November/December 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 2

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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Priority Features of NGSS-Aligned Instructional Materials

Posted: Wednesday, November 29th, 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

Recommendations for Publishers, Reviewers, and Educators. The California Science Teachers Association and the science teachers associations of three other Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) west-coast states, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, have co-authored a white paper on priority features of NGSS instructional materials. This is the first time our states have collaborated to convey a common vision on an issue of great importance for the implementation of the NGSS. We understand all too well that for meaningful shifts to happen and to support the full vision of the NGSS, strong K-12 Instructional materials are required. 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.

State Board Moves Forward Two Key Pieces Supporting CA NGSS Implementation

Posted: Wednesday, November 29th, 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 Jessica Sawko

CSTA President Jill Grace provides public comment at the November 8, 2017, California State Board of Education meeting.

On November 8, 2017, the California State Board of Education (SBE) took action on two items of import relating to the implementation of the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS). One item was relating to the California Science Test (CAST) and the other to instructional materials. CSTA provided both written and oral comments on both items along with providing input on what CSTA and many other advocates view as a critical component of our state’s emerging accountability system – student access to a broad course of study. 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.

NGSS – Early Attempts and Later Reflections from an Early Implementer Teacher

Posted: Thursday, November 23rd, 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 Christa Dunkel

  • There are so many acronyms! Where do I start?
  • What “baby step” should I take first? 
  • How can I make this happen in my elementary classroom?

All of these thoughts and more swam through my head over three years ago when I began my journey into NGSS. I was fresh from a week-long institute with the K-12 Alliance as part of the CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative. Much of the week was spent on digging into the NGSS architecture – how the standards are set-up, how to read the standards, what each of the three dimensions meant. Now that I knew how to read them, I needed to figure out how to implement them into my classroom of 24 eight-year-olds. With some guidance from the K-12 Alliance leaders and my own district-level NGSS team, I began the process with some easy “baby steps.” 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.

CSTA Is Now Accepting Nominations for Board Members

Posted: Friday, November 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

Current, incoming, and outgoing CSTA Board of Directors at June 3, 2017 meeting.

Updated 7:25 pm, Nov. 17, 2017

It’s that time of year when CSTA is looking for dedicated and qualified persons to fill the upcoming vacancies on its Board of Directors. This opportunity allows you to help shape the policy and determine the path that the Board will take in the new year. There are time and energy commitments, but that is far outweighed by the personal satisfaction of knowing that you are an integral part of an outstanding professional educational organization, dedicated to the support and guidance of California’s science teachers. You will also have the opportunity to help CSTA review and support legislation that benefits good science teaching and teachers.

Right now is an exciting time to be involved at the state level in the California Science Teachers Association. The CSTA Board of Directors is currently involved in implementing the Next Generations Science Standards and its strategic plan. If you are interested in serving on the CSTA Board of Directors, now is the time to submit your name for consideration. 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.

Expanding Your Definition of Informal Science Education

Posted: Wednesday, November 15th, 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 Lori Walsh

When deciding on a field trip, zoos, aquariums and science centers typically come to mind. These facilities offer students hands-on opportunities to make science observations using inquiry. Teachers can schedule standards aligned workshops or self-guided visits. If your students have already visited these facilities, you can broaden your options by exploring the larger world of Informal Science Education. Nature centers, non-profits, and environmental groups often also offer NGSS aligned programs in the natural setting. Your students can discover the local environment while making memorable experiences. Learn More…

Written by Lori Walsh

Lori Walsh

Lori Walsh is the Education/Operations Supervisor at SEA LIFE Aquarium at LEGOLAND California Resort and Informal Science Director for CSTA.