March/April 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 6

Call for CSTA Awards Nominations

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. (more…)

Call for Volunteers – CSTA Committees

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: (more…)

VIP Experience at NSTA National Conference – You Could Be a Winner!

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

Weir-Header

Huge fan of The Martian?!
Space Geek?
Science Fanatic?
Physics and Astronomy Lover?

You’ll be in good company when you’re at the NSTA National Conference listening to keynote speaker, Andy Weir. Here are some highlighted events surrounding Andy and The Martian and there will be much more happening in the Exhibit Hall like the Cargo Drop Challenge (you’ll be able to recreate a scene from the book by designing your own landing mechanism to drop supplies to a landing area!). (more…)

NGSS Rollout #4 Dates Announced – Registration Opens in 2017

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

The next iteration of the NGSS Rollout series of professional learning events written and produced by a collaboration between the California Department of Education, California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, California Science Project, K-12 Alliance, and California Science Teachers Association will launch in May 2017 and will focus primarily on the new Science Curriculum Framework. Please mark your calendars for the following dates and locations and stay tuned to your email inbox for a notice when registration opens. (more…)

Call for Nominations for the 2017-2019 CSTA Board of Directors

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

nominationformIt’s that time of year when CSTA is looking for dedicated and qualified persons to fill the upcoming vacancies on its Board of Directors. This opportunity allows you to help shape the policy and determine the path that the Board will take in the new year. There are time and energy commitments, but that is far outweighed by the personal satisfaction of knowing that you are an integral part of an outstanding professional educational organization, dedicated to the support and guidance of California’s science teachers. You will also have the opportunity to help CSTA review and support legislation that benefits good science teaching and teachers.

Right now is an exciting time to be involved at the state level in the California Science Teachers Association. The CSTA Board of Directors is currently involved in implementing the Next Generations Science Standards and its strategic plan. If you are interested in serving on the CSTA Board of Directors, now is the time to submit your name for consideration. (more…)

Science & Engineering Practices for Science Fairs Infographic

Friday, August 19th, 2016

Infographic

Click to download a PDF of the infographic

The non-profit Synopsys Silicon Valley Science & Technology Outreach Foundation enables students and teachers developing science projects at more than 750 California schools each year. As teachers process methods to implement Next Generation Science Standards, we suggest that hands-on science projects and science fair competitions are the perfect vehicles for implementing NGSS. (more…)

California Health Education Framework Focus Groups – Call for Volunteers

Friday, August 19th, 2016

The California Department of Education, State Board of Education, and Instructional Quality Commission are just beginning the three-year process of revising the Health Framework.

Please apply for appointment to a Focus Group to provide input regarding what guidance and information should be included in the revised framework to support the implementation of the Health Education Content Standards.

Completed applications are due September 15, 2016.

Application forms are available online at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/he/cf/. (more…)

Looking for the Perfect Graduation Gift for the Future Teachers in Your Life?

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

by Laura Henriques

Have we got a deal for you!

Graduation

The strains of Pomp & Circumstances are starting to fill the air. Graduation is the most special day of the school year. We celebrate accomplishments and honor excellence. Your students are getting ready to move to the next grade or level. Seniors are getting fitted for caps and gowns and are thinking about their moves into careers and college.

Did you have a student teacher or student aide this year? If you are looking for a graduation gift or a thank you gift, we have a perfect idea. Give them a membership in CSTA! As a new teacher, the cost of membership is a reasonable $50 for two years of membership! (more…)

Welcome New and Renewing Members – April and May 2016

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Thank you and welcome to the following 212 new and renewing CSTA members who joined or renewed in April or May 2016:

Michelle Abernathy
Sarah Aguinaga
Kristen Akl
Lana Albertson
Dolores Alexander
David Alkass
Christina Allen
Irene Allert
Vanessa Andre
Dianne Anderson
Joelle Andrews
Lisa Anglim
Miguel Appleman
Michelle Arias
Valerie Arkle
Sarah Atallah

Moksha Badarayan
Jesse Balderas
Teresa Barnett
Paul Beardsley
Alison Becchina
Ana Benitez
Matt Bidwell
Gypsy Biller
Bill Bishop
Samantha Bores
Linda Braatz-Brown
Erin Bradley
Victoria Brady
Russell Brown
Nancy Bruce
Elizabeth Buchnoff
Drew Bueno-Potts
Betty Burkhard
Kathy Burkholder
Joy Burton (more…)

Call for Presenters: Northwest Nevada Math & Science Conference

Monday, April 11th, 2016

Looking to take your NGSS presentation on the road? Consider submitting an application to present in the fellow NGSS-adoption state of Nevada!

You are invited to submit a proposal for a 90 minute presentation at the first annual Northwest Nevada Math & Science Conference on Saturday August 27, 2016.  Take this opportunity to share your ideas and enthusiasm and to highlight your successes and challenges with fellow attendees at the inaugural conference. The deadline to submit a proposal is April 22. (more…)

Don’t Miss Your Chance to Present at an NSTA Conference

Sunday, April 10th, 2016

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is currently accepting proposals for speakers to present at the 2017 National Conference on Science Education in Los Angeles, March 30–April 2. Strands can be viewed here and focus on the Next Generation Science Standards, STEM, science and literacy, and equity. To submit, please click here. The deadline to submit is April 15, 2016. Learn more about NSTA conferences. Questions? Please e-mail conferences@nsta.org. (more…)

Online Survey to Improve Local Control and Accountability Plans

Monday, March 14th, 2016

SACRAMENTO – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced a new online survey to improve local educational agencies’ three-year plans to improve student achievement.

Knows as Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs), these are key tools for establishing goals to improve student outcomes and to align spending decisions with those goals. (more…)

The “All-American” Eclipse of the Sun in 2017: Free Booklet

Monday, March 14th, 2016

by Andrew Fraknoi

On August 21, 2017, there will be a total eclipse of the Sun visible from the U.S. (and only the US!) The path of what is being called the “All American” total eclipse is only about 60 miles wide and goes from a beach in Oregon to a beach in South Carolina, crossing the country diagonally. The partial eclipse will be visible to 500 million people in the other parts of the US and North America. (more…)

Applications Invited for Appointment to the California Practitioners Advisory Group

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

The State Board of Education (SBE) is currently seeking applications to fill up to 15 positions on a newly constituted advisory committee, which will be called the California Practitioners Advisory Group (CPAG), to provide input to the SBE on ongoing efforts to establish a single coherent local, state, and federal accountability system. The advisory committee will also serve as the state’s committee of practitioners under federal Title I requirements.

All applicants must currently meet one or more of the practitioner categories listed below:

  • Superintendents or other Administrators
  • Teachers from traditional public schools and charter schools and career and technical educators
  • Principals and other school leaders
  • Parents of student(s) currently enrolled in the K-12 public education system
  • Members of local school boards
  • Representatives of private school children
  • Specialized instructional support personnel and paraprofessionals
  • Representatives of authorized public chartering agencies
  • Charter school leaders
  • Education researchers

(more…)

New Brochures Help Explain California Common Core State Standards

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

What kinds of things will my child learn in mathematics and English language arts in first grade? In high school? New brochures focused on the California Common Core State Standards for mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA) are now available to help teachers and other educators answer such questions from parents, guardians, and other community members. (more…)

Population Education to Host Facilitator-Training Institute

Saturday, February 6th, 2016

The facilitator training is open to educators who are interested in leading Population Education workshops for their colleagues at schools, universities, and conferences around the region.  Participants will include K-12 teachers, university education faculty and nonformal educators who work with teachers.

Thanks to foundation support, we are able to cover most of your expenses for the weekend event (two nights lodging, meals during the weekend and up to $500 travel stipend).  Participants will also receive an extensive handbook of training materials and a variety of curriculum resources, including the latest edition of Population Education’s award-winning “dot” video, World Population. (more…)

Make 2016 a Year of Service – Join the CSTA Board of Directors

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

by Laura Henriques

As we look forward to 2016 I hope you’ll consider sharing your talents, time, and expertise with your colleagues. There are so many ways you can do that through your involvement with CSTA.

Post great ideas to the various CSTA Facebook Groups – anytime

CSTA has Facebook Groups for elementary, middle school high school and university faculty plus a group for Coaches/District Leaders. Some groups are more active than others, but all of them are venues for sharing exciting teaching ideas, seek input from colleagues, and ask questions about implementing NGSS. We are happy to have you lurk but consider sharing.

Write articles for California Classroom Science – articles due the 1st of the month for the following issue

As a CSTA regular, you know that CCS comes out each month. We try to have a wide range of articles. We update you on policy and NGSS related issues, we share lesson and unit ideas, updates and information from the NGSS Early Implementing Districts, technology tidbits, fieldtrip ideas and more. You have some great things you do in your classroom or informal site. Write for us and share them with the field. Find details about upcoming issues, submission guidelines and deadlines. Submissions are due on the first of the month preceding publication. While the Publishing Committee has selected themes for the year, you are not obligated to write to those themes. (more…)

Don’t miss out on the fun! CSLA State Conference 2016

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

logo_2inCSTA is pleased to announce that it is partnering with the California School Library Association in their 2016 annual conference. CSTA past president Laura Henriques will be presenting a workshop on Sunday, February 7. The conference runs February 4-7 and will take place at the Bahia Resort and Hotel in San Diego. The theme for the Sunday of the conference is STEAM. CSTA members can enjoy a discounted one-day registration for Sunday of only $69! Simply use the the code partnerCSTA2016 to take advantage of this special rate. For more information view the conference flyer or visit their website and register today!

Sunday, February 7 Conference Schedule: (more…)

Interested in Getting the Most Bang for Your Teaching Buck?

Friday, December 11th, 2015

by Kristen Hurst

Designed by freepik.com

Designed by freepik.com

Teaching can be expensive. Sometimes it feels like buying that amazing set of manipulatives or that new professional learning book you have had your eye on is breaking the bank. Sound familiar? What if there was a way to spend a small amount of money, yet reap multiple benefits? California Science Teachers Association has got you covered and is proud to support the tireless efforts of teachers. Now is the perfect time to sign up for a CSTA membership!

(more…)

Consider Supporting CSTA with an End of Year Donation

Friday, December 11th, 2015

by Laura Henriques

I don’t know about you, but I get greeting cards, mailing labels, wrapping paper and even holiday ornaments in the mail – all from organizations hoping that I will open my checkbook and make an end of the year donation. That ploy doesn’t usually work for me.

Instead, I choose to donate to organizations whose goals and missions align with mine. I like to give to organizations which do good work and spend their money wisely. CSTA is one of those organizations and it is why I am giving an end of year donation. I would like to invite you to consider doing so as well.

CSTA has a small paid staff and a huge volunteer staff. In spite of a relatively small, carefully monitored budget, CSTA manages to do some pretty impressive work. (more…)

Call for Nominations for the 2016-2018 CSTA Board of Directors

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

It’s that time of year when CSTA is looking for dedicated and qualified persons to fill the upcoming vacancies on its Board of Directors. This opportunity allows you to help shape the policy and determine the path that the Board will take in the new year. There is a time and energy commitment, but that is far outweighed by the personal satisfaction of knowing that you are an integral part of an outstanding professional educational organization, dedicated to the support and guidance of California’s science teachers. You will also have the opportunity to help CSTA review and support legislation that benefits good science teaching and teachers.

Right now is an exciting time to be involved at the state level in the California Science Teachers Association. The CSTA Board of Directors is currently involved in implementing the Next Generations Science Standards and its strategic plan. If you are interesting in serving on the CSTA Board of Directors, now is the time to submit your name for consideration. (more…)

CSTA Prepares to Provide Feedback to CDE on New Science Curriculum Framework

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

by Jessica Sawko

Twenty five CSTA members are volunteering their time to review approximately 1,000 pages of the early draft of the new Science Curriculum Framework to support NGSS instruction in the classroom and provide guidance to publishers of instructional materials. They are reviewing the document and submitting their feedback to CSTA who will represent science educators from across the state at the end of this month, on August 27-28, when the Science Subject Matter Committee will meet. The Science Subject Matter Committee (SMC) is a committee of the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) (formerly known as the Curriculum Commission) and is responsible for reviewing drafts of the framework and considering public feedback and incorporating that as appropriate as well as providing input based on their expertise. They then forward the draft to the full IQC for approval to be released for a 60-day public comment period. (more…)

Better Together – California Teachers to Convene Across the State on July 31st

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

by Mei Louie

Across the state, California teachers are driving innovation in the classroom and shaping our students’ futures. To support their critical work, a coalition of California colleges and universities is inviting teachers to unite on Friday, July 31, 2015 to build powerful networks, share successful classroom practices and access effective resources to implement state standards.

Thirty-three California campuses are opening their spaces and inviting an estimate of 20,000 teachers to participate in a one-day event. Teachers will have a unique opportunity to hear about proven best practices from nationally renowned speakers, fellow teachers, and leaders in education. The free convening will be led by teachers, for teachers, and will help towards building a powerful lasting network of peers. This is a chance for teachers to come together to collaborate in hope of creating a better future for California students. Teachers will walk away with concrete tools to immediately use in their classrooms to implement the California Standards including the Common Core. (more…)

What Will You Be Doing on July 9th?

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

by Laura Henriques

Lots of us will be at the NSTA Summer Institute in Anaheim. This year’s Institute will focus on NGSS. CSTA is collaborating in sponsoring the event being held in California.

Image_1_HenriquesThe full-day institute starts with a general session presentation by NASA astronaut Barbara Morgan. Participants will then break into elementary and secondary level groups. The day includes hands-on experiences designed to help you conceptualize and experience the shifts associated with NGSS instruction. Formative assessment issues will also be addressed during the institute. NSTA carefully selected the presenters and you are in for a really good day.

The elementary sessions were designed with these framing questions in mind.

  • What does the shift toward NGSS look like for teaching?
  • How can instruction in science support learning in mathematics and English language arts?
  • How can I manage the shift toward three-dimensional learning?
  • How can I change my teaching so that students are engaging in collaborative sense-making about phenomena?
  • How can I assess my students while teaching science to inform my next teaching steps?

The secondary sessions were designed with similar, but slightly different framing questions.

  • What does the shift toward NGSS look like for teaching?
  • How can I adapt my instructional materials for NGSS-aligned instruction?
  • How can I support the productive discourse needed to engage students in the practices of the NGSS?
  • How can I create and use formative assessment tasks that integrate practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts?

Register now! CSTA members receive a discount on the registration cost.

The event is being held in Anaheim at the Sheraton Hotel (if you are going to spend the night(s) be sure to mention that you are part of the NSTA Housing Block).

Do you know what else is near the Sheraton Hotel? Disneyland! Remember that your CSTA membership gives you discount on Disneyland tickets. So go ahead, bring the family – spend time doing NGSS and then spend some time at Disneyland and California Adventure. Summertime in SoCal doing science and having fun .… what could be better?

See you there. Remember to stop by the CSTA table to get your CSTA member ribbon!

 

 

Federation of Earth Science Information Partners Is Seeking High School and Community College Science Educators to Join Their Community

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

The Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) education committee is inviting regional educators to join us at the ESIP summer meeting at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove California this summer.

The ESIP educator’s workshop will start at 1pm Wednesday 7/15 and end at 3pm Thursday 7/16 and includes a poster session and community reception Wednesday evening. Educators are encouraged to stay overnight at Asilomar to maximize opportunities for interaction. Most workshop sessions will be focused on using Earth Science data to inform instruction.  (more…)

New, FREE DIY Lake Science App

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

LakeScienceAppPlunge into the fun science of lakes, rivers, creeks, and ponds with a new, free DIY app that lets you investigate freshwater ecosystems anywhere you live. DIY Lake Science explores Earth’s freshwater, and its importance to all life on our planet, in 12 hands-on STEM activities.

Created by UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science, in collaboration with the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) and the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Vermont, the new app for the iPad and iPhone takes you outdoors to find what’s below the surface of bodies of freshwater. The app’s field adventures include making a viewscope and looking for underwater plants and animals, and crafting a Secchi disc and measuring how clear or murky a body of water is. Using such tools helps show how scientists test water quality, monitor pollution, track the populations of species, and even discover new life forms. (more…)

Computer Based Testing for Science – Coming Soon Plus Sample 2015 Individual Student Reports for 5th and 8th Grade Science CSTs

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

updated May 6, 2015

by Jessica Sawko

On Wednesday, May 6, 2015 the California State Board of Education voted to approve Educational Testing Service (ETS) as the contractor to develop the new science assessments that are required to meet federal testing regulations.  The vote is not without controversy and was preceded by a closed session of the the State Board. As reported in the Sacramento Bee on April 5, Pearson School was dissatisfied with the results of the bidding process and threatened a lawsuit.

Partial view of the sample 5th grade student report. Click the image to access a full copy of the sample report.

Partial view of the sample 5th grade student report. Click the image to access a full copy of the sample report.

Additionally, this week the California Department of Education also released the final version of sample individual student reports that will be sent home to parents this summer. These reports will include the science assessment results in grades 5 and 8. The sample report of the grade 10 life science test has not been posted and CSTA has requested more information about what information this report will contain. (more…)

NSF Grant Survey

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Santa Rosa Junior College, in partnership with their School of Science and Sonoma State University, a number of CBO’s, and industry partners are laboring hard on an NSF grant proposal.

Santa Rosa Junior College is a Hispanic Serving Institution. To address our nation’s acute STEM education needs, our project proposes a minimum of six to nine teaching/leaning modules that will focus on historically difficult concepts in science. (more…)

Update on 2015 Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

by Jessica Sawko

For many months our members have been requesting clear information from the state department of education (CDE) regarding the purpose of the “science CSTs” that are being administered this year in grades 5, 8, and 10 and well as how the test scores from those assessments will be used for accountability purposes. The following was excerpted from a letter from the California Department of Education released on April 22:

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress for Science

As educators from across the state begin or continue to implement the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS), questions have been raised regarding the role of the summative science assessments which students in grades five, eight, and ten will participate in during the spring of 2015. (more…)

Call for CSTA Volunteers for 2015/2016

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

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:

  • review and provide input to the state on the new curriculum framework for science – helping to shape the way science will be taught across the state.
  • write letters and provide guidance on legislation that has state-wide implications
  • edit and/or write articles for CSTA’s monthly newsletter
  • select keynote and featured speakers for the annual CSTA conference and provide those speaker’s with guidance on their presentations
  • moderate CSTA’s Facebook Groups
  • and much more!

CSTA relies on its volunteers to do so much for the association and we would not be able to offer the programs and services we do without their support. As educators themselves, the board of directors recognizes what a busy time this is for science educators in California. New standards, new assessments, new funding mechanism, uncertain accountability, and more have us all scrambling to keep up. However, it is during this time of transition that your participation in your association is the most critical. Science teachers voices must be represented at the state level, we must share with each other what we are learning, how we are coping, and we must provide input into developing our own professional learning experiences. Participation on a CSTA committee can help you do that. (more…)

la2017_logo_235x235See You There

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Not a member of CSTA? Join/Renew today:

CSTA One Year Membership ($50)

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