July/August 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 8

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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LATEST POST

CTC Seeking Educators for Science Standard Setting Conference

Posted: Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

The Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) and Evaluation Systems group of Pearson are currently seeking California science educators to participate in a Science Standard Setting Conference for the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) program. Each standard setting panel is scheduled to meet for one-day, in Sacramento, California. The fields and dates are listed below:

Multiple Subjects Subtest II (Science), Monday, October 2, 2017
Science Subtest II: Physics, Monday, October 2, 2017
Science Subtest II: Chemistry, Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Science Subtest II: Life Sciences, Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Science Subtest II: Earth and Space Sciences, Thursday, October 5, 2017
Science Subtest I: General Science, Friday, October 6, 2017

The purpose of the conference is for panel members to make recommendations that will be used, in part, by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) in setting the passing standard, for each field, in support of the updated California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET).

Click here to nominate educators. If you are interested in participating yourself, complete an application here for consideration.

Eligibility:

Public school educators who are:

• Certified in California
• Currently practicing (or have practiced within the last school year) in one or more of the fields listed above. 

College faculty who are:

• Teacher preparation personnel (including education faculty and arts and sciences faculty)
• Practicing (or have practiced within the last school year) in one or more of the fields listed above, and
• Preparing teacher candidates in an approved California teacher preparation program.

 Benefits of Participation Include:
• Receive substitute reimbursement for their school (public school educators only),
• Have the opportunity to make a difference in California teacher development and performance,
• Have the opportunity for professional growth and collaboration with educators in their field,
• Be reimbursed for their travel and meal expenses, and
• Be provided with hotel accommodations, if necessary.

For more information, visit their website at www.carecruit.nesinc.com/cset/index.asp

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.

CSTA Annual Conference Early Bird Rates End July 14

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

Teachers engaged in workshop activity

Teachers engaging in hands-on learning during a workshop at the 2016 CSTA conference.

Don’t miss your chance to register at the early bird rate for the 2017 CSTA Conference – the early-bird rate closes July 14. Need ideas on how to secure funding for your participation? Visit our website for suggestions, a budget planning tool, and downloadable justification letter to share with your admin. Want to take advantage of the early rate – but know your district will pay eventually? Register online today and CSTA will reimburse you when we receive payment from your district/employer. (For more information on how that works contact Zi Stair in the office for details – 916-979-7004 or zi@cascience.org.)

New Information Now Available On-line:

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.

Goodbye Outgoing and Welcome Incoming CSTA Board Members

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Jill Grace

Jill Grace, CSTA President, 2017-2019

On July 1, 2017 five CSTA members concluded their service and four new board members joined the ranks of the CSTA Board of Directors. CSTA is so grateful for all the volunteer board of directors who contribute hours upon hours of time and energy to advance the work of the association. At the June 3 board meeting, CSTA was able to say goodbye to the outgoing board members and welcome the incoming members.

This new year also brings with it a new president for CSTA. As of July 1, 2017 Jill Grace is the president of the California Science Teachers Association. Jill is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach, a former middle school science teacher, and is currently a Regional Director with the K-12 Alliance @ WestEd where she works with California NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative districts and charter networks in the San Diego area.

Outgoing Board Members

  • Laura Henriques (President-Elect: 2011 – 2013, President: 2013 – 2015, Past President: 2015 – 2017)
  • Valerie Joyner (Region 1 Director: 2009 – 2013, Primary Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Mary Whaley (Informal Science Education Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Sue Campbell (Middle School/Jr. High Director: 2015 – 2017)
  • Marcus Tessier (2-Year College Director: 2015 – 2017)

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.

Finding My Student’s Motivation of Learning Through Engineering Tasks

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Huda Ali Gubary and Susheela Nath

It’s 8:02 and the bell rings. My students’ walk in and pick up an entry ticket based on yesterday’s lesson and homework. My countdown starts for students to begin…3, 2, 1. Ten students are on task and diligently completing the work, twenty are off task with behaviors ranging from talking up a storm with their neighbors to silently staring off into space. This was the start of my classes, more often than not. My students rarely showed the enthusiasm for a class that I had eagerly prepared for. I spent so much time searching for ways to get my students excited about the concepts they were learning. I wanted them to feel a connection to the lessons and come into my class motivated about what they were going to learn next. I would ask myself how I could make my class memorable where the kids were in the driver’s seat of learning. Incorporating engineering made this possible. Learn More…

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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 California NGSS k-8 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.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Unveils Updated Recommended Literature List

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson unveiled an addition of 285 award-winning titles to the Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list.

“The books our students read help broaden their perspectives, enhance their knowledge, and fire their imaginations,” Torlakson said. “The addition of these award-winning titles represents the state’s continued commitment to the interests and engagement of California’s young readers.”

The Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list is a collection of more than 8,000 titles of recommended reading for children and adolescents. Reflecting contemporary and classic titles, including California authors, this online list provides an exciting range of literature that students should be reading at school and for pleasure. Works include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama to provide for a variety of tastes, interests, and abilities. Learn More…

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.