NGSS Environmental Education Resources


Hello. This is Ron Michaels, the K-12 Science Consultant
for the Connecticut State Department of Education here in Hartford Connecticut. I’m joined by Melissa Hickey, the Reading/Literacy
Director and Supervisor of the Academic Office at the State Department of Education. Today, Melissa and I will discuss the legislative
considerations surrounding the House Bills involving K-12 Public school Environmental
Education, and provide a summary of some of the free educational resources Connecticut
teachers might use in the their classrooms throughout the state to support the teaching
of climate change. Let’s begin by looking at our agenda to
give you an understanding of what this presentation will cover. As a result of this Webinar you
will: Better understand the mandates that involve
the teaching of K-12 Science; and Be able to utilize the Environmental/Climate
change resources that are found on the CSDE Science Webpage. The crux of this short webinar is based upon
the recent legislation which can be found in the General Statutes of Connecticut. In Volume 3, Title 10, chapter 164, Entitled
Education Opportunities, you can find the most recent legislative mandates concerning
the teaching of Science including topics on climate change consistent with the State Board
of Education’s adopted science standards known as Next Generation Science Standards
or NGSS. Section 10-16b describes the role of the State
Board of Education in partnership with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
or D E E P. The CT State Board adopted Next Generation
Science Standards in November of 2015. The NGSS includes 3 major content areas including
topics in Earth and Space Science that break down into Astronomy, Geology, Oceanography
and Meteorology. It also includes topics like the impact of
humankind on the Earth which can be found in Life Sciences, Physical sciences as well
as Earth and Space Science. D E E P has been developing, adapting and
implementing environmental education programs for many years and has been working with schools
and communities teaching environmental climate change programs to students throughout the
state. All D E E P material has been aligned to NGSS
and vetted for accuracy and age appropriateness. The CSDE has worked closely with numerous
stakeholders to compile resources, create guiding documents, and provide professional
learning regarding the Next Generation Science Standards. These materials are located on
the CSDE Website. For the latest educational updates click on
the URL inside the box you see at the top of this page. Any title or description in
blue throughout this presentation should open a hyperlink which will take you directly to
the page you will see on the slide. You can access the CSDE Science resources
with just a few steps. Clicking on the “latest updates” link
will take you to the opening page of the Connecticut State Department of Education. Your next Click will be in the grey box on
the left of your screen on the banner that reads “K- 12 Education”. This will open to a new set of title banners
in the grey box starting with the title : Academics Click the first banner in the grey box. When this is complete, another new set of
titles will appear that lists all of the academic areas supported by the CT State Department
of Education. Scroll down to the banner titled Science and
click once again. Once in the Science opening webpage you can
click on the Science Standards and Resources tab. This opens up the Science Standards and Resources
webpage, which begins with an overview of the Science content area. This Webpage lists various resources to guide
you in finding information about a variety of Science topics. When we go to the resources listed on CSDE
Science Webpage you can scroll down to access a list of climate change resources that has
been compiled for your use. The following two pages of this presentation
will look a little deeper at some of these resources. Each of the titles listed in blue are hyperlinks
which will take you to the main page of the resource listed. The first two resources are from the Connecticut
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. We have already learned in the legislation
that D E E P is responsible for assisting Local education Agencies or LEA’s in the
teaching of climate change. They have been doing this for many years throughout the state
in several locations and the CSDE has begun to partner with DEEP in a more formalized
way as a result of the recent legislation. We will look a little deeper at a few of these
resources in the coming slides. Going to the D E E P website can uncover a
plethora of resources, especially as you tab to the educator workshop webpage by clicking
where you see the red arrow. The webpage Educator Workshop Curricula opens
with a tab to list the current Professional Development opportunities (again by clicking
the blue banner where the red arrow is pointing) The remainder of their webpage summarizes
some of the current NGSS aligned curricula offerings. Getting back to the list of CSDE Climate resources
takes us to the third resource listed. Climate Kids is produced by the Earth Science
Communications Team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of
Technology Topics found on this site include resources
around: Weather & Climate
Atmosphere Water
Energy Plants & Animals The Website has a ton of activities and is
perfect for elementary and middle grades students. Another website from the NASA’s Jet Propulsion
Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology is titled TEACH. Teach – Bring the wonder of space to your
students. Explore our universe of science, technology, engineering and math activities
and resources. This fantastic resource has problem sets and
classroom activities for every grade level broken down by individual grades K through
12. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
known as NOAA provides our next resource. Climate.gov is a source of timely and authoritative
scientific data and information about climate. Clicking on the Teaching Climate Tab offers
learning activities and curriculum materials, multi-media resources, and professional development
opportunities for formal and informal educators who want to incorporate climate science into
their work. There are six levels of activities and resources
listed in grade bands that include grades 3 to 5, Middle school, high school and two
levels of college level materials that might be perfect for AP or talented and gifted students. Our next resource is brought to you by U.S.
Department of Energy. (https://www.energy.gov/teachers) Their mission called STEM Rising is the initiative
to inspire, educate, and spark an upwards trajectory to lifelong success in STEM through
sharing the Department’s programs, resources, competitions, events, internship opportunities
and more. Designed for older students this website provides more in-depth skills and
information. View their STEM resources for students, teachers,
and the energy workforce on this site and sign up for the monthly newsletter to keep
in touch. NASA supports the next resource called the
Earth System Science Education Alliance (ESSEA). Under the federally funded Global Climate
Change Education (GCCE) program this resource enables teachers to develop shared educational
resources – including modules and courses – that are based on NASA climate science and
data. As always, please feel free to reach out to
me if you have any questions. We strive to return phone calls and emails as soon as possible.
You can expect a response to most of your inquiries within 24 hours. Thank you for watching and listening to this
presentation and look for more NGSS science Webinars in the coming months.

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