May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

2016 CSTA Conference Sees Largest Attendance in 10 Years!

Posted: Thursday, November 17th, 2016

by Jessica Sawko

Workshop Hands-On

Teachers engaging in hands-on learning during a workshop on Friday, October 21, 2016 at the 2016 California Science Education Conference. The conference offered more than 200 workshops over the three-days of the event.

Last month, more than 2,100 science educators convened at the Palm Springs Convention Center for three days of professional learning and networking. The halls buzzed with excitement, the exhibit hall traffic ebbed and flowed like the tides of an ocean, and workshop rooms often filled to capacity with standing room only. CSTA thanks the many volunteers, presenters, exhibitors, and sponsors who helped make this year’s conference a success.

Two of the most popular presentations at the conference included presentations on the new Science Curriculum Framework (which ended up being presented twice due to an error in printing in the program book!) and the Science Assessment Update workshop presented by CDE and ETS. Handouts for both of these presentations are available via the conference app.

Exhibit Hall Traffic

2016 California Science Education Conference attendees enjoyed engaging with exhibitors and getting hands-on access to products and instructional resources.

The exhibit hall was sold out and attendees had opportunities to engage with a variety of exhibitors. Exhibitors donated more than 50 door prizes and offered demos, free resources, opportunities to be hands-on with products, and gave away a great deal of information and material to support science teachers. For attendees that are looking to follow-up with a favorite exhibitor, you can click here for a list of exhibitors and their contact information.

The conference featured two dynamic and engaging keynote speakers. The inspiring, opening keynote presentation by Chip Yates (sponsored by Chevron) attracted an audience of 1,000 attendees got the conference off to a great start. Chip’s message of the importance of risk taking, “the audacity to try,” and being “comfortable with uncomfortable” resonated with the audience of teachers who, during this time of transition to new science standards calls for teachers to take risks, try new approaches to teaching, and embrace the new. The closing keynote by Physics Girl Dianna Cowern offered the audience of several hundred practical tips for fostering curiosity not only among their students, but also in themselves. Curiosity drives the search for answers and can often lead to discovery and wonder. For more about the keynotes and the inspiration they provided, check out the conference Twitter feed (#CAScience16) filled with inspiring moments and takeaways.

CSTA took time on Saturday to honor a number of individuals and organizations who were presented with awards. Attendees enjoyed a presentation on the use of storylines in teaching NGSS by Dr. Brian Reiser. The informative presentation was followed by the bestowing of the following awards:

2014 PAEMST Recipient: Erica Rood, CHIME Charter School (Grade K-6 Cohort)

2015 PAEMST Recipient: Michael Towne, Citrus Hill High School (Grades 7-12 Cohort)

2016 California State Finalists:

  • Dr. Susan Barkdoll, North Verdemont Elementary School, San Bernardino City USD
  • Saroda Chattopadhyay, Grimmer Elementary School, Fremont USD
  • Julie McGough, Valley Oaks Elementary School, Clovis USD
  • Nancy Wright, Lorin Eden Elementary School, Hayward USD

Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award: John Keller, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

CSTA Distinguished Contributions Award:

  • California Science Project
  • K-12 Alliance @ WestEd

Other conference highlights included the ever-popular STEM Pool Party on Friday night, high-quality and informative focus speaker presentations, and networking galore. We thank all of you who attended the conference this year for your participation, and we look forward to seeing you in Sacramento, October 13-15, 2017. The call for proposals will be available beginning November 21.

Here are a few more memories of the conference.

Thank you to our Sponsors:

Chevron, recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Contributions Award

Platinum Sponsor

Silver Sponsor

Silver Sponsor

Bronze Sponsor

Bronze Sponsor

 

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

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Posted: Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

WestEd, a non-profit educational research agency, has been funded by the US Department of Education to test a new molecular modeling kit, Happy Atoms. Happy Atoms is an interactive chemistry learning experience that consists of a set of physical atoms that connect magnetically to form molecules, and an app that uses image recognition to identify the molecules that you create with the set. WestEd is conducting a study around the effectiveness of using Happy Atoms in the classroom, and we are looking for high school chemistry teachers in California to participate.

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Please contact Rosanne Luu at rluu@wested.org or 650.381.6432 if you are interested in participating in this opportunity, or if you have any questions!

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption Reviewer Application

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

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Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

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Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

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Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

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Written by NGSS Early Implementer

NGSS Early Implementer

In 2015 CSTA began to publish a series of articles written by teachers participating in the NGSS Early Implementation Initiative. This article was written by an educator(s) participating in the initiative. CSTA thanks them for their contributions and for sharing their experience with the science teaching community.

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Written by Robert Victor

Robert Victor

Robert C. Victor was Staff Astronomer at Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University. He is now retired and enjoys providing skywatching opportunities for school children in and around Palm Springs, CA. Robert is a member of CSTA.