January/February 2018 – Vol. 31 No. 2

CSULB Alumnus, Faculty Member Honored By California Science Teachers Association

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Republished with permission from Everything Long Beach

The California Science Teachers Association (CSTA) named California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) science education teaching credential alumnus Josiah Jones as the 2012 Future Science Teacher Award winner and CSULB adjunct science faculty member Dean Gilbert as the Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award recipient.

Josiah Jones named the 2012 Future Science Teacher Award winner by The California Science Teachers Association (CSTA)

Both Jones and Gilbert were recognized at CSTA’s annual Science Education Conference, Oct. 19-21, in San Jose, Calif. (more…)

Engineer Girl

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has officially launched a new EngineerGirl website along with the 13th annual EngineerGirl Essay Contest. The contest is entitled, “Engineering: Essential to Our Health,” and it can be found on the new website (EngineerGirl.org). Students are encouraged to write about the role of engineering in helping to prevent and treat the most deadly conditions in the world today. Details and rules can be found on the contest page(more…)

Sandy: From Birth to Landfall

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

NOAA’s GOES satellites captured a global view of Hurricane Sandy’s birth to landfall. This animation of NOAA’s GOES-13 and GOES-15 satellite observations from Oct. 21-30, 2012, shows the birth of Tropical Storm Sandy in the Caribbean Sea, the intensification and movement of Sandy in the Atlantic Ocean along the U.S. East Coast, and Hurricane Sandy make landfall in New Jersey on Oct. 29 and move inland to Pennsylvania.

Credit: NASA GOES Project
For more videos visit http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?collection_id=17783

Next Generation Science Standards – Final Public Draft Expected Later This Month

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

It is anticipated that the second and final pubic draft of the Next Generation Science Standards is expected to be released in mid- to late-November. The review period will be three weeks. CSTA will send out a member-only alert as soon as the draft is released. Please stay tuned to your email in-boxes and California Classroom Science for information on the release of the draft and group review meetings throughout California.

In order to prepare yourself for the review period, CSTA encourages you to visit the CSTA NGSS resources webpage and become as familiar with the Framework for K-12 Science Education as you can. The resource page offers links to webinars, reading guides, and the Framework.

Your Guide to the 2012 Science Debate

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

The National Academies Press has published a free resource for those interested in where the Presidential candidates stand on important science issues. Each candidate was posed with 14 questions on important science policy questions facing the U.S. You can view their responses side-by-side at: http://www.sciencedebate.org/debate12/.

State Board of Education to Hear Update on the Future of Assessment in California

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

The California State Board of Education will hear a report on the potential future of assessments on a state-wide level in California during its November 7-8, 2013 meeting. The agenda item is scheduled to be presented on Thursday, November 8. With the sunset of STAR scheduled for July, 2014 and the timeline for instituting new assessments for Common Core standards outlined in AB250, the State is under a great deal of pressure to develop its future assessment system. Superintendent Torlakson will present his final recommendations for the future state-wide assessment to legislature sometime in November.

Sample Items and Performance Tasks for SMARTER Balanced Assessments

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Sample Items and Performance Tasks Released on October 9
Starting October 9, the sample items and performance tasks can be accessed from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) Sample Items and Performance Tasks Web site. Help desk support will be provided through November 2, during the hours of 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. eastern time, Monday through Friday. Sample items and performance tasks will provide the first look at next-generation assessments. The samples illustrate the rigor and complexity of the English language arts/literacy and mathematics items and performance tasks students will encounter on the SBAC assessments. They will also signal to educators the shifts in instruction that will be required to help students meet the demands of the CCSS and the new assessments. (more…)

Put Cans to Work for Your School and the Environment

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

It’s time for schools to register to win at www.cancentral.com/roundup for the 3rd annual Great American Can Roundup School Challenge from America Recycles Day (Nov. 15) to Earth Day (April 22), 2013.  Registration is required.  At cancentral.com/roundup, you will find virtually everything to run a successful Roundup from a tool kit to posters even curriculum.     (more…)

Events in Region 1

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

by Valerie Joyner

GEMS Electric Circuits
November 3, 2012
8:30 a.m. –3:00 p.m.
SMUD’s (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) Energy & Technology Center,
6301 “S” St., Sacramento
Grades 4-8
www.smud.org/etc or etcmail@smud.org
Teachers will be lead through the GEMS (Great Experiences in Math and Science) Electric Circuits unit to further their understanding of electricity and electrical circuits.

Sonoma County Spring Science Showcase (May 14, 2013)
Informational Meeting
November 7, 2012
4:00 p.m. -5:00 p.m.
Sonoma County Office of Education
5340 Skylane Blvd., Santa Rosa
Grades 4-12
mroa@scoe.org  re: Spring Science Showcase
Sonoma County will host the first Spring Science Showcase for students who did not participate in the county’s Science Fair.  Learn how your students can participate in this event May 14, 2013.  (more…)

Call for Proposals-California Science Education Conference October 25-27, 2013 Palm Springs: We need you to be a part of this, it’s all about the connections!

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Dear Teachers,

I return from the 2012 California Science Education Conference excited, refreshed and especially eager to share what I have learned and try new things with my students. In the closing keynote, biofuels pioneer Josh Tickell noted one of the big changes in worldwide culture is that we are becoming more interconnected. The conference is a key place where science teachers can connect with each other and with new developments in science, and then go back to their schools to connect to students and fellow teachers. But, it only works if you share what you have to offer.

Every one of you has some great things to bring to the wider community of science teachers. Please consider presenting at the 2013 conference in Palm Springs and adding to our web of connection. A presentation could be an hour-long workshop, or a three-hour short course and we are also considering possible field trips in the Palm Springs area, so if you can guide a great trip, let us know by leaving a comment below. (more…)

2012 California Science Education Conference: A Big Hit!

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

by Laura Henriques

More than 1,300 educators from across California came together in San Jose for three days of outstanding professional development. The general consensus is in – the 2012 California Science Education Conference was a big success!

The conference included more than 200 workshops of all science topics for grades preK-12! The ten focus speakers were invited to address issues of interest to the membership, and talked about the latest scientific research and science pedagogy in life, earth, and physical sciences. Short courses and field trips were also available to attendees. The short courses were 3- or 6-hour workshops on specific topics, including a new short course on primary science offered for the first time this year. It was particularly well received and is likely something that will continue in the future! There were three field trips this year: one to J. Lohr Winery for tasting and networking, one to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Reserve, and one to iFLY. Attendees came back from the iFly field trip ready to try skydiving for real! They learned about flight and terminal velocity along with two “flights” in the wind tunnel. (more…)

California Science Education Conference – The Total Cure for the Teaching Profession: Support, Improvement, and Inspiration

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

by Yilmaz Kara

Today, many teachers find themselves in hard situations. They may want to have some outdoor activities or field courses with their students but do not know where to start. They have heard lots about the new standards but nobody has explained how they are different or new. It would be good to know cool and engaging activities being done by the teachers who have the admiration of their students. Maybe they are searching for educational materials to use in the classroom or laboratory, but they don’t know where to find them. Some teachers are just burned out, having taught for so many years that they have can’t find the inspiration that brought them to the classroom in the first place. You can find cures to all these kinds of situations and more than others at the CSTA conference. (more…)

Kitchen Chemistry

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

by Judith Aguilar

My favorite aspect of attending the CSTA Conference is getting new ideas from practicing teachers. My all-time favorite lesson that I picked up as a new teacher was for Kitchen Chemistry.  (more…)

Eliminating Holiday Distractions: How to Keep Your Students Focused and On-Track

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

by Amanda Smith

The holidays are a time to work smarter, not harder. We all find ourselves busier than usual during the fall holiday season, both inside our classrooms and in our personal lives. However, we don’t want our students to lose their focus during these critical two months despite the numerous days off, fall/winter fundraisers, special events, and classroom parties. With this in mind, here are some of my personal tips on how you and your students can make the most of this year’s holiday season: (more…)

Grant Writing for Your Classroom

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

by Laura Henriques

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if schools were funded at levels that would allow us to do everything we wanted to in our classrooms to support student learning? Imagine if we had the resources to do quality hands-on science, with enough money for equipment and all the necessary consumables. Remember when schools had money for field trips? Don’t you long for the days when there was a budget for your science department? While schools should be cathedrals of learning, and funded at levels that enable us to teach with technology and do inquiry investigations, the reality of today’s fiscal environment is quite different.  With this in mind, I am hoping to inspire you to be proactive and look for grant funding resources to bolster your science classroom. Whether your dream is to plant a school garden, incorporate technology to engage your students, or buy materials for use in lab, the steps to obtaining a grant are the same. (more…)

Looking Forward Towards the Future of Science Education

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

by Rick Pomeroy

The following is the text of the President’s address at the opening session of the 2012 California Science Education Conference:

These are exciting times to be in science education. Since the last time we talked, a lot has happened in our schools that will fundamentally change our teaching, science education, and, most importantly, the learning and lives of our students.

The child born today will begin school in 2017. He or she will graduate high school in 2029, college in 2035, and work as a productive citizen through 2070. Given the trends in life expectancy, the child born today will be alive in 2100. The decisions we make today will impact choices and opportunities for a significant period of time. (more…)

Sky-Watching Activities, November 2012 to Early January 2013

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

by Robert C. Victor

Saturn emerges in morning twilight to the lower left of Venus and the star Spica by the second week of November. Venus will pass within 4 degrees north of Spica on Nov. 17, and will appear less than a degree from Saturn on the mornings of Nov. 26 and 27. These close pairings will be very interesting to follow for several consecutive mornings around those dates. Mercury will have a fine morning twilight apparition low in ESE to SE sky during Nov. 24-Dec. 28. Look for our solar system’s innermost planet to the lower left of Venus, within 10 degrees Nov. 29-Dec. 28, and within 6.5 degrees Dec. 5-12. During Mercury’s morning apparition, four of the five naked-eye planets will be visible simultaneously! (more…)

Region 4 Fall Update

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

by Jeanine Wulfenstein

I hope that you are feeling renewed and invigorated after attending this year’s CSTA California Science Education Conference in San Jose!  The conference was full of information about the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the K-12 Science Framework, best instructional practices, informal science education, environmental education and STEM curriculum. Not to mention the numerous opportunities for networking with science colleagues… there truly was something for everyone! (more…)

What is it October Explanation

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

It is the “Egg” of a stinkhorn fungus, Clathrus ruber. It’s also known as the latticed stinkhorn. In this picture, you can see the initial form of the fruiting body.

Responses from readers:

Candy Sykes: a hailstone

Cindy Price: a mushroom

Azn Kid: Looks like a ball of web…

What is it?

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

November Photo of the Month


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