August 2014 – Vol. 26 No. 12

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…)

Region 2 News and Events

Monday, October 1st, 2012

by Eric Lewis

I hope that you take the opportunity to attend the California Science Education Conference in San Jose this year, and 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, and let me know if there are things that you’d like to add to our Region’s offerings.

Check out the events calendar to see all that is happening in our region this month: http://www.classroomscience.org/events.

Middle School Science Classrooms Needed for Student Interviews – $150 Teacher Stipend

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Curriculum developers and education researchers at the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley are working together to design and develop a new generation of middle school science curriculum for use across the country.Our team is seeking to conduct student interviews in 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th grade classrooms in the Bay Area and nearby counties during the first two weeks of October. Participating teachers will receive a $150 stipend. (more…)

Region 2 News and Events

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

by Eric Lewis

Welcome back to school everyone!  I hope that you had a great summer and had a chance to do some valuable professional development.  I also trust that like me, you’re re-energized for another school year and that you’re excited to meet your new students and families.

This summer I took part in many worthwhile professional development opportunities.  While I really enjoyed building my skills for my English Language Learners through QTEL from WestEd and learning about (and creating!) digital curriculum resources at the Exploratorium, my favorite was as Educator-at-Sea on E/V Nautilus.  After a four day training in Rhode Island where I learned about the types of exploration happening this summer and fall on the ship, the types of resources that support Nautilus’ underwater explorations, and the ins and outs of using the Nautilus website, I was flown out to Turkey to start my work on the ship.  (more…)

Tuolumne River Trust Environmental Education Volunteers Needed

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

Organization Description: The Tuolumne River Trust is a San Francisco-based environmental nonprofit, with the following mission:

The Tuolumne River Trust is the voice for the River. We promote stewardship of the Tuolumne through:
• Education, community outreach and adventures
• Collaboration with a diverse array of stakeholders
• On-the-ground restoration projects
• Advocacy and grassroots organizing to demonstrate public support for our work

Position Description: We are currently recruiting volunteers to help with “That’s the Tuolumne in my Tap,” a bay-area based environmental education program. (more…)

News and Events in Region 2 – Summer Is Here!

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

by Eric Lewis

While summer has been on for nearly a month already, I am just starting to have a chance to relax.  I’m excited that I’ll be doing some science research over the next few weeks on the Nautilus.  In my role as Educator-at-Sea, I’ll be a part of the Corps of Explorers (scientists, teachers, shipmen, students, etc.) that will be investigating everything beneath the surface of the Southern Black Sea!  Be sure to see what we find by visiting Nautilus Live. (Click here for information on how interact with me and ask questions while I am at sea.)

As a part of my summer activities, I have been taking the time to reflect on science education and our role as teachers. I encourage you to read and comment on my editorial Summer Reflections.

I hope that you take the opportunity to attend the CA Science Education Conference in San Jose this year.  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 with the CSTA board as a whole.

Click here to view the event calendar full of great events in our region!

Eric Lewis, lewise2@sfusd.edu

Eris Lewis is high school area science support in the San Francisco Unified School District LEAD office and is CSTA region 2 director.

 

News and Events in Region 2

Monday, June 4th, 2012

by Eric Lewis

As I’m starting to write this, it’s officially the last week of work in my school district.  I’ve been attending graduations every day and it’s not even June yet.  When I grew up, summer was more of a July and August affair; now it seems like summer is starting earlier and earlier (not to mention summer weather, but that’s a whole other story).

This summer is the first time in a while that I decided to take some time off.  No IISME this year, even though I had an amazing time last year working at KQED thanks to IISME’s summer program.  Of course, like most teachers, I spend a lot of time over the summer thinking about my practice, changing up my labs, adding new activities and projects to my curriculum, and seeking out professional development (short and paid, please) to help me to improve my practice.   (more…)

A’s and Chevron Launch “Science of the Game” Program to Bay Area Schools

Monday, June 4th, 2012

A’s outfielder Josh Reddick to launch program at Lincoln Elementary School in Richmond Tuesday

Young people in the Bay Area may wonder how Yoenis Céspedes can hit a baseball 462 feet. Now they’ll know. The Oakland Athletics and Chevron Tuesday will launch “Science of the Game,” a unique educational program that deepens interest and understanding among Bay Area youth by applying science to baseball.

A’s outfielder Josh Reddick and the team mascot Stomper will launch the program Tuesday, May 22 at 1 p.m. at Lincoln Elementary School in Richmond (29 Sixth Street). Reddick will pass out “Science of the Game” workbooks to more than 130 fifth and sixth graders and work through a few of the science problems with the students. (more…)

Continuing to Increase Knowledge

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

by Eric Lewis

I have always loved science. And, I like to think that I’m pretty good at science, too.  So, I was pretty rocked to my core while attending a professional development recently and finding giant holes in my knowledge.

The topic we were covering in the PD was energy.  And, I’ve taught about energy.  Maybe I have haven’t taught a lot about potential energy or kinetic energy, but I’ve taught about the energy from fusion, the energy from photosynthesis, and the energy from metabolism.  At this PD, we were discussing energy that I had not named in quite some time:  gravitational potential energy, chemical potential energy, heat energy…I had a vague recollection of connecting calories and joules and how kinetic and potential energy were connected. (more…)

April Already!

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

by Eric Lewis

How incredible is it that we’re already in April. Testing will soon be upon and not long after that it will be summer time! I know that this is a tough time of year; especially with so many budgets so impacted. I hope that you all are focusing on being the best teachers that you can, regardless of the challenges that are put before you. It’s likely that you have either just had a Spring Break or will have one shortly; hopefully you’ll have a chance to get reenergized about your teaching. If possible, take advantage of some of the amazing science events going on in our region.

I hope that you will have the opportunity to attend the CA Science Education Conference in San Jose this year. I’m thrilled that so many of you have provided workshop proposals for our upcoming conference. I look forward to seeing you there!

Please let me know if there are things that you’d like to add to our Region’s offerings. Also, 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.

Click here to view the updated event calendar with a wealth of science learning opportunities in April.

Region 2 News and Events

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

by Eric Lewis

Spring is in the air; a time to start getting excited about longer days and warmer weather.  It’s also a wonderful time to be thinking about all that you’ve accomplished this year with your students and to reflect upon what you’d like to do different (or the same) in your next year of teaching.

It’s been a few years since my first year of teaching.  I remember thinking that I was doing OK my first year.  Sure, I had plenty of students failing my class, but that was because they were absent too much and didn’t do any homework or study for exams.  I had pretty good classroom management and had a handle on what I wanted to teach when.  (more…)

News and Events in Region 2

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

by Eric Lewis

Please let me know if there are things that you’d like to add to our Region’s offerings!  Also, 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.

You may also want to consider leading a workshop at our San Jose 2012 Education Conference.  For more information and to submit a workshop proposal, click here!  Proposals are due by March 6, 2012.

Eric Lewis, lewise2@sfusd.edu

SETI Institute Colloquium Series: Dispersal of Protoplanetary Disks
1/4/12, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
189 Bernardo Avenue, Mountain View, CA
Protoplanetary disks originate during star formation and evolve rapidly, to form planetary systems before they disperse in a few million years. Dr. Gorti will describe disk evolution and discuss disk dispersal mechanisms in the context of recent theoretical models. Theory will be compared with observations to summarize our current understanding of how disks evolve and the constraints they set on the time available for planet formation.
Speaker: Uma Gorti, SETI Institute
For more information visit http://www.seti.org/talks, email info@seti.org,or call 650.961.6633 (more…)

News and Events in Region 2

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

by Eric Lewis

January is here and things seem just a little bit off in the Bay Area. While I’ve been enjoying the weather, I keep wondering why I’m still watering my backyard. And, for all the folks that have been heading up to Tahoe – I’m glad the drive has been easy, but didn’t you want to see some snow? Actually, things seem a little off pretty much everywhere. I just got back from a trip back to New York to see my family. Over the past few years, I’ve hit plenty of different types of weather back East, but this year was the strangest. Not only wasn’t there any snow on the ground, but I also was at a playground with my daughter wearing just a long sleeve T-shirt. Now, the last time I was back East – over the summer – I was lucky enough to get an earthquake AND a hurricane. Then, in October, the East Coast was pummeled with snow – which has had a huge effect on all sorts of birds and other animals that lost their homes. (more…)

News and Events in Region 2

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

by Eric Lewis

Unbelievably, it’s already December and we’re practically half way through the school year.  This is a great time of the year to take a minute to review all that you’ve accomplished so far this year and all that you still hope to accomplish. (more…)

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