May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

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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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.