September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

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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CSTA Is Now Accepting Nominations for Board Members

Posted: Friday, November 17th, 2017

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.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces 2017 Finalists for Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Posted: Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today nominated eight exceptional secondary mathematics and science teachers as California finalists for the 2017 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

“These teachers are dedicated and accomplished individuals whose innovative teaching styles prepare our students for 21st century careers and college and develop them into the designers and inventors of the future,” Torlakson said. “They rank among the finest in their profession and also serve as wonderful mentors and role models.”

The California Department of Education (CDE) partners annually with the California Science Teachers Association and the California Mathematics Council to recruit and select nominees for the PAEMST program—the highest recognition in the nation for a mathematics or science teacher. The Science Finalists will be recognized at the CSTA Awards Luncheon on Saturday, October 14, 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.

Thriving in a Time of Change

Posted: Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

by Jill Grace

By the time this message is posted online, most schools across California will have been in session for at least a month (if not longer, and hat tip to that bunch!). Long enough to get a good sense of who the kids in your classroom are and to get into that groove and momentum of the daily flow of teaching. It’s also very likely that for many of you who weren’t a part of a large grant initiative or in a district that set wheels in motion sooner, this is the first year you will really try to shift instruction to align to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). I’m not going to lie to you, it’s a challenging year – change is hard. Change is even harder when there’s not a playbook to go by.  But as someone who has had the very great privilege of walking alongside teachers going through that change for the past two years and being able to glimpse at what this looks like for different demographics across that state, there are three things I hope you will hold on to. These are things I have come to learn will overshadow the challenge: a growth mindset will get you far, one is a very powerful number, and it’s about the kids. Learn More…

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Written by Jill Grace

Jill Grace

Jill Grace is a Regional Director for the K-12 Alliance and is President of CSTA.

If You Are Not Teaching Science Then You Are Not Teaching Common Core

Posted: Thursday, August 31st, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn 

“Science and Social Studies can be taught for the last half hour of the day on Fridays”

– Elementary school principal

Anyone concerned with the teaching of science in elementary school is keenly aware of the problem of time. Kids need to learn to read, and learning to read takes time, nobody disputes that. So Common Core ELA can seem like the enemy of science. This was a big concern to me as I started looking at the curriculum that my district had adopted for Common Core ELA. I’ve been through those years where teachers are learning a new curriculum, and know first-hand how a new curriculum can become the focus of attention- sucking all the air out of the room. Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

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

Tools for Creating NGSS Standards Based Lessons

Posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

by Elizabeth Cooke

Think back on your own experiences with learning science in school. Were you required to memorize disjointed facts without understanding the concepts?

Science Education Background

In the past, science education focused on rote memorization and learning disjointed ideas. Elementary and secondary students in today’s science classes are fortunate now that science instruction has shifted from students demonstrating what they know to students demonstrating how they are able to apply their knowledge. Science education that reflects the Next Generation Science Standards challenges students to conduct investigations. As students explore phenomena and discrepant events they engage in academic discourse guided by focus questions from their teachers or student generated questions of that arise from analyzing data and creating and revising models that explain natural phenomena. Learn More…

Written by Elizabeth Cooke

Elizabeth Cooke

Elizabeth Cooke teaches TK-5 science at Markham Elementary in the Oakland Unified School District, is an NGSS Early Implementer, and is CSTA’s Secretary.