Not all models are the same, so your approach to Developing and Using Models shouldn’t be either.

Models should include the interactions between variables to explain a phenomenon. For example, when modeling the health of an individual with diabetes. The afflicted person is impacted by diet. On paper (or a whiteboard), this would likely take the form of an arrow connecting diet to health. It does not show that the health of someone with diabetes can be impacted positively with good nutrition and impacted negatively with poor nutrition. The same is also true for many of the other variables involved in this model; environment, exercise, etc. Another limitation of the paper model is that it doesn’t allow students to test their model.

Using a dynamic modeling tool, such as SageModeler, students can overcome the problems associated with paper models. SageModeler is a free web-based systems dynamics modeling tool for secondary school students to construct dynamic models and validate their models by comparing outputs from their own models and data from one or more other sources, including experimental data from probes or data generated by simulations. The tool is used to engage learners in three-dimensional learning by using crosscutting concepts (systems and systems modeling, cause and effect, and energy and matter) with various scientific practices (particularly modeling, but also analyzing and interpreting data and engaging in argument with evidence), integrated with disciplinary core ideas.

To facilitate model validation, SageModeler and all external data sources are embedded in a Common Online Data Analysis Platform (CODAP). CODAP is an intuitive graphing and data analysis platform that takes the outputs from the system dynamics models, as well as any other validating data source, and blends them into a single analytic environment.

Learn to use SageModeler so you can facilitate it with teachers in your region.

  • Learn to use the tool in-depth to work with teachers in your region. Better yet, bring a teacher with you. Then, try it in their classroom and learn together to become a more proficient user and facilitator of the tool.
  • Gain access to CREATE for STEM middle school and high school units that are designed for NGSS and use SageModeler. The tool can also be used to enhance most secondary units from your own curriculum.
  • Two day workshop – May 1 & 2. Plus a problems of practice follow up video conference. Presented by Joe Krajcik (MSU) and Dan Damelin (Concord)

· Supported by a grant from MSU CREATE for STEM and Concord Consortium – including hotel and travel. For up to 30 consultants or consultant-teacher teams.

· Workshop location – AMR, 2123 University Park Drive, Suite 100, Okemos, MI 48864

· Register today! – $45 for workshop meals.

Guidance for Science Teacher Evaluation

“[The] Science [MSTEP] in all administered grades does not have student growth data that is viable for use within educator evaluation because there are multiple year gaps between data points, and there is no student growth data available for individual teacher attribution.” – Brian Lloyd, Student Growth Consultant at MDE (memo, 9.11.2018).

How will science teachers meet the requirements of the law?
In Michigan, the law states that 60% of a teacher’s evaluation is comprised from district selected teacher evaluation instrument, and 40% of a teacher’s evaluation comes from student growth data. Jessica Ashley, Oakland Schools Science Consultant, developed the attached document to offer guidance for teachers and administrators to help facilitate conversations regarding student growth measures. This guidance includes different options to comprise the 40%, approaches for measuring student growth, common assessment instrument options, collecting your students’ data, Illuminate, and other important science assessment information.
Science Teachers–Guidance for Your Evaluation.pdf

2019 Modeling Workshops

Four summer Modeling Instruction in Science workshops have been fully funded. Two of them are very new and exciting workshops we are offering in 2019; Biology 2 and Modeling with MiSTAR!

Please share this information (and the attached flyer) with all of the science teachers in your region.

1. Biology 2. Four Biology Modeling Facilitator/Teachers (3 in Oakland: Fawn P., Allison M. and Andrea B.) and AMTA are working on the Biology Modeling Framework to bring it across the finish line. This is the 2nd version we started using, out of Ohio State. They are not only finishing out all units but building in a much better concept flow and story line. This workshop will help past biology modelers understand the new flow and experience the remaining units that were not provided in the biology 1 workshop. There will also be a design challenge incorporated to deploy a student developed model, and better support the NGSS based MMS.

2. Modeling with MiSTAR. Three Middle School Modeling Facilitator/Teacher, (2 in Oakland: Andrea W. and Nell B./and Scott S. in Macomb County) AMTA and the MiSTAR team have collaborated on designing this workshop that will infuse Modeling Instruction pedagogy into 2 sixth and 2 seventh grade units. The workshop preparation involves some unit revisions so Modeling building (as employed by Modeling Instruction) can occur.

I’m sending out our annual flyer describing the Modeling in Michigan workshops we have scheduled. It’s coming out a bit later than usual because we’ve been deliberating on our dates, in part due to the impact of snow days. But since we shouldn’t wait too much longer I’m sending out a flyer with June dates that may end up getting shifted a week later. If anyone needs an overview of what our program is about I’ve also attached our Modeling One Pager.

Also, we did not win a STEM Advisory Council grant so at this time only 4 workshops have guaranteed funding. We are pursuing other funds and if we are successful I will update our flyer and let you all know. We decided to set up the application links anyway to allow people to at least get their names on our list. We’ll keep them informed on where we stand in coming weeks.  As always, check the website for additional information and to apply, Modeling Instruction in Michigan Workshops

We rely on you to get this flyer and our news out to all your science teachers.


Mike, Jessica, James and the Modeling in Michigan programeers

Mike Gallagher

Oakland MiSTEM Region Director




Modeling-One Pager-2019.pdf


2019-20 SAVE-THE-DATES (link)

Mark your calendars to take part the MMSLN events planned for 2019-20.  The official calendar with complete details will be released following complete event verification.  Additional dates may be added.

The 2018-19 MMSLN Calendar is linked here for your reference.

For additional information and suggestions, contact Mary Starr, Executive Director, MMSLN,



EdReports Finds Most 6-8 Science Resources Lacking

EdReports has released their inaugural review of completed 6-8 science resources and thus far the results are very underwhelming. It has been a wonderful growth experience to be part of the process! My involvement has connected to me to great educators from across the country, which has led to valuable insights that I hope will help us all make more informed decisions about resource recommendations.

There were six review teams comprised of science teachers and specialists from across the country. The work began last spring with several days of training and concluded at the end of last year. What an amazing experience! The review process was very thorough and required that reviewers “touch every page” and “click every link”. All components of the resources were reviewed. Evidence was collected for each indicator and discussed by the 4-5 reviewers assigned to each resource during weekly Zoom meetings. Each indicator was discussed separately until a consensus score was reached.

EdReports has a three-gateway review process. Gateway 1 is Designed for NGSS and has 2 indicators, three-dimensional learning and incorporation of phenomena and problems. Gateway 2 focuses on coherence and scope while Gateway 3 focuses on usability and supports. The resource must meet or partially meet Gateway 1 in order to move on to Gateway 2. In order for a resource to move on to Gateway 3 it must fully meet Gateways 1 and 2.

Of the 6 resources reviewed, only Amplify Science’s Amplify fully met all three Gateways. HMH Science Dimensions partially met Gateway 1 and fully met Gateway 2. The other four resources TCI’s Bring Science Alive! (both integrated and discipline-specific programs), Discovery Science Techbook, and Carolina’s Science and Technology Concepts, failed to meet Gateway 1.

Visit to read the science reports, learn more about the gateways and evidence guides, or to become a reviewer!

This article was submitted by Minna Turrell, St. Clair RESA Secondary Science Consultant and valuable member of the MMSLN community.

STEM Teaching Tools by Michigan Science Leaders

Michigan IS TOP 10 in Science Education!

Here’s some more proof – –

STEM TEACHING TOOLS have three different tools written by Michigan Science Educators – – Check them out!

Thanks to them for sharing their knowledge and experiences!

Sarah Coleman’s new tool!

NEW TOOL: How place-based science education strategies can support equity for students, teachers, and communities

Posted on March 10, 2019

In science education we often underestimate the importance of learning and relating scientific knowledge to specific places. Place-based education is a major strategy for promoting equity, but it is still relatively rare in practice. This new resource highlights the crucial equity and justice opportunities associated with learning science in and about specific places—in deep partnership with community. Specific strategies and resources are shared along with relevant background information on the approach. It was co-authored by Sarah Coleman, Pauline Chinn, Deb Morrison, and Lauren Kaupp.

Practice Brief 57

How place-based science education strategies can support equity for students, teachers, and communities

As well as previous tools written by
Rich Bacolor –

Practice Brief 6

NGSS Design Badge Resource Awarded, Michigan Taking Advantage

An exciting announcement was recently published. The NextGenStorylines Life Science units were reviewed by EQuIP Panelists with great results. These units were introduced to Michigan 2 years ago when they were piloted as an extension of the NGSX work through the MMSLN.  Now, the complete resources are freely available for use in classrooms as, “Inquiry Hub (IHub): A Three-Dimensional High School Biology Curriculum. This OER storyline-based curriculum has been reviewed by Achieve, receiving ratings of Example of High-Quality NGSS Design for one unit and Quality Work in Progress for another. Bill Penuel, Brian Reiser, and a host of other collaborators worked with Denver Public Schools to design and implement these units, which comprise a full-year curriculum for high school biology. Read more on the Inquiry Hub for Biology Landing Page. (NSTA Science Class, March 7, 2019)


Schools in Michigan Trying it this School Year

Two Michigan teachers, Holly Hereau and Wayne Wright, from South Redford Schools in Wayne County worked on the writing, revising, and testing of this year long resource, and have been supporting districts with implementation. Hereau was brought into Kent County for a 2 day training in August of 2018 to help teachers become familiar with the structure and scaffolds within the units. Follow up professional development was supported by the local science consultants, Wendi Vogel and Mike Fine, and Hereau also called in on a video chat those days for a Q&A. This coming school year (2019-2020), one of the Kent Co. teachers, Nicole Durso, from Union High School in Grand Rapids Public Schools, will host PLCs for support to those implementing the resource in West Michigan.

This full year of Biology resource consists of 3 Units. The mindset of working on only 3 units in one school year is a huge shift for teachers, but the payoff for students has been positive. Teachers such as Durso and Cory Klocko, from Godwin High School in Kent County, have noted higher student engagement, relevant and relatable content, retainment of that content, more student voice, and students highly engaged in the SEPs by using these Storylines. Although this is a heavy lift for teachers, leaning on one another has been key. Professional development, time, administration support, and support from other teachers in PLCs or in buildings are important structures for teachers as they implement this, as well as other, 3D resources.

For pictures and student quotes from classrooms using this resource, click HERE.

For more information about the units or help with facilitating their implementation, please contact Hereau or Wright.

Holly Hereau

Wayne Wright


Article contributed by, Wendi Vogel, Kent ISD Science Consultant and valuable member of the MMSLN community.

Today @ 2pm: Task Annotation Project in Science Webinar

Join the TAPS leadership group for a facilitated conversation

What does it look like when students meet rigorous science standards? Last week, Achieve released the Task Annotation Project in Science (TAPS) to help answer this question. Join the TAPS leadership group on Tuesday, March 12th at 2pm ET for webinar designed to introduce the tools and resources, share key takeaways, and discuss how these resources can be used to help select, design, and use better science assessments.

Register Now

TAPS Leadership Group:

  • Aneesha Badrinarayan, Achieve (@abadri09)
  • Sara Cooper, Nebraska Department of Education (@NDE_science)
  • Joseph Krajcik, Michigan State University (@krajcikjoe)
  • William Penuel, University of Colorado, Boulder (@bpenuel)
  • Tamara Smolek, Michigan Department of Education (@tjheckyeah)
  • Jill Wertheim, Stanford University (@snapgse)

More about the Task Annotation Project in Science (TAPS)

The Task Annotation Project in Science is a set of tools and resources that have been collaboratively designed to show educators what it looks like to give students tasks that measure three-dimensional science standards. We have annotated examples of classroom tasks that highlight concrete examples of the features of good science assessments; emerging models and guidelines about assessment must-haves, phenomena, equity, sense-making, practices, and crosscutting concepts for educators who want to design their own three-dimensional performance tasks; and tools educators and developers can use to figure out whether tasks they are considering using are really going to provide meaningful feedback to students, their parents and teachers, and policy makers in districts and states.

In learning,

The Achieve team

Click to tweet link:

Physics PL: Integrating Computation in Science Across the Mitten (ICSAM)

Integrating Computation in Science Across the Mitten (ICSAM) is an NSF-funded initiative that aims to support high school teachers who wish to integrate computation into their physics classroom. The ICSAM workshop is an opportunity to learn the value and potential of computational modeling as a dimension for students to learn and understand physics while also providing them with a grounding in the tool of 21st century physics. In this week-long workshop, participants, with the assistance of the workshop coordinators, will develop a viable, personalized plan for integrating computation into their high school classroom(s) to be implemented in the upcoming academic term. If you are interested in participating, please go to the following link:


Scientific Explanations Using Video Production Workshop


Solve & Share Scientific Explanations Using Video Production

MSTA Science Teacher of the Year, Holly Hereau, and Award Winning Video Production Educator, Kara Clayton will guide you through the process of developing science lessons to engage students and lead to grant funding opportunities for your science program.

Earn 18 SCECHs.

June 25, 26, 27, 2019,

8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

To see a video example, details of the 3 day agenda, and registration, go to

$135 Early bird registration until May 30

$185 Regular registration May 31-June 21

Lee M. Thurston High School

26255 Schoolcraft Road

Redford, MI, 48329

Contact us with your questions,

Kara Clayton, Kara.Clayton

Holly Hereau, Holly.Hereau

Science_Video Workshop.pdf