Click here for past minicourses and workshops.
The Arctic: A Look at the Top of Our World
January 31st, February 7th, February 14th 5:00-7:30 pm
This mini course explores the top of our world: the Arctic region. The mini course is divided into three sessions. The first session works to define the Arctic region, exploring unique sky phenomena (the aurora borealis, the midnight sun, and optical mirages), the unique physical features of a frozen landscape, as well as, the specialized adaptations of the flora and fauna to its harsh environment. The second session focuses on the people of the North American Arctic (indigenous and more recent arrivals), focusing on their adaptation (or lack thereof) and interactions with the Arctic environment. The third session examines the changing Arctic, specifically the impacts of a changing climate – the consequences of a melting permafrost and the loss of pack ice – on both the Arctic and the world (working as a positive feedback enhancing global warming, as well as the potential economic, environmental, and political impacts of a changing Arctic). And the ‘grasshopper effect’, a phenomena contributing to the growing burden of environmental pollutants migrating to the Arctic from the south.
P-8 Science Minicourses
February 28, March 2, 7, 9
SUNY Buffalo State
The SUNY Buffalo State Master Teacher program and the Western Section of the Science Teachers Association of NYS are excited to offer this set of professional development minicourses for P-8 teachers. In these minicourses, teachers will explore their own ideas and children’s ideas about science concepts. These minicourses are specifically aligned with the new NYS Science Learning Standards. The relevant NYSSLS Performance Expectations (PE) are listed for each course.
Each participant will receive a CTLE certificate for 12 hours of professional development and a class set of large dry-erase boards (depending on availability). All minicourses will take place at SUNY Buffalo State. We will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM. Food and beverages will be available at 4:30 before each session begins. There is no cost.
*Since the NGSS workshops are designed for P-8 teachers, Master Teachers can only participate in the NGSS workshops outside their content area. Or, if you want to learn more about this curriculum and pedagogy, then you can sign up and participate as an instructor-in- training.
Let There Be Light!
Teachers will complete activities that lead to understanding of fundamental ideas in light, shadows, images, color and vision. (Relevant NYSSLS PEs: K-PS3-2, 1-PS4-2, 1-PS4-3, 1-PS4-4, 4-PS3-2, 4-PS4-2, 4-PS1-2, 5-PS1-3, MS-PS4-2)
Participants will investigate variation contributes to the mechanisms of change within a population. The fossil record documents the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of many life forms throughout the history of life on Earth. Natural selection occurs when there is variation in a population that is expressed in traits that lead to differences in survival and reproductive ability (Relevant NYSSLS PEs: P-LS3-1, 1-LS1-2, 2-LS4-1, 3-LS3-1, 3-LS4-2, MS-LS3-2, MS-LS4-1, MS-LS4-2, MS-LS4-3, MS-LS4-4, MS-LS4-6)
Reason for the Seasons
In this minicourse, teachers will explore the causes of the seasons on Earth. We will investigate the relative sizes, motions, and positions of the Sun and Earth, with seasons being used as evidence of these relationships. We will determine the real shape of the Earth's orbit, evaluate actual data on world temperature and hours of sunlight in different locations, and model how the angle at which sunlight hits the Earth affects its concentration. We will ask questions and clarify the evidence of the factors that have cause the rise in global temeratures. (Relevant NYSSLS PEs: P-PS3-1, K-PS3-1, K-PS3-2, K-ESS2-1, 1-ESS1-2, 5-ESS1-1, 5-ESS1-2, MS-ESS1-1, MS-ESS3-5)
Math Landscapes IV
February 28, March 2, 7, 9
SUNY Buffalo State SAMC 259
The WNY Master Teacher program is excited to offer this set of minicourses that focus on developing students’ understanding and fluency with fractions and fostering algebraic thinking across the elementary and middle grades. These minicourses will provide insight into Common Core content development across the grade levels and provide opportunities for teachers to work together, share their thinking, and enhance their conceptual understanding of mathematical content through the framework of a landscape of learning that encompasses big ideas, strategies, and models. Central to the work we will engage in is the perspective that students’ mathematical thinking best develops through a progression that begins with contexts or concrete tasks followed by pictorial representations and that culminates in abstract perspectives. Each participant will receive a CTLE certificate for 12 hours of professional development per minicourse. First-time participants will also receive a set of 6 large dry-erase boards (24x32) for small group work presentation.
Courses will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays at Buffalo State, from 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM. We will provide food and beverages so please join us at 4:30 before the session begins to allow time to eat.
Extending the discussion from Landscapes I, II & III, this minicourse will explore the landscape of learning for algebra and the associated big ideas, strategies, and models. Again, new participants are welcome! Discussions will focus on fostering a conceptual understanding of equality and variable, the generalization of numeric relationships and properties, patterning, and functional thinking. Models that have been introduced in Landscapes I, II & III will be further developed through a concrete-pictorial-abstract progression. We will also share classroom practices that foster algebraic reasoning and take advantage of the range of grade level perspectives that will be represented.
The Biology of Cancer
Dr. Robert O'Donnell
March 2, 9, 23
Online @ SUNY Geneseo
In this mini-course, professor O’Donnell will provide an overview of the molecular biology of cancer beginning with how a normal cell becomes transformed into a cancer cell by examining the genes affected and their roles in controlling the cell cycle and programmed cell death. From there he will discuss how this knowledge has been applied to cancer prevention, early diagnosis and treatment with an emphasis on several areas of cancer biology that have shown enormous growth; including metastasis, angiogenesis, immunology and immunotherapy. To share Professor O’Donnell’s own research in cancer biology, but also the general state of knowledge of the field today. This research may be only briefly touched upon in high school biology/regents chemistry curriculum. This mini-course is for teachers with or without prior experience teaching high school Biology. It should be of interest not only to biology and chemistry teachers, but for all who want to learn more about this complex field.
Saturday March 18th 9:00-12:00
SAMC 257, SUNY Buffao State
This workshop will engage teachers P-12 in the use of Foldscopes and demonstrate both potential uses both in class and as part of a take-home project designed to encourage students to explore the natural world around then. Foldscope is a low-cost paper microscope for education purposes. Activities will include: an introduce to Foldscope construction, practice using prepared slides, making your own slides, capturing images using cell phones, making video and projection. Teachers are encouraged to bring samples to look at and a smart phone with a camera.
Using Technology to Engage and Assess Middle and High School Math Students
Colleen Andres, Denea Czapla, Cassandra Goldman, Katelyn Mzurkiewicz
Satuday March 18th, 9:00-11:30
Science and Mathematics Complex, Room 178
Come join us for a morning of sharing practices that use a variety of technologies from Kahoot, Plickers, Quizlet and Nearpod to using iPads and Chromebooks when creating successful blended or flipped classrooms. Four teachers from the Middle and High School will share their knowledge and experience in utilizing these tools and practices to engage and assess students.
Dr. Mike Jabot
Saturday March 25th
SUNY Buffalo State
SAMC, Room 259
The GLOBE Program is a worldwide community of students, teachers, scientists, and citizens working together to better understand, sustain, and improve Earth's environment at local, regional, and global scales. This workshop will focus on how teachers can incorporate GLOBE protocols into their classrooms. We will explore examples of these protocols from across the four Earth Spheres as well as look at how student data can be coupled with remotely sensed data from NASA, NOAA and other agencies. All of this leading to the development of an Earth SySTEM model for teaching science.There will be an introductory session from 8:00-10:00 and an additional session from 10:00-3:00 on exploring the idea of systems-thinking and Carbon.
Photoresist Chemistry and Chip Design
Dr. Robert Brainard
April 13, 27, May 4
Online @ SUNY POLY
In this mini-course, Dr. Brainard will first provide a relatively brief overview of the types of subcomponents that typically comprise computers chips and their role in the chips’ function. The principal focus of the course will be on the most critical step in the construction of a computer chip–the photoresist that is used to map the chip’s circuit. His research is concerned with the design, synthesis and characterization of new molecules and polymers for their use in nanotechnology. His projects are equally divided between those involving the synthesis of new compounds and those involving characterizing the functionality of these new materials in chemical systems relevant to nanotechnology.
This research may be only briefly touched upon in high school curriculum. This mini-course is designed for teachers with experience teaching high school Chemistry or Physics.
Mathematical Ideas in Curve Stitching and String Art
May 17, 24, 31
SUNY Buffalo State, SAMC Room 259
Online @ Math for America
Math educators have used string figures in their classrooms at least since the 1800's, going back to Mary Everest Boole, the wife of the mathematician George Boole of Boolean Algebra fame. In this series of three workshops, we will explore a variety of ways, new and old, large and small, that string-based activities can be beautiful while inspiring substantial discussions around mathematics topics. Through "curve stitching" and "string art" we will touch upon ideas of prime numbers, greatest common divisors, graph theory, the complete graph, parabolas, cardioids, complex numbers, the Mandelbrot set, and more. Some of the activities can be seen here and here. These workshops are suitable for elementary through high school teachers; everyone should find ideas appropriate for their level. A material list to be distributed prior to mini-course. Click here for a flyer.
Master Teachers Jason Farrell & Jeff Yap
Monday, May 22nd & Thursday, May 25th
Williamsville South High School, Room 129T
The focus of this mini course will be to demonstrate the science, technology and application of modern welding. This is a process used in industrial and residential applications and has the ability to allow people to dream, design, and create using a technology that is both affordable and universal. Home hobbyists and professional careers await for those who are willing to try new processes. Participants will leave this course with the necessary information to infuse this into a science or technology room, and be well prepared in the basic welding applications. This course will be divided into two sessions: The first session will focus on the science, technology and application of Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding. The second course will apply this technology into creating a small desk organizer that can be taken home (make and take).
Kathleen Hovey, University at Buffalo
September 22 & 29, October 6
This course will focus on my path to becoming a data analyst and explore some of the research I have been involved with. I am currently working with the Women's Health Initiative on several projects, including an ancillary study focusing on periodontal disease and the oral microbiome. We will discuss aspects of the human microbiome focusing on data analytics and my role as part of a research team. The study of the microbiome has been growing over the past few years with advances in sequencing capability, this technology gives the ability to identify 100's of bacteria in a single experiment resulting in new challenges for data management and analysis.
NGSS Science Workshps Session II
October 17, 19, 24, 26, 5:00-8:00, SUNY Buffalo State
(Since the NGSS workshops are designed for P-8 teachers, Master Teachers can only participate in the NGSS workshops outside their content area. Or, if you want to learn more about this curriculum and pedagogy, then you can sign up and participate as an instructor-in- training.)
Nudging Newton: Force and Energy
Teachers will work through activities that lead to understanding of fundamental ideas in Energyincluding motion, electricity and light. We will observe energy transformations and make sense of how energy is conserved in a system. (Relevant NYSSLS PEs: P-PS2-1, K-PS2-1, 2-PS1-4, 4-PS3-1, 4-PS3-2, 4-PS3-3, 4-PS3-4, 4-PS3-5, MS-PS3-1, MS-PS3-2, MS-PS3-3, MS-PS3-4, MS-PS3-5, MS-PS3-6).
Energy, Matter and Ecosystems
Energy absorption and conversion are at the heart of most interactions within an ecosystem. Most
people know that energy comes from food, but where does the food/energy come from? How does
food get converted to energy so that living things can stay alive? We will explore these questions
and see what happens to the actual food molecules during this conversion process and learn how energy and matter move through an ecosystem. (Relevant NYSSLS PEs: P-LS1-1, K-LS1-1, 1-LS1-1, 2-LS2-1, 5-PS3-1, 5-LS1-1, 5-LS2-1, MS-LS1-6, MS-LS1-7, MS-LS2-3).
Math Landscapes Session II
October 17, 19, 24, 26, 5:00-8:00, SAMC Room 259
Multiplication & Division
Extending the discussion from Landscapes I, this minicourse will explore the landscape of learning for multiplication and division and the associated big ideas, strategies, and models. Discussions will include use of area models and number lines for developing pictorial representations across the grade levels, as well as number talks, number strings, and other classroom practices for thinking about multiplication and division. Partitive and measurement models for division will be developed and extended from whole numbers to fractions. Discussions will focus on sharing classroom practices that foster students’ growth across the landscape and take advantage of the range of grade level perspectives that will be represented.
Introduction to Group Theory (Statewide)
Ben Blum-Smith, New York University
October 24, November 14 & 28 5:30-7:30 pm (online)
The theory of groups has been one of the organizing principles of mathematics since the late 19th century, yet outside of the world of mathematicians it is barely known. This mini-course is a motivated introduction to the idea behind this theory, which brings themes from algebra, geometry, and number theory together under one roof. The main goal of the course is to understand the definition of a group, why it is an elegant and useful definition, and the diversity of the mathematical phenomena it describes. We will develop numerous concrete examples involving symmetry, transformations, permutations, formal systems, and of course numbers. We will also concentrate on the connections between the definition of a group and the basic equation-solving we teach in prealgebra and algebra. Although this material is "advanced" in the sense that it is unfamiliar to most adults, even in math-heavy fields like science and finance, it requires no mathematical prerequisites. In fact, with minor modifications, all activities in the course can be used with your middle or high school students.
Weather: Measurements & Forecasts, Causes of Normal and Extreme Events and the Effect of Climate Change (Statewide)
Andrea Lang, University of Albany
October 26, November 2 & 9 5:30-7:30 pm (online)
This mini-course will consider the basic mathematical, physical, and chemical processes that aid atmospheric scientists in understanding extreme weather events in the context of our changing climate. The course will deal with general aspects of weather and ways we measure changes in the atmosphere – satellite, radar, weather data, climate data, etc.—how you can find local data,and what you can do with it We will examine extreme weather events such as Tropical Cyclones, Extratropical Cyclones, Supercell Thunderstorms and Lake Effect Snowstorms, large-scale oscillations in the atmosphere (El Niño/La Niña) and the Arctic (Antarctic) Oscillation, as well as some recent weather events that have made the headlines (Hurricane Sandy, the polar vortex, and tornados outbreaks.
Dr. Mike Jabot, SUNY Fredonia
October 29th 9:00-4:00
The GLOBE Program is a worldwide community of students, teachers, scientists, and citizens working together to better understand, sustain, and improve Earth's environment at local, regional, and global scales. This workshop will focus on how teachers can incorporate GLOBE protocols into their classrooms. We will explore examples of these protocols from across the four Earth Spheres as well as look at how student data can be coupled with remotely sensed data from NASA, NOAA and other agencies. All of this leading to the development of an Earth SySTEM model for teaching science.
Tissue Engineering: Fundamental cell biology and medical applications (Statewide)
Robert Van Buskirk, Binghamton University
November 16 & 30, December 7 5:30-7:30 pm (online)
Tissue engineering emerged in the 1980s as a new discipline that was defined as a means by which we can generate human tissues and organs in the laboratory so that they could be used for clinical and non-clinical purposes. Dr. Van Buskirk developed one of the first engineered tissues - a lab-grown human skin and is now using tissue engineered tumor models to test/develop new medical devices for treating cancer. This mini-course will discuss how human cells can be grown in culture, focusing on the differences between cancer and normal cells, including stem cells, a relatively new component of the Regenerative Medicine era. Special emphasis will be placed on the differences between adult stem cells, human embryonic stem cells, and induced pluripotent stem cells and their potential future in the tissue engineering field. We will conclude with current tissue engineered models with a special focus on human skin, including new devices currently being used in the tissue engineering field such as 3-D cell printers, special scaffolds used to build artificial tissues, and finally the challenges of moving these tissues to clinical trials.
Interplay between Topology & Geometry
Dr. Bill Menasco SAMC 175
November 21, December 5 & 12 5:30-7:30 pm
There are a number of old and well known fields of study in mathematics. Algebra or abstract algebra is a branch of mathematics dealing with symbols and the rules for manipulating those symbols. Classical geometry is a branch of amthematics concernced with questions of shape, size, relative position of figures, and the properties of space. Derived from the ancient greek words "geo" for earth and "metron" for measurement, its origins come from a concern for understanding and computing lengths, areas, volumes and angles. Contemporary differential geometry studies the structure of spaces governed by Riemannian metrics. A Riemannian metric makes it possible to define various geometric notions--angles, lengths of curves, area, volume, curvature, and vector fields. Analaysis is a branch of mathematics that studies continuous change and includes the foundational theories for differentiation, integration, measure, limits, infinite series, and analysis functions. All of these branches have old established pedigrees. The nathematical branch of topology is a realtively new field of mathematicsm being essentially twentieth century mathematics. Sometimes characterized as "rubber sheet geometry" is studeies properties of spaces that are preserved through deformations, twistings, and stretchings of objects--tearing is not allowed. The branch of topology is moreover enriched by its interplay of its three elder sisters. Thus, there are the research ares of algebraic topology, topological analysis, and geometric topology. This workshop will focus on the last. In particular, we will discuss how the topology of surfaces--closed compact 2-manifolds--determines the geometric structure that can be imposed upon the surface. We will then graduate to discussing the interplay between the topology and geometry of 3-dimensional spaces-3-manifolds. For this last discussion, we will touch on some knot theory and work that led to the solution of the Poinar'e Conjecture. As of 2016, the Poinar'e Conjecture is the only solved Millenial Prize Problem.
Applied Linear Algebra Minicourse
Review basic concepts and properties of linear algebra, introduce Mathematica as a tool for solving problems, and provide hands-on practice to solve problems stemming from study of mathematics, sports analytics, and genetics including blood type and inheritance.
Use Social Media to Improve Your Students’ Learning Minicourse
Integrating social media in your teaching to collapsed distance and time in connecting to your students. In this minicourse you will learn about sound digital literacy pedagogies and new ways to connect to your students using social media. Jevon Hunter will present research showing that using social media can make your teaching more effective.
Exeter Math Minicourse
Imagine a mathematics textbook that contains only problems- no chapters, no topical divisions or subheadings, no worked examples, no definitionor theorem boxes– just page after page of problems in a seemingly random order. This is what a student at Phillips Exeter Academy sees when they look at their “math book” each year. This mini-course will delve into the structure underlying the problem sequencing and presentation to develop understanding of how students learn mathematics through a true problem-based approach. The instructor has utilized these “textbooks” for more than two decades with students of varying abilities in the high school as well as with pre-service and in-service teachers. Discussions of issues related to classroom implementation will be central to the mini-course. Participants will select content from Math I, Math II or Math III that is aligned with their interests and/or content that they presently teach to allow for insight into an alternative approach to teaching and learning that content.
Mindfulness For Teachers and Students
What to do with not-so-welcome guests? Minicourse
Invaders, non-natives, and aliens, oh my! What is the best way to describe plant and animal species entering western NY from other regions? This workshop will introduce you to the ecology of non-native species found in western NY, their environmental and economic harm, and their management. The workshop will also introduce you to the western NY PRISM (Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management) and opportunities to become involved in the battle against invasives.
Genetics Techniques Minicourse
(hands on with PCR, restriction enzymes, gels, interpretation)
This mini-course focuses on genetic techniques including PCR, restriction enzyme digestion, gel electrophoresis and bioinformatics in the context of a bitter taste gene in human. Bitter tasting compounds are recognized by receptor proteins on the surface of taste cells. There are approximately 30 genes for different bitter taste receptors in mammals. The gene for the PTC taste receptor, TAS2R38, was identified in 2003. Sequencing identified three nucleotide positions that vary within the human population - each variable position is termed a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). One specific combination of the three SNPs, termed a haplotype, correlates most strongly with tasting ability of PTC (phenylthiocarbamide). We will amplify a region of this gene in each participants DNA and compare the phenotype (ability to taste PTC) with the genotype (the results of the molecular analysis). Then we will use bioinformatics to explore the location and sequence of this gene in other humans and other organisms.
Unpacking the Coaching Model - Developing Teachers
In this two-day workshop participants will notice, name, question and study various aspects of the practices of coaching. We will draw upon artifacts from our own work (notes, plans, reenactments of exchanges, video of planning/debrief/co-teaching sessions) as well as reading and research about teacher learning, pedagogical content knowledge, and teacher development. Participants in the workshop should expect to:
- Study video of teaching for the purposes of developing an approach to coaching
- Study video of coaching for the purposes of refining one’s coaching stance
- Examine a series of artifacts from coaches, used to give feedback to teachers
- Read some short pieces related to the dilemmas of coaching (e.g., having difficult conversations, moving beyond the “culture of nice”)
Mathematics + Life Minicourse
Technology has revolutionized the way people do mathematics. But where's the revolution in our teaching? What if we could spark that revolution, ride this wave of change, and take our teaching in new and exciting directions? Imagine classrooms where kids of all ages build with mathematics. Where computation is replaced by direct experience, and the source of our knowledge is the world around us. Sound like a pipe dream? It's not. It just needs you to grow. Join us this summer for a course filled with new ideas and fresh starts. You'll learn fundamental principles of this new approach and use them to create exciting new experiences for you and your students.
Although the course topics will be determined by the personalities and knowledge of the participants and the changing whims of the instructor in the weeks leading up to the course, if the class happened today, possible topics of study would be: counting by 10s, slope, laughter, the motion of ants, parametric equations, love, fish scale structure, integers, convex hulls, centroid constructions, and pine needle configurations.
Nanotechnology: Overview and Applications Minicourse
Nanoscience and nanotechnology involve the ability to see and to control individual atoms and molecules. Nanotechnology is science, engineering, and technology conducted at the nanoscale, which is about 1 to 100 nanometers ( 10-9 m). The definition has shifted from a particular technological goal to a research category inclusive of all types of research and applications in all areas of science. Potential applications appear to be endless, with governments investing billions of dollars in nanotechnology research.
In this short course, we will explore the chemical and physical foundations of nanoscience and nanotechnology, review and study the most recent developments in the field, and develop classroom-friendly activities for studentsat the high school level.
Safety of Genetically Engineered Food Minicourse
Online at SUNY Binghamton
We are all naturally (quite literally) concerned about the safety of what we eat and drink. People have become more wary of food safety in recent years as the consumption of processed foods has grown and our understanding that some components found in food (trans-fats, excess sugars and salt, heavy metals) may cause problems slowly and become evident only when it is too late to take preventive measures. In addition, links to artificial additives to food and cancer have spurred a movement toward natural, untainted food supplies. Genetic modification, which can provide pest resistance, increased amounts of desirable nutrients, and greater yield, has become a target for regulation and outright bans. This course will focus on the natural evolutionary development of organisms and the processes and consequences of genetic inter-disciplinary nature of STEM education. engineering.
The Changing Ecology of the Great Lakes (Statewide Minicourse)
The ecology of lakes is a complex, dynamic system that is constantly reacting and readjusting to natural and mankind- induced environmental changes. This course will describe the nature of stresses to Great Lake ecology from changes in nutrient levels caused by fertilizer and detergent run-off, synthetic chemicals (such as PCB and the flame retardant PBDE) and invasive species as well as the ability of systems to recover from an environmental stress (e.g. the greater resilience to acid rain of bodies of water with limestone basins than lakes in the Adirondacks with granite basins).
VEX IQ platform kits provide easy, fun, and accessible tools to teach and learn all four legs of STEM. If you can imagine it, you can build it with VEX IQ.The system allows for building of powered models, powered mechanisms and machines, and well as ful-blown teleoperated and autonomous robts. The first session of this mini-course will familiarize you with the kit hardare, the VEX IQ clawbot, review the Highrise Game Challenge, and refine your robot to meet the challenges of Highrise. Thes second two sessions will focus on how to use your robot to move around the game field and how to use VEX IQ curriculum in your school.
3-D Printing Minicourse
Daniel Freedman, Katherine Wilson, Aaron Nelson
Online @ SUNY New Paltz
Applications for 3-D printing have exploded in the past few years as the equipment it requires has become more sophisticated and less expensive while the types of materials and the complexity of designs that can be fabricated have multiplied. This mini-course will provide a broad introduction to 3D printing technology and its applications, a detailed introduction to 3D printing using desktop FDM printers and an introduction to 3D design using Tinkercad. Teachers will have the opportunity to actually use the software that drives the 3-D printing process using computers during the sessions themselves. Participants will be required to download two free programs before attending this mini-course.
Dissection in 2D and 3D Minicourse
Dr. Mahmoud Zenalion
Online @ NYC Region Base at Math and Science for All
There is a very interesting classical problem called "the scissors congruence problem" which asks the following: suppose you have two polygons in the plane that have the same areas. Can you use a pair of scissors to chop one up into finitely many pieces and use the pieces to construct the other completely without any overlaps? The answer to this question is yes and not that difficult to prove. After understanding this, one naturally wonders if the 3D version of this is also true. This was one of the 23 problems David Hilbert posed in the year 1900 at the International Congress of Mathematicians. Max Dehn, who was one of Hilbert's students, developed the concept of a tensor product and used it to show it is not true in general that given two 3D polyhedra with the same volumes, one can chop one into finitely many pieces and use the pieces to construct the other. The deciding factor for this are called the Dehn Invariants of the polyhedra. Some of the Hilbert problems are still unsolved.
Chemistry and Physics in Earth Science Minicourse
Professor David Lavallee
Online @ SUNY New Paltz
For this series of sessions, we will illustrate applications of physics and chemistry to three quite different topics. The first will focus on formation (and, eventually collapse) of stars, our solar system and earth’s geological evolution. The second will focus on weather: catastrophic events--causes of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes and hurricaines. The third session will apply physical science to preserving our environment for the future.
Statistics: Seeing the world around us through data Minicourse
A grade 6-11+ exploration of conceptual development and classroom practices aligned with Common Core content and standards. Topics will include the study of variables and variability, data distributions and displays, data analyses and comparisons, sampling procedures, bias, modeling, study design and conclusions, and GAISE recommendations.
Electronics: Crystal Radio Minicourse
Professor Daniel MacIssace
A crystal radio is the distilled essence of a radio. It has very few parts, it needs no batteries or other power source, and it can be built in a short time out of things you can find around the house.
The reason a crystal radio does not need any batteries is the amazing capabilities of the human ear. The ear is extremely sensitive to very faint sounds. The crystal radio uses only the energy of the radio waves sent by radio transmitters. These radio transmitters send out enormous amounts of energy (tens of thousands of watts). However, because they are usually far away, and we have at most a few hundred feet of wire for an antenna, the amount of energy we receive with the crystal radio is measured in billionths of a watt. The human ear can detect sounds that are less than a millionth of even that. We are going to be building a working radio using parts that we buy at stores like Radio Shack or through mail order. We will try to use common household objects when we can, but our emphasis will be to quickly put together a radio that works. Later we will learn more about radios by looking at even simpler versions that might not work as well as our first radio, but can show the important radio concepts more easily, because they have fewer parts.
After building the radios, we will learn more about the science of radios and electronics in general.
Statistical Inference Minicourse
Sample & Population, Errors, Correlation & Extrapolation
Professor Heather Lynch
Online @ Stony Brook
In our increasingly quantitative world, the tools of statistical inference – the process by which we take data and derive some understanding of the world around us – have never been more important. Using real-world examples drawn from politics, law, economics, history, and biology, this course will present an interactive introduction to statistical inference and the visualization of data. This course is designed to improve statistical literacy through a focus on the conceptual underpinnings of statistical inference as opposed to the mechanics of calculation. Topics will include everything from the Supreme Court’s view on statistical significance, the difficulties associated with identifying disease clusters, and a discussion of why most published research findings are wrong.
Common Core Building Blocks: Developing young mathematicians in the upper elementary and lower middle school minicourse
4/13: Math Talk In this session we will explore Mental Math computation in the Grade 2 - 5 classroom. Teachers can use Math Talk as a spring board for building Mental Math strategies, numeracy, fact fluency, place value understanding and Properties of Operations. Math Talk incorporates the Common Core Mathematical Practices along with an emphasis on composing and decomposing numbers.
4/20: Tape Diagrams Tape Diagrams are visual models that represent a word problem. They can be used to model simple addition problems, multiplicative relationships as well as ratio problems. In this session we will look at the progression of Tape diagrams from early elementary grades to grade 6.4/27: More Math Models. New common core models such as number disks, rekenrek, arrays and area models will be explored.
Nudging Newton: Next Generation Science for Elementary Teachers
Dr. Dave Henry
This is an exciting opportunity for K-5 teachers and NY Master Teachers to work side-by-side to explore our own ideas and children’s ideas about physical science. Dr. David Henry will lead this 24 hour course that will lead to a better understanding of the NGSS learning progressions about forces and interactions and energy. Teachers will work through many investigations leading to deep understanding of the Disciplinary Core Ideas that underpin NGSS.
Benefits for K-5 teachers:
• Stipend of $400 ($50/session)
• 24 hours of professional development
• Books and science supplies for your classroom
• Free membership to Science Teachers Association of New York State
• Becoming part of the K-12 NGSS science community as we transition to these exciting new standards
Evolution and Health Minicourse
Professor Ross H. Nehm
This mini-course will explore the basic question: To what extent is our personal health and the health of various groups of people determined by evolutionary processes? The course will examine the basic processes by which genetic modifications are propagated through lineages, the evidence that is used to trace evolutionary histories, and the ways in which traits and tendencies arise from gene expression and interactions with the environment. The course is designed to: review recent research about student misconceptions about the origin and transmission of differences between populations and species; illustrate the central role that phylogenetic analysis plays in studies of human biology; and review recent work on genetic and environmental interactions and their relationships to human health. Participants will gain an appreciation for the central role that evolutionary biology plays in studies of human health.
Up and Running with the Raspberry Pi Minicourse
The Raspberry Pi is a small, cheap, single-board computer that opens a new door to computer exploration. Simple to use and program, it can be embedded in innovative projects and has been used to build Internet-connected dog treat dispensers, low-res plotters, cell phone–operated coffeemakers, and a solar-powered computer. Each participant will receive a Raspberry Pi kit. Not included is a monitor, keyboard and Mouse.
This course shows how to obtain, configure, and do simple tasks with a Raspberry Pi. How to play sounds, boot up a GUI, program simple tasks, install software, and begin to explore hardware control with GPIO (General Purpose Input/Output).
• Connecting hardware
• Installing the Raspbian OS
• Working with frequently used Linux commands
• Setting up VNC to control the Raspberry Pi remotely
• Playing a sound
• Building a simple webcam website
• Controlling a device with GPIO in Python
Atomic Force Microscopy: Probing the Surface of Live Cells Minicourse
Atomic Force Microscopy is a relatively recent instrumental development that has gained enormous traction in physics, chemistry, and biology laboratories in the past several years due to its ability to collect nanoscale information while maintaining the sample in an ambient. In this mini-course, we will discuss the fundamental nature of atomic force spectroscopy as well as its capabilities and limitations as an analytical technique. A number of case studies, including some from professor Ferguson's lab, will be discussed.
Science of Flying Minicourse
Come learn how to incorporate principles of aviation into your classroom. Watch as students are "tricked" into learning by flying flight simulators and their motivation to learn vector analysis skyrockets. Topics including aerodynamics, navigation, and weight and balance will be covered in the mini course and then applied as you take to the sky in a cessna 172. For those itching to fly the aircraft, arrangements can be made! Taught by Tim Cook - FAA certified flight instructor
Evolution: A Current View Minicourse
In this mini-curse, evolution is examined from two perspectives--the "biological" and the "chemical". For the biological, there will be discussions of the nature vs. nurture devate from the perspectives of both individuals and populations that have been seperated at birth and discussion of the homology and analogy of anatomical structures such as the wings of birds and bats, vertebrae, and arms/hands. For the chemical, there will be a discussion of the biochemical evidence for evolution (including similarities of genetic processes, correlation of numbers of mutations on common molecules with the sequences that species evolved, etc.) and the fallacy of intelligent design (based on probabilities that don't take into account molecular properties).
Science Teaching in NY State: Past, Present, & Future Minicourse
New York State has a rich and unique history in Science Education that is largely unknown to the majority of science teachers. Some questions that come to mind — What are the identifying features of New York State K-12 science education? When were the first science Regents exams given and what subjects were included? Why do present day science Regents courses require 1200 minutes of laboratory work and when did this practice start? Why are sciences taught in one-year courses, as opposed to over multiple years as they are in virtually all other countries in the world? What is George W. Hunter’s (he was a New York City Biology teacher) claim to fame?
?This mini-course will attempt to answer these questions and more. It will start with an overview of the historical development of science education in the country as a whole and then with New York State in particular. It will relate current practices in the field to this history and will end with speculation about possible future trends with a nod to the incorporation of Next Generation Science Standards.
Mathematical Landscapes Minicourse
This mini-course will bring together teachers from grades k-12 and over the course of 5 meetings in the fall, we will develop greater and deeper understanding of content across the grades levels. The course is modeled on one that was taught at Math for America in NYC this past year titled From Cardinality to Calculus that was led by Kara Imm, and Kara will join us on September 12th to share some of her work and experiences. As we explore content at the different grade levels we'll be considering how our students acquire conceptual understanding that fosters success and how that can vary from student to student. In particular, it is possible to view the developing knowledge as a mathematical landscape rather than the more typical perspective of a linear learning trajectory where students are "at a point on a line" in their developing knowledge. We'll consider this perspective while we explore number, operational and algebraic thinking. Participants will receive a certificate verifying 24 hours of professional development and a class set of large dry-erase boards. Dinner will be provided.
Energy, Matter, & Ecosystems Minicourse
Energy absorption and conversion are at the heart of most interactions within an ecosystem. Most people know that energy comes from food. But where does the food/energy come from? Have you ever wondered how food can be converted to energy so that living things can stay alive? What happens to the actual food molecules during this conversion process? How do energy and matter move through an ecosystem? Can the movement of energy and matter through an ecosystem help us understand the complex processes that lead to climate change? This 24-hour course will explore answers to these questions using an innovative curriculum. We will also explore the NGSS learning progressions and performance indicators. Participants will receive a certificate verifying 24 hours of professional development, a class set of large dry-erase boards and a copy of the Life Science and Everyday Thinking book. Dinner will be provided.
Geometric Investigation Minicourse
In this mini-course, participants will build three fun constructions which encourage mathematical thinking because they involve problem solving, discovering and extending patterns, symmetry transformations, geometric visualization, and precise communication. Each set of constructions involve very simple materials and could be replicated inexpensively in a classroom. While aimed at classroom math teachers, no previous experience with these topics is required.
Stem cells--From Developmental Biology to Regenerative Medicine Minicourse
All of us started as a single stem cell, which multiplied and gave rise to the trillions of cells that comprise our complex body. In this mini-course we will cover a wide variety of topiucs relating to stem cell biology, beginning with an overview of how a single cell becomes a complex animal during the process of embryonic development. We will also explore examples of adult stem cell populations, which help maintain and regenerate our bodies during our lifetime. Finally, we will touch upon the past, present, and future use of stem cells in medicine, including topics ranging from animal models of regeneration to the create of human patient specific induced pluripotent stem cells.
Stellar Astronomy and Astrophysics
Dr. Jude Sabato
Advanced undergraduate treatment of stellar astronomy and astrophysics. The course covers topics in the field with tools from calculus, physics, and chemistry at the level of an intermediate/advanced undergraduate. One year each of calculus, physics, and chemistry is assumed; an introductory course in astronomy is helpful but not assumed. Topics include: ancient Greek astronomy, Newtonian mechanics, and Kepler's Laws; the nature of the atom and atomic processes in astronomy; the nature of light and the electromagnetic spectrum; the interaction of light and matter and its implications for the stufy of astrophysical objects; the properties of starsl the Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) diagram; star formation; stellar structure and evolution; high-mass stars vs. low-mass stars, the evolution of stellar properties with time on the HR diagram (life-tracks); stellar chemistry, nucleophysics and the periodic table; the death of stars; stellar remnants (white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes).
Introducing Number Theory to Students Minicourse
Professor Po-Shen Loh
For centuries, divisibility, primes, and the integers have fascinated mathematicians - both professional and amateur. The chaotic distribution pattern of the primes themselves tickles the imagination, and inspires the development of new mathematics. In this mini-course, we’ll explore this rich theory
through very concrete problems which can even be used in the middle- and high-school learning environments, to motivate students to venture into mathematics. In the first two sessions,
there will be a focus on computational questions and the final session will investigate more
Discovering the Subatomic World-Nuclear Physics
Professor Kurt Fletcher
From the discovery of the electron in 1897 to the recent identification of the Higgs Boson, physicists have been intrigued by the subatomic world and have developed novel experimental methods to investiage particles and nuclei at these scales. These experiments have produces surprising results, revealing new realms of energetics and structural complexity for the atomic nucleus, internal structure of the protons and neutrons, and entirely new forms of matter. In this course, we will discuss the question, "How do we learn about the subatomic world?" by investingating key experimental approaches that have led to new discoveries. This course will emphasize experiments rather than theory.oretical phenomena which lie at the intersection of Number Theory and Combinatorics.
Professor Wayne E. Jones Jr.
Nanoscience deals with the synthesis, manipulation and the studies of properties of matter with at least one dimension in the 1-100 nanometer range. Nanoscience is naturally very broad and incorporates methods and concepts of chemistry semiconductor physics, surface science, and materials science. Applications are diverse as well, ranging from extensions of conventional electronic device fabrication to new approaches based upon molecular self-assembly and control of matter on the atomic scale. This minicourse is for teachers with experience teaching high school Chemsitry and/or Physics and for teachers that want to learn about the topic. Click here for more information.
What is Engineering
The University at Buffalo has the largest and most diverse engineering program in SUNY with over 170 engineering faculty members, and approximately 5,000 students total, representing dozens of countries. The UB professors have won many prestigious awards particulary in the area of civil engineering. In this mini-course, Dean Folks and faculty will give a brief overview of the scope of their engineering discipline and focus on a specific example of a problem or challenge involving their own discipline. This mini-course is for teachers with or without prior experience teaching technology. It should be of interest to teachers of math and physical sciences.
Dr. Robin Sanders
Proof is at the heart of the discipline of mathematics: Deductive reasoning is how mathematicians discover/create new mathematical knowledge and proof is intimately tied to how mathematicians understand their discipline. In this mini course we look for ways to engage K-12 students in doing "proof.'' We will discuss what "proof'' means (or should mean) at different grade levels and how the meaning of "proof'' should change as students grow in mathematical maturity. Examples of proofs that are appropriate for various grade levels will be examined. Participants will find proofs of a variety of mathematical facts (theorems) from the curricula they regularly teach, and we'll discuss the proof-finding process (i.e. deductive reasoning) as well as the proof-writing process and how they are two different, but related, activities. We will develop and explore classroom activities designed to encourage students to use "proof'' (deductive reasoning) to answer open ended questions, and we will discuss strategies for using proof as a way of developing mathematical content and deepening mathematical understanding.
Bridging the Brain Gap: Practical Moves and Stategies for Classroom Growth Mindset
Wednesday September 2nd, 2015
Lavonne Hunter was one of a handful of teachers at the STEM Teacher Leader meeting in DC. She’s a Master Teacher with MfA in NYC, and teaches middle school science in the Bronx. Lavonne has a background in neuroscience that she’s utilized in developing classroom instruction designed to help students understand their learning abilities and foster a growth mindset.
Saturday September 26, 2015 9:00-1:00
An introduction to the POGIL process in the classroom. Participants will deconstruct a POGIL as well as focus on the specific pedagogy required to run a POGIl in the classroom. Models and questioning techniques will be explored in order to begin the POGIL writing process. Participants can bring reference tables, data, and constructed response questions that they might want to use as a spring board for a lesson.
Creating A Student-Centered Classroom
Whiteboarding and Discourse in the Student-Centered Classroom with Kelly O'Shea
Saturday, November 21, 2015 9:00-3:00
This workshop will focus on student-to-student discourse and facilitating a student-centered STEM classroom. We will practice several modes of “whiteboarding” (http://kellyoshea.wordpress.com/whiteboarding/) that focus on normalizing mistakes in the classroom, thinking through other students’ work, and giving a variety of opportunities for quieter students to engage their peers during class. Participants will engage with science and math topics that should be accessible and challenging to all math and science teachers so that they can experience these activities from a student’s perspective.
While this is an all day workshop and participants are encourage to join us for the full day, the morning and afternoon will be discrete enough that you could participate in just one or the other if that is all your schedule will permit.
STEM Professional Development Workshops for K-8 Teachers
April 19th, 21st, 26th, & 28th 2016
The Buffalo State Master Teacher program is excited to offer this set of professional development workshops for K-8 teachers. Teachers can choose from one of the workshops listed below. In these workshops teachers will explore children’s and their own ideas about science concepts. We will also be looking at the NGSS learning progressions. Each participant will receive a certificate for 12 hours of professional development and a class set (12) of large dry-erase boards. Food will be provided at all evening sessions. These workshops are free and open to all K-8 teachers.
Let There Be Light
Teachers will complete activities that lead to understanding of fundamental ideas in light, shadows, images, color and vision. These activities are designed to lead to a deep understanding of how light, color and vision work and. The activities are directly related to the Disciplinary Core Ideas that underpin NGSS. Dave Henry will be leading this workshop.
Evolution and Heredity
Heredity and Evolution: What are the causes of change? We will develop ideas about the role DNA plays in transmitting traits from generation to generation and discover why organisms are similar to but not exactly the same as their parents. Participants will also investigate how this variation contributes to the mechanisms of change within a population. WNY Master Teachers Lisa Brosnick and Katie Sugg will be leading this workshop.
Shawn Otto Workshop
Shawn Otto presented to the WNY Master Teachers on April 16, 2016!
Otto is a novelist and filmaker. His first novel, Sins of Our Fathers, was named a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Otto is also the screenwriter and coproducer of the Oscar-nominated film House of Sand and Fog. Otto is the cofounder and producer of the US presidential science debates, between president Barack Obama and his opponents Senator John McCain and Governor Mitt Romney, which became the largest political initiatives in the history of science. They have since been emulated in several other countries. Shawn's book Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America, won the 2012 Minnesota Book Award and was called "one of the most important books written in America in the last decade." It explores the intertwined history of science and democracy, and how science denial has become political and mainstream. His writing has appeared in numerous publications. His article Antiscience Beliefs Jeopardize U.S. Democracy became the most shared story on Scientific American and was named one of the best commentaries in the United States in 2012.
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