September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

CSTA Region 2 Events for November, 2014

Posted: Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

by Minda Berbeco

CSTA’s Region 2 includes: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Solano Counties.

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

Highlighted Events in November:

Dynamics and Diagnosis of Tick-Borne Diseases in a Changing Landscape
Tuesday, 11/4/14 12-1pm
Sonoma State University – Biology Colloquium, Rohnert Park
Speaker: Dr. Andrea Zwei, Department of Biology, San Francisco State University
For more information, visit their website

Lakes, Fans, Deltas, and Streams: Geomorphic Constraints on the Hydrologic History of Gale Crater, Mars
Tuesday, 11/4/14 12-1pm
SETI Institute Colloquium Series, Mountain View
It has been proposed that in Gale Crater, where the Curiosity rover landed in August 2012, lakes developed to various depths after the large central mound (informally referred to as Mt. Sharp) had evolved to a form close to its current topography. Using a combination of CTX and HiRISE imagery and CTX, HiRISE and HRSC topography, we have documented a sequence of rising and falling lake levels, thereby providing a possible relative timeline of the hydrologic events within Gale crater.
For more information, visit their website

The Birth of Suns
Sunday, 11/8/14 8pm
San Jose Astronomical Society
We normally think of space as empty, but it’s not. The space between the stars in our Galaxy contains, on average, about 1 atom per cubic centimeter. That’s a better vacuum than the best vacuum chamber we know how to make, but there are a lot of cubic centimeters in interstellar space, and the mass between the stars of our Galaxy adds up to about 10% of the mass of all the stars. It is from this interstellar medium that new stars are continually born, at a rate of about 1 new Sun per year. In this talk I will describe our current understanding of the gas in interstellar space, and how and why it condenses to make new stars.
For more information, visit their website

30 Ways to Be a Shorebird
Tuesday, 11/11/14 7-9pm
St. Albans Parish Hall, Albany
The Bay hosts an ever-changing array of 30 different species of shorebirds, living by the seasons and tides, moving and feeding in patterns that reflect their physical attributes. Meet these fascinating, varied, and beautiful neighbors – some stay-at-home, some from half a world away – in a talk by Bay Area birding teacher and leader Rusty Scalf. Rusty also will discuss how the Bay’s shorebird populations are likely to have changed through the past, how they seem to be changing now, and what the future may hold.
For more information, visit their website

Hayward Fault Walking Tour
Saturday, 11/15/14 9:30-11am
Fremont Earthquake Exhibit, Fremont CA
Over the last million years, the natural beauty of Fremont has been shaped by the Hayward Fault. Instructors will be leading these ‘ground breaking’ tours and exposing the science and beauty of the Hayward Fault. This fault is one of several active faults in the world actually creeping at 5 mm/year. The tour will take place at Central Park (Lake Elizabeth) and explores dramatic faulting effects in both natural and urban environments. Even view the floor of a building that reveals dramatic evidence of this fault activity. (Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult) Tours begin at the Fremont Community Center. Cost: $15
For more information, visit our website

Northern California Bats: Demystifying and Discovering these Amazing Animals
Saturday, 11/15/14 10-2pm
UC Botanical Garden, Berkeley
Come learn about the local bats with Director of NorCal Bats Corky Quirk. In her presentation you will learn about bats and discuss the harmful myths that surround these animals. You’ll also learn the importance of bats in our environment. Live bats will be presented for viewing and discussion.
For more information, visit their website

Up the Ladder: Women Pursuing Careers in Science and Technology
Monday, 11/17/14 6pm
Commonwealth Club, San Francisco
How and why do women decide to pursue careers in science and technology? What is the reaction of their family, friends, teachers and others? This panel of three women at three different points in their careers – early, middle and advanced – will discuss the experiences that have supported and challenged their career pursuits. Come learn from their stories and hear ideas about how to attract more women to areas of science where they are still greatly under-represented, such as engineering and mathematics.
For more information, visit their website

Climate Change and Physiological Genomics
Tuesday, 11/18/1412-1pm
Sonoma State University – Biology Colloquium
Speaker: Dr. Sean Place Department of Biology, Sonoma State University
For more information, visit their website

Fall Colors
Tuesday, 11/18/14 7pm
Fremont Main Library, Fremont
Learn about why leaves change their color. Explore the different types of plants and why some do not change color.  Compare different types of trees in Fremont.
 Reading: The Colors of Fall.
For more information, visit their website

The Extreme Life of the Sea
Wednesday, 11/19/14 6:30pm
Romberg Tiburon Center, Tiburon
Speaker: Stephen Palumbi, Director, Hopkins Marine Station
For more information, visit their website

Science Saturday: Monarch Magic
Saturday, 11/29/14 11-3pm
Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History
Welcome the monarch butterflies back to Pacific Grove! Create a monarch chrysalis pin, view live butterflies, explore the Museum’s Monarchs Come Home exhibition, and get your face painted while you discover what makes our monarch butterflies special. Special guests will provide even more activities, music, and information. Join us for a day filled with monarch magic!
For more information, visit their website

And coming up in January…

The Stanford Brain Bee
The Stanford Brain Bee will take place on Saturday, January 10, 2015 on Stanford campus. This is a local qualifying round of the International Brain Bee (IBB), a neuroscience competition exclusively for high school students ages 14-18. The Stanford Brain Bee involves both a written component and a live oral Q&A session. In addition to the competition, students will have the opportunity to attend a presentation by a Stanford neuroscientist and speak with Stanford professors and students from the medical, biosciences, and neuroscience fields. There is no charge to register and compete.

The IBB motivates students to learn about the brain, captures their imaginations, and inspires them to pursue neuroscience careers in order to help treat and find cures for neurological and psychological disorders. There are currently about 150 Local Brain Bee coordinators in 30 countries worldwide that conduct competitions annually. The winner of each Local Bee is invited to attend the National Brain Bee (NBB) competition in his or her own country, and the winner of each NBB is invited to compete in the International Brain Bee Championship.  Click here for details

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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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…

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California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

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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”

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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

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Written by Elizabeth Cooke

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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

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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.