January/February 2018 – Vol. 31 No. 2

Welcome New Board Members – Thank You Outgoing Members

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

by Rick Pomeroy

On July 1, 2013 CSTA welcomed aboard four new energized and enthusiastic board members and said goodbye to four dedicated and hard-working volunteers. The new members on the CSTA board are Informal Science Director- Mary Whaley, Region 3 Director- Fred Nelson, Region 1 Director- David Pummill, and Middle School/Jr. High Director- Jill Grace. Each board member serves a two year term. Continuing on the board for another two years are: President – Laura Henriques, President Elect- Lisa Hegdahl, Past-President- Rick Pomeroy, and Primary Director- Valerie Joyner (new role),  Two-Year College Director- Carolyn Holcroft (not pictured below), and Secretary- Marian Murphy-Shaw. (more…)

State Board to Consider Adoption of New Science Standards on July 10

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

by Jessica Sawko

On July 10 State Superintendent Tom Torlakson will present to the State Board of Education his recommendation for new science standards for California. Released on Friday, June 28, the proposed standards are essentially the Next Generation Science Standards that were released by Achieve in April, with a few modifications to the clarifying statements, and with the assignment of the middle school performance expectations to specific grades. The proposed standards, known as the “Next Generation Science Standards for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade 12“, are available on-line at http://www.cde.ca.gov/pd/ca/sc/ngssstandards.asp. The standards are organized by both Disciplinary Core Ideas (Life, Earth and Space, and Physical Science) and by Topic (chemical reactions, structure and function, or space systems).

The arrangement of the middle school standards proposed by Achieve into specific grades was work done by the Science Expert Panel (SEP) that was formed by the Superintendent to advise him on the new standards. All meetings of the SEP were open to the public. CSTA had several representatives on the panel. For more information about the guiding criteria used by the SEP as well as a roster of members, please view the complete State Board Agenda Information Item(more…)

Hollywood Animation Science Consultant to Present During Awards Breakfast

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Stuart Sumida

Stuart Sumida

CSTA is pleased to announce that Hollywood Animation Science Consultant (and biology professor at CSU San Bernardino) Stuart Sumida will present during the Awards Breakfast at the 2013 California Science Education Conference. It is not at every CSTA conference where we have a speaker with his or her own IMDb listing! Dr. Sumida will present on Saturday, October 26 during the Awards Breakfast honoring the 2013 Future Science Teacher.

During his presentation, Earth and Life Science, Animation and Art: Intersections That Speak to Our Students’ Futures, Dr. Sumida will describe his work as a paleontologist at the intersection of life and earth sciences, and his work at the intersection of the sciences and the arts as an anatomical consultant to animation and digital effects studios.  Using his experiences from among the over 50 films on which he has consulted  – films such as Lion King, Harry Potter, How to Train Your Dragon, to Life of Pi – he will demonstrate the powerful connections between the sciences and the arts, and how they can benefit our students.

Seating for this event is limited and a ticket is required to attend. Your ticket will include a hot breakfast and the presentation. Tickets are $30 and are available to conference registrants and their guests only. Purchase a ticket for this event along with your registration, or if you have already registered you may add a ticket for this event online or by contacting the CSTA office. This event is sure to sell out quickly, so purchase your ticket today!

CDE Sale on Out of Date Publications

Monday, July 1st, 2013

The California Department of Education is offering for a limited time, free publications through July 20, 2013 from its Sacramento warehouse.

There is still time to order CDE Press’s older, out-of-date titles by mail.

This option will end July 18 in advance of public giveaway events. On July 19 and 20, CDE Press will work with the Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division to offer the general public an opportunity to select materials from the remaining excess inventory at no cost. CDE Press will host its giveaway event from 8 a.m. to noon on those days at 401 North 3rd Street in Sacramento. CFIR will host its giveaway event at 3740 Seaport Boulevard, Suite 20, in West Sacramento.  (more…)

President’s Retrospective

Monday, July 1st, 2013

by Rick Pomeroy

When I began my term as president two years ago in July I had no idea of the changes that would be brewing for children in California schools. In July of 2011, I was focused on re-professionalizing science teaching, increasing membership, and providing more services to our members and didn’t yet fathom the gathering storm that standards, both Common Core (CCSS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) represented. Two years later, it is clear that the new CCSS and NGSS will bring major changes to what we do in our classrooms, and in what CSTA, as your professional organization, will be doing for you. (more…)

Facts & Myths Regarding Next Generation Science Standards in California

Monday, July 1st, 2013

by Laura Henriques 

As I take over my new post as CSTA President, I realize there is still lots of misinformation about the Next Generation Science Standards. In this issue, I hope to clarify some misunderstandings and help you better understand California’s timeline. As teachers we often start instruction with a pre-assessment, so I figured I would do the same here.

Fact or Myth? California adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in April 2013.

Fact or Myth? California educators have been involved in reviewing the standards and providing feedback to the author team, the Department of Education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Fact or Myth? If adopted, NGSS for California represents the curriculum for science instruction in California.

Fact or Myth? If adopted, you will need to implement NGSS for the 2013-2014 school year.

Fact or Myth? California will need to write a Science Curriculum Framework based on NGSS for California (assuming the standards are adopted).

Fact or Myth? The grade 6-8 standards represent three courses in earth, life and physical sciences, sort of like what we have now.

Fact or Myth?  The grade 9-12 standards represent the courses that will be offered in high schools.

How well did you do? Read on to find out. (more…)

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Proposes Next Generation Science Standards Focused on Deep Understanding of Science and Engineering Practices

Monday, July 1st, 2013

SACRAMENTO—Working to help more students master the science skills they need to thrive in a changing world, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced he will recommend that the State Board of Education adopt the proposed Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

“Science instruction is crucial to California’s future, and these new standards will bring the science being taught in our classrooms up to date,” Torlakson said. “These standards eliminate arbitrary limits on hands-on experimentation and replace long lists of facts to memorize with a deeper focus on understanding the cross-cutting concepts within and across scientific disciplines.” (more…)

Celestial Highlights for July 2013

Monday, July 1st, 2013

by Robert Victor and Robert D. Miller

At dusk: In July 2013, the brilliant evening “star” Venus gleams low in evening twilight, drifting from WNW to W as month progresses.

On our evening all-sky chart, planets are plotted for each day when the Sun has sunk to 9° below the horizon, at “mid-twilight”. By then, the two naked-eye planets and eight stars of first magnitude or brighter are easily visible, except for Pollux and Regulus sinking in the twilight glow. In July, from Palm Springs, Los Angeles, and other places near latitude 34° N, mid-twilight occurs about 45 minutes after sunset. From northernmost California in July, it takes six minutes longer for the sky to fade to the same level. (more…)

Region 2 Message and Events

Monday, July 1st, 2013

by Eric Lewis

“While the days are still pretty long, days get shorter EVERY day of the summer.”  My 9th grade Earth Science teacher taught me that a LONG time ago.  While that makes me a bit sad about how quickly summer months pass by, I know that these months and/or weeks help to rejuvenate teachers in so many ways.

When I was new teacher, I was lucky that my department chair protected me as much as possible (aside from giving me three preps, not including the one class that had newcomers to the United States that I had to teach VERY differently than my other classes!).  However, one piece of advice that she gave me was NOT to teach summer school or night school during my first few years of teaching.  I ended up teaching night school after a few years of teaching, but avoided teaching summer school for 14 years – until this year.  Of course, for the past six years I have been out of the classroom, supporting teachers with curriculum, doing professional development, and occasionally co-teaching new lessons or covering a class for a teacher.  During those classes, I’ve always found that students were much nicer to me than they were to their regular teacher.  Not because I taught any better, but because I was a novelty to them.  And, since I didn’t really know the students, I was pretty content to assume they all were great, engaged students. (more…)

SDSEA Awards Honors to Two CSTA Members – Dena Rosenberger and Marilyn Reed

Monday, July 1st, 2013

by Jessica Sawko 

The San Diego Science Educators Association (SDSEA) recently awarded the 2013 Excellence in Science Education Award (High School) to CSTA member Dena Rosenberger. Dena has already received multiple awards for her teaching, research, scientific publications, and service to students and colleagues. SDSEA recognizes her active professionalism sharing research expedition experiences with students and other science teachers. Congratulations Dena!

CSTA member Marilyn Reed was the advisor to Geneva Pfeifer, the 7th grade student who was presented with the SDSEA Award for “Best Science Done Using Simple Materials” at the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair. Miss Pfeifer’s project was titled “Does Feeding Chickens Egg Shells Make Them Stronger?”. Congratulations to Marilyn on her student’s achievement. (more…)

What’s up with the Crosscutting Concepts?

Monday, July 1st, 2013

by Pete A’Hearn

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are almost here… but not quite yet. They haven’t been officially adopted by California, there isn’t a California framework, the assessments and curriculum are far off, and many of us are still being tested with the CSTs next year. Even so, in my past few blogs I have written about what teachers can do right now to start moving in the direction of NGSS by embedding the NGSS science and engineering practices into their instruction and by getting students involved in engineering projects.   (more…)

Simple, Introductory Activity Aligns with Common Core and Provides Common Experience

Monday, July 1st, 2013

by Lisa Hegdahl

Years ago, when I was a Club Live Advisor, I took a group of students to a leadership seminar. As an introductory (more…)

Photo of the Month

Monday, July 1st, 2013




Monday, July 1st, 2013

California Science Teachers Association
950 Glenn Drive, Suite 150
Folsom, CA 95630


California Classroom Science (CCS), published twelve times per year, is CSTA’s source of news and information for and about teachers of science.

California Science Teachers Association
950 Glenn Drive, Suite 150
Folsom, CA 95630
Email: csta@cascience.org

Executive Editor:
Jessica Sawko

Copy Editor:
Carolyn Holcroft

Circulation Manager:
Connie Morrill

Advertising Sales Manager:
Jessica Sawko
Email: jessica@cascience.org
Advertising information may be found on the CSTA website at http://www.cascience.org/csta/pub_ccs.asp.

Publications and Materials Review Committee:
Carolyn Holcroft, Co-Chair
Valerie Joyner, Co-Chair
Judith Aguilar
Fred Nelson
Jeanine Wulfenstein
Laura Henriques, Ex Officio

Contributors and CSTA Board of Directors:

Laura Henriques, President
Long Beach, president@cascience.org

Lisa Hegdahl, President-Elect
Lodi, lhegdahl@galt.k12.ca.us

Rick Pomeroy, Past President
Woodland, jrpomeroy@ucdavis.edu

Marian Murphy-Shaw, Secretary
Mt. Shasta, mshaw@siskiyoucoe.net

Heather Wygant, Treasurer
Los Gatos, geofaultline@gmail.com

Valerie Joyner, Primary Director
Petaluma, v_joyner_99@yahoo.com

Sean Timmons, Intermediate Director
Stockton, setimmons@sjcoe.net

Jill Grace, Middle/Junior High School Director
Palos Verdes, grace@mac.com

Jeff Orlinsky, High School Director
Irvine, jorlinsky@cox.net

Carolyn Holcroft, 2-Year College Director
Mountain View, holcroftcarolyn@foothill.edu

Greg Potter, 4-Year College Director
Elk Grove, gpotter@pacific.edu

Mary Whaley, Informal Science Education Director
Monterey, mwhaley@mbayaq.org

Valerie Joyner, Region 1 Director
Petaluma, v_joyner_99@yahoo.com

Eric Lewis, Region 2 Director
San Francisco, lewise2@sfusd.edu

Fred Nelson, Region 3 Director
Fresno, fnelson@csufresno.edu

Jeanine Wulfenstein, Region 4 Director
Temecula, jwulfenstein@tvusd.k12.ca.us

Robert C. Victor, Contributor

Peter A’Hearn, Contributor

Executive Director: Jessica Sawko

Folsom, (916) 979-7004, jessica@cascience.org

California Classroom Science (CCS) welcomes contributions, suggestions, and stories from its readers.  CCS welcomes, but is not responsible for, unsolicited manuscripts and artwork.  CCS reserves the right to edit all materials submitted for length and content.  All submissions must be submitted electronically to csta@cascience.org; enter “CCS Submission” in the subject line.  Articles may be reprinted with permission from CCS.

CCS welcomes your comments on items published and on science issues in general.  Letters should be brief and sent to: Letters to the Editor, California Classroom Science, 950 Glenn Drive, Suite 150, Folsom, CA 95630, or electronically to jessica@cascience.org.

For subscriptions, membership, or other CSTA program information, call, fax, or email the CSTA office: (916) 979-7004, fax (916) 979-7023, admin@cascience.org, or visit the CSTA website at www.cascience.org.

© Copyright 2011-2014. California Science Teachers Association.  All rights reserved.

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