September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

Cal Academy Offers Free Admission for Teachers in May

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Source: http://www.calacademy.org/teachers/lounge/?p=2521

During the month of May 2011, the California Academy of Sciences will offer free admission to school teachers and California School Employees Association (CSEA) members in honor of their service to our communities!

Are you a full-time, part-time, substitute, or student teacher? Do you work as a non-profit educator? If you are employed as a professional instructor, whether in a formal or informal learning environment, you are invited to take advantage of this offer! It doesn’t matter if your students are preschoolers or college students.

To participate, individuals must show a valid photo ID, in addition to some form of proof of employment,such as a payroll stub from the school district, an employee badge, or a membership card from the CSEA.

Note that this offer applies to one individual general admission only. While you can’t bring in others with your free “Teacher’s Pass,” you can certainly invite them along!

Visit us during regular admission hours (M-Sat 9:30am – 5:00pm, Sun 11am – 5:00pm) to claim your free admission, as this promotion does not apply to Free 3rd Wednesdays, NightLife, or other Special Events.

For more information visit: http://www.calacademy.org/teachers/lounge/?p=2521

Standards, Framework, Instructional Materials, Assessment—Science-Related Bills Wend Their Way Through Legislature

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

by Christine Bertrand

Several pieces of legislation relevant to science education have been introduced and are being heard in committee.

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.

Currently, there is no requirement in law that the content standards ever be updated. This means that California’s students will continue to lag behind other states (and nations) until our state reviews and updates our science content standards. CSTA has supported many efforts in years past to require the science standards to be reviewed and revised, but they had been vetoed by then-Governor Schwarzenegger. We are hopeful that, with a new governor and a new state schools superintendent (who is a former science teacher), we may actually get this attempt signed into law.

Status: Passed Senate Education Committee; now in Senate Appropriations Committee (more…)

Registration Is Just One Month Away!

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

by Jessica Sawko

The phones in the CSTA office have started to ring with requests for registration rates for the 2011 California Science Education Conference (October 21 – 23 at the Pasadena Convention Center). Now is the time to put your budget together and make your plans to attend this once-a-year event. In order to help you along, I have created a sample budget that can be found here: http://bit.ly/l8R9qs. Simply download the spreadsheet to customize the budget.

I am pleased to announce that the early-bird member rate is still just $98! That’s right, for less than $100 you will gain access to over 180 standards-aligned professional development workshops (with the option to attend up to 15 hours of workshops), seven focus speaker sessions, two general sessions, and access to the exhibit hall full of freebies and resources. For an extra fee, you can purchase tickets to participate in field courses, short courses, and the Awards Breakfast featuring renowned food scientist, cookbook author, and biochemist: Shirley Corriher. (more…)

Happy May Everyone!

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

by Tim Williamson

This is the time of year of when school testing reigns supreme and nerves can be frazzled.   What better time to sit down at your computer and contemplate some little known “fun facts” of the science world.

I stumbled on this great web site called FunFactz.com.  It contains fun fact categories from animal facts, to Obama facts, to space facts, to superstition facts and even some weird law facts!  I’ve decided to share some of the “fun science facts” with you to calm your nerves, ease your mind and help you escape from the rigors of testing for a few minutes.  Enjoy!  Then… Back to work! (more…)

Events in Region 1

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Topics in Regenerative Medicine Lecture Series
May 10, 2001

The next presentation in the Topics in Regenerative Medicine lecture series at Sacramento State will take place on Tuesday, May 10 at 6:00 pm in the University Union Ballroom III. This is the fourth and final lecture on regenerative medicine to be held this academic year. The title of the talk is “To Each His Own: How engineers, scientists and doctors are using your own cells to create personalized stem cell medicine” presented by John Chapman, Ph.D., President and Founder, Stem Cell Partners, LLC and Adjunct Professor, Sacramento State Department of Biomedical Engineering. (more…)

Why Teach About Organ and Tissue Donation?

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Each year thousands of California high-school students apply for their first driver’s license or identification card (ID). They are presented with the opportunity to join the organ and tissue donor registry through Donate Life California. Many students are unaware of what being a donor means, and how they can greatly help their communities by checking “yes” to donation when applying for their license. Providing information to students prior to going to the DMV allows them to make an educated decision. (more…)

It’s “(DNA for) Dinner” Time

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

by Peggy G. Lemaux and Barbara Alonso

Update as of January 27, 2014. There has been a change since this article was published in May 2011. In order to download the free curricular materials you are now asked to complete a request form. Please visit http://ucbiotech.org/dnafordinner/ for details.

The creation of this 4-H/afterschool curriculum, “DNA for Dinner”, was sparked by development of the national 4-H Science, Engineering and (more…)

What is it April explanation

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Photo of the Month It’s a view of the sun through a hydrogen alpha telescope.

Responses from readers:

Carolyn B. A water fowl of some kind, swimming in the tsunami muck.
Anonymous Closeup of sun surface
Sherry Shapiro A close-up of a sunspot.
Henry Moon Close up, of the sun with solar prominence.
Carolyn Reese Looks like a sunspot.

What is it?

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Photo of the Month
(more…)

Free Instructional Materials

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

My wife and I are retired California public school teachers (and CSTA members) with 60+ years combined teaching experience.  We have a LOT of instructional materials that we have collected in our careers that we want to give away to teachers who will use them.  I have an annotated catalog of these materials that I will send as an attached file to anyone who contacts me at shays@ccwebster.net. (more…)

Region 4 News and Events

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

by Pete A’Hearn

Region 4 is the most amazingly diverse place in the world to teach science. We stretch from the cold Pacific Ocean to the hottest desert in the world, contain the highest and lowest points in California, the oldest tree in the world, and the oldest cloned plant. We have top research facilities from the Salk Institute in San Diego to the 200-inch telescope at Mt. Palomar. Region 4 is the counties of San Diego, Orange, Riverside, Imperial, San Bernardino, Inyo, and Mono.

Ah…springtime in region 4 and a young teacher’s thoughts turn to…

Summer! Just around the corner with many opportunities for professional growth. In the meantime to keep you from getting into the post-CST test doldrums, there is lots going on.

Boojom Institute in Idyllwild is having an Open House on May 7. They do some great outdoor science programs. More info at: http://www.boojum.org/images/openhouse_may_7_10.jpg.

Head to Los Angeles for the International Science and Engineering Fair on May 9 to May 13, and cheer on the region 4 kids who are competing. More information can be found at: http://www.societyforscience.org/intelisef2011.

Sally Ride Science Festival, May 14, San Diego, CA: Presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation, the festival for 5th to 8th grade students features hands-on workshops, guest speakers, and a street fair complete with food, booths and music. A highlight of the day will be the keynote presentation by former NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence. Since 2001, Sally Ride Science Festivals have given middle school girls the opportunity to explore a variety of science fields and meet inspiring scientists such as Sally Ride, Laurie Leshin, and Ellen Ochoa. The festival runs from 11 a.m. until 4:15 p.m. and, with the exception of workshops, will be held completely outdoors. The event is open to the public and advanced registration is required. Tickets cost $20 and can be purchased online at www.sallyridescience.com/festivals or by calling 1-800-561-5161.

JPL is having an open house on May 14 and 15. JPL! Need I say more? Details can be found at: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/.

The District Science Leadership Network for Riverside and San Bernardino counties is on May 17 at Riverside County Office of Education. Come hear presentations from schools identified as science education “outliers”, hear what the latest research says, and get connected with what’s going on in the region. Check out the details at: http://scienceinquirer.wikispaces.com/.

Mark your calendars for Yami’s amazing notebook training July 13 and 14 at RCOE. If you don’t know Yami she is the new RCOE science person and has done amazing work with using notebooks in high school biology. More detailed info in the next report or contact Yamileth Shimojyo at YSHIMOJYO@rcoe.us.

Join  the California Institute for Biodiversity team, naturalist David Lukas, and UC researchers as we explore the Sierra Nevada, focusing on climate change’s influence on natural systems. You will learn how climate change has already affected California and how mitigation can reduce the impact in the future. Participating teachers will also have the opportunity to “do science” by participating in a team field investigation that explores an aspect of global climate change. We will give you the right tools to help your students understand the threat of global climate change and how they can respond now and in the future! This intensive course will integrate state science standards for sixth through 12th grades. The registration fee includes room and board, your own field journal, a teacher packet with hands-on activities, and the use of scientific equipment for your field investigations. Regular registration is $375. http://eurekaseries.org/main/node/122.

Applications for the CSULB Master’s in Science Education program are due June 1. There are options for elementary, secondary and informal science educators. Details about the MS program and contact information are located at www.scienceteaching.org.

As the new region 4 director, I need help tracking all the events in a big and spread out region. You can help me to include events in your part of region 4 by sending me information about events and opportunities at pahearn@psusd.us.

Pete A’Hearn is the K-12 science specialist in the Palm Springs Unified School District and is region 4 director for CSTA.

Events for Sky Watchers (Mostly mornings), May 2011

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

with a Look Ahead at Sky Events in School Year 2011-2012

by Robert C. Victor

Our May evening sky map at www.pa.msu.edu/abrams/SkyCalendar shows three of the four brightest stars visible from mid-northern latitudes. All within a few hundredths of a magnitude of mag. 0.0, they are Arcturus, Vega, and Capella. But notice the striking differences in their colors! Spica and Pollux, also contrasting in color, are noticeably fainter, near mag. +1.0. A complete list of all ten objects of magnitude 1.5 or brighter in May skies appears in the caption of that map. For a discussion of each star’s legends, physical characteristics and more, visit James Kaler’s The 152 Brightest Stars Through Magnitude 2.90, at http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/bright.html (more…)

Science Safety Tip #5

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

by Dean Gilbert

TIP #5– Every district must develop, adopt, and implement a Chemical Hygiene Plan (California Code of Regulations, Title 8, General Industry Safety Orders, Section 5193) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) relevant to the safety and health of employees and students. The district Chemical Hygiene Plan should include:

  • Safe operating laboratory procedures
  • Control measures that reduce employees’ exposure to hazardous chemicals
  • Protective equipment, including properly functioning fume hoods and biological safety cabinets
  • Maintenance of proper labeling on hazardous substances
  • Retention of all MSDSs received from vendors (made available to employees)
  • Employee information and training as it relates to the Chemical Hygiene Plan, employee liability and responsibilities pertaining to laboratory safety
  • Define circumstances under which particular laboratory operations require prior approval from the employer
  • Provisions for medical consultations and examinations on suspicion of exposure to hazardous substances
  • Emergency evacuation procedures
  • Designation of a Chemical Hygiene Officer to implement and maintain the plan
  • A protocol that provides for review and analysis of effectiveness of the Chemical Hygiene Plan annually, with updates, if necessary

(more…)

Region 2 News and Events

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

by Eric Lewis

If you are anything like me, you’re probably wondering when this winter weather is going to stop already. Not only have I been so surprised to see rain in the forecast so late in the spring, but I am also missing the hot days that usually occur regularly this time of year. Regardless, it’s a great time to get outside and into nature – just be sure to bring an umbrella…

As always, there are many great opportunities happening throughout our region in the coming months. Besides PD opportunities during the school year, there are opportunities for summer learnings as well! Be sure to look over prior months’ information too, as there are plenty of resources that are still valid. (more…)

CSTA Member Anne Marie Bergen Awarded PAEMST

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

CSTA is pleased to announce that CSTA member Anne Marie Bergen was awarded the 2010 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching!

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded annually to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process done at the state level.  Each year the award alternates between teachers teaching kindergarten through 6th grade and those teaching 7th through 12th grades.  The 2010 awardees named today teach kindergarten through 6th grade.

Winners of this Presidential honor receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion. They also receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for an awards ceremony and several days of educational and celebratory events, including visits with members of Congress and the Administration. (more…)

A Year in the Life of Two First Year Teachers: Part Eight

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

by Rick Pomeroy, with Sara and Ellen

As the year draws to a close, I decided to ask Sara and Ellen the kinds of questions that every teacher educator asks their students at the end of the year. I wanted them to reflect on their first year of teaching with an eye to some of the successes that they had. At this time of year, new teachers are often caught up in testing, pink slips, and exhaustion. It has been my experience that they lose site of the reasons that they went into this business in the first place. I think Sara and Ellen’s responses hold a lot of interest for those of you who have been following their development over the year and for those of us who wish them the best in years 2-30. I don’t think anyone could sum up the impact that teachers have on others better than Ellen has in her last comment. (more…)

Teachers in Space Offers Summer Opportunities for High-School Teachers

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

by Edward Wright

In the summer of 2011, Teachers in Space will offer a series of professional-development workshops for high-school science, technology, engineering, and math teachers. Developed in cooperation with NASA, the workshops will give teachers opportunities to fly in an unpowered aircraft with a former NASA Shuttle commander, (more…)

Give Your Students the Universe: Partner with an Astronomer

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Project ASTRO is looking for 3rd-9th grade teachers in the San Francisco Bay Area to work with volunteer astronomers who have a keen interest in sharing the wonders of astronomy with students. Together, you and your astronomer partner attend a free 2-day summer workshop to learn hands-on, (more…)

Seeking Chemistry Teachers for a Study

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Dear Chemistry Teacher:

I would like to bring to your attention an opportunity to participate in a research study that is examining the effectiveness of a learning tool that was developed in 1996 by the Department of Chemistry at Indiana University, Bloomington. Since 2002, CALM (Computer Assisted Learning Method) has reached over 54 High Schools across the state of Indiana. In this time, more than 82 teachers, and well over 1000 students annually, have used this system free of charge. Teachers who have incorporated CALM in their classroom are extremely supportive of it. (more…)

Job Searching in Tough Economic Times

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

by Donna Ross

This column will reach many preservice teachers just as you are finishing your credential programs and applying for jobs. Unfortunately, this is not the easiest job market. However, there are always some teaching jobs available and you should strive to market yourself as effectively as possible. This column highlights a few suggestions.

If you are still in your student teaching placement, be sure to invite the school administrators to observe your teaching. Assuming you are doing excellent work, this is an opportunity to showcase your skills. Be sure to thank the administrator in writing for visiting your class. (more…)

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