Cooperative Extension Invites Participation in Day of Science and Service
Posted: Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014
by Steven Worker and Marissa Stein
On May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the Smith-Lever Act, which created the world’s first system connecting public higher education with local communities in the pursuit of service to the land and its people. Smith-Lever spawned the Cooperative Extension Service, which strongly tied service, science and citizen participation together in scientific enterprises. The mission of Cooperative Extension has stayed true today: Acting as a bridge between local issues and the power of University research by extending knowledge in communities and developing practical, science-based answers (Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, 2010; Regents of the University of California, 2009).
Nestled within the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR), University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) is best described as a vast network of UC researchers and educators who work together to develop and provide science-based information to solve locally relevant economic, agricultural, natural resource, youth development, and nutrition issues. In addition to having UCCE Specialists based at UC Davis, UC Riverside, and UC Berkeley, UCCE Advisors and Specialists live and work in every California County, applying research from the University of California to help local businesses and entire communities thrive. In turn, UCCE experts partner with local innovators to develop and disseminate best practices through UC’s expansive local and global networks. Some of the UCCE programs include 4-H Youth Development, UC Master Gardeners, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, and the Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program.
University of California Day of Science and Service.
On May 8, 2014, Cooperative Extension celebrates its 100th birthday. In the spirit of cooperation, the University of California’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources is asking you to join us for a one-day science project. Take a walk, visit a park or enjoy the beauty of a garden. Paint a picture of California’s food and water resources by marking your responses on our online maps!
- How many pollinators do you see outside?
One-third of the world’s food production depends on pollinators. Bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, moths, beetles, birds and bats help plants reproduce by carrying pollen from one flower to another so a plant can develop its seed. By marking our California map with the locations where you and other Californians see pollinators in your neighborhoods, we can get a better idea of where pollinators are—and are not—across the state.
- Where is food grown in your community?
Nutritious food is an essential part of healthy growth and a healthy lifestyle. Nearly every community in California contributes in some way to food production, from large farms to backyard gardens. With demand for food supplies increasing, it’s becoming increasingly important for all of us to recognize exactly where (and what) fresh food is being grown. By marking our California food map with the locations of food production in your neighborhood, we can get a better idea of where food is produced across the state.
- How do you conserve water?
People, animals and plants all need water to survive, yet less than 1% of the earth’s water is available for our use. With each passing day, the availability of clean water is diminishing. As California experiences record drought conditions, now more than ever, every drop counts. Your data will help create a clearer picture of what water conservation practices are used across the state of California.
We will use the information to better understand what’s happening to our food supplies and natural resources across the state. The answers collected will help us build a healthier future for communities throughout California. This is a great opportunity for Californians to participate in UC research, and steer the future of UC research and education efforts.
Free educational activities are available for grades K-12 around water conservation, gardening and nutrition, and pollinators to support the questions outlined above. In addition, links to curricula, UC ANR research projects, and additional efforts around these topics are available on the website.
Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. (2010). 2010 Strategic opportunities for Cooperative Extension. New York.
Regents of the University of California. (2009). University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Strategic Vision 2025. Oakland, CA: University of California.
Steven Worker is with the California State 4-H Office at the University of California’s Division of Agricultural and Natural Resources. Marissa Stein is UC Cooperative Extension Centennial Program Coordinator at the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. They were invited to write by CSTA member Valerie Joyner.
Posted: Monday, March 27th, 2017
The California Science Teachers Association (CSTA) stands with our science and science education colleagues in endorsing the March For Science and its associated activities.
The decision by the CSTA Board of Directors to support the March for Science was based on the understanding that this is an opportunity to advocate for our mission of high quality science education for all and to advance the idea that science has application to everyday life, is a vehicle for lifelong learning, and the scientific enterprise expands our knowledge of the world around us. The principles and goals of the March for Science parallel those of CSTA to assume a leadership role in solidarity with our colleagues in science and science education and create an understanding of the value of science in the greater community. CSTA believes that the integrity of the nature of science and that the work of scientists and science educators should be valued and supported. We encourage your participation to stand with us.
There are over 30 satellite marches planned for the April 22, 2017 March for Science in California (to find a march near you, click on “marches” in the upper right of the main page, select “satellite marches” and use the search feature). We encourage members who participate in the March for Science to share their involvement and promotion of science and science education. Feel free to promote CSTA on your signs and banners. For those on social media, you may share your involvement via Twitter, @cascience and our Facebook groups.
Posted: Tuesday, March 14th, 2017
The pre-publication version of the new California Science Curriculum Framework is now available for download. This publication incorporates all the edits that were approved by the State Board of Education in November 2016 and was many months in the making. Our sincere thanks to the dozens of CSTA members were involved in its development. Our appreciation is also extended to the California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, the Instructional Quality Commission, and the Science Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee and their staff for their hard work and dedication to produce this document and for their commitment to the public input process. To the many writers and contributors to the Framework CSTA thanks you for your many hours of work to produce a world-class document.
For tips on how to approach this document see our article from December 2016: California Has Adopted a New Science Curriculum Framework – Now What …? If you would like to learn more about the Framework, consider participating in one of the Framework Launch events (a.k.a. Rollout #4) scheduled throughout 2017.
The final publication version (formatted for printing) will be available in July 2017. This document will not be available in printed format, only electronically.
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
The 2017 Award Season is now open! One of the benefits of being a CSTA member is your eligibility for awards as well as your eligibility to nominate someone for an award. CSTA offers several awards and members may nominate individuals and organizations for the Future Science Teacher Award, the prestigious Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award, and the CSTA Distinguished Contributions Award (organizational award). May 9, 2017 is the deadline for nominations for these awards. CSTA believes that the importance of science education cannot be overstated. Given the essential presence of the sciences in understanding the past and planning for the future, science education remains, and will increasingly be one of the most important disciplines in education. CSTA is committed to recognizing and encouraging excellence in science teaching through the presentation of awards to science educators and organizations who have made outstanding contributions in science education in the state and who are poised to continue the momentum of providing high quality, relevant science education into the future. Learn More…
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
CSTA is now accepting applications from regular, preservice, and retired members to serve on our volunteer committees! CSTA’s all-volunteer board of directors invites you to consider maximizing your member experience by volunteering for CSTA. CSTA committee service offers you the opportunity to share your expertise, learn a new skill, or do something you love to do but never have the opportunity to do in your regular day. CSTA committee volunteers do some pretty amazing things: Learn More…
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
by Marian Murphy-Shaw
If you attended an NGSS Rollout phase 1-3 or CDE workshops at CSTA’s annual conference you may recall hearing from Chris Breazeale when he was working with the CDE. Chris has relocated professionally, with his passion for science education, and is now the Executive Director at the Explorit Science Center, a hands-on exploration museum featuring interactive STEM exhibits located at the beautiful Mace Ranch, 3141 5th St. in Davis, CA. Visitors can “think it, try it, and explorit” with a variety of displays that allow visitors to “do science.” To preview the museum, or schedule a classroom visit, see www.explorit.org. Learn More…