September 2016 – Vol. 29 No. 1

Kindergarten Teachers Take On the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

by Karal S. Blankenship and Claudia Mitchell

Science in Kindergarten is no different than teaching science in other grades. Students come to us full of wonder, resulting in endless questions. We strive to provide opportunities for our students to become active listeners, use critical thinking skills, to observe, and to make sense of the work around them. This provides our students the chance to develop a deep appreciation for science. This is nuts and bolts of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Learn More…

Second Grade Seed Dispersal Engineers!

by Nila Arensberg, Kristi Drake, Amanda Cloutier, and Pete A’Hearn

It’s time for the big test! Which seeds will stick to the animal’s fur?

It’s time for the big test! Which seeds will stick to the animal’s fur?

Second graders had worked hard on their engineering designs to make a lima bean that would be transported by sticking to an animal’s fur. The used wires, tape, Play-Doh©, staples, paperclips, foil, and paper to make their seed dispersal attachments.

This was the highlight of a lesson designed and taught by a team of second-grade teachers in Palm Springs Unified School District as part of the California Next Generation Science Standards K-8 Early Implementation Initiative. Our team used a lesson study process, designed by the K-12 Alliance, called a Teacher Learning Collaborative (TLC). As a team, we know that in elementary school, and especially early elementary, we need to find the strong connections between science and the Common Core standards. We set out to design an engaging lesson that would teach science and provide students with opportunities to engage in speaking and listening, writing, and reading. Learn More…

Science Literacy and Civic Engagement Go Hand in Hand

by Emily Schoenfelder, Martin Smith, Steven M. Worker, Andrea Ambrose, Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty, and Kelley M. Brian 

Introduction

Science is an integral part of the most complex social and political issues of our time. Concerns such as global warming, food and water security, and medical research show that science must be a driving force in addressing the environmental, economic, and social problems of our society. As such, members of this society must be prepared with sufficient scientific literacy to responsibly engage with such issues (Committee on Prospering in the Global Economy, 2007). Today’s youth are in need of tools, experience, and scientific knowledge to face these challenges. While classroom education provides core knowledge, informal science programs may be well-placed to help make the connections between science and civic engagement (Fenichel & Schweingruber, 2010) Learn More…

NSTA Is Coming to Los Angeles!

by Jessica Sawko

With the 2016 California Science Education Conference now in our rear view, CSTA has begun to look towards the next major science education event scheduled to take place in our fine state – the National Science Teachers Association’s National Conference on Science Education! This incredible event is expected to draw more than 10,000 science educators from all over the country to the Los Angeles Convention Center March 30-April 2, 2017. Luckily for us here in California, this incredible event right here in our great state, and CSTA members are eligible to register for the conference at member rates! For more information and to register today, visit http://www.nsta.org/conferences/national.aspx. Learn More…

Modeling Is Awesome

by Peter A’Hearn

A few years ago a team of us was teaching an astronomy lesson: “What causes night and day?” Kids watched a  time-lapse of the sky over the course of several days. Then we asked the question. We gave the kids a few moments to discuss with a partner and it was obvious that they all had the same answer, “The Earth turns!”

Seems like they already understand, time to move on to the next lesson, right?

To make sure, we gave a group of students a choice of balls and lights and asked them to come up with a way to explain night and day more fully. As groups began to demonstrate their understanding, the confusion quickly became very clear. Learn More…

Science Education: An Ecosystem Approach

by Laura O’Dell

Though the organisms may claim our prime interest, when we are trying to think fundamentally, we cannot separate them from their special environments, with which they form one physical system.  –Arthur Tansley

As science teachers, our prime interest is teaching, guiding, and mentoring students in making sense of scientific phenomena. In 1935, Arthur Tansley, pioneer of the emerging science of ecology, described how environments function as complex systems comprised of biotic and abiotic factors. In coining the term “ecosystem”, Tansley gave a name to the interconnectedness of living things and their relationship to environmental factors. Learn More…

2017 CSTA Conference Call for Proposals

CSTA is pleased to announce that we are now accepting proposals for 90-minute workshops and three- and six-hour short courses for the 2017 California Science Education Conference. Workshops and short courses make up the bulk of the content and professional learning opportunities available at the conference. In recognition of their contribution, members who present a workshop or short course receive 50% off of their registration fees. For more information regarding proposals, and to submit one today, follow the links below.

Short Course Proposal Deadline: February 6, 2017

Workshop Proposal Deadline: March 20, 2017 Learn More…

2016 CSTA Conference Sees Largest Attendance in 10 Years!

by Jessica Sawko

Workshop Hands-On

Teachers engaging in hands-on learning during a workshop on Friday, October 21, 2016 at the 2016 California Science Education Conference. The conference offered more than 200 workshops over the three-days of the event.

Last month, more than 2,100 science educators convened at the Palm Springs Convention Center for three days of professional learning and networking. The halls buzzed with excitement, the exhibit hall traffic ebbed and flowed like the tides of an ocean, and workshop rooms often filled to capacity with standing room only. CSTA thanks the many volunteers, presenters, exhibitors, and sponsors who helped make this year’s conference a success.

Two of the most popular presentations at the conference included presentations on the new Science Curriculum Framework (which ended up being presented twice due to an error in printing in the program book!) and the Science Assessment Update workshop presented by CDE and ETS. Handouts for both of these presentations are available via the conference app. Learn More…

What Might Surprise You About CSTA?

by Lisa Hegdahl

While attending a recent CA-NGSS Rollout Symposium, I had the opportunity to talk to many science educator colleagues from the Northern California area.  During one such conversation, a participant mentioned that the information I was sharing about CSTA was ‘news’ to him.  It got me wondering what people don’t know about the California Science Teachers Association.

What does CSTA do besides host the annual California Science Education Conference? Learn More…

Call for Nominations for the 2017-2019 CSTA Board of Directors

nominationformIt’s that time of year when CSTA is looking for dedicated and qualified persons to fill the upcoming vacancies on its Board of Directors. This opportunity allows you to help shape the policy and determine the path that the Board will take in the new year. There are time and energy commitments, but that is far outweighed by the personal satisfaction of knowing that you are an integral part of an outstanding professional educational organization, dedicated to the support and guidance of California’s science teachers. You will also have the opportunity to help CSTA review and support legislation that benefits good science teaching and teachers.

Right now is an exciting time to be involved at the state level in the California Science Teachers Association. The CSTA Board of Directors is currently involved in implementing the Next Generations Science Standards and its strategic plan. If you are interested in serving on the CSTA Board of Directors, now is the time to submit your name for consideration. Learn More…

CDE Now Recruiting for Health Science Framework

Do you want to have a voice in health education in California public schools? Consider applying to serve on the Health Education Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee (CFCC), which will work closely with the framework writing team to create a new framework for health education. The new framework will be based on the state-adopted health education content standards and reflect both current research and new state laws.

Applicants must be submitted by 3 p.m. on December 15, 2016. More information about the Health Education Framework revision and the CFCC application is available on the CDE Health Education Curriculum Frameworks Web page at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/he/cf/. Learn More…

Darwin Day Road Show

The BEACON Center and the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE) want to bring
evolution to YOUR school or community! Applications from host teachers for the
2017 Roadshow are now being accepted and are due DECEMBER 9, 2016.

WHAT IS THE ROADSHOW?
To celebrate Charles Darwin’s birthday each year, we send teams of scientists and educators on the road to bring evolutionary science to schools, museums and town halls in communities across the USA. We are particularly interested in reaching out to small, often rural communities that may not otherwise have a Darwin Day celebration. Learn More…

CSTA Region 1 – What’s New?

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

As a county office Educational Services Director I get to work with many districts, teachers and site leaders on a variety topics, including science. I have the good fortune to be embarking on a new project as part of a team formed by the California State University, Chico – Project ESTEEM.

CSU Chico recruited teams of elementary teachers and their principals to participate in Project ESTEEM, Elementary Science Teachers, Educating, Elevating, and Meliorating; a two-year professional learning grant secured last winter by the University. Learn More…

Upcoming Events

Dec
6
Tue
2016
8:00 am #ProjectPhenomena @ San Diego County Office of Education
#ProjectPhenomena @ San Diego County Office of Education
Dec 6 @ 8:00 am – Dec 7 @ 3:00 pm
A two-day work group that comes together to identify engaging phenomena which anchors NGSS instruction. Participants explore different phenomena, outline connections to standards, and develop instructional resources to support three-dimensional teaching, learning, and assessment.
Dec
7
Wed
2016
8:30 am NGSS Administrator Training Year... @ San Joaquin County Office of Education Wentworth Education Center
NGSS Administrator Training Year... @ San Joaquin County Office of Education Wentworth Education Center
Dec 7 @ 8:30 am – 2:30 pm
This is the first of two offerings for Adminstrators in our NGSS Phase 3 Course in the 16/17 fiscal year. Continue to expand your administrative toolbag related to the integration of the Next Generation Science[...]
Dec
12
Mon
2016
8:00 am Next Generation Science Standard... @ Ventura County Office of Education Conference & Educational Center
Next Generation Science Standard... @ Ventura County Office of Education Conference & Educational Center
Dec 12 @ 8:00 am – Dec 13 @ 4:30 pm
Rollout #3 Agenda Day 1  7:30 – 8:00 Registering and Continental Breakfast 8:00 – 8:30 Plenary Session, Welcome, and Set-up for the 2 Days 8:30-9:15 CA NGSS Assessment Update 9:15-9:30 Environmental Principles and Concepts 9:45-12:15[...]
Dec
13
Tue
2016
8:00 am Intro to NGSS and 3-D Learning (... @ San Diego County Office of Education
Intro to NGSS and 3-D Learning (... @ San Diego County Office of Education
Dec 13 @ 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Implementation Stage 1 A one-day experience where teachers learn about the vision, goals, and instructional shifts of NGSS. They explore grade level standards and are introduced to the CA Science Framework that guides NGSS curriculum,[...]
Dec
14
Wed
2016
9:00 am Science Leadership & Professiona... @ San Diego County Office of Education, Room 306
Science Leadership & Professiona... @ San Diego County Office of Education, Room 306
Dec 14 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
On-going network designed to bring leaders of science reform and professional development together with the goal of building capacity of all stakeholders to effectively implement the Next Generation Science Standards in the region
Jan
17
Tue
2017
8:00 am Exploring Middle School NGSS Cou... @ San Diego County Office of Education, Room 306
Exploring Middle School NGSS Cou... @ San Diego County Office of Education, Room 306
Jan 17 @ 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
A one-day exploration of the different course models outlined in the CA Science Framework (Preferred Integrated and Discipline Specific). Participants will analyze each model and discuss implications for teaching and learning.
Jan
19
Thu
2017
8:00 am Teaching Literacy Through NGSS @ San Diego County Office of Education
Teaching Literacy Through NGSS @ San Diego County Office of Education
Jan 19 @ 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
A one-day experience where K-5 teachers identify and explore connections between NGSS and the CA Literacy Standards, identify strategies to build content literacy in science, and develop a plan to integrate science and literacy in[...]
8:00 am Teaching Literacy Throug​h NGSS @ San Diego County Office of Education
Teaching Literacy Throug​h NGSS @ San Diego County Office of Education
Jan 19 @ 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Implementation Stage 1, 2, 3 A three-day experience where teachers look in-depth at the instructional shifts and dimensions of NGSS. They explore the performance expectations, work collaboratively with others to develop conceptual storylines, and begin[...]
Feb
4
Sat
2017
9:00 am Introduction to the NGSS (grades... @ California Academy of Sciences
Introduction to the NGSS (grades... @ California Academy of Sciences
Feb 4 @ 9:00 am – 3:30 pm
Introduction to the NGSS (grades K - 12) @ California Academy of Sciences | San Francisco | California | United States
Demystify the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in this beginner’s-level workshop. Register now How will science education be transformed by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)? Join us to explore the principles underlying the NGSS.[...]
Feb
7
Tue
2017
9:00 am Science Leadership & Professiona... @ San Diego County Office of Education, Room 306
Science Leadership & Professiona... @ San Diego County Office of Education, Room 306
Feb 7 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
On-going network designed to bring leaders of science reform and professional development together with the goal of building capacity of all stakeholders to effectively implement the Next Generation Science Standards in the region
Feb
8
Wed
2017
4:00 pm Get Techie with Weebly @ Sacramento County Office of Education, Computer Lab
Get Techie with Weebly @ Sacramento County Office of Education, Computer Lab
Feb 8 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Plan, design, and publish your own free website or blog for your classroom. Building a site has never been easier with Weebly. Learn more about this website builder to create powerful, professional websites without any[...]
Feb
22
Wed
2017
4:00 pm Get Techie with Google @ Sacramento County Office of Education, Computer Lab
Get Techie with Google @ Sacramento County Office of Education, Computer Lab
Feb 22 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
In this course, you will learn about Google Drive and how to use: • Google Docs to create and format text documents and collaborate with other people in real time. • Google Forms to make[...]
Mar
8
Wed
2017
4:00 pm Get Techie with Screencasting @ Sacramento County Office of Education, Computer Lab
Get Techie with Screencasting @ Sacramento County Office of Education, Computer Lab
Mar 8 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Learn how to create screen recordings and videos to share information with your students. You will learn how to screencast using Jing and Screencast-O-Matic
Mar
10
Fri
2017
8:00 am NGSS Leadership Conference 2017 @ Liberty Station Conference Center
NGSS Leadership Conference 2017 @ Liberty Station Conference Center
Mar 10 @ 8:00 am – 3:30 pm
The NGSS Leadership Conference brings district teams together with California and national leaders in science education to support the transition and implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards. Teams receive the most current information on[...]
Mar
24
Fri
2017
all-day AEOE Statewide Spring Conference... @ YMCA Camp Jones Gulch - La Honda, CA
AEOE Statewide Spring Conference... @ YMCA Camp Jones Gulch - La Honda, CA
Mar 24 – Mar 26 all-day
Keynote Speaker: John Muir Laws *Registration includes 60+ workshops, 5 meals, and lodging. Day rates also available. *Entertainment, exhibitors, job fair, and networking too! *Many workshops aligned with Next Generation Science Standards as well as[...]
Apr
6
Thu
2017
8:30 am CA Science Framework Integrated ... @ Ventura County Office of Education
CA Science Framework Integrated ... @ Ventura County Office of Education
Apr 6 @ 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
What does it mean to be integrated in middle school? Come spend a day with two of the writers of the California Science Framework and learn how to develop a coherent, integrated middle school Next[...]

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