May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

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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Participate in Chemistry Education Research Study, Earn $500-800 Dollars!

Posted: Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

WestEd, a non-profit educational research agency, has been funded by the US Department of Education to test a new molecular modeling kit, Happy Atoms. Happy Atoms is an interactive chemistry learning experience that consists of a set of physical atoms that connect magnetically to form molecules, and an app that uses image recognition to identify the molecules that you create with the set. WestEd is conducting a study around the effectiveness of using Happy Atoms in the classroom, and we are looking for high school chemistry teachers in California to participate.

As part of the study, teachers will be randomly assigned to either the treatment group (who uses Happy Atoms) or the control group (who uses Happy Atoms at a later date). Teachers in the treatment group will be asked to use the Happy Atoms set in their classrooms for 5 lessons over the course of the fall 2017 semester. Students will complete pre- and post-assessments and surveys around their chemistry content knowledge and beliefs about learning chemistry. WestEd will provide access to all teacher materials, teacher training, and student materials needed to participate.

Participating teachers will receive a stipend of $500-800. You can read more information about the study here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HappyAtoms

Please contact Rosanne Luu at rluu@wested.org or 650.381.6432 if you are interested in participating in this opportunity, or if you have any questions!

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.

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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.

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Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

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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.

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Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

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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 NGSS 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.

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Written by Robert Victor

Robert Victor

Robert C. Victor was Staff Astronomer at Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University. He is now retired and enjoys providing skywatching opportunities for school children in and around Palm Springs, CA. Robert is a member of CSTA.