March/April 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 6

CSTA Prepares to Provide Feedback to CDE on New Science Curriculum Framework

Posted: Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

by Jessica Sawko

Twenty five CSTA members are volunteering their time to review approximately 1,000 pages of the early draft of the new Science Curriculum Framework to support NGSS instruction in the classroom and provide guidance to publishers of instructional materials. They are reviewing the document and submitting their feedback to CSTA who will represent science educators from across the state at the end of this month, on August 27-28, when the Science Subject Matter Committee will meet. The Science Subject Matter Committee (SMC) is a committee of the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) (formerly known as the Curriculum Commission) and is responsible for reviewing drafts of the framework and considering public feedback and incorporating that as appropriate as well as providing input based on their expertise. They then forward the draft to the full IQC for approval to be released for a 60-day public comment period.

Robert Foster, chair of the Science Subject Matter Committee being sworn in as a member of the Instructional Quality Commission in March 2014.

Robert Foster, chair of the Science Subject Matter Committee and Lori Freiermuth and Bill Honig, members of the Science SMC being sworn in as members of the Instructional Quality Commission in March 2014.

The Science SMC is chaired by Robert Foster, a middle school teacher at Beattie Middle School. He wrote in June to inform our readers about opportunities for participation in what will be the larger scale first public review, anticipated to take place in October and November of this year. Membership of the Science SMC is made up of the following additional members: Dean Reese, Vice Chair (high school science teacher at Tracy High Shool), Jocelyn Broemmelsiek (high school science teacher at San Dieguito High School Academy and CSTA member), Lori Freiermuth (high school algebra teacher at Olympian High School), Bill Honig (vice chair of the IQC and former state Superintendent), Brian Muller (teacher in LAUSD with experience teaching physics), and Julie Spykerman (math curriculum specialist for the Anaheim Unified High School District).

I have had the pleasure of meeting all of the members of the Science SMC and their commitment, along with CDE, the IQC, and ultimately the State Board of Education, to producing a high quality tool for educators, administrators, and publisher alike, to fully support successful implementation of California’s Next Generation Science Standards, is steadfast. CSTA has taken advantage of every opportunity thus far to provide input into the document and its development. Dozens of CSTA members have been and are involved in the writing, advising, and crafting of this document. We look look forward to continuing our participation in this critical process and representing our 2,500+ members.

15BrochureCoverSmallIf you would like to know more about the new Science Curriculum Framework and how it will be useful to you as a science teacher, I encourage you to register for the 2015 California Science Education Conference taking place this October 2-4 in Sacramento. One of the workshops on the schedule is a presentation on the Science Curriculum Framework by CDE staff and the lead framework authors, CSTA members Maria Simani and Kirk Brown.

Finally, thank you to the members of the 2015/2016 CSTA NGSS Committee for their many hours of volunteer work to review and provide input on the draft document:

Peter A’Hearn
Laura Henriques
Juanita Chan
Bethany Dixon
Joseph Calmer
Ashley Carter
Jim Clark
John Galisky
Susan Gomez-Zwiep
Jill Grace
Lisa Hegdahl
Kurt Holland
Samantha Johnson
Sinead Klement
Elizabeth Marroquin
Kasha Maslowski
Joanne Michael
Hope Oliver
Rodney Olson
Jeff Orlinsky
Katrina Rotter
Katherine Schenkelberg
Katie Tobin
Camie Walker
Yvonne White


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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.

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CSTA Endorses March for Science

Posted: Monday, March 27th, 2017

The California Science Teachers Association (CSTA) stands with our science and science education colleagues in endorsing the March For Science and its associated activities.

The decision by the CSTA Board of Directors to support the March for Science was based on the understanding that this is an opportunity to advocate for our mission of high quality science education for all and to advance the idea that science has application to everyday life, is a vehicle for lifelong learning, and the scientific enterprise expands our knowledge of the world around us. The principles and goals of the March for Science parallel those of CSTA to assume a leadership role in solidarity with our colleagues in science and science education and create an understanding of the value of science in the greater community. CSTA believes that the integrity of the nature of science and that the work of scientists and science educators should be valued and supported. We encourage your participation to stand with us.

There are over 30 satellite marches planned for the April 22, 2017 March for Science in California (to find a march near you, click on “marches” in the upper right of the main page, select “satellite marches” and use the search feature). We encourage members who participate in the March for Science to share their involvement and promotion of science and science education. Feel free to promote CSTA on your signs and banners. For those on social media, you may share your involvement via Twitter, @cascience and our Facebook groups.

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.

California Science Curriculum Framework Now Available

Posted: Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

The pre-publication version of the new California Science Curriculum Framework is now available for download. This publication incorporates all the edits that were approved by the State Board of Education in November 2016 and was many months in the making. Our sincere thanks to the dozens of CSTA members were involved in its development. Our appreciation is also extended to the California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, the Instructional Quality Commission, and the Science Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee and their staff for their hard work and dedication to produce this document and for their commitment to the public input process. To the many writers and contributors to the Framework CSTA thanks you for your many hours of work to produce a world-class document.

For tips on how to approach this document see our article from December 2016: California Has Adopted a New Science Curriculum Framework – Now What …? If you would like to learn more about the Framework, consider participating in one of the Framework Launch events (a.k.a. Rollout #4) scheduled throughout 2017.

The final publication version (formatted for printing) will be available in July 2017. This document will not be available in printed format, only electronically.

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.

Call for CSTA Awards Nominations

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

The 2017 Award Season is now open! One of the benefits of being a CSTA member is your eligibility for awards as well as your eligibility to nominate someone for an award. CSTA offers several awards and members may nominate individuals and organizations for the Future Science Teacher Award, the prestigious Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award, and the CSTA Distinguished Contributions Award (organizational award). May 9, 2017 is the deadline for nominations for these awards. CSTA believes that the importance of science education cannot be overstated. Given the essential presence of the sciences in understanding the past and planning for the future, science education remains, and will increasingly be one of the most important disciplines in education. CSTA is committed to recognizing and encouraging excellence in science teaching through the presentation of awards to science educators and organizations who have made outstanding contributions in science education in the state and who are poised to continue the momentum of providing high quality, relevant science education into the future. 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.

Call for Volunteers – CSTA Committees

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017


CSTA is now accepting applications from regular, preservice, and retired members to serve on our volunteer committees! CSTA’s all-volunteer board of directors invites you to consider maximizing your member experience by volunteering for CSTA. CSTA committee service offers you the opportunity to share your expertise, learn a new skill, or do something you love to do but never have the opportunity to do in your regular day. CSTA committee volunteers do some pretty amazing things: 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.

A Friend in CA Science Education Now at CSTA Region 1 Science Center

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

If you attended an NGSS Rollout phase 1-3 or CDE workshops at CSTA’s annual conference you may recall hearing from Chris Breazeale when he was working with the CDE. Chris has relocated professionally, with his passion for science education, and is now the Executive Director at the Explorit Science Center, a hands-on exploration museum featuring interactive STEM exhibits located at the beautiful Mace Ranch, 3141 5th St. in Davis, CA. Visitors can “think it, try it, and explorit” with a variety of displays that allow visitors to “do science.” To preview the museum, or schedule a classroom visit, see 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.