78 posts

Uninvited: NY Invasive Species Documentary

A new documentary called “Uninvited: The Spread of Invasive Species” came out in November 2021. It was produced by the NYS Department of Conservation (DEC) and tells the story of invasive species in NYS. This compelling documentary describes the impact that invasive species have on the state, and also provides ways for people to combat this persistent problem.

It runs about 52 minutes, and can be found along with educational resources at the WXXI website at Invasive Species Education Resources | WXXI, or on YouTube (Scroll down for resources and information)


NY DEC Invasive Species Curriculum
Curriculum provided by the NYS DEC for MS and HS students.

NY Invasive Species Research Institute
Housed at Cornell University, this research institute coordinates invasive species research to help prevent and manage the impact of invasive species in New York State.

NY iMapInvasives
NY iMapInvasives is an online, collaborative, GIS-based database and mapping tool that serves as the official invasive species database for New York State.

NY DEC Nuisance & Invasive Species
Information from the NYDEC on nuisance & invasive species

NY Invasive Species Information
NY Invasive Species Information Clearinghouse

US Dept of Agriculture National Invasive Species Information Center
Provides selected New York resources from agencies and organizations with an interest in the prevention, control, or eradication of invasive species.

NYS Library 2017 Exhibit Invasive Species
Highlights resources available in their collection.


Middle School Life Science and Earth Science

MS-LS2-4: Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.

MS-LS2-5: Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and protecting ecosystem stability.

MS-ESS3-3: Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.

High School Life Sciences

HS-LS2-2: Use mathematical representations to support and revise explanations based on evidence about factors affecting biodiversity and populations in ecosystems of different scales.

HS-LS2-7: Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.

HS-LS4-5: Evaluate the evidence supporting claims that changes in environmental conditions may result in: (1) increases in the number of individuals of some species, (2) the emergence of new species over time, and (3) the extinction of other species.

Rochester Teen Film Festival


WXXI Public Broadcasting Council and the Little Theatre are proud to announce and invite entries for the 2019 Rochester Teen Film Festival, a collaborative, juried media competition for youth in the Rochester region.

Complete information on the festival can be found here: 

ENTRIES DUE: June 12, 2020.

Submissions for This Year Will Be Active Soon.



WXXI Public Broadcasting Council and the Little Theatre are proud to sponsor the 2020 Rochester Teen Film Festival, a collaborative, juried media competition for youth (13-18 years old) in the Rochester region.

The festival is set for Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 5:30 p.m

The finalists’ films will be shown at the Little Theatre in downtown Rochester. Printable Poster -Download Here.  Ticket information will be available closer to August.


  • Films and videos are created by high school teens
  • All genres are welcome
  • Videos must be appropriate for school-based audiences
  • Videos cannot exceed 10 minutes

The purpose of the festival is to honor the work of urban, suburban and rural teen filmmakers and give young people an authentic opportunity to participate in a real film festival. All submissions are judged by a jury and finalists have been elected to have their films shown at the Little Theatre.

This year, young filmmakers will again have a chance to earn the Philip Seymour Hoffman Award, which honors the life and legacy of the late Academy Award-winning actor and Fairport, N.Y. native. The annual award is given to the teen whose film is chosen by the judges as “Best of Fest” and was established in association with the Hoffman family.

Featured Resources: Instructional Media

Monroe One BOCES offers educators in districts that participate in our Multimedia service the SAFARI Montage instructional video platform, and Learn360 videos.

To get there, go to: and log in with your Active Directory account (what you would normally use to log in to your school computer)

To help you think through how to use video in your classroom, read this Eduptopia article from March of last year about using video in the classroom: It lays out very clear tips for using video in your classroom (summarized below).

It’s important to have a clear purpose for using a film, documentary or news clip. Make sure you’re not just assigning a video to use up time.

Be purposeful when using video, such as:

  • Building background knowledge on a topic. Video is great for ELL students because they can pick up information using visual cues.
  • Enriching a text or text excerpt. Video can help students visualize a place, event or person.
  • Deepening or solidifying student learning. Giving students information in multiple modalities can help students learn more thoroughly.

Tips for using video:

  • Be selective. Pick the most dynamic and pertinent clips to illustrate your point. Use the chapters feature in SAFARI Montage
  • Provide a mission. “As you watch, pay attention to…” Setting a goal will keep students attentive.
  • Pause to ponder (and write)
  • Turn on closed captioning. Again, listening, while reading and using video images for visual clues are great multimodal ways for students to take in information.

Media Literacy Project Grant

Do you have an idea for promoting media literacy in your classroom, but don’t have the cash to implement it?

Don’t fret! Help is here!

The New York State Educational Media/Technology Association provides up to two annual Media Literacy Project Grants in the amount of $1,250.

Media Literacy is defined as the ability to comprehend, design, and produce media. It includes critical thinking skills used to evaluate and analyze information in a variety of formats. Media Literacy is essential to be able to distinguish between fact and fiction.

The purposes of the grant are to:

  • Support educators who provide resources and services that correlate to state and national learning standards for instructional excellence promoting media literacy.

  • To provide funds for research projects or demonstration projects that can be replicated in other areas across the state and nation.

Examples include:

  • A film literacy course held after school

  • Learning about the effective creation and use of media in student work

  • Using video effectively in your lesson plans

Eligible educators must work in a district that participates in the media service at a BOCES or Big 5 that is an EMTA member.

For the application, click here: GRANT APPLICATION (WORD) or here: GRANT APPLICATION (PDF)

To see presentations on past projects, click here: EMTA WEBSITE-GRANT PAGE

A Cool Video Montage!

SAFARI Montage is your guide to BOCES educational video resources!

Monroe One BOCES Multimedia service has a LOT of video resources FREE for Multimedia Service Members to use. During this hour-long workshop, we’ll learn how to access these videos, use them with classes, and take a look at our newest content.

This is for teachers and librarians in districts that participate in the Monroe One Multimedia Service.

Join us Tuesday, March 24th (3:30 pm – 4:30 pm)

Register here:


STEM Hub Awards

Do you have an exemplary STEM program for youth in your school? Do you know of a teacher, librarian, or entire school program that you would like to see recognized? The Finger Lakes STEM Hub is now accepting applications for the 2020 STEM Program Awards!

Who is Eligible? Classrooms, schools, districts, and afterschool programs that incorporate STEM education in their curriculum, within the Finger Lakes STEM Hub’s nine-county service area: Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates Counties. Past participants are invited to apply with a different program.

How to Apply? Complete the application on the Finger Lakes STEM Hub website: Award categories are based on the NYS STEM Quality Rubric, also found on our website, and applicants self-select their program’s level of achievement in each of the 9 categories, highlighting what their program does best! Applications must be received by 5pm March 17, 2020.

When is the STEM Program Awards Event? The awards dinner reception is Wednesday, May 13th from 5-8 pm at the Rochester Museum and Science Center’s Riedman Gallery.

Is There a Cost to Apply or Attend? There is no cost to apply for this recognition event. Programs selected for the 2020 STEM Program Awards will be notified by the end of March. Honorees receive one complimentary ticket for the dinner reception. Additional tickets can be purchased on through the Finger Lakes STEM Hub website in April.

If you, or someone you know, is inspiring kids through STEM education, please apply! For questions or to learn more, please visit the Finger Lakes STEM Hub’s 2020 STEM Program Awards webpage:

Download (PDF, 754KB)

New Learn360 Titles

Learn360 recently added almost 700 titles to its collection. These titles are newly embedded into our SAFARI Montage platform.

We’ve created some playlists to help you better navigate these titles:

Featured Playlists:

United News (Collection of newsreel footage from the 1940’s) – Grades 6-adult

Universal Newsreels (Collection of newsreel footage from the 1930’s) – Grades 9-12

Prelinger Archives (Collection of newsreel footage from 1920’s-1940s, covering topics such as Charles Lindbergh’s Flight, the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, etc.) – Grades 9-12

The WPA Film Library (Footage from the 1920’s – 1940’s) – Grades 9-12

Looks International (Footage from the 1920’s – 1940’s) – Grades 9-12

Ferguson’s Career Tips – Grades 9-12

Highlights for Children (Animated Stories from highlights) – Grades PreK – K



90-Second Newbery Film Festival Recap

The NINTH Annual 90-Second Newbery Film Festival was in Rochester on Saturday for it’s premiere screening at the Rochester Museum and Science Center. At least 21 young filmmakers were in attendance. James Kennedy (author of The Order of Odd Fish) hosted with Bruce Coville (author of you can click here because there are too many books to list).  Over 350 people attended the premiere.

The 90-Second Newbery is a Film Festival where students of all ages create short (90-seconds or less) films that re-tell a Newbery winning or Newbery honor book. In order to accomplish this, students must be able to boil down major plot points to the most important facets of a book. 90-seconds is not a lot of time! It seems like a very difficult thing to do. And yet, students all over the country are turning out thoughtful, witty, funny, poignant retellings each year.

If you haven’t checked this film festival out yet, please see James’ very informative blog. This link takes you to his wrap up of this year’s Rochester festival, where you can view some of the featured videos:

Get your students started on this incredibly fun, creative project for next year’s festival!

Library of Congress Surplus Books Program

Did you know that the Library of Congress gives away its surplus books to libraries around the country? It does!

Yes, there are some caveats to the program, but what a cool idea! Here’s the long and short of it:

  • These surplus books are donated for collection development purposes, not to be sold for raising funds for the library.
  • The receiving library has to be a full-time, tax-supported or nonprofit educational institution: school, school system, college, university, museum or public library.
  • Participating organizations must select materials in-person at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.
  • Receiving libraries are responsible for making arrangements and payment for the shipping of the selected materials.

If you are interested, you can find more information and application instructions at the Library of Congress website: