January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

Do I hear 51?

Posted: Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

by Lisa Hegdahl

Who is the California Science Teachers Association (CSTA)?

If you ask someone, they may answer this question by saying, “They are the people who organize the California Science Education Conference” or “They are advocates for state policies and legislation that support me in inspiring my students” or “As a statewide organization, they provide me with leadership opportunities.” While all of these are correct answers to the question, perhaps a more complete answer would be: 

You are the California Science Teachers Association.

CSTA is a statewide organization that is made up of over 3,000 members, and aside from a small (albeit amazing) office staff, CSTA is run entirely by member volunteers. While sixteen of these volunteers make up the CSTA Board of Directors, the remainder are members at large who give of their valuable time and expertise to make CSTA the leading science educator membership organization in the state of California. It is therefore fitting that the programs and services offered by CSTA exist in large part due to the support of its member volunteers. 

In 2016/2017, the California Science Teachers Association had a record number of its members volunteer to serve on its committees—a total of 50 non-Board members! Volunteering connects you with other CSTA members across the state and, as you contribute in your role as a committee member, you also learn from others while gaining insights into the workings behind the scenes of California science education. In addition, having a large number of CSTA members on committees allows for more science teacher voices to be represented at the state level, more sharing about what we are learning, and more input into developing our own professional learning experiences.

SEEKING COMMITTEE VOLUNTEERS

VolunteerIt is that time of year when CSTA calls its members to join one of the many CSTA committees. To join a committee, simply go the CSTA committee volunteer page and click the button. Be sure to indicate a first and 2nd choice. One of the many strengths of CSTA is in the diversity of its membership and it may be that a committee you had not considered will find your unique experiences helpful in making the decisions necessary to carry out its duties. If you are currently serving on a committee, be sure to sign up again to indicate your interest in continuing in that role. Thank you in advance to all who will answer the call and make next year the biggest year for volunteers yet!.

The deadline for CSTA Committee sign ups is midnight, Friday, May 13, 2016.

Committees of the California Science Teachers Association

2017 Conference Planning Committee
This committee plans the California Science Education Conference starting in October 2016 and finishing its work in October 2017. Committee members will meet in person and over the phone to plan the content – both fun and educational – for the 2017 conference. Volunteers needed: 8 – 12.

Legislative Oversight Committee
The Legislative Oversight Committee (LOC) monitors State and Federal legislative and policy issues, develops potential responses to issues and assists Executive Director and President in composing letters and communications in response to proposed legislation and state policies. The LOC informs members of pending legislation by writing articles for CCS and other social media venues. Volunteers needed: 6-10.

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Marketing/Communications/Membership/Preservice Committee
Develops strategies for increasing the visibility of the Association and attracting support from currently untapped sources. Reviews and provides feedback on new marketing materials to promote the association and membership. Promotes increased membership in the Association by attracting new members, retention of existing members, and return of past members. Monitors and proposesmembership incentivedesigned to increase membership. Develops strategies to engage new and preservice teachers in the Association. Volunteers needed: 5-7.

NGSS Committee
To monitor the progress of the implementation ofNGSSand inform the board as necessary, develop strategies and proposals for the CSTA board to consider as it relates to CSTA’s role in the implementation of the NGSS in California. The NGSS committee in 2015/2016 will be active in participating in the curriculum framework development process among other activities. Volunteers needed: 15-20.

Outreach/Electronic Communications Committee
This committee oversees all aspects of electronic communications and social media for the Association. Working in collaboration with the Executive Director and office staff, the Outreach/Electronic Communications Committee maintains all electronic social media and facilitates communications with members. Proposes policies and procedures for maintaining and promoting the digital image of the Association. Volunteers needed: 5-7.

Policy Committee

The CSTA Policy Committee works on both policy for CSTA as an organization, in conjunction with CSTA staff, and on position statements that are developed to articulate CSTA’s position and represent the membership’s views on topical issues that will promote high quality science education for all students. Membership on this committee by non-board members is vital to fully represent the diverse voices of California science teachers in this work. Volunteers needed 6-10.

Publications and Materials Review Committee
Oversees the publication of the California Classroom Science newsletter by soliciting, writing, and editing articles from members on a monthly basis. Develops strategies for generating income for the Association through advertising in Association publications. Investigates possible strategies for providing members only content. Volunteers needed: 5-7.

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Written by Lisa Hegdahl

Lisa Hegdahl

Lisa Hegdahl is an 8th grade science teacher at McCaffrey Middle School in Galt, CA and is President for CSTA.

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LATEST POST

STEM Conference Hosted by CMSESMC

Posted: Saturday, January 14th, 2017

The Council of Math/Science Educators of San Mateo County will be hosting the 41st annual STEM Conference this February 4, 2017 at the San Mateo County Office of Education. This STEM Conference is the place to get lots of new lessons and ideas to use in your classroom. There will be over twenty-five workshops and a variety of exhibitors that provide participants with a wide range of practical and realistic ideas and resources to use in their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs from Pre-K to grade 12. With California’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, we are dedicated to ensuring that we prepare our teachers to take on these educational policies.

Teachers, administrators, and parents are invited to explore the many exciting aspects of STEM education and learn about and discuss the latest news, information, and issues. This is also an opportunity to network with colleagues who can assist you in building your programs and meet new friends that share your interests and love of teaching. Register online today!

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.

Submit Your NGSS Lessons and Units Today!

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

Achieve has launched and is facilitating an EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science–a group of expert reviewers who will evaluate the quality and alignment of lessons and units to the standards–in an effort to identify and shine a spotlight on emerging high-quality lesson and unit plans designed for the NGSS.

If you or your state, district, school, or organization has designed NGSS-aligned instructional materials, please consider submitting these in order to help provide educators across the country with various models and templates of high-quality lesson and unit plans. 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.

Opportunity for High School Students – Los Angeles County

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

An upcoming Perry Outreach Program on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children in Los Angeles, CA. The Perry Outreach Program is a free, one-day, hands-on experience for high school and college-aged women who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine and engineering. Students will hear from women leaders in these fields and try it for themselves by performing mock orthopaedic surgeries and biomechanics experiments. 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.

Science Education Policy Update

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

January 2017 has proven to be a very busy month for science education policy and CA NGSS implementation activities. CSTA has been and will be there every step of the way, seeking and enacting all options to support high-quality science education and the successful implementation of CA NGSS.

California Department of Education/U.S. Department of Education Science Double-Testing Waiver Hearing

The year started with California Department of Education’s (CDE) hearing with the U.S. Department of Education conducted via WebEx on January 6, 2017. This hearing was the final step in California’s efforts to secure a waiver from the federal government in order to discontinue administration of the old CST and suspension of the reporting of student test scores on a science assessment for two years. As reported by EdSource, the U.S. Department of Education representative, Ann Whalen, a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary John King Jr., committed to making her final ruling “very shortly.” Deputy Superintendent Keric Ashley presented on behalf of CDE during the hearing and did an excellent job describing the broad-based support for this waiver in California, the rationale for the waiver, and California’s commitment to the successful implementation of a new high-quality science assessment. As previously reported, California is moving forward with its plans to administer a census pilot assessments this spring. The testing window is set to open on March 20, 2017. For more information visit New CA Science Test: What You Should Know.

Learn More…

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.

NSTA Los Angeles Conference Features Many CA Science Leaders

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

The early-bird registration rates for the 65th NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Los Angeles is just days away (ends Feb. 3). And as the early-registration deadline approaches excitement is building for what is anticipated to be the largest gathering of science educators (both California and nationwide) – with attendance expected to reach 10,000 or more. If you have never had the pleasure of attending the NSTA National Conference, I recommend you visit their website with tips for newcomers that describe the various components of the event. A conference preview is also available for download. Learn More…

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.