January/February 2018 – Vol. 31 No. 2

Region 2 News and Events

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

by Eric Lewis

Begin the new year with resolve to get personal and professional development in 2011.  Build your experiences in science education at NSTA’s National Conference on Science Education in San Francisco.  Scheduled for March 10-13, more than 2000 sessions will be offered-hands-on workshops, seminars, and symposia will increase your content knowledge, performance strategies, and techniques in the classroom.  Nationally-known presenters will inspire and inform.  Thousands of your peers will share ideas, experiences, and challenges. Invest in yourself, your career, and your future.  Register before Jan. 14 to save the most. http://www.nsta.org/conferences/2011SAN/

More Events in Region 2

2011 Conference Field Course Sneak Preview

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

The programming details of the 2011 California Science Education Conference, scheduled for October 21 – 23 in Pasadena, CA, are coming together quickly. Short Course proposals are being reviewed, workshop proposals are being accepted, keynote and focus speakers have been invited, and Field Courses are being coordinated. Here is a sneak peek at two of the Field Courses scheduled to take place at the conference…

Science in the Stratosphere: Field Trip to NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

NASA Photo / Tom Tschida

Take advantage of the unique opportunity to tour the SOFIA aircraft! NASA’s SOFIA is an airborne observatory built into a 747 that carries a 100″ telescope to the stratosphere to do infrared astronomy. It’s the world’s largest portable telescope! Field course participants will travel to the Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility (DOAF) in Palmdale, CA. There, they will hear science and technology talks, tour the observatory and the hangar, participate in a hands-on infrared workshop, and take home a kit of standards-based, classroom materials. (more…)

Skywatching, March and April 2011

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

by Robert Victor

All-sky evening star charts and sky calendars for March and April 2011, illustrating events mentioned in this article, such as the moon passing planets and bright stars, and the Mercury-Jupiter pairing low in the west at dusk around March 15, can be found on the web at www.pa.msu.edu/abrams/ABDNHAMar-AprSkies/.

Follow the Moon!

The moon’s orbit stands nearly vertical in the sky soon after sunset each year in late winter/early spring for observers at mid-northern latitudes. In 2011, dates to follow the moon’s progress at dusk from thin crescent to Full are March 6-19 and April 4-17. On the first evening of each interval, the moon is not far above the horizon and the very thin crescent may be difficult to spot, especially if you have mountains to your west. Challenge your students to observe the young very thin crescent moon on Saturday, March 5, within 30 hours after new. About 25 minutes after sunset, the crescent sliver will be just 7 degrees up in the west and 13 degrees lower right of Jupiter. Notice its horns, pointing away from the sun, are pointing straight up!

For the next week, the moon climbs much higher each evening as it passes the bright stars of the zodiac. Encourage your students to face west about half an hour after sunset on Sunday March 6. Those who do so will be rewarded by the sight of a beautiful crescent moon not far to the right of Jupiter. On that date and on the next few evenings, as the sky darkens, alert your students to look for the faint bluish glow of earthshine on the moon’s dark, non-sunlit side.

By the latter half of the week of March 6-12, students may also begin to notice the planet Mercury a few degrees to the lower right of bright Jupiter. On each successive evening, Jupiter appears lower, owing to Earth’s faster revolution around the sun, and Mercury appears higher, owing to the innermost planet’s even faster revolution, until on March 15, the two planets appear to pass each other. That evening, some 45 minutes after sunset, Mercury and Jupiter are just two degrees apart, with fainter Mercury to the right of Jupiter. This will be the best conjunction, or pairing, of bright planets in the evening sky this year! (more…)

Whither or Wither Science Ed?

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

by Christine Bertrand

As you will read elsewhere in this issue of CCS, I will be retiring from CSTA at the end of this month, after a truly wonderful 15 years with the organization.  When I was hired, lo those many years ago, I had no expectation of remaining with the association so long.  Indeed, I wasn’t sure just how far we, collectively, could take the organization which is, after all, made up solely of teacher-volunteers, and we all know how much extra time teachers have to dedicate to their own extracurricular activities.   (more…)

Events in Region 3

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

March 19, 2011, Pasadena, CA
Thrill of Discovery: NASA Educator Workshop

2011 is NASA’s Year of the Solar System! NASA’s Discovery and New Frontiers missions are traveling vast distances to find answers to age-old questions. Join these celestial detectives on a cosmic road trip at an exciting workshop for educators of all grade levels—and share in the Thrill of Discovery. • See sights never before seen on Mercury: MESSENGER • Get up close to asteroids and comets: Dawn, Stardust-NExT and EPOXI • Map the moon’s gravity with twin satellites: GRAIL • Peer through Jupiter’s clouds: Juno • Cruise to the outer reaches of the solar system: New Horizons. Hear from mission scientists and engineers, discover engaging activities for grades K-12 and out-of-school time programs, and receive a resource packet loaded with items to enrich learning. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA. A webinar option is available for those unable to attend in person. Contact Whitney Cobb: wcobb@mcrel.org or 303-632-5572 for questions. Find out more and register at http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/discovery/thrill_of_discovery.asp.

January 13 – 14, February 3 – 4, March 14 – 15, and April 14 – 15, 2011 , Claremont, CA
Paleontology for Educators Workshop – Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology

The Paleontology for Educators Workshop is a two-day workshop providing K-12 teachers with a hands-on introduction to paleontology, the study of past life. Each session includes a short course on paleontology, evolution, and earth science, with the aim of illustrating how to present this material in an interactive way to students. Each participant will gain experience in paleontological museum methods, within the setting of an accredited museum. A “Paleontology in the Classroom” book of activities and teaching kit will be given to each participant and made available online. The museum will also make available “classroom kits” for check-out, including real and replica fossils for use in activities in the classroom.

The workshop is hosted at the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology (www.alfmuseum.org), located 30 miles east of Los Angeles in Claremont, in the only accredited natural history museum on a secondary school campus. There is *no cost* to attend this workshop (including all materials, lunch, and snacks), and funding is provided to reimburse school districts for the cost of hiring substitute teachers for workshop participants. For registration information or other questions, please contact museum curator Andy Farke (afarke@webb.org).

February 26, 2011 and April 9, 2011, Beverly Hills, CA
Water Pollution Prevention Workshop

Have you ever felt like watershed issues are complex and difficult to grasp? Does the size of your watershed inhibit you from taking action to improve it? When working to improve the health of your watershed, a combination of small modifications can add up to make a big difference. Come learn about three specific watershed restoration projects you can do on your campus or the surrounding community. Click here to register. Or check out the workshop flyer for more details.
At this Water Pollution Prevention Workshop you will learn how to:
• Understand the dynamics of urban watersheds in Los Angeles County
• Utilize watershed management techniques to restore your watershed
• Survey water flow across your campus

Click here to register. Registration Deadline: February 24, 2011
Contact Loyda Ramos at: lramos@treepeople.org or (818) 623-4856

April 9, 2011, Downey, CA
NASA/JPL Teacher Workshop: Physics of Sound

Do you know why there is no sound in space? Did you know that elephants and whales communicate using the similar low frequencies? Learn these and other exciting ways to teach the physics of sound to your students. Meets 2nd and 3rd grade science standards and admission is FREE! For more information please call (562) 231-1200. R.S.V.P. is required for this event. www.columbiaspacescience.org · info@downespacecenter.org

Events in Region 4

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

March 16, 2011, Chula Vista, CA
Project WET Workshop

The Sweetwater Authority and Otay Water District invites you to register for this action-packed water education workshop at the Chula Vista Nature Center. You’ll be able to experience water education activities that will engage students in the science of local water resource issues, receive ideas for classroom projects, and walk away with your own Project WET guide filled with 80+ standards aligned water activities that can be used in the classroom at the nature center! CEU credit will also be available. To register, please contact Leslie Filippi at (619) 409-6723-or- lfilippi@sweetwater.org.

April 14, 2011, San Diego, CA
Teacher Workshop: Bringing the Ocean and Sea Turtle Science into the Classroom

A 3-hour professional development workshop will be held in conjunction with the 31st Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation. The workshop is targeted towards 5th – 8th grade teachers. This unique educational workshop will be provided free of charge and will focus on ocean conservation through the biology of sea turtles, while meeting state learning standards. Special guest speaker Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, Research Associate at the California Academy of Sciences and world-renowned sea turtle biologist, will commence the ISTS-31 Teachers Workshop with a thought provoking and inspiring lecture on “Oceanophilia: The Neuroscience of Emotion and our relationship to the Ocean (and sea turtles)”. Following the lecture, teachers will be introduced to on-line resources and classroom activities to inspire the next generation to protect, understand, study, and respect our oceans. Participants will receive 3 hours professional development credit.

Register for this free workshop by e-mailing Frances Kinney at frances@propeninsula.org.
Please provide the following information:
1) Full Name
2) Name of School, District, and Grade Level
3) E-mail and Phone Number

Registration Deadline: March 14, 2011

For more information regarding the ISTS-31 Teachers Workshop, please contact: Frances Kinney, frances@propeninsula.org, or Barb Andrews, bandrews@calacademy.org, Co-Chairs, ISTS-31 Student/Teacher Workshops

Science-Related Legislation Introduced As New Session Gets Underway

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

by Christine Bertrand

The legislative session has just gotten underway, but a few bills of real interest to us have been introduced.  Most salient:

SB 300 (Hancock) is a CSTA-sponsored bill that requires the review and revision of the science (and history-social science) content standards.  The bill would establish an Academic Content Standards Commission for Science and History-Social Science to develop internationally benchmarked standards, to present the standards to the State Board of Education by January 1, 2013, and for the board to either adopt or reject them by June 30, 2013. (more…)

Natural Resources/Energy Unit for High School

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

by Heather Marshall

I feel that all students should be required to take an earth sciences course as a high school graduation requirement. (more…)

Happy Retirement Dear Friend!

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

It is with mixed emotions that I am announcing the retirement of our executive director, Christine Bertrand, effective March 31, 2011. As president of CSTA I don’t know what we are going to do without her! She has been with us for just over 15 years! Needless to say, she will be missed. Most of you know her and have seen her at our state conferences, but maybe you don’t know just how much she has done for our organization. She has had a myriad of responsibilities, too many to mention, that have impacted CSTA in a memorable and meaningful way. What follows barely scratches the surface of all that Christine has done over the years, but bear with me as I make mention of some of them. (more…)

California’s National Board Certified Science Teachers

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Did you know that California has 334 National Board Certified science teachers?  These teachers have gone the extra mile to have their hard work recognized by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).  CSTA salutes and congratulates these esteemed professionals. (more…)

Chemicals and Their Properties Lab

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

by Jeff  Bradbury and Patricia Buchanan

Name ____________________

Date _____________________

Partner’s Name ____________

Question: The work of a crime scene investigator (CSI) is to identify certain found liquids or solids in an investigation, how could we find out the identity of an unknown substance?

Purpose: To learn how to classify matter and its changes.

Part 1 Introduction:

Background Information:

1) A pure substance is a sample of matter that has a definite, fixed composition, and the same properties throughout the sample.  Each pure substance has its own set of characteristic properties. (more…)

STEM and Service – Content in Context

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

Districts across the nation and California are turning their attention to this thing called STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – both for its college and career readiness implications and for the funding that supports it at all levels of education, pre-K to university. (more…)


Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Nominations for the CSTA awards are now being accepted.  Nominate someone for the prestigious Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award or Future Science Teacher Award.  Nomination deadline is May 16, 2011.

Pres. Obama Could Be Your Commencement Speaker

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Applications are open for the 2011 Race to the Top Commencement Challenge.   (more…)

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