September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

CSTA Member Wins 2013-2014 Einstein Fellowship

Posted: Monday, April 1st, 2013

Zovig Minassian, a teacher at Herbert Hoover High School in Glendale, and CSTA member, will serve at the Department of Energy’s Office of Science under the guidance of Patricia Dehmer. The complete press release and information regarding the Einstein Fellowship is below. CSTA congratulates Zovig on this incredible accomplishment!

Triangle Coalition Announces 2013-2014 Einstein Fellowships

Twenty-seven distinguished STEM educators selected to serve next school-year at four federal agencies

ARLINGTON, Va. (March 26, 2013) – The Triangle Coalition for Science and Technology Education today announced 27 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educators who have been selected for the 2013-2014 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program. Selected educators will serve in Washington, D.C. for 11 months beginning September 1, 2013 at sponsoring federal agencies which include the Department of Energy (DOE), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Einstein Fellows provide practical classroom insight in guiding education programs and policies, especially those related to STEM education.

Founded in 1990, the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program is a paid fellowship for K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics educators with demonstrated excellence in teaching. Fellowships aim to increase understanding, communication, and cooperation between the legislative and executive branches of the government and the STEM education community. The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Act, authorized by Congress in 1994, gave DOE federal responsibility for the program. The Triangle Coalition for Science and Technology Education administers the Program for the DOE Office of Science in partnership with the other participating federal agencies.

The 2013-2014 Einstein Fellows were selected through a rigorous application and interview process from a competitive, nationwide pool of nearly 200 applicants. Of the 27 fellows in the 2013-2014 cohort, five are returning fellows invited to serve for a second year in their sponsoring agencies. Triangle Coalition is pleased to announce the names of the 22 newly selected Einstein Fellows as follows:

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Anne Artz, a teacher at The Preuss School UCSD in La Jolla, Calif., will serve as a Congressional Fellow sponsored by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science with program support from Brian O’Donnell.

Michelle Basile, a teacher at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School in Washington, D.C., will serve as a Congressional Fellow sponsored by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science with program support from Brian O’Donnell.

James Forester, a teacher at the Salem High School in Salem, Va., will serve as a Congressional Fellow sponsored by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science with program support from Brian O’Donnell.

Zovig Minassian, a teacher at Herbert Hoover High School in Glendale, Calif., will serve at the Department of Energy’s Office of Science under the guidance of Patricia Dehmer.

Joshua Sneideman, a teacher at Tarbut V Torah in Irvine, Calif., will serve at the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) under the guidance of Michelle Fox.

Shawn Tiegs, a teacher at Nezperce Joint School District in Nezperce, Idaho, will serve as a Congressional Fellow sponsored by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science with program support from Brian O’Donnell.

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

Jennifer Kennedy, a teacher at Athens Middle School in Athens, Ala., will serve at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) under the guidance of Tony Springer.

Melinda Higgins, a teacher at The Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, Tenn., will serve at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Office of Education (OE) & Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) under the guidance of Robert Gabrys.

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

Ophelia Barizo, a teacher at the Highland View Academy in Hagerstown, Md., will serve at the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Engineering (ENG), Emerging Frontiers in Research Innovation Division (EFRI) under the guidance of Rosemarie Wesson.

Elaine Blomeyer, a teacher at South Gate High School in South Gate, Calif. will serve at the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR), Human Resources Development Division (HRD) under the guidance of Marilyn Suiter.

Barbara Buckner, a teacher at Bradley Central High School in Cleveland, Tenn., will serve at the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR), Office of the Assistant Director (OAD) under the guidance of Joan Ferrini-Mundy.

Kaye Ebelt, a teacher at Target Range School in Missoula, Mont., will serve at the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Engineering (ENG), Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation Division (CMMI) under the guidance of George Hazelrigg.

Steve Griffin, a teacher at Woodlawn High School in Baton Rouge, La., will serve at the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Engineering (ENG), Industrial Innovation and Partnerships Division (IIP) under the guidance of Sonya Williams.

Natalie Harr, a teacher at Crestwood Primary School in Mantua, Ohio, will serve at the National Science Foundation’s Computer & Information Science & Engineering Directorate (CISE), Information and Intelligent Systems Division (IIS) under the guidance of Janet Kolodner.

Kathryn Hoppe, a teacher at Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES in Spencerport, N.Y., will serve at the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Engineering (ENG), Division of Engineering Education and Centers (EEC) under the guidance of Mary Poats.

Jennie Lyons, a teacher at Hackley School in Tarrytown, N.Y., will serve at the National Science Foundation’s Computer & Information Science & Engineering Directorate (CISE), Computer and Network Systems Division (CNS) under the guidance of Jan Cuny.

Stephen Portz, a teacher at Space Coast Junior/Senior High School in Cocoa, Fla., will serve at the National Science Foundation’s Computer & Information Science & Engineering Directorate (CISE), Cyber Physical Systems Division (CPS) under the guidance of Keith Marzullo.

Rebecca Sansom, a teacher at Bingham High School in South Jordan, Utah, will serve at the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR), Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) under the guidance of Joan Prival.

Florentia Spires, a teacher at Howard University Middle School in Washington, D.C., will serve at the National Science Foundation’s Computer & Information Science & Engineering Directorate  (CISE),  Computer and Network Systems Division (CNS) under the guidance of Jan Cuny.

Sheryl Sotelo, a teacher at McNeil Canyon Elementary in Homer, Alaska, will serve at the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR), Human Resources Development Division (HRD) under the guidance of Marilyn Suiter.

David Thesenga, a teacher at Lake Forest Country Day School in Lake Forest, Ill., will serve at the National Science Foundation’s Geosciences Directorate (GEO) under the guidance of Jill Karsten.

James Town, a teacher at West Sacramento College Prep Charter School in West Sacramento, Calif., will serve at the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR), Division of Research on Learning (DRL) under the guidance of Janice Earle.

About the Triangle Coalition for Science and Technology Education

Triangle Coalition for Science and Technology Education is a 501c (3) nonprofit organization that works in partnership with its members to lead the nation in advocating for improved STEM education. Headquartered in the Washington, D.C. metro area, the Triangle Coalition is uniquely comprised of member organizations that represent the diverse voices of businesses, education alliances, nonprofit organizations, and STEM societies from across the U.S. Through a combination of advocacy, communications, and programmatic efforts, Triangle Coalition works diligently to advance STEM education for all students.

Triangle Coalition administers the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program on behalf of the Department of Energy, in partnership with other participating federal agencies and the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. The federally authorized Einstein Fellowship Program provides a unique professional development opportunity for educators to inform national policy and improve communication between the K-12 STEM education community and national leaders. Fellows spend eleven months working in a federal agency or in a U.S. Congressional office, bringing extensive knowledge and classroom experience to education programs and policy efforts. To learn more about the Triangle Coalition and the Einstein Fellowship Program, visit www.trianglecoalition.org.

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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Thriving in a Time of Change

Posted: Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

by Jill Grace

By the time this message is posted online, most schools across California will have been in session for at least a month (if not longer, and hat tip to that bunch!). Long enough to get a good sense of who the kids in your classroom are and to get into that groove and momentum of the daily flow of teaching. It’s also very likely that for many of you who weren’t a part of a large grant initiative or in a district that set wheels in motion sooner, this is the first year you will really try to shift instruction to align to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). I’m not going to lie to you, it’s a challenging year – change is hard. Change is even harder when there’s not a playbook to go by.  But as someone who has had the very great privilege of walking alongside teachers going through that change for the past two years and being able to glimpse at what this looks like for different demographics across that state, there are three things I hope you will hold on to. These are things I have come to learn will overshadow the challenge: a growth mindset will get you far, one is a very powerful number, and it’s about the kids. Learn More…

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Written by Jill Grace

Jill Grace

Jill Grace is a Regional Director for the K-12 Alliance and is President of CSTA.

If You Are Not Teaching Science Then You Are Not Teaching Common Core

Posted: Thursday, August 31st, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn 

“Science and Social Studies can be taught for the last half hour of the day on Fridays”

– Elementary school principal

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

Peter A’Hearn is the Region 4 Director for CSTA.

Tools for Creating NGSS Standards Based Lessons

Posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

by Elizabeth Cooke

Think back on your own experiences with learning science in school. Were you required to memorize disjointed facts without understanding the concepts?

Science Education Background

In the past, science education focused on rote memorization and learning disjointed ideas. Elementary and secondary students in today’s science classes are fortunate now that science instruction has shifted from students demonstrating what they know to students demonstrating how they are able to apply their knowledge. Science education that reflects the Next Generation Science Standards challenges students to conduct investigations. As students explore phenomena and discrepant events they engage in academic discourse guided by focus questions from their teachers or student generated questions of that arise from analyzing data and creating and revising models that explain natural phenomena. Learn More…

Written by Elizabeth Cooke

Elizabeth Cooke

Elizabeth Cooke teaches TK-5 science at Markham Elementary in the Oakland Unified School District, is an NGSS Early Implementer, and is CSTA’s Secretary.

News and Happenings in CSTA’s Region 1 – Fall 2017

Posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

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This month I was fortunate enough to hear about some new topics to share with our entire region. Some of you may access the online or newsletter options, others may attend events in person that are nearer to you. Long time CSTA member and environmental science educator Mike Roa is well known to North Bay Area teachers for his volunteer work sharing events and resources. In this month’s Region 1 updates I am happy to make a few of the options Mike offers available to our region. Learn More…

Written by Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw is the student services director at Siskiyou County Office of Education and is CSTA’s Region 1 Director and chair of CSTA’s Policy Committee.

Is This a First: Young Female Teens Propose California Water Conservation Legislation?

Posted: Monday, August 28th, 2017

Meet the La Habra Water Guardians from the Optics of their Teacher Moderator, Dr. P.

by Susan M. Pritchard, Ph.D.

You have just won the 2016 Lexus Eco Challenge as one of four First Place Winners in the Middle School Category across the nation! Now, what are you going to do … go to Disneyland? No, not for four of the six La Habra Water Guardians, Disneyland is not in their future at this time. Although I think they would love a trip to Disneyland, (are you listening Mickey Mouse?), at this moment they are focused big time on one major thing … celebrating the passage of their proposed legislation: Assembly Bill 1343 Go Low Flow Water Conservation Partnership Bill and now promoting the enactment of this legislation. Learn More…

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.