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PLI #2

National Conference in Atlanta • March 22-25, 2023

Full Day Workshop

Reveal Students’ Brilliance: Getting Started with OpenSciEd


Preconference • Wednesday, March 22 • 8:15 AM - 3:30 PM

Facilitators: Erika Palys and Tommy Clayton


Conference registration is required to attend.

Sponsored by:


In Partnership With:


About the Session

Come join us to see how OpenSciEd’s materials can help you reveal your students’ brilliance. This full-day workshop will simultaneously prepare you to teach the first unit in the OpenSciEd middle school program and provide the support you need to advance your practice so that learning is both driven by student questions and leads to the foundational science learning they need to be successful. To do this, this session will put teachers in the student’s seat so they can feel what it's like to be a student whose thoughts and questions are valued in the drive to figure out puzzling phenomena. We actually do science together with the facilitator acting as the "teacher" and then dig in to help you see the coherence across the program and the details in the first units you will be teaching.

Facilitator Bios
Erika Palys

Erika is passionate about making quality science education accessible and attainable for all teachers and students. As Project Manager at OpenSciEd, Erika maintains the success of OpenSciEd Professional Learning events and the Facilitator Team and organizes the execution of various special initiatives. Previously, Erika worked with OpenSciEd as a member of the Professional Learning Facilitator team and as a Quality Review Consultant. Erika started her education career as a middle school science teacher in Evanston, IL where she taught NextGen Science Storylines and OpenSciEd in her 6th grade classroom.

Tommy Clayton

Tommy Clayton is a middle school teacher with 11 years of experience in the classroom. He currently teaches 8th grade in NJ and has been utilizing the OpenSciEd curriculum for the last 5 years. Tommy was a pilot teacher as well as a development consultant on several of the OpenSciEd Middle School units. In 2019 Tommy joined the OpenSciEd Facilitator Team where he currently supports teachers using the OpenSciEd materials. In addition to facilitating professional learning events, he is also helping to develop materials for the integration of OpenSciEd with Google Classroom. During the 2022-2023 school year, Tommy is filming his classroom which will be used by BSCS to further improve OpenSciEd Professional Learning materials. Having the opportunity to work on both sides of the curriculum gives Tommy unique insights and experiences that he hopes to share with teachers and students on a national level.


Continue Your Learning



A pathway is a curated grouping of sessions centered around a specific topic of interest.

Thursday, March 23 • 9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

"I can't wait for science class!" - The Why and How of 3D Phenomena-Based Learning

Speakers: Sarah Delaney

Thursday, March 23 • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Working Smarter not Harder - Grading that's Good for Students and Teachers

Speakers: Sarah Delaney

Thursday, March 23 • 2:20 PM - 3:20 PM

Coaching Teachers in the NGSS

Speakers: Spencer Martin

Thursday, March 23 • 3:40 PM - 4:40 PM

Breaking down the silos - an interdisciplinary approach to deepen students’ learning

Speakers: May Jean Cheah

Friday, March 24 • 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Social Emotional Learning in a Phenomena Based Learning Environment

Speakers: Thomas Clayton

Friday, March 24 • 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Using an Observation Tool to Support Rigorous, Student Centered, Phenomenon Based Instruction

Speakers: Renee Affolter, Marianne Dunne, Hillary Paul Metcalf

Friday, March 24 • 1:20 PM - 2:20 PM

Turn Up the Discussion - Increasing the Quality and Quantity of Discussion in the Science Classroom

Speakers: Sarah Delaney

Friday, March 24 • 2:40 PM - 3:40 PM

Classroom discussions where students “figure it out”: Using different teacher moves depending on the goal of the discussion

Speakers: Bruce Kamerer, Katherine McNeill, Benjamin Lowell, Renee Affolter

Friday, March 24 • 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Using the QFT (Question Formulation Technique) to Help Drive an NGSS Storyline

Speakers: Nicole Bolduc

Saturday, March 25 • 10:20 AM - 11:20 AM

OER Requires Commitment - adopting OpenSciEd in Middle School

Speakers: Mary Starr

Saturday, March 25 • 1:20 PM - 2:20 PM

Increasing accessibility for equitable sensemaking using Universal Design for Learning

Speakers: Patricia Montesquieu Remigio, Dawn Novak, Renee Affolter



National Conference On Science Education • Atlanta23


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