Episode 010_Meet a Mechanical Engineer: Cody Machler




Meet Cody Machler, a mechanical engineer in the aerospace industry.  His experience falls in every phase of the product life cycle (requirements definition, design, build, test, etc). In this episode we discuss what the engineering design process looks like in his work. We also discuss what skills Cody sees that students need to have in order to be successful as an engineer. You’ll be happy to hear that these skills are similar to what goes on in an NGSS designed classroom.

 Join our discussion in our Facebook Group and comment to be entered in our monthly giveaway.

And remember, you’re phenomenal!

Show Notes:

  • Introduction of Cody Machler, a mechanical engineer in the aerospace industry.
  • The different types and roles of engineers and how they work together
  • Being an engineer, verbal and writing skills are critical to clear communication
  • Why knowing how to document your work is important
  • New hires are more theoretical in their knowledge and lack...
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006_Phenomena Driven Inquiry with Dr. Vince Mancuso


Listen to the whole episode  by clicking the play button below: 



Today's guest, Vince Mancuso, Ed.D., has been a middle school science teacher for 20 years. His research focuses on discrepant event phenomena in the science classroom and inquiry-based reform, specifically the development of inquiry-grounded curriculum and effective inquiry practices that enrich traditional classrooms. He developed and shaped Phenomena-Driven Inquiry  and the POQIE model through fifteen years of extensive research and field-testing that began with his Master’s work, carried through his doctoral studies, and continued through several years of post-doctoral action research.

Win a copy of his book by joining our Facebook Group NGS Navigators and commenting on this podcast's post.

Scroll down to download a free Phenomena Driven Inquiry Cheat Sheet and Lesson plan template.

Show Notes:

  • Introduction of Guest Dr. Vince Mancuso, Developer of the...
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Episode 009_Storylines and Driving Question Board with Holly Hereau


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Host Margaret O´Sullivan sits with Holly Hereau. Holly Hereau has been teaching high school science since 2004. In addition to teaching, Holly works as an NGSX facilitator and a Next Generation Science Storylines consultant. In this episode, Holly tells us about her shift to teaching with storylines. She provides helpful tips and resources for teachers looking to use storylines and driving question boards in their NGSS classroom.

 Join the NGSS discussion in the Facebook Group and comment to be entered in our Podcast monthly giveaway.

And remember, you’re phenomenal!

**UPDATE: Congratulations to Holly for earning the 2019 Michigan Science Teacher of the Year Award!!!

  Show Notes:

  • Introduction of Holly Hereau, high school science teacher who teaches with Storylines.
  • What is a storyline? A storyline beings with an anchoring phenomenon and proceeds from there.
  • ...
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Episode 008_Meet Science Sam: Biologist Samantha Yammine



Listen to the full episode by clicking the play button below or download on iTunes. 


Host Margaret O´Sullivan meets Toronto’s Science Sam! Learn about Samantha Yammine’s PhD research in Dr. Derek van der Kooy's Neurobiology Research Group investigating some of the first cells of the brain - neural stem cells. Continue the conversation in our Facebook Group, NGS Navigators, and be entered to win a model brain for your classroom! 

Show Notes:

  • Introduction of Samantha Yammine, Science Sam.
  • Her research is based on neuro brain cells and their development
  • Details on how a PhD program works
  • One important part of the scientific process: what are the alternatives if your hypothesis is wrong?
  • The research Samantha does is good for brain injuries, alzheimer's disease, or other degenerative diseases.
  • PhD looks to see which pharmaceuticals are activating brain cells and how the stem cells build the cells in our brain
  • Sam recounts her experience...
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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

Click here to download directly

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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