Learn More about Mi-STAR at MSTA’s Annual Conference March 2–3

Friday, February 9, 2018

Middle school educators will have a chance to learn more about Mi-STAR and pick up some ready-to-use lessons at the Michigan Science Teachers Association’s annual conference, set for Friday and Saturday, March 2-3, in Lansing.

On Saturday morning, Mi-STAR is holding an information session that will introduce its Professional Learning Program to those interested in bringing the Mi-STAR curriculum to their classrooms.

In addition, Mi-STAR will host three Professional Learning sessions on Saturday geared toward teachers who plan to implement Mi-STAR. All Michigan teachers are welcome to attend one or more of these sessions. Those who have started Mi-STAR’s Professional Learning Program and attend all three sessions will receive a certificate of completion for the program’s Day 1 experiential session. More information on the Mi-STAR curriculum and the Professional Learning Program is available on the Mi-STAR website.

The Saturday sessions can also benefit Mi-STAR Professional Learning Facilitators (PLFs); Mi-STAR teacher trainers will be able to see how a Day 1 session is conducted and deepen their understanding of the curriculum and the Professional Learning program. It will also give them the opportunity to interact with other PLFs in the Mi-STAR Professional Learning Community.

Additionally, Mi-STAR teachers Yonee Kuiphoff-Bryant and Dawn Kahler, of Kalamazoo Public Schools, will lead a session late Saturday morning to introduce Mi-STAR from a teacher’s perspective.

On Friday, there will be three workshops on stand-alone, “Off-the-Shelf” lessons that are geared toward all middle school science teachers, whether or not they are participating in Mi-STAR. They are designed to fill gaps in their students’ understanding and skill in areas covered by the Michigan Science Standards. The lessons introduce students to engineering and crosscutting concepts. Teachers will walk away from these sessions with classroom-tested lesson plans they can use right away.

If you have questions about Mi-STAR but can’t attend the informational session or a full workshop, Mi-STAR staff will be at the door of each session to chat and answer questions. All sessions will be held in Banquet 7 at the Lansing Center, unless otherwise noted.

Here’s a schedule of the Mi-STAR workshops.

Friday, March 2

 8–9:45 a.m.: A Mi-STAR Lesson: Patterns and Cause & Effect. Participate in fun, three-dimensional activities that introduce your students to Patterns and Cause & Effect.  Experience how students can use these CCCs to investigate phenomena.

10–11:45 a.m.: A Mi-STAR Lesson: Comparing Engineering Solutions with a Decision Matrix. Try out a simple tool to introduce your students to engineering.  Learn how students use this tool to compare solutions. Aligns with MS-ETS1-2.

1–2:45 p.m.: A Mi-STAR Lesson: Got a Problem? Yo, I’ll Solve It! Participate in a design competition that uncovers the importance of well-defined criteria and constraints to having a successful solution. Aligns with MS-ETS1-1. 3D.

Saturday, March 3

8–8:45 a.m.: Mi-STAR Up and Running in Your School. Find out about Mi-STAR’s professional learning program and how to access the completed Mi-STAR units. Learn about Mi-STAR’s NGSS alignment and unit structure and the plans for creating more units.

9–9:45 a.m.: Mi-STAR Professional Learning Session I: Introducing the Challenge. Experience how 21st-century issues and student questioning can drive three-dimensional units. Introductory lessons are designed to activate and expose thinking while motivating students to address real-world challenges.

11–11:45 a.m.: Mi-STAR from a Teacher Perspective, located in Michigan 1 at the Radisson Hotel. Hear first hand about teaching Mi-STAR from two teachers who helped write the curriculum and have piloted new units. Now they are training other teachers who are adopting the Mi-STAR curriculum. Let them increase your comfort level.

11 a.m.–12:45 p.m.:  Mi-STAR Professional Learning Session II: Real World Science Investigations. Experience a hands-on lesson that engages students as they investigate scientific phenomena and address real-world community problems. Use a comprehensive instructional model designed for three-dimensional learning.

1–2:45 p.m.: Mi-STAR Professional Learning Session III: Addressing 21st-Century Challenges. Participate in activities from a middle school–integrated STEM unit and learn how students use science and engineering to model and address 21st-century topics.

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Mi-STAR was founded in 2015 through generous support provided by the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation. Mi-STAR has also received substantial support from the National Science Foundation, the MiSTEM Advisory Council through the Michigan Department of Education, and Michigan Technological University.