January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

CSTA Announces 2015 Keynote Speakers!

Posted: Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

by Deb Farkas

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As chair of the 2015 California Science Education Conference Committee, I am pleased to announce that CSTA will be welcoming Dr. Ainissa Ramirez and former astronaut, José Hernández, as our Opening Session and Closing Session Keynote speakers, respectively. Dr. Ramirez will present in the morning on Friday, October 2, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento and Mr. Hernández will address the CSTA audience the morning of Sunday, October 4. Both individuals are dedicated to making science accessible to all and encouraging young people to pursue careers in STEM. 

Dr. Ainissa Ramirez

Dr. Ainissa Ramirez

Dr. Ramirez, formerly a research scientist at Bell Laboratories – Lucent Technologies and an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Yale University and director at Yale of the award-winning science lecture series for children, Science Saturdays, is a science evangelist who has a passion for making science fun, exciting and accessible to the general public.  Her current focus is getting the message out about the importance of STEM education and shattering the stereotyping of scientists by promoting STEM in underrepresented groups.  To quote Dr. Ramirez, “The 21st century requires a new kind of learner – not someone who can simply churn out answers by rote, as has been done in the past, but a student who can think expansively and solve problems resourcefully.  The traditional academic skills of reading, ‘riting, and ’rithmetic must be replaced with creativity, curiosity, critical thinking and problem solving, and collaborative and communication skills in order to solve the complex problems of tomorrow.” Dr. Ramirez is co-author of Newton’s Football: The Science Behind America’s Game with journalist Allen St. John, and author of Save Our Science: How to Inspire a New Generation of Scientists.

José Hernández

José Hernández

José Hernández is a former NASA astronaut who served as a mission specialist on the STS-128 Discovery mission in 2009, managing the transfer of more than 18,000 pounds of supplies and equipment between the shuttle and the International Space Station, assisting with robotics operation, and serving as flight engineer for launch and landing.  The son of migrant farm workers in California, he moved with his family annually from Mexico to central California while growing up.  After graduating high school in Stockton, Mr. Herandez pursued baccalaureate and graduate degrees in electrical and computer engineering, was selected as an astronaut candidate in 2004, and in 2006 received an honorary doctorate from the University of the Pacific. Earlier in his career, Mr. Hernández worked on signal and image processing applications in radar imaging, computed tomography, and acoustic imaging at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.  Mr. Hernández is also the co-developer of the first full-field digital mammography imaging system.  He co-authored Reaching for the Stars: The Inspiring Story of a Migrant Farmworker Turned Astronaut with Monica Rojas Rubin.  In 2005, José founded the Reaching for the Stars Foundation based on his belief that all children, despite challenges, should have the opportunities to fulfill their dreams.  Through the Foundation’s science conferences, events, summer academy and scholarships, he hopes to inspire young people to learn more about math and science, and help prepare and support them in pursuing careers in STEM.

For more information about the 2015 California Science Education Conference, please visit our conference website. I encourage you to submit a proposal to present a one-hour workshop at the conference, proposals are due February 13!

Written by Guest Contributor

From time to time CSTA receives contributions from guest contributors. The opinions and views expressed by these contributors are not necessarily those of CSTA. By publishing these articles CSTA does not make any endorsements or statements of support of the author or their contribution, either explicit or implicit. All links to outside sources are subject to CSTA’s Disclaimer Policy: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.

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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. Register online today!

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…

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.

NSTA Los Angeles Conference Features Many CA Science Leaders

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

The early-bird registration rates for the 65th NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Los Angeles is just days away (ends Feb. 3). And as the early-registration deadline approaches excitement is building for what is anticipated to be the largest gathering of science educators (both California and nationwide) – with attendance expected to reach 10,000 or more. If you have never had the pleasure of attending the NSTA National Conference, I recommend you visit their website with tips for newcomers that describe the various components of the event. A conference preview is also available for download. Learn More…

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.