May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Ed Begley, Jr. Practices What He Preaches!

Posted: Friday, September 30th, 2011

by Tim Williamson

You will have to look long and hard to find a man like Ed Begley, Jr.  He is a conservationist educator and a tenacious supporter of the “sustainability” lifestyle.  If ever there was a man who practices what he preaches, Ed Begley, Jr. is that man.  I had the privilege of listening to Ed when he was the California Science Education Conference keynote speaker in Palm Springs in 2005.  He captivates his audience with personal stories of environmental awareness, adding a touch of humor to keep you interested as well as entertained.

Perhaps the best way to introduce you to this phenomenal gentleman is to share his professional bio with you…

When it comes to taking personal responsibility for the environment, few individuals can match the record of actor and activist Ed Begley, Jr. Known for turning up at Hollywood events on his bicycle, he has served as chairman of the Environmental Media Association and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. He serves on the boards of many organizations, including the Thoreau Institute and the Midnight Mission, His work has earned awards from numerous environmental groups including the California League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Coalition for Clean Air, Heal the Bay, the Santa Monica Baykeeper and the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation. Currently, he is the co-star of the hit Planet Green series Living with Ed, a look at the day-to-day realities of “living green” with his wife Rachelle Carson, who’s not quite as enthusiastic about a rain barrel as he. The series has currently just finished airing its 3rd season. His first book, Living Like Ed, hit the streets nationally in February 2008, and the second book, Ed Begley’s Guide to Sustainable Living came out in August of 2009.

Inspired by the works of his Academy Award-winning father, Begley became an actor. He

first came to audiences attention for his portrayal of Dr. Victor Ehrlich on the long-running hit television series St. Elsewhere, for which he received six Emmy nominations. Since then, Begley has moved easily between feature films, television and theatre projects. He has appeared in several Christopher Guest films, including A Mighty Wind, Best In Show and For Your Consideration. Recent feature film credits include Woody Allen’s Whatever Works with Larry David, as well as Pineapple Express with Seth Rogan. Begley has also appeared in Batman Forever, The Accidental Tourist and The Inlaws. In 2008, Begley appeared in the HBO feature Recount starring Kevin Spacey, as well as the Emmy-nominated Lifetime movie, Georgia O’Keefe, with Jeremy Irons and Joan Allen in 2009

On television, Begley has had recurring roles on Six Feet Under and Arrested Development. He has also guest starred on such series as The West Wing, The Practice, and Boston Legal. Most recently, Begley was featured in Gary Unmarried, The New Adventures Of Old Christine, and Party Down. In 2009, Begley again worked twice with director Christopher Guest – once on a series of commercials for DirecTV, and again on a series of commercials for the 2010 Census. Currently, Begley is working as a guest star on two network series – NBC’s Outlaw starring Jimmy Smits and Foxs The Good Guys starring Colin Hanks and Bradley Whitford.

Begley also starred in the West Coast premiere of David Mamets Cryptogram at the Geffen Playhouse, in a role that he first performed in Boston and then in New York. He

also starred in Mr. Mamets production of Romance at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.

This talented actor has also directed several episodes of the hit TV series NYPD Blue as well as a stage play that he wrote and directed called Cesar and Ruben that won a Nos Otros Award and four Valley Theater League awards.

Begley lives in Studio City, CA in a small, energy efficient home with his wife and co-star Rachelle Carson and their daughter Hayden.

Off-screen and off-stage, Ed Begley, Jr.devotes his time and energy to environmental action.  He is widely known and respected for the examples of conservation and waste-reduction he sets in his private life.  His home in Los Angeles is run almost entirely off of solar panels and, even with an electric car, his monthly electric bill is less than $40.

Please join Ed Begley, Jr. for an entertaining and enlightening keynote address at this year’s California Science Education Conference in Pasadena, sponsored by Chevron.  This exciting event will be Sunday, October 23, 2011 from 11:45 am-1:00 pm.  Learn about ways we can educate ourselves and our students on how to “live simply so that others can simply live”.

“Our planet is an asset with value – lets not treat it like a “going-out-of-business” sale!”

Ed Begley, Jr.

Tim Williamson is a science methods instructor at CSU Long Beach and is past-president of CSTA.

Written by Tim Williamson

Tim Williamson is a science methods instructor at CSU Long Beach and is a member and past-president of CSTA.

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CSTA Annual Conference Early Bird Rates End July 14

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

Teachers engaged in workshop activity

Teachers engaging in hands-on learning during a workshop at the 2016 CSTA conference.

Don’t miss your chance to register at the early bird rate for the 2017 CSTA Conference – the early-bird rate closes July 14. Need ideas on how to secure funding for your participation? Visit our website for suggestions, a budget planning tool, and downloadable justification letter to share with your admin. Want to take advantage of the early rate – but know your district will pay eventually? Register online today and CSTA will reimburse you when we receive payment from your district/employer. (For more information on how that works contact Zi Stair in the office for details – 916-979-7004 or zi@cascience.org.)

New Information Now Available On-line:

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.

Goodbye Outgoing and Welcome Incoming CSTA Board Members

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Jill Grace

Jill Grace, CSTA President, 2017-2019

On July 1, 2017 five CSTA members concluded their service and four new board members joined the ranks of the CSTA Board of Directors. CSTA is so grateful for all the volunteer board of directors who contribute hours upon hours of time and energy to advance the work of the association. At the June 3 board meeting, CSTA was able to say goodbye to the outgoing board members and welcome the incoming members.

This new year also brings with it a new president for CSTA. As of July 1, 2017 Jill Grace is the president of the California Science Teachers Association. Jill is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach, a former middle school science teacher, and is currently a Regional Director with the K-12 Alliance @ WestEd where she works with California NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative districts and charter networks in the San Diego area.

Outgoing Board Members

  • Laura Henriques (President-Elect: 2011 – 2013, President: 2013 – 2015, Past President: 2015 – 2017)
  • Valerie Joyner (Region 1 Director: 2009 – 2013, Primary Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Mary Whaley (Informal Science Education Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Sue Campbell (Middle School/Jr. High Director: 2015 – 2017)
  • Marcus Tessier (2-Year College Director: 2015 – 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.

Finding My Student’s Motivation of Learning Through Engineering Tasks

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Huda Ali Gubary and Susheela Nath

It’s 8:02 and the bell rings. My students’ walk in and pick up an entry ticket based on yesterday’s lesson and homework. My countdown starts for students to begin…3, 2, 1. Ten students are on task and diligently completing the work, twenty are off task with behaviors ranging from talking up a storm with their neighbors to silently staring off into space. This was the start of my classes, more often than not. My students rarely showed the enthusiasm for a class that I had eagerly prepared for. I spent so much time searching for ways to get my students excited about the concepts they were learning. I wanted them to feel a connection to the lessons and come into my class motivated about what they were going to learn next. I would ask myself how I could make my class memorable where the kids were in the driver’s seat of learning. Incorporating engineering made this possible. 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 California NGSS k-8 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.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Unveils Updated Recommended Literature List

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson unveiled an addition of 285 award-winning titles to the Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list.

“The books our students read help broaden their perspectives, enhance their knowledge, and fire their imaginations,” Torlakson said. “The addition of these award-winning titles represents the state’s continued commitment to the interests and engagement of California’s young readers.”

The Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list is a collection of more than 8,000 titles of recommended reading for children and adolescents. Reflecting contemporary and classic titles, including California authors, this online list provides an exciting range of literature that students should be reading at school and for pleasure. Works include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama to provide for a variety of tastes, interests, and abilities. Learn More…

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.

Teaching Science in the Time of Alternative Facts – Why NGSS Can Help (somewhat)

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn

The father of one of my students gave me a book: In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood by Walt Brown, Ph. D. He had heard that I was teaching Plate Tectonics and wanted me to consider another perspective. The book offered the idea that the evidence for plate tectonics could be better understood if we considered the idea that beneath the continent of Pangaea was a huge underground layer of water that suddenly burst forth from a rift between the now continents of Africa and South America. The waters shot up and the continents hydroplaned apart on the water layer to their current positions. The force of the movement pushed up great mountain ranges which are still settling to this day, resulting in earthquakes along the margins of continents. This had happened about 6,000 years ago and created a great worldwide flood. Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

Peter A’Hearn is the Region 4 Director for CSTA.