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Sci-Ed News –

Missouri Department of Conservation – Nature Unleashed

Missouri Department of Conservation worked with  Missouri educators to develop an engaging, ecology-based curriculum aligned with our new science MLS expectations. This is a free resource which can help educators in grades K-5 relate the content in a more comprehensive manner. Check out the flyer and crosswalks for additional information.

Total Solar Eclipse 2017

A total solar eclipse of the sun will sweep across the continental United States Aug. 21, 2017. The eclipse, with a total duration of 90 minutes, includes an area of “greatest duration” that falls directly above Columbia, Missouri. This is the location where the total eclipse will last the longest along its entire path. Click here to check out events, maps, videos and instructional materials.

Special thanks University of Missouri Astrophycist and Eclipse Tsar, Dr. Angela Speck, for providing additional eclipse information and resources for educators.

There is a teacher toolkit  from a collaboration of NASA and WGBH here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aOnd_Z6347qhA3iZZzrHxnnOzcIE11Lvkcb3clCScjo/edit

We are working on a teacher-centric page for our main website listed above – at present there are resources on this page – https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/educational-materials - but it does cover everything  teachers want in terms of classroom activities and their relationship to NGSS. Hopefully by the end of the week we will have a new subpage with detailed class activities and structured lesson plans.

We also have a link to this map, which has subject matter experts available across the US: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/2017_solar_eclipse_SME_s_map.html

Missouri Green Ribbon Schools

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has selected 5 Missouri schools for nomination to the U.S. Education Department’s Green Ribbon Schools Program. This program recognizes those schools which are actively and creatively seeking ways to: reduce environmental impacts and costs; improve the health and wellness of students and staff; and provide effective environmental and sustainability education.

The following schools have been nominated and are listed in no particular order: W.W. Keysor Elementary (Kirkwood), Ray Miller Elementary (Kirksville), Parkway North (Parkway), Maplewood-Richmond Heights Middle School (Maplewood-Richmond Heights), McKelvey Elementary (Parkway).

Congratulations to the students and staff of each of these schools. The energy and enthusiasm needed to be competitive for this award is truly a collective effort.


The changes to the Missouri Learning Standards science expectations are about to enter the first year of implementation. There will be many questions, concerns and clarifications brought to light by educators across the state throughout this process. Please feel free to contact me and share your observations, concerns and successes related to implementation.

From the 6–12 Science Work Group proposal, page 1:

“The Secondary Science (grades 6-12) workgroup used several documents as a basis on which to build the standards, including the current MO Learning Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, Massachusetts State Standards (2006, 2012), South Carolina State Standards, and the Missouri Curriculum Alignment Initiative.”

Three dimensional learning model is the consistent idea among Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Massachusetts(link is external) and South Carolina. Any links or directions to resources are intended to enhance understanding of the three dimensions of learning as well as providing some additional guidance to teachersprincipals and parents.

Assessments for the new science expectations are currently scheduled for the 2018 – 2019 school year.

John Kitchens
Science Director
[email protected] 


MLS Support Documents


The intent of this crosswalk is to enhance understanding of the changes to the science expectations.  This document does not represent the full breadth of change associated with the new expectations. Science and Engineering Practices, as well as Crosscutting Concepts are important components to understanding the changes. Science and Engineering Practices are summarized in Appendix F of NGSS; Crosscutting Concepts are summarized in Appendix G of NGSS. Both appendices provide progressions as well.

K-5  |  6-8  |  9–12                       

Missouri Learning Standards Science Expectations

K-5  |  6-12

Additional Documents

MS and HS Course Suggestions 

MLS to NGSS Crosswalks:

K-5  |  6-8  |  9-12 


Professional Learning

Interface 2018

Link for presentation proposals are coming soon!

  • Interface A (Grades K – 6): February 2 – 24, 2018
  • Interface B (Grades 7 – 12): February 25 – 27, 2018

STOM Conference

Columbia, MO – Oct 13 – 14, 2018

RPDC Science Contact Info



Science Contact


S Central RPDC


Janet Crafton

[email protected]



Myra Collins

[email protected]


St. Joseph

Deb Korell

[email protected]



Tracy Gross

[email protected]

Heart of Missouri


Gena McCluskey

[email protected]


Cape Girardeau

Linda Null

[email protected]

Central RPDC


Julie Blaine

[email protected]

St. Louis




Kansas City


Julie Collins

[email protected]

National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)

  • NSTA’s Professional Learning page​​

Integrating the Missouri River In Your Classroom

May 21 – 22, 2017 in Omaha, NE and September 14-15, 2017 in St. Charles, Missouri

Connect with the natural and cultural history of the Missouri River through adventure and investigation.  Discover the river ecosystems and the natural forces that shaped them. Understand how human choices have affected the river’s rhythm and flow. Experienced instructors will show you how to integrate the Missouri River in your classroom in a way that engages students and strengthens their learning.  Learn more at http://www.riverrelief.org/updates/entry/2017-integrating-the-missouri-river-in-your-classroom/

Phenomena & Placement Based Science Learning With the New MLS

Presenter: Mike Syzdlowski

Participants should look forward to a fast-paced interactive workshop that will include assessments, assessment strategies, and lab examples aligned to the new standards and designed to effectively improve student learning. For registration and additional information:  http://www.smcaa.org/training/summer.aspx

Dates and Locations:

June 28    Ferguson - Florissant
June 29       Jackson R-II
June 30       Marshfield
July 6          Jefferson City
July 7          Raytown
July 21        Macon


Science Resources for Teachers

My Sci – Washington University Institute for School Partnership

  • MySci equips elementary school teachers with instructional materials and professional development opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in order to help instill a love of science in students.

Missouri Environmental Education Association (MEEA)

  • MEEA has an excellent array of resources for teachers and districts to utilize. Lessons, assessments, training, links to parks and conservation areas across Missouri.


  • Science Teachers of Missouri provides an array of science resources to benefit teachers and students in classroom, lesson planning and professional development.  

Missouri River Relief

  • Looking for resources for teaching about the Missouri River, examples of river action projects, or ways to take learning outside? You’ve come to the right place. You're just a little early.

Science Friday

  • Science Friday offers free STEM activities, lessons, and resources for parents and educators.     

The Concord Consortium

  • We're a non-profit educational technology laboratory for science, mathematics and engineering. Our pioneering work brings technology's promise into reality for education.

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

  • The teacher resources link provides pages of resources to assist teachers and districts with implementing science expectations.


  • National Science Teachers Association provides resources for classrooms, implementation and professional development.

University of California -  Berkley(link is external)

  • Lesson plans, videos, articles, “resource database”


  • MetEd is a free collection of hundreds of training resources intended for the geoscience community. Whether you're an experienced meteorologist honing existing skills or a student looking for new geoscience topics of interest, we have something for you.


Student Activities

International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF)

ISEF is a great way for students put their hard work on display along with other students from schools in neighboring school districts or counties within the 10 ISEF districts throughout Missouri. 

  • Where to go?  - This is a tool to help find the district a given school or participant would be placed.
  • Rules – It is very important to follow these rules so the participant will be eligible to participate competitively in the ISEF.
  • Resources – There is a “Rules Wizard” tool to help guide the teachers and participants through the process of meeting ISEF project requirements.

2017 Missouri River Academy

8th – 12th Grade

  • July 9-13, 2017
  • 5 days and 4 nights
  • New Haven, Missouri


Collaborative Classroom Projects

Journey North ( grades K – 12)

Seasonal change is all around us. Children see it in the length of a day, in the appearance of a flower, in the flight of a butterfly. Journey North is a free, Internet-based program that explores the interrelated aspects of seasonal change. Through interrelated investigations, students discover that sunlight drives all living systems and they learn about the dynamic ecosystem that surrounds and connects them.

Square of Life (grades 1-5)

Square of Life: Studies in Local and Global Environments is an Internet-based elementary level collaborative project in which students will investigate their local environment and share that information with other students from around the country and the world.

Bucket Buddies (grades 1-5)

Students around the United States and other countries will collect samples from local ponds to answer the question: Are the organisms found in pond water the same all over the world?

Down the drain (grades 4 – 8)

How much water do you use everyday in your home? Would you be surprised to learn that according to the USGS the average American uses between 80-100 gallons (approx. 300 - 375 liters) of water per day? Do you think people in other parts of the world use more or less water than Americans? Well, this collaborative project will help you find out the answers to these questions. By collecting data on water usage from people around the world you will be able to see how your water use compares to others and determine what you might do to use less water. 

The Global Sun Temperature Project (grades 5 – 12)

Join schools from around the world as they determine how their geographic location (i.e. where they live) affects their average daily temperature and hours of sunlight. Specifically, students will:

  • Measure the temperature and record the number of minutes of sunlight per day over a common week.
  • Compare and contrast the results with classes from all over the world.
  • Determine how proximity to the equator affects average daily temperature and hours of sunlight.

​​Human Genetics ( grades 6 – 12)

Is the dominant trait the most prevalent trait? Join the project for a unique opportunity to study genetics as experienced scientists do! The Human Genetics Project is now open until June 20th, 2017, and you may participate at any time. There is NO fee to participate however we do ask you to register first.

International Boiling Project (grades 6 – 12)

We have people all over the world boiling water. In the past we've had climbers on Mt. Everest, school children in La Paz, Bolivia and college professors in Cheyenne, Wyoming all participating in the project. The purpose of this project is to discover which factor in the experiment (room temperature, elevation, volume of water, or heating device) has the greatest influence on boiling point. Anyone can participate in this year's project. All you have to do is boil a bit of water, record a bit of information, and send it along to us to include in the database of results.

The Global Water Sampling Project (grades 9 – 12)

The Global Water Sampling Project is free to all participants.  To facilitate incorporation of the project into traditional curricula, the project has been designed for water sampling to be performed once or on a continuing basis.