January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

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.

2011 Conference LogoNow 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.

Written by Tim Williamson

Tim Williamson is a science methods instructor at CSU Long Beach and is a member and past-president of CSTA.

One Response

  1. Superbly written piece! I’m talking to my Principal tomorrow!

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.