May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Events for August 2014

Posted: Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

by David Pummill

The Gateway Science Museum at California State University, Chico
625 Esplanade (near Bidwell Mansion), Chico CA 95926 Phone: 530-898-4121
gateway@csuchico.edu

Class Field Trips Fall 2014 Scheduling Open Now!

Explore Evolution
Wednesday – Sunday through August 31, 2014, 12:00 pm – 5:00 PM
Explore Evolution investigates evolutionary principles in organisms ranging from the smallest to the largest. The project focuses on seven research projects that have made a major contribution to our understanding of evolution. This interactive exhibit gives visitors an opportunity to experience how scientists conduct research on evolution. This exhibit features the work of the following scientists:

Turtle Bay Exploration Park
844 Sundial Bridge Drive, Redding, CA 96001 Phone: 800-TURTLEBAY (800-887-8532)

Walk on the Wild Side Animal Show
Sunday, through September 1, 11:00 am & 12:00 pm, (NO LATE SEATING)
(Special Monday show on Labor Day, Sept. 1)
Marvel as a hawk flies inches from your head. See a porcupine up close and personal. Watch a fox use its tail to balance on a narrow edge. Join us for a fun-filled educational wildlife show, and see animals showcasing their natural behaviors in a captivating and inspiring atmosphere. This show is one that you won’t soon forget.

Pacific Coast Air Museum
One Museum Way, Santa Rosa, CA 95043 Phone: 707-575-7900

Reconnaissance Weekend is Saturday & Sunday, August 16 & 17, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
“Climb Aboard” our vintage aircraft and learn about the history of where and how they were used from the crew who has lovingly restored them.

This month we are featuring our reconnaissance birds:

F-8U Crusader: Similar to those used to reconnoiter Soviet missile bases in Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
RF-86F Sabre: One of the United States’ earliest high-speed jet reconnaissance craft.
SR-71 Blackbird Nose: The nose, astro navigation system, and tracking camera of this mysterious and legendary cold war spyplane, whose true performance parameters are still classified.
D-21 Drone: A mach-3+ reconnaissance drone, intended to be carried on the back of a super-secret Lockheed A-12.

This is a rare opportunity to get a close-up look and sit in the cockpits of these historic aircraft.
Visit the website for more opportunities to “Climb Aboard” this fall.

The Discovery Museum Space and Science Center
3615 Auburn Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95821 Phone: 916-808-3942
Summer Schedule: Open daily, Monday – Friday 10:00 am – 4:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am – 4:30 pm. Planetarium and Family Feature on Saturdays and Sundays only.

Saturday & Sunday, August 2 & 3, 2014
Meet a Rock Hound!
Visit the Discovery Museum to meet and learn from a local “rock hound.” This geology enthusiast is bringing his amazing collection of rocks and fossils that he has collected over the years. See a bendable rock, a mineral that bends light, a whale vertebrae fossil and more! There is a family-friendly presentation at noon and 2:00 pm for all ages. Each family gets a free poster as a souvenir (as supplies last). Planetarium shows are at 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm are included with admission (ages 4 and above only).

Saturday & Sunday, August 9 & 10, 2014
Volcanic Blast!
Did you know there are 1,900 active volcanoes on earth? Or that that lava can reach 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit? Learn about volcanoes and their impact on planet earth this weekend at the Discovery Museum. Volcano demonstrations take place at noon and 2:00 pm. Kids 12 and under receive a volcanic rock to take home, plus a make-and-take paper volcano craft. Enjoy the volcano area of the Blast from the Past exhibit. Planetarium shows are at 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm are included with admission (ages 4 and above only).
Saturday & Sunday, August 16 & 17, 2014
Breathe California
Take a deep breath and meet our special guests from Breathe California. They’ll teach your family all about Sacramento’s air. The family feature at noon or 2:00 pm will explore the connection between clean air and healthy lungs. Learn how food waste is used to help improve our air quality! Children 12 and under are invited to create and decorate a model of a wind turbine to take home (from 12:30 pm-4:00 pm). Admission includes planetarium shows at 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm for ages 4 and older.

August 23-29: Closed for Exhibit Maintenance
We’re closed this week for repairs, cleaning, painting, touch-ups, tune-ups, fix-ups, and general maintenance. We’ll be back open in time for three days of LABOR DAY FUN!

Saturday, Sunday & Monday, August 30, 31, and September 1, 2014
Labor Day Fun!
Enjoy the holiday weekend by showing your patriotic pride. Visit the Discovery Museum this weekend for a self-guided tour of our Blast from the Past exhibit. Kids crafts one of our favorites, a patriotic windsock. Included with admission all three days: planetarium shows at 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm (ages 4 and above only); animal presentations at noon & 2:00 pm (all ages). Picnics are always welcomed on our grounds!

Sacramento Zoo
3930 West Land Park Drive, Sacramento, CA 95822 Phone: 916-808-5888

Ice Cream Safari: Saturday, August 16, 2014, 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Join us at the 30th annual Ice Cream Safari where you can get all-you-can-eat Baskin Robbins Ice Cream in cones, sundaes and floats along with all-you-can-drink Coca-Cola beverages. Explore the 14-acre zoo with ice cream treats around every corner!
Entertainment for the kids and fun for everyone! Face painting, an Ice Cream Dance Party and live entertainment. Don’t forget to enter the GiRaffle for the chance to win some fun prizes.

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
18220 North Highway 1, Fort Bragg, CA 95437 Phone: 707-964-4352

Bird Watching with Mendocino Coast Audubon Society
The Gardens attract more than 150 species of birds that live in or visit each year. Join one of the monthly Audubon Society walks. Monthly walks are as follows:
Beginning Birding: 1st Saturday, 9:00 am
Early Bird Walk: 3rd Wednesday, 8:00 am (May through October)

Written by David Pummill

David Pummill

David Pummill is a retired California science teacher and CSTA’s Region 1 Director.

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Participate in Chemistry Education Research Study, Earn $500-800 Dollars!

Posted: Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

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

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

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

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

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.