May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Clean Tech Competition Announces 2011-2012 Finalists and Grand Prize Winning Teams

Posted: Sunday, April 1st, 2012

ARLINGTON, Va., Mar 20, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Applied Materials, Inc., in collaboration with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), today announced the grand prize winning teams and finalists in the first-ever Clean Tech Competition student challenge, presented by Applied Materials. The competition, a collaborative student design contest developed to inspire the next generation of leaders and innovators in the field of clean technology, immerses high school students in real-world challenges that illustrate the powerful potential of clean technology to address problems that confront humanity.

“The Clean Tech Competition provides students with the opportunity to understand and appreciate the collaborative nature of today’s innovation process, while illustrating the global need for clean tech solutions,” said Om Nalamasu, chief technology officer of Applied Materials and corporate champion of the Clean Tech Competition. “The Competition aligns with Applied’s dedication to technological innovation and scaling clean tech solutions to complex problems, while demonstrating Applied’s commitment to making a positive contribution in the communities where our employees work and live.”

The competition involved students, ages 13-18, from two global centers of innovation, the San Francisco Bay Area in California, and Xi’an, China. This year’s challenge posed to students was “Solar Solutions to the Rescue.” Teams of students, under the guidance of their teacher or other adult team leader, designed a solar-powered solution to a basic human need identified in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Participants identified a situation, explored the issue and then presented their clean tech solution to a panel of industry and education experts for judging. One grand prize winning team, two second place teams, three third place teams and four finalists were then selected from each region.

“The Clean Tech Competition not only encourages students to be both creative and scientific, but also requires them to think critically while developing innovative sustainable solutions to some of the world’s most challenging issues,” said Dr. Francis Eberle, Executive Director of NSTA. “We congratulate the winners and finalists and commend all of the teachers, team leaders and mentors for engaging and empowering their students to make a real difference in the world around them.”

Project entries submitted by student teams ranged from a tracking system to locate victims swept away by a tsunami or flood to a light-weight, chemically-active filtration mask that utilizes solar and battery power to reduce the risk of developing respiratory problems from overexposure to volcanic ash. Other projects included a solar-powered reverse osmosis water supply system and an emergency communication station that can direct search and rescue teams to a trapped person’s precise location after an earthquake.

The grand prize winning team in each region won $6,000 in cash prizes for their enrichment and education. Second place teams won $3,000, third place teams won $1,000 and the four finalist teams from each region won $500. All 20 team leaders received a $500 cash prize.

The 10 San Francisco/Bay Area, California Finalists are:
Finalist – Jonathon Russo and Matthew Malone
Coach: Allister Chang
Willow Glen High School, San Jose, Calif.
Project: L.A.T.S. (Location Awareness & Tracking System)

Finalist – Lillian Chu, Marian Chu and Joshua Tsuei
Coach: Lisa Cochrum
Mentor: Ken Chu
Saratoga High School, Saratoga, Calif.
Project: How to Keep Food Fresh After an Earthquake

Finalist – Kadhir Manickam and Christopher Oh
Coach: Renee Fallon
Mentor: Suketo Parikh
Monta Vista High School, Cupertino, Calif.
Project: The Facio

Finalist – Ray Chen, Catherine Nguyen and Margaret Qian
Coach: Bakari Holmes
Mentor: Hemant Mungekar
Gunn High School, Palo Alto, Calif.
Project: Earthquake Emergency Communication System (EECS)

Finalist – Linxuan Fang, Samir Ghosh and Jaxon Welsh
Coach: Bakari Holmes
Mentor: Darshini Desai
Gunn High School, Palo Alto, Calif.
Project: Project Sizzle

Finalist – Eric Linxie, Anthony Lim, Kenny Wibowo and Eric Lee
Coach: Robert Jackson
Mentor: Daniel Handjojo
Dougherty Valley High School, San Ramon Calif.
Project: Solar Cube Battery

Finalist – Maya Sathaye, Shelby Rorabaugh and Lorraine Wong
Coach: Smriti Koodanjeri
Mentor: Martin Gothberg
The Harker School, San Jose Calif.
Project: A Solar Alternative to Charge Electric Wheelchairs

Finalist – Mary Gong and Surabhi Madhvapathy
Coach: Ram Narayanan
Mentor: Michael Stewart
Leland High School, San Jose, Calif.
Project: Solar Mask

Finalist – Yuzhang Chen and Aditya Gande
Coach: Daniel Stavis
Mentor: Sushil Padiyar
Cupertino High School, Cupertino, Calif.
Project: FRED (Flood Relief Emergency Device)

Finalist – John Zhao, Melody Hsu and Jun Chang
Coach: Daniel Stavis
Mentor: Robert Visser
Cupertino High School, Cupertino, Calif.
Project: H2Oasis

The 10 Xi’an, China Finalists are:
Finalist – Liu Shuaiqi, Bai Tianyang, Chen Shiyin, Zhang Xiyao
Team Leader: Gong Shaohua
School: Xi’an Tie Yi High School
Project: Solar-Powered Airship Emergency Rescue and Disaster Relief Schemes

Finalist – Lu Qiangsheng, Zhang Yaodong, Wang Zhizheng, Chen Qingyuan
Team Leader: Liu Quanming
School: The High School Affiliated to Xian Jiaotong University
Project: Multifunctional Flood Mitigation System

Finalist – Wang Huicheng, Lv Wentao, Li Zhuoyan, Wang Guowei
Team Leader: Qiang Zhike
School: Xi’an Tie Yi Middle School
Project: Parasol-Shaped Portable Solar Emergency Distiller

Finalist – Liu Yifeng, Yang Fan
Team Leader: Liu Quanming
School: The High School Affiliated to Xian Jiaotong University
Project: Solar Energy System of Prefabricated House

Finalist – Jia Bingxin, Yang Peilin, Liu Yundong, Jiang Shenghui
Team Leader: Gao Yuan
School: Middle School Affiliated to Northwest University
Project: Solar energy applications for earthquake relief

Finalist – Guo Yushuai, Zhang Tongrui, Guo Rongxin
Team Leader: Gao Yuan
School: Middle School Affiliated to Northwest University
Project: The Scheme for Solar Mobile Phone Relief

Finalist – Dang Shuxuan, Zhang Zhong, Li Wei
Team Leader: Cai Min
School: Xi’an Tie Yi Middle School
Project: Portable Machine Providing Emergency Food By Algae

Finalist – Wang Shiqi, Wang Yutian, Zhao Runhan
Team Leader: Cai Min
School: Xi’an Tie Yi Middle School
Project: Medical solar portable x-ray viewer used after earthquakes

Finalist – Zhao Pu, Zhang Jiameng, Zhang Mengdi
Team Leader: Han Lei
School: Xi’an Tie Yi Middle School
Project: Dual phase Waste Water Purifier

Finalist – Cheng Yuhan, Guo Zhaoqi, Yang Yihao
Team Leader: Dang Yali
School: Xi’an Gao Xin No.1 High School
Project: A Brief Script of the Solar Amphibious Tent

For more information about the Clean Tech Competition, visit .

About Applied Materials

Applied Materials, Inc. AMAT +0.16% is the global leader in providing innovative equipment, services and software to enable the manufacture of advanced semiconductor, flat panel display and solar photovoltaic products. Our technologies help make innovations like smartphones, flat screen TVs and solar panels more affordable and accessible to consumers and businesses around the world. At Applied Materials, we turn today’s innovations into the industries of tomorrow. Learn more at

About NSTA

The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA’s current membership includes approximately 60,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.

SOURCE: National Science Teachers Association and Applied Materials, Inc.

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

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Participate in Chemistry Education Research Study, Earn $500-800 Dollars!

Posted: Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

WestEd, a non-profit educational research agency, has been funded by the US Department of Education to test a new molecular modeling kit, Happy Atoms. Happy Atoms is an interactive chemistry learning experience that consists of a set of physical atoms that connect magnetically to form molecules, and an app that uses image recognition to identify the molecules that you create with the set. WestEd is conducting a study around the effectiveness of using Happy Atoms in the classroom, and we are looking for high school chemistry teachers in California to participate.

As part of the study, teachers will be randomly assigned to either the treatment group (who uses Happy Atoms) or the control group (who uses Happy Atoms at a later date). Teachers in the treatment group will be asked to use the Happy Atoms set in their classrooms for 5 lessons over the course of the fall 2017 semester. Students will complete pre- and post-assessments and surveys around their chemistry content knowledge and beliefs about learning chemistry. WestEd will provide access to all teacher materials, teacher training, and student materials needed to participate.

Participating teachers will receive a stipend of $500-800. You can read more information about the study here:

Please contact Rosanne Luu at or 650.381.6432 if you are interested in participating in this opportunity, or if you have any questions!

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption Reviewer Application

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

The California Department of Education and State Board of Education are now accepting applications for reviewers for the 2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption. The application deadline is 3:00 pm, July 21, 2017. The application is comprehensive, so don’t wait until the last minute to apply.

On Tuesday, May 9, 2017, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson forwarded this recruitment letter to county and district superintendents and charter school administrators.

Review panel members will evaluate instructional materials for use in kindergarten through grade eight, inclusive, that are aligned with the California Next Generation Science Content Standards for California Public Schools (CA NGSS). Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Lessons Learned from the NGSS Early Implementer Districts

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

On March 31, 2017, Achieve released two documents examining some lessons learned from the California K-8 Early Implementation Initiative. The initiative began in August 2014 and was developed by the K-12 Alliance at WestEd, with close collaborative input on its design and objectives from the State Board of Education, the California Department of Education, and Achieve.

Eight (8) traditional school districts and two (2) charter management organizations were selected to participate in the initiative, becoming the first districts in California to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Those districts included Galt Joint Union Elementary, Kings Canyon Joint Unified, Lakeside Union, Oakland Unified, Palm Springs Unified, San Diego Unified, Tracy Joint Unified, Vista Unified, Aspire, and High Tech High.

To more closely examine some of the early successes and challenges experienced by the Early Implementer LEAs, Achieve interviewed nine of the ten participating districts and compiled that information into two resources, focusing primarily on professional learning and instructional materials. Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Using Online Simulations to Support the NGSS in Middle School Classrooms

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

by Lesley Gates, Loren Nikkel, and Kambria Eastham

Middle school teachers in Kings Canyon Unified School District (KCUSD), a CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative district, have been diligently working on transitioning to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) integrated model for middle school. This year, the teachers focused on building their own knowledge of the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs). They have been gathering and sharing ideas at monthly collaborative meetings as to how to make sure their students are not just learning about science but that they are actually doing science in their classrooms. Students should be planning and carrying out investigations to gather data for analysis in order to construct explanations. This is best done through hands-on lab experiments. Experimental work is such an important part of the learning of science and education research shows that students learn better and retain more when they are active through inquiry, investigation, and application. A Framework for K-12 Science Education (2011) notes, “…learning about science and engineering involves integration of the knowledge of scientific explanations (i.e., content knowledge) and the practices needed to engage in scientific inquiry and engineering design. Thus the framework seeks to illustrate how knowledge and practice must be intertwined in designing learning experiences in K-12 Science Education” (pg. 11).

Many middle school teachers in KCUSD are facing challenges as they begin implementing these student-driven, inquiry-based NGSS science experiences in their classrooms. First, many of the middle school classrooms at our K-8 school sites are not designed as science labs. Learn More…

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Written by NGSS Early Implementer

NGSS Early Implementer

In 2015 CSTA began to publish a series of articles written by teachers participating in the NGSS Early Implementation Initiative. This article was written by an educator(s) participating in the initiative. CSTA thanks them for their contributions and for sharing their experience with the science teaching community.

Celestial Highlights: May – July 2017

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

May Through July 2017 with Web Resources for the Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017

by Robert C. Victor. Twilight sky maps by Robert D. Miller. Graphs of planet rising and setting times by Jeffrey L. Hunt.

In spring and summer 2017, Jupiter is the most prominent “star” in the evening sky, and Venus, even brighter, rules the morning. By mid-June, Saturn rises at a convenient evening hour, allowing both giant planets to be viewed well in early evening until Jupiter sinks low in late September. The Moon is always a crescent in its monthly encounters with Venus, but is full whenever it appears near Jupiter or Saturn in the eastern evening sky opposite the Sun. (In 2017, Full Moon is near Jupiter in April, Saturn in June.) At intervals of 27-28 days thereafter, the Moon appears at a progressively earlier phase at each pairing with the outer planet until its final conjunction, with Moon a thin crescent, low in the west at dusk. You’ll see many beautiful events by just following the Moon’s wanderings at dusk and dawn in the three months leading up to the solar eclipse. Learn More…

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Written by Robert Victor

Robert Victor

Robert C. Victor was Staff Astronomer at Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University. He is now retired and enjoys providing skywatching opportunities for school children in and around Palm Springs, CA. Robert is a member of CSTA.