Past CSEN Meeting Information

Past CSEN Meeting Information


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

It’s a wrap!  We finished off the school year with an excellent meeting that combined Science and Social Studies.  We want to thank John Eyolfson and Chris Elnicki, Science and Social Sciences Coordinators of Cherry Creek, for organizing this meeting and booking the wonderful space, Think Space/MindSpark Learning, located in Lakewood (this is free for K-12 educators to use and we intend to hold more CSEN meetings there).

Staff from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science beamed in over the web and talked about some of the neat teaching resources they have that are related to the upcoming total solar eclipse in August.  The resources can be perused here: 

Meeting participants then did a walk through the two Frameworks for Science and Social Studies and identified areas where there are cross-curricular ties. Finally, Sarah Hurd from ESRI walked us through some of the really exciting GIS resources that are available free of charge to educators, including Living Maps, Story Maps, Spyglass and Swipe, as well as the apps, Explorer and Survey 1, 2, 3.  All you need is an ESRI account to access these materials.  Sarah’s presentation can be accessed here where you can learn about these great resources:

Wednesday, Sept 7th , 2016  

Meeting Focus:  Setting the Stage:  Identifying key areas of interest and progress in implementing the Science Framework

Time:  8:30am -12:00pm

Location: Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd, Denver CO 80205

Hosts:   Robert Payo, DMNS; Joanna Bruno, Colorado Department of Education

8:00 – 8:30           Networking

8:30 – 8:45           Welcome and Setting the Stage for this year’s CSEN Meetings

 Lesley Smith, University of Colorado, CSEN Steering Committee, 

 Joanna Bruno, Science Content Specialist, Standards and Instructional Support, Colorado Department of Education,

8:45 – 9:15           NSTA/ESSA Update, Mary Gromko, NSTA President,

9:15 – 10:15        Panel discussion What We’ve Learned So Far, What Works, Where We’re Headed

 Panelists: Rodger Bybee (BSCS, retired); Karen Hays (Denver Zoo); Cyndi Long(Mapleton Schools); Lori Reinsvold (UNC); Doug Watkins (Denver Public Schools)                                             Moderator: John Eyolfson (Cherry Creek Schools)

10:15- 10:30        Break

10:30-11:00       Theme Breakout Discussions: Smaller group discussion based on emerging topics

11:00-11:45       Professional Learning Communities:  Discussion groups based on similar field of work

Districts:  John Eyolfson (Cherry Creek Schools)

Informals:  Robert Payo  (DMNS)

Higher Ed:   Lori Reinsvold (UNC) and Lesley Smith (CU Boulder)

 11:45 – 12:00     Updates and Announcements

*From the NAP:  The framework identifies the key scientific ideas and practices all students should learn by the end of high school. Designed to make science education more closely resemble the way scientists work and think, the framework envisions that students will gradually deepen their understanding of scientific ideas over time by engaging in practices that scientists and engineers actually use.   The framework is also designed to be useful for curriculum and assessment designers, teacher educators, and others who work in K-12 science education.  For an overview of the Framework:


April 6, 2016

This meeting had an engineering focus and was held in Boulder at the UCAR Center for Science Education Foothills campus at 3450 Mitchell Lane Boulder, CO 80301 

Thank you  to Becca Hathaway for securing our location for this meeting, Donald Tunstall for sponsorship, and to our presenters for sharing their expertise with the group.

8:30am-9:00am                      Networking with Colleagues

9:00am-9:05am                      Welcome and Introduction to the day

9:05am-9:20am                      “Engineering Experience”

                                                            John Ristrey, Director   UCAR

 9:20am-11:30am                    “The Teach Engineering Digital Library: Engineering Activities for Immersing STEM into In- and Out-of-Class Learning”

                                                            Janet Lynn Yowell and Malinda Schaefer Zarske   CU Engineering, CU-Boulder

11:30am-11:40am                  “Air Water Gas Sustainability Research Network”

                                                            Katya Hafich       CU Engineering, CU Boulder

 11:40am-11:50am                  Texas Instruments

                                                            Donald Tunstall, Presenting Sponsor

 11:50am-12:00pm                  Network Sharing and Closing

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

Location: Daniel’s Fund Building, Cherry Creek

Topic:   Teaching about Climate Change and Changing Forests, and other environmental education updates

 Agenda : 

8:00-8:30           Networking and light breakfast snacks

8:30-8:45           Introductions – very brief

8:45-9:00              Colorado Environmental Education Plan and the Every Student Succeeds Act

9:00-9:15              Project Learning Tree is 40 years old and still growing!


Online workshops (K-8, Early Childhood, GreenSchools)

K-2 Treemendous Trees; 3-5 Energy and Ecosytems; 5-8 Carbon and Climate

New secondary modules:  Understanding and  teaching about forests and climate change (details below)

 9:15-10:15           Presentations.  Teaching about changing climates and the Impacts on forest ecosystems

  • Dr. Michael G. Ryan, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station (Emeritus) and Warner College of Natural Resources Research Associate

  • Annie Oxarart, University of Florida, School of Forest Resources and Conservation; one of the authors of PLT’s new Climate Change and SE Forests


10:30-11:30        Sample student activities.

Create a timeline of climate science and policy initiatives over the past two centuries. Students also begin to explore connections between climate, climate change, and forest ecosystems The Real Cost. This activity introduces the hidden impacts of everyday  products that students might buy, such as t-shirts, fruit, and bottles of water.

11:30-11:45          BANR (Bioenergy Alliance Network of the Rockies) 3 States involved in research resulting in sustainable uses of forest biomass with HS and MS curriculum

11:45-12:00          Updates and announcements; share your climate change curricular materials

Meeting is limited to 30 people. 

Join forest researchers from Colorado and Florida universities to learn how to teach about climate change impacts on eastern and western forests and  the local and global ecological, economic and social implications of these changes.  Sample Project Learning Tree materials to help students understand such concepts as carbon sequestration,  watersheds, biomass, invasive species, wildfires, weather, watersheds. All attendees will receive the newest secondary activity guide, Southeastern Forests and Climate Change, which is about much more than just SE forests!  Check it out at the module website. Each activity webpage includes a Teacher Tools section with a “tour” or overview of the activity, short videos to explain challenging concepts or current research, and a check your knowledge “quiz.” You can find appendices and helpful resources on the Educator Resources page, and workshop planning materials and handouts on the Facilitator Resources page. The website requires a log-in, but it is a quick registration. upon request.


Understand how climate change could impact forests in the U.S.;
Understand how forests can be managed to address changing climate conditions and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
Enhance decision-making skills to make informed choices as consumers to mitigate climate change;
Develop systems thinking skills to see connections between climate change, forests, and people;
Recognize that individual and community actions can help mitigate and adapt to climate change; and
Become part of future community conversations about climate change and potential solutions.  

This CSEN session was hosted by the Colorado State Forest Service.

February 17, 2016

STEM in Action:  District examples of beginning and developing programs

Location: Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver

Discussion Featured:

·         STEM programs and initiatives of various school districts in the Denver region

·         Learn about Colorado STEMWorks as a way for schools, business leaders, and funders to work together to further STEM learning. 

·         Network and share how you’re building the STEM community of Colorado.

January 29, 2016

Climate Workshop by Maria Talero

Location, University of Colorado - Boulder

Workshop Overview:

An introductory Climate Courage workshop integrating the following elements: 1) an orientation to the latest social psychology findings on climate change communication, especially "cognitive framing" research, and 2) an in-depth, guided skill-building session in which participants will discuss, explore and role-play scenarios featuring key challenges in climate change psychology and communication.


Goal: Participants leave feeling energized and inspired, with a new personal toolkit for how to think about and communicate climate change effectively and powerfully in their personal and professional lives. 



We thank Lori Reinsvold of the University of Northern Colorado for covering the cost of the speaker. CIRES Education and Outreach, CU’s Office for Outreach & Engagement and the Bartlett Communication of Science Center are contributing toward the facility and food charges.

December 11, 2015

Colorado STEM Teacher Preparation Symposium

Location: Colorado College, Colorado Springs

Hosted by Colorado College and University of Northern Colorado

This year’s symposium was opened by Lt. Governor Garcia, and includes a keynote address by Dr. Mary Gromko, President-Elect of NSTA.  We will also 1) provide examples of how IHEs (Colorado College, University of Northern Colorado, Colorado School of Mines, University of Colorado - Colorado Springs)  integrate STEM pedagogy in their pre-service programs, 2) provide a panel of faculty and staff (K-12 schools, IHEs, CDE, CDHE) from IHEs and government agencies to discuss a model for Colorado endorsement/leadership in STEM teaching and learning to elevate the conversation of STEM integration, and, 3) invite teacher preparation programs to present posters on how they support pre-service teachers to build their understanding and practices to integrate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - Enhancing STEM Experiences

This meeting will provide an update on statewide and local efforts to improve STEM education and careers.  Topics and presenters include the Colorado STEM Roadmap (Angela Baber, Colorado Education Initiative), STEM organization at CDE (Violeta Garcia, CDE), and Warren Tech's strategies to engage students in STEM experiences (Dan Snare, Warren Tech).

Host & location:  Warren Tech Center, 13300 West 2nd Place, Lakewood, CO.

Organizers:  Lori Reinsvold, Violeta Garcia, Dan Snare

Bonus offer:  you are invited to a free lunch prepared and served by culinary students at Warren Tech.  

Please RSVP to Lori Reinsvold ( by Tuesday, September 30 if you would like lunch.

Friday, October 31, 2014 - Assessment and the Next Generation Science Standards

Bill Penuel will present an interactive session on key messages and practices from the recent NRC report on assessment and the NGSS, focusing on classroom assessment.  Bill is a faculty member in science education at CU Boulder and a committee member for the recent NRC report ( )

 Host & location:  CIRES Outreach, CU Boulder, University Memorial Center 382-386

 Organizers:  Sandra Laursen, Lesley Smith
December 11, 2014 Colorado STEM Teacher Preparation Symposium

This session will highlight some local models of teacher preparation, including CU Teach, UNC, and other IHEs.  It will also provide discussion on some current issues that face programs as we prepare teachers for 21st-century teaching work.

Organizers:   Lori Reinsvold, Nancy Kellogg, Julie Andrews.
ocation:  Xilinx Inc., Longmont, CO
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - Scientific Explanations Go the Distance
We'll learn about distance learning opportunities in Colorado and will have a distance learning experience of our own, focused on giving and evaluating good scientific explanations, using resources shared by Melissa Braaten from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

 Host & location:  Denver Museum of Nature and Science, in their new studio space 102-103

Organizers:  Robert Payo, Meg John, Gianna Sullivan, Sandra Laursen

Thursday, April 30, 2015 - Connecting Science and Social Studies

We will hold a joint meeting with the state social studies network to discuss issues of shared interest.  Let us know what you'd like to talk about!  (send your thoughts on joint topics to )

Organizers:  Sharon Unkart, Nancy Kellogg, Shawna Crocker, Chris Elnicki, Rebecca Theobald

Location:  Student Achievement Resource Center (SARC), Cherry Creek School District


Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014

Developing Science Literacy in Youth

Speakers included Joe Polman, Carolyn Wiley, Liz Sims, Lisa Gardiner and her snails, and Becca Hatheway and NCAR colleagues.  Thank you NCAR for hosting us!

We had a good discussion of the components of science literacy and multiple examples of youth communicating about science through science news stories, infographics, video stories, and blogging.

You can find the three presentations at this link:


Thursday, September 27, 2012

STEM Education in Colorado and Common Assessments

Presenters, Violeta Garcia & Joanna Bruno (CDE);  Susan Van Gundy (Achieve/PARCC); Karen Hays (DMNS).

Location:  Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver).

Host & coordinator, Meg John.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Anticipating the Next Generation Science Standards

We'll get a preview of how to understand and examine the Next Generation Science Standards and spend some time digging into one new feature of the NGSS, the focus on engineering practices that will appear alongside the science practices. Presenters, Harold Pratt (NSTA) & Rodger Bybee (NGSS);  Daria Kotys-Schwartz (CU Boulder engineering education).

Location:  Butterfly Pavilion (Westminster)

Host, Sarah Folzenlogen; coordinator, Sandra Laursen


Monday, December 17, 2012

Investigations in water, climate, and natural hazards in your local community, in Colorado, and around the world using web-based GIS and spatial analysis

Experience hands on demonstrations of geospatial technologies from Joseph Kerski of ESRI (the company that has designed the most commonly use GIS software) and members of the Geography and Environmental Studies department at UCCS. Please come to learn more about this quickly growing field and its implications in the class room-from Google Earth and ArcGIS Online, to LiDAR. 

Location:  Colorado Geographic Alliance (Colorado Springs)

Host, Rebecca Theobald; coordinator, Shawna Crocker.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Connecting Students and Teachers to Scientific Research

Location:  UCAR (Boulder)

Host, Becca Hatheway; coordinator, Sharon Unkart.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fire, Earth, and Water: Engaging Students in Colorado Issues

Location: Colorado State College of Natural Sciences Education and Outreach Center (Ft Collins)

Host, Andrew Warnock; coordinator, Nancy Kellogg.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Challenges and Successes in Teaching and Learning Elementary Sciences

A panel of experienced science educators will talk with us about the “Challenges and Successes in Teaching and Learning Elementary Sciences.” Panelists are:  Joanna Bruno, Science Content Specialist with CD; Teresa Higgins, Elementary Science Education Faculty, Univ. Northern Colorado; Linda Morris, Elementary Science Coordinator, Denver Public Schools; Amy Nicholl, Elementary Science Teacher, Windsor Schools. There will also be an opportunity to explore RMBO and search for eagles.

Location:  Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory (Brighton)

Host, Kacie Miller; coordinators, Lori Reinsvold & Matt Kuhn.


Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011

The Flipped Classroom

Jerry Overmyer of the MAST Institute will provide an overview and science teachers will demonstrate how they use flipped classrooms. (The flipped classroom is a model of teaching in which a student’s homework is the traditional lecture viewed outside of class on a vodcast. Then class time is spent on inquiry-based learning which would include what would traditionally be viewed as a student’s homework assignment.)  We also may look at how schools in Windsor and Severance are using technology in science classroom, and get an update from the Poudre Learning Center how they are using technology in the field.

Organizer:  Lori Reinsvold, with the MAST Institute (UNC) and Poudre Learning Center

Location:  Poudre Learning Center, 8313 West F St, Greeley


Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011

The NRC Conceptual Framework for Science Education -  What's New and Different and What to Expect in the Next Generation Science Standards

Harold Pratt (NSTA consultant & standards guru) will lead us through new features of the NRC Framework and Barry Cartwright (CDE) will add comments on the latest developments and resources in state standards and assessment. 

Organizers:  Sandra Laursen & Shawna Crocker

Location:  US Geological Survey - Federal Center in Lakewood


Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011

Teacher Professional Development Models in Colorado

Representatives of several teacher PD programs in the state will share their models and results.

Organizers: Nancy Kellogg & Mary Gromko

Location:  Swigert Aerospace Academy, Colorado Springs


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Colorado's New Educator Evaluation System

We are planning a presentation and discussion with MREL staff and/or CDE representatives who are knowledgeable about the new system. 

Organizers:  Matt Kuhn & Barry Cartwright 

Location:  McREL, south Denver


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Teaching the Controversy:  Approaches to Teaching Evolution and Climate Change.

We are planning a session by biology and climate change educators on how to handle these topics with sound science and sensitivity to complex public perceptions.

Organizers:  Lisa Pitot & Lori Reinsvold

Location:  Colorado State College of Natural Sciences Education and Outreach Center, Ft. Collins


Thursday, April 19, 2012

The STEM Magnet School Model

We are planning a tour and discussion of the Adams 12 STEM magnet school and associated programs. 

Organizers:  Meg John & Penny Eucker

Location:  Adams 12 STEM School, Northglenn


Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010

Implementation of Colorado's New Science Standards

Presenters: Barry Cartwright  & Katie Navin (CAEE)

Location: RAFT (Downtown Denver)

Coordinator: Barry Cartwright


Monday, Nov. 1, 2010

CO Teacher Effectiveness Committee – SB191:  What does the evaluation of effective teaching look like in science?

Presenters: McREL Leadership Consultant Tony Davis, Nina Hewley (State Council on Educator Effectiveness), and DPS Representative

Location: McREL in south Denver

Coordinator: Matt Kuhn


Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010

Instructional Technology – Google Apps, Intel Teach, Nanoteach, Online Learning

Presenters: Matt Kuhn, Barry Cartwright, & Meg John

Location: DMNS (Denver)

Coordinator: Meg John


Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011

Inquiry in the Classroom:  Recent Advances in Research and Practice

Presenters: Janet Carlson (BSCS) & colleagues

Location: BSCS (Colorado Springs)

Coordinator: Sandra Laursen


Thursday, Feb. 17 , 2011

The Benefits of Research Experiences -- For Teachers and Students

Presenters: Teacher Researcher, and Providers  

Location: College of Natural Sciences - Education Innovation Center (formerly CSMATE), Colorado State University - Natural and Environmental Sciences building, Ft. Collins

Coordinator: Lisa Pitot


Tuesday, Apr. 12, 2011

Career and Technical Education in STEM

Presenters: Dan Snare and colleagues

Location: Warren Tech, Jeffco Schools

Coordinator: Sharon Unkart


Wed., May 18, 2011

Research in Science Education

Building knowledge about learning:  How research coming from CU relates to the K12 environment. A variety of CU Science departments -- physics, cognitive science, education, and engineering -- will present their latest research results that relate to the K12 environment.  Presentations will be short and interactive.

Location: CU-Boulder

Coordinator: Lori Reinsvold, Lesley Smith



Tuesday, September 15, 2009

AAAS Benchmarks and Online Science Literacy Maps

AAAS Project 2061 ( offers a suite of documents that describe key STEM concepts in the context of learning progressions across concepts and grade levels. These resources include the Benchmarks for Science Literacy, Science For All Americans, and the Atlas of Science Literacy. NSDL Science Literacy Maps ( provide an interactive version of the Atlas with aligned online resources that help support teaching and learning of these specific science and math concepts. We’ll provide an overview of these materials and the system of thinking behind them, as well as suggestions for incorporating the resources into curriculum planning, instructional materials selection, and professional development.

Location:  NCAR

Host:  Susan van Gundy


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Learning Environments

                Laura Moin, science education faculty member at the CU Boulder School of Education, will talk about research on learning environments.  Anne Tweed, McREL, will share somestrategies for establishing a positive learning environment from her new book.

Location:  Denver Botanic Gardens

Host:   Lisa Davis


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Informal Science

                Polly will share highlights from the new National Research Council report(s) on informal science education.  Representatives from the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education will provide an update on statewide efforts to incorporate environmental literacy into state standards.

Location:  Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Host: Polly Andrews


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Science Standards I - Rollout

                We'll have time to ask questions, unpack the standards, and identify implementation issues through some hands-on work with the new standards.  Barry Cartwright and Lisa Pitot will organize this session.

Location:  McREL

Hosts:  Anne Tweed and Matt Kuhn


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Science Standards II - Implementation and Next Steps

                We'll share resources and strategies for implementing the new standards, including McREL's tools for a "guaranteed and viable curriculum."

Location:  McREL

Host:  Matt Kuhn 


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Equity and Achievement Gaps

                This session will focus on promising strategies for addressing inequity in science education and reducing achievement gaps.  Speakers are Justin Darnell, DPS, Increasing Achievement and Proficiency for Students from Non-Dominant Groups, and Carole Basile, UCD, Transition from Secondary to Post-Secondary in Math and Science.

Location:  CU Denver

Host:  Sharon Unkart