• Saturday, October 20, 2018
  • 10:45 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Four Points By Sheraton Bellingham


  • There are 3 parts to this workshop. The first allows participants to take on the role of students as they discuss the phenomenon (Denver Broncos lead Seattle Seahawks in matches played in Denver and in Seattle since 1977) and then model their initial ideas. The second part introduces and overviews Ambitious Science Teaching (AST) and the 4 practices of AST. The third part outlines the AST unit that will guide students to a better understanding of the phenomenon.
  • Participants will engage in a lab that is not NGSS based as well as a lab that is NGSS based and use the two experiences to hold a conversation around how teaching and conducting labs using the Science and Engineering Practices of the NGSS is significantly different from previous teaching methods. Special emphasis will be on the basics of the three dimensions of learning, how learning is deepened for students by guiding them through “figuring out” information instead of direct instruction, how engineering can be approached in the 3-5 grade band and on strategies that participants can implement immediately in the classroom. Educators will gain strategies for questioning students and guiding them instead of implementing direct instruction techniques. The workshop is hands-on with participants experiencing the student-based activities. The activities completed in the workshop can be taken for immediate use in the classroom and the strategies and conversations are intended to help teachers as they modify teaching and lab practices to fit the NGSS’s three-dimensional teaching model.
  • "The workshop includes:
    1. A 5-minute bell ringer activity
    2. A 35-minute intro to our free classroom slide presentation
    3. A 5-minute tour of the TIES Online Learning Page
    4. A 30-minute hands-on activity on natural selection titled, This Lab is for the Birds

    1. A 5-minute bell ringer activity that fits into the NGSS strategy of getting students to really engage and think before content is delivered. The presenter will pass out plastic baggies with 14 small rectangles of paper in each along with a handout with two columns, Fact or Fiction, as the participants enter the room. The small papers have statements on each of them. The statements include such things as, “There is scientific evidence that dinosaurs and humans coexisted.” and “No one has ever seen evolution happen.” The participating teachers will place the little rectangles with the sentences under the Fact column or Fiction column of the handout. Afterwards, the group will discuss their ideas. Finally, a handout titled, “ALL are myths!” will be given to each teacher. This activity was modified using information from the National Center for Science Education (NCSE).

    2. In the 35-minute intro to our slide presentation: This presentation will be immediately available to the participating teachers as a free download and is full of active learning ideas and links to worthwhile videos and websites.

    3. A 5-minute tour of the TIES Online Resource Page (

    4. The 30-minute hands-on activity, This Lab is for the Birds is based on Peter and Rosemary Grant’s famous finch research and available for free download from the TIES Online Learning Page. This lab can be carried out with minimal cost to a teacher. He/she can purchase paper plates, plastic forks, spoons, knives and toothpicks, along with hard and soft candy (Popcorn kernels and raisins can also be used as the food items). They are assigned different beak “phenotypes” including a fork, spoon, toothpick, or knife. Each group of students has one of each beak type. The students must pick up food from the paper plate in the center of the table and bring it to their “nests” while competing with each other. This food collection is timed. The food is soft for the first three rounds of collection due to the plentiful “rainfall” on the island. Each round, the students must collect data on the number of birds who survive and the number of offspring produced according to phenotype. A “drought” affects the next three rounds and the food is replaced with hard food. Students compete again for food items and collect data on bird survival and reproduction. After calculating the averages before and after the drought for each phenotype, students must draw conclusions on their data and use it to describe the concept of natural selection. The HHMI BioInteractive film, The Beak of the Finch, included in this activity provides students with a real-life connection to this engaging activity."
  • How can we keep the skies safe for passengers, planes, and the birds? In this immersive workshop, participants will explore challenges faced by Sea-Tac International Airport’s wildlife management team as they work to keep raptors, owls, and other birds out of the airspace to prevent catastrophic crashes and damage to airplanes. Participants will experience the power of project-based learning (PBL) to ignite engagement and foster deeper understanding of core scientific concepts. The workshop is constructed so participants will “learn while doing” as they explore Bird Strike!, a high school PBL biology unit developed in partnership with Seattle-area teachers and the Port of Seattle. The experience will include a launch lesson and an overview of the unit. Participants will learn about a model of PBL that intentionally fosters students who can read, write, and argue scientifically. During this workshop, participants will build an understanding of PBL curriculum design that prioritizes cohesion and alignment between Driving Questions, standards, project tasks, and assessment of learning. They will also explore this unit's emphasis on career-connections and partnerships between teachers, organizations, and the community. Participants will walk away with a complete unit (Bird Strike!) and tools to support deeper learning through project-based teaching and learning. This workshop will be facilitated by Educurious, a Seattle-based non-profit that designs and supports PBL instruction with the goal of making learning meaningful, relevant, and rigorous.
  • "Inq-ITS (Inquiry Intelligent Tutoring System) is an online educational environment for science. With Inq-ITS, students engage in virtual inquiry in Physical, Life, and Earth Sciences. Students form hypotheses, conduct investigations, analyze their data, warrant their claims, and communicate their findings in a claim-evidence-reasoning format. Inq-ITS puts students in control of their own learning, with each participating in their own authentic inquiry experience. As students work, Inq-ITS uses patented algorithms that automatically assess students and generate real-time formative reports on classroom-wide performance for educators on each inquiry skill, summarizing classroom-wide and individual student performance.

    This workshop will focus on specifically how teachers are utilizing Inq-ITS in their classrooms. Our teachers have given permission for us to share hands-on labs, data from their Inq-ITS labs, and information on how they help their students develop these competencies."

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