Donald Boonstra

I have forty-three years of experience as an educator. I have been a teacher, Math and Science Department Chair, Curriculum Coordinator, Principal, NASA Education Specialist, Coordinator of the NASA Student Observation Network, and Lead for Professional Development and Thematic approaches for NASA Planetary Science Education Forum. My emphasis has been on development of innovative programs and curriculum. In the process I have kept current with education research, curriculum innovation and management techniques. I have designed innumerable courses to include more innovative methodology, especially the use of computers for data acquisition and manipulation and communication.




sySTEMec LLC, Systemic STEM Education Consulting

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Recent Posts by Donald

Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:40 PM in Physics Songs
Look for Physics Pholk Songs by David and Ginger Hildebrand. I have the CD and they have 14 physics songs - not rap for sure. Entertaining and pretty accurate. You may be able to download and not need a CD.

Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:33 PM in Difficult topics in physics
Eohan, It is difficult to know what you are looking for based on your very brief request. This is a huge topic. So huge, in fact, that there is a whole research field on it that has been in operation for several decades. Search on Physics Education Research and look for names like Aaron, McDermott, Laws, Thornton, Sokoloff, Redish. You will find tons of research. This is a great place to loo...

Tue May 30, 2017 4:52 PM in Astrobiology as a Capstone Course
I am wondering if anyone uses astrobiology as a Capstone Course in High School. I have been working with people at NASA Astrobiology Institute  to develop learning progressions in astrobiology that start with the Seven Big Questions in Astrobiology that form the Astrobiology Strategy  and the Astrobiology Primer and work backward to the appropriate NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas. It became reall...

Recent Reviews by Donald

Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:26 PM
5 Valuable for understanding Framework
This article unpacks the Second Dimension, Crosscutting Concepts, of the Framework. The author does a great job of showing that, while the crosscutting concepts are similar to efforts in NSES and Benchmarks, the new configuration is more robust and better organized than past efforts. A must-read.

Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:21 PM
5 Another essential guide for the Framework
This article is the fourth in the series of articles written for all NSTA journals that help us understand the new Framework better. As were the other articles this is another must-read for anyone trying to get a step ahead of the Next Gen Science Standards.

Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:18 PM
5 Valuable Resources for Framework
The author, Cary Sneider, was Design Team Lead for the engineering part of the Framework and has valuable insights to help teachers understand how to implement this more robust requirement for the inclusion of engineering. Sneider explains the 'why', but more importantly the 'how' for incorporating more engineering practices without having to completely re-write our curriculum.

Recent Public Collections by Donald

NGSS Resources for SMD PD

5 Resources

This collection of NSTA Learning Center resources has been create to provide background reading for our professional learning for using NGSS.


Scientific and Engineering Practices in K–12 Classrooms
Type: Journal Article
Grade: Middle School

Earth, Sun, Moon Short Course 2011

21 Resources

These resources have been used in conjunction with the Earth, Sun, and Moon Short Course for the summer of 2011. These resources are designed to help teachers deepen their knowledge and have resources to aid in teaching these concepts.

Keys to Inquiry
Type: User uploaded resource

Learning About Earths Shape and Gravity A Guide for Teachers.pdf
Type: User uploaded resource