STEP Participant Page
STEP participants have an email list. Archived emails are available, and preferences for digests are available.
Overarching Discussion and Resources:
Weather and Climatic Interactions
This topic addressed TEKS 8.10 (a,b,c) and connected strongly to physical concepts of energy transformation, light, absorption, and seasons.
This topic covered TEKS 6.10 (B and D) and 8.9 (C), including using and interpreting topographic maps and satellite images. Resources connect to the Plate Tectonics workshop.
This first day included an overview of the Solar System and scale activities, definitions and misconceptions, and an introduction to gravity.
The earlier focus on scale and definitions and gravity should set the stage for this day, which will include many activities on seasons and on phases, and some observations and data activities on tides.
Projecting a visible spectrum and examining how we see it
Looking at wavelengths and frequencies, discussing non-visible types of light
Examining some spectra
Using the ALTAs to take random spectra
Examining images taken—different types of data collected (photos in various frequencies)
Looking at the planets, moons, Sun, comets, and asteroids: discussing with respect to images and spectra
Focus is not on detailed comparisons with Earth, but instead, on broad differences in mass, density, categorizing—those items likely to be tested on STAAR tests.
Examining the relationship between landforms, earthquakes, and plate tectonics, through an examination of the data.
These resources and activities are geared toward meeting the 8th grade TEKS 8.8 A-E, and build upon the content included in Components of the Solar System (first workshop) and Electromagnetism, Light Year, Spectroscopy (3rd workshop).
These resources focus on understanding how science works and what a hypothesis and theory are; we discussed them during the October teleconference. Please add your comments!
This topic includes TEKS 7.9 A and B, and connects to and reinforces 6.11 A and C.
This topic includes TEKS 7.8 A, B, and C — the impacts of natural catastrophes on ecosystems; watersheds; and weathering, erosion, and deposition by Texas ecoregion.
This topic included discussions on planning workshops, with a focus on the 1 hour CAST workshops.