May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

CSTA Member Selected to Explore the Ocean with Titanic Discoverer Dr. Robert Ballard’s Nautilus Exploration Program

Posted: Friday, June 29th, 2012

[San Francisco, CA] – Twelve educators from across the United States have been selected from a competitive pool of applicants by the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) to participate in the 2012 Nautilus Exploration Program. The selected Educators at Sea hail from schools and museums in seven states and represent ten school districts, including San Francisco Unified School District. CSTA member and region 2 director Eric Lewis, the Secondary Science Content Specialist for the SFUSD, has been selected as a 2012 Nautilus Exploration Program Educator at Sea.

For the past five years, Eric Lewis has been supporting high school science in SFUSD as a teacher on special assignment. Prior to this, Mr. Lewis was a teacher and department chair at Mission High School where he taught Biology, Earth Science, Physiology and Health Careers since 1999. Mr. Lewis will be aboard the Nautilus from June 28th through July 16th where he will be contributing to the research on the Southern Black Sea.

“I’m incredibly honored to be able to participate in this kind of research. Not only will I be able to experience the excitement of discovery first-hand, but I will also be able to share this excitement – and the various kinds of science that I’ll be doing – with students throughout SFUSD.”

The 2012 Educators at Sea will embark in July and August on Dr. Robert Ballard’s ship of exploration, E/V Nautilus, as his team explores the geology, biology, archaeology and chemistry of the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea. As part of the Corps of Exploration aboard Nautilus, educators will participate in daily science operations and live interactions with shore-based audiences on www.nautiluslive.org and at the Nautilus Live Theater at the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut. The Educator at Sea Program is sponsored in part by Bechtel.

“We’re very excited to provide educators with a direct experience of pure exploration,” said Expedition Leader and OET Vice President, Dr. Katherine Croff Bell, “While our Nautilus Live website provides real-time video of our expedition to teachers and students all over the world, we also have the unique opportunity to invite our Educators at Sea on board Nautilus as fully integrated members of our Corps of Exploration.”

Prior to going to sea, educators will also participate in an intensive training workshop attend sessions hosted by scientists, engineers and science communicators from June 25-28 at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography, where Dr. Ballard is professor of oceanography. Ballard is best known for his discovery of RMS Titanic.

 

About the Nautilus Exploration Program

 

The Nautilus Exploration Program was founded in 2008 by Dr. Robert Ballard and is a joint ocean exploration initiative of the Ocean Exploration Trust, the Institute for Exploration and the URI Center for Ocean Exploration. This international program centers on scientific exploration of the seafloor launched from aboard the Exploration Vessel Nautilus, a 64-meter research vessel currently based in Istanbul, Turkey. In addition to conducting pure scientific research, the Nautilus Exploration Program offers ocean telepresence to explorers on shore via live video, audio and data feeds from the ship. The Program also includes an education component that brings educators and students on E/V Nautilus expeditions. The 2012 Nautilus Exploration Program is sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Ocean Exploration Trust, the Sea Research Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, National Geographic Society and private donors.

 

 


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.

One Response

  1. What an amazing opportunity, Eric. Congratulations! I look forward to hearing more about your deep sea adventure.

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Participate in Chemistry Education Research Study, Earn $500-800 Dollars!

Posted: Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

WestEd, a non-profit educational research agency, has been funded by the US Department of Education to test a new molecular modeling kit, Happy Atoms. Happy Atoms is an interactive chemistry learning experience that consists of a set of physical atoms that connect magnetically to form molecules, and an app that uses image recognition to identify the molecules that you create with the set. WestEd is conducting a study around the effectiveness of using Happy Atoms in the classroom, and we are looking for high school chemistry teachers in California to participate.

As part of the study, teachers will be randomly assigned to either the treatment group (who uses Happy Atoms) or the control group (who uses Happy Atoms at a later date). Teachers in the treatment group will be asked to use the Happy Atoms set in their classrooms for 5 lessons over the course of the fall 2017 semester. Students will complete pre- and post-assessments and surveys around their chemistry content knowledge and beliefs about learning chemistry. WestEd will provide access to all teacher materials, teacher training, and student materials needed to participate.

Participating teachers will receive a stipend of $500-800. You can read more information about the study here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HappyAtoms

Please contact Rosanne Luu at rluu@wested.org or 650.381.6432 if you are interested in participating in this opportunity, or if you have any questions!

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.

2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption Reviewer Application

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

The California Department of Education and State Board of Education are now accepting applications for reviewers for the 2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption. The application deadline is 3:00 pm, July 21, 2017. The application is comprehensive, so don’t wait until the last minute to apply.

On Tuesday, May 9, 2017, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson forwarded this recruitment letter to county and district superintendents and charter school administrators.

Review panel members will evaluate instructional materials for use in kindergarten through grade eight, inclusive, that are aligned with the California Next Generation Science Content Standards for California Public Schools (CA NGSS). 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.

Lessons Learned from the NGSS Early Implementer Districts

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

On March 31, 2017, Achieve released two documents examining some lessons learned from the California K-8 Early Implementation Initiative. The initiative began in August 2014 and was developed by the K-12 Alliance at WestEd, with close collaborative input on its design and objectives from the State Board of Education, the California Department of Education, and Achieve.

Eight (8) traditional school districts and two (2) charter management organizations were selected to participate in the initiative, becoming the first districts in California to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Those districts included Galt Joint Union Elementary, Kings Canyon Joint Unified, Lakeside Union, Oakland Unified, Palm Springs Unified, San Diego Unified, Tracy Joint Unified, Vista Unified, Aspire, and High Tech High.

To more closely examine some of the early successes and challenges experienced by the Early Implementer LEAs, Achieve interviewed nine of the ten participating districts and compiled that information into two resources, focusing primarily on professional learning and instructional materials. 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.

Using Online Simulations to Support the NGSS in Middle School Classrooms

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

by Lesley Gates, Loren Nikkel, and Kambria Eastham

Middle school teachers in Kings Canyon Unified School District (KCUSD), a CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative district, have been diligently working on transitioning to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) integrated model for middle school. This year, the teachers focused on building their own knowledge of the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs). They have been gathering and sharing ideas at monthly collaborative meetings as to how to make sure their students are not just learning about science but that they are actually doing science in their classrooms. Students should be planning and carrying out investigations to gather data for analysis in order to construct explanations. This is best done through hands-on lab experiments. Experimental work is such an important part of the learning of science and education research shows that students learn better and retain more when they are active through inquiry, investigation, and application. A Framework for K-12 Science Education (2011) notes, “…learning about science and engineering involves integration of the knowledge of scientific explanations (i.e., content knowledge) and the practices needed to engage in scientific inquiry and engineering design. Thus the framework seeks to illustrate how knowledge and practice must be intertwined in designing learning experiences in K-12 Science Education” (pg. 11).

Many middle school teachers in KCUSD are facing challenges as they begin implementing these student-driven, inquiry-based NGSS science experiences in their classrooms. First, many of the middle school classrooms at our K-8 school sites are not designed as science labs. 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 NGSS 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.

Celestial Highlights: May – July 2017

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

May Through July 2017 with Web Resources for the Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017

by Robert C. Victor. Twilight sky maps by Robert D. Miller. Graphs of planet rising and setting times by Jeffrey L. Hunt.

In spring and summer 2017, Jupiter is the most prominent “star” in the evening sky, and Venus, even brighter, rules the morning. By mid-June, Saturn rises at a convenient evening hour, allowing both giant planets to be viewed well in early evening until Jupiter sinks low in late September. The Moon is always a crescent in its monthly encounters with Venus, but is full whenever it appears near Jupiter or Saturn in the eastern evening sky opposite the Sun. (In 2017, Full Moon is near Jupiter in April, Saturn in June.) At intervals of 27-28 days thereafter, the Moon appears at a progressively earlier phase at each pairing with the outer planet until its final conjunction, with Moon a thin crescent, low in the west at dusk. You’ll see many beautiful events by just following the Moon’s wanderings at dusk and dawn in the three months leading up to the solar eclipse. Learn More…

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Written by Robert Victor

Robert Victor

Robert C. Victor was Staff Astronomer at Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University. He is now retired and enjoys providing skywatching opportunities for school children in and around Palm Springs, CA. Robert is a member of CSTA.