March/April 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 6

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

CSTA Endorses March for Science

Posted: Monday, March 27th, 2017

The California Science Teachers Association (CSTA) stands with our science and science education colleagues in endorsing the March For Science and its associated activities.

The decision by the CSTA Board of Directors to support the March for Science was based on the understanding that this is an opportunity to advocate for our mission of high quality science education for all and to advance the idea that science has application to everyday life, is a vehicle for lifelong learning, and the scientific enterprise expands our knowledge of the world around us. The principles and goals of the March for Science parallel those of CSTA to assume a leadership role in solidarity with our colleagues in science and science education and create an understanding of the value of science in the greater community. CSTA believes that the integrity of the nature of science and that the work of scientists and science educators should be valued and supported. We encourage your participation to stand with us.

There are over 30 satellite marches planned for the April 22, 2017 March for Science in California (to find a march near you, click on “marches” in the upper right of the main page, select “satellite marches” and use the search feature). We encourage members who participate in the March for Science to share their involvement and promotion of science and science education. Feel free to promote CSTA on your signs and banners. For those on social media, you may share your involvement via Twitter, @cascience and our Facebook groups.

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.

California Science Curriculum Framework Now Available

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.

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.

Call for CSTA Awards Nominations

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…

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.

Call for Volunteers – CSTA Committees

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

Volunteer

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…

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.

A Friend in CA Science Education Now at CSTA Region 1 Science Center

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…

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.