An Update From mySci

April 22, 2020

Dear mySci Partners,

I hope you are staying healthy and safe. With each new day, there are new changes, new challenges, and the potential for new opportunities. We know this is a difficult and unprecedented time for educators around the world and we are consistently working to stay nimble and adjust our approach to meet your needs.

As you know, at the core of the mySci program is hands-on, inquiry-based, interactive lessons that nurture problem-solving and innovation; and we are just as disappointed as you are that this cannot be happening inside our classrooms right now. We’ve reached out to our partners and stakeholders around the region and what we’ve learned is that every district is approaching remote learning in very different ways. This makes it difficult for us to have a one-size-fits-all approach to supporting our mySci partners, however, we have been working on a few things that are versatile enough to provide some support for teachers and students in the short-term, while continuing to plan for additional support in the long-term.

  • STEM Challenges: We have launched STEM Challenges, designed for families to do together at home. Students can share the results of the challenge and be eligible to win a prize each week!
  • Regular Office Hours: Our team of instructional specialists are hosting standing office hours, every Wednesday from 2pm – 3pm, to share resources and answer questions. Register by responding to our weekly email or visit our website.
  • Special mySci Units: We are adapting our mySci Unit 25: Science in St. Louisfor remote learning. This will be offered free for all of our region and adapted for a larger age-range, including journals for grades 3-8. We are also creating a COVID-19 mini-module for middle school students to answer the question: How do we keep ourselves and others informed and healthy during the coronavirus pandemic?These units will be available the first week of May. (Since Confluence asked for access to Unit 25, I wanted to give you a sneak peak of our virtual adaptation to Unit 25, here!)
  • Middle School Student-Facing Videos: We have prototyped student-facing videos, currently available for Module 1. Please check them out by viewing the student video playlist.
  • Distance Learning ResourcesWe have curated distance learning resources, which can be found here. We have created Epic! Book lists for mySci by unit. These book lists will be shared in the Partner Resources document by unit on our website. We will also be sharing this and additional resources on our mySci grade level Facebook pages – please encourage your teachers to join!
  • Everyday mySci: This site has activities for families to do together. We have also created specific activities to go with Units 13, 14, 17, and 21.
  • Virtual Professional Learning Opportunities: We are still offering PD. Formats and topics include office hours, technology assistance, remote learning pedagogies, and providing guidance for teaching mySci with integrity online.

Finally, we want you to know that our instructional specialists are still here and ready to support you with your district specific needs. We can do this through virtual professional development customized to meet your needs. Please reach out if you are interested in scheduling a professional development session. This might be focused on district-specific questions and answers, sharing of helpful resources, facilitating collaboration among mySci teachers at a particular grade-level, modeling how to adapt mySci lessons for remote learning or support in creating teaching and learning resources that meet your needs.

We look forward to continuing to support you during this difficult time and will continue to develop and share resources and offer support for inquiry-based science teaching and learning.

Yours in partnership,

Rachel Ruggirello
Associate Director
Institute for School Partnership at Washington University