November/December 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 2

CSTA Is Now Accepting Nominations for Board Members

Posted: Friday, November 17th, 2017

Current, incoming, and outgoing CSTA Board of Directors at June 3, 2017 meeting.

Updated 7:25 pm, Nov. 17, 2017

It’s that time of year when CSTA is looking for dedicated and qualified persons to fill the upcoming vacancies on its Board of Directors. This opportunity allows you to help shape the policy and determine the path that the Board will take in the new year. There are time and energy commitments, but that is far outweighed by the personal satisfaction of knowing that you are an integral part of an outstanding professional educational organization, dedicated to the support and guidance of California’s science teachers. You will also have the opportunity to help CSTA review and support legislation that benefits good science teaching and teachers.

Right now is an exciting time to be involved at the state level in the California Science Teachers Association. The CSTA Board of Directors is currently involved in implementing the Next Generations Science Standards and its strategic plan. If you are interested in serving on the CSTA Board of Directors, now is the time to submit your name for consideration.

Nominations for Election to Board of Directors of CSTA, 2018-2020 Term

Directors will serve a two-year term beginning July 1, 2018, and ending June 30, 2020.

All current members of CSTA are encouraged to participate in the nomination process.

Only complete nomination packets will be considered. Required information and documents:

  • Completed Declaration of Candidacy Form (link to form available in November)
    • Your experience with CSTA and your teaching and professional experience.
    • Candidate Statement (used in ballot)
      • Your Science Education Philosophy (Please address your philosophy of science education, science teaching, and the role of science education in society.) – 100 words maximum
      • Your Philosophy and Vision for CSTA (Please address your philosophy about CSTA, its mission and goals, its role in the education community, and your vision for the association.) – 100 words maximum
      • A brief biography including your professional role, accomplishments, or other, written in the third person. – 100 words maximum.
  • Resume/CV
  • Two Letters of Recommendation from CSTA members (you may contact CSTA at 916-979-7004 or admin@cascience.org to verify membership of any individual)
  • Head & Shoulders Photo (optional – for use with ballot)

*You must submit two letters of endorsement from CSTA members, other than the President, President-Elect, or members of the

CSTA Nominations Committee, endorsing your candidacy for office.

If you are unsure whether or not an individual from whom you will be requesting an endorsement letter is a member of CSTA, you may call the CSTA office for that information. The letters should address, insofar as possible, how you meet the Qualifications for Office.

Nomination papers will be evaluated by the Nominations Committee, which will select up to two final candidates for each vacant position. Nominees will be evaluated on the following criteria:

Professional Characteristics: Be a science educator and a member in good standing of CSTA; demonstrate a commitment to the improvement of effective science teaching; have a knowledge of the issues facing science education in the state; demonstrate involvement and scholarship in science education; demonstrate knowledge of CSTA and a commitment to its vision and goals; be able to communicate effectively and be a visible spokesperson and strong advocate for CSTA positions; represent the interests and concerns of the members of CSTA. Nominees will be expected to be able to fulfill the duties as described in position descriptions for directors. Directors representing a particular grade level should have adequate experience at that grade level. The Informal Science Education Director must have adequate experience in an organization or institution which conducts science education but is not a school. Regional Directors must reside or work in the region to which they are being elected.

Personal Characteristics: Possess strong leadership skills; possess a high energy level; demonstrate a willingness to make the necessary time commitment to hold a critical leadership position in the association; possess integrity, poise, adaptability, flexibility, a sense of humor, and an appreciation and respect for diversity; possess the ability to create a team effort, build consensus, motivate and involve others, and delegate authority.

Questions? Contact Lisa Hegdahl, Chair, Nominations Committee, at lhegdahl@galt.k12.ca.us.

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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Priority Features of NGSS-Aligned Instructional Materials

Posted: Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Recommendations for Publishers, Reviewers, and Educators. The California Science Teachers Association and the science teachers associations of three other Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) west-coast states, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, have co-authored a white paper on priority features of NGSS instructional materials. This is the first time our states have collaborated to convey a common vision on an issue of great importance for the implementation of the NGSS. We understand all too well that for meaningful shifts to happen and to support the full vision of the NGSS, strong K-12 Instructional materials are required. Learn More…

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California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

State Board Moves Forward Two Key Pieces Supporting CA NGSS Implementation

Posted: Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

CSTA President Jill Grace provides public comment at the November 8, 2017, California State Board of Education meeting.

On November 8, 2017, the California State Board of Education (SBE) took action on two items of import relating to the implementation of the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS). One item was relating to the California Science Test (CAST) and the other to instructional materials. CSTA provided both written and oral comments on both items along with providing input on what CSTA and many other advocates view as a critical component of our state’s emerging accountability system – student access to a broad course of study. Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

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CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

NGSS – Early Attempts and Later Reflections from an Early Implementer Teacher

Posted: Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

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  • There are so many acronyms! Where do I start?
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  • How can I make this happen in my elementary classroom?

All of these thoughts and more swam through my head over three years ago when I began my journey into NGSS. I was fresh from a week-long institute with the K-12 Alliance as part of the CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative. Much of the week was spent on digging into the NGSS architecture – how the standards are set-up, how to read the standards, what each of the three dimensions meant. Now that I knew how to read them, I needed to figure out how to implement them into my classroom of 24 eight-year-olds. With some guidance from the K-12 Alliance leaders and my own district-level NGSS team, I began the process with some easy “baby steps.” Learn More…

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Written by NGSS Early Implementer

NGSS Early Implementer

In 2015 CSTA began to publish a series of articles written by teachers participating in the California NGSS k-8 Early Implementation Initiative. This article was written by an educator(s) participating in the initiative. CSTA thanks them for their contributions and for sharing their experience with the science teaching community.

CSTA Is Now Accepting Nominations for Board Members

Posted: Friday, November 17th, 2017

Current, incoming, and outgoing CSTA Board of Directors at June 3, 2017 meeting.

Updated 7:25 pm, Nov. 17, 2017

It’s that time of year when CSTA is looking for dedicated and qualified persons to fill the upcoming vacancies on its Board of Directors. This opportunity allows you to help shape the policy and determine the path that the Board will take in the new year. There are time and energy commitments, but that is far outweighed by the personal satisfaction of knowing that you are an integral part of an outstanding professional educational organization, dedicated to the support and guidance of California’s science teachers. You will also have the opportunity to help CSTA review and support legislation that benefits good science teaching and teachers.

Right now is an exciting time to be involved at the state level in the California Science Teachers Association. The CSTA Board of Directors is currently involved in implementing the Next Generations Science Standards and its strategic plan. If you are interested in serving on the CSTA Board of Directors, now is the time to submit your name for consideration. 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.

Expanding Your Definition of Informal Science Education

Posted: Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

by Lori Walsh

When deciding on a field trip, zoos, aquariums and science centers typically come to mind. These facilities offer students hands-on opportunities to make science observations using inquiry. Teachers can schedule standards aligned workshops or self-guided visits. If your students have already visited these facilities, you can broaden your options by exploring the larger world of Informal Science Education. Nature centers, non-profits, and environmental groups often also offer NGSS aligned programs in the natural setting. Your students can discover the local environment while making memorable experiences. Learn More…

Written by Lori Walsh

Lori Walsh

Lori Walsh is the Education/Operations Supervisor at SEA LIFE Aquarium at LEGOLAND California Resort and Informal Science Director for CSTA.