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National Conference on Science Education

Baltimore, MD Nov. 10-13, 2010

A Report on My Professional Development Activities
Dr. Steve Rapp

Workshops and Presentations

Videos, Podcasts, and Wikis, Oh My!

Jeremy A. Haack, Baltimore County Public Schools, Middle River, Md.
Thomas P. Michocki (, Eastern Technical High School, Essex, Md.
Use the power of the wiki to present information from your science classes through
videos and podcasts. This was an excellent presentation where I learned about bpworks, a
place where you can upload educations materials for your students. Really Cool!
Check out the following sites: and The first link is
the presentation and the second link goes to articles about podcasts and wikis.

Finding Your Way When You’re Not Sure Where You’re Headed, General Session
Bill Nye, the Science Guy, Executive Director, The Planetary Society
“It’s easy to plan a route when someone has been there before us. But in science, we want
to know how to navigate when the route is uncharted. It’s the process that we want to get
across to our students. As our students come of age, they’ll learn to recognize problems
and the process they can use to solve them. Humankind faces remarkable problems in
disease, food production, transportation, and climate change. We need students who
know how to figure out what to do next—it’s science.” This was a very entertaining

The Next Generation of Science Virtual Labs—No Cleanup Required

Brian Woodfield, Brigham Young University, Provo,Utah
Brian demoed some of his latest eye-popping science virtual labs that are so visually
realistic you have to see them to believe them! Whether you are short on time or short on
lab materials in the classroom, virtual labs give you the flexibility to experiment.
Handouts and free science virtual lab sample CDs (Frey Scientific) was provided.

Using Online Simulations to Enrich Curricula

Sandra M. Russell (, Beall
Elementary School, Rockville, MD.
Sandra shared website simulations related to physics (force and motion, electricity),
graphic organizers that record students thinking, and ideas for integration. I didn’t get to
see many of them, however, since she had trouble with the Internet. I did receive a
handout with the URLs.

Virtual Laboratories in Your Classroom: What Does Research Tell Us?

Eva E. Toth (, West Virginia University, Morgantown
This workshop was designed to assist teachers in developing research based
instructional practices for their classroom inquiry teaching with the use of virtual
laboratories. Topics included the following:
1. What are virtual labs?
2. What levels of inquiry are involved?
3. What instructional designs are needed to complement virtual labs?

Virtual Labs simulate real science; they give us time! VLs immerse students in some
environment. Levels of inquiry include confirmation (search, evaluate, reasoning);
structure (search, evaluate); guided (search); and open. According to Eva, Virtual Labs
result in the same type of learning at in real labs.

My NASA Data: An Overview

Preston Lewis, Science Systems and Applications, NASA Langley Research Center,
Hampton, VA
Engage your students in learning about our planet Earth.Use MY NASA DATA to access
Earth systems satellite data and imaging at .Lesson plans
and instructions for use are on the site. I received handouts. There are datasets about the
atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, land surfaces, and oceans. One physics note: I had
not thought of this; hurricanes act as heat engines (need to explore further)

NASA’s High-Energy Vision: Chandra and the X-ray
Doug Lombardi (, Southern
Nevada Regional Professional Development Program, North
Las Vegas
Donna L. Young (, Wright Center
for Science Education, Tufts University, Medford, Mass.
Pamela Perry (, Lewiston
High School, Lewiston, Maine
In this workshop I learned about the latest results from NASA’s Chandra X-Ray
Observatory concerning black holes, supernovae, colliding galaxies, stellar evolution, and
the structure of the universe. Nice handout with appropriate website URLs.

Virtual Science: Overcoming Barriers to Experiential Learning in Distance

Debra F. McLaughlin (, Kathleen
B. Warner (, Robin Searles- Adenegan, and Sharon Goodall,
University of Maryland University College, Adelphi
Distance education provides significant opportunities to engage students in science. The
presenters discussed approaches to create online learning environments conducive to high
engagement and interactivity.

Using a Virtual Learning Environment for High School Science Education

George Newberry ( and John Quinn
(, Baltimore County Public Schools, Baltimore,
David C. Peloff (, Johns Hopkins University
Center for Technology in Education, Columbia, MD
Maria Lowry (, Chesapeake High School,
Baltimore, Md.
The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) lab uses state-of the-art technology as a tool by
which students learn, apply, and extend science concepts to solve real-world problems.
Check out this link for a paper discussing VLEs:

Mars Education Student Data Teams: Students Explore the Red

Dawn Turney (, The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics
Laboratory, Laurel, MD
Students work alongside scientists to analyze Mars data via online tools. STEM skills are
honed and students are inspired to pursue STEM careers through innovative
programming. I signed up to get my students involved for next year.
A interesting new program is in the works, Student Planetary Investigator, which is going
to be engaging.

Exhibitors Visited


American Association of #309

Physics Teachers Phys
One Physics Ellipse 6–12, College
College Park, MD 20740
Phone: 301-209-3333

American Nuclear Society #920

555 N. Kensington Ave. Gen
La Grange Park, IL 60526 5–12
Phone: 708-352-6611

ARKive #427
1250 24th St. NW, Suite 300 Bio
Washington, DC 20037 K–12, College
Phone: 202-776-7753
Website:, the Noah’s Ark for the Internet, is a unique global initiative gathering
together of the very best films, photographs, and biological information of the world’s
most threatened species into one centralized digital library to create a freely accessible,
audiovisual record of life on Earth.

Carolina Biological Supply Co. #709

2700 York Rd. All
Burlington, NC 27215 K–12, College
Phone: 800-334-5551

Carolina Biological Supply Company is a worldwide leader in providing top-quality,

innovative science and math materials for educators. Carolina serves the K–12 and
college market with everything needed to equip a science laboratory or classroom. A
complete catalog, Carolina™ Science, is also available free to educators and health

CPO Science/School Specialty #513

Science Phys
80 Northwest Blvd. 6–12
Nashua, NH 03063
Phone: 800-932-5227

CPO Science provides all the essential components for an inquiry-based science program
for grades 6–12. Our teaching and learning systems include student texts and
investigations manuals, hands-on equipment, integrated technology, and complete teacher
resources, including professional development opportunities. Our programs are ideal
for differentiated instruction and meet state and national standards.

The DuPont Challenge© #527

200 Powder Mill Rd. All
Wilmington, DE 19898
Phone: 302-695-2554

The DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition is one of the foremost student science
and technology award programs in the United States and Canada. Now in its 25th year,
The DuPont Challenge continues to honor the memory of the heroes of the 1986
Challenger Space Shuttle and all who work to encourage the next generation to explore
the frontiers of science.

Fisher Science Education #412

4400 Turnberry Dr. All
Hanover Park, IL 60133 K–12, College
Phone: 800-955-1177

Flinn Scientific, Inc. #400

PO Box 219 All
Batavia, IL 60510 6–12, College
Phone: 630-879-6900

Frey Scientific/School #509

Specialty Science Gen
80 Northwest Blvd. K–12
Nashua, NH 03063
Phone: 800-225-3939

Frey Scientific provides K–12 educators with innovative technology products, standards
based programs, and NeoSCI® hands-on kits; expert lab design and planning services;
and an extensive offering of lab equipment, supplies, and safety materials. Disciplines
include all areas of science, including biology, chemistry, physics, environmental,
forensics, Earth, and space.

Johns Hopkins University #416

Applied Physics Laboratory Earth
11100 Johns Hopkins Rd. 4–12
Laurel, MD 20723
Phone: 443-778-5746

A University Affliated Research Center, the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Applied
Physics Laboratory (APL) makes contributions to our nation’s critical challenges through
the application of academic research to science and technology problems. APL has built
and launched more than 64 spacecraft for civilian and national security space objectives,
including New Horizons, MESSENGER, STEREO, and TIMED.

McGraw-Hill School Education #404

8787 Orion Place K–12
Columbus, OH 43240-4027
Phone: 800-334-7344

NASA Explorer Schools #721

1840 Wilson Blvd. Bio, Earth, Gen,
Arlington, VA 22201 Phys, Tech
Phone: 703-312-9295 4–12

NASA Explorer Schools (NES) is NASA’s classroom-based gateway for middle and high
school classrooms, providing authentic learning experiences inspired by NASA’s unique
missions. NES provides free resources that promote student engagement in STEM and
opportunities for teachers and students to participate in NASA’s research and discovery
mission through inquiry-based experiences.

PASCO Scientific #908

10101 Foothills Blvd. All
Roseville, CA 95747 K–12
Phone: 800-772-8700

PASCO empowers teachers to deliver the 21st-century science education that will
prepare their students for the future. PASCO’s award-winning SPARK science solutions
combine standards-based content and relevant professional development with modern
data visualization methods and tools to engage students and inspire true learning.

PicoTurbine International #728

50 Dey St., Suite 455 Env, Gen, Phys
Jersey City, NJ 07306 5–12, College
Phone: 201-420-0569

We offer green energy education, AGEE (Advancing Green Energy Education) hands-on
materials and curriculum, teacher and student workshops, and after-school programs.

Simulation Curriculum Corp. #421

11900 Wayzata Blvd., Suite 126 Earth
Minnetonka, MN 55305 K–12, College
Phone: 952-653-0493

Simulation Curriculum, publishers of the award-winning Starry Night and The Layered
Earth, is the trusted leader in interactive Earth and space science curriculum solutions for
today’s K–12 and college classrooms!

Space Telescope Science Institute #612

3700 San Martin Dr. Earth
Baltimore, MD 21218 K–12, College
Phone: 410-338-4857

The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore is the science and operations
center for the Hubble Space Telescope. STScI scientists work together with experts from
various fields to communicate Hubble’s meaningful and exciting discoveries to the

WebCam Laboratory #419

Marvany u 17 All
Budapest, Hungary H1012 1–12
Phone: 36 704527435

WebCam Laboratory is a software allowing teachers and students to undertake

reasonable real-life natural science experiments by using the software and an everyday
webcam. Web-Cam Laboratory is a good alternative to experiments done with electronic
and mechanical equipment, with the advantage that students can also use it at home.