Episode 007_Meet a Marine Biologist: Melissa Marquez



Host Margaret O´Sullivan sits down with guest Melissa Marquez. Melissa Marquez is a moving force in STEM. Currently completing her PhD on sharks and their relatives, she is an advocate for Latina scientists, ocean literacy, and science literacy. She has been featured on Shark Week, and she is currently hosting her own podcast, Conciencia Azul, and writing her first book series. Margaret and Melissa discuss why an inclusive STEM education is important.

 Show Notes:

  •  Introduction of Guest Melissa Marquez, Candidate for PhD
  • Why interview a scientist?
  • Clearing-up misconceptions about sharks, rays, and stingrays
    • 500 different species of sharks
  • Melissa strives to clear up the misconceptions of these predators
  • How sharks are considered gods in folklore
  • Fins United initiative 
  • Melissa founded Fins United to make a dent in creating educational resources about oceans
  • Fins United's goal is to promote ocean literacy
  • Conciencia Azul, a marine science...
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004: Meet a Writer of the NGSS--Jen Gutierrez


 Episode #004 Summary

(1:00) So without further ado, here is Jen Gutierrez. Welcome, Jen. Thank you for coming on to our show today. Will you tell us a little bit about yourself?

(2:00) Jen tells us about working on the NGSS writing team specifically on the Life Science team and Appendix D.

(3:00)  How did Jen get involved in that process?

(4:00) Jen’s incredible “aha!” moment when she first reads the drafts of the Framework (the foundation of NGSS).

(7:53) Jen tells us about her go-to NGSS resources.

(11:34) What are some of the misconceptions that you (Jen) might still be seeing that teachers might have about the NGSS?

(22:08) Jen discusses Engineering is Elementary

(34:39) Jen gives some final words of wisdom and more resources!

NGSS Resources mentioned in this episode


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Episode 003_NGSS Innovation #3: 3Dimensional Learning- (Viewing Glasses Optional)

Uncategorized Nov 01, 2018


Episode 003 Summary

 Today's episode about NGSS second innovation which is about three dimensional learning or that NGSS focuses on three dimensional learning.

(1:07) What are the three dimensions?

(1:28) First of all, you've got the science and engineering practices.

(4:30) The second dimension is called cross cutting concepts.

(5:15) How one teacher uses cross cutting concepts to organize his driving question board.

(6:41) How one teacher calls crosscutting concepts the "Keys to the Universe"

(9:55) The third dimension is the disciplinary core ideas. Some believe NGSS is missing important content. What do you think?  

(10:40) How the Disciplinary Core ideas were chosen and organized in NGSS.

(18:33) All three of these dimensions at some point existed in one way or the other in the old standards. So how is this innovative?

(23:27) What this looks like in the classroom--More this, Less this 

Innovation 2:...

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Episode 002: 5 NGSS Innovations

Uncategorized Oct 31, 2018

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Episode 002 Summary

(With time stamps)

(0:13) So today's episode we're going to be talking about the five innovations of NGSS; what makes NGSS so the next generation science standards different than the traditional standards in the past and how that might look like in your class.

(2:39) The first innovation is that lessons and units are now driven by phenomena or phenomenon.  Students are learning to make sense of this phenomenon- that's the purpose of the of the lesson or the unit.

Now, if it's an engineering lesson or unit the goal is that students are creating solutions to a problem that is related to the phenomenon.

The second innovation is that as students are making sense of this phenomenon, or they're designing a solution to a problem that’s related to the phenomenon, they need to use three dimensional learning. Our students are going to need to engage in science and engineering practices, and link cross cutting concepts...

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Launching NGS Navigators Podcast!

Right Click to download the first episode!

Have you heard (literally)?! 


Okay,  okay--the first few episodes, well let's just say, I'm still trying to find my podcasting voice...but it's a start.

Each month we'll talk all things NGSS K-8 related: tips, strategies, resources, wins, struggles...

And, my favorite part, 

interviews with NGSS Experts, Actual Living Scientists, and Real K-8 teachers!

Look at some of the talented people we have lined up: 

NGSS Experts

  • Members of  the NGSS writing team: Jen Gutierrez, Dr. Cary Sneider, Kenneth Huff
  • Storylines and Driving Question Board expert: Holly Hereau 
  • iExplore Science founder: Nicole VanTassel 
  • Assistant professor of Science Education, Boston University: Dr. Eve Manz


    • Dr. Melissa Braaten (Ambitious Science Teaching) 


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3 Reasons to Use Single Point Rubrics for your NGSS 3D Assessments


Why use single point rubrics for NGSS 3D Assessments?

1. Invites higher-quality meaningful feedback

Rather than choosing from a list of generic descriptions that don’t always apply, single point rubrics require teachers to specify where students need to make some adjustments and also identify notable areas of quality for that particular student. This creates personalized feedback which will more likely be read.

2. Doesn’t try to cover all the aspects of a project that could go well or poorly.

This creates more flexibility without sacrificing clarity. You no longer have to think of all the different ways students could fail or succeed.


3. Students Prefer Them.

Your students will find them easier to read. With only the target expectations to focus on, they are more likely to read those expectations and with less text they experience less overwhelm.

Take Action:

Join the Single Point Rubric Movement!  Use one of the example rubrics or...

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7 Reasons to Add the EQuIP Rubric to your NGSS Lesson Planning Toolbox

Not sure if that lesson is really NGSS aligned? Enter the EQuIP Rubric. A MUST for creating effective, efficient, and engaging NGSS lesson plans. Below I list 7 reasons why.

I’ll admit it.
When I first started teaching science, my basic lesson planning formula was:
  1. Front load vocabulary.
  2. Teach content from the textbook (usually in an outline form).
  3. Find some fun hands-on activities that confirmed what we just read (or even just slightly connected).
It's true. My “hands on” activities were more fluff than substance.
Let me give you an example: Volcanoes
We made beautiful model volcanoes that all looked the same (cone-shaped and brown) with a small PVC pipe in the middle to fit a test tube. Something like this:
"All models are wrong, but some are useful" (Spoiler alert: This is not one of them)
Then, we I poured pre-made mixtures into the tubes to model three different types of eruptions--low viscosity; medium...
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Empower Your Students: Give Them the Keys to Science and Engineering with the Crosscutting (Key) Concepts

The seven crosscutting concepts in the NGSS deepen our students’ understanding of the disciplinary core ideas and help develop their scientific literacy by uniting the core ideas throughout the fields of science and engineering.

To help make the crosscutting concepts (and therefore the disciplinary core ideas and practices) more accessible to her students, one teacher in Kansas, Dr. Robin Wooten, created these infographics to model the crosscutting concepts as the “keys to unlocking the mysteries of the universe” (Download your own copies below).


Dr. Wooten states:

“As science teachers well know, the importance of the crosscutting concepts is not merely that they apply across the domains of science and engineering, but that, because they “address the fundamental aspects of nature, they also inform the way humans attempt to understand it." 

 Consequently, the ...

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