Department of Education shout out

This week I learned that my work is featured in this week’s bulletin, the Teachers Edition, from the US Department of Education. 

Resources for Educators

Classroom doing Engineering

Video Worth Watching

It’s a Plastic World

Incorporating engineering design principles into your science classroom is not as difficult as it may seem.Watch what happens when engineers and educators collaborate. In partnership with Boeing, classroom teacher Jessica Levine revisits the properties of matter and introduces students to polymeric materials and their properties (TeachingChannel).

Polymers for the Planet–a Boeing Scholars and Teaching Channel Curriculum Project

The curriculum development work I did this year with Boeing Engineers and the Teaching Channel is now live on the web as the first in the series. I’m so honored to have been part of this great partnership. Many thanks to Philip Bell for this opportunity, AACT for inspiration, and my Eckstein colleagues for support.

Classroom teacher Jessica Levine worked alongside Boeing engineers Kay Blohowiak and Jill Seebergh to develop Polymers for the Planet, a module of instruction that not only seamlessly interjects authentic industry practices into the classroom, but also builds student awareness about how they can have an impact on the world around them. The unit revisits the properties of matter and introduces students to polymeric materials and their properties, with hands-on activities that explores types and uses of plastics and reinforced plastic composites, as well as recycling/upcycling of plastics and composites.

Singing for Science

I was recently featured on  Erin Sterling’s Adequate Yearly Progress Podcast.

Erin is the librarian at my school and frequently interviews colleagues about what they like about teaching, what they don’t like, and other words of wisdom. Erin also recorded my singing a parody with my students to teach Science concepts. Erin writes this about her interview with me:

“Todays’ interview features Jessica Levine, a compassionate, musical, energetic science teacher at Eckstein Middle School.  Jessica and I not only have a shared interest in using theater and music in the classroom, but also love John Green novels, sharing books of all types we’re reading with each other, and we both went to small liberal arts colleges. (I went to Carleton College and she went to Oberlin). Listen to Jessica talk about how she transitioned from working in environmental after-school nonprofits to public school, the power of song and rhythm in teaching, and a new way she’s engaging students in their own assessments this year.

Plus, a bonus! In this episode, instead of using the normal intro and outro music,  you get to listen to Jessica singing and playing the ukelele for a science parody of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Bad Moon Rising that explains the concepts Conduction, Convection, Radiation. A great test for you who haven’t studied science since high school.”

I hope you’ll have a listen.

THIS will revolutionize education

I have a nerd crush on Derek Muller. There. I said it.

But he says it best. “What limits learning is what happens inside a student’s head. That is where the important part of learning takes place….The most important thing a teacher does is to make every student feel like they are important, to make them feel accountable for doing the work of learning.”

Science is an open field–we are all discoverers

check out what Adam Savage has to say about that:

Climate Change Education

It was a great honor and testament to the work I do in environmental education to see two students awarded a special Judges Prize for Climate Change tonight. Juni and Abbie did a science fair project on Ocean Acidification. Way to go ladies, and thanks for your good work toward the planet.

Conservation Champion

I just got word I was secretly nominated as a Seattle Public Schools Conservation Champion.

“Thank you for fostering a culture of conservation at your school!  We are also happy to inform you that, based on the impact your work has had on students and the environment, your school has been selected to receive a $400 Conservation Champion Award.” Take a look at the nominations this spring from teachers, parents, school administrators, students, and other groups.  I hope you will take a few minutes to read through these inspiring stories.


“I’ve only been at Eckstein for a year, but it was very obvious from the start that Ms. Levine was a Conservation Champion. Sh e is the go-to teacher for conservation ideas and spearheaded a bike-to-school program at Eckstein. Even though conservation isn’t a large piece of the district’s curriculum, Ms. Levine has pushed to integrate these concepts into her own curriculum. In her class, you can find her reusing water during labs, reusable cloth towels instead of paper towels, and a solar panel to power some of her electronics. Finally, Ms. Levine is a conservation model to students and faculty as she bikes to school, in rain or shine.”
Nominated by Jennifer Pan