September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

Region 4 Summer 2011 Report

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

by Peter A’Hearn

Summer is here, and for many science teachers that means geeky road trips. I’ll put region 4’s potential for geeky road trips up there with any other region. So lets hear from the other regions on this, what have you got?

In region 4-

Mt. Palomar– Camp out at Mt. Palomar Observatory north of San Diego. For a long time Mt. Palomar was the largest observatory in the world and it is still pretty huge and impressive. They have daytime visiting hours and tours on Saturday and Sunday. More info at http://www.astro.caltech.edu/palomar/. There is lots of  cool mountain camping close by in Palomar Mountain State park and many folks bring their own telescopes to take advantage of the dark skies and high altitude viewing, especially on dark weekends. More info at- http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=637.

Kelso Dunes– When people are driving to Vegas in a movie, they aren’t driving on big dull (often jammed) Interstate 15, they are taking the spectacular little road that goes North from 29 Palms through the Eastern Mojave National Scenic Area. This road goes right by the fantastic Kelso Dunes. Which are one of 7 “singing dunes” found in the world. What are singing dunes? Climb up to the top of the tallest one and jump off the steep slip face to find out. You can actually “swim” down the face, and hear the incredible sound they make while you do it. (you’ll need a very good bath to get the sand out of everywhere afterwards). In summer, time your dune walk for early morning or sunset so it’s not too hot. Bring a microscope or a loupe and see if you can tell what makes the sand here different than ordinary non-singing sand.

Bristlecone Pines– Get your Dendrochronology on and drive up to visit the world’s oldest trees in the White Mountains near Big Pine. There are several groves to visit and they won’t tell which is the oldest tree (to discourage souvenir takers from killing it) but its fun to guess. The guide to the loop trail is very inquiry based, which I liked. Camp at nearby Grandview Campground, at 10,000 ft one of the highest and darkest around and don’t forget your telescope. I camped here for the Perseids one year and it was amazing (this year the full Moon in August is badly timed and will wash out the best nights of the Perseids).

Okay, what do they other regions have?

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

The Early Bird Catches the Worm – And Saves Money

Friday, July 1st, 2011

by Jessica Sawko

The early bird registration deadline for the 2011 California Science Education Conference is just one month away. Registering early has several advantages, not just saving money. By registering early, you get first pick on the most popular Field Courses and Short Courses. Many of these events sell out before the conference and registering early means you won’t be left out come conference time. You can also make your hotel reservations on-line and get your first choice of hotel.

Even if you don’t plan to attend a ticketed event, registering early will save you as much as $25. Your registration includes access to all 175+ workshops, the general sessions, focus speakers, evening events, and the exhibit hall. That is a lot of programming for just $98. Remember, you must be a current CSTA member and register before August 1 to take advantage of this fantastic rate. (more…)

SB 300 Amended for Second Time; It and SB 402 Move to Assembly Appropriations Committee

Friday, July 1st, 2011

by Jessica Sawko

SB300: (Hancock) is a CSTA-sponsored bill that requires the review and revision of the science (and history-social science) content standards. The bill was amended in May to remove the proposed 22-member commission and give the authority to amend the out-dated science standards to the Superintendent of Public Instruction, with a final up or down vote required by the State Board of Education. The bill was amended for a second time at the end of June as it moved to the Assembly Education Committee. The latest version of the bill calls for the establishment of a smaller, nine member Academic Content Standards Commission for Science. This commission would be tasked with making recommendations to the State Board of Education by January 1, 2013 to modify, revise, and update the science content standards . (more…)

NSF Launches Science360 for iPad Application

Friday, July 1st, 2011

National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Science360 for iPad application is now available in the App Store section of Apple’s iTunes. This application features spectacular images from NSF-funded institutions in high resolution for download to the iPad. (more…)

PAEMST Nominees Announced

Friday, July 1st, 2011

California Department of Education

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson nominated six outstanding secondary teachers as 2011-12 California finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). The national winners will be named next year by the White House. (more…)

President’s Picks

Friday, July 1st, 2011

by Rick Pomeroy

This column will appear regularly with a selection of some of my favorite science activity ideas gleaned from over 35 years of classroom teaching and classroom observations. I take no credit for the creation of most of these activities. (more…)

Looking Ahead Towards the Future of Science Ed

Friday, July 1st, 2011

by Rick Pomeroy

As I begin my term as the president of your California Science Teachers Association, I am intrigued by the challenges facing our profession in the coming years. As I write this column, there is legislation being considered that will restart the Science Framework revision process by 2014, new, National Science Education Standards are about to be released, and there is a greater push for emphasizing STEM curriculum in all of our schools. In addition, schools will continue to face limited or restricted budgets, class sizes will likely increase, and new assessment programs that will eventually impact science instruction will be implemented by 2014. As science teachers, it is our responsibility to face these challenges and find ways to deal with them.  (more…)

The Power of Non-Verbal Communication

Friday, July 1st, 2011

by Lisa Hegdahl

When I first began teaching, I struggled with classroom management.  When my principal called me into her office that first October and told me that I had written more detentions than any other teacher, she proceeded to send me to a 3-day classroom management seminar.  Over the next few years, I studied many management techniques, and the behavior of my students improved.  I came to realize that good classroom management comes primarily from well-designed lessons, not any one particular “bag of tricks.”

During one of my first years as a BTSA Support Provider, I attended a workshop on non-verbal communication which shared the strategies from a book titled ENVoY: Your Personal Guide to Classroom Management, by Michael Grinder & Associates.  Grinder’s message – to decrease verbal management tendencies and increase attentiveness to our non-verbal messages – has had the biggest impact on the behavior of my students than any other single strategy I have used.  Grinder quotes NEA published research that says 82% of all teacher communications are non-verbal messages.  It would follow that we would want to be sure those messages are clear, consistent, and elicit the desired behaviors. (more…)

New Report Offers Roadmap for Success in K-12 STEM Education

Friday, July 1st, 2011

National Science Foundation

From educators to leaders in industry, there is broad agreement that U.S. schools have a crucial challenge in improving teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) among students from kindergarten through high school. A background in STEM is not only essential to many current and future careers; it is also a means for citizens to understand and participate in an increasingly complex world–from understanding the challenges of environmental sustainability to addressing the need for alternative sources of energy. (more…)

Region 2 News & Events

Friday, July 1st, 2011

by Eric Lewis

Summer is upon us – a time to get relax and gather our thoughts about the school year that just finished up.  Of course, many of you take the summer to revise curriculum, participate in professional development, and collaborate with colleagues to strategize about meeting the needs of students at your site.  For those of you that tend to take the summer as a time to improve your curriculum the work never seems to stop.  Though everyone should be grateful for the extra effort that many of you take, I applaud the fact that you continue to improve your practice, even though our current system does little to recognize the work that you do. (more…)

Region 3 Events

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Region 3 Professional Development Opportunities for K-12+ Teachers

KEY TO THE SEA WORKSHOPS
New dates for 2011-12 school year:  October 1, 22, November 19, January 21, February 25 and March 17.
Time:  9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Location: Various southern California aquaria, including Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, SEA Lab, and Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
Cost of registration: FREE
Target audience: K-5th grade teachers
Deadline for registration: open until filled
Registration information: www.healthebay.org
Contact person: Emily Pratt, epratt@healthebay.org
Phone number: (310) 451-1500 x147

The Key to the Sea program is Heal the Bay’s marine environmental education program for teachers and elementary school children (K-5) in Los Angeles County. It is made possible through a partnership amongst Heal the Bay and several marine science-teaching facilities.  The Key to the Sea program focuses on watersheds, the storm drain system, pollution prevention, the sandy beach habitat, and environmental stewardship. It includes engaging hands-on activities for students, including a field trip to the beach, as well as exciting professional development opportunities for teachers.  Teachers and other educators may take the professional development workshops even if they do not have a scheduled field trip but would like to increase their own knowledge and understanding of pollution prevention and marine sciences.

GOLD COAST SCIENCE NETWORK (GCSN) K-12 CONFERENCE- Breakthroughs in Science
Saturday, November 5, 2011, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Oxnard College, 4000 South Rose Avenue, Oxnard

Registration Fee (until July 1, 2011):  $25.00; $30.00 (until October 15) which includes continental breakfast, lunch, free parking, door prizes, and GCSN membership. (Registration after October 15 and at the door will be $35.00.)

The conference, co-sponsored by CSTA and Oxnard College, will feature outstanding keynote speakers, over 30 informative breakout sessions, and a myriad of vendors.

The Conference Planning Committee is currently looking for presenters and exhibitors. A complimentary registration will be provided for each workshop presenter. For more information, contact Debbie Bereki, (805) 524-2471; Email: berekid@education.ucsb.edu

Additional information and online registration can be accessed at goldcoastscience.org.

 

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