Super SIRC – Science in the River City
Posted: Tuesday, January 17th, 2017
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
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…
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…
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
by Joseph Calmer
Probably like you, NGSS has been at the forefront of many department meetings, lunch conversations, and solitary lesson planning sessions. Despite reading the original NRC Framework, the Ca Draft Frameworks, and many CSTA writings, I am still left with the question: “what does it actually mean for my classroom?”
I had an eye-opening experience that helped me with that question. It came out of a conversation that I had with a student teacher. It turns out that I’ve found the secret to learning how to teach with NGSS: I need to engage in dialogue about teaching with novice teachers. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching science in some capacity for 12 years. During that time pedagogy and student learning become sort of a “hidden curriculum.” It is difficult to plan a lesson for the hidden curriculum; the best way is to just have two or more professionals talk and see what emerges. I was surprised it took me so long to realize this epiphany. Learn More…