SULLIVAN, Maine — The National Science Teachers Association, the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning, has chosen Bob Kumpa, a middle level science teacher at Mountain View School to serve on an expert team that will identify and vet high-quality resources to help teachers implement the Next Generation Science Standards.
Kumpa is one of 55 educators who were selected out of 650 applicants to be an NGSS@NSTA curator and help build a library of top-rated resources for teachers that support the new standards. He will focus on resources related to the structures and properties of matter in grades 6-8.
Released in April, the NGSS are new K–12 science standards that will give all students the skills and knowledge they need to be informed citizens, college ready, and prepared for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Twenty-six states led the development of the NGSS and NSTA was a partner in the process, along with Achieve, Inc., the National Research Council and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
NSTA is playing a central role in helping states, schools, and teachers implement the NGSS. As part of this effort, NSTA is building an interactive website on the NGSS that will serve as a home base for science teachers. The site will feature the vetted resources identified by the newly named curators, and also provide crowd-sourcing capability to enable teachers to identify and share their own resources, interact and collaborate with colleagues, and locate tools to plan their instruction and ongoing professional learning. The site, expected to be launched in spring 2014, will be a valuable resource for teachers who will need to make significant changes in instruction based on the vision of the NGSS. All NSTA resources on the NGSS can be found online at www.nsta.org/ngss.
Kumpa has been teaching science at Mountain View School for the past 10 years. After attending the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor to study philosophy he received his teaching degree from the University of Maine in Orono in 2001. A resident of Hancock, Kumpa is an active member of the Maine Physical Sciences Partnership, a National Science Foundation-funded collaboration between the University of Maine, nearly 50 rural schools, and various local non-profits. With the Maine PSP his efforts have focused on improving the teaching and learning of physical science in grades 6 -9 in rural schools. He is very excited about his new additional role as an NSTA curator.
The curators recently attended an NSTA regional conference in Charlotte, N.C., where they received special training on evaluating NGSS resources. In the coming months, the curators will participate in web seminars to further their understanding of the NGSS and how to assess instructional materials, identify and describe resources that address the goals within their topic, review the work of other curators, and participate in numerous discussions with one another and NSTA staff. They also will attend the NSTA National Conference in Boston in April. Each curator will receive a free NSTA membership for their year-long commitment to the program.
“The NGSS represents a real opportunity to significantly improve science education, but it will take the work of educators across the country to make the vision of NGSS a reality,” said Bill Badders, NSTA President. “I am thrilled that so many teachers were interested in being a part of this exciting effort. We’ve selected an expert group of educators who are perfectly suited to identify important and much-needed resources for their teacher colleagues.”
The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA’s current membership includes more than 55,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.