September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

Events in Region 1

Posted: Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Topics in Regenerative Medicine Lecture Series
May 10, 2001

The next presentation in the Topics in Regenerative Medicine lecture series at Sacramento State will take place on Tuesday, May 10 at 6:00 pm in the University Union Ballroom III. This is the fourth and final lecture on regenerative medicine to be held this academic year. The title of the talk is “To Each His Own: How engineers, scientists and doctors are using your own cells to create personalized stem cell medicine” presented by John Chapman, Ph.D., President and Founder, Stem Cell Partners, LLC and Adjunct Professor, Sacramento State Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Dr. Chapman will describe how treatment with autologous stem cells offers potential benefits beyond those of standard medical care, including the potential for repair and/or regeneration of damaged organs. Autologous cell therapy is at the forefront of the emerging field of regenerative medicine. In autologous therapy, a patient’s own cells are the therapeutic agent for treating serious diseases and injuries. The most common sources of therapeutic cells are blood, bone marrow and, surprisingly, fat tissue. Cellular therapy presents exciting challenges and opportunities for engineers and scientists to work with physicians to create new tools to remove, purify, expand, activate and deliver cell products.

Presented by the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the Center for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Excellence, the Topics in Regenerative Medicine lectures are funded through a California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) grant in collaboration with the UC Davis Stem Cell Program.This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the Center for STEM Excellence website at  Directions and a parking permit can be found on the postcard link on the site. Questions can be directed to The Center for STEM Excellence at (916) 278-2789 or e-mail . For more information on the Topics in Regenerative Medicine lecture series, contact Dr. Thomas Peavy at

350 Home and Garden Challenge

May 14 – 15, 2011

On May 14 and 15, thousands of people across Sonoma County will rise to the challenge of creating a more sustainable community.  Our goal is to create 1000 actions to grow food, conserve water and save energy on that weekend.  We were able to create 628 garden actions in 2010, and now we have added the home energy component to make our impact even bigger!  Some ideas to consider are: transform your lawn into a food garden (many cities offer cash for grass rebate incentives), plant a row for the hungry, switch to drip irrigation, unplug energy zapping appliances, conduct a school energy reduction challenge, weatherize your home or school. If you are worried about summer maintenance, try hooking up with a local environmental organization or contacting the North Bay Conservation Corps’ Project Regeneration Program. This May, make a commitment to include gardens, homegrown food, and energy resources in your school’s curriculum….or take on a challenge at home to be a part of this movement! Register your project at or go to the website to learn more.  We need your help to make a difference!  (707) 789-9664.

Written by Valerie Joyner

Valerie Joyner

Valerie Joyner is a retired elementary science educator and is a member of CSTA.

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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


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.