September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

Call for CSTA Awards Nominations

Posted: Monday, April 1st, 2013

The 2013 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 two awards the Future Science Teacher Award and the prestigious Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award. May 16 is the deadline for nominations for these two 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 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.

The CSTA is now accepting nominations for the following awards:

The Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award, which honors an individual who has made a significant contribution to science education in the state and who, through years of leadership and service, has truly made a positive impact on the quality of science teaching. Click here to access the on-line nomination form.

The CSTA Future Science Teacher Award, which recognizes college students who demonstrate an interest in and commitment to science education through volunteer, teaching, and professional organization activities and who show promise to become outstanding science educators. No more than two Future Science Teacher Awards will be awarded in any year. Click here to access the on-line nomination form.

Nominations for the 2013 CSTA awards must be postmarked by May 16, 2013.

Past Recipients of the Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award

2012 Dean Gilbert

2010 Larry Malone and Linda De Lucchi

2009 Bill Ritz

2008 David Andrews

2005 Phil Lafontaine

2002 Eugenie Scott

2001 VivianLee Ward

2000 Art Sussman

1999 Bonnie Brunkhorst

1998 Kathy DiRanna

1997 Jennifer Harris

1996 Brad Huff

1994 Tom Smithson

1993 Kay Sain

1992 Zack Taylor

1991 Roxie Esterle

1990 Dick Merrill

1989 Margaret Nicholson

1988 David Stronck

1987 Kay Weil

1986 Garland Johnson

1985 Dick Smith

1984 Margaret Nicholson

1983 Norman McRae

1982 Dan Shannon

1981 Bob Rice

Past Recipients of the Future Science Teacher Award:

2012 Josiah Jones, CSU Long Beach

2011 Guadalupe de la O, CSU Long Beach

2010 Angela Lewis, CSU Long Beach

2009 Bernice “Jeanne” Lepowsky, CSU Long Beach

2008 Caroline Potter, CSU Long Beach

2007 William M. Berkstresser, CSU Long Beach and Padma Haldar, CSU Long Beach

2006 Tierra Rice, CSU Sacramento

2005 Genevieve Finch, CSU Long Beach

2003 Laura Miller, U.C. Berkeley

2001 Nadia Smith, Head-Royce School, Oakland

2000 Iris Zippora Ahronowitz, Harvard University

1999 Heather Wolfe, Lincoln High School, Lincoln

1998 Erica Garcia, U. C. Berkeley

1996 Michelle Coppoletta, U.C. Berkeley and Winifredo Naval, Chapman University

1994 Jeffrey Marc Castle, Aragon High School, San Mateo

1993 Alisa Moynagh, San Diego State University

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.