Newton Network Newsletter - May 2012

 Greetings from the Newton Network!

 Welcome to May! It's hard to believe that another school year is almost over. This month we have information on summer science camps and professional development opportunities. We also have information on Nevada's state parks and trails, and summer camps for your students.

Once again, please pass your newsletter on to your colleagues and let them know that they can sign up for their own newsletter by going to the Newton website.

In This Issue:

  • Summer Activities- Enjoy the outdoors
  • PAEMST- Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
  • Plants- All about plants
  • Web.20- Evernote Peek
  • Professional Development- RPDP and PBS courses
  • Upcoming Events- Science camps
  • Newton Network- We need your submissions!

Summer Activities- Beautiful weather is a great opportunity to have fun outdoors. Nevada has many great trails and parks for everyone to enjoy. Here are some ways for  your students to enjoy the outdoors.

Geocaching is an outdoor activity where you hunt for hidden objects using a GPS device or GPS enabled phone.  Coordinates of the objects are posted on websites like Geocaching and Nevada Geocaching and are available to everyone for free.  It is a great outdoor activity for students to learn about maps, how global positioning systems work, and the outdoors. 

The Institute of Navigation has many lesson plans that you can use to teach your students about how to use and read maps and GPS devices and the basics of navigation math, depending on grade level.

If you don't have access to GPS devices, you can create your own treasure hunt using National Geographic's scavenger hunt activity.

Nevada has 24 beautiful state parks and historic sites. Events--such as group hikes and reenactments--are available to the public in many of the parks and sites this summer.

Nevada also has many great trails and hiking paths for you to explore. You can search for trails based on location or difficulty of the trail.

PAEMST- The annual Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is currently accepting nominations for the 2011 award. Teachers who are nominated have until May 1, 2012 to fill out the application. This year, nominees must be a math or science teacher for grades K-6. Recipients of the award will receive a trip to Washington, D.C. for recognition and professional development opportunities. Recipients will also receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. To nominate a teacher, or find out more about the award, visit

Plants- Plant collecting is a great outdoor activity that students do individually. Before summer begins, go over how to collect and document specimens using math. Plant collecting is not just for botanists; anyone can do it. PBS' lesson plan is for grades 6-8.

Plant identification is a great way to learn more about biology and science. In this lesson plan from ThinkFinity, students in grades 9-12 will learn how to identify species of plants by their parts.

The different ecosystems around the world are vital to sustaining life on this planet. In this collection of lesson plans from ThinkFinity, students explore the different types of ecosystems and why they are so important. For more information, visit ThinkFinity. For students in grades 3-12.

PBSTeachers offers a lesson plan for students in K-2 on ecosystems as well. This lesson plan will focus on identifying the types of ecosystems and where they are found.

Web 2.0- Evernote is a popular app that helps you keep track of important information, websites, and more. Evernote also creates other apps designed for students. Evernote Peek is a free app that turns notes into study materials like flashcards. Evernote Peek is currently only available for the iPad.

Professional Development- The Regional Professional Development Program (RPDP) is offering summer professional development courses through UNLV. The courses take place June 4, 2012 - June 30, 2012. Topics include "Investigating World Culture with Technology", "K-12 Classroom Technology Strategies", and more. Many of the classes are also held completely online for those in Northern Nevada.

PBS TeacherLine is also offering summer professional development courses for teachers of all grade levels. Topics include "Teaching with Webquests" and "Inspiring Elementary Students with Engineering".

 Upcoming Events- Las Vegas Summer Robotics Camp is in its fifth year and is a science camp dedicated to elementary and middle school students. The Summer Robotics Camp has two different robotics platforms: LEGO NXT and VEX robotics. The camp will be held June 11-15, 2012 and registration is now open. Spots are given out on a first come, first serve basis so registering early is important.

The Las Vegas Mad Science Camp is also currently accepting students for their summer sessions. Topics include "Secret Agent Lab" where students become investigators to solve forgeries and counterfeit crimes; "Red Hot Robots" where students explore the different types of robots; and more! The camp is available to students in PK-6.

KIDS University is a yearly summer camp at the University of Nevada, Reno. The month long camp is split into different sessions and is available for all grade levels. Topics this year include "Discovering Dinosaurs", "Developing Your Own Website", "Don't Talk Trash-Rehash!" and much more.

Engineering summer camps at the University of Nevada, Reno, are also now accepting applications for students in all grade levels. Some of the camps include, Computer Science Camp and the Introduction to Engineering Camp. For more information, visit Engineering K -12 Outreach or contact Debbie DeLauer at (

Newton Network-

We need your submissions!  Do you have a classroom activity that really excited your students?  How about a really great web resource that you have found?  We will help you share your resources with other teachers across the state.  Send your activities, lesson plans or online resources to us and we will feature you in our newsletter and add your resource to our website.  Please contact Robert Newbury at