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: Thursday, January 26th, 2017
California Alternate Assessment for Science Training Sample Is Here!
The training test for the California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for Science is now available on the CAASPP Portal CAAs Web page! This training test is the same type of embedded performance task (PT) that will be administered during this year’s pilot CAA for Science. Designed to be administered one on one, the training test PT is nonsecure and for use in preparing for the pilot CAA for Science.
The training test is aligned with the grade five California Next Generation Science Standards but can be used by students in any of the tested grades to familiarize both educators, students, parents, and stakeholders with the testing format of the pilot. The CDE is preparing a letter for LEAs to use to inform parents about this innovative test and the availability of the training test. Learn More…
Posted: Saturday, January 14th, 2017
The Council of Math/Science Educators of San Mateo County will be hosting the 41st annual STEM Conference this February 4, 2017 at the San Mateo County Office of Education. This STEM Conference is the place to get lots of new lessons and ideas to use in your classroom. There will be over twenty-five workshops and a variety of exhibitors that provide participants with a wide range of practical and realistic ideas and resources to use in their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs from Pre-K to grade 12. With California’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, we are dedicated to ensuring that we prepare our teachers to take on these educational policies.
Teachers, administrators, and parents are invited to explore the many exciting aspects of STEM education and learn about and discuss the latest news, information, and issues. This is also an opportunity to network with colleagues who can assist you in building your programs and meet new friends that share your interests and love of teaching. Register online today!
Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017
Achieve has launched and is facilitating an EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science–a group of expert reviewers who will evaluate the quality and alignment of lessons and units to the standards–in an effort to identify and shine a spotlight on emerging high-quality lesson and unit plans designed for the NGSS.
If you or your state, district, school, or organization has designed NGSS-aligned instructional materials, please consider submitting these in order to help provide educators across the country with various models and templates of high-quality lesson and unit plans. Learn More…
Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017
An upcoming Perry Outreach Program on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children in Los Angeles, CA. The Perry Outreach Program is a free, one-day, hands-on experience for high school and college-aged women who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine and engineering. Students will hear from women leaders in these fields and try it for themselves by performing mock orthopaedic surgeries and biomechanics experiments. Learn More…
Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017
by Jessica Sawko
January 2017 has proven to be a very busy month for science education policy and CA NGSS implementation activities. CSTA has been and will be there every step of the way, seeking and enacting all options to support high-quality science education and the successful implementation of CA NGSS.
California Department of Education/U.S. Department of Education Science Double-Testing Waiver Hearing
The year started with California Department of Education’s (CDE) hearing with the U.S. Department of Education conducted via WebEx on January 6, 2017. This hearing was the final step in California’s efforts to secure a waiver from the federal government in order to discontinue administration of the old CST and suspension of the reporting of student test scores on a science assessment for two years. As reported by EdSource, the U.S. Department of Education representative, Ann Whalen, a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary John King Jr., committed to making her final ruling “very shortly.” Deputy Superintendent Keric Ashley presented on behalf of CDE during the hearing and did an excellent job describing the broad-based support for this waiver in California, the rationale for the waiver, and California’s commitment to the successful implementation of a new high-quality science assessment. As previously reported, California is moving forward with its plans to administer a census pilot assessments this spring. The testing window is set to open on March 20, 2017. For more information visit New CA Science Test: What You Should Know.