The Next Steps Institute offers a three-day event in which participants will delve into content topics along pathways of learning, network with other STEM education professionals, become inspired by leaders in STEM fields, and see STEM in action around the area.
During the three-day program participants will each choose one learning pathway to follow. Each pathway is comprised of 5-sequential blocks, and address a critical STEM education issue in-depth.
This pathway approach reflects the idea that change affects the individual first, and that the individuals engaged in reform need to understand reform concepts from their level of expertise before they can effectively translate theory into practice.
Participants will also have the opportunity to choose 3-salon sessions to attend. Salon sessions are offered between Pathway blocks, giving participants time to meet one another and deepen their knowledge of STEM through 75-minute content-focused sessions.
Pathways are delivered in 5-2 hour blocks. By the end of the conference participants will have received 10 hours of professional development focused on their chosen Pathway theme.
Participants will indicate their desired Pathway preference during the registration process. We recommend reviewing each of Pathway themes prior to registering.
Addressing New Standards through Curriculum and Professional Development
BSCS Science Learning
Join BSCS Science Learning and learn to use NextGen TIME (Toolkit for Instructional Materials Evaluation), a suite of tools and processes supporting the evaluation, selection, and implementation of instructional materials designed for next generation science.
Building STEM Infrastructure Across your State, District, or Region
The Smithsonian Science Education Center and Friends
This pathway is intended for educational leaders (state, district, school, or classroom-level leaders) who are facing a shift in science standards. Participants will focus on clarifying their vision in STEM for their school, district, region, or state to support the learning of all students in a student-centered, practice-based manner. This pathway will provide participants with an initial introduction to the Smithsonian Science Education Center’s LASER model of systemic reform, and support the development of action items as a first step in realizing their vision. Participants will learn from professionals from across the country who are engaging in similar work in their own communities.
Crossing the “T” in STEM Classrooms
Supporting student learning outcomes through technology integration becomes challenging when choosing an effective tool among the growing pool of digital resources. Participants will re-examine the “T” in STEM and discuss the role that technology currently plays in both the classroom and real-world context. Using the SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition) model as a guide for reflection of effective technology integration, participants will engage in various uses of technology within a lesson that is aligned with the 5E instructional model (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate). Accessible technology tools will be introduced and examined throughout the sessions that support each component of the 5E lessons. Participants will bring a current unit plan to be enhanced by technology through the application of the SAMR and 5E instructional models.
100kin10 Grand Challenges: South Carolina as a Model for Other States and Communities
South Carolina Coalition for Mathematics & Science and 100kin10
The 100Kin10 Challenge Tree for STEM Education offers an exploration of root causes and possible actions to address the critical shortage of STEM teachers nation-wide. SCCMS, in partnership with 100Kin10, is exploring Grand Challenges from a broader lens to identify five STE(A)M ecosystem-wide challenges within our state that we might master within five years’ time if we act together in ways that maximize our individual and organizational strengths and resources. We will share what we have learned through this collaboration and engage participants in both an exploration of the Challenge Tree and in planning next steps for a Grand Challenges approach suited to their own STEM ecosystem.
Re-engineering the STEM Pipeline to Create a more Diverse Workforce
Catalysis Education Solutions LLC
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)-related jobs are growing rapidly but still a disproportionately small percentage of students graduating with STEM degrees come from underrepresented populations. According to the Center for American Progress, more than half of America’s K-12 population is comprised of students of color whereas the teachers that look like them make up only 17% of the teaching workforce. To begin to tackle this issue, pathway participants will address implicit bias, gaps in equitable services, and issues of access. Attendees will share experiences, learn about strategies for improving equity, review effective programs, and identify possible next steps. This strand is developed to specifically support schools need to address increasingly diverse student populations and communities. Traditional approaches to instructional planning and delivery often do not address the social and cultural contexts of schooling and therefore leave a significant portion of students behind. This approach looks at STEM education as an enterprise that is fully integrated a region’s workforce and economy, thereby plugging the leaky pipeline.
Stretch Your Legs for Science! Engaging Youth in School (and Out) with Citizen Science
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Meeting science practice standards goes hand-in-hand with student investigations and citizen science. Through these activities, youth truly become scientists: they record their own questions generated by the observations they make, collect their own data, get access to huge online datasets that they can query, and draw their own evidence-based conclusions. These are great ways to meet science standards, especially those related to developing science process skills. In this interactive and hands-on session, we’ll share how you can motivate your students with schoolyard/outdoor projects and real data as well as give you plenty of ideas and free resources to get started! This pathway takes you outside and puts you in the action—you’re sure to make some discoveries! While we’ll chat generally about citizen science, we’ll focus on eBird and see what birds we can find and count in Colorado Springs. As you get some fresh air and contribute to citizen science, you’ll find that you’re better prepared to use your schoolyard or local park (no matter where it is!) to deepen local connections, teach content, and develop science skills, inspired by any of the many citizen science projects that might be of interest to you and your students!
The "Nuts & Bolts" of Instructional Materials Support
This pathway will engage participants in the “nuts & bolts” of managing a large science materials resource center that is in the midst of curriculum/science kit changes to meet the demands of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Learn from the team about their technology system improvements, handling of living materials, implementing Open Education Resources (OER), partnerships with suppliers, and the transition to newly adopted NGSS curriculum on a state-wide scale. Included in the presentation will be a live, online tour of a facility in Dover, DE and interaction with the staff at the facility.
The following is a tentative schedule and details are subject to change before the final program.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do prior to my arrival?
Print out your confirmation email. This contains your selected Pathway learning and Salon sessions.
Can I change my choice of Pathway?
Yes, your registration is a non-binding indication of interest. Choose the Pathway that best fits your needs, but stick to that Pathway for the remainder of the institute. Pathways are designed to be continuous learning environments. Jumping around between Pathways is disrespectful to those leading the Pathway, and will be confusing for you as a participant.
Can I attend just one day?
No. Your registration is for the entire 3-day Institute to allow the attendee to experience the full benefit of Pathway learning. As such, registrations are valid only for the attendee listed on the registration. Registrations are not transferable once the Institute has begun.
Can I change my choice of Salon Sessions?
Yes, your registration is a non-binding indication of interest. Choose the Salon sessions that best fits your needs.
Are lunches provided?
Yes, you are provided lunch on all three conference days.
During the three-day program, participants will have three opportunities for Salon sessions. We encourage participants to review all of the Salon sessions offered, as they are not repeated. You will be asked to indicate your preferences during the registration process.
Salon Session A
Making STEM Learning More Accessible
Clemson University Center for Workforce Development
The biggest areas of job growth with the best paying jobs in the modern economy are in STEM related fields. These are the jobs that will make the US workforce competitive in the global marketplace, but they are also the jobs avoided by US students generally and underrepresented groups such as female, African-American, Latino, and Native youth particularly.There are variety of reasons for this but research indicates the lack of equitable access to STEM learning as a major factor. After making the case for the need for more equitable access to STEM learning, the bulk of the session will encourage attendees to develop a learning project that addresses at least one aspect of each of the five design principles for more equitable learning we are focused on. These design principles are geared toward making STEM learning settings more equitable and include: articulating shared goals, involving stakeholders, helping students make connections, identifying authentic endeavors, and brokering youth learning. Attendees will work in groups to practice incorporating equitable design principles into their STEM learning projects so that by the end of the salon session, they not only have gained experience, they also have a STEM activity that addresses equitable access to STEM learning that they can use in their own learning setting.
NGSS for School Leaders
Baltimore City Public Schools
Establishing school leaders' buy-in and deep understanding of the NGSS demands, is a prerequisite to a successful implementation of inquiry-based science instruction. This is especially critical in large urban districts, where, due to the accountability pressures, educators make uninformed decisions not to include science instruction in their daily schedules. By developing a professional development course for principals focusing on instructional and logistical implications of NGSS implementation in K-5 setting, we were able to 'break the ice'. I will share the lessons learned from the development and implementation of the "Foundations of Science Leadership for School Leaders" and share principals' interviews on their perceptions of shifts that are necessary to take their schools in the direction of quality NGSS implementation.
Providing Progressive and Effective Professional Learning for Teachers Related to Standards, Curriculum, and Student Learning through Lesson Study - Part I
This three-part Salon will engage participants in an in-depth study of the recursive relationship between curriculum materials and teacher professional development through the framework of Collaborative Lesson Research (lesson study). With the ambitious charge of the NGSS to ensure equity and access to all students, lesson study provides teachers and administrators with a framework to improve learning throughout school systems by attending to the interplay of standards, curriculum, and student learning through cycles of continuous improvement. Participants will develop an initial understand of lesson study and its support of continuous teacher learning. Through demonstration of the ongoing partnership between Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES and Syracuse University, participants will be exposed to a systematic and cyclical process that engages teachers in interpreting new standards, evaluating curricula, and establishing collaborative communities ready to test their practice. In Salon Session A, participants will begin to understand lesson study as a professional practice by learning about Collaborative Lesson Research (CLR). The session will identify how lesson study supports high quality teacher learning, the main aspects of CLR, important system components necessary for supporting lesson study. Furthermore, lesson study will be contrasted with other professional development models to identify key differences, specifically those related to research on teacher learning. The presenters will meet these objects by sharing their experience supporting lesson study regionally in conjunction with the rollout of new standards and associated science curriculum materials.
Science/STEM discussion circles
Sense making or discussion circles are the keystone in helping students deepen their understanding of and connect their learning from STEM activities. Activities in and of themselves do not necessarily lead to conceptual understanding. The critical step is a discussion facilitated by the teacher in which the community of learners can discuss, provide evidence, agree and disagree with one another, made claims and rebut them in a process to understand the phenomenon of the activity. We will engage in a short science lesson in order to have a common experience to work from and then discus and model a sense making circle. You will leave with ideas and strategies that you can immediately apply in your own classroom.
Supporting Our English Learners in Science
Smithsonian Science Education Center
As more English learners join our Science classes each year, we find that their varying level of English proficiency can make it challenging to determine their level of content understanding in science. Teachers ask, Is it the content they don’t understand or is it their limited ability to communicating what they know? How do we support their learning? How do we assess their work? Participants in this salon session will have the opportunity to hear about how schools involved in the Colorado LASER project have implemented effective strategies to support and assess English Learners. Key practical strategies for each language domain with corresponding assessment rubrics will be shared as well as examples of how this works in real classrooms.
What Were They Thinking? Examining Student Work
Santa Fe Public Schools
Student science notebooks utilize writing and drawing to record their work from learning activities. This session will focus on designing and implementing expectations and a rubric to help students show their understanding surrounding the work and concepts they are studying. Participants will experience an inquiry activity along with the discussion, writing, and drawing in traditional and digital notebooks. They will then switch to “teacher mode”, creating a rubric and using it to guide feedback discussions. Digital tools will also be used to create student drawings and writing, as well as to score student work with the rubric. Please bring a laptop.
Salon Session B
Crossing the "T" in STEM
Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative
Looking to integrate Digital Literacy and Computer Science (DLCS) into the science classroom? Join a team from the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) to hear how they are crossing the “t” in STEM by helping teachers integrate new statewide K12 Standards by piloting new DLCS modules in select classrooms across the state. The AMSTI team developed DLCS modules for three grade levels and have plans to develop additional modules. Each module includes content related to digital literacy, computer science and the hands on application of computer science. For second grades, this hands on application utilizes Blue-bot programmable robots. Third graders learn to program Dot and Dash robots and fifth graders work with Ozobots. At each grade level, the hands on application of computer science portion of the curriculum was developed by AMSTI Specialists and activities were aligned to science content lessons at the same grade level. In many activities, direct connections were made to science lessons that are a part of existing AMSTI Science modules. While still early in the pilot stage, this session will provide an overview of the pilot process, the development of the DLCS modules and the future plans for expansion of the DLCS project.
Engaging Students: Using Crosscutting Concepts to Prompt Student Sensemaking of Phenomena
NEXT GEN EDUCATION, LLC
The Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012) identifies three dimensions from which K-12 science education must be built around. One of the three dimensions, crosscutting concepts, unifies the study of science and engineering. Though the dimension of crosscutting concepts is essential to support student learning in learning science and engineering it is also the least understood.
This workshop will employ the 5E Instructional Model as the instructional foundation to provide educators with meaningful insights into how to use the dimension of crosscutting concepts to structure experiences that engage students in reasoning about the causes and effects of phenomena. The intent of this session is to help participants create consistent and clear prompts structured around crosscutting concepts that could be used within each phase of the 5E model: engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration, and evaluation. The crosscutting concepts provide a consistent language for educators to communicate with students. By designing prompts with crosscutting concepts the focus of the student thinking can be directed to key aspect of the phenomenon.
Infusing Engineering Challenges within the Elementary NGSS Classroom
DC Public Schools
Implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards calls for teachers to move into a facilitator role as students apply inquiry skills to develop solutions to problems. The purpose of this salon session, named “Infusing Engineering Challenges within the Elementary NGSS Classroom”, is to outline what it means for students to utilize their content knowledge to develop questions and solutions to real-world problems. Participants will be able to explain the engineering design process, experience how it feels to be a student within an engineering-focused classroom, and develop multi-faceted challenges that include criteria and constraints for their own students. We will explore how to link challenges to Disciplinary Core Ideas in Kindergarten- 5th Grade, and participants will be equipped with the tools needed to create their own narratives to support engineering challenges. We will also gain exposure to engineering based curriculum and programs with resources that are free and readily available.
Providing Progressive and Effective Professional Learning for Teachers Related to Standards, Curriculum, and Student Learning through Lesson Study - Part II
This three-part salon will engage participants in an in-depth study of the recursive relationship between curriculum materials and teacher professional development through the framework of Collaborative Lesson Research (lesson study). During Salon Session B, participants will be as immersed as possible in studying research proposals and watching video of a research lesson. Both artifacts were produced by teachers who engaged in CLR. Guided discussion will drive participants’ understanding of the goal of lesson study and its’ connections to driving continuous improvement in the systems for developing improved instructional practice and student outcomes. Objectives for Session B include building collective understanding of the benefits of CLR and teacher engagement with curriculum materials and instructional design.
Refining Math Instruction Through Inquiry
ASSET STEM Inc.
What does inquiry in mathematics look and sound like? Are you providing step-by-step directions that could possibly be impeding your students’ abilities to think strategically about how to solve real-world problems? In this session participants will be provided with an inquiry-based, hands-on mathematical experience where they will walk away understanding the importance of embedding authentic and critical problem-solving skills into instruction. When creating and promoting inquiry-based learning experiences, scholars are engaging in questioning, giving priority to evidence, formulating explanations, evaluating connections, and justifying findings. It is at the core of these features where we will examine indicators of mathematical inquiry and coupling it with the 8 Standards of Mathematical Practices and the characteristics of rich mathematical tasks.
Understanding STEM High Schools as Opportunity Structures for Under-represented Students: Critical Components and Student Impacts
The George Washington University
Inclusive STEM High Schools (ISHSs) can be exemplars of STEM success for underrepresented students. We explain the successes of eight ISHSs in seven states. The ISHSs were selected for positive records for underrepresented students in STEM (by gender, socioeconomic status and ethnicity). Using case studies and cross-case analyses, 14 school-level critical components were identified and explain how these ISHSs work. Across schools, four components seem foundational to creating a STEM school or improving STEM programs. In the second phase of the study, we sought to understand ISHSs from students’ perspectives; we identified what they valued most about what they were learning; inter- and intrapersonal skills; and, how they acquired personal agency. These student traits link to school level curriculum and instruction in STEM. Videos (three minutes long) provide snapshots of students in two ISHSs. This study also developed a logic model that maps out the critical components and their relationships to positive student outcomes for underrepresented students. Students access a high quality education and are prepared for STEM college majors and careers. Finally, this session offers participants a STEM Inventory, based on evidence from the study,that can be useful for professional development, STEM program development, or the creation of new ISHSs.
Salon Session C
Letting Off STEAM in a Culturally Relevant Way
Lowcountry Hall of Science and Math, College of Charleston
Through engaging hands-on activities and interactive discussions, this session will address the importance of meaningfully integrating the arts and culturally relevant pedagogy within a local, relevant scientific context (STEAM-CRT). Special features include culturally relevant teaching, a participant showcase of ideas, and tips for planning student-centered learning environments, from the classroom to out-of-school learning, around STEAM-CRT. The session will specifically look at the environment and sustainability as a means of getting students engaged in issues within their own community; however, the panelist will discuss other STEM initiatives to which this program could be applicable.
Math Snacks Early Algebra: Using constructivist video games to learn about variables, expressions and patterns
New Mexico State University
Math Snacks Early Algebra is a National Science Foundation DRK-12 Research and Development grant funded from 2015 to 2019. We have developed three new tools for teaching early algebra concepts: 2 video games and 1 interactive tool. This session will be set up for participants to review all tools. This session will include time looking at these games as well as the assessment items and supplementary materials that accompany each of the tools. Check out existing Math Snacks online at www.mathsnacks.org where 5 video games and 6 animations are available FREE in English and Spanish.
Providing Progressive and Effective Professional Learning for Teachers Related to Standards, Curriculum, and Student Learning through Lesson Study - Part III
This three-part salon will engage participants in an in-depth study of the recursive relationship between curriculum materials and teacher professional development through the framework of Collaborative Lesson Research (lesson study). In Salon Session C, participants will be challenged to identify rationales for engaging in lesson study to achieve their local goals related to the confluence of teacher learning, standards, curriculum, and student learning. Participants will be asked to identify specific assets, obstacles, required supports and resources needed to engaging in this model of professional development and curriculum implementation. Presenters will give advice on accessing and leveraging current teacher learning and curriculum systems and initiatives to define an area of focus and begin plans for moving forward. The bulk of Session C will focus on making the learning relevant to participants’ contexts, and participants will leave feeling energized and confident in their next steps.
Setting you students up for successful argumentation!
This salon will take teachers through an experiential science lesson where we will unpack strategies that allow your students to engage in successful argumentation. “Argument goes beyond reaching agreements in explanations and/or design solutions. Whether investigating a phenomenon, testing a solution or design, or constructing a model to provide a mechanism for an explanation, students are expected to use argumentation to listen to, compare, and evaluate competing ideas and methods based on their merits” (K-12 Framework for Science Education). The lesson will cover how teachers can structure both oral and written engagement with argument and reflect on the progression across the grade levels
STEM + The Arts = STEAM
Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership
Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership’s successful in-school program, Arts Link: Building Mathematics and Science Competencies through an Arts Integration Model, a theoretical construct engaging K-8 students in STEM learning funded by the US Department of Education, will serve as the platform for exploration of how aligning concepts and skills inherent to art creation with STEM content areas, creates an opportunity for deeper student understanding and application of learning. Learning through a STEAM approach promotes collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and innovation, all 21st century workforce skills, while meeting STEM academic standards.