September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

CSTA Night at the Aquarium – NGSS Science & Engineering Showcase Presenters Announced!

Posted: Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

The 2014 NSTA Long Beach Area Conference – in Collaboration with CSTA is just one month away! If you have not already registered for what promises to be the professional learning event of the year for California science educators – it is not too late! Make plans to join more than 2,200 science teachers in Long Beach this December 4 – 6. Discounted registration rates are available through November 14, 2014. Please register today. Remember – both CSTA and NSTA members have the benefit of being able to register at member rates (a $90 savings).

If you have already made your plans to attend the Long Beach conference – please mark your conference schedules with these two CSTA events:

CSTA Night at the Aquarium of the Pacific NGSS Science & Engineering Showcase – Thursday, December 4, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Tickets are limited – purchase yours today (only $10 for CSTA members and $25 for nonmmebers – ticket price includes light food, admission into the Aquarium for the event, and one beverage).

CSTA, with the support of Chevron and the Aquarium of the Pacific, is hosting a very special evening at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. Participants will enjoy light appetizers and full access to the Aquarium. But that is not all! In addition, the evening will feature the NGSS Science & Engineering Showcase! Educators from across California will present their project, program, idea, and classroom-tested best practices for implementing NGSS and/or bringing engineering into their classroom. Participants will roam the Great Hall of the aquarium and have the opportunity to interact with the “presenters” and learn about their program, project, idea, or best practice. Hands-on opportunities for learning will be available at many tables. Presenters will have materials available on Edmodo for you to access during and after the event. A complete listing of Showcases is available on the CSTA website.

In addition to the showcases, CSTA is pleased to announce that the following “short talks” will be presented during the evening in the Aquarium’s small auditorium:

Karla Heidelberg, Associate Professor (Teaching) of Biological Sciences, Director of USC Environmental Studies Program

Life in Deep Sea Hydrothermal Vents: Using Technology to Study Biodiversity in Extreme Environments
Hydrothermal vents would seem a tough place to live – thousands of metres down in the permanently dark ocean, immersed in superheated water with a toxic cocktail of chemicals. However, these seemingly hostile environments host abundant and active trophic food webs and are very important ecosystems in the deep ocean. This talk will describe how state-of-the art technology is used to study these environments and the lessons we are learning about the extreme limits of life.

Michael Gunson, Global Change & Energy Program Manager & OCO-2 Project Scientist, Jet Propulsion Lab, California Institute of Technology

Earth Science from Space! Why I Love My Day Job Spying on Carbon with the NASA Orbiting Carbon Observatory
NASA launched the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) on July 2, 2014 and has been operational, taking measurements routinely since October. This satellite takes a million samples every day, and from those least affected by the presence of clouds, measures the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. These measurements are cumulatively designed to test hypotheses or address questions around where on the Earth’s surface around half of all the carbon dioxide produced by human activity has been absorbed. OCO-2, as with all large-scale satellite experiments, represents the work and collaboration of hundreds of engineers and scientists across NASA, industry and academia.

Erin Burkett, Geophysicist, USGS

Understanding Earthquakes: Science, Technology, and Resources
Geologic context of why we have earthquakes, specific earthquake risk in CA, how we monitor earthquakes, earthquake early warning, and resources available through the USGS and partners.

 

 

 

Mas Dojiri, Division Manager, Environmental Monitoring Division, Hyperion Treatment Plant

Monitoring Pollution in Santa Monica Bay: Science Influencing Management
The presentation will consist of an overview of the City of Los Angeles Environmental Monitoring Division’s ocean monitoring program in Santa Monica Bay, including microbiological testing of the beaches, determination of effluent (treated sewage) plume location, analyses of infaunal invertebrates and trawled fishes, chemical analyses, toxicity testing, and bioaccumulation of toxic pollutants in seafood. A brief summary of EMD’S other programs and special studies will also be presented.

Steven Manley, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, California State University – Long Beach

Kelp Watch 2014: Design, Recent Results, and Surprises
Kelp Watch 2014 (KW14) is a scientific campaign that uses Giant Kelp as a coastal detector of Fukushima released radioisotopes predicted to arrive on our coast in 2014. KW14 will also provide data on the extent these radioisotopes have entered our kelp forest ecosystem. KW14 involves more than 50 scientists and educators from various organizations, sampling kelp from 48 sites primarily on the west coast of North America but also including Chile, Hawaii, Guam and Tasmania. The rationale of this truly collaborative project along with recent results will be presented.

CSTA Annual Meeting, Awards Presentation, and Keynote Address

Thursday, December 4, 3:15 pm – 4:30 pm, Long Beach Convention Center

Annual Meeting and Awards Presentation:

Join CSTA for the annual meeting of members! CSTA President, Laura Henriques will deliver an update on the state of the association and the state of science education in California. Following the annual meeting of members, CSTA will present the awards for the 2014 Future Science Teacher (Laurie Gillis), Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award (Herb Brunkhorst), and Distinguished Contributions Award (Chevron and Water Education Foundation/California Project WET). CSTA and the California Department of Education (CDE) will together honor this year’s California State Finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) (Kirsten Johnson, Julie McGough, Stefanie Pechan, and Erica Rood) and the Awardee of the 2012 PAEMST (Alma Suney Park). Following the presentation of awards will be the keynote presentation by Stephen Pruitt of Achieve.

Using the Tools of the NGSS to Support Quality Science Instruction
Stephen L. Pruitt, Sr. Vice President, Achieve, Inc.

Join Stephen as he provides updates on the various NGSS tools under development and how to use them with teachers to provide a deeper understanding of the NGSS. For the past four years, Stephen has been leading the development of the NGSS. Between 2003 and 2010, he held various roles at the Georgia Department of Education, culminating with him being named chief of staff to the state school superintendent. He also served on the National Academies of Science’s Committee on Conceptual Framework for New Science Education Standards, which developed the NRC Framework.

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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State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces 2017 Finalists for Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Posted: Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today nominated eight exceptional secondary mathematics and science teachers as California finalists for the 2017 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

“These teachers are dedicated and accomplished individuals whose innovative teaching styles prepare our students for 21st century careers and college and develop them into the designers and inventors of the future,” Torlakson said. “They rank among the finest in their profession and also serve as wonderful mentors and role models.”

The California Department of Education (CDE) partners annually with the California Science Teachers Association and the California Mathematics Council to recruit and select nominees for the PAEMST program—the highest recognition in the nation for a mathematics or science teacher. The Science Finalists will be recognized at the CSTA Awards Luncheon on Saturday, October 14, 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.

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

Anyone concerned with the teaching of science in elementary school is keenly aware of the problem of time. Kids need to learn to read, and learning to read takes time, nobody disputes that. So Common Core ELA can seem like the enemy of science. This was a big concern to me as I started looking at the curriculum that my district had adopted for Common Core ELA. I’ve been through those years where teachers are learning a new curriculum, and know first-hand how a new curriculum can become the focus of attention- sucking all the air out of the room. Learn More…

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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

Cal

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.