May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

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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CSTA Annual Conference Early Bird Rates End July 14

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

Teachers engaged in workshop activity

Teachers engaging in hands-on learning during a workshop at the 2016 CSTA conference.

Don’t miss your chance to register at the early bird rate for the 2017 CSTA Conference – the early-bird rate closes July 14. Need ideas on how to secure funding for your participation? Visit our website for suggestions, a budget planning tool, and downloadable justification letter to share with your admin. Want to take advantage of the early rate – but know your district will pay eventually? Register online today and CSTA will reimburse you when we receive payment from your district/employer. (For more information on how that works contact Zi Stair in the office for details – 916-979-7004 or zi@cascience.org.)

New Information Now Available On-line:

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.

Goodbye Outgoing and Welcome Incoming CSTA Board Members

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Jill Grace

Jill Grace, CSTA President, 2017-2019

On July 1, 2017 five CSTA members concluded their service and four new board members joined the ranks of the CSTA Board of Directors. CSTA is so grateful for all the volunteer board of directors who contribute hours upon hours of time and energy to advance the work of the association. At the June 3 board meeting, CSTA was able to say goodbye to the outgoing board members and welcome the incoming members.

This new year also brings with it a new president for CSTA. As of July 1, 2017 Jill Grace is the president of the California Science Teachers Association. Jill is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach, a former middle school science teacher, and is currently a Regional Director with the K-12 Alliance @ WestEd where she works with California NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative districts and charter networks in the San Diego area.

Outgoing Board Members

  • Laura Henriques (President-Elect: 2011 – 2013, President: 2013 – 2015, Past President: 2015 – 2017)
  • Valerie Joyner (Region 1 Director: 2009 – 2013, Primary Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Mary Whaley (Informal Science Education Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Sue Campbell (Middle School/Jr. High Director: 2015 – 2017)
  • Marcus Tessier (2-Year College Director: 2015 – 2017)

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.

Finding My Student’s Motivation of Learning Through Engineering Tasks

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Huda Ali Gubary and Susheela Nath

It’s 8:02 and the bell rings. My students’ walk in and pick up an entry ticket based on yesterday’s lesson and homework. My countdown starts for students to begin…3, 2, 1. Ten students are on task and diligently completing the work, twenty are off task with behaviors ranging from talking up a storm with their neighbors to silently staring off into space. This was the start of my classes, more often than not. My students rarely showed the enthusiasm for a class that I had eagerly prepared for. I spent so much time searching for ways to get my students excited about the concepts they were learning. I wanted them to feel a connection to the lessons and come into my class motivated about what they were going to learn next. I would ask myself how I could make my class memorable where the kids were in the driver’s seat of learning. Incorporating engineering made this possible. 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.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Unveils Updated Recommended Literature List

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson unveiled an addition of 285 award-winning titles to the Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list.

“The books our students read help broaden their perspectives, enhance their knowledge, and fire their imaginations,” Torlakson said. “The addition of these award-winning titles represents the state’s continued commitment to the interests and engagement of California’s young readers.”

The Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list is a collection of more than 8,000 titles of recommended reading for children and adolescents. Reflecting contemporary and classic titles, including California authors, this online list provides an exciting range of literature that students should be reading at school and for pleasure. Works include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama to provide for a variety of tastes, interests, and abilities. 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.

Teaching Science in the Time of Alternative Facts – Why NGSS Can Help (somewhat)

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn

The father of one of my students gave me a book: In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood by Walt Brown, Ph. D. He had heard that I was teaching Plate Tectonics and wanted me to consider another perspective. The book offered the idea that the evidence for plate tectonics could be better understood if we considered the idea that beneath the continent of Pangaea was a huge underground layer of water that suddenly burst forth from a rift between the now continents of Africa and South America. The waters shot up and the continents hydroplaned apart on the water layer to their current positions. The force of the movement pushed up great mountain ranges which are still settling to this day, resulting in earthquakes along the margins of continents. This had happened about 6,000 years ago and created a great worldwide flood. Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

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