March/April 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 6

3D Giant Screen Film Molecules to the MAX! Now Available on DVD

Posted: Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Film educates and excites kids about the world of atoms and molecules!

You can now catch a ride to NanoSpace in Molecules to the MAX!, the 42-minute, animated 3D Giant Screen film, developed by world-renowned professors and scientists from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). The film is being offered on DVD to school librarians first before being made available to the public. Science teachers are encouraged to talk with their school librarians about ordering the DVD through AV Café or another preferred distributor. Additionally, Public Performance Rights (Screening license) can be purchased at edu.passionriver.com/molecules-to-the-max.

For those science teachers interested in learning more about The Molecularium® Project’s initiatives designed to teach and excite kids about science, the Project’s team members will be exhibiting at the NSTA Conference in Chicago (March 12-15). Please stop by booth #1627 to win a free copy of the DVD.

“If you’ve ever stood in front of a group of 5th graders and watched their faces as you described how atoms and molecules make up the world, you’d know the importance and joy of continuing to come up with innovative ways to excite kids about science,” said Richard W. Siegel, Ph.D., director of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Nanotechnology Center and innovator behind The Molecularium® Project. “That’s why we are thrilled to be releasing our Molecules to the MAX! film on DVD and to focus attention on the power of using entertainment to teach students,” he added.

Molecules to the MAX! continues to show overseas on select IMAX screens and has been translated into Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and Japanese. In the film, Oxy, Captain of the Molecularium, is dispatched from the Unified Field of Atoms on an expedition to discover the secret of life on Earth. Along with her crew – Mel, the uptight computer, and Hydra and Hydro, the bungling hydrogen twins – they have many misadventures exploring the Earth’s atmosphere and the cycle of water molecules, through clouds, snowflakes and raindrops. Lost in the far reaches of outer space, Oxy and her crew are rescued by Carbón and his gang of intergalactic carbon atoms. With lots of bravado and a little luck, Carbón is able to pilot the ship back to Earth.

The Molecularium Project is the flagship outreach and education effort of RPI’s Nanotechnology Center aimed at boosting global science literacy and encouraging young people to pursue careers in STEM. Along with Molecules to the MAX!, its educational efforts include a 23-minute, award-winning Digital Dome film, Molecularium – Riding Snowflakes, which introduced the characters Oxy, Carbón, Hydra and Mel; and NanoSpace®, an online amusement park, where the familiar film characters are transformed into game based characters. NanoSpace, winner of the Center for Digital Education 2013 Best of the Web award, includes more than 25 fun, interactive and educational games, short animated films and activities, which provide an engaging environment to demystify molecular science. Instead of textbooks, teachers and students can use games like BuildEm!, Periodic Memory and microLAB. The Project’s free educator resources for grades K-4 and 5-8 are available on the website at www.molecularium.com.

Written by Guest Contributor

From time to time CSTA receives contributions from guest contributors. The opinions and views expressed by these contributors are not necessarily those of CSTA. By publishing these articles CSTA does not make any endorsements or statements of support of the author or their contribution, either explicit or implicit. All links to outside sources are subject to CSTA’s Disclaimer Policy: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.

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CSTA Endorses March for Science

Posted: Monday, March 27th, 2017

The California Science Teachers Association (CSTA) stands with our science and science education colleagues in endorsing the March For Science and its associated activities.

The decision by the CSTA Board of Directors to support the March for Science was based on the understanding that this is an opportunity to advocate for our mission of high quality science education for all and to advance the idea that science has application to everyday life, is a vehicle for lifelong learning, and the scientific enterprise expands our knowledge of the world around us. The principles and goals of the March for Science parallel those of CSTA to assume a leadership role in solidarity with our colleagues in science and science education and create an understanding of the value of science in the greater community. CSTA believes that the integrity of the nature of science and that the work of scientists and science educators should be valued and supported. We encourage your participation to stand with us.

There are over 30 satellite marches planned for the April 22, 2017 March for Science in California (to find a march near you, click on “marches” in the upper right of the main page, select “satellite marches” and use the search feature). We encourage members who participate in the March for Science to share their involvement and promotion of science and science education. Feel free to promote CSTA on your signs and banners. For those on social media, you may share your involvement via Twitter, @cascience and our Facebook groups.

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.

California Science Curriculum Framework Now Available

Posted: Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

The pre-publication version of the new California Science Curriculum Framework is now available for download. This publication incorporates all the edits that were approved by the State Board of Education in November 2016 and was many months in the making. Our sincere thanks to the dozens of CSTA members were involved in its development. Our appreciation is also extended to the California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, the Instructional Quality Commission, and the Science Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee and their staff for their hard work and dedication to produce this document and for their commitment to the public input process. To the many writers and contributors to the Framework CSTA thanks you for your many hours of work to produce a world-class document.

For tips on how to approach this document see our article from December 2016: California Has Adopted a New Science Curriculum Framework – Now What …? If you would like to learn more about the Framework, consider participating in one of the Framework Launch events (a.k.a. Rollout #4) scheduled throughout 2017.

The final publication version (formatted for printing) will be available in July 2017. This document will not be available in printed format, only electronically.

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.

Call for CSTA Awards Nominations

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

The 2017 Award Season is now open! One of the benefits of being a CSTA member is your eligibility for awards as well as your eligibility to nominate someone for an award. CSTA offers several awards and members may nominate individuals and organizations for the Future Science Teacher Award, the prestigious Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award, and the CSTA Distinguished Contributions Award (organizational award). May 9, 2017 is the deadline for nominations for these awards. CSTA believes that the importance of science education cannot be overstated. Given the essential presence of the sciences in understanding the past and planning for the future, science education remains, and will increasingly be one of the most important disciplines in education. CSTA is committed to recognizing and encouraging excellence in science teaching through the presentation of awards to science educators and organizations who have made outstanding contributions in science education in the state and who are poised to continue the momentum of providing high quality, relevant science education into the future. Learn More…

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.

Call for Volunteers – CSTA Committees

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

Volunteer

CSTA is now accepting applications from regular, preservice, and retired members to serve on our volunteer committees! CSTA’s all-volunteer board of directors invites you to consider maximizing your member experience by volunteering for CSTA. CSTA committee service offers you the opportunity to share your expertise, learn a new skill, or do something you love to do but never have the opportunity to do in your regular day. CSTA committee volunteers do some pretty amazing things: Learn More…

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.

A Friend in CA Science Education Now at CSTA Region 1 Science Center

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

If you attended an NGSS Rollout phase 1-3 or CDE workshops at CSTA’s annual conference you may recall hearing from Chris Breazeale when he was working with the CDE. Chris has relocated professionally, with his passion for science education, and is now the Executive Director at the Explorit Science Center, a hands-on exploration museum featuring interactive STEM exhibits located at the beautiful Mace Ranch, 3141 5th St. in Davis, CA. Visitors can “think it, try it, and explorit” with a variety of displays that allow visitors to “do science.” To preview the museum, or schedule a classroom visit, see www.explorit.org. Learn More…

Written by Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw is the student services director at Siskiyou County Office of Education and is CSTA’s Region 1 Director and chair of CSTA’s Policy Committee.