Utah Science Teachers Association

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Utah Science Teachers Association - September 2016
Click on the links:

· President's Message

·USTA Board Members Needed

· Teacher Award Spotlight

· Save the Dates

·Classroom Resources

·University Outreach 


· Upcoming PD

· Freebies 


· Tech Tools

· Shout Out Thanks

· Update your Profile

·Share the Joy of USTA

·Article of the Month

·Books of the month

·Video of the month
Teacher Award Spotlights
PAEMST Winners
2014 and 2015 PAEMST winners were announced on Aug 22nd.  The winners will be going to Washington DC in September and will each win $10,000 from NSF.

Maggie Huddleston
7-12 Grade
Roy, UT

To read Maggie's profile, click here.

Britnie Powell
K-6 Grade
Salt Lake City, UT

To read Britnie's profile, click here. 

For more information on how to apply for this award, click here.

Outstanding Earth Science Teacher (OEST) 

Outstanding Earth Science Teacher (OEST) awards are given for "exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in the Earth Sciences at the pre-college level." Any teacher or other K-12 educator who covers a significant amount of earth science content with their students is eligible. Ten national finalists are selected, one from each NAGT regional section. Some sections also recognize state winners. Individuals may apply themselves or nominate a colleague for the award.

Utah State Winner

Kirk Wright

To read Kirk's Bio, click here.

Southwest Region Winner

Matt Affolter

To read Matt's Bio, click here.


Please make sure to update your profile on our USTA site.  We have many members with old emails, addresses and phone numbers and are trying to update our members.  If you know a teacher that is a member, but is not receiving this newsletter, please direct them to the website to update their email.


President's Message


I hope that your summer break was a great one with an opportunity to spend time with your family.  I am confident you were able to engage in activities that rejuvenated you, making you feel an eagerness to ‘start over’ this school year.

In July my husband Todd and I attended the National Congress on Science Education in Denver. After talking to science teachers and leaders from all across the US we know that Utah has the best Science Teachers in the nation! Our organization is strong and supports the science teachers of our great state. 

In the summer newsletter (see utsta.org for a copy) I challenged you to identify successes last year and trials. Then I tasked you to choose one trial and create an action plan to overcome this trial making it a target. With the renewed energy and a specific plan that you now have, you will succeed! Email me and let me know of these accomplishments so that we can celebrate our successes. 

Now is the time to talk to your administrator and request their assistance in attending the USTA conference in February. This is the most specific to your classroom professional development that you can receive. While you are registering for the conference log into your USTA account and update your information. We want all of you to receive the information that we send out. Some of you may have changed schools or emails. Click on Login in the top right corner. If you have forgotten your password follow the prompts. When you are logged in click on your name that will be on the top and a window will open that allows you to edit your profile.

The USTA Board is working hard organizing the conference for February 10, 2017. The theme is, The Science of Learning. We are looking for presenters and the link is open to apply. Please consider sharing your great ideas with the entire state.

We are also working on the USTA Days. Check for information on the website, this newsletter, and on Facebook. If you are not a friend yet, become one. We want to get the info out to you as fast as we can. The are many opportunities that are time sensitive that we will post there.

I look forward to meeting many of you at our USTA Days and the Conference in February.

Dawn Monson

USTA President


Preparing for back-to-school? On the hunt for a new tool? Kiddom is a personalized learning platform that helps teachers monitor student progress

Click here for info on Kiddom.

Kiddom Inc.

My idea with working with it is as follows: after an introduction  to geology by looking at the formation of the earth after the Big Bang and the creation of Pangaea, etc. Our trajectory in our class is to study heat and its necessity on earth for life, so we cover the Big Bang, geology/geography, prevailing winds, and then weather, getting into Global Warming and the causes and effects. 

Have them research (of a picture they choose) the geology of the area over long time (start of earth to now) to look at types and extent of erosion and current weather patterns and how the geography of the affects that. Have them determine a plausible reason for a teacher to choose this particular geology to look at to get practice at figuring out how scientists choose the particular projects they choose. 

Janet F. Ott, Ph. D. 


Slide 1: Take pictures of Earth from the International Space Station in the next mission!


USTA would like to thank Lars Johnson, Josh Stowers, Darrin Hodges, Doug Panee, Don Bastian, Emma Smith, Adam Bennion, Ty Robinson, and Duane Merril for the amazing jobs they do as USTA Endorsement Instructors. Check back in the spring of 2017 for the next round of classes.

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USTA Board Members Needed

Four positions are currently available:

Region III Representative
Region IV Representative
Region VII Representative
Elementary Representative (not region specific)
    Applications for nominations must be received by Nov 15th

    Click here for more information


    Usta Days are events sponsored and/or endorsed by USTA for USTA members and their families.  Events will be in September and October and are great opportunities to get together with other teachers and share of love of science with our teachers.

    Upcoming Days
    Sprial Jetty 10/1/2016
    Antelope Island 9/10/2016
    Trilobite Day 10/15/2016

    Click here for Details


    The goal of the Bright Schools program is to create a learning experience that will help students, parents and teachers better understand the link between light, sleep and student health and performance. Through the Bright Schools competition, students in grades 6-8 will select a topic related to light and sleep and select one of three exploration options (developing a prototype, creating an awareness campaign or writing a research proposal) to create an original project.

    Project Submissions Due Feb 6th, 2017

    eCYBERMISSION is one of several science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) initiatives offered by the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP). The U.S. Army is committed to answering the nation's need for increased national STEM literacy and expanding STEM education opportunities across the country to open doors to new career paths for America’s students that lead to a brighter tomorrow.

    Books of the Month

    Physics for Future Presidents--Richard A Muller.

    This is targeted for intelligent people without a specific degree and important right now. It address why dirty bombs can't really happen, why we won't ever stop using oil (this is NOT a political piece...but chemistry for the masses.)  and many more real world examples that you and all your students will use. High school students can read this.

    Flu--Gina Kolada

    This is funny and well written,  it is a great history about how a lot of 'science' really works. Again, student friendly.

    Fool Me Twice-Fighting the assault on science in America--Shawn Lawrence Otto

    This book is well written but is better if read in sections. So much great history. It discusses how 'science was everything'  and after that how 'science'  became one tunnel and everything else another one...how certain religious groups specifically made up the "Wedge Strategy"  to 'bring America back to God and fight scientific materialism'.   

     USTA Convention
    Feb 10, 2017 in Provo, UT

    We are looking for PRESENTERS!! Something we are excited about this year is that presenters will not need to pay the registration fee for the convention.  We appreciate your dedication and hard work.  Please share your genius with the rest of the state.  Apply today!
    Please click here for the link for the presenter application.

    we are excited to present the

    Regional NSTA Convention
    in Salt Lake City
    October 2019

    iSEE Logo

    Informal Science Education Enhancement

    Informal Science Education Enhancement (iSEE) is a collaborative partnership between Clark Planetarium, Discovery Gateway, The Leonardo, The Living Planet Aquarium, Red Butte Garden, Natural History Museum of Utah, HawkWatch International, Thanksgiving Point, and the Utah State Office of Education.

    iSEE programs serve K-12 teachers and students and are designed to spark students’ natural curiosity and sense of wonder by providing exciting opportunities to experience science, practice science skills, and gain a deeper understanding of science.

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    USOE is currently offering many online classes needed for endorsements.
    Click here for more information.


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    Click on each link for more information

    FREE Online Textbooks 3-12

    Website For NEW Science Teachers

    Dr. Seuss' The Lorax and PLT Free  Activity Booklet

    Science Teacher E-mail List Registration for Educators
    USBE, in collaboration with Utah Education Network (UEN), has created an e-mail list for science teachers to learn more about Utah science events and professional development.

    SHARE the JOY

    Yearly memberships to USTA are only:

    $6 per year for elementary
    $10 for secondary teachers
    $5 for new or student teachers

    Pass the word and make sure all of the science teachers in your school are aware of this amazing organization



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    Updated Brain Map Identifies Nearly 100 New Regions
    -New York Times


    What do Zika, Ebola and SARS have in common? They’re all zoonotic viruses, which spread from animals to humans. Find out how human activities, like urbanization and wildlife encroachment, are making us more vulnerable to zoonotic disease outbreaks. Then meet the scientists tracking these viruses and discover how they are working to prevent the next epidemic. 

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    Contact email: mhuddleston@utsta.org

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