November/December 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 2

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

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. (more…)

Onward: A Pre-Conference Event for District-Level Science Coaches, Science Leaders, and TOSAs – Year 1 and 2 Tracks

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

The excitement is building for this year’s California Science Education Conference, being held in Sacramento. As your CSTA Region 1 Director, I am truly looking forward to TK-12 science teachers from the many northern counties in this large region is present. Even more exciting is the Pre-Conference Onward! which premiered last year at the conference in Palm Springs. If you were not there last year get ready! If you were there please and you would like to take your learning to the next level – register for the Year Two track today! (more…)

A Friend in CA Science Education Now at CSTA Region 1 Science Center

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. (more…)

High School Questions About NGSS – A Statewide Conversation

Monday, June 20th, 2016

by Christie Pearce and Marian Murphy-Shaw

The California Science Teacher’s Association is made up of a wide range of individuals and institutions passionate about promoting and supporting science teachers and high quality resources for science education at all levels. It is well known that TK-12 teachers are CSTA members, you may also know that local science centers are members, along with private and Community College, CSU and UC faculty, but did you know that many of your local County Offices of Education have staff who are members?

In this collaboratively composed article, two county office of education colleagues, from opposite ends of the state have combined forces to connect California science teachers with one more resource; your local county office, or county department, of education. While CSTA has 4 identified regions in CA, the 58 counties are part of an 11-region public education system. At these offices your county STEM or Science Coordinators, Educational Services Directors, Curriculum Specialists, Grant Directors and more often serve in multiple roles, many working directly with teachers, TOSA’s, coaches, principals and science education partnerships. Across the 11 regions these “county folks” collaborate, share resources and work directly on projects such as the CA NGSS Rollouts with statewide entities such as the California Department of Education, Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee (CISC), CA Science Project, and West Ed’s K-12 Alliance. (A listing of key science contacts at each of these entities has been compiled by Anthony Quan at the Los Angeles County Office of Education and is available here.)

Questions about what high schools can and should be doing with NGSS seem to be ever increasing- both in number and complexity. CSTA asked if we could compile what the counties are hearing, both the questions and the answers. We started by connecting with our colleagues across the state and asking what questions and concerns they hear most often. If it makes our high school teachers feel any better, you are certainly not alone in wondering about NGSS. Below we have compiled questions and responses. We have tried to replicate the best information we have on hand as of this writing, but also acknowledge that the most important thing to remember is that all of this is still a work in progress. The UC has not finished updating “a-g,” CA science credentialing is being revised, NGSS “content” in 9-12 will look different over time, but that is not going happen in all CA high schools for several years at least. (more…)

A Few Upcoming Events in Region 1

Friday, April 8th, 2016

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

April 14, 2016 – 9am -3pm NGSS Awareness to Practice at the Siskiyou County Office of Education

TK-12 teachers and their principals will be provided time and resources to work with grade-alike colleagues to work on local transition to the 2013 California Science Standards.

REGISTER ONLINE:  NGSS Registration
or contact 842-8436/e-mail: hjankowski@siskiyoucoe.net

May 10, 2016 – Project WET – EEI Workshop for K-8 Teachers
Registration will close Friday, April 29, 2016 (more…)

CSTA Region 1 – February 2016 Update

Monday, February 8th, 2016

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

Here we are a month into the new year – how are your resolutions holding up? I recently had a wonderful conversation on this topic with a very thoughtful science education colleague. She shared a science education idea for a resolution. I decided to give it a try as well as share the idea here.

In the past, she recounted, she would take teachings from a book like “Good to Great” or “The Speed of Trust”, etc. and focus her efforts for a year on one of the themes for self improvement. This year she decided to focus on NGSS! Her resolution is to look for and make use of Crosscutting Concepts. (more…)

What’s Happening in the New Year in Region 1?

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

As we move through winter keep in mind spring will have a variety of opportunities for professional learning including the first NGSS Rollout Phase 3 at the San Joaquin County Office in April. Watch CSTA online and future CCS editions for details. January is not too early to be thinking about what you will attend or share with colleagues this spring. When you get back refreshed from your winter break it is a good time to talk with colleagues and site administration about spring plans for ongoing learning to support your K-12 science classrooms.

Upcoming:

Sacramento Area Science Project
Science in the River City (SIRC) is an outstanding standards-based professional development program for 3rd-12th grade science teachers. The program is designed to deepen teachers’ understanding of science (through hands-on, minds-on labs and activities) and provide innovative ideas, lessons, and strategies for teachers to use in their classrooms.

Science in the River City (SIRC) #4 – January 26, 2016

Science in the River City (SIRC) #5 – February 23, 2016 (more…)

Happenings Around Region 1

Friday, December 11th, 2015

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

Representing CSTA Region 1 counties – from Tuolumne to Del Norte – is pretty awesome. These counties represent the large northern rural stretches and small towns of nearly half the land area of our state. Not surprisingly, many teachers from Region 1 were in attendance at the NSTA Regional Conference in Reno, NV. As the Region 1 Director it only made sense for me to head over to Reno and be present at the CSTA table and I was delighted to see so many familiar faces, from so many counties!

My presence there was not just for the north easterners, it was for all of CSTA. I was there as a CSTA Board Member in a shared booth with our sister organization the Nevada State Science Teachers Association (NSSTA) as their guest. A big thank you to all of the NSSTA board members and booth volunteers who made me feel so welcome, and congratulations on a great conference! I look forward to seeing many of them presenting at CSTA in Palm Springs a year from now, as well as sharing our booth to greet Nevada teachers who will be attending! (more…)

What Is Happening in Region 1?

Monday, October 19th, 2015

By Marian Murphy-Shaw

As we move into the autumn months I am pleased to share with all of you in CSTA Region 1 that the NGSS Roll Out Phase 2 is coming to your area! On September 1, Santa Clara County Office of Education in partnership with all the Roll Out providers hosted a Training of Trainers day to get all our Northern California presenter teams ready to go.

Many thanks go out to the teachers, county office personnel and MSP and Science Project colleagues who are taking on this local work on behalf of science teachers in Region 1!

  • Red Bluff (November 2-3)
  • San Jose (November 9-10)

(more…)

Northern Happenings for September–Region 1

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

September already – allow me to add my welcome back wish to the others you are hearing across all 29 counties that make up CSTA Region 1!

CSTA_Regions_Map

CSTA Regions Map

It has certainly been a busy summer with California Science Project events across the region, and lots of activity at Math Science Partnership Grant projects as well. As you come back to class this fall, consider your summer learning, and think about how you might share it at a future CSTA conference! This year you will no doubt be trying out what you learned in your classes. By next spring you will know what you could share with colleagues at the 2016 Science Educators Conference to be held in Palm Springs. It seems a long time from now, but if you have the idea in mind as you teach your students, you can be on the lookout for what would be wonderful to share with other K-12 teachers in California. (more…)

Greetings from Your New Director in Region 1

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

I wanted to begin my new term as CSTA Region 1 Director with a brief introduction and then some highlights from our region. I am Marian Murphy-Shaw, I currently live about as far north in California as you can get, in Mount Shasta City. I am entering my 15th year with Siskiyou County Office of Education as an Educational Services Director. Prior to that I taught for 10 years in grades 5 through 12 both in Siskiyou and Alameda counties, I worked as an intern on a controlled life support system at NASA Ames and proudly attended Mills College, then CSU Eastbay (Hayward State back then). I have to take a minute here and thank my Hayward faculty advisor Dr. Stronck for introducing me to CSTA! (more…)

Legislation and Science Learning in California: What’s going on?

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

The simple answer to the title question: a lot! In fact in conversations with colleagues about the future of California science education, the phrase “a perfect storm” has come up more than once. Depending on the time you’ve budgeted to tune in to policy and legislation activities you may be feeling the full force of the tempest, getting a little wind and drizzle out on the fringes, or sitting in the eye of the storm thinking all is calm.

As a long-standing institution supporting quality science education and the teachers who provide it, CSTA utilizes a number of methods to remain an ever-present voice regarding state educational policy and legislation.  (more…)

How To: Monitor State Legislation

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

Membership in CSTA includes educators in a legislative advocacy network that many do not realize works for them every day. When I began my science teaching career in the 1980’s I knew of CSTA as a group who put on a great conference. It was not until the CA Framework for Science renewal process occurred that I realized CSTA was also a resource for me, as the sole science credentialed teacher at my site, to help inform my colleagues and principal about what was expected in CA science classrooms. That awareness led to my noticing CSTA provided much more than conferences! As a member, I had articles and research and advocacy all rolled up in one. (more…)

Legislative Update

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

CSTA works hard to make sure educators in California have current information on legislative activity that has potential to impact classroom teachers and student learning. Of course your part as individuals and professional educators is to keep as informed as possible, and speak up to raise awareness in the forums you have a roll in, whether it’s a Site Council, school board or bargaining unit meeting, or your colleagues and friends in your community. (more…)

Legislative News

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

By now most of us have heard that a “trigger has been pulled.” What does that really mean? One of the first things we as science educators can do is slow down rumors and examine observable facts. If your school or district subscribes to School Services of California their Fiscal Report provides up-to-date, accurate information. This is one reliable source to start with and to encourage your colleagues to refer to.

CSTA works for you, its members, and all science educators in California, to keep an eye on state policy related to science education. That in itself is no easy task, and your membership dues are what enable CSTA to maintain a staff presence in Sacramento. Now more than ever members can help keep the educator voice in Sacramento by renewing or inviting colleagues to become members. (more…)

The Door Has Opened a Crack – Let’s Work Together to Push It Wide Open

Friday, November 4th, 2011

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

At this year’s California Science Education Conference our president Rick Pomeroy was able to express the thanks that many of us need to continue to express. Thanks to California Senator Loni Hancock for her work – her dedication – to SB 300 signed by Governor Brown on October 8. Thanks to Christine Bertrand, recently retired Executive Director of CSTA, who worked even after her retirement to see SB 300 through to the Governor’s desk. Finally, thanks to all of the CSTA members who made their voices heard about science education in California.

In case you were unable to express your voice or thanks it is not too late. Many of the letters to the Governor, that urged him signing SB 300, were from business or industry partners of educators across the state. No, this is not a CTE bill–it is referred to as the “Pupil instruction: instructional materials: content standards legislation.” In brief though what it does is move forward the updating of California’s science content documents for education and encourages the use of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) as the template for science standards that include engineering process, not just content, and parallels the more rigorous critical thinking and other 21st Century Skills seen in the math and reading/language arts California Common Core State Standards. (more…)

Community College and K-12 Working Together Through CSTA…

Monday, August 1st, 2011

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

As of this issue CSTA will have a new Two-Year College Board member – still TBA as I write this – who will bring the voice of California’s Community Colleges to the table whenever CSTA meets at a conference or board meeting. There a not many arenas in California education where K-12, Community College, and other higher education partners meet together, and I feel fortunate to be involved in more than one of them as part of my role in education. (more…)

STEM and Service – Content in Context

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

Districts across the nation and California are turning their attention to this thing called STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – both for its college and career readiness implications and for the funding that supports it at all levels of education, pre-K to university. (more…)

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