September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

Survey Shows California Parents Want Science Ed a High Priority

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

by Tom Chorneau, School Innovations & Advocacy Cabinet Report
Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Close to nine out of ten California adults believe science instruction is nearly as important a component of K-12 education as reading, writing and arithmetic, according to a new poll released Tuesday. (more…)

Geologic Time Scale

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

by Bonny Ralston

Looking at the geologic time scale can be overwhelming for younger students; 4.6 billion years ago has little meaning on its own.  Students can be introduced to large periods of time by accessing information a little at a time. (more…)

New School-Year Science Resolutions: My Top Five List

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

by Michelle French

At the end of the last school year, I sat in my first grade classroom, stared at the empty walls, and reflected upon the year.  That time of quiet and uninterrupted peace also allowed me to start dreaming of what my classroom environment and curriculum will look like next year.   As I looked at the wall that displays my students’ work in science, I began thinking about how I could build upon what I did in science this year and make next year even better. (more…)

Science Meets Engineering

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Professor David Kisailus, of the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering in the Bourns College of Engineering, studies materials in nature that can be copied for man-made purposes. (more…)

Number Patterns

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

by Judy Scotchmoor

Overview:
In this lesson, students are challenged to discover the relationship among six numbers. The objective of this activity is to engage students in a problem-solving situation (more…)

Science Safety Tips

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

by Dean Gilbert

As science teachers address standards-based instruction with framework recommendations for “at least 20-25 percent hands-on activities,” students are spending more time in classroom laboratories.  Some are crowded.  Some have teachers with no safety training.  Some are in 19th-century buildings, ill equipped for 21st-century science.

In whatever unique instructional setting you operate, almost all school lab accidents and injuries can be prevented with simple safety measures, the experts say.  But many teachers are unaware of the dangers.  “There have been some terrible accidents and injuries,” said John Wilson, executive director of the Schools Excess Liability Fund in California.   (This fund recently paid more than $1 million in a case involving a chemistry accident and more than $3 million in a similar case.)

(more…)

A Year in the Life of Two First Year Teachers: A Play in 10 parts

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

by Rick Pomeroy, with Sara and Ellen

This article is the first in a series of monthly articles following the first year of teaching for Sara and Ellen.  Throughout the year, you will see the challenges each face in their new careers in very different schools, one in northern California and one in southern California. (more…)

Diverse Experiential Science Abounds in Region 1

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

by Valerie Joyner

We live and teach in a remarkable region full of natural wonders, biodiversity, and ecosystems.  From the arid high deserts of Modoc County, to the foggy redwood forests of Humboldt County, to the frigid alpine lakes of Trinity County, and on to the craggy granite outcropping of the Sierras, local science opportunities and experiences await our students.  What a great region to teach life, earth, and physical science! (more…)

CSTA’s California Classroom Science Goes Digital: It’s All About Sustainability!

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Tim Williamson, CSTA President

It’s that time of year again; another school year has begun.  Most of California’s school districts are doing all they can to maintain fiscal stability during these troubled economic times.  (more…)

Science Sees a Few Victories in End of Legislative Session

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

CSTA continued to work feverishly on several pieces of legislation throughout the last two years, and we are delighted to report on a number of  last minute victories and some surprises as the legislative year winds down.

AB 97 (Torlakson), which is an old bill from last year, establishing an Academic Standards Commission for science and history-social science, to be convened “as funding permits” to review and revise the science and history standards.

Everyone thought this bill was completely dead, not having heard anything about it this year as it was held in the Senate Education Committee at the end of last year, but it was amended (the original bill would have revised the math and ELA standards as well, but these were just revised as part of California’s Race to the Top application) and sped through Senate Ed. and Senate Appropriations in the final days of the session.  According to Assemblyman Torlakson’s office, the governor has indicated he will sign the bill this time–he has vetoed similar bills on two previous occasions. (more…)

Preservice Resources

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

by Donna Ross

For many of you reading this column, this begins the school year when you make the shift from studying science to teaching science.  Welcome to an exciting new career!  Teaching is one of the most rewarding and exhausting jobs imaginable.  Most teacher education programs include useful readings, video examples and assignments, but there is never enough time to prepare people for the complexities of teaching.  (more…)

Heat Up Science!

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

by Sue Pritchard

I am sure you have noticed that education looks a bit different these past two years.  The recession has played havoc in how districts assign teachers, and fluctuating student populations make teacher placement even trickier. (more…)

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