CSTA WANTS YOU!
Posted: Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012
by Rick Pomeroy
Originally coined as part of a recruiting campaign for World War I (Your Country Wants YOU!), this phrase and the various images of Uncle Sam and Lord Kirchner that adorned the posters were responsible for large increases in the enlistments of volunteers on both sides of the Atlantic in 1916-17. Now, roughly 95 years later, CSTA wants and needs you. We need you to enlist (or re-enlist) as a member of CSTA, we need you to serve in positions of leadership, we need you to volunteer on the committees that do the work of this organization so that we can advocate for high quality science education for all children in California.
Membership is the core value of CSTA. When I took on the position as president of CSTA, I promised that this would be YOUR Association. CSTA exists for science teachers, to advocate for high quality science education for all children, to provide high quality professional development opportunities, and to provide a professional venue for science teachers to collaborate on innovative and effective strategies for preparing a scientifically literate population. This will only work when CSTA actually represents science teachers. Organizations across the country are struggling with membership. During tight budgetary times and as new forms of communication and collaboration enter our lives, we often lose track of the power and value of an organization that represents our collective beliefs. We lose the opportunities to communicate with our peers, when we turn to a worldwide, seemingly unfocused entity for our information and updating our skills and strategies. By focusing on what is most convenient, we lose focus on those things that are specific to California. We lose a sense of being part of something that can make a difference here. Essentially we lose our voice.
As we move into 2012, I encourage you to renew your membership in CSTA and invite at least one new science teacher or new elementary teacher to join. Better yet, offer to sponsor a new teacher as a way of welcoming them into the profession. The cost of joining CSTA is $39 plus there are two membership incentives available. If you are a first or second year teacher, you can become a new member and get your second year’s membership for free, or if you are a current CSTA member, you can get your next year’s membership for free when you get three new members to join. Information about these membership incentives is available on CSTA’s website at http://www.cascience.org/csta/aboutIncentives.asp.
Service is the second place where CSTA wants you. In order to be a part of the changes that are coming this year and in the future, please consider running for one of the open positions on the Board of Directors. The Board sets policies and the agenda for the Association and it oversees structure, venue, and format of the annual conference. CSTA is currently accepting nominations for the positions of Treasurer, 4-Year College Director, High School Director, Intermediate (grades 3-5) Director, Region 2, and Region 4 Directors. Directors will serve a two-year term beginning July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2014. To make a difference, please consider taking a leadership role in YOUR association and running for one of the open positions on the Board. Information about the nomination process can be obtained at the CSTA website: http://www.cascience.org/csta/aboutNominations.asp.
Volunteering to serve on one the committees that do the work of the Board and the association is a third way to shape the future of the organization and science education at the same time. We currently have committees that deal with issues of finance, membership, electronic communications, publications, long term planning, oversight of legislative actions, nominations, conference planning, and NSTA Relations. Each committee is chaired by a Board member and each has a charge for this year and will develop goals and objectives for the coming years. Committee service is a valuable way to participate in the running of your organization, a way to give back to the association, and a way to become acquainted with CSTA leadership, policies, and organization. It is a great first step for those people who want to take on leadership positions in this professional organization. If you are interested in serving on a committee, please send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or write a comment in the comment section below and I will contact you.
As we enter 2012, it would be wrong to say that we are entering a war but we are definitely embarking on a very important and historic campaign. We have a new Conceptual Framework that will guide the development of the Next Generation Science Standards and we have allies in the California Department of Education and STEM based companies throughout California who want to see change in the status quo. However, we are up against tight budget times and bureaucratic inertia. On the positive side, we do have as an ally SB 300, the legislation that directs the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop new Science Standards for the State of California with a tentative roll out of those new standards in Fall 2012 and adoption soon after. These are going to be busy times. As CSTA advocates for higher quality science education for all students, we need your participation and more importantly your voice. We want and need you as members so that our collective voice represents YOUR wishes.
Rick Pomeroy is science education lecturer/supervisor in the School of Education, University of California, Davis and is CSTA’s president.
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.
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…
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…
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 www.explorit.org. Learn More…
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
by Joseph Calmer
Probably like you, NGSS has been at the forefront of many department meetings, lunch conversations, and solitary lesson planning sessions. Despite reading the original NRC Framework, the Ca Draft Frameworks, and many CSTA writings, I am still left with the question: “what does it actually mean for my classroom?”
I had an eye-opening experience that helped me with that question. It came out of a conversation that I had with a student teacher. It turns out that I’ve found the secret to learning how to teach with NGSS: I need to engage in dialogue about teaching with novice teachers. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching science in some capacity for 12 years. During that time pedagogy and student learning become sort of a “hidden curriculum.” It is difficult to plan a lesson for the hidden curriculum; the best way is to just have two or more professionals talk and see what emerges. I was surprised it took me so long to realize this epiphany. Learn More…