March/April 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 6

Bringing Science Together for Elementary and High School Students

Posted: Monday, April 1st, 2013

by Valerie Joyner

This month I was very excited to see two local science programs prominently placed on the front page of two separate newspapers in Sonoma County.  Lee Boyes, Honors Chemistry teacher at Petaluma High School, and Steve Carpenter, Physics teacher at Piner High School in Santa Rosa, have independently developed collaborative science programs involving their high school seniors with younger elementary students within their districts. These programs were developed to help support elementary science and assist students in developing a greater interest in and understanding for the science they are learning.  Throughout the year, the high school science students visited the local elementary classrooms to teach science concepts through hands-on activities.  In March, each program brought the elementary students to their high schools and learned more chemistry and physics from their teenage mentors.

Boyes and Carpenter are well aware of the challenges that elementary teachers face with regards to science: not enough time, money, or support for necessary professional development or implementation.  They also know that the time to get students excited about science is in the elementary grades.  As an outgrowth of their research (High Hopes – Few Opportunities, WestEd, 2011 and CALPASS) and experience they realized the need to have an impact on their future science students.

I know there are many similar examples of high quality science education programs being carried out.  I congratulate and thank all of you for your efforts to improve science education and create a future filled with enthusiastic science students.  As we move forward with NGSS, STEM Blueprints, and A Framework for K-12 Science Education, it is time to keep science education in the forefront of the publics mind.  Don’t forget to send your local news outlets press releases or even just a quick phone call about your programs and projects.

Finally, it is never too soon to begin to secure funding for CSTA’s 2013 Conference, October 25-27, in Palm Springs.  April is often the deadline for spending 2012-2013 funding for your school.  You might be able to use some of this year’s funds for the conference.  Another option is to find local groups and/or businesses that want to promote science education in your area.

Events and Happenings in Region 1

Project WILD

April 2, 2013

4:00-7:00 pm

Sonoma County Office of Education

5340 Skylane Blvd., Santa Rosa, CA

Contact: Mike Roa at mroa@scoe.gov

Project WILD is a resource for teaching about organisms.

Ticks, Yellow jackets, Mosquitoes and More!

April 11, 2013

4:00 – 7:00 pm

Sonoma County Office of Education

5340 Skylane Blvd., Santa Rosa, CA

Contact: Mike Roa at mroa@scoe.gov

This workshop will teach you about a variety of invertebrates that have importance to the health of you and your students

Super SIRC (Science in the River City) Science Saturday

Saturday, May 4, 2013

9:00 a.m. -3:30 p.m.

Sacramento State Union, Sacramento State University

Hosted by Sacramento Area Science Project and the Center for Mathematics and Science Education

Target audience: K-12 teachers

SIRC is an outstanding standards-based professional development program for 3rd to 12th grade science teachers. This 1-day science conference is designed to deepen teachers’ understanding of science through hands-on, minds-on labs and activities, connecting the Science Content Standards and Common Core. Included are 3 workshops, workshop materials, breakfast, lunch, and 6 professional development hours.

For more information please visit www.csus.edu/mase/sircsaturday.htm or email Debbie Dennick at debbie@csus.edu.

Written by Valerie Joyner

Valerie Joyner

Valerie Joyner is a retired elementary science educator and is CSTA’s Primary (grades K-2) Director.

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California Science Curriculum Framework Now Available

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.

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.

Call for CSTA Awards Nominations

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…

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.

Call for Volunteers – CSTA Committees

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

Volunteer

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…

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.

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

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…

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.

Learning to Teach in 3D

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

by Joseph Calmer

Probably like you, NGSS has been at the forefront of many department meetings, lunch conversations, and solitary lesson planning sessions. Despite reading the original NRC Framework, the Ca Draft Frameworks, and many CSTA writings, I am still left with the question: “what does it actually mean for my classroom?”

I had an eye-opening experience that helped me with that question. It came out of a conversation that I had with a student teacher. It turns out that I’ve found the secret to learning how to teach with NGSS: I need to engage in dialogue about teaching with novice teachers. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching science in some capacity for 12 years. During that time pedagogy and student learning become sort of a “hidden curriculum.” It is difficult to plan a lesson for the hidden curriculum; the best way is to just have two or more professionals talk and see what emerges. I was surprised it took me so long to realize this epiphany. 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.