May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Call for Proposals for 2011 CSTA Conference

Posted: Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Conference LogoThe California Science Teachers Association is actively seeking classroom science teachers to present one-hour workshops and three- or six-hour Short Courses at the 2011 California Science Education Conference, October 21-23 in Pasadena, CA.  Science educators from throughout the state will gather for this highly-regarded annual professional development opportunity. 

Classroom teachers are invited to share best practices, pedagogy, labs, lessons, and units in the following content areas for all grades.

CSTA is seeking workshop and Short Course proposals in the following strands:

  • Chemistry
  • Earth/Space Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Integrated Science
  • Life Science
  • Multidisciplinary Science
  • Physical Science or
  • Physics

With emphasis in

  • Assessment
  • Pedagogy/I & E
  • Classroom Management
  • Literacy/EL
  • Technology
  • Science Leadership
  • Informal Science
  • Teacher Education or
  • STEM/Career/Workforce

About Workshops: Workshops address a specific area of science content, address one or more of the California science standards, and are of interest to a variety of teachers.  They are one hour in length and may consist of hands-on activities, lecture, demonstration, and/or discussion.  Proposals should have embedded in the content appropriate investigation, experimentation, and inquiry processes and address one or more of the California Science Standards (

About Short Courses:  Short Courses are ticketed courses that offer participants an opportunity to explore a specific science concept in-depth during a three- or six-hour course.  Short Courses typically consist of a considerable amount of hands-on activity, interactive instruction, group work, and discussion.  A Short Course presenter is typically considered an expert in his or her field.  Proposals should have embedded in the content appropriate investigation, experimentation, and inquiry processes and address one or more of the California Science Standards (

About the Conference: The California Science Education Conference is the largest statewide professional development event in the state designed specifically for science teachers.  The conference provides science educators of all grade levels with the content knowledge and pedagogy they need to deliver quality science education to California’s students.

Complimentary Registration: Lead presenters who are current members of CSTA will receive a complimentary conference registration, allowing full access to over 200 free workshops and events over the course of the conference.  Non-member lead presenters may join CSTA or pay a $39 registration fee, in exchange for which they will receive a complimentary one-year membership.  The teacher’s name, title, and school name will also appear in the printed conference program.

Review of Proposals: All workshop proposals will be reviewed by two members of the 2011 Conference Committee.  The name of the proposal submitter is not viewable by the reviewer.  For a copy of the rubric that will be used to review the proposals, please visit

Proposal Selection: CSTA seeks to offer a variety and balance of programming across grade levels and subject matters.  Thus, the selection of sessions is based not only on their review score, but also on the number of sessions needed to offer this diverse programming.  Those submitting proposals will be notified by mail and/or e-mail of the status of their Short Course proposal in mid-March and of workshop proposals in mid-April, 2011.

Proposals are accepted on-line only at:

Short Course Proposal Deadline: January 31, 2011

Workshop Proposal Deadline: March 7, 2011

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

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:

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.