KnowAtom's Blog

Maryellen deLacy

Science, like myself, is constantly evolving and in the process of becoming. It is through that discovery process that new knowledge and growth are realized.” DeLacy has worked as a licensed elementary school teacher for Massachusetts Public Schools, specializing in multi-age, multi-grade classrooms for more than 25 years. As a lead teacher, she chaired science and math curriculum review committees and was trained by WestEd to lead data-based decision-making curriculum workshops. DeLacy was responsible for introducing the new writing curriculum to Manchester Memorial School to coordinate district goals. She was a regular presenter for the Northeast Consortium for Staff Development and was president of the Manchester Memorial School Teacher’s Association for five years. DeLacy is an active member of the National Education Association and the Massachusetts Teachers Association. She holds a Master’s and Bachelor’s in Education from Salem State University.

Recent Posts

7 Habits of Highly Effective STEM Teachers

Dec 18, 2017 by Maryellen deLacy

There are only so many hours in a school day. Here are seven habits that you can easily incorporate into your teaching approach that will help you maximize your effectiveness as a STEM teacher.

Check out our list and let us know in the comments if you think we missed anything.

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Topics: STEM

5 Reasons Inquiry Science in Schools Gets the Best Results

Dec 14, 2017 by Maryellen deLacy

If you asked a child if they wanted to sit down and read and/or memorize a list of scientific facts, what do you think they would say? You’ve probably experienced this exact scenario with your students at some point. Being the awesome teacher that you are, you probably found a way to make this activity seem more exciting than that, but it likely still involved some hard work on your part. On the other hand, what if you asked that same child to design and perform cool experiments using everyday objects along with tools they’ve never used before? You would probably be greeted with a much more positive response, right?

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Topics: STEM, interactive science, Science Curriculum

STEM Grants for Teachers: Where Can I Find Them and How Do I Apply?

Dec 12, 2017 by Maryellen deLacy

Do you want to implement a new STEM curriculum in your school and/or improve upon the way your school currently teaches science and math? Every student deserves the latest, most innovative tools, materials, and inquiry-based learning curriculum, but unfortunately a lot of schools just don’t have the budget to pay for an all-new set of curriculum and supplies. However, there are many STEM grants for teachers designed as seed funding to help implement new STEM resources.

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Topics: STEM

Help Wanted: How to Onboard Parents Early with STEM

Dec 5, 2017 by Maryellen deLacy

When you hear about STEM education, the conversation often revolves around teachers and students. What’s often overlooked is the role parents can play, both in supporting student learning at home and in advocating for teachers and schools in the community.

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Topics: STEM

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Ignore STEM Curriculum

Nov 29, 2017 by Maryellen deLacy

There’s been a lot of talk lately about Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The changes being discussed in curricula and educational standards involve major revisions to the way we teach. However, there are compelling reasons you shouldn’t ignore STEM curriculum that go beyond standards and assessments.

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Topics: STEM, interactive science, STEM schools

One Child Shares His Passion for STEM and Life

Nov 17, 2017 by Maryellen deLacy

Yassine is a KnowAtom student recently promoted to 6th grade in the urban schools of Lynn, Massachusetts. As winner of the Dr. George Laubner Award, he recently shared an essay about his life and STEM dreams at a 5th-grade promotion ceremony.

We are happy to be a part of inspiring and empowering all students who wish to follow their dreams.  As educators we are inspired by his wisdom, which helps us focus on what matters: teaching to transform lives.

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Topics: STEM

Where do NGSS and ELA Standards Intersect?

Nov 16, 2017 by Maryellen deLacy

The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy are the next generation of K–12 literacy standards.

In grades 6-12, Common Core State Standards require teachers of history/social studies, science, and technical subjects to use their content area expertise to help students and ELA teachers meet the particular challenges of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in their respective fields.

For this reason, there are a number of crossovers between the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core ELA standards.

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards

Oregon to Align Science Testing in Next Generation OAKS

Jun 19, 2016 by Maryellen deLacy

“Amid all the political controversy surrounding the Common Core standards and the arrival of the Smarter Balanced test in Oregon last year, you’d be excused if you missed the news that the state also has new science standards and plans to roll out a new science test in 2018,” begins a May 2016 article in The Bulletin.

Little fanfare notwithstanding, this move could make a big impact on the future of science education in Oregon. The Oregon Science Standards, which in the last few years have been switched over to reflect the Next Generation Science Standards, used to be measured by the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, or OAKS testing.

As of 2018, that will no longer be the case. So why the delay in the timeline? 

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Topics: STEM, Oregon, OAKS

Next Generation of Misinformation Connect Missouri Blogger & California Science Parent

Jun 12, 2016 by Maryellen deLacy

The digital age, unfortunately, sometimes just makes misinformation easier. With the implementation of the new Next Generation Science Standards in many states, angry parents and opponents are calling for a return to old ways. They base these saber-rattling demands on assertions that the NGSS standards are based not on science or reality, but rather on a backward mode of thinking that will lead to a “lost generation of graduates,” as one angry parent put it.

His rant, posted on the Missouri Education Watchdog blog, kicks off with the statement, “Common Core Standards are part of a larger education reform package that aims to privatize public education and lower our California standards in the name of short term profits and long term investments by short changing our children of an education and catching these remedial students later on at the college level or when they drop out of high school.” 

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards, Curriculum, Missouri, state-level standards

Embracing Vermont's New Science Standards

Jun 5, 2016 by Maryellen deLacy

In an opinion piece written for the Burlington Free Press, science department chair and environmental science and chemistry teacher Jennifer Stainton argued that educators in the state of Vermont have embraced the new science standards wholeheartedly, and are already changing their teaching practices to account for these new standards. 

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards, state-level standards

Illinois Science Educators Recognize Need for New Unified Curriculum

Jun 3, 2016 by Maryellen deLacy



Illinois adopted the Next Generation Science Standards in February of 2014 and as such was one of the first states to do so. Illinois has been committed to these standards from the beginning, acting as a Lead State Partner to help these standards into being and therefore provide a new, unified approach to science throughout the state. 

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards, state-level standards

Classrooms Prepare to Align with New Connecticut Science Standards

May 26, 2016 by Maryellen deLacy

In adopting the Next Generation Science Standards, Connecticut (along with Michigan) officially brought the fraction of states who had done so up to one-third. The new Connecticut Science Standards will align with the Connecticut Common Core in Math and ELA, and will pave the way to teach students in classrooms all over the state how to think as scientists and engineers.

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards, state-level standards

DC First in the Nation Testing Next Generation Science Classroom

May 25, 2016 by Maryellen deLacy

Not only is Washington DC one of the frontrunners in adopting the Next Generation Science Standards and transitioning the American science curriculum to one more based on practical applications of science and engineering. It will also be the first to adopt a new statewide assessment based on those standards. 

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards, state-level standards

Resources for Alignment: Primary Evaluation of Essential Criteria (PEEC) and EQuIP Rubric

Mar 23, 2016 by Maryellen deLacy

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) mark an innovation in science and engineering instruction. By extension, this means that there needs to be an innovation in classroom resources as well, to stay aligned to NGSS.  

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Topics: EQuIP, Evaluating Curriculum

New Approaches in STEM Instruction Change What Students Learn

Sep 3, 2015 by Maryellen deLacy

Understanding the Next Generation Science Standards means realizing that the NGSS is not just about changing how we teach. In fact, the primary goal is to change teaching, altering practices and processes to give students a more active role in learning – creating an environment in which they are not merely observing and absorbing new concepts, but engaging and interacting with them.

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Topics: STEM

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