January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

Earth Science Events Shake Things Up for October!

Posted: Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

by Cindy Pridmore

Earth_Science_Week_LogoEarth Science Week occurs October 12-18 this year, and the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) has a website packed full of information and online resources! Last year at CSTA’s 2013 conference, I was surprised at how most teachers I spoke with were not aware of this national and international event and all the resources associated with it. There are so many ways to get your kids involved and lots of online materials, activities, and contests outlined on the AGI website. This year’s theme is “Earth’s Connected Systems,” which aims to engage everyone in exploring the ways that geoscience provides insight into natural change processes. During Earth Science Week there are daily themes that include International Earthcache Day, Earth Science Literacy Day, No Child Left Inside Day, National Fossil Day, Geoscience for Everyone Day, and Geologic Map Day! For teachers seeking information about our state, the California Geological Survey has Earth Science Week links to California geology, state fossil/mineral/gem, and more.

ShakeOutLogoGet Down for The Great California ShakeOut! On October 16th make sure your class is signed up to participate in the ShakeOut earthquake drill! Many California school districts are registered to participate in this annual earthquake drill, but we still need to spread the word on earthquake awareness, preparedness, and readiness. ShakeOut is endorsed by State Superintendent Tom Torlakson and the American Red Cross, and by participating, your kids can inspire others to better prepare! Districts, schools, and/or classrooms can register to participate. There is flexibility for the timing of your drill – even if you are not able to have it on October 16, any day in October still counts! If you are not sure whether your school is signed up yet you can check online. Last year over 24.9 million people participated globally in this drill! ShakeOut educational resources have been organized for teachers to discuss earthquakes and preparedness in class. For additional information on California earthquakes follow these links to the California Geological Survey, Earthquake Country Alliance, U.S. Geological Survey.

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NAGTFar Western Section-National Association of Geoscience Teachers October 10-12, 2014. This field-oriented conference is open to anyone who has an interest in geology! Geoscience teachers of all levels are encouraged to participate in this conference hosted by California State University Sacramento, as it provides a great opportunity for university, community college, and K-12 educators to network, share insights, and form connections. Continuing education credit will be offered through CSU-Sacramento.

Saturday fieldtrips include the geology of the western Sierra Nevada, geology, and hydrology of the Sacramento Delta, mineral resources of the Yuba Gold Fields (California Mineral Education Foundation), local geology of the Sacramento area, and mercury in the California Gold Rush streams. Executive Officer of the California Mining and Geology Board, Stephen Testa, will speak Friday evening providing a fascinating overview of California’s early days of mapping and gold mining, and the formative years of the state’s higher education plan. Stephen’s presentations are always sprinkled with wit, wry humor, and nuggets of insight and perspective. The Saturday evening speaker is Sue McClurg, Executive Director of the Water Education Foundation speaking on central California’s Bay Delta Conservation Plan. Sue is an award winning journalist and is the author of Water & the Shaping of California. The Water Education Foundation is the California Coordinator for Project WET.

The NAGT-FW conference also offers a choice half-day workshops and field trips on Sunday that cover mineral properties and mineral uses, atmospheric circulation modeling and the NGSS, historical geology and the use of ChronoZoom, Consumnes River Preserve, and dinosaurs and other Mesozoic reptiles of California. For more details about the conference, registration, field trips, and location of events, go to the NAGT-FW website.

Stay tuned for future news of the upcoming 2015 Spring NAGT Far Western Section Conference, which will be held at California State University Bakersfield.

Cindy Pridmore is an Engineering Geologist at the California Geological Survey, and works in Seismic Hazards & Education and Public Outreach; she is a member of CSTA.

Written by Guest Contributor

From time to time CSTA receives contributions from guest contributors. The opinions and views expressed by these contributors are not necessarily those of CSTA. By publishing these articles CSTA does not make any endorsements or statements of support of the author or their contribution, either explicit or implicit. All links to outside sources are subject to CSTA’s Disclaimer Policy: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.

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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.

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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.