May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Super SIRC – Science in the River City

Posted: Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

When:
May 13, 2017 @ 8:30 am – 4:45 pm
2017-05-13T08:30:00-07:00
2017-05-13T16:45:00-07:00
Where:
CSUS - University Union
Hornet Athletic Center
6000 J St, Sacramento, CA 95819
USA
Cost:
$100
Contact:
Debbie Dennick
916-278-4497

Join us for our fifth annual super-sized SIRC!
Register and attend your choice two 1-hour NGSS workshops and two 2-hour hands-on Science workshops.
Each workshop is led by some of our most popular instructors. See below for more details on each workshop.

Science in the River City (SIRC) is an outstanding, standards-based, professional development program for Kindergarten through 12th-grade science teachers. SIRC is held approximately once a month at Sacramento State during the academic year. The program is designed to deepen teachers’ understanding of science (through hands-on, minds-on labs and activities) and to provide innovative ideas, lessons, and strategies for teachers to use in their classrooms.

K-2nd Grade Science Series

  • Exploring Properties
    Instructor: Judi Kusnick, California State University Sacramento, Geology
    One of the basics of science is understanding that materials have particular properties that make them useful. In this workshop, we will explore the properties of solids and liquids, and will conduct an investigation to determine the usefulness of properties for a specific purpose.

  • Biodiversity in the Schoolyard: Discovering Patterns in Ordinary Plants
    Instructor: Lorie Hammond, Peregrine School and Deb Bruns, Yolo County Office of Education
    In this workshop, common plants are used as a basis for honing observation skills, discovering patterns, and constructing explanations. Teachers will explore standard 1-LS3-1, inheritance and variation, by showing how plants from the same species are alike but not exactly like their parents. We will also explore 1-LS1a- which focuses on how different plant parts help them to survive and grow. Our goal is to show how students can use common leaves and plants to explore similarities and differences in living things, and to begin to construct explanations of patterns in nature.
    NGSS: 1-LS3-1, 1-LS1a

3rd-5th Grade Science Series

  • Engineering Pollinators
    Instructor: Robert Sherriff, Churchill Middle School
    Solve a plant sex problem with an engineering solution, it’s all G rated so no parent signature is required.
    NGSS: 3-LS1-1, 4-LS1-1, 3-5-ETS1-1, 3-5-ETS1-2 and 3-5-ETS1-3

  • Questioning, Planning, and Carrying Out Investigations
    Instructor: Ingrid Salim, Sacramento Area Science Project Teacher Leader
    Participants will explore the first three NGSS science practices: questioning, planning and carrying out investigations, and modeling. By working with one specific phenomenon, participants will experience a deep immersion into these three practices, with the intent that they can return to their classrooms and immediately implement a practice-based lesson.

Earth Science Series

  • Human Impacts on California’s Water Supply
    Instructor: Barb Munn, Sacramento State Geology
    Where does California’s water come from, what effect does California’s population have on its water supply, and what are some environmental effects of water consumption? Students use data to explore cause and effect relationships between human activity and fresh water in California.
    NGSS: MS-ESS3-4 and HS-ESS3-3, ESS3.C

  • How Stars Reveal Their Secrets
    Instructor: Rich Hedman, Sacramento Area Science Project
    The points of light we see in the night sky are amazingly far away from us. How do we know so much about them—even their distances? We will examine a variety of phenomena associated with stars, and will develop conceptual models to estimate stellar distances, composition, motion, and changes in stars over long periods of time.
    NGSS: HS-ESS1-3

Biology/Life Science Series

  • Making Sense of Traits in Populations Using Genetics: Population Genetics, Selection, and Other Mechanisms of Change in Frequencies Over Space and Time
    Instructor: Chris Griesemer, UC Davis and Megan McKenzie, Da Vinci Charter Academy
    We’ll immerse ourselves in a piece of 9th grade biology curriculum designed to follow student exploration of genetics. How might we use our understanding of the connections between genes and traits to inform ideas about differences among populations? We’ll use a variety of human traits to examine how patterns vary in space and over time. We will also briefly discuss the connection between divergence among populations and the process of speciation. Note: Middle school teachers are welcome to participate, but this particular piece of curriculum does not appropriately address the middle school standards around genetics or evolution and may be out-of-sequence for middle school life science classrooms.

  • Strategies for Facilitating the Development of Scientific Models
    Instructor: Candice Guy, UC Davis and Jason Fisk, Vacaville High School
    In this session, we will develop and use a model to explain phenomena related to cycles of matter and energy flow in ecosystems, while focusing on productive instructional moves that can facilitate student sensemaking. The strategies discussed will include some ways to encourage argumentation among students, facilitate group-talk, and how to press students for evidence-based explanations.
    NGSS: HS-LS2A, HS-LS2B, HS-LS2C

Physical Science Series

  • Momentum vs. Kinetic Energy: What’s the Difference?
    Instructor:Scott Richardson, Davis Senior High School
    The world around is full of things in motion. They have energy. Or is it momentum? Is there really a difference between the two concepts? Does it matter? Using hands-on activities and key questioning strategies, this session will (1) explore the essence of momentum and kinetic energy, (2) show how they are similar and yet distinct concepts, and (3) show the critical role each concept plays in how our universe works.

  • Interactions with Energy
    Instructor:Arthur Beauchamp, Professional Learning System and Laura Shafer, Sacramento Area Science Project (SASP)
    Develop and use evidence based models to show relationships in systems. Explore transfers of energy in systems and the outcomes of those transfers.
    NGSS: HS-PS3-4

Next Generation Science Series Workshops

  • NGSS Fundamental (Morning Session Only)
    Instructor:Rich Hedman, Sacramento Area Science Project (SASP)
    During this workshop, you will learn the basic architecture of NGSS (how NGSS is organized around 3-dimensions, connections to Common Core, etc.) and you will be introduced to the instructional shifts necessary for NGSS implementation. This workshop is intended for people that are new to NGSS and have never attended Super SIRC before (the same workshop was offered last year).

  • NGSS Intermediate: Exploring phenomena through the lens of multiple cross-cutting concepts
    Instructor:Judi Kusnick, Sacramento State Geology and Laura Shafer, Sacramento Area Science Project (SASP)
    In this workshop you will closely examine the NGSS crosscutting concepts to build a greater understanding of how to integrate them into your classroom instruction. In particular, you will use crosscutting concepts as tools to develop explanations for phenomena. This workshop is intended for people that have already attended the Fundamental science and engineering practices workshops and the fundamental crosscutting concept workshop. (note: this is different Intermediate workshop than was offered last year).

  • Engineering in the Next Generation Science Standards
    Instructor:Ben Fell, Sacramento State Engineering
    Presentation will provide context for the engineering design process for use in primary and secondary education toward the development of an informed population. NGSS Practices are discussed from an engineering perspective with an emphasis on contrasting science and engineering. General schemes are provided with guided break-out discussions to brainstorm how to incorporate engineering into a science-based curriculum. Note: similar material presented in the iSEE program by Dr. Fell.

  • Anatomy of an NGSS Lesson Sequence: Examining Model-Based Learning in Action
    Instructor:Cindy Passmore, UC Davis School of Education
    Together we will take a peek into classrooms that are aligned to the three-dimensions of NGSS and examine how to bring the science and engineering practices to life. We’ll consider three important questions: what kinds of curricular supports do we need, how do we orchestrate and manage NGSS-aligned lessons, and what does it look like when it goes well?

  • Phenomena, Questions, and Models
    Instructor:Arthur Beauchamp, REEd Center
    Explore how to identify and describe phenomena, develop productive questions, and understand or assemble models. This workshop would be appropriate for all 6 – 12 teachers of science.

  • Choosing and Using Phenomena (Afternoon Session Only)
    Instructor:Kelli Quan, Elk Grove Unified School District
    What is a phenomenon? Why do we need one? How do I know if it is a good one? Let’s explore the meaning of phenomena, in terms of the NGSS, and see how we can effectively use them to engage students in sense-making.

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

When:
May 13, 2017 @ 8:30 am – 4:45 pm
2017-05-13T08:30:00-07:00
2017-05-13T16:45:00-07:00
Where:
CSUS - University Union
Hornet Athletic Center
6000 J St, Sacramento, CA 95819
USA
Cost:
$100
Contact:
Debbie Dennick
916-278-4497

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

When:
May 13, 2017 @ 8:30 am – 4:45 pm
2017-05-13T08:30:00-07:00
2017-05-13T16:45:00-07:00
Where:
CSUS - University Union
Hornet Athletic Center
6000 J St, Sacramento, CA 95819
USA
Cost:
$100
Contact:
Debbie Dennick
916-278-4497

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

When:
May 13, 2017 @ 8:30 am – 4:45 pm
2017-05-13T08:30:00-07:00
2017-05-13T16:45:00-07:00
Where:
CSUS - University Union
Hornet Athletic Center
6000 J St, Sacramento, CA 95819
USA
Cost:
$100
Contact:
Debbie Dennick
916-278-4497

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

When:
May 13, 2017 @ 8:30 am – 4:45 pm
2017-05-13T08:30:00-07:00
2017-05-13T16:45:00-07:00
Where:
CSUS - University Union
Hornet Athletic Center
6000 J St, Sacramento, CA 95819
USA
Cost:
$100
Contact:
Debbie Dennick
916-278-4497

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

When:
May 13, 2017 @ 8:30 am – 4:45 pm
2017-05-13T08:30:00-07:00
2017-05-13T16:45:00-07:00
Where:
CSUS - University Union
Hornet Athletic Center
6000 J St, Sacramento, CA 95819
USA
Cost:
$100
Contact:
Debbie Dennick
916-278-4497

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.