Teachers Engaged in Science Leadership Activities/NGSX Michigan

Program Type

Curriculum/Instructional Materials
Teacher Development/Training
Hands on/Project-Based
College Readiness

Target Audience

All Students


Black/African American


Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander

American Indian/Alaskan Native

English Language Learner

Low Socio-Economic Status

Teachers/Educational Leaders




Pre-K - 5
Grades 6 - 8
Grades 9 - 12

 Promising link

Program Impact

TESLA/NGSX meets its primary goal of reducing achievement gaps through two paths:1) Creation of innovative and framework-aligned professional learning experiences to develop science teaching capacity within the K-12 teaching community2)  K-12 science education facilitators’ participation in the NGSX, a face-to-face learning environment in which the participants in a study group draw on an on-line system that poses tasks for each session and provides rich cases, supportive materials, and scaffolding tools to guide the work. TESLA/NGSX’s focus on the development of PLCs encompasses broad constituencies from higher education and formal and informal science education to provide coherent learning and teaching expectations with a focus on STEM learning experiences for all Michigan students.


Program Overview

TESLA/NGSX targets all science teachers K-12 as well as providing accessible resources available to science teachers engaged in out-of-school-time activities.  NGSX is a prime source of professional learning for all science teachers across Michigan. The 4 or 5 day professional learning sequence challenges science teachers to rethink their classroom practice. It has been shown to be highly-effective at supporting teachers as they learn to teach toward the new Michigan Science Standards. 

To provide maximum support for the PLC structure of NGSX, a state grant to the MMSCN has been used to pay the per teacher fee for the 18-19 school year. Schools are responsible for released time for teachers, materials, and support of two facilitators. 

NGSX Study Group PLCs are happening across Michigan and can be used to support teachers in individual districts. Over 100 prepared facilitators are part of the Michigan facilitator cadre’. The MMSCN can help create a study group in your district or region by leveraging the capacity built through project TESLA over the last several years. 

The Next Generation Science Exemplar System (NGSX) for professional development for science educators is composed of multiple learning pathways.  Using a blended model of learning, it combines face to face work in a study group while drawing on web-based resources. This model enables study group participants to engage in and analyze 3D science learning which draws on the three primary dimensions of the National Research Council’s Framework for K- Science Education (NRC Framework) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and which contains the core ideas of science, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts.  NGSX provides participants with guided practice in adapting curricular materials to reflect designated NGSS-based student performance expectations, and with ways of taking this learning back to their own classrooms.  

How To Get Involved

To schedule a study group in your region, reach out to the MMSCN representative or contact Mary Starr to find a facilitator in your area.

Funders and Partners

Both experienced and novice teachers need to be prepared for changes to science teaching. TESLA/NGSX focuses on inservice and preservice teachers to sustain a coherent prepared science teacher pipeline, which requires the participation of institutions responsible for teacher preparation. To this end, the Network actively shares PLC resources with teacher preparation programs, introducing both the need for the materials and the materials themselves to higher education faculty from schools of education as well as science departments through formal meetings which include discussion and sharing.  Participating in this collaboration are TESLA/NGSX sites which reside at universities (Northern Michigan University, Central Michigan University, Saginaw Valley State University, Grand Valley State University) and others as well, including University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, University of Michigan-Dearborn, Oakland University, Wayne State University, and Eastern Michigan University in southeast Michigan, University of Michigan-Flint and Michigan State University in central Michigan, and Michigan Technological University and Lake Superior State University in the Upper Peninsula. NSTA


Mary Starr 

Executive Director, MMSCN


(734) 999-0027



Design Principles

The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against the Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.

  • Accomplished
  • Developing
  • Undeveloped

Overarching Principles

  • Need

    Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.

  • Evaluation

    Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.

  • Sustainability

    Ensure work is sustainable.

  • Replication and Scalability

    Demonstrate replicability and scalability.

  • Partnerships

    Create high impact partnerships

  • Capacity

    Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.

STEM Principles

  • Challenging and Relevant Content

    Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience

  • STEM Practices

    Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.

  • Inspiration

    Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.

  • Under-Represented Groups

    Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.