A Rose is Born
Posted: Tuesday, February 1st, 2011
CSTA Science Education Conference 2011, Pasadena
Pasadena, the city of the famous Tournament of Roses parade, is soon to become the “City of Science.” The 20th California Science Education Conference will be held in this beautiful Southern California city this fall. The conference committee has been hard at work creating a program that will burst into bloom October 21-23, 2011.
You say it’s a bit early to be thinking about a conference that is nine months away? It is actually a perfect time to begin thinking about this conference. You may not know it, but your school district is starting to plan for the distribution of its Title II monies for the 2011-12 school years’ professional development activities. Past Title II money distributions have typically gone to the so-called high-needs areas of math and reading/language arts. It’s my guess that this is because many teachers are not aware that these monies can and should be divided equally between all of the content areas.
Now is the time to talk to your principal and request access to these funds for
your professional development needs, including the CSTA yearly conference. Administrators don’t know you want the money unless you ask for it! If district release time and substitutes are a problem, the planners of this conference have utilized Saturday and Sunday as days packed with content, pedagogical offerings, and speakers.
Now for the birth of our rose. If you take a close look at the 2011 conference logo, you will see that it is a beautiful rose fashioned from the sleek bodies of various animals. I’m going to use the rose as a theme for this column. CSTA has theoretically developed a new hybrid rose for this exciting professional development opportunity in Pasadena. We’ll call this new hybrid “The Rose of Science Education.” This rose is unparalleled in its beauty and versatility. It comes in a variety of colors and is strong and sturdy in its shape and stature. This rose has a tenacity that will not allow others to destroy it. It has the fragrance of dedication and knowledge, and its structure is based on the strength and the forcefulness of all of California’s science educators.
Let’s take this rose and dissect it into its parts as any good biologist would do. The roots of this beauty are made from the backbone of your CSTA organizational administrators, the board of directors and the 2011 conference committee (under the capable guidance of co-chairs Laura Henriques and Dean Gilbert). The combined forces of these groups give the rose sustenance and life-giving nourishment. The stem is strengthened by the CSTA membership. Its leaves are the energy-giving workshops, short courses, field courses, and speakers offered throughout the conference. The buds of this rose are the novice and pre-service teachers who attend this yearly gathering, just waiting to blossom by using the content and pedagogical knowledge they receive at the conference in their classrooms. And finally, the beautiful full blossoms depict the knowledge and self-confidence of all science educators, so necessary to instilling in our students a deep appreciation and understanding of science.
As stated above this newly developed rose comes in a variety of colors. Each color standing for various aspects of the Pasadena conference. The white rose signifies the purity of teaching true, inquiry-based science. The purple rose stands for the royal treatment you will receive while attending the conference. Another of these American beauties comes in red, signifying the red carpet that will be rolled out for you in Pasadena. The shimmering blue rose depicts the bright blue skies you will encounter in Southern California, and the yellow rose illustrates the bright sunshine in the city of roses.
As we all know “a rose is a rose is a rose” and that “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” but this newly-developed “Rose of Science Education” is a must-have for all of California’s science educators. Please share the existence of this new hybrid with all of your science colleagues, novice and veteran alike, as this rose is sure to win first place in any professional development contest! Plant this rose in your own science education garden and it will bring you joy and happiness for years to come.
Posted: Monday, November 21st, 2016
CSTA is pleased to announce that we are now accepting proposals for 90-minute workshops and three- and six-hour short courses for the 2017 California Science Education Conference. Workshops and short courses make up the bulk of the content and professional learning opportunities available at the conference. In recognition of their contribution, members who present a workshop or short course receive 50% off of their registration fees. For more information regarding proposals, and to submit one today, follow the links below.
Short Course Proposal Deadline: February 6, 2017
Posted: Friday, November 18th, 2016
Do you want to have a voice in health education in California public schools? Consider applying to serve on the Health Education Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee (CFCC), which will work closely with the framework writing team to create a new framework for health education. The new framework will be based on the state-adopted health education content standards and reflect both current research and new state laws.
Applicants must be submitted by 3 p.m. on December 15, 2016. More information about the Health Education Framework revision and the CFCC application is available on the CDE Health Education Curriculum Frameworks Web page at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/he/cf/. Learn More…
Posted: Thursday, November 17th, 2016
by Jessica Sawko
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. Learn More…
Posted: Wednesday, November 16th, 2016
by Marian Murphy-Shaw
As a county office Educational Services Director I get to work with many districts, teachers and site leaders on a variety topics, including science. I have the good fortune to be embarking on a new project as part of a team formed by the California State University, Chico – Project ESTEEM.
CSU Chico recruited teams of elementary teachers and their principals to participate in Project ESTEEM, Elementary Science Teachers, Educating, Elevating, and Meliorating; a two-year professional learning grant secured last winter by the University. Learn More…
Posted: Wednesday, November 16th, 2016
by Karal S. Blankenship and Claudia Mitchell
Science in Kindergarten is no different than teaching science in other grades. Students come to us full of wonder, resulting in endless questions. We strive to provide opportunities for our students to become active listeners, use critical thinking skills, to observe, and to make sense of the work around them. This provides our students the chance to develop a deep appreciation for science. This is nuts and bolts of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Learn More…