September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

CSTA Welcomes New and Renewing Members from January and February 2016

Posted: Monday, March 14th, 2016

CSTA Logo

Our many thanks to the following 174 individuals for joining CSTA or renewing their membership in CSTA in the months of January and February 2016. CSTA has more than 3,000 members and represents science educators in call grade levels K-university. CSTA members enjoy the benefits of:

One-year, three-year, CSTA/NSTA joint membership, new teacher, retired teacher, and preservice teacher memberships are all options that CSTA offers. Visit our membership website for more information.

New and Renewing Members:

Davin Aalto
Candice Aguirre
Peter A’Hearn
Tracy Albrecht
Stephanie Anastasopoulos
Kathleen Anders-Sagan
Bill Andrews
Vivian Ariza
Andrea Aust

Kenneth Balderrama
Kristina Bandziulis
Robyn Battaglia
Jessica Beckham
Michael Beiersdorf
Anne Marie Bergen
Kyla Bradylong
Valarie Broadhead
Barbara Brydon
Jackie Burneson
Heather Butler

Joseph Calmer
Kelly Canino
Juan Catalan
Bill Cavanagh
Jamie Chan
Anjali Chandran
Elizabeth Chang
Cheryl Chase
Sylvia Chatagnier
Alan Chen
Tara Clarke
Koreen Corbett
Diane Coventry
Jen Cox
Christine Crispin
Thomas Crofoot

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Adam Daley
Dena Deck
Marina DeGroot
Tova Diaz
Polly Diffenbaugh
Kevin Dufault

Joan Ellis
John Feathers
Christina Fintikakis
Joanne Firestone
Jason Fisk
Aulikki Flagan
Carolyn Fong
Justin Fournier
Sherwood Fuellas

Courtney Gagnon
Anna Gaiter
Bridget Gardea
Prudence Gemmell
Carolyn Gencarella
John Gifford
Maria Giordano-Licoscos
Anna Grace
Jennie Guzman

Wendy Hagan
Stacey Hamamura
Lorie Hammond
John Hampton
Abraham Hanono
Erica Hardbarger
Julie Hargrove
Vickie Harri
Jennifer Hartigan
Lee Anne Hatch
Melody Haughton
Doug Henderson
Herman Hilkey
Amy Hjortland
Linda Hodges
Rick Hoffman
Barbara Hogan
Julie Huffman

Nathan Inouye

Cynthia Jenson-Elliott
Kim Jones

Richard Keene
Michael Kenny
Paul Killian
Laura Kitagawa
Brian Kruse
Benjamin Ku

Chad Lazreg
Janet Lee
Obie Leff
Amanda Libke
Alison Linden
Jose Lopez
Peggy Lubchenco
Nicole Luckin
Jeff Lukens
Glen Lusebrink
Heather Lutes
Taylor Lyen

Suzanna Macedo
Shirley Magnusson
Lilian Marmon
Wendy Marshall
Guadalupe Martin
Sarah Martin
Patricia McBride
Sarah McGrew
Shawna Metcalf
Ellen Metzger
Dorothy Mockus Lubin
Dawn Moffett
Katharine Monsma
Linda Morris
Mark Moss
Sylvia Mulvehill
Heather Murphy

Julie Newdoll
Greg Nicholas
Mary Nowak

Laura O’Dell

Parul Patel
Roger Pence
Nick Perez
Michel Perez
Aileen Perry
Gaia Pine
Krystal Poloka

Erik Ramirez
Gretchen Reynolds
Jennifer Rigby
William Ritz
Lynda Rogers
Jessie Rubner
Amani Rushing

Peter Sabin
Katherine Sanchez
Kaleigh Schiro
Karen Schmidt
Andrea Schnitz
Mike Schulist
Jodye Selco
Susan Selle
Dee Sheahan
April Shishido
Bud Smith
Sarah Soule
Toby Spencer
John Spiegel
Sandra Starr
Christine Steigelman
Georgia Stern
Jamie Stevenson
Jennifer Stewart
Laura Stockton
Gina Stolpestad
Jasmine Suttles
Rajasree Swaminathan

Laurie Thomas
Wayne Thompson
Michelle Trimble
Nelly Tsai
Shelley Turski

Susan Varney
Carolyn Viviano

Jennifer Weibert
Mary Whaley
Arielle Whitacre
Marla White
Ali Widmar
Emily Williams
Karen Wilson
Brian Woods

David Youngblood

Shana Zent

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 Is Now Accepting Nominations for Board Members

Posted: Friday, November 17th, 2017

Current, incoming, and outgoing CSTA Board of Directors at June 3, 2017 meeting.

Updated 7:25 pm, Nov. 17, 2017

It’s that time of year when CSTA is looking for dedicated and qualified persons to fill the upcoming vacancies on its Board of Directors. This opportunity allows you to help shape the policy and determine the path that the Board will take in the new year. There are time and energy commitments, but that is far outweighed by the personal satisfaction of knowing that you are an integral part of an outstanding professional educational organization, dedicated to the support and guidance of California’s science teachers. You will also have the opportunity to help CSTA review and support legislation that benefits good science teaching and teachers.

Right now is an exciting time to be involved at the state level in the California Science Teachers Association. The CSTA Board of Directors is currently involved in implementing the Next Generations Science Standards and its strategic plan. If you are interested in serving on the CSTA Board of Directors, now is the time to submit your name for consideration. 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.

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.