September 2016 – Vol. 29 No. 1

Region 2 – Bay Area!

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

by Minda Berbeco

Hey Bay Area Science Teachers,

Spring has officially sprung! It’s an exciting time to get your students out, as things heat up outside and students get anxious to spread their wings and fly the coop. What are you doing to keep your students engaged? Any field trips in the works? We at CSTA love to hear about all the different things you are up to – so send me an e-mail and I’ll be sure to share your ideas with others in our community. Here are some not-to-be missed science events going on this May! (more…)

Update from Region 2

Friday, April 8th, 2016

by Minda Berbeco

Hey Greater Bay Area,

Being stuck inside due to the rain this winter has been both a blessing (hurray for rain!) and a curse (what do we do inside all day!!) I personally can’t wait to get out this spring, connect with teachers and spend some time with the science of the outdoors! I’m kicking off this month with travel to Nashville for NSTA. If you are planning on being there, send me a note! I love to meet my teachers in Region 2. For those who are going, I’ll be at my organization’s booth: the National Center for Science Education. I’ll also be giving a workshop on the Big Bang (yeah!) with Brian Kruse from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Be sure to come by our workshop. (more…)

What’s Happening in Region 2!

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

Happy New Year, Bay Area!

Hey CSTA members – it’s the new year and there are so many incredible things happening this coming year around the Bay Area that I am excited to share! First, if you haven’t already signed up for the Council for Math/Science Educators of San Mateo County’s annual STEM conference on February 6, 2016, make sure you do! I’ll be there with my friends from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific to be talking about the Big Bang(!), as well as conducting my own session on teaching about climate change. It should be a great time. (more…)

What’s Up Region 2 aka Bay Area?!

Friday, December 11th, 2015

by Minda Berbeco

As we get towards the end of the year, many of you might be getting ready for a winter break. But we here at CSTA headquarters never rest! We are constantly thinking about the next awesome thing that we can connect you with – and as the year comes to an end and we start to think about the next year, there is a lot to share!

So, what is going on? Well, a lot! (more…)

Friendly Word from Region 2

Monday, October 19th, 2015

By Minda Berbeco

Hi Region 2! We at CSTA are revving up for the CSTA conference this fall, and I can’t wait to see you all there! I’ll be holding “office hours” at the booth – times to be determined – so definitely come meet me there. I’ll also be holding a workshop on Saturday 8-11 am on Climate Change and Energy, so come and check it out! I’d love to hear all of the great things that you are working on this fall. There is so much happening this fall to keep track of, but I want to keep you in the loop of some really neat programs you should definitely check out!

One program you might be interested in is the YESS project:

The YESS Project team (Marin County Community Development Agency, Coravai, Shore Up Marin, and USC Sea Grant) is developing a new NGSS-aligned, project-based sea level rise curriculum for high school students. We’re looking for a few Bay Area teachers to partner with us and pilot the project in their classrooms during the 2015 – 2016 school year. This is a great opportunity for you to educate, engage, and empower your students to be part of climate change solutions in their own communities! (more…)

S.F. Bay Area Science Events for July 2015

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

by Minda Berbeco

Free Entry Days at:

Bay Area Discovery Museum, First Wednesday of the month
UC Botanical Gardens, First Wednesday and Thursday of the month
Oakland Museum of California, First Sunday of the month
CuriOdyssey, July 8th

Super-cool Science Parties and Lectures:

Nerd Nite East Bay, Last Monday of the month
Nerd Nite San Francisco, Third Wednesday of the month
Night Life, Thursdays, 6-10 pm, at the California Academy of Sciences
After Dark, First Thursday of the month, 6-10 pm, at the Exploratorium
Café Inquiry, Firth Thursday of the month, 6pm, at Café Borrone, Menlo Park

(more…)

Region 2 June Events

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Free Entry Days at:

Bay Area Discovery Museum, First Wednesday of the month
UC Botanical Gardens, First Thursday of the month
Oakland Museum of California, First Sunday of the month

Super-cool Science Parties and lectures:

Nerd Nite East Bay, Last Monday of the month

Nerd Nite San Francisco, Third Wednesday of the month

Night Life, Thursdays, 6-10 pm, at the California Academy of Sciences
After Dark, First Thursday of the month, 6-10 pm, at the Exploratorium

Café Inquiry, Firth Thursday of the month, 6pm, at Café Borrone, Menlo Park

Action for California Condors

Wednesday, 06/03/15 6:30 PM Oakland Zoo

For more than 20 years, and through joint efforts, Ventana has lead the way to save the California Condor from extinction by treating them for lead poisoning caused by ingesting food shot by lead-based ammunition. Oakland Zoo is now one of only a few zoos that partner with the California Condor Recovery Program to medically treat wild condors. Come learn how Ventana Wildlife Society and Oakland Zoo take action to help.

For more information: http://www.oaklandzoo.org/Lectures.php (more…)

Events for February 2014

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Free Entry Days at:

Bay Area Discovery Museum, First Wednesday of the month
UC Botanical Gardens, First Thursday of the month
Oakland Museum of California, First Sunday of the month

Super-cool Science Parties and Lectures:

Nerd Nite East Bay, Last Monday of the month

Nerd Nite San Francisco, Third Wednesday of the month

Night Life, Thursdays, 6-10 pm, at the California Academy of Sciences

After Dark, First Thursday of the month, 6-10 pm, at the Exploratorium

Café Inquiry, First Thursday of the month, 6pm, at Café Borrone, Menlo Park

Highlighted Events in February:

Bird Walk Hike at Lake Merritt in Oakland

Saturday, 2/07 & 2/17 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Lake Merritt, Oakland

January is the perfect time to observe wintering waterfowl. Join the Lindsay Wildlife Museum for a morning of birding with experienced birdwatchers from the Mt Diablo Audubon Society. Bring your binoculars and learn how to tell the difference between a tern and a gull. Bird walk hike will be at Oakland’s Lake Merritt. Map and directions will be sent after registration is completed.

Click here to register online (more…)

Region 2 Events for January, 2015

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Free Entry Days at:
Bay Area Discovery Museum, First Wednesday of the month
UC Botanical Gardens, First Thursday of the month
Oakland Museum of California, First Sunday of the month 

Super-cool Science Parties and lectures:
Nerd Nite East Bay, Last Monday of the month
Nerd Nite San Francisco, Third Wednesday of the month
Night Life, Thursdays, 6-10 pm, at the California Academy of Sciences
After Dark, First Thursday of the month, 6-10 pm, at the Exploratorium
Café Inquiry, First Thursday of the month, 6pm, at Café Borrone, Menlo Park 

Highlighted Events in January:

Bird Walk Hike at Lake Merritt in Oakland
Saturday, 01/10/15 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Lindsay Wildlife Museum
January is the perfect time to observe wintering waterfowl. Join the Lindsay Wildlife Museum for a morning of birding with experienced birdwatchers from the Mt Diablo Audubon Society. Bring your binoculars and learn how to tell the difference between a tern and a gull. Bird walk hike will be at Oakland’s Lake Merritt. Map and directions will be sent after registration is completed. To register online: http://wildlife-museum.org/cart/registration/4108

For more information, visit their website at: http://wildlife-museum.org/ (more…)

Events in December 2014 and early January 2015 in CSTA’s Region 2

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

by Minda Berbeco

Opportunities abound in CSTA’s Region 2, which includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Solano counties.

Mid-Late December 2014:

Kitchen Chemistry: The Science Of Food
Saturday, 12/13/14 3-4pm
Chabot Space and Science Center
Everyone’s a chemist in the kitchen! It’s time to play with your food and explore the microbiology, nanoscience, physics, and chemistry of the edibles we love.  Enjoy demonstrations and hands-on experiments on everyday treats and ingredients – from yogurt to yeast, oobleck to ice cream! For more information, visit their website at: https://14884.blackbaudhosting.com/14884/page.aspx?pid=196&tab=2&txobjid=c245e802-3550-49eb-b1dd-1a840aa1061d (more…)

CSTA Region 2 Events for November, 2014

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

by Minda Berbeco

CSTA’s Region 2 includes: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Solano Counties.

Free Entry Days at:

Bay Area Discovery Museum, First Wednesday of the month
UC Botanical Gardens, First Thursday of the month
Oakland Museum of California, First Sunday of the month

Super-cool Science Parties and Lectures:

Nerd Nite East Bay, Last Monday of the month

Nerd Nite San Francisco, Third Wednesday of the month

Night Life, Thursdays, 6-10 pm, at the California Academy of Sciences
After Dark, First Thursday of the month, 6-10 pm, at the Exploratorium

Café Inquiry, Firth Thursday of the month, 6pm, at Café Borrone, Menlo Park

Highlighted Events in November:

Dynamics and Diagnosis of Tick-Borne Diseases in a Changing Landscape
Tuesday, 11/4/14 12-1pm
Sonoma State University – Biology Colloquium, Rohnert Park
Speaker: Dr. Andrea Zwei, Department of Biology, San Francisco State University
For more information, visit their website

Lakes, Fans, Deltas, and Streams: Geomorphic Constraints on the Hydrologic History of Gale Crater, Mars
Tuesday, 11/4/14 12-1pm
SETI Institute Colloquium Series, Mountain View
It has been proposed that in Gale Crater, where the Curiosity rover landed in August 2012, lakes developed to various depths after the large central mound (informally referred to as Mt. Sharp) had evolved to a form close to its current topography. Using a combination of CTX and HiRISE imagery and CTX, HiRISE and HRSC topography, we have documented a sequence of rising and falling lake levels, thereby providing a possible relative timeline of the hydrologic events within Gale crater.
For more information, visit their website (more…)

Events and Resources in CSTA’s Region 2

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

by Minda Berbeco

Free Entry Days at:

Bay Area Discovery Museum, First Wednesday of the month
UC Botanical Gardens, First Thursday of the month
Oakland Museum of California, First Sunday of the month

Hawk Talks, Hawk Hill, Marin Headlands, Every Saturday & Sunday, 12-2pm

Super-cool Science Parties and lectures:

Nerd Nite East Bay, Last Monday of the month

Nerd Nite San Francisco, Third Wednesday of the month

Night Life, Thursdays, 6-10 pm, at the California Academy of Sciences
After Dark, First Thursday of the month, 6-10 pm, at the Exploratorium

Café Inquiry, Firth Thursday of the month, 6pm, at Café Borrone, Menlo Park

Science and Reason with Skeptics in the Pub, Wednesday, 10/22/14 Fiddler’s Green, Millbrae

Highlighted Events in September:

Go Wild! Nature Program for Kids

Wednesday, 10/1/14 4pm

West Valley Branch Library, San Jose

Ever wonder about the San Francisco Bay wetlands and the wildlife in your very own backyard? Join us for an adventure here at your local library. You’ll get up close and personal with real feet and beaks of birds while you play bird games and create your very own wild craft!  Best suited for ages 5-9.

Cost: Free

For more information, visit their website.

Total Lunar Eclipse

Wednesday, 10/8/14, 2-5am

Chabot Space and Science Center, Oakland

The observatory deck opens at 2am for a special presentation about the eclipse. Stay after the presentation for the late night viewing festivities. A Lunar Eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through the shadow of the Earth. For this to happen the Sun, Earth, and Moon must be closely aligned with the Moon and the Moon located furthest from the Sun. Bring binoculars, blankets and warm clothes.

For more information, visit their website. (more…)

September 2014 Events in CSTA’s Region 2

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

by Minda Berbeco

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Free Entry Days at:

Bay Area Discovery Museum, First Wednesday of the month
UC Botanical Gardens, First Thursday of the month
Oakland Museum of California, First Sunday of the month

Super-cool Science Parties and Lectures:

Nerd Nite EastBay, Last Monday of the month

Nerd Nite San Francisco, Third Wednesday of the month

Night Life, Thursdays, 6-10 pm, at the California Academy of Sciences
After Dark, First Thursday of the month, 6-10 pm, at the Exploratorium

Highlighted Events in September:

Legends and Myths of the Prairie Wolf
Wednesday, 9/3/14 10am-12pm
Muir Woods National Monument
One of the most adaptable mammals in the world, the coyote is widespread not only in range but also in mythology and folklore. Learn why the coyote is such a successful survivor and the topic of so many stories. This family-friendly, two-mile walk is easy to moderate with some steep hills. Cost: Free w/reservations. (more…)

Events for July 2014 in CSTA’s Region 2

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

by Minda Berbeco

Free Entry Days at:

Bay Area Discovery Museum, First Wednesday of the month
UC Botanical Gardens, First Thursday of the month
Oakland Museum of California, First Sunday of the month

CuriOdyssey, Free Community Day July 23

Super-cool Science Parties and lectures:

Nerd Nite EastBay, Last Monday of the month

Nerd Nite San Francisco, Third Wednesday of the month

Night Life, Thursdays, 6-10 pm, at the California Academy of Sciences
After Dark, First Thursday of the month, 6-10 pm, at the Exploratorium

Highlighted Events in July:

The Gemini Planet Imager initial performance and data analysis

Tuesday, 7/1/14, 12-1pm

SETI Institute Colloquium Series, 189 Bernardo Ave Mountain View, CA 94043

The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a dedicated facility for directly imaging and spectroscopically characterizing extrasolar planets. It combines a very high-order adaptive optics system, a diffraction-suppressing coronagraph, and an integral field spectrograph with low spectral resolution but high spatial resolution. GPI has been tuned for maximum sensitivity to faint planets near bright stars.

For more information: visit their website. (more…)

Region 2, May 2014

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

by Eric Lewis

For many of you, summer is nearly here! In the San Francisco Unified School District, our last day is May 30, so we can really feel summer’s approach. As I reviewed all of the amazing events that are happening in our region this month, I realized how many great opportunities there are to get more professional development for your personal science content knowledge AND your classroom pedagogy. This month, we are focusing California Classroom Science on earth and ocean sciences (and physics!). There are so many new and exciting science experiences to have in our region that can support your learning and your students’ experiences in your classroom. Be sure to share relevant opportunities with other teachers, students, and parents. (more…)

Region 2, April 2014

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

by Eric Lewis

April has arrived, and with it warmer weather and excitement about summer! Of course, we’re lucky to be in this part of our state: not only do we have amazing places to hike, swim and paddle, but we have incredible places to further our passions in science and technology. We’re fortunate to have so many incredible opportunities to further our science knowledge in our local communities. Be sure to take advantage of this month’s total lunar eclipse on April 14th (peak time is 12:45 am) and National Park Week (April 19-27 in a National Park near you!).

Don’t forget to encourage your colleagues to join CSTA. I’m hoping that we’ll have the opportunity to grow our organization and expand to meet your needs and your colleague’s needs. (more…)

News and Events for March 2014

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

by Eric Lewis

Clearly there is a lot of movement around STEM these days. STEM fairs, STEM workshops, STEM getting mentioned in every type of professional development for science teachers. However, “STEM education” seems to have different meanings to different people. As science, technology, engineering and mathematics encompasses a pretty broad range of careers, activities and curriculum, it’s not too surprising that people think of STEM education differently based on their personal experience in education, careers, and aspirations.

Regardless, when I see articles in our local paper around getting more young women into coding, see videos of students printing 3-D robots, and notice the proliferation of Maker Faire Events, I get a bit excited. (more…)

Region 2 News and Events for February 2014

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

by Eric Lewis

One year ago we were just getting a feel for what it was like to have a balanced budget at the state level and there was some optimism around what the future was going to bring for both science specifically (NGSS) and for classrooms in general. Now we are in the Awareness Phase of the NGSS adoption – planning implementation and collaboration around the new standards. And, in many districts, there is talk of actual raises for teachers. What a difference a year makes! (more…)

Region 2 Events for December 2013

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

by Eric Lewis

Happy Holidays everyone. Please let me know if there are things that you’d like to add to our Region’s offerings. Don’t forget to encourage your colleagues to join CSTA. I’m hoping that we’ll have the opportunity to grow our organization and expand to meet your needs and your colleague’s needs. To that end, please feel free to email me directly so that I can represent your questions and concerns with the CSTA board as a whole.

Eric Lewis, lewise2@sfusd.edu

There are many, many science opportunities in the Bay Area. Please visit here to see a year round calendar of events in our area. Some events to remember: (more…)

Student Opportunity in Region 2

Monday, November 4th, 2013

San Francisco Bay Area high school students are invited to participate in an exciting, challenging, and fun-filled event: The 2014 Brain Bee. There are two locations for the local competition; students can select which one they wish to participate in:

  • Stanford Brain Bee to be held on Saturday, January 18, 2014, from 1:00pm–5:00pm, at Stanford University, or
  • East Bay Brain Bee to be held on Sunday, January 19, 2014, at Cal State East Bay

What is the Brain Bee?  (more…)

Region 2 – News and Events for October 2013

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

by Eric Lewis

I hope that your school year has been off to a great start. I also hope that you can take advantage of some of the great science opportunities in our region this month!

The Next Generation Science Standards have arrived in California and now we need to get to work. In my district, as I’m sure is true in yours, there is a mixed response to the NGSS from fanatical excitement to tempered indifference. I myself think that these standards are going to be amazing not only because they emphasize a whole different kind of science teaching and learning, but also because they connect so wonderfully to the CA Common Core Standards in ELA and Mathematics. Of course, I think in order to really make the changes that we want in education, we’re going to need to support a different structure for schools – especially high schools. We will need more time to work with our colleagues in other disciplines to ensure that we’re utilizing the tools provided in our standards. How else will we be able to weave these standards together? I hope that we see some new innovations in school structures over the next few years to help teachers to meet the challenges and opportunities that these new standards provide.  (more…)

News and Events for September 2013

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

by Eric Lewis

Welcome back to your new school year. I hope that you can take advantage of some of the great opportunities in science in our region!

I do hope that I’ll get to see you at this year’s California Science Education Conference in Palm Springs in October. Please let me know if there are things that you’d like to add to our Region’s offerings. (more…)

Region 2 – News and Events

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

by Eric Lewis

As August is quickly approaching, I’m sitting on a train heading from New York to Boston.  From there I’ll head to Europe for a bit before I return to San Francisco.  Summer will be ending early this year for me as I’ll be going to training on Complex Instruction for a week, and then to San Diego (thanks Region 4!) for training at the San Diego Zoo.  Shortly after that we’ll be gearing up for our own districts professional development days – our first in YEARS to be centralized, content-focused, and provided by the district’s professional development minions. (more…)

Region 2 Message and Events

Monday, July 1st, 2013

by Eric Lewis

“While the days are still pretty long, days get shorter EVERY day of the summer.”  My 9th grade Earth Science teacher taught me that a LONG time ago.  While that makes me a bit sad about how quickly summer months pass by, I know that these months and/or weeks help to rejuvenate teachers in so many ways.

When I was new teacher, I was lucky that my department chair protected me as much as possible (aside from giving me three preps, not including the one class that had newcomers to the United States that I had to teach VERY differently than my other classes!).  However, one piece of advice that she gave me was NOT to teach summer school or night school during my first few years of teaching.  I ended up teaching night school after a few years of teaching, but avoided teaching summer school for 14 years – until this year.  Of course, for the past six years I have been out of the classroom, supporting teachers with curriculum, doing professional development, and occasionally co-teaching new lessons or covering a class for a teacher.  During those classes, I’ve always found that students were much nicer to me than they were to their regular teacher.  Not because I taught any better, but because I was a novelty to them.  And, since I didn’t really know the students, I was pretty content to assume they all were great, engaged students. (more…)

It’s That Time of Year Again

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

by Eric Lewis

“It’s just that time of the year again.”  I hear that all the time as I travel from school to school and from teacher to teacher.  Between state testing, APs, finals and projects, teachers and students alike are moving at a swifter pace than all year.  My experience is that this pace is only going to continue into the summer and next year.  I hope that folks will all find interesting things to do in your area – we’re lucky to have so much great science in our region.  Also, there are many great summer opportunities for work/professional development for us, too.  Of course, many of us just need some time to recharge over the summer – enjoying family, traveling and reading the stack of books that built up over the school year.  I do hope that you all have a great end-of-year and fantastic summer vacation. (more…)

April 2013 News and Events

Monday, April 1st, 2013

by Eric Lewis

Happy Spring everyone!  I hope that you have had a restful Spring Break (or will have one shortly) and that you’re ready for the last bit of the school year.  Incredibly, we are into the last stretch!  I’ve already started planning out my summer – between trips, work and PD, it’s turning out to be pretty full!

I hope that some of you were able to submit your ideas for workshops for this year’s Education Conference in Palm Springs in October!  And, please let me know if there are things that you’d like to add to our Region’s offerings.  Don’t forget to encourage your colleagues to join CSTA.  I’m hoping that we’ll have the opportunity to grow our organization and expand to meet your needs and your colleague’s needs.  To that end, please feel free to email me directly so that I can represent your questions and concerns to the CSTA Board of Directors. (more…)

Region 2 Update and Events

Friday, February 1st, 2013

by Eric Lewis

Happy February everyone!  Things are looking pretty good for science right now.  Finally, we have a balanced budget for our state and education is NOT on the chopping block.  And, the requirement for two years of science for high school graduation will be maintained.

I hope you had a chance to review the Next Generation Science Standards during the three-week review window.  I am excited about the new standards, but I’m also surprised each time that I review them how challenging they are to navigate.  They are SO very different from our current standards, but I keep thinking about new teachers who will never know any other sets of standards.  Certainly, there are many changes coming our way! (more…)

Region Updates: Region 2

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

by Eric Lewis

After a long wait,  the Next Generation Science Standards will be released on January 8, 2013!  It will be important for as many of us as possible to review them and provide feedback.

In general, I’m excited about the new standards though I’ve grown quite fond of our old standards.  Well, perhaps “fond” isn’t the right word… it’s more like I have grown comfortable with them.  I’ve been teaching with our current standards for my whole career.  I’ve never had to teach anything else and I’m excited and nervous about the changes that are coming to our science standards. (more…)

News and Events in Region 2

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

by Eric Lewis

You can now start to submit your ideas for workshops for next year’s Education Conference in Palm Springs!  And as always, please let me know if there are things that you’d like to add to our Region’s offerings list. Don’t forget to encourage your colleagues to join CSTA.  I’m hoping that we’ll have the opportunity to grow our organization and expand to meet your needs and your colleague’s needs.  To that end, please feel free to email me directly so that I can represent your questions and concerns with the CSTA board as a whole, at lewise2@sfusd.edu.

Upcoming Events in Region 2: (more…)

IISME (Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education)

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

by Eric Lewis

Eric:  What exactly is IISME?

Shari:  IISME is a non-profit organization founded in 1985 that seeks to transform teaching and learning through industry-education partnerships. IISME exists to address the critical need for a strong, highly skilled workforce in math, science and technological fields. This industry-education partnership focuses on teachers as the primary agents for effecting meaningful change in mathematics and science education.  (more…)

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