January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

2017 CSTA Conference Call for Proposals

Monday, November 21st, 2016

CSTA is pleased to announce that we are now accepting proposals for 90-minute workshops and three- and six-hour short courses for the 2017 California Science Education Conference. Workshops and short courses make up the bulk of the content and professional learning opportunities available at the conference. In recognition of their contribution, members who present a workshop or short course receive 50% off of their registration fees. For more information regarding proposals, and to submit one today, follow the links below.

Short Course Proposal Deadline: February 6, 2017

Workshop Proposal Deadline: March 20, 2017 (more…)

2016 CSTA Conference Sees Largest Attendance in 10 Years!

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

by Jessica Sawko

Workshop Hands-On

Teachers engaging in hands-on learning during a workshop on Friday, October 21, 2016 at the 2016 California Science Education Conference. The conference offered more than 200 workshops over the three-days of the event.

Last month, more than 2,100 science educators convened at the Palm Springs Convention Center for three days of professional learning and networking. The halls buzzed with excitement, the exhibit hall traffic ebbed and flowed like the tides of an ocean, and workshop rooms often filled to capacity with standing room only. CSTA thanks the many volunteers, presenters, exhibitors, and sponsors who helped make this year’s conference a success.

Two of the most popular presentations at the conference included presentations on the new Science Curriculum Framework (which ended up being presented twice due to an error in printing in the program book!) and the Science Assessment Update workshop presented by CDE and ETS. Handouts for both of these presentations are available via the conference app. (more…)

Last Chance to Register! Don’t Miss This Opportunity

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

2016Facebook-banner2The 2016 California Science Education Conference is just a few weeks away and more than 1,000 teachers are already registered for this incredible professional learning event. The exhibit hall is sold out, more than 200 workshops have been scheduled, and excitement and anticipation for this annual event are building! If you have not already registered, be sure to do so by Monday, October 3 to secure great rates and save you time when you arrive at the conference.

Let CSTA Help You Plan

CSTA has several tools available to help you plan your conference participation. These tools include:

(more…)

New Conference Website, 700+ Registrations, and Featured Speakers Galore

Saturday, August 20th, 2016

by Jessica Sawko

It is with great excitement that I began this post…700+ registrations for the 2016 California Science Education Conference, and we are not even at the end of August! We have not seen conference numbers this high since 2007, so I can tell already that this is going to be a big conference. I can understand why as well. Not only is implementation of California’s new science standards starting to receive some attention at schools and districts all over the state – but this year’s 2016 conference has undergone a transformation that is sure to provide attendees with the content, experience, resources, connections, and information they are looking for. In order to help you navigate all of the wonderful components of the 2016 California Science Education Conference CSTA has launched a brand new conference website.

With this many advance registrations, ticketed events are starting to fill. So if you haven’t already registered – I recommend you do so today. Not sure your principal or supervisor will approve or fund your participation? CSTA has developed a letter targeting leaders/administrators as well as complied useful information on how to fund your conference participation and a conference expense planner. You can find all three online(more…)

Dive Deeper with Short Courses!

Monday, June 20th, 2016

by Lisa Hegdahl

Conference_Side_Column_Register-EarlyPalm Springs will be home to the 2016 California Science Education Conference, October 21-23. Attendees will enjoy access to over 150 workshops, keynote and focus speakers, field courses, and evening events designed to help attendees decompress after a long day of learning.

As if that were not enough to make the 2016 California Science Education Conference the place to be for all teachers of science, this year there are 15 Short Courses to choose from!  There are short courses designed to help you dig deeper into NGSS, engineering design, and more. Short courses range from three to six hours giving you the chance to deeply interact and make sense of the material.

With such a large selection, there is something for every grade level and science content area.

Just a few of the 15 Short Course available: (more…)

2016 CSTA Conference to Feature New Workshop Format and Schedule

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

For those of you familiar with the California Science Education Conference, there is a change to our workshop that you need to know. Just as California NGSS is changing science instruction and learning in the classroom, CSTA recognizes that 60-minute workshops are no longer sufficient to provide professional learning about lesson sequences and how they fit into larger lesson segments. As a result, CSTA has modified our conference format to feature 90-minute workshops along with the traditional 3- and 6-hour short courses. This means you will have more time to go in-depth and reflect on  your learning with fellow workshop attendees. No other conference in the state offers the breadth and depth of high-quality workshops presented by and for California science educators. A conference schedule at-a-glance is available on the CSTA website.

That is not the only change.  The 2016 Conference proposal form will now ask you to share more information about what you and participants will be doing during the course of the workshop or short course; how your session demonstrates what NGSS looks like in the classroom; how the three dimensions of NGSS are integrated into your lesson; and how you see the session fitting into a classroom setting. A complete list of proposal fields is available online, as is the scoring rubric. (more…)

Breaking News: CSTA Science Education Conference a Towering Success!

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

By Deb Farkas

Teachers engineering a tower in a workshop at the 2015 CSTA Conference.

Teachers engineering a tower in a workshop at the 2015 CSTA Conference.

We “hit one out of the park!” exclaimed one of the one thousand six hundred fifty-one conference attendees who I happened to ask as she was leaving on Sunday! Thank you CSTA members and staff, friends, presenters, speakers, field course leaders, vendors and our Saturday night comedian, Brian Malow, for making our 2015 Science Education Conference a memorable and fabulous conference! (more…)

More Than 1,400 Science Educators Prepare to Convene in Sacramento

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

by Deb Farkas

As we get ready to go full steam ahead with implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards and eagerly await the new California Science Framework, there is no better place to be in early October than here in Sacramento, where you will find workshops, speakers, field experiences, short courses and more to inspire and re-energize your teaching. If you are not one of the more than 1,000 teachers to have registered, I invite you to do so today.

Don’t miss opening speaker, Ainissa Ramirez. Author, engineer and science evangelist, Dr. Ramirez will encourage us to ignite the spark of curiosity in all of our students and get them excited about science. Former astronaut José Hernández will close our conference with an account of his journey from migrant farm worker to engineer to mission specialist on the Space Shuttle Discovery, and his work inspiring children to “reach for the stars.” We are also pleased to offer you a variety of highly regarded focus speakers in science and education. Learn about a strength-based approach to early science education, bringing deep sea data to the classroom, ZomBees, engaging students in engineering, and literacy, non-verbal communication patterns and social justice in the science classroom. (more…)

Where California K-12 Science Teachers Go for NGSS

Friday, August 14th, 2015

RegisterNowMedNow is the time to register for the 2015 California Science Education Conference presented by the California Science Teachers Association (CSTA).  Attending the CSTA 2015 conference is a great way to gain professional development, and network with other science teachers from across the state, and obtain new classroom ideas, in one place over three days!

The California Science Education Conference is your best source of information on implementing NGSS in your classroom.

The California Science Teachers Association hosts this conference to focus on what California science educators need to know to hone their craft, stay updated on standards, and apply best practices gleaned from experts throughout the state. (more…)

Where to Go in Sacramento: Field Courses for the CSTA Conference

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

by Peter A’Hearn

When it comes to conferences I’m pretty much a workshop guy. You get lots of great ideas in a short time, lots of choices, and you are hearing it straight from teachers. But looking at the field studies being offered at the 2015 California Education Conference in Sacramento this October, I’m thinking I might just spend the whole conference learning science on the amazing field courses being offered.

Here are your choices:

AHearn_Field_Course_Photo_1The Science in Your Beer: Chemistry, Microbiology, and Sensory Analysis at Sudwerk Brewery – Visit with the scientists at the UC Davis Brewing Program, the yeast geeks at White Labs, and the brewers of Sudwerk Brewery to learn about the biochemistry and microbiology that goes into the beer you love to drink. We will share NGSS aligned activities (classroom appropriate) on reaction rate and population biology. You will also explore the chemistry of beer flavor and learn how to make taste testing scientifically rigorous! (more…)

Register for the 2015 California Science Education Conference!

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

by Casey Passmore

california_science_teachers_association_large_cropped

With the adoption of the Common Core State Standards (including Literacy in Science!) and the Next Generation Science Standards, science education is finally becoming more of a priority for many school districts. Now is a great time to start planning to attend the California Science Education Conference in Sacramento, Friday, October 2 – Sunday, October 4. Registration is open and hotel reservations can be made now. (more…)

It’s Short Course Line Up Time!

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

california_science_teachers_association_large_cropped

by Jill Grace

Want to dig deeper?  Excited to learn from seasoned experts in the field?  Wish you could have a guaranteed seat in the room?  Do you enjoy a smaller session with more presenter interaction?

Then conference short courses are calling your name!

CSTA is proud to present an amazing line up of eighteen short courses for the 2015 California Science Education Conference scheduled for this October 2-4 in Sacramento.

There short course are designed to help you dig deeper into Common Core and many of the key dimensions of NGSS.  There are also short courses designed to help support your quest for quality STEM instruction and some innovative programs that will transform your classroom instruction.  Each short course’s duration is three to six hours, giving you the chance to really interact and make sense of the material.  (more…)

CSTA Announces 2015 Keynote Speakers!

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

by Deb Farkas

california_science_teachers_association_large_cropped

As chair of the 2015 California Science Education Conference Committee, I am pleased to announce that CSTA will be welcoming Dr. Ainissa Ramirez and former astronaut, José Hernández, as our Opening Session and Closing Session Keynote speakers, respectively. Dr. Ramirez will present in the morning on Friday, October 2, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento and Mr. Hernández will address the CSTA audience the morning of Sunday, October 4. Both individuals are dedicated to making science accessible to all and encouraging young people to pursue careers in STEM.  (more…)

Inspire One of Your Colleagues in the New Year!

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

by Lisa Hegdahl

Is it really 2015 already? Where did the time go? It seems like only yesterday I was planning my trip to the Long Beach NSTA Conference, in collaboration with CSTA, and just like that, it is over. But not so fast – when one conference ends, the planning for another begins. Arrangements for the 2015 California Science Education Conference in Sacramento are well underway. If you came away from the Long Beach conference with something incredible, consider how you can pay that forward by being an inspiration to someone else next year. (more…)

Who Else Wants to Share Their Great Idea?

Friday, December 12th, 2014

by Lisa Hegdahl

Colleagues Helping Colleagues

I have been to so many California Science Education Conferences over the years that I cannot be certain which ideas I obtained in which year, but I do know that most of what my lesson plans contain came from ideas I acquired at those conferences.  Destroying Water, Domino Derby, Student Periodic Squares, Buggy Car Physics, Valence Shell Ping Pong Balls, Vinegar/Baking Soda Conservation of Matter, Stellar Distances, just to name a few, were all given to me by colleagues that were willing to take the time to share a piece of their classrooms.

Your Great Idea

You know you have it.  That lesson that never fails to engage students at a high level of learning; that teaching strategy that works every time; or that technology application that brought your classroom into the 21st century.  Why keep it to yourself?  Share it with your colleagues at the California Science Education Conference, October 2-4, 2015 in Sacramento.  CSTA is now accepting workshop and short course proposals from classroom teachers, informal educators, university professors, education professionals, and other members of the education community.  Sharing our best practices with each other helps to make high quality Science education a reality for all students in California. (more…)

CSTA Night at the Aquarium – A Good Time Was Had by All!

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

by Jill Grace and Laura Henriques

Close to 700 science educators enjoyed an evening of Science, Engineering and STEM at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific on Thursday, December 4th. This great CSTA event was co-hosted by Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific and CSTA and sponsored by Chevron.

In addition to having the entire aquarium to ourselves, there were five scientists who gave talks, two dozen table-top STEM/Engineering showcase presentations and the LBAOP’s Science on a Sphere. After eating dinner, glowstick-clad attendees visited the penguins, jellies, and other exhibits representing marine life of the pacific. (more…)

CSTA Night at the Aquarium – NGSS Science & Engineering Showcase Presenters Announced!

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

The 2014 NSTA Long Beach Area Conference – in Collaboration with CSTA is just one month away! If you have not already registered for what promises to be the professional learning event of the year for California science educators – it is not too late! Make plans to join more than 2,200 science teachers in Long Beach this December 4 – 6. Discounted registration rates are available through November 14, 2014. Please register today. Remember – both CSTA and NSTA members have the benefit of being able to register at member rates (a $90 savings).

If you have already made your plans to attend the Long Beach conference – please mark your conference schedules with these two CSTA events:

CSTA Night at the Aquarium of the Pacific NGSS Science & Engineering Showcase – Thursday, December 4, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Tickets are limited – purchase yours today (only $10 for CSTA members and $25 for nonmmebers – ticket price includes light food, admission into the Aquarium for the event, and one beverage). (more…)

Last Days to Register for Amazing Pre-Conference Field Trips

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

October 31, 2014 is the last day to register for one of two amazing pre-conference field courses being offered by CSTA. The field courses will take place on Wednesday, December 3, the day before the NSTA Long Beach Area Conference.

2014 Long Beach Area Conference — CSTA Pre-Conference Field Courses

Marine Science Adventures on Catalina Island

© Anne Maben – Photo courtesy of CSTA member Anne Maben.

Located on Catalina Island just 20 miles off the coast of Los Angeles, Big Fisherman’s Cove is the site of the famed USC Wrigley Marine Science Center, an international research and teaching facility. After a general tour of the facilities and touch tanks, teachers will participate in an ecology and island history walk and hear the latest research on sharks from world-renowned expert, Dr. Chris Lowe. Teachers will also tour and learn about the hyperbaric chamber that saves divers’ lives and explore tiny critters in the plankton lab. Participants may jump into a wetsuit and enjoy a guided snorkeling tour in pristine kelp beds, under the guidance of USC dive instructors or venture on a guided kayak tour off the beautiful coast of Catalina. What a day! Please wear slacks, close-toed shoes, a jacket, sunscreen and bring a bathing suit and towel if you plan to snorkel or kayak – cameras, binoculars and hats are a big plus! If you are prone to seasickness, please bring medication.

Wednesday, December 3, 6:30am – 5:30 pm

CSTA Member/Nonmember Fees: $60/$75 (more…)

Sessions for All Grade Bands and Disciplines at NSTA Conference on Science Education in Long Beach

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Here are some of the many exciting events you can expect at the NSTA Area Conference on Science Education in Long Beach this December 4–6:

Register today for the most savings! Our Earlybird Deadline ends October 24.  – Remember CSTA members: Select the “NSTA Affiliate Member Rate” when registering to save $90 on registration.

Register (more…)

NGSS Science & Engineering Showcase – Call for Proposals

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

CSTA Members: You are invited to submit a proposal to showcase your classroom-tested NGSS, STEM, or Engineering unit, lesson, or project at the CSTA Night at the Aquarium. Submit a proposal for the Showcase today and share your experience with your colleagues. Showcase presenters receive a free ticket to the event! Submit a proposal today!

Proposals will be accepted September 24 – October 20. Notifications regarding the status of proposals will be distributed via email on October 27, 2014.

Proposal Guidelines and Information:

  • You must be a member of CSTA to submit a proposal.
  • We are looking for educators who can showcase an engineering/STEM/NGSS unit, lesson(s), or project that directly apply to classroom instruction. Preference will be given to those proposals that integrate the three dimensions of NGSS.
  • You will be provided with a 6’ table top.
  • You are expected to post your handouts on the event’s Edmodo site. This must be done a week prior to the event.
  • The evening will be divided into two, 90 minute “shifts.” Each shift will allow for 20 minutes of set-up, 60 minutes for “presentation,” and 10 minutes for clean-up. If accepted, your showcase will be assigned to one shift, allowing you the other 90 minutes to enjoy the evening’s events as a participant.
  • If possible, bring hands-on supplies/manipulatives (not handouts) or examples (videos, photos, student work, other) for attendees to see/use during your discussions.

Submit a proposal today

Where Will You Be in December?

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

by Laura Henriques

I sure hope you answered that question with an enthusiastic “I’ll be in Long Beach for the conference” sort of response!

Come join your science education colleagues for three to four days of professional learning. The conference, hosted by NSTA with some input from CSTA, will take place on December 4-6. With a couple hundred workshops, lectures, short courses and field trips, this is the place to be! You can peruse the schedule on-line and get a sense of some of the outstanding sessions awaiting you. The keynote speakers will address a range of topics that include linkages between science and Common Core ELA, STEM, and science education moving forward. (Go online today to verify your membership or join CSTA today – CSTA members can register for the conference at the NSTA Affiliate Member rate and save $90 on their registration!) (more…)

2014 Long Beach Conference Workshop and Short Course Schedule Is Now Online

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

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NSTA has posted online the complete workshop, short course, and field course schedule for the 2014 NSTA Long Beach Area Conference – in Collaboration with CSTA! If you are planning to attend the conference in Long Beach this December, be sure to register by October 24, 2014, after that registration rates will increase. CSTA members can save $90 on registration be selected the NSTA Affiliate Member rate when registering. The online schedule includes a personal scheduling tool so you can go online today, select the workshops and short courses you want to attend, and share this with your administrator or others who need to approve your participation. This online scheduling tool is a great way to show the value of your participation in this high-quality, professional learning opportunity. (more…)

CSTA Night at the Aquarium

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Hosted by CSTA and the Aquarium of the Pacific, sponsored by Chevron.

Thursday, December 4, 2014, 7:00-10:00 PM

©Photo courtesy of the Aquarium of the Pacific. All rights reserved.

It’s a Night at the Aquarium! Unlike the movie by a similar name, we don’t need movie magic for this place to come alive at night. You will be surrounded by the amazing living creatures from the Pacific Ocean. See what they do at night (certainly not grading papers).

Join your CSTA colleagues and conference attendees for an amazing evening at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific. Just steps away from the Convention Center and area hotels, the Aquarium will be all ours for the night. You will be able to wander through the aquarium, see sharks, touch rays, observe jellies, see the newly born penguins and all the other wonderful animals who make the LBAOP their home. (more…)

Get Ready for December’s NSTA/CSTA Joint Conference!

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

by Laura Henriques

This year’s NSTA Long Beach Area Conference is being hosted in collaboration with CSTA. There are all sorts of exciting events planned for the conference and we hope you’ll be with us to take advantage of all of them!

The official conference is December 4-6, 2014 but there are will be two full-day field trip options on Wednesday, December 3rd. There will be an array of field trips and short courses as part of the conference. The field trip choices include The Science in your Beer: Chemistry, Microbiology, and Sensory Analysis at Smog City Brewing, Up Close & Personal with Ocean Critters: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, Slip-Sliding Away: a Palos Verdes Geology Tour, Looking to the Future: Visiting the Endeavour Space Shuttle and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Journey into Space at the City of Downey, Columbia Memorial Space Center, and Wet & Wild Adventures with the Southern CA Marine Institute. (more…)

2014 Call for Workshop and Short Course Proposals

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Long-Beach-Fall-Conf-newIn 2014 CSTA is partnering with the National Science Teachers Association to produce the NSTA Long Beach Area Conference in Collaboration with CSTA! (There will be no California Science Education Conference in October 2014.) The event will be held December 4-6, 2014 at the Long Beach Convention Center. Proposals for workshops and short courses are now being accepted. The deadline for submitting a proposal is January 15, 2014. Visit http://www.nsta.org/conferences/sessions.aspx to get started today. (more…)

2013 California Science Education Conference Sees Highest Registration Numbers in Five Years

Monday, November 4th, 2013

by Jessica Sawko

The 2013 California Science Education Conference was held in beautiful Palm Springs this past October 25 – 28, 2013. Nearly 1,800 science teachers attended the event, drawing the largest crowd the conference has enjoyed in the last five years. There was a big rush to register in the end, with 1/3 of all registrations being received after the advance registration cutoff date of October 7. Exhibitors enjoyed the positive energy and good traffic past their booths, attendees crowded workshop rooms and sold out many short courses and field courses. CSTA extends its thanks to the schools and districts that supported the participation of their educators and the educators who funded either entirely or in part their participation in the conference. The time and money spent at the conference were a good investment in your professional development. If you were able to join us at the conference, please complete the conference evaluation online. If you are looking for handouts from a workshop you attended, a list of workshops whose presenter have provided handouts for CSTA to post online is available here. (more…)

FINESSE Comes to 2013 CSTA Conference – Limited # of Stipends Available

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

by Rick Pomeroy

At the 2013 California Science Education Conference, through a collaboration between CSTA, the Faculty Institutes for NASA Earth and Space Science Education (FINESSE), and the Center for Astronomy and Physics Education Research (CAPER), we will be offering a four-session institute designed to equip faculty to engage their students in modeling and inquiry as described in the NGSS. Participants who sign up for and complete all four sessions will be eligible for a $250 stipend. The workshops are particularly designed for faculty who work with preservice teachers, but the activities are appropriate and applicable for middle school and high school teachers. (more…)

Focus Speaker Emmett McQuinn

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

by Robert de Groot

Learn about how the tools of information technology are allowing us to visualize complex phenomena such as earthquakes and the delicate intricacies of brain function. We are fortunate to have award winning computer scientist Emmett McQuinn, Software Engineer at IBM Research – Almaden, as a focus speaker at this year’s conference. (more…)

Awards Breakfast Speaker

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Sumida-Headshotby Pete A’Hearn

What do dinosaurs, cartoons, and theme park rides have in common? How does what you eat determine how you are shaped? How can paleontology help you design a character? Come to the awards breakfast with noted paleontologist and Hollywood consultant Dr. Stuart Sumida and find out the answers to these questions and others. Dr. Sumida is always a fun and wide ranging speaker. At the breakfast he will explore the close connections between the arts and science and how they can be used to engage students. Tickets are only $30 and include a hot breakfast.

Astronomy Night at #CSTA13

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

by Jim Jones

There is a little “Amateur Astronomer” in all of us. Anytime we look up into the night sky we start to wonder what’s up there. There are wonders to behold during the day and night. Saturday at the California Science Education Conference will offer many opportunities to learn about the sky above us. Join Dr. Robert Victor* at 5:15 a.m. for pre-dawn stargazing, at 8 a.m. for high-contrast moon observations, and at 3 p.m. to observe the planet Venus in its gibbous phase.

Not only do we provide these great activities during the daylight hours, we will also give you fun and educational activities during the evening hours. One of these is Astronomy Night on Saturday, starting at 7 p.m. The Astronomical Society of the Desert will be on hand to provide telescopes and share their expertise to enhance your viewing of the night sky. Feel free to roam between telescopes and behold the wonders of the heavens. (more…)

la2017_logo_235x235Early-Bird Deadline: Feb. 3, 2017

CSTA members save up to $90 on registration!

Not a member of CSTA? Join/Renew today:

CSTA One Year Membership ($50)

Joint NSTA/CSTA Membership ($114 – a $129 value)