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, 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.
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.
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…
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
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…
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…