May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Greetings from Your New Director in Region 1

Posted: Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

I wanted to begin my new term as CSTA Region 1 Director with a brief introduction and then some highlights from our region. I am Marian Murphy-Shaw, I currently live about as far north in California as you can get, in Mount Shasta City. I am entering my 15th year with Siskiyou County Office of Education as an Educational Services Director. Prior to that I taught for 10 years in grades 5 through 12 both in Siskiyou and Alameda counties, I worked as an intern on a controlled life support system at NASA Ames and proudly attended Mills College, then CSU Eastbay (Hayward State back then). I have to take a minute here and thank my Hayward faculty advisor Dr. Stronck for introducing me to CSTA!

Back then I never pictured myself on the CSTA Board of Directors, and I want to remind other educators to consider joining the board – especially classroom teachers. It is a great connection to science education, fabulous colleagues, and is not exclusive to any type of experience. Just do it! I enjoyed my prior role as secretary and look forward to this new role communicating with and about CSTA Region 1.

Region 1 is huge. It includes Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolomne, Yolo, and Yuba Counties! I look forward to hearing from CSTA members and our many science colleagues in this vast area about events, projects, science centers, STEM partnerships, you name it! Share with me please, and we can let science educators Pre-school through college know what is happening in their region.

Back to school time (August through September) is a hectic time for teachers as well as exciting. Planning your year is a big part of that- whether it’s field trips or your own professional learning. Below are some resources to help get you started. Some events in our region may still be a few months away, but in order to plan for them, get your subs, and coordinate with others you may attend with, now is the time to start planning so you can get to the events you see as best serving your students and schools. Science professional learning will be coming at us fast and furious, so get ready!
website-banner_register

Far North NGSS Roll Out 2 – November 2-3, 2015

Scheduled for Red Bluff at the Tehama County Department of Education, this is the furthest north of the 8 currently scheduled events statewide. Please limit your district teams to 4-6 people. This will allow for additional districts to participate as space is limited. Ideally, teams should include an Administrator or Curriculum Leader in addition to Teacher Leaders. These sessions build on last October’s NGSS Symposium 1, so teams are encouraged to bring teachers who attended that event.
Register online

Leadership Matters! Symposium #1– September 2, 2015

“Ignite Learning with a Growth Mindset”
Presented by: Jennifer Lawson, Ed.D. and Emily Diehl
The Mindset Works company is based on “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck, Ph.D.

The growth mindset, the understanding of intelligence and abilities as qualities we can develop, has been shown over and over to have powerful ramifications on student motivation and learning, and school success. Participants will explore several tools, resources, and strategies to deepen their understanding of mindset’s role in schools as well as how to:
1. change their mindsets and
2. cultivate growth mindsets in students.

Breakout for Teachers: Applying Growth Mindsets in K-12 Classrooms
In this session, teachers will explore teaching and assessment practices that cultivate growth mindsets. Teachers will view resources and models and work to apply the concepts to their specific teaching assignments.

Breakout for School Leaders: Leading Change with a Growth Mindset
In this session school leaders will learn about what it takes to begin the journey of creating growth mindset school cultures. Administrators, Coaches and Teachers who influence and lead are all encouraged to attend and work to apply these concepts to their specific assignments and needs.
Register online with the Tehama CDE

Located in Bidwell Park in Chico, CA the Chico Creek Nature Center provides an excellent and accessible opportunity to teach valuable lessons of the natural world and the need for stewardship of the environment. For over thirty years the center has provided quality educational programs on the natural systems of Bidwell Park to elementary school students and the general public, using Bidwell Park as a classroom. Our Naturalists on staff bring academic backgrounds in sciences to programs aligned with standards established by the California public school system. Call (530) 891-4671 for more information or to book your field trip today!

Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding, CA offers a wide variety of educational programs that will fascinate your students with exciting hands-on activities that correspond with California state curriculum. More than 14,000 visitors a year experience our school tour programs, from northern California, western Nevada and southern Oregon, to learn about the Sacramento River region, science, art, history, forestry and horticulture. For more information about California state curriculum requirements or to schedule a field trip call 530-242-3108

ScienceWorks, located in Ashland, OR offers an experience for school groups like no other in far northern California and southern Oregon. The Field Trip Program is designed to spark student interest in science, support instruction of content and process standards, and provide a fun, multi-sensory environment that encourages discussion and collaborative learning. ScienceWorks staff members and trained volunteers guide students through a program that includes labs, demonstrations and team investigations. We hope to see your class here soon! You can start your trip registration online. If you have any additional questions that were not addressed here, please feel free to contact us at 541-482-6767 x226.

Bay Area Science Festival – October 22 –November 7, 2015
Though technically Region 2 many of you are close enough to make use of this resource.

The 5th annual Bay Area Science Festival returns this fall with over 50 events throughout the Bay Area. Be entertained, be educated, and fall in love with science all over again. Over 200 science, technology, and engineering organizations will present the fun and excitement of science through hands-on, interactive exhibits, science-themed performances and demonstrations, and family-oriented entertainment. Participating organizations range from leading research institutes and universities to high tech companies, museums and community organizations. Full festival schedule will be released on 9/8/15.

SAVE THE DATES!

Workshops for Science in the River City (SIRC)
Location:  Sacramento State University
6000 J St.
Sacramento, CA 95819

Thursday, October 15, 2015 –  4:30-6:30
Tuesday, November 10, 2015 –  6:00-8:00
Tuesday, December 8, 2015 –  4:30-6:30
Tuesday, January 26, 2016 –  4:30-6:30
Tuesday, February 23, 2016 –  4:30-6:30
Tuesday, March 29, 2016 –   4:30-6:30

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.

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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.