January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

CSTA’s California Classroom Science Goes Digital: It’s All About Sustainability!

Posted: Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Tim Williamson, CSTA President

It’s that time of year again; another school year has begun.  Most of California’s school districts are doing all they can to maintain fiscal stability during these troubled economic times.  It’s not an easy task.  Your California Science Teachers Association is facing many of the same economic challenges.  We’ve tightened our financial belts and we are doing a great job in streamlining budgets and implementing cost-saving measures across the board, but more needs to be done.

The CSTA board’s decision to take the giant “green” step of publishing California Classroom Science in digital format offers our readers a more convenient, easily accessible, easy to read, and easy to archive product that so many of you have requested, but it has the added bonus of being a cost-saving measure.

Our decision to go “digital” was not based on ease of use or financial reasons, although these are beneficial offshoots.  It was based on sustainability.  But what does this term mean?  How is it relevant to digital publications?  Let’s start with a definition and a brief discussion about what sustainability means.

  • Sustainability, a United Nations definition:  A sustainable society meets the needs of the present without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

There is a great concern that our present civilization will be unable to perpetuate itself indefinitely into the future.  For life to survive as we know it in California, the physical resources and systems that support all life must be maintained.  Resources cannot be used and depleted so that there is nothing left, and they cannot be made unusable through misuse.  The health of plant and animal populations, whether they are part of the human food chain or part of a more complex physical life-support interaction system, must be insured.  This means an equal distribution of all natural resources, providing all California residents the ability to maintain a high quality of life while leading to a reduced impact on their environment.

California’s citizens need access to good and reliable information to help them understand the impact of their own “carbon footprint.”  This will help lead to our state’s environmental stability.  We need social justice to stop thoughtless social environmental behaviors and public education that gives its citizens the tools to improve their interaction with the environment.  Any social groupings without these attributes are unstable, and it will become difficult to maintain a healthy balance with the natural world.  This is what sustainability is all about.

The California Science Teachers Association board and you, its members, already understand this concept of sustainability and how it is relevant to digital publications.  I know I don’t need to preach to the choir.  But it is my hope that our general education population can learn to live in a way that considers the rights of future generations and of all living things on this earth.  Going green with our first issue of California Classroom Science is a step in the right direction!

I hope to see all of you in Sacramento for the 2010 California Science Education Conference this October 22nd-24th where you can continue this discussion of sustainability and its impact on future generations with your science education colleagues, both novice and seasoned.  This is what your professional development dollars should be used for.  This is how we become better prepared to impart scientific literacy to all of our charges, preparing them for a successful future for themselves, our state, and our nation.

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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STEM Conference Hosted by CMSESMC

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.

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.

Opportunities to Support NGSS Implementation with CTC

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

What follows are several opportunities for science teachers to work with the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) on various projects that have direct or indirect implications for the implementation of NGSS in California. Please consider applying to one or more of the following opportunities.

CSET Field Testing Opportunities

Field testing opportunities for future CSET Multiple Subjects and Science tests are available beginning Dec. 5, 2016. Participants will have the choice between a $50 Barnes and Noble eGift Card or a $75 test fee voucher that may be applied to future test registration fees. For more information, including how to register to participate, please visit: http://www.pearsonvue.com/espilot/cset.asp. 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.

Submit Your NGSS Lessons and Units 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…

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.

Opportunity for High School Students – Los Angeles County

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…

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.

Science Education Policy Update

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.

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.