May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Events for July 2014 in CSTA’s Region 2

Posted: Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

by Minda Berbeco

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

CuriOdyssey, Free Community Day July 23

Super-cool Science Parties and lectures:

Nerd Nite EastBay, 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

Highlighted Events in July:

The Gemini Planet Imager initial performance and data analysis

Tuesday, 7/1/14, 12-1pm

SETI Institute Colloquium Series, 189 Bernardo Ave Mountain View, CA 94043

The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a dedicated facility for directly imaging and spectroscopically characterizing extrasolar planets. It combines a very high-order adaptive optics system, a diffraction-suppressing coronagraph, and an integral field spectrograph with low spectral resolution but high spatial resolution. GPI has been tuned for maximum sensitivity to faint planets near bright stars.

For more information: visit their website.

Untold Stories from the Scopes Trial

Thursday, 7/10/14, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley

If you thought that you knew everything about the Scopes trial, think again! To commemorate the eighty-ninth anniversary of the seminal episode in the long contentious history of evolution education in the United States, the National Center for Science Education’s Glenn Branch will tell the story of the Scopes trial as it has never been told before — focusing on obscure, underappreciated, and amusing details.

Speaker: Glenn Branch, Deputy Director, National Center for Science Education

Full Moon Hike
Friday, 7/ 11/14, 7:45pm – 10pm

Chabot Space and Science Center, 10000 Skyline Blvd, Oakland, CA 94619
The brightness of the full moon guides our exploration of the redwoods on an easy 1-3 mile hike. After the hike, stay and explore other amazing objects in the night sky through our telescopes (weather permitting) or tour the Telescope Makers Workshop. Hike will take place rain or shine.

Tickets: $12 (does not include Admission to the Center)

For more information: visit their website.

Marine Science Sunday: Marine Mammal Superheroes
Sunday, 7/27/14, All Day
Marine Mammal Center, 2000 Bunker Road, Fort Cronkhite, Sausalito, CA 94965

Our oceans contain some of the World’s greatest superheroes. The World’s largest animal, marine mammals that have learned to use tools, and dolphins that have learned how to hunt on land are just a few of the amazing creatures we have living off our very own California Coast. Come learn more at Marine Mammal Superheroes: Super Strong and Super Smart in a fun, educational way for both kids and adults. We recommend teaming our free classroom programs at 12 pm and 2 pm with a Docent-led tour at 11am, 1pm or 3pm for a truly immersive marine mammal experience.
For more information: visit their website.

Upcoming Summer Professional Development Opportunities in Region 2

Bay Area Project ASTRO Introductory Workshop

Friday & Saturday, 7/25 – 7/26/14, All day

Project ASTRO is looking for 3rd–9th grade teachers to work with volunteer astronomers who have a keen interest in sharing the wonders of astronomy with students. Together, teachers and their astronomer partner attend a free 2-day summer workshop to learn hands-on, inquiry-based astronomy activities designed to involve students in the excitement of scientific discovery.

This is a 2 day workshop, and attendance is required at both days.

Target Audience: Teachers in grades 3 – 9; volunteer astronomers with a passion for sharing their love of astronomy

To apply click here.

Think Evolution VI: A Summer Institute for Science Educators

Monday through Friday, 7/28-8/1/14
Calling all middle school, high school, and community college biology teachers and science educators! Put on your evolution eyeglasses and your nature of science thinking cap and join us for (yet another) fun-filled five days of evolutionary explorations with biologists and educators at the University of California. The Think Evolution Summer Institute, returning for its sixth year, will combine lectures by prominent evolutionary biologists with sessions focused on hands-on activities for the middle school, high school, and community college classroom.

Cost: $75.00 for five days; includes lots of free resources distributed to participating teachers plus morning and afternoon snacks.

For more information: visit their website.

Understanding Global Change: A summer institute for science educators
Monday through Friday, 8/4–8/8/14

NEW UCMP Summer Institute for environmental science, earth science, and biology middle and high school teachers! The University of California Museum of Paleontology, together with the National Center for Science Education, will launch a new web resource — Understanding Global Change — at the end of 2014. The resource will provide vetted scientific content, teaching resources, and strategies for K-16 educators to effectively incorporate the complex and critically important topic of global change into existing curricula. The goal of the workshop is to preview parts of the new website, provide feedback to the UCMP and NCSE, review related teaching resources and supplemental materials that support the teaching of global change, and explore connections to the Next Generation Science Standards. The workshop will also feature invited speakers, prominent scientists whose research intersects with a variety of global change issues, from climate change to ocean acidification.

Cost: $75.00 for five days; includes free resources distributed to participating teachers plus morning and afternoon snacks.

For more information: visit their website.

Minda Berbeco is the Programs and Policy Director at the National Center for Science Education in Oakland, CA, and is CSTA’s Region 2 Director.

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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CSTA Annual Conference Early Bird Rates End July 14

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

Teachers engaged in workshop activity

Teachers engaging in hands-on learning during a workshop at the 2016 CSTA conference.

Don’t miss your chance to register at the early bird rate for the 2017 CSTA Conference – the early-bird rate closes July 14. Need ideas on how to secure funding for your participation? Visit our website for suggestions, a budget planning tool, and downloadable justification letter to share with your admin. Want to take advantage of the early rate – but know your district will pay eventually? Register online today and CSTA will reimburse you when we receive payment from your district/employer. (For more information on how that works contact Zi Stair in the office for details – 916-979-7004 or zi@cascience.org.)

New Information Now Available On-line:

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.

Goodbye Outgoing and Welcome Incoming CSTA Board Members

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Jill Grace

Jill Grace, CSTA President, 2017-2019

On July 1, 2017 five CSTA members concluded their service and four new board members joined the ranks of the CSTA Board of Directors. CSTA is so grateful for all the volunteer board of directors who contribute hours upon hours of time and energy to advance the work of the association. At the June 3 board meeting, CSTA was able to say goodbye to the outgoing board members and welcome the incoming members.

This new year also brings with it a new president for CSTA. As of July 1, 2017 Jill Grace is the president of the California Science Teachers Association. Jill is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach, a former middle school science teacher, and is currently a Regional Director with the K-12 Alliance @ WestEd where she works with California NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative districts and charter networks in the San Diego area.

Outgoing Board Members

  • Laura Henriques (President-Elect: 2011 – 2013, President: 2013 – 2015, Past President: 2015 – 2017)
  • Valerie Joyner (Region 1 Director: 2009 – 2013, Primary Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Mary Whaley (Informal Science Education Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Sue Campbell (Middle School/Jr. High Director: 2015 – 2017)
  • Marcus Tessier (2-Year College Director: 2015 – 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.

Finding My Student’s Motivation of Learning Through Engineering Tasks

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Huda Ali Gubary and Susheela Nath

It’s 8:02 and the bell rings. My students’ walk in and pick up an entry ticket based on yesterday’s lesson and homework. My countdown starts for students to begin…3, 2, 1. Ten students are on task and diligently completing the work, twenty are off task with behaviors ranging from talking up a storm with their neighbors to silently staring off into space. This was the start of my classes, more often than not. My students rarely showed the enthusiasm for a class that I had eagerly prepared for. I spent so much time searching for ways to get my students excited about the concepts they were learning. I wanted them to feel a connection to the lessons and come into my class motivated about what they were going to learn next. I would ask myself how I could make my class memorable where the kids were in the driver’s seat of learning. Incorporating engineering made this possible. 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.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Unveils Updated Recommended Literature List

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson unveiled an addition of 285 award-winning titles to the Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list.

“The books our students read help broaden their perspectives, enhance their knowledge, and fire their imaginations,” Torlakson said. “The addition of these award-winning titles represents the state’s continued commitment to the interests and engagement of California’s young readers.”

The Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list is a collection of more than 8,000 titles of recommended reading for children and adolescents. Reflecting contemporary and classic titles, including California authors, this online list provides an exciting range of literature that students should be reading at school and for pleasure. Works include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama to provide for a variety of tastes, interests, and abilities. Learn More…

Written by Guest Contributor

From time to time CSTA receives contributions from guest contributors. The opinions and views expressed by these contributors are not necessarily those of CSTA. By publishing these articles CSTA does not make any endorsements or statements of support of the author or their contribution, either explicit or implicit. All links to outside sources are subject to CSTA’s Disclaimer Policy: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.

Teaching Science in the Time of Alternative Facts – Why NGSS Can Help (somewhat)

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn

The father of one of my students gave me a book: In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood by Walt Brown, Ph. D. He had heard that I was teaching Plate Tectonics and wanted me to consider another perspective. The book offered the idea that the evidence for plate tectonics could be better understood if we considered the idea that beneath the continent of Pangaea was a huge underground layer of water that suddenly burst forth from a rift between the now continents of Africa and South America. The waters shot up and the continents hydroplaned apart on the water layer to their current positions. The force of the movement pushed up great mountain ranges which are still settling to this day, resulting in earthquakes along the margins of continents. This had happened about 6,000 years ago and created a great worldwide flood. Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

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