May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Events in December 2014 and early January 2015 in CSTA’s Region 2

Posted: Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

by Minda Berbeco

Opportunities abound in CSTA’s Region 2, which includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Solano counties.

Mid-Late December 2014:

Kitchen Chemistry: The Science Of Food
Saturday, 12/13/14 3-4pm
Chabot Space and Science Center
Everyone’s a chemist in the kitchen! It’s time to play with your food and explore the microbiology, nanoscience, physics, and chemistry of the edibles we love.  Enjoy demonstrations and hands-on experiments on everyday treats and ingredients – from yogurt to yeast, oobleck to ice cream! For more information, visit their website at: https://14884.blackbaudhosting.com/14884/page.aspx?pid=196&tab=2&txobjid=c245e802-3550-49eb-b1dd-1a840aa1061d

The Science of (Holiday) Light Walking Tour (Preview tour)

Sunday, 12/14/14 6:30-8pm
Dolores Park
Join us on this festive trek and gain a new appreciation for some of the city’s most spectacular light displays. We’ll stroll along San Francisco stairways, side streets, and scenic vistas, admiring the local holiday handiwork while doing experiments with color mixing and animation, and talking about light. Learn about the history of holiday lights, enjoy some seasonal treats, and bask in the glow that lights the winter’s night. For more information, visit their website at: http://www.discoverystreettours.com/

It’s Ptough to be a Pteropod!
Saturday, 12/20/14 1-2:30pm
Bay Model Visitors Center
Visitors will measure and observe changing chemistry in an ocean-like environment, explore the complex food web, and discuss potential solutions to slow that change. Target Audience: 4th grade and up. For more information, visit their website at:
http://www.spn.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/BayModelVisitorCenter.aspx

Early January 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

Point Reyes National Seashore Fungus Fair
Sunday, 01/04/15 10:00 AM – 04:00 PM
Point Reyes National Seashore
Mushrooms will be on display at the Bear Valley Visitor Center. Visitors are invited to attend free lectures in the auditorium.
For more information, visit their website at: http://www.bayareamushrooms.org/calendar.html

Introduction to the Next Generation Science Standards:  A Paradigm Shift in Teaching and Learning
Wednesday, 01/07/15, 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
Solano County Office of Education (Fairfield)
This full-day workshop will highlight the many shifts required of both teachers and learners under the Next Generation Science Standards.  In the morning session, participants will engage in an overview of the NGSS and its Three Dimensions.  During the afternoon sessions, participants will be invited to experience either a K-5 or 6-12 session.  Each of these sessions will further explore the NGSS with an emphasis on the impact it will have within K-5 and 6-12 classrooms. http://www.cascd.org/event-calendar/ngss—fairfield—1_7_15.php

Bird Walk Hike at Lake Merritt in Oakland
Saturday, 01/10/15 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Lindsay Wildlife Museum
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. To register online: http://wildlife-museum.org/cart/registration/4108
For more information, visit their website at: http://wildlife-museum.org/

The Venus Fly trap and other Amazing Carnivorous Plants
Saturday, 01/10/15 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
UC Botanical Garden
John Bartram was the first to introduce the Venus Fly Trap into cultivation. Family members of all age are invited to discover some of the fascinating and beautiful plants that can eat insects. Get up close with the amazing leaf adaptations as you learn more
about them.
For more information, visit their website at: http://events.berkeley.edu/index.php/calendar/sn/bot.html?event_ID=83269&date=2015-01-10

2015 Stanford Brain Bee
Saturday, 01/10/15 12:00 PM – 05:00 PM
Hewlett Teaching Center Stanford University
The Stanford Brain Bee 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.

The IBB motivates students to learn about the brain, captures their imagination, 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.

Deadline to register December 27, 2014. More details at http://oso.stanford.edu/programs/125-stanford-brain-bee

For more information, visit their website at: http://oso.stanford.edu/programs/125-stanford-brain-bee

Groundwater: California’s Real Buried Gold
Tuesday, 01/13/15 7:00 PM – 09:00 PM
St. Albans Parish Hall, Albany
California stores far more water than falls as rain or snow, or can be held in reservoirs. But this hidden treasure has been treated first-come, winner-take-all. California’s new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and just-passed Proposition 1 bring opportunities to use groundwater more wisely. Environmental attorney Tina Cannon Leahy, Principal Consultant to the California Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife, and the Assembly’s primary water law and policy expert, outlines the value and complexity of groundwater, along with opportunities.

For more information, visit their website at: http://www.fivecreeks.org/calendar.shtml

Check back in early January 2015 for more!

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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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.