Middle School Portal

the network for middle school math and science teachers

All Blog Posts (242)

Citizen Scientist, Age 14, Discovers Supernova

I just read a story about Caroline Moore, the youngest person to discover a supernova - not just a run of the mill supernova but a new kind of supernova. Citizen science projects are cropping up everywhere - there was professor at Ohio State University studying ladybugs and needed help collecting data so he sent out the word. He was inundated with data. Cornell University Lab of… Continue

Added by Kim Lightle on July 9, 2009 at 5:11pm — 1 Comment

So, I'm Starting a STEM Course........

Over the past year and half I have served as a Senior STEM Fellow for the Dayton Regional STEM Center. As a Fellow, I have worked with professors from local universities, engineers from the AFRL, business leaders, and other classroom teachers to help develop STEM curriculum for our schools. This in itself started off as quite a challenge, due to the fact that we were initially stuck on what was… Continue

Added by Tom Jenkins on July 8, 2009 at 10:57am — 15 Comments

Forensic Science: A Hit in Middle School, Maggots and All

The latest online publication from the Middle School Portal is now available - Forensic Science: Middle School. We've searched the web for the best resources associated with this topic but I'm sure we haven't found all the great ones. We'd like your help - do you know of other resources we should include and if you include Forensic Science topics in your curriculum we'd sure like to hear how you do… Continue

Added by Kim Lightle on July 7, 2009 at 2:16pm — 2 Comments

Problem Based Learning Meets Needs?

Two interactions with members of MSP2 a couple of weeks ago (I know, not good Web 2.0 response time!) prompted me to go looking in NMSA's resources. Both interactions were with MSP2 members: Carla Watts, a teacher in Illinois, and Bernardo Leon De La Barra, lecturer in engineering at University of Tasmania. Carla posted a question to the… Continue

Added by Mary Henton on July 2, 2009 at 9:30am — 21 Comments

Success in the Middle Act Reintroduced

In an effort to strengthen middle level education and increase high school graduation rates, Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) have reintroduced the Success in the Middle Act (H.R. 3006/S. 1362). A key feature of the act is the authorization of $1 billion annually for grants to local school districts to improve low-performing schools that contain… Continue

Added by Ryan J. Gauntz on July 1, 2009 at 4:06pm — No Comments

What to do with Technology in the Classroom?

How can I enhance my classroom teaching and learning with Technology?

I would like to incorporate the following Web 2.0 tools but what should I do with them?


Flickr/Flickr Tools:





I have general ideas on what I would like to do but more ideas would be great!

Added by Kristy Templar on June 30, 2009 at 9:47pm — 7 Comments

About Me:

I teach in a suburban school with approximately 500-550 students depending on the year. My favorite topics to teach in science are genetics/genetic engineering, global issues, chemistry, and cells. I like to incorporate as many hands on and different varieties of learning for students. I feel the more kids get involved the better their learning and understanding are.

I just finished taking a class on the 23 Things in Web 2.0 Teachers Should Know and somehow I came across this social… Continue

Added by Kristy Templar on June 30, 2009 at 9:21pm — No Comments

Following the Action at NECC 2009 Virtually

Thought some of you might be interested in this opportunity. The National Educational Computing Conference is taking place in Washington, DC from June 28th - July 1st. Chances are if you're reading this post, you're not at NECC being overwhelmed with new ed tech insights. However, just because you aren't in DC doesn't mean you can't join in the fun. There are several ways to join in the action:

--Twitter: Probably your best bet for getting involved is through following the hashtag… Continue

Added by Todd Williamson on June 28, 2009 at 9:13am — 2 Comments

Marine Science Academy, Final Day

The final day of the Marine Science Academy is what we generally call "Aquarium Day." We load up on 2 buses and take the entire 55 student group to the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. The day is broken up into 4 parts. Students participate in a squid dissection, a remote operated vehicle activity, and a behind the scenes tour of the aquarium. Afterward we gather all the students, parents, school board members, sponsors and… Continue

Added by Todd Williamson on June 27, 2009 at 8:19am — 1 Comment

Technology in Education Research


I figured out how to share articles. So as not to overwhelm things, I'll add them slowly.

Digital Natives

If you haven't read Prensky analysis of Digital Natives, then you better check these out.

Prensky's Digital Natives Part 1

Prensky - Digital Natives, Digital… Continue

Added by Karolee Smiley on June 26, 2009 at 11:30am — No Comments

Marine Science Academy, Day 4

The fourth day of our Marine Science Academy took place mostly back around Carteret Community College. We started off the morning with two activities to culminate our work at Cape Lookout from Tuesday.

Graphing Transect Data

After the students collected data on the topography of the beach Tuesday, we had to work to make sense out of what they had compiled. Students used Microsoft Excel and created a surface map chart of the data. Many of the students had… Continue

Added by Todd Williamson on June 26, 2009 at 10:30am — 2 Comments

Marine Science Academy, Day 3

This is the third in a series of posts about the Marine Science Academy I helped lead last week. This is a cross post from my blog, The Technorate Teacher

On the third day of the Brad Sneeden Marine Science Academy, the students had three activities that took them all over the Sound just off Beaufort, NC. My group of students started off on Piver's Island at the Duke Marine lab, then boarded the Susan B. Hudson research… Continue

Added by Todd Williamson on June 25, 2009 at 8:30am — No Comments

Marine Science Academy, Day 2

Cape Lookout Lighthouse from the ferry on Twitpic

Isn't that a wonderful view to start off the day? That is the Cape Lookout Lighthouse as seen from the Local Yokel Ferry carrying a group of middle school kids across the sound to the island. We spent our second day of the camp doing a number of activities on the island. The forecast was calling for a 60% chance of rain so we tempered our expectations for how the day would go,… Continue

Added by Todd Williamson on June 24, 2009 at 12:58pm — 2 Comments

Marine Science Academy, Day 1

This is the first in a 5 part cross-post from my professional blog, The Technorate Teacher. This camp was open to students around our county and focused on careers in Marine Science. Enjoy!

Today was the first day of the 2009 Brad Sneeden Marine Science Academy. This year we have 55 students from across Carteret and Craven Counties meeting at Carteret Community College… Continue

Added by Todd Williamson on June 23, 2009 at 3:00pm — 3 Comments

academy of engineering in DC

There is a free seminar held this Thursday, June 25 in DC regarding this program. Has anyone ever hear of it or particiapted?


Added by Mrs. A on June 22, 2009 at 4:42pm — 6 Comments


What a great resource this is!! My name is Lynne Menechella and I teach at Horseheads Middle School in upstate NY. I begin my day with either 5th or 6th graders doing math enrichment and the rest of my day is spent with 7th graders doing math remediation ~~ both ends of the support spectrum (o: I am very interested in differentiation and brain-compatible teaching ideas. I am looking forward to networking and sharing ideas with all of you....

Added by Lynne Menechella on June 19, 2009 at 7:25am — 4 Comments

Help Parents Explain Science to Middle School Students

Looking for teachers who can offer advice on how parents can engage kids in science. Please share your knowledge for a book that I am writing with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Contact me offline if possible - aimee@sterncommdc.com. I really appreciate your help.

Added by aimee on June 18, 2009 at 3:38pm — 5 Comments

New MSP2 Publications - Quantitative Literacy and Developing Science Vocabulary

MSP2 has two new wiki pages - Quantitative Literacy and Developing Science Vocabulary. Please check them out (BTW - they do look best viewed with Mozilla Firefox - we're working to get them just as pretty when you view them with Explorer).

We welcome you to register with NSDL and add comments or any additonal… Continue

Added by Kim Lightle on June 18, 2009 at 12:48pm — No Comments

Hello and introduction

I joined a few days ago and have been thrilled with the great links and information that I've found already!

My name is Jenn Kurtz and we homeschool....I am what the homeschooling community calls an "accidental" homeschooler--meaning that I never thought this is what we would be doing. :-)

We have a 7 year old son (Reed) and a 5 year old daughter (Ali). Reed just graduated from 1st grade and when we asked him what he wanted as a reward he replied "I want volumes 1 and 2 of… Continue

Added by Jennifer Kurtz on June 17, 2009 at 7:05pm — 3 Comments

Wikis in the classroom

Well, I just completed my Masters in Educational Technology. I went through the ceremonies about two weeks ago and saw my final grades yesterday. I am still awaiting the actual diploma. Here is my e-portfolio

So, its time to take my research to the next level. I did my final project on wikis. I used them in my AVID class, since they need to practice 21st c skills and have a more flexible schedule… Continue

Added by Karolee Smiley on June 11, 2009 at 12:30pm — 3 Comments

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