Project 2061 Connections

An electronic newsletter for the science education community

February 2015

I. Project 2061 Launches New WeatherSchool@AAAS Website 

Designed for middle- and high-school students and teachers, the new WeatherSchool@AAAS site uses real-world data collected from around the globe to teach fundamentals about weather and climate. In a series of interactive modules that include graphing tools, data sets, guided activities, and quizzes, students learn how moving air masses can cause day-to-day temperature variation, how geographic factors such as elevation above sea level can influence temperature at any given location, and how the movement of the earth in relation to the sun can affect temperature over the course of a year. The new site is consistent with recommendations in the Next Generation Science Standards and encourages teachers to integrate the core ideas that students are learning with the practices of science, such as generating data, creating graphs and tables, and looking at relationships and patterns. Read moreExplore the site.

II. Project 2061 Focuses on Evolution with New NSF Grant

Despite its importance as a foundational concept, evolution is a particularly difficult idea for many students, and misconceptions about natural selection and genetics are prevalent. Working with the Genetic Science Learning Center at the University of Utah and supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, Project 2061 is developing an innovative multimedia curriculum unit and assessments to help high schoolers understand and apply core ideas about evolution through mathematical reasoning, data analysis, and argumentation based on evidence. Building on work completed through an earlier NSF-funded exploratory grant, the new $3 million project will produce a six-week multimedia curriculum unit that is aligned to Next Generation Science Standards and uses virtual collection and analysis of DNA and anatomical data to help students grasp the idea of common ancestry. Project 2061’s director Jo Ellen Roseman serves as a co-principal investigator for the new study.

III. Recent Project 2061 Publications

From the Next Generation Science Standards to interactive testing, today’s most important topics in science education are being covered in a variety of recent publications by Project 2061 staff. Catch up on your reading with these new resources: 

  • Herrmann-Abell, C. F., & DeBoer, G. E. (2014). Developing and Using Distractor-Driven Multiple-Choice Assessments Aligned to Ideas About Energy Forms, Transformation, Transfer, and Conservation.  In Teaching and Learning of Energy in K-12 Education. NY: Springer. Read an abstract of the chapter.
  • DeBoer, G. E. (2014). The History of Science Curriculum Reform in the United States. In Handbook of Research on Science Education, Vol. II. NY: Routledge. (Read an excerpt from the chapter; order the volume.
  • Roseman, J. E., & Koppal, M. (Dec. 2014/Jan. 2015). Aligned or Not? In Educational Leadership, Dec. 2014/Jan. 2015. Read an abstract of the article.
  • DeBoer, G. E., Quellmalz, E. S., Davenport, J. L., Timms, M. J., Herrmann-Abell, C. F., Buckley, B. C., Jordan, K. A., Huang, C., & Flanagan, J. (2014). Comparing Three Online Testing Modalities: Using Static, Active, and Interactive Online Testing Modalities to Assess Middle School Students’ Understanding of Fundamental Ideas and Use of Inquiry Skills Related to Ecosystems. In Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 51(4). Read an abstract of the article.

IV. AAAS Project 2061 Professional Development Workshops

Developing and Using Assessments Aligned to Science Learning Goals  Workshop

  • Seats are filling up fast but registration is still being accepted for the February 25-27 workshop. Don’t delay and register now!

Understanding and Using Next Generation Science Learning Goals Workshop

  • Early-Bird rates are still in effect for this March event, but space is limited. Take this opportunity and register now.

All workshops are held at AAAS Headquarters in Washington, DC.

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