May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

CSTA Welcomes New and Renewing Members from January and February 2016

Posted: Monday, March 14th, 2016

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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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Participate in Chemistry Education Research Study, Earn $500-800 Dollars!

Posted: Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

WestEd, a non-profit educational research agency, has been funded by the US Department of Education to test a new molecular modeling kit, Happy Atoms. Happy Atoms is an interactive chemistry learning experience that consists of a set of physical atoms that connect magnetically to form molecules, and an app that uses image recognition to identify the molecules that you create with the set. WestEd is conducting a study around the effectiveness of using Happy Atoms in the classroom, and we are looking for high school chemistry teachers in California to participate.

As part of the study, teachers will be randomly assigned to either the treatment group (who uses Happy Atoms) or the control group (who uses Happy Atoms at a later date). Teachers in the treatment group will be asked to use the Happy Atoms set in their classrooms for 5 lessons over the course of the fall 2017 semester. Students will complete pre- and post-assessments and surveys around their chemistry content knowledge and beliefs about learning chemistry. WestEd will provide access to all teacher materials, teacher training, and student materials needed to participate.

Participating teachers will receive a stipend of $500-800. You can read more information about the study here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HappyAtoms

Please contact Rosanne Luu at rluu@wested.org or 650.381.6432 if you are interested in participating in this opportunity, or if you have any questions!

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.

2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption Reviewer Application

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

The California Department of Education and State Board of Education are now accepting applications for reviewers for the 2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption. The application deadline is 3:00 pm, July 21, 2017. The application is comprehensive, so don’t wait until the last minute to apply.

On Tuesday, May 9, 2017, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson forwarded this recruitment letter to county and district superintendents and charter school administrators.

Review panel members will evaluate instructional materials for use in kindergarten through grade eight, inclusive, that are aligned with the California Next Generation Science Content Standards for California Public Schools (CA NGSS). 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.

Lessons Learned from the NGSS Early Implementer Districts

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

On March 31, 2017, Achieve released two documents examining some lessons learned from the California K-8 Early Implementation Initiative. The initiative began in August 2014 and was developed by the K-12 Alliance at WestEd, with close collaborative input on its design and objectives from the State Board of Education, the California Department of Education, and Achieve.

Eight (8) traditional school districts and two (2) charter management organizations were selected to participate in the initiative, becoming the first districts in California to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Those districts included Galt Joint Union Elementary, Kings Canyon Joint Unified, Lakeside Union, Oakland Unified, Palm Springs Unified, San Diego Unified, Tracy Joint Unified, Vista Unified, Aspire, and High Tech High.

To more closely examine some of the early successes and challenges experienced by the Early Implementer LEAs, Achieve interviewed nine of the ten participating districts and compiled that information into two resources, focusing primarily on professional learning and instructional materials. 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.

Using Online Simulations to Support the NGSS in Middle School Classrooms

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

by Lesley Gates, Loren Nikkel, and Kambria Eastham

Middle school teachers in Kings Canyon Unified School District (KCUSD), a CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative district, have been diligently working on transitioning to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) integrated model for middle school. This year, the teachers focused on building their own knowledge of the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs). They have been gathering and sharing ideas at monthly collaborative meetings as to how to make sure their students are not just learning about science but that they are actually doing science in their classrooms. Students should be planning and carrying out investigations to gather data for analysis in order to construct explanations. This is best done through hands-on lab experiments. Experimental work is such an important part of the learning of science and education research shows that students learn better and retain more when they are active through inquiry, investigation, and application. A Framework for K-12 Science Education (2011) notes, “…learning about science and engineering involves integration of the knowledge of scientific explanations (i.e., content knowledge) and the practices needed to engage in scientific inquiry and engineering design. Thus the framework seeks to illustrate how knowledge and practice must be intertwined in designing learning experiences in K-12 Science Education” (pg. 11).

Many middle school teachers in KCUSD are facing challenges as they begin implementing these student-driven, inquiry-based NGSS science experiences in their classrooms. First, many of the middle school classrooms at our K-8 school sites are not designed as science labs. 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 NGSS 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.

Celestial Highlights: May – July 2017

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

May Through July 2017 with Web Resources for the Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017

by Robert C. Victor. Twilight sky maps by Robert D. Miller. Graphs of planet rising and setting times by Jeffrey L. Hunt.

In spring and summer 2017, Jupiter is the most prominent “star” in the evening sky, and Venus, even brighter, rules the morning. By mid-June, Saturn rises at a convenient evening hour, allowing both giant planets to be viewed well in early evening until Jupiter sinks low in late September. The Moon is always a crescent in its monthly encounters with Venus, but is full whenever it appears near Jupiter or Saturn in the eastern evening sky opposite the Sun. (In 2017, Full Moon is near Jupiter in April, Saturn in June.) At intervals of 27-28 days thereafter, the Moon appears at a progressively earlier phase at each pairing with the outer planet until its final conjunction, with Moon a thin crescent, low in the west at dusk. You’ll see many beautiful events by just following the Moon’s wanderings at dusk and dawn in the three months leading up to the solar eclipse. Learn More…

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Written by Robert Victor

Robert Victor

Robert C. Victor was Staff Astronomer at Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University. He is now retired and enjoys providing skywatching opportunities for school children in and around Palm Springs, CA. Robert is a member of CSTA.