Science Workshops

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

2018 Science Workshops

Questions? Call 973-655-7753 or email

July 24 8:30am - 2:30pm

NGSS-aligned Forensics Science for Elementary Students, gr K-5

Experience first-hand a Crime Scene Investigation "Who stole the chocolate?" that you can take back directly to your young detectives using simple materials. Be a detective and learn how to solve crimes by collecting evidence and analyzing it in lab activities. You will take home a differentiated student notebook, a curriculum unit, and resources to support your student work back in your classroom.

Facilitator: Jean Myers   Cost: $150   PD: 5.5 hours 

July 31 8:30 - 11:30 am
Administrators: "What Should I be Observing in an NGSS Classroom?"

Are you an administrator responsible for conducting classroom observations in a district without a science supervisor? If so, this workshop will benefit you. The NGSS classroom is different from when you were a student. This interactive three-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 the resources needed to identify "Look fors" regarding teacher instructional practices and student learning.

Facilitator: Chris Hunninghake   Cost: $150   PD: 3 hours

Aug. 6 8:30am - 2:30pm
NGSS: Using Case Studies to Motivate All Students, gr 9-12

Case study approaches allow teachers to infuse relevant, memorable, and highly motivating experiences into their classes while adhering to curriculum standards. Bring curriculum guides for your courses, and attend in co-teaching pairs where applicable. Gain hands-on experience in identifying areas of NGSS/case study alignment, methods for finding and tailoring case studies to meet specific course needs, adjusting complex cases for accessibility to all learners, and case study enriched curriculum development. Learn to identify, adjust, and implement case studies as a means of delivering instruction, assessing comprehension, and enriching content.

Facilitator: Owen Ambrose   Cost: $150   PD: 5.5 hours

Aug. 7 8:30am - 2:30pm
NGSS-aligned Science Inquiry Experiences for Elementary Students

Participate in a scientific inquiry experience based on NGSS Science Practices. Experience first-hand the inquiry process and learn about several practical examples of classroom-tested elementary inquiry experiences. Examine hands-on science and literacy materials, classroom videos, and student work from elementary inquiries, including simple machines, reflection, living organism behavior, and stream water quality. Learn strategies to develop scientific inquiry experiences for your classroom to be embed in your science curriculum. Take home differentiated student notebook templates and examine online resources.

Facilitator: Jean Myers   Cost: $150   PD: 5.5 hours

Aug. 8 8:30am - 2:30pm
NGSS: Promote Excellence in All Learners through Modification of Rigorous Content, gr 9-12

NGSS encourages teachers to present students with challenging and relevant opportunities to experience science as a process. With the heightened standard, learners with different ranges of ability often require moderate to substantial modifications in order to meet the goals. Attendees will be provided with a systematic approach to creating high rigor assignments that can also be efficiently and effectively modified for struggling learners.

Facilitator: Owen Ambrose   Cost: $150   PD: 5.5 hours

Aug. 9 8:30am - 2:30pm
Using Authentic Data to support NGSS alignment, gr 6-12

Across 3-Dimensional teaching, engaging students with authentic data provides meaningful learning opportunities and integrates across subject area content. The NGSS and CCSS encourage analysis and interpretation of data. However, often the overwhelming amount of data available to educators can be challenging. In this workshop, participants will think critically about the use of data in the classroom and become familiar with publicly available data sets that can be integrated into meaningful student-centered lessons. 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   Cost: $150   PD: 5.5 hours

Aug. 13 8:30am - 2:30pm
NGSS & Notebooks: Increase Achievement through Interactive Notebooks, gr 1-8

Explore note-booking to achieve deep understanding of concepts. Participants will learn strategies for increasing student interest in interactive science notebooking to make them an important learning tool in their classrooms. Learn how note-booking promotes students' ability to extract meaning from science activities. Develop a sense of what makes notebooks a powerful tool for addressing the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. Participants will create their own notebook and conduct hands-on investigations based on life sciences and environmental studies.

Facilitator: Lori Clerkin & Catalina Villasuso   Cost: $150   PD: 5.5 hours 

Aug. 15 8:30am - 2:30pm
Bees Gone Missing and the NGSS, gr 2-6

Maximize the NGSS by using real life phenomena happening right in our own backyards! Inspire students to investigate, inquire and design solutions for real issues we need to be concerned about: Bees Gone Missing! This unit plan will help your students prepare to engage with real-world phenomena and succeed, by bringing that phenomenon into the classroom and giving students access to it on their own terms. Help them understand and engage in the practices of science and engineering while learning how to reach evidence-based conclusions.

Facilitator: Lori Clerkin & Catalina Villasuso   Cost: $150   PD: 5.5 hours

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.

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.

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