Donald Boonstra

I have forty-nine 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. I currently have my own consulting business, sySTEMec LLC - systemic STEM education consulting.




sySTEMec LLC, Systemic STEM Education Consulting

Recent Posts by Donald

Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:57 PM in Teaching the Concept of Floating and Sinking to Younger Students
Diana, I used the Elementary Science Study (ESS) SInk or Float many years ago. It was for the younger grades and engaged students in creating and testing their own explanations for sinking and floating. Delta Education now handles most ESS activities, including Sink or Float. I would start by showing an object sink and then show the same object floating by using a "boat". That is your phenomen...

Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:55 PM in 5E Living and Nonliving
Kayla, having them Extend/Elaobrate their understanding of that living/non-living concept by doing the "Is It Alive?" lesson about space exploration might work. You can find the lesson on the Mars Ed site    

Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:29 PM in Using Primary Literature (science journal articles) in the High School classroom
I am posting on behalf of a colleague who has been working with AAAS on making science journal articles more accessible for high school classroom use.   Dear Colleagues,   Our research lab is collecting data on the use (or lack of use) of primary scientific literature in high school classrooms.  Anonymous data collected through this survey will help us to develop educator guides and p...

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

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