May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

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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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.

Teaching Science in the Time of Alternative Facts – Why NGSS Can Help (somewhat)

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn

The father of one of my students gave me a book: In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood by Walt Brown, Ph. D. He had heard that I was teaching Plate Tectonics and wanted me to consider another perspective. The book offered the idea that the evidence for plate tectonics could be better understood if we considered the idea that beneath the continent of Pangaea was a huge underground layer of water that suddenly burst forth from a rift between the now continents of Africa and South America. The waters shot up and the continents hydroplaned apart on the water layer to their current positions. The force of the movement pushed up great mountain ranges which are still settling to this day, resulting in earthquakes along the margins of continents. This had happened about 6,000 years ago and created a great worldwide flood. Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

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