PAESTA Conference 2014 Schedule

Friday, October 3, 2014

8:30 - 11:00PM

Davey Lab Observing Night - Cancelled due to inclement weather.

Rooftop observatory will be open Friday night from 8:30 - 11:00 *ONLY IF CLEAR*.

Rain date is Saturday, same time.

To learn if the telescopes will be open, you can call 814.863.1234 extension 7 (message will be updated by 5pm with a open / closed notification)

A tweet will be posted at @PSUObservatory

And a message will be posted on the Facebook page for “AstroFest” -

Davey Lab Roof

Saturday, October 4, 2014
Time \ Room ROOM 204 ROOM 205 ROOM 206 ROOM 207

9:00 - 9:30 AM

Welcome by PAESTA President Laura Guertin, Teacher Award Presentation - Room 208

9:30 - 10:30 AM

Morning Keynote - Room 208

Making a Disaster of Earth Science Education - Dr Kevin Furlong 

10:30 - 10:45 AM Break  

10:45 - 11:45 AM

Forensic Geology - Maureen Feineman

Maury Project - Patti Burks

A Role for the Classroom Teacher: Fostering Teacher Leadership in Math and Science - Teresa Lewis-King and Rebecca Newshaffer

STEM, the PA Core for ELA, and You - Heather Spotts

Noon - 1:00 PM

Lunchtime Keynote - Room 208

Being a Teacher at Sea for a hydrographic survey aboard the NOAA ship Thomas Jefferson

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Teacher at Sea (TAS) Program provides K-16 teachers hands-on, real-world research experience working at sea with NOAA scientists, thereby giving unique insight into current oceanic and atmospheric research.  From September 1-20, PAESTA President Laura Guertin served as a TAS on the NOAA research vessel Thomas Jefferson.  Hear about her recent adventures on this hydrographic survey, as well as other NOAA opportunities available to teachers.

1:00 - 2:00 PM

Teaching Sky Motions and the Celestial Sphere - Christopher Palma

Earth, Mars and the MAVEN Connection - Theresa Rabogliatti

The Rock Cycle - Tanya Furman

Ice Core Lab Round-Robin Tours

2:00 - 2:15 PM

2:15 - 2:45 PM

Notebooking with Claims, Evidence, and Reasoning - Judy Treichler

Recycling Made Easy - Eilisha Joy Bryson

Why is it Cooler at the Beach Than in the City? - Kathy Tait


2:45 - 3:00 PM

Closing Session - Room 208

3:00 - 5:00 PM Field Trip - Penn's Cave Tour

Keynote Address

Making a Disaster of Earth Science Education - Dr. Kevin Furlong

One strength of Earth Science education is its relevance to people’s lives. Because of their prominence, the range of science involved, and their relevance to society, natural disasters can be an ideal vehicle for earth science education. The combination of newsworthy events, Hollywood characterizations, an integral role in science education standards, and the lack of knee-jerk opposition (people are not typically for or against earthquakes!) makes inclusion of natural disaster case studies a potentially important component of earth science education at all levels. Here I will present examples of disaster-based learning modules, covering a range of natural disaster types that exploit students’ engagement with disaster topics to help them learn foundational topics in science. Examples of classroom activities that are well suited (with minor modifications) to a range of class levels, that build on current events, noteworthy disasters, or Hollywood interpretations will be explored. Whether it is an earthquake in Haiti, a hurricane in Texas, or flooding along the Susquehanna, using disasters in the classroom can be a great learning environment for our students.

Session Abstracts

Notebooking with Claims, Evidence, and Reasoning

Judy Treichler, 12th and Marion Elementary School, Reading, PA     

This session will provide teachers with ideas on how to implement notebooking into the curriculum in order to help students think like Scientists.  By using claims, evidence, and reasoning along with the notebooking students will become more organized in their scientific thought process.  Ideas for notebooking at all grade levels will be provided and discussed.

Audience: General

Earth, Mars and the MAVEN Connection

Theresa Rabogliatti, MAVEN Teacher Ambassador, Our Lady of Grace School, Pittsburgh, PA

Using the recent mission of MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN), participants will investigate areas of scale and patterns. Included will be an introduction to the MAVEN mission and with a current status of the mission. Through a series of hands on activities the focus will be on comparisons between the Earth and Mars systems. They will include a pattern activity of features on Earth versus Mars, scale activity between the inner planets, a human orrey and mapping the magnetic field. The pattern activity (series of cards) consists of features found on earth and how they compare to Martian features. A scale activity called Solar Pizza in which the distance of the inner planets from the sun is scaled if the sun is the size of a pizza. Participants will leave with materials for use in their classroom.

Audience: Elementary, Middle School, General

Teaching Sky Motions and the Celestial Sphere

Christopher Palma, Penn State University, University Park, PA

Typical astronomy instruction often includes significant class time given to phenomena broadly categorized as the "Celestial Sphere".  This includes rising and setting of the Sun, Moon, and stars, phases of the Moon, seasonal changes in the appearance of the Sun and stars, and other, related concepts. Although these are often included in standards for elementary grades, they do require fairly sophisticated spatial reasoning abilities and can be challenging to teach.  However, these topics lend themselves well to teaching with a physical model, computer simulations, and kinesthetic models.  I will demonstrate all of these and provide additional resources for teaching the Celestial Sphere.

Audience: Elementary, Middle School, High School, College/University, Informal Education

Recycling Made Easy

Eilisha Joy Bryson, Tamarah Rash, Meredith School, Philadelphia, PA

Goal: Teachers will be introduced to strategies to begin a successful school-wide recycling program. Overview:  Recycling is helpful to the world.  School-wide recycling can be incorporated and easily managed with the right strategies in place.  A school-wide recycling program promotes responsibility, accountability and leadership. Recycling is hands-on, cross-curricular activity, and is a relevant service-learning project.

This presentation will include: 1) Discussion of how the project was developed and implemented after receiving feedback using the “National School Reform Faculty Tuning Protocol: Tuning a Plan;” 2) Model of school-wide recycling: communication with administrators and maintenance staff, obtaining/distribution recycling bins, educating students and teachers, collection and removal, data collection, and tracking trends; 3) Optional Student Activities, including student created videos (submission to state-wide film festival), research paper, writing assignments, and trips; and 4) Packet with reproducibles and resources.

Audience: Elementary, Middle School, High School

Maury Project

Patti Burks, Friendship Academy, Pittsburgh, PA

Maury project is a teacher-peer presentation developed by NOAA, the United States Naval Academy and the American Meteorological Society.  This presentation is for pre-service and in-service teachers looking for labs on oceanography and tides. The teachers will take back to their class lab activities to demonstrate to students how to predict tides, determining coastal factors of tides, gravitational forces that affect tides and astronomical affects of tides.

There are two sections to the presentation.  The first section is titled "Ocean Tides on the Web".  Teachers will be enabled to bring to the classroom the following objectives:  Described some factors that determine local tides, describe partial tides and make tide predictions and use tide data from the internet for students to predict partial and full tides.

The second section is Ocean Tides and the Moon.  Students will gain an understanding of how not only the moon and sun affects tides but also Earth's gravitational forces play a part in forming tides.

Audience: Middle School, High School, General     

A Role for the Classroom Teacher: Fostering Teacher Leadership in Math and Science

Theresa Lewis-King, Rebecca Newshaffer, AMY Northwest Middle School, Philadelphia, PA

Using Domain IV of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) Teacher Leader Model standards, this workshop will provide a conceptual framework for helping teachers improve their leadership skills with a focus on improving the teaching and learning of Earth and Space Science in Pennsylvania middle and high schools.

Teachers will leave this workshop with a "how to guide" for effective teacher leadership. Working in collaborative groups teachers will be guided through a series of activities designed to identify and strengthen their leadership skills. Teachers will develop strategies designed to help foster professional collaborations within and across disciplines. Using the information from this workshop teacher will be encouraged to develop a leadership plan and identify key partnerships necessary for the implementation of instructional change within their school/district.

Audience: Middle School, High School

Why is it Cooler at the Beach Than in the City?

Kathleen Tait, Julia R. Masterman School, Philadelphia, PA

This session will provide teachers with activities that will provide evidence to students to uncover the mystery of why the beach is cooler than the city.  By uncovering this evidence, students will be able to reason, and draw conclusions concerning temperature variation as well as direction of the land/sea breeze.

Audience: General

STEM, the PA Core for ELA, and You

Heather Spotts, Central Intermediate Unit #10

Just this spring, Pennsylvania took new regulations into effect, bringing changes to classrooms across the commonwealth. Part of these includes the PA Core Standards for English Language Arts (ELA). While a seemingly unlikely companion to STEM, ELA yields striking benefits as avenues to support the investigation of your content area. Come explore how you can keep science in the forefront and still incorporate reading, writing, listening, and speaking strategies into your labs and lessons. 

This session will blend segments of a brief history of the PA Core for ELA Standards, “what’s new”, and take-home-and-use-next-week strategies. The strategies provide relevance to the real world in an effort to prepare students for success after high school, including post-secondary education and a globally competitive workforce. 

The presenter is a previous middle school science teacher and four-time participant in ESSP workshops. She is now an Educational Consultant who works with teachers across 12 school districts in three counties to maximize learning by merging literacy into the content areas. 

The morning session will be geared toward ELA strategies that have already been introduced and practiced through the ESSP workshops. The afternoon session will be directed toward an audience of those who have already participated in the ESSP workshops and have an understanding of CER. For that session, we will focus on strategies that will support and further enhance CER.

Audience: General

The Rock Cycle

Tanya Furman, The Pennsylvania State University

Generations of students and teachers have struggled to memorize the names and physical properties of dozens of rock and mineral chips, certain in the conviction that safe passage through the PSSA rides on one's ability to distinguish the streak color of chalcopyrite from that of wolframite. At a broader scale, the multi-headed and deeply-dreaded rock cycle is presented by complex looping arrows that link oddly-named rocks such as tonalite and oolite via non-existent processes that appear to take place in kitchen rather than on our planet. In this session, we will talk about overcoming the challenges associated with engaging these topics in the classroom and provide instructional materials and approaches that facilitate learning about rocks, minerals and the rock cycle in the context of plate tectonic processes.

Forensic Geology

Maureen Feineman, The Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Feineman is an Assistant Professor of Geosciences whose interests focus on igneous, metamorphic and experimental petrology with the goal of understanding recycling of earth materials during the process of ocean floor subduction. Forensic Geoscience is an exciting new field where methods and techniques commonly applied to geologic problems are applied instead to the analysis of trace evidence, for example, analyzing shards of glass from a hit and run accident using a scanning electron microscope, or discovering details about the location of a crime through the analysis of physical evidence such as soils, sands and minerals. Dr. Feineman will introduce this field and share examples from her course that was designed for students who are not interested primarily in the physical sciences.