January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

CSTA Conference Update

Posted: Thursday, August 1st, 2013

by Jim Jones

By now you’ve been making preparations for the upcoming California Science Education Conference this October 25 – 27 in Palm Springs.  We’ve been preparing for you.  There is so much for everyone!  You will have opportunities to participate in many quality events.  Everybody wants to go to Palm Springs, so what better reason to do so than this conference?!

If just the fact that it’s in Palm Springs isn’t enough motivation to get you there, let me tell you about our superb Keynote Speakers.  To open our conference, we have Dr. Stephen Pruitt, the Vice President for Content, Research, and Development for Achieve and leader of the development of the Next Generation Science Standards.  The NGSS are being considered by the State Board of Education and are likely to be adopted.  The conference will be the optimal place to learn about them and prepare your teaching to address them.

On Sunday, October 27, our closing keynote speaker will be Dr. Lawrence C. Smith, climate scientist, professor, and author of The World in 2050Dr. Smith is one of the world’s most respected climate scientists whose work envisions the future of a warmed planet.  He will outline the changes that our world will face in the next 50 years, both geologically and societally.  Dr. Smith will speak about the changes occurring on Earth because of the combination of booming global population and global warming.  He will share the major gains he believes will be made by the North.

In addition to the two outstanding Keynote Speakers, you will have the opportunity to hear several Focus Speakers.  Their topics include the Power of Non-Verbal Communication, Shark Tracking Robots, Tissue Development and Engineering, Scientific Computing, and Nanoscience. Don’t forget to reserve Saturday, October 26 from 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m., as well. This is for the Awards Breakfast, where you can hear Dr. Stuart Sumida, a paleontologist and anatomical consultant to animation and digital effects studios including Disney and Pixar. Seating at the breakfast event is limited so be sure to purchase your ticket early.

Of course, the staple of the conference will be the Short Courses and Workshops presented by your peers.  We’ve accumulated a diverse of line-up of topics.  No matter your grade level and/or discipline, you will find many choices available.

You will also want to take advantage of our Field Course offerings.  On Friday, take one of the field courses to learn about the San Andreas Fault or Alternative Energy.  Saturday offers the opportunity to learn about Joshua Tree National Park or the Palm Springs Aerial Tram Engineering Tour.  Sunday offers a visit to the Living Desert to learn about helping species survive and thrive.

We’ve made plans for your evenings as well as your days.  In addition to the Villagefest Street Fair on Thursday night in downtown Palm Springs (walking distance from the Convention Center), you can participate in evening events on Friday and Saturday nights.  These opportunities include a Pool Party where you will have the chance to join a team in engineering activities, and an Astronomy Night with invited guest Bobak Ferdowsi, a.k.a. the “Mohawk Guy” from the current Mars exploration mission.

Finally, there will be as many as 100 exhibitors on-hand.  A visit to the Exhibit Hall is a great way to stay on the cutting edge of what is available to enhance your students’ learning and to shop for classroom essentials.

We’re looking forward to seeing you in Palm Springs in October!

Jim Jones retired two years ago after teaching elementary grades for 36 years. He is the co-chairperson of the 2013 California Science Education Conference and has been a CSTA member since 1985.

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. 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

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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

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.