April 2015 – Vol. 27 No. 8

Events in Region 1

Posted: Saturday, February 26th, 2011

March 5, 2011
Humboldt County, CA
Project WET Workshop

The City of Eureka Stormwater Division, North Coast CREEC Network; Humboldt County 4-H, and Sequoia Park Zoo invite you to a Project WET workshop focused on the issue of stormwater. Participants will walk away with a great overview of local stormwater issues, a better understanding of local examples of stormwater best management practices and a Project WET guide. CEU credit is available. To register, please contact Amber Neilson at: education@sequoiaparkzoo.net–or- (707) 441-4217.

March 11, 2011
Berkeley, CA
Seeing Radiation: Nuclear Science Experiments

American Nuclear Society will be presenting a free workshop for high school science teachers. Participants will receive a cloud chamber kit, Geiger counter, workbooks and classroom curriculum. It will include a tour of the Advanced Light Source or Cyclotron. Space is limited, so don’t delay. Click for more information.

March 12 and May 7, 2011
Woodland, CA
2011 Teacher Institute: “Best Practices of Environmental Education and Stewardship”

The California Environmental Education Foundation, in partnership with Yolo County Office of Education (YCOE), invites Northern California educators (Regions 1-6), who teach students of grades K-12, with preference given to grades 4-8, to participate in a unique Three-Saturday Teacher Institute [January 15; March 12; May 7] utilizing an Action Research model to maximize collaborative learning in environmental education and place-based stewardship. Primary fund support for the Institute comes from the Saxton Family Foundation and the state Department of Water Resources. The Institute will be held at YCOE Conference Center, 1280 Santa Anita Court, Suite 120, Woodland, CA 95776. Click for more information. An application is available at:http://www.creec.org/stories/storyReader$39
Application Deadline: December 15, 2010.

March 18-19, 2011
Sacramento, CA
Sacramento Regional Science & Engineering Fair

The annual Sacramento Regional Science & Engineering Fair showcases students in the greater Sacramento region who will become our future scientists, technology experts, engineers, and mathematicians. This regional competition celebrates achievement by middle and high school students, supported by devoted parents, teachers, and other mentors.

For more information visit: http://www.srsefair.org/

March 22, 2011 &
April 12, 2011
Sacramento, CA
Science in the River City

Science in the River City is an outstanding standards-based professional development program for 3rd to 12th grade science teachers. SIRC is held approximately once a month at Sacramento State during the academic year. The program is designed to deepen teachers’ understanding of science (through hands-on, inquiry-based labs and activities) and provide innovative ideas, lessons and strategies for teachers to use in their classrooms. The workshops are taught by university faculty or teacher leaders from the Sacramento Area Science Project.

For more information or to register on-line visit:http://www.csus.edu/mase/sem_inst/sirc.htm

March 23, 2011
Focus on Grades K-5

March 24, 2011
Focus on Grades 6-12

4:00-6:00 p.m.

Far Northern California counties via video-conference

Strategic Science Teaching Workshop Building Content Literacy Through Literature

Learn to make use of Strategic Science Teaching, Grades K-12: A Sampler of Science Lessons Connecting Literature with the California Standards. During this workshop you will: • Enhance your science program with literature selections* aligned with grade level science standards. • Utilize fiction and non-fiction literature selections to launch a science investigation and feature literacy strategies. • Collaborate with teachers at your grade span on identifying student outcomes for science learning. Each workshop participant will receive a grade-specific literature selection, grade level science lesson masters, and practice with the literacy strategies that are emphasized for each literature selection. All workshops are provided via videoconference to a county office near you. Register at: K-5 Science (March 23)— or — Grades 6-12 Science (March 24). TheStrategic Science Teaching book is now available FREE online in PDF format at http://www.ccsesa.org/index/committees.cfm?cid=7. After February 4, contact Marian Murphy-Shaw at mshaw@siskiyoucoe.net.

March 25, 2011
Redding, CA
Map It, Manage It, Sustain It

The Forest Foundation is sponsoring a field trip opportunity for teachers and students. The one day event will be held at Shasta College in Redding and will be focused around introducing teachers and students to Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Send your RSVP ASAP to ensure a space for your school. For more information please e-mail mdunaetz@shastacollege.edu or call 530-410-4836.

April 23, 2011
Redding, CA
Whole Earth and Watershed Festival

Thousands of people are expected to attend this year’s festival to learn how they can live a healthier lifestyle, save money and energy, protect natural resources and discover how the work of many local groups help make our region’s communities better places to live. We are excited about the variety of “green” ways to get to the Festival this year! It’s a great day to dust off your bike, get on a RABA bus, carpool, walk, or run to the 2011 Whole Earth and Watershed Festival and join in the celebration of Earth Day (April 22nd) and Watershed Awareness Month (May). It’s sure to be an experience you and your family will not want to miss! More information is available at: http://wholeearthandwatershedfestival.org/homemain.html.

April 29, 2011
Incline Village, NV
Project WET Workshop

The California Project WET program in partnership with the Tahoe Center for Environmental Research, Sierra Watershed Education Partnerships, Nevada and Hawaii Project WET programs, and the Association for Experiential Education invite you to register for this action-packed, pre-conference water education workshop at the Tahoe Center for Environmental Research. The workshop will be focused on the use of Project WET activities to integrate knowledge of local water resources and issues, as well as methods to bring experiential education into the classroom. All participants will receive lunch and walk away with their own Project WET guide. Registration details will be available after February 1, 2011 at: http://west.aee.org/conferences.

Written by Valerie Joyner

Valerie Joyner

Valerie Joyner is a retired elementary science educator and is CSTA’s Primary Director.

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Update on 2015 Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)

Posted: Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

by Jessica Sawko

For many months our members have been requesting clear information from the state department of education (CDE) regarding the purpose of the “science CSTs” that are being administered this year in grades 5, 8, and 10 and well as how the test scores from those assessments will be used for accountability purposes. The following was excerpted from a letter from the California Department of Education released on April 22:

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress for Science

As educators from across the state begin or continue to implement the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS), questions have been raised regarding the role of the summative science assessments which students in grades five, eight, and ten will participate in during the spring of 2015.

During the transition to the new science standards and assessments, the federally required science assessments in grades five, eight, and ten (i.e., California Standards Tests, California Modified Assessments, and California Alternate Performance Assessment) will continue to be administered until an assessment aligned to the CA NGSS is developed and approved by the SBE. A new assessment is currently under development and scheduled to be operational in 2018–19.

Because the current science tests are not aligned with the new CA NGSS, the results will not be used in any accountability reports; however, the scores will be publicly available. As in prior years, AYP is based only on ELA and mathematics. Science is not included in AYP calculations.

As reported by CSTA previously, API will not be calculated for the 2014/2015 school year. More information about the suspension, what that means for reporting in 2015/2016, review this letter dated March 17, 2015 that was sent to administrators.

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.

Legislative Action Alert – ESEA/NCLB Reauthorization

Posted: Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

CSTA’s counterparts at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has been actively representing the voice of science teachers in Washington D.C. This morning they sent out this call to action:

The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are currently working to reauthorize (rewrite) No Child Left Behind. Please contact your members of Congress immediately, and ask them to make STEM education a national priority. At the Legislative Action Center of the STEM Education Coalition website, you can send a letter to your elected representatives, asking them to

  • Maintain a strong focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.
  • Continue the focus on math and science as required elements of any state’s accountability system.
  • Provide states with dedicated funding to support STEM-related activities and teacher training.

It is urgent that educators take a moment to write to your elected officials, and send this message to colleagues and networks in your school or district.

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.

Science Assessment & Accountability Update – FAQs Included

Posted: Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

by Jessica Sawko

On March 31, 2015 participants from the Science Assessment Stakeholder Meetings held in July 2014 were invited to participate in a follow up meeting to provide input on what a formative component, a Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Digital Center, should look like for California. This NGSS Digital Center could include formative assessment tools similar to that of the Smarter Balanced Digital Library for ELA and mathematics. This meeting will take place at the end of April 2015. This is very exciting news as it gives some insight to the direction the state may take with the future statewide assessment system to support the Next Generation Science Standards.  Learn More…

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.

Where Are the Women in STEM? What Can We Do to Support and Retain Them?

Posted: Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

by Laura Henriques

Women are far less likely than men to earn pSTEM (physical Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) degrees or work in the field. This isn’t a new phenomenon, but it has gotten a bit of press lately. US News and World Reports had an article highlighting a Clinton Foundation Report showing women in developing countries have less access to cell phones (and therefore the internet) than men. This results in decreased access to health care, fewer job options, a lack of flexibility with work and childcare related issues, and a lowered sense of empowerment. That article linked to several other articles about the lack of diversity in STEM fields in the US, the leaky pipeline and more. Learn More…

Written by Laura Henriques

Laura Henriques

Laura Henriques is a professor of science education at CSU Long Beach and president of CSTA.

Strategies for Assessing Student Understanding in the NGSS Classroom

Posted: Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

by Sara Dozier

Like me, you are probably excited about the opportunities that the Next Generation Science Standards offer students and teachers. For the first time in 17 years, our science standards are asking us to engage our students in science learning that is engaging, meaningful and just plain fun. In addition to our excitement, though, there is also some apprehension. 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.