon Department of Education endorsement.