September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

Events for February 2014

Posted: Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Free Entry Days at:

Bay Area Discovery Museum, First Wednesday of the month
UC Botanical Gardens, First Thursday of the month
Oakland Museum of California, First Sunday of the month

Super-cool Science Parties and Lectures:

Nerd Nite East Bay, Last Monday of the month

Nerd Nite San Francisco, Third Wednesday of the month

Night Life, Thursdays, 6-10 pm, at the California Academy of Sciences

After Dark, First Thursday of the month, 6-10 pm, at the Exploratorium

Café Inquiry, First Thursday of the month, 6pm, at Café Borrone, Menlo Park

Highlighted Events in February:

Bird Walk Hike at Lake Merritt in Oakland

Saturday, 2/07 & 2/17 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Lake Merritt, Oakland

January is the perfect time to observe wintering waterfowl. Join the Lindsay Wildlife Museum for a morning of birding with experienced birdwatchers from the Mt Diablo Audubon Society. Bring your binoculars and learn how to tell the difference between a tern and a gull. Bird walk hike will be at Oakland’s Lake Merritt. Map and directions will be sent after registration is completed.

Click here to register online

Salamander Search – Family Science Safari at YSI

Saturday, 2/07 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Sanborn Science and Nature Center

Unravel the secrets of our unique newt population among the redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains! Join us at the YSI Garden in Sanborn County Park to meet and touch some of our native Animal Ambassadors. Learn what they look and feel like, decipher their camouflage, and discover how to spot them in the wild. Then we’ll venture into the newt’s ecosystem to try to locate these and other native animals in their natural habitat.
To register online visit our website

An Evening with Neil deGrasse Tyson

Tuesday, 2/10 07:30 PM

Orpheum Theater, SF

Join us for an evening with Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, award winning- astrophysicist, author, and host of FOX’s Cosmos for an evening of engaging conversation on science, exploration and the world as we know it.

Click here for more information:

AAAS Family Science Days

Saturday & Sunday, 2/14 – 2/15

San Jose Convention Center

Explore interactive science exhibits, learn about cool science jobs, and have your questions answered by scientists! Family Science Days are FREE and open to all, and features hands-on demos, shows, talks by scientists, and other activities appropriate for K-12 children and their families. This free community science showcase is brought to you by AAAS, in partnership with the Bay Area Science Festival. The event also features a broad range of educators and scientists engaging the public in current science topics.

Click here for more information

Low Tide Walk

Saturday, 2/14 12:30 PM – 02:30 PM

Marine Science Institute

MSI takes to the tidepools for a treasure hunt of nature’s beautiful intertidal secrets. We’ll spend our time taking advantage of the low tide to reach the outer edges of Pillar Point, while taking in spectacular vantages as we slowly retreat to shore. Will we find crabs, sea stars, eels an octopus!? This is a great all-ages, family event. Space tends to fill up for these events quickly, so please RSVP soon.

For more information, click here

Fragile Waters

Tuesday, 2/24 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Bay Model Visitors Center

There’s one chance to save the Southern Resident killer whales from extinction and that moment is right now. Blaine residents and documentary filmmakers Rick Wood and Shari Macy teamed-up with Orca Network to create a groundbreaking documentary film about the resident orcas, Chinook salmon and the environment they live in. The film tells the untold story about the decline of both the killer whales and Chinook salmon in the Salish Sea. Through interviews with the world’s leading orca experts, fishermen, hatchery 

Speakers: Rick Wood and Shari Macy, Producers

For more information,  click here

5 Tools You Can Use to Find the Elusive Gray Fox

Saturday, 2/28 2:00 PM – 3:30 AM

Don Edwards Refuge Headquarters & Visitors Center

Do you sometimes see paw prints in mud, or scat (poop) on the trails and assume that a dog left it? It could be from something else. Come along with me and I will show you how to distinguish and identify the markings of a gray fox. Gain some insights into the fox’s nature and their behavior during the walk. By the time we are through, you will have a set of “tools” you can use to identify the presence of foxes in any area that you are in. Bring a hat, binoculars, and good walking shoes.  Led by Bill Leikam, the Fox Guy.

Written by Minda Berbeco

Minda Berbeco

Minda Berbeco was the Programs and Policy Director at the National Center for Science Education and is now the Director of the Sierra Club San Francisco Chapter.

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LATEST POST

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.

News and Happenings in CSTA’s Region 1 – Fall 2017

Posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

Cal

This month I was fortunate enough to hear about some new topics to share with our entire region. Some of you may access the online or newsletter options, others may attend events in person that are nearer to you. Long time CSTA member and environmental science educator Mike Roa is well known to North Bay Area teachers for his volunteer work sharing events and resources. In this month’s Region 1 updates I am happy to make a few of the options Mike offers available to our region. Learn More…

Written by Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw is the student services director at Siskiyou County Office of Education and is CSTA’s Region 1 Director and chair of CSTA’s Policy Committee.