Continuing to Increase Knowledge
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.
We were asked to write a definition of energy and share this definition with our elbow partners. I pretty much froze up (and I’m not one to freeze up). We had had some conversations around energy already and I was getting tripped up on the language of energy. Was energy in things? I couldn’t hold energy, but I could measure energy. Was energy only in systems? What about potential energy? How did the chemical potential energy relate to other types of energy?
I ended up saying something about how energy relates to the ability to influence or do work in a system and that it is a measurable quality in a system. I’m still stressing over this. Clearly, energy is an abstract and challenging idea for both students AND teachers alike. Anyway, I plan to continue improving my knowledge about energy…perhaps I’ll attend a few chemistry and physics workshops at our next conference…
I hope that you take the opportunity to attend the CA Science Education Conference in San Jose this year. And, 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 colleagues’ 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, email@example.com
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Eris Lewis is high school area science support in the San Francisco Unified School District LEAD office and is CSTA region 2 director.
by Michelle French
Since the public reviews of the Next Generation Science Standards have come to a close, like many primary teachers, I’ve been wondering what science will look like in kindergarten, first, and second grade classrooms. Learn More…
“SOL Grotto, 2012. 1368 glass tubes, paint. Fabrication: Matarozzi Pelsinger, Rael San Fratello Architects. SOL Grotto is a contemporary take on a grotto or Throeau’s cabin – a spartan retreat that is a space of solitude and close to nature – where one is presented with a mediated experience of water, coolness and light. The SOL Grotto also explores Solyndra’s role as a company S#@t Out of Luck. 1,368 of the 24 million high tech glass tubes destined to be destroyed as a casualty of their bankruptcy, are used in the installation. The tube’s original role as a light concentrating element is extended to transmit cool air into the space via the Venturi effect, to amplify sounds from the adjacent waterfall via the vibrations of the tubes cantilevering over the creek, and to create distorted views of the garden. The form of the electric blue array evokes Plato’s Allegory of the Cave where shadows, light and sounds can call reality into question.”
Responses from Readers:
Peter A’Hearn: Rush hour in little blue circle land.
by Valerie Joyner
Congratulations to CSTA member and STEM Educator, Katherine Schenkelberg, of West High School, in Torrance, CA! Katherine was recently awarded one of the 2013 Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards. An appointed panel of experts selected her for her innovative use of data-collection technology. “The use of data-collection technology in the classroom helps foster students’ interest in STEM education and provides them with engaging, hands-on opportunities for scientific investigation,” said David Vernier, co-founder of Vernier and a former physics teacher. “For ten years Vernier and NSTA have recognized innovative STEM educators through this award and this year’s winners are no exception – their projects and programs truly utilize the power of data-collection technology as part of the teaching and learning process.” Learn More…
by Tim Williamson
Members of the California Science Teachers Association are now in the process of voting for qualified CSTA members to fill the seven openings on the CSTA Board of Directors for the 2013-2015 term.
The election is being conducted electronically and opened for voting on April 16, 2013. Voting will close on May 16, 2013. All CSTA members were sent links to the online ballot. Members for whom we do not have current email addresses or who request a paper ballot have been mailed a ballot and candidate statements. Learn More…