September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

A’s and Chevron Launch “Science of the Game” Program to Bay Area Schools

Posted: Monday, June 4th, 2012

A’s outfielder Josh Reddick to launch program at Lincoln Elementary School in Richmond Tuesday

Young people in the Bay Area may wonder how Yoenis Céspedes can hit a baseball 462 feet. Now they’ll know. The Oakland Athletics and Chevron Tuesday will launch “Science of the Game,” a unique educational program that deepens interest and understanding among Bay Area youth by applying science to baseball.

A’s outfielder Josh Reddick and the team mascot Stomper will launch the program Tuesday, May 22 at 1 p.m. at Lincoln Elementary School in Richmond (29 Sixth Street). Reddick will pass out “Science of the Game” workbooks to more than 130 fifth and sixth graders and work through a few of the science problems with the students.

The ongoing program will include a series of activities including:

– The A’s will distribute more than 15,000 “Science of the Game” workbooks to Bay Area schools that utilize science formulas to answer questions related to various aspects of the game of baseball. Three workbooks targeting grades 1-2, 3-5, and 6-8 will also be available at www.oaklandathletics.com/science.
– Students who complete their workbooks and submit their answer sheet to the A’s will receive two ticket vouchers to an upcoming A’s home game (restrictions apply and are noted on ticket voucher).
– On Wednesday, May 23, Reddick will appear at the 2012 Oakland Unified School District K-12 Science Fair at the Chabot Space & Science Center from 6-7 p.m. on behalf of the “Science of the Game” program.
– During an A’s series in July, kids can visit the Chevron “Science of Baseball” STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Zone, where they will have a hands-on learning experience that highlights the science behind the fundamentals of baseball, such as why a thrown baseball can curve.

Chevron is partnering with the A’s to engage kids in science education in the Bay Area as part of its California Partnership, an initiative to invest in economic development and education in its home state. Since 2009, Chevron has invested over $15 million to support STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education programs that have reached more than 500,000 students and 6,700 teachers in California. As global energy demand increases, so too does the need to hire a technical workforce, elevating the importance of science, technology, engineering and math.

“STEM education is critical to preparing the next generation for the increasing number of technical jobs in the modern economy,” said Linda Padon, general manager of corporate public policy at Chevron. “We will continue to partner with great organizations like the Oakland A’s to show Bay Area students that science is fun and will enable them to develop the innovations that shape our world.”

“Science of the Game,” “Mathletics” and “Home Run Readers” programs put into action the Oakland A’s commitment to supporting education in the Bay Area. The A’s organization, in conjunction with the A’s Community Fund, strives to make a positive impact in the Bay Area and Northern California. A’s players, coaches, and front office employees, together with fans and sponsors, are committed to meeting the social, cultural and educational demands in the community.

Tickets for A’s home games can be purchased at all usual ticket outlets, including the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Box Office, online at www.oaklandathletics.com/tickets, or over the phone by calling 877-493-BALL (2255). Season, group (including all fundraising options) and suite tickets can be purchased by calling 510-638-GoA’s (4627).

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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State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces 2017 Finalists for Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Posted: Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today nominated eight exceptional secondary mathematics and science teachers as California finalists for the 2017 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

“These teachers are dedicated and accomplished individuals whose innovative teaching styles prepare our students for 21st century careers and college and develop them into the designers and inventors of the future,” Torlakson said. “They rank among the finest in their profession and also serve as wonderful mentors and role models.”

The California Department of Education (CDE) partners annually with the California Science Teachers Association and the California Mathematics Council to recruit and select nominees for the PAEMST program—the highest recognition in the nation for a mathematics or science teacher. The Science Finalists will be recognized at the CSTA Awards Luncheon on Saturday, October 14, 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.

Thriving in a Time of Change

Posted: Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

by Jill Grace

By the time this message is posted online, most schools across California will have been in session for at least a month (if not longer, and hat tip to that bunch!). Long enough to get a good sense of who the kids in your classroom are and to get into that groove and momentum of the daily flow of teaching. It’s also very likely that for many of you who weren’t a part of a large grant initiative or in a district that set wheels in motion sooner, this is the first year you will really try to shift instruction to align to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). I’m not going to lie to you, it’s a challenging year – change is hard. Change is even harder when there’s not a playbook to go by.  But as someone who has had the very great privilege of walking alongside teachers going through that change for the past two years and being able to glimpse at what this looks like for different demographics across that state, there are three things I hope you will hold on to. These are things I have come to learn will overshadow the challenge: a growth mindset will get you far, one is a very powerful number, and it’s about the kids. Learn More…

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Written by Jill Grace

Jill Grace

Jill Grace is a Regional Director for the K-12 Alliance and is President of CSTA.

If You Are Not Teaching Science Then You Are Not Teaching Common Core

Posted: Thursday, August 31st, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn 

“Science and Social Studies can be taught for the last half hour of the day on Fridays”

– Elementary school principal

Anyone concerned with the teaching of science in elementary school is keenly aware of the problem of time. Kids need to learn to read, and learning to read takes time, nobody disputes that. So Common Core ELA can seem like the enemy of science. This was a big concern to me as I started looking at the curriculum that my district had adopted for Common Core ELA. I’ve been through those years where teachers are learning a new curriculum, and know first-hand how a new curriculum can become the focus of attention- sucking all the air out of the room. Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

Peter A’Hearn is the Region 4 Director for CSTA.

Tools for Creating NGSS Standards Based Lessons

Posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

by Elizabeth Cooke

Think back on your own experiences with learning science in school. Were you required to memorize disjointed facts without understanding the concepts?

Science Education Background

In the past, science education focused on rote memorization and learning disjointed ideas. Elementary and secondary students in today’s science classes are fortunate now that science instruction has shifted from students demonstrating what they know to students demonstrating how they are able to apply their knowledge. Science education that reflects the Next Generation Science Standards challenges students to conduct investigations. As students explore phenomena and discrepant events they engage in academic discourse guided by focus questions from their teachers or student generated questions of that arise from analyzing data and creating and revising models that explain natural phenomena. Learn More…

Written by Elizabeth Cooke

Elizabeth Cooke

Elizabeth Cooke teaches TK-5 science at Markham Elementary in the Oakland Unified School District, is an NGSS Early Implementer, and is CSTA’s Secretary.

News and Happenings in CSTA’s Region 1 – Fall 2017

Posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

Cal

This month I was fortunate enough to hear about some new topics to share with our entire region. Some of you may access the online or newsletter options, others may attend events in person that are nearer to you. Long time CSTA member and environmental science educator Mike Roa is well known to North Bay Area teachers for his volunteer work sharing events and resources. In this month’s Region 1 updates I am happy to make a few of the options Mike offers available to our region. Learn More…

Written by Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw is the student services director at Siskiyou County Office of Education and is CSTA’s Region 1 Director and chair of CSTA’s Policy Committee.