January/February 2018 – Vol. 31 No. 2

Teacher Burn-Out and Ensuring a Safe Classroom

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

by Heather A. Wygant

I read two blog articles over Thanksgiving break that struck a chord with me so I had to share them with fellow CSTA members. (more…)

What is it?

Thursday, December 1st, 2011


What is it November Explanation

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

A solar system gift for teacher Michelle French, created by her first grader – with her own time and initiative. For details, please read last month’s article Science Education in Primary Classrooms.

Responses from readers:

Marisela Moreno: One of two things.. the Solar System or Bohr Model…Let me know…

Ken Meshke: painted styrofoam balls and toothpicks structure.

Reyes Ribera: Styrofoam balls represent cell’s organelles structure.

Carolyn Reese: Some poor student’s solar system that the teacher had to give a passing grade just for the effort?

Lisa Watkins: The amoeba on the particle on the leg on the flea of a styrofoam blue crab.

Michelle Miller: cell membrane

Six More States Join Effort to Write Next Generation Science Standards

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. November 29, 2011 – The initiative to develop K–12 science standards is expanding with the addition of 6 more states. In September, 20 states were announced as lead state partners.

Now, 26 states will lead the development of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), a shared effort that will clearly define the content and practices all students will need to learn from kindergarten through high school graduation. Partnering with the states are the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Achieve, who is facilitating the collaboration. (more…)

Open Letter to High School Earth Science Educators

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

by Wendy Van Norden, Tom Traeger, Ray Ingersoll, Bruce Luyendyk, and Eldridge Moores.

Dear Earth Science Educators:

We are pleased to announce that the UC Academic Senate Board on Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS), and the UC Office of the President have approved a high school course entitled Honors Earth Science that will meet the UC Area “d” Laboratory Science admissions requirement. The course was designed principally by high school teacher Wendy Van Norden with help from the rest of us.  It is listed on https://doorways.ucop.edu/list/, under the listings for Harvard-Westlake School, North Hollywood, CA.  The  Honors Earth Science course outline, appears on the Honors Geology website of Harvard Westlake School, at http://www.hwscience.com/Geology/Honors/index.html. (more…)

Call for Proposals – 2012 Conference

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Take advantage of your time during winter break to submit a proposal to present a workshop or Short Course at the 2012 California Science Education Conference in San Jose (October 19-21, 2012).

We invite you to share your teaching strategies and science expertise with your colleagues by presenting a workshop  or Short Course at the California Science Education Conference. CSTA seeks classroom teachers, informal educators, university professors, education professionals, and other members of the science education community who can conduct interesting, informative, and useful one-hour workshops or three- or six-hour Short Courses for conference attendees.

CSTA encourages you to make your workshop or Short Course subject matter and grade level specific (as opposed to multidisciplinary and spanning all grade levels). This, along with a well organized, well written, and informative description, will increase your chances of having your proposal accepted.

For more information about submitting a Short Course proposal (deadline: January 31, 2012) visit http://www.cascience.org/csta/conf_scprop.asp. For more information about submitting a workshop proposal (deadline March 6, 2012) visit http://www.cascience.org/csta/conf_wsprop.asp.

Workshop and Short Course presenters who are current members of CSTA (paid through November 1, 2012 or later) receive a free registration to the conference. Visit http://www.cascience.org/csta/conf_home.asp for more information regarding proposals and the 2012 conference.

The Season of Lists

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

by Rick Pomeroy

As I was driving home over the Thanksgiving weekend, I realized that we are right in the middle of what I have come to refer to as “The Season of Lists.”  Every year at this time, we make lists of the things we are thankful for, things we wish for, and resolutions or things we want to do or change. The more I thought about it the more I wondered about what would these lists look like for CSTA and for science teachers in California?

Stealing part of a late night television bit, here are my lists of the top 3 things in each of those categories.

Things to be thankful for

  • Passage of SB 300 authorizing the rewriting of the California science education standards.
  • A conference in Pasadena that introduced a new venue and engaged a new science teachers in our professional organization.
  • An experienced board of directors and an active membership who are working to steer the association into the future.


Water, Water, Everywhere! – News & Events in Region 1

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

by Valerie Joyner

Throughout our region and across the state we are heading straight into winter. We have already seen snow and rain, and look forward to more water falling from our skies. From snow high atop Mt. Shasta and the Trinity Alps, to the foggy and rainy days of our Central Valley, to the wind and rain whipped shores of our coast we can all appreciate this natural resource. Water, so critical to life on Earth, is tied to many aspects of our lives on a daily basis, as well as the curriculum we teach. (more…)

Call for Nominations – Deadline January 31

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Nominations for Election to the Board of Directors of CSTA, 2012-2014 Term

Nominations for the following positions on the CSTA Board of Directors are now being accepted:

  • Treasurer
  • 4-Year College Director
  • High School Director
  • Intermediate (3-5) Director
  • Region 2 Director*
  • Region 4 Director*

Directors will serve a two-year term beginning July 1, 2012, and ending June 30, 2014. (more…)

Using the Internet to Connect Science and Mathematics Teachers to Each Other and to Excellent Online Resources

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

by Laura Henriques, Davida Fischman, David Andrews, and Elizabeth Ambos

In 2007, a group of California State University (CSU) faculty from several different campuses in the 23-campus system started working together to help preservice and in-service teachers find, evaluate and use on-line science and mathematics teaching resources. Through this project, resources were identified at the local level and then linked together online for use globally. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Building Locally, Linking Globally provided a way for campuses to connect their preservice teachers and recent alumni to one another in order to enhance mathematics and science teaching. Pre/In-service teachers were identified both within a campus and across campuses; a particular target audience was the Noyce Scholars on CSU campuses. (more…)

STEM Education Forum Report

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

by Judythe Guarnera, adapted by Patricia Garrett

What do Lieutenant General Susan Helms, Commander of the 14th Air Force, Commander of the Joint Functional Component Command for Space at Vandenberg AFB and a former NASA astronaut have in common with high school student, Dustin W.? (more…)

Foothill College Astronomy Instructor Named Honorary Member of Royal Astronomical Society of Canada

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Honor Bestowed on Only 15 Living People at a Time

Foothill College Astronomy Instructor Andrew Fraknoi has been elected an honorary member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC). The prestigious honor is bestowed on only 15 living people at a time. The chairman of the astronomy department at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, Calif., Fraknoi appears to be the first community college educator selected for this honor in the 143-year history of the RASC. (more…)

News and Events in Region 2

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

by Eric Lewis

Unbelievably, it’s already December and we’re practically half way through the school year.  This is a great time of the year to take a minute to review all that you’ve accomplished so far this year and all that you still hope to accomplish. (more…)

Sorting Activities Reveal Student Thinking

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

by Lisa Hegdahl

When I was in grade school, I helped my older brother with a homework assignment.  Inside a shoebox were a variety of objects he told me to sort into two piles.  (more…)

A Perfect and Completely Accurate Prediction About the Future of Science Education

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

by Peter A’Hearn

(updated December 14, 2011)

What will science education look in 5, 10, 20 years? I think we are in for a period of reinvention and experimentation. Technology is creating big changes in some schools and classrooms where the pioneers and the early adopters are finding out what is possible. But soon, technology is going to start to change the way we learn science in every classroom, at every school.

Two things got me thinking about this. One was a reading assignment for a technology training. This was the New Media Consortium 2011 Horizon report on technology in education.  Read it at: www.cosn.org/horizon. In discussing the key challenges to developing the full potential of technology in education there is this, “A key challenge is the fundamental structure of the K-12 education establishment — aka “the system.” As long as maintaining the basic elements of the existing system remains the focus of efforts to support education, there will be resistance to any profound change in practice.” (more…)

An Evening Conversation on Leadership

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

by Jeff Bradbury and Dean Gilbert

As we all know the baby boomer generation is on the cusp of retiring enormous numbers of people from the American workforce, and this includes teachers.  One important fact that has not been lost on CSTA is that as many people leave the teaching profession, there will be huge voids in leadership positions at all levels as well.  The CSTA Board of Directors has been quite concerned about this and has been asking: “Who will replace this retiring generation on the board of CSTA?”  Who is going to replace leaders in schools, districts, county offices of education, education departments and statewide positions?  Who will step up and be mentors to the incoming younger generation of teachers? (more…)

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