Math & Science Workshops

If there are questions about inclement weather, please call Campus on 973-655-7810 or

PRISM on 973-655-7753

2019 Workshops

Register for Workshops

Workshops held at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Center for Science Teaching and Learning
8:30 - 2:30 | 5.5 PD Hrs. | Cost: $150
unless otherwise noted

Questions? Call 973-655-7753 or email

If you are interested in NGSS Assessment Design click here

February 15 - NGSS: Beyond the Basics, Grades 6-12

Are you looking for ways to more effectively incorporate the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) into your science instruction? Do you wish to make your science classroom more student centered? This workshop will review the foundation of the standards: the three Dimensions and the Performance Expectations. Participants will then learn how to use phenomena as a starting point for their lessons; construct explanations and argumentations for the phenomena using CER (Claims-Evidence-Reasoning) and POE (Prediction-Observation-Explanation); explore the value of student-generated models to represent ideas; and analyze the components of the 5E instructional model (if time). Participants will receive resources in the form of lessons, handouts, ready-to-use activities, and websites.

Facilitator: Christopher Hunninghake

February 22 - Bringing the Maker Movement to your Elementary School

Make something that does something using circuits. In this open-ended maker workshop, participants will build new understandings of circuitry through a hands-on experience to making something. Multiple materials will be available including littleBits, paper circuits, squishy circuits, and Makey Makeys. Examine a variety of student work, classroom videos, and articles to develop strategies to bring the Maker Experience to your students.

Facilitator: Jean Myers

February 27 - Authentic Data with NASA Connections, Grades 6-12

Engaging students in explorations of authentic data provides meaningful learning opportunities and integrates across subject area content. The NGSS and CCSS encourage analysis and interpretation of data. It can be challenging to identify meaningful ways to integrate data from international missions and scientific explorations. In this workshop, participants will think critically about the use of data in the classroom and learn to select publicly available data sets that enhance meaningful student-centered lessons. Teachers will learn where to access the latest NASA and NOAA mission data for applications in all science disciplines and learn how to appropriately select data sets that students can use for deeper understanding of content.

Facilitator: Karen Woodruff

March 8 - NGSS: Beyond the Basics, Grades K-5

Are you looking for ways to more effectively incorporate the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) into your science instruction? Do you wish to make your science classroom more student centered? This workshop will review the foundation of the standards: the three Dimensions and the Performance Expectations. Participants will then learn how to use phenomena as a starting point for their lessons; construct explanations and argumentations for the phenomena using CER (Claims-Evidence-Reasoning) and POE (Prediction-Observation-Explanation); explore the value of student-generated models to represent ideas; and analyze the components of the 5E instructional model (if time). Participants will receive resources in the form of lessons, handouts, ready-to-use activities, and websites.

Facilitator: Christopher Hunninghake

March 13 - Data Integration with NASA's InSight Mission, Gr K-5

Elementary students can investigate Mars with NASA’s latest mission, InSight, a mission to study the deep interior of Mars.  Join this 3 hour workshop to learn how to teach K-5 earth and physical science concepts in the context of NASA’s most recent landing on a neighboring planet. Lesson materials, activities and resources will address NJSLS-S (NGSS) science and engineering practices, specifically focusing on “Analyzing and Interpreting Data” and “Designing Solutions.”  Workshop participants will try activities and consider the important standards connections before returning to the classroom ready to implement “out of this world” lessons.

Facilitator: Karen Woodruff

March 15 - NGSS-aligned Engineering Challenges for Elementary Students, Gr K-5

Participate in an engineering design challenge based on NGSS Engineering Practices. Experience first-hand the engineering design process and learn about a number of practical examples of classroom-tested elementary engineering challenges. Examine a variety of hands-on science and literacy materials, classroom videos, and student work from elementary engineering challenges, from river erosion prevention, ice cube keeper, to an alarm device. Learn strategies to develop engineering challenges for your classroom that you can embed in your science curriculum. Take home differentiated student notebook templates and access online pre-designed unit and engineering resources for support.

Facilitator: Jean Myers

April 30 - Administrators: "What Should I be Observing in an NGSS Classroom?" - 8:30am-12pm

Are you an administrator responsible for conducting classroom observations in a district without a science supervisor or with minimal personal knowledge of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)? If so, this workshop will benefit you. The NGSS classroom is different from when you were a student. This interactive 3.5-hour workshop will explain the conceptual shifts in NGSS; the three Dimensions and the Performance Expectations; and provide demonstrations for the use of scientific phenomena as a means for students to make claims, support claims with evidence, and construct scientific arguments. Administrators will leave with a 3-ring binder full of the resources required to identify “Look fors” regarding teacher instructional practices and student

Facilitator: Christopher Hunninghake

May 3 - NGSS: Phenomena & CER, Grades 5-12

Are you looking for ways to engage your students in activities that support collaboration and argumentation? This interactive workshop begins with a review of the foundation of the standards: the principles of NGSS, the three Dimensions, and the Performance Expectations. Participants then learn how to use phenomena as a starting point for their lessons. Finally, participants examine CER (Claims-Evidence-Reasoning), a process for writing and speaking about science. This involves collaboratively discussing useful instructional and assessment strategies and practicing the process that guides students in making claims, supporting claims with evidence, and constructing scientific arguments. Participants will receive many resources in the form of lessons, handouts, classroom-ready activities, and websites.

Facilitator: Christopher Hunninghake

May 8 - Community-based Engineering Design for Elementary Grades, Gr K-5

Apply the NGSS Science and Engineering Practices with carefully selected engineering design challenges for the elementary classroom. Build your knowledge of freely available resources and refine your selection skills when choosing meaningful challenges that provide engaging, student-centered experiences with content.  Learn how Engineering Design seamlessly integrates with ELA and Math practices. Try design challenges during the workshop and return to school with ready to use resources.

Facilitator: Karen Woodruff

May 22 - Integrating Mathematics and Science in the Middle Grades Classroom

Come and explore effective mathematics and science activities your middle grades students will surely love and enjoy! In this workshop, we will explore the nature of interdisciplinary teaching of mathematics and science, and engage in activities that support active student learning of concepts in both disciplines. This workshop is ideal for mathematics teachers looking to infuse more relevant and meaningful applications of mathematics in science into their curriculum. From the mathematics of filling flower vases with water to counting birds in the forest, this workshop will surely enhance the collection of your favorite classroom activities!

Facilitator: Eliza Leszczynski

June 11 - Catalyzing Change in High School Mathematics

The focus of this workshop for high school mathematics teachers will be to examine and discuss key recommendations presented by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in Catalyzing change in high school mathematics: initiating critical conversations (2018). Participating teachers will have the opportunity to discuss and co-develop ways to implement equitable instruction in the mathematics classroom and examine essential concepts for high school mathematics (number, algebra and functions, statistics and probability, geometry and measurement) proposed by the writers of Catalyzing change. Ready-to-use classroom activities will be shared and explored in the context of each essential concept.

Facilitator: Eliza Leszczynski

June 13 - Teaching for Understanding fractions: Content knowledge, instruction, and assessment Grades 4-6

This session will engage participants in active learning of fractions and fraction operations concepts. The high cognitive demand of all session activities will surely enhance every participants’ existing library of effective fraction tasks. State grade level curriculum and assessment expectations will be addressed. 

Facilitator: Nicole Panorkou>

June 18 - Improving learning through questioning: How can we ask questions that improve thinking and reasoning

This session will engage participants in effective questioning techniques that can be used to elicit student thinking and engage students in productive and constructive math discussions. The participants will be introduced to various types of questions for different purposes and examine the connections between types of questioning and practice standards.

Facilitator: Nicole Panorkou

Location: PRISM - Blanton Hall The Bristol-Myers Squibb Center for Science Teaching and Learning Montclair State University

Workshop Cancellation policy: If you are unable to attend a workshop for which you are registered, we ask that you let us know as soon as possible. Cancellations received less than five (5) business days from the date of the workshop will not be eligible for a credit or refund and will be billed. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding.

About the Facilitators

Dr. Jacalyn Willis, director of PRISM and research biologist, is a member of the NJ State Leadership Team that advised the NJDOE and the Governor on the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). She has been a participant in national trainings in NGSS-aligned curriculum development, as well as trainings in teaching pedagogical practices crucial to implementation of the NGSS. The PRISM team has been closely involved in the development of the NGSS and the design of effective PD that follows on 12 years of US Department of Education Math-Science Partnership programs and National Science Foundation initiatives directed by Dr. Willis.

Owen Ambrose is a special education biology and chemistry instructor at Montclair High School (last 10 years) with a Master's degree in special education and is highly qualified in science. He is a Wipro Science Education Fellow, a Creativity in Math and Science advisory board member, and Montclair school district teacher of the year (2014).

Lori Clerkin Carrubba holds a BA in Elementary Education from Purdue University, and a MSLS from Kean University. Lori has been a STEM Professional Development provider since 1994, teacher of the year recipient for 2015 and a long time participant in our Rainforest Connection in Panama.

Mary Hall holds a BS in both Biology and Elementary Education. Mary has designed and written 8th grade curriculum as well as designed and taught many new units over the past 23 years in Paramus. Mary is a Wipro Science Education fellow and has participated in our Rainforest Connection. She is also a professional development facilitator for the NGSS. She is also a member of Delta Kappa Gamma.

Christopher Hunninghake has been working in the field of education for 30 years. After earning a BA in biology from the University of Virginia, Christopher taught a variety of science courses in both public and private schools in New Jersey. He then earned an MA in educational administration from Rider University and began serving as a high school building administrator and science/math supervisor. Christopher then obtained a Teacher of the Handicapped certificate and returned to the classroom teaching science to students with special needs.

Joanne Kornoelje started teaching science after 20+ years in business. Having now taught middle school science for 16 years, Joanne's teaching style is rooted in the discovery method, where students act as scientists. Asking questions, gathering data, developing evidence-based conclusions and defending them were a regular part of the class environment.  This approach is a natural fit with the NGSS where the science practices are an integral part of the standards. Joanne holds a BA in English and Theater from Hope College in Holland, Michigan, and an MA in Environmental Education from Montclair State University. 

Dr. Eliza Leszczynski is a mathematics teacher educator in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Montclair State University.  She is currently a coordinator of mathematics teacher education activities,  supervisor of mathematics teacher interns, coordinator of departmental assessment activities, and a director of Teaching Middle Grades Mathematics programs at Montclair State.  She has been teaching mathematics content and mathematics education courses for K-6, middle grades, and secondary prospective and practicing teachers for 18 years.  Eliza holds BS and MS degrees in mathematics, with concentration in mathematics education, and an Ed.D. in mathematics education.  

Dr. Katrina Macht holds an Ed.D. in pedagogy and a MA in environmental studies from Montclair State University. Katrina is a sixth grade Science and English teacher in the Bridgewater-Raritan School District and consultant to PRISM (Professional Resources in Science & Mathematics) at Montclair State University. She is a curriculum specialist, nationally recognized for her expertise in environmental education, science inquiry, integration of science and literacy, and service-learning. For the past several years she has worked with PRISM to link scientists in the field to classrooms throughout the United States by way of interactive video broadcasts.

Anna Mazzaro holds a B.A. in education and a M.A in Bilingual Education and is an educator with more than 22 years of experience as a teacher and professional developer. She has been involved in teacher training with teachers in the United States and other countries outside the United States. As a professional developer, she provides science training and mentoring teachers for grades K-8. Anna has had a leading role in our Rainforest Connection for many years.

Jean Myers has been teaching science for 35 years, beginning in a rural school while in the Peace Corps in Kenya, to inner city New York, to suburban New Jersey. She has worked with high school and elementary, engaging them in inquiry based practice of doing science and making authentic discoveries with evidence based in student generated data. Jean holds a BA in Biological Sciences from Mount Holyoke College, MA in Teaching Secondary Science Education from Teachers College, MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from Teachers College and Supervisory Certification from Montclair State University.

Dr. Nicole Panorkou holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Montclair State University. She teaches mathematics content courses to prospective K-8 teachers and engages in extensive work in local schools, including providing professional development to inservice teachers and supporting collaborative research projects. Her research focuses on student learning of geometry, algebra and rational number reasoning and on the ways that technology and modeling can foster the utility of mathematical concepts.

Kristen Scrivens holds a M.S. and has taught grades K-2. Kristen is a Wipro Science Education fellow who has presented at NSTA conferences and was awarded Bergen County Educators Association Teacher of the Year 2013, with numerous grants, including the National Gardening Association Aerogarden grants, and the Bergen County Utilities Authority.

Catalina Villasuso has been teaching grades K-5 in public education for 27 years. Caty holds a Master's in Elementary Ed and is certified for grades K-8, K-12+ World Language (Spanish), K-8 Bilingual/Bicultural, K-12+ESL and Supervisory certification.

Karen Woodruff is currently pursuing her PhD in Teacher Education and Teacher Development. Karen is a STEM professional development specialist with 15 years of experience in K-12 education. As a teacher educator she serves as a director for the NASA Endeavor STEM Teaching Certificate Project. Karen holds a BA in environmental science and a MA in secondary science in technology-based teacher education.

Questions? Call 973-655-7753 or email