January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

Laying the Foundation: Our NGSS Journey of Getting Elementary School Students Ready for Middle School

by Kim Chanda, Janel Poon, and Richard Yang

Providing quality science instruction at the elementary level is an endeavor for many general education teachers. Although intimidating, science instruction in elementary school allows students to develop skills that will enable them to compete in an increasingly scientific and technological society. As California NGSS K-8 early Implementation Initiative Teacher Leaders for Aspire Public Schools, a charter organization that focuses on providing education for underserved students in low-income neighborhoods, Richard Yang and Kim Chanda are elementary science specialists, and Janel Poon is a 6th-grade middle school science teacher. Learn More…

Read and Talk to Construct Science Knowledge

by Maralee Thorburn and Debra Schneider

Teachers in Tracy Unified School District, a CA NGSS Early Implementation Initiative district, recently participated in a lesson study where they planned a lesson to explore the behavior of waves in an 8th grade classroom, and had the opportunity to teach and debrief a portion of the lesson together.  They agreed to focus on reading and talk strategies to increase students’ learning; this was a challenge for teachers who were comfortable teaching science but not as comfortable in supporting ELA literacy standards. Teachers were pleased to discover that these strategies gave students time to think, reflect, and cement their learning. The result was rich, deep discussions as well as evidence of content knowledge retention weeks later. 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…

Last Call…. Please Consider Running for the Board of Directors!

by Laura Henriques

It’s that time of year again when we ask our members to consider nominating themselves (or a peer) to serve on the CSTA Board of Directors. It’s an important task and not to be taken lightly, but it is rewarding, interesting, and if you are a member in good standing, it’s something you are eligible to do.

CSTA Board of Directors take feedback from our members and help move the organization forward. Board members serve for two years (with the opportunity to run for a second two-year term). If elected you would attend quarterly board meetings (virtual meetings and in-person meetings), serve on CSTA committees and provide input to the organization. You get to work with other committed science educators to promote high quality science education in California. As a board member you will be informed of legislative issues, learn about opportunities to serve, and be on the forefront of policies associated with science education. Learn More…

2017 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

The volunteer/interpreter and judge sign up for the 2017 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair are live online.

Volunteer/Interpreter registration website is live. We have volunteer jobs open starting Thurs, May 11 through Fri, May 19. The greatest need for interpreters is Wed, May 17. https://student.societyforscience.org/volunteers. Learn More…

VIP Experience at NSTA National Conference – You Could Be a Winner!

Weir-Header

Huge fan of The Martian?!
Space Geek?
Science Fanatic?
Physics and Astronomy Lover?

You’ll be in good company when you’re at the NSTA National Conference listening to keynote speaker, Andy Weir. Here are some highlighted events surrounding Andy and The Martian and there will be much more happening in the Exhibit Hall like the Cargo Drop Challenge (you’ll be able to recreate a scene from the book by designing your own landing mechanism to drop supplies to a landing area!). Learn More…

NGSS Rollout #4 Dates Announced – Registration Opens in 2017

The next iteration of the NGSS Rollout series of professional learning events written and produced by a collaboration between the California Department of Education, California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, California Science Project, K-12 Alliance, and California Science Teachers Association will launch in May 2017 and will focus primarily on the new Science Curriculum Framework. Please mark your calendars for the following dates and locations and stay tuned to your email inbox for a notice when registration opens. Learn More…

STEM Conference Hosted by CMSESMC

The Council of Math/Science Educators of San Mateo County will be hosting the 41st annual STEM Conference this February 4, 2017 at the San Mateo County Office of Education. This STEM Conference is the place to get lots of new lessons and ideas to use in your classroom. There will be over twenty-five workshops and a variety of exhibitors that provide participants with a wide range of practical and realistic ideas and resources to use in their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs from Pre-K to grade 12. With California’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, we are dedicated to ensuring that we prepare our teachers to take on these educational policies.

Teachers, administrators, and parents are invited to explore the many exciting aspects of STEM education and learn about and discuss the latest news, information, and issues. This is also an opportunity to network with colleagues who can assist you in building your programs and meet new friends that share your interests and love of teaching. Register online today!

Learn More…

Opportunity for High School Students – Los Angeles County

An upcoming Perry Outreach Program on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children in Los Angeles, CA. The Perry Outreach Program is a free, one-day, hands-on experience for high school and college-aged women who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine and engineering. Students will hear from women leaders in these fields and try it for themselves by performing mock orthopaedic surgeries and biomechanics experiments. Learn More…

Submit Your NGSS Lessons and Units Today!

Achieve has launched and is facilitating an EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science–a group of expert reviewers who will evaluate the quality and alignment of lessons and units to the standards–in an effort to identify and shine a spotlight on emerging high-quality lesson and unit plans designed for the NGSS.

If you or your state, district, school, or organization has designed NGSS-aligned instructional materials, please consider submitting these in order to help provide educators across the country with various models and templates of high-quality lesson and unit plans. Learn More…

Science Education Policy Update

by Jessica Sawko

January 2017 has proven to be a very busy month for science education policy and CA NGSS implementation activities. CSTA has been and will be there every step of the way, seeking and enacting all options to support high-quality science education and the successful implementation of CA NGSS.

California Department of Education/U.S. Department of Education Science Double-Testing Waiver Hearing

The year started with California Department of Education’s (CDE) hearing with the U.S. Department of Education conducted via WebEx on January 6, 2017. This hearing was the final step in California’s efforts to secure a waiver from the federal government in order to discontinue administration of the old CST and suspension of the reporting of student test scores on a science assessment for two years. As reported by EdSource, the U.S. Department of Education representative, Ann Whalen, a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary John King Jr., committed to making her final ruling “very shortly.” Deputy Superintendent Keric Ashley presented on behalf of CDE during the hearing and did an excellent job describing the broad-based support for this waiver in California, the rationale for the waiver, and California’s commitment to the successful implementation of a new high-quality science assessment. As previously reported, California is moving forward with its plans to administer a census pilot assessments this spring. The testing window is set to open on March 20, 2017. For more information visit New CA Science Test: What You Should Know.

Learn More…

New CA Science Test: What You Should Know

by Lisa Hegdahl

Since the California State Board of Education (SBE) adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in 2013, CSTA and its partners across the state have tried vigilantly to get the message out that the NGSS are like nothing any of us have ever seen before in Science education. The focus thus far has been on the structure of NGSS and the conceptual shifts in the classroom instruction. However, these shifts also apply to how we assess NGSS. This assessment conversation will become even more critical as the new California Science Test (CAST) makes its debut.

Facts about the CAST Pilot Test:

  • Pilot test will take place in Spring 2017
  • All LEAs will administer the pilot versions of the CAST and California Alternate Assessment for Science (CAA) as part of the 2016–17 CAASPP administration.
  • Will be taken by all California fifth graders, 8th graders, and all students in a selected grade levels at each High School (The high school grade assignments are now available on the CAASPP Portal High School Grade Assignments for 2016–17 Science Pilot Testing Web page.)
  • Each grade level pilot will have 10-15 discrete items and a performance task.
  • The pilot will take approximately one-hour to complete including a brief student survey at the end of the test.
  • The CAA for Science pilot test will be administered to any student in grade five, eight, or the assigned high school grade with an individualized education program that identifies them for alternate assessment and should be assigned to the CAA for Science pilot test. Instructions for assigning tests can be found in the TOMS Pre-Administration Guide for CAASPP Testing linked on the CAASPP Portal Manuals and Instructions Web page.
  • Accessibility Supports for students with IEPs or 504 plans will be limited for the Pilot but will be in place for the Operational Test in Spring 2019.
  • Online training tests will be available in early February 2017. These will allow teachers, parents and students to go online and try out a small number of sample tasks and questions in preparation for the statewide pilot test in the spring.

Learn More…

la2017_logo_235x235Early-Bird Deadline: Feb. 3, 2017

CSTA members save up to $90 on registration!

Not a member of CSTA? Join/Renew today:

CSTA One Year Membership ($50)

Joint NSTA/CSTA Membership ($114 – a $129 value)

NSTA Los Angeles Conference Features Many CA Science Leaders

by Jessica Sawko

The early-bird registration rates for the 65th NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Los Angeles is just days away (ends Feb. 3). And as the early-registration deadline approaches excitement is building for what is anticipated to be the largest gathering of science educators (both California and nationwide) – with attendance expected to reach 10,000 or more. If you have never had the pleasure of attending the NSTA National Conference, I recommend you visit their website with tips for newcomers that describe the various components of the event. A conference preview is also available for download. Learn More…

Opportunities to Support NGSS Implementation with CTC

What follows are several opportunities for science teachers to work with the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) on various projects that have direct or indirect implications for the implementation of NGSS in California. Please consider applying to one or more of the following opportunities.

CSET Field Testing Opportunities

Field testing opportunities for future CSET Multiple Subjects and Science tests are available beginning Dec. 5, 2016. Participants will have the choice between a $50 Barnes and Noble eGift Card or a $75 test fee voucher that may be applied to future test registration fees. For more information, including how to register to participate, please visit: http://www.pearsonvue.com/espilot/cset.asp. Learn More…

Upcoming Events

Jan
25
Wed
2017
4:30 pm CSTA After School Special: Analy... @ Rocklin Academy Gateway, • Multipurpose Room Building 6552
CSTA After School Special: Analy... @ Rocklin Academy Gateway, • Multipurpose Room Building 6552
Jan 25 @ 4:30 pm – 5:45 pm
California Science Teachers Association Presents: After School Special! After School Specials are new Science Educator Professional Learning Events – short on time, but high in quality! Analyze This: NGSS Classroom Tools for the Science and Engineering[...]
Jan
31
Tue
2017
4:30 pm Science in the River City @ CSUS - Sequoia Hall Lobby
Science in the River City @ CSUS - Sequoia Hall Lobby
Jan 31 @ 4:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Science in the River City (SIRC) is an outstanding, standards-based, professional development program for Kindergarten through 12th-grade science teachers. SIRC is held approximately once a month at Sacramento State during the academic year. The program is[...]
Feb
4
Sat
2017
7:00 am Arts Integration and STEAM confe... @ Online
Arts Integration and STEAM confe... @ Online
Feb 4 @ 7:00 am – 1:00 pm
This arts integration and STEAM conference provides a flexible and affordable learning option for K-12 classroom and arts educators seeking practical tips, resources and ideas for integrating the arts into any classroom. Attend via live-stream[...]
8:00 am STEM Conference @ San Mateo County Office of Education
STEM Conference @ San Mateo County Office of Education
Feb 4 @ 8:00 am – 12:30 pm
Saturday, February 4th at the San Mateo County Office of Education is the place to get lots of new lessons and ideas to use in your classroom. There will be over twenty-five workshops and a[...]
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
10
Fri
2017
4:30 pm SNSTA Annual Regional K-12 Scien... @ Western High School
SNSTA Annual Regional K-12 Scien... @ Western High School
Feb 10 @ 4:30 pm – Feb 11 @ 4:00 pm
This is the regional annual K-12 science conference sponsored by the Southern Nevada Science Teachers Association, Southern Nevada Regional Professional Development Program, and the Clark County School District. Please join us as we welcome Page[...]
Feb
11
Sat
2017
9:00 am NGSSpalooza @ CSU Northridge
NGSSpalooza @ CSU Northridge
Feb 11 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
RSVP by February 2! It’s NGSS time!  Move your classes and school into the NGSS era. Get the latest news and guidance from the writers of the CA Science Framework. Hear from schools who have[...]
Feb
12
Sun
2017
2:00 pm Sacramento Darwin Day @ La Sierra Community Center, John Smith Hall
Sacramento Darwin Day @ La Sierra Community Center, John Smith Hall
Feb 12 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
The Reality Of Climate Change: A Path Forward Currently, Tom Suchanek is Scientist Emeritus with the USGS Western Ecological Research Center (WERC). Trained as a coastal marine ecologist, he was a Research Manager, Lead Scientist[...]
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[...]
Feb
28
Tue
2017
4:30 pm Science in the River City @ CSUS - Sequoia Hall Lobby
Science in the River City @ CSUS - Sequoia Hall Lobby
Feb 28 @ 4:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Science in the River City (SIRC) is an outstanding, standards-based, professional development program for Kindergarten through 12th-grade science teachers. SIRC is held approximately once a month at Sacramento State during the academic year. The program is[...]
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[...]
Mar
28
Tue
2017
4:30 pm Science in the River City @ CSUS - Sequoia Hall Lobby
Science in the River City @ CSUS - Sequoia Hall Lobby
Mar 28 @ 4:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Science in the River City (SIRC) is an outstanding, standards-based, professional development program for Kindergarten through 12th-grade science teachers. SIRC is held approximately once a month at Sacramento State during the academic year. The program is[...]
Mar
30
Thu
2017
all-day NSTA National Conference in Los ... @ Los Angeles Convention Center
NSTA National Conference in Los ... @ Los Angeles Convention Center
Mar 30 – Apr 2 all-day
Registration is now open for the 2017 National Conference on Science Education – brought to you by the National Science Teachers Association. CSTA is pleased to partner with NSTA for this event and proud that[...]

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