SciNews – Nov 10, 2014

This regular feature of STAOblog brings you a sampling of the latest science news that would be of particular interest to your students.  Build these stories into your lesson.  Or, use them as a “cool attention-grabber” at the start of class.  Above all, enjoy the discussion and get your kids excited about science! “SciNews” is published every Monday and Thursday.

Email your Science News “gems” to

Continue reading

Elementary Extravaganza at STAO 2014


A day of over 30 practical and fun sessions focused on elementary teachers in Ontario. Join us for the first-ever Elementary Extravaganza @STAO 2014 as we focus the final day of the conference on you, the educators who guide our children at the earlier stages of institutional learning. Continue reading

“Baby Carrots are Killing You!” at STAO 2014

doug fraserMaurice_DiGiuseppe_3

 Here’s a STAO 2014 session you don’t want to miss!!!!

Friday, November 14, 2014 8:30 – 9:30
Room: Hamilton

>>> by Doug Fraser and Maurice DiGiuseppe

It is well documented that more and more people – particularly young people, are turning to social media and the internet in general as their primary source of news and information. They not only get their news online but they also share it with friends. Thus social media is fundamentally changing how information is spread with much of it showing up as “shared” Facebook posts and Twitter tweets. Online information ranges from the extremely credible to outright hoaxes and it can be particularly difficult for students to separate fact from fiction. Science teachers have an important role to play in helping students develop the necessary critical thinking tools needed to quickly filter and evaluate this continuous stream of information.

Doug and Maurice will examine a wide variety of myths and misconceptions in science with particular emphasis on the role of Facebook and other social media in spreading good, bad and bogus information. Topics will range from GMOs, vaccinations and the ebola virus, to evolution, climate change and yes – even baby carrots.

 conference 2014

Why attend STAO2014, Nov 13-15? Teachers speak from the heart !!!

simple circuit

Brennan Caverhill, Saint Cecilia Elementary School (Toronto)
“I continue to attend the STAO conference for the networking, ideas, and inspiration. The conference is a great place to meet fellow science teachers from across the province. I always leave with new ideas for classroom activities, experiments, and assessment, and the inspiration to get me through the winter doldrums! “
 Jocelyn Paas, Senior Biology and Environmental Science Teacher at Peoples Christian Academy (Markham, Ontario)

Attending the STAO fall conference has been one of the highlights of my academic year for many years. It is at the conference that I learned how to use interactive methods to teach my grade 12 Biology course, and gained confidence in teaching senior science. I love the networking and opportunity to discuss demos and lessons with other science teachers, and of course, the free gifts from the exhibitors! I can’t wait for conference this year!”

Susan Robinson, STAO Promotions Committee, Retired Teacher (Thunder Bay, Ontario)

The opportunity to attend Inspiring Innovation:STAO 2014 can definitely change the way you think about teaching and learning about science. The workshops, guest speakers and exhibitors present such a wide variety of “all things science”, it is often difficult to decide what to do and where to go.  The topics are current, creative and relevant with regards to curriculum, instruction and assessment directives.   There‘s something for everyone! In fact, there will be so much happening at STAO 2014, you’ll be wishing for three more days to experience all the great events at the conference.  Hope to see you there.” 

Sylvia Welke, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (Ottawa)

“Why attend STAO2014? A better question would be ‘why would I not keep returning every year`? There are always several gems that I walk away with, be it new resources for my courses, fabulous inquiry ideas or new connections made with members. I wouldn`t miss it!”