May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Events in Region 1

Posted: Thursday, November 1st, 2012

by Valerie Joyner

GEMS Electric Circuits
November 3, 2012
8:30 a.m. –3:00 p.m.
SMUD’s (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) Energy & Technology Center,
6301 “S” St., Sacramento
Grades 4-8
www.smud.org/etc or etcmail@smud.org
916-732-6738
Teachers will be lead through the GEMS (Great Experiences in Math and Science) Electric Circuits unit to further their understanding of electricity and electrical circuits.

Sonoma County Spring Science Showcase (May 14, 2013)
Informational Meeting
November 7, 2012
4:00 p.m. -5:00 p.m.
Sonoma County Office of Education
5340 Skylane Blvd., Santa Rosa
Grades 4-12
mroa@scoe.org  re: Spring Science Showcase
Sonoma County will host the first Spring Science Showcase for students who did not participate in the county’s Science Fair.  Learn how your students can participate in this event May 14, 2013. 

GEMS Hot Water, Warm Homes for Sunlight
November 14, 2012
4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
SMUD’s (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) Energy & Technology Center,
6301 “S” St., Sacramento
Grades 4-8
www.smud.org/etc or etcmail@smud.org
916-732-6738
Teachers will learn about the GEMS (Great Experiences in Math and Science) Hot Water, Warm Homes for Sunlight unit through activities to understand that harnessing sunlight goes beyond solar electricity. Activities emphasize the effects of size, color, and numbers/types of windows in a home.

PG&E’s Bright Ideas Grants
November 16, 2012 deadline for submission
www.pge.com/solarschools
$1,000. – $10,000 grants to promote environmental stewardship.

Project WET
November 27&28, 2012
4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
SMUD’s (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) Energy & Technology Center,
6301 “S” St., Sacramento
Grades 4-8
www.smud.org/etc or etcmail@smud.org
916-732-6738
Teachers will learn about Project WET, which engages students in learning about water resources water, water conservation, and related science concepts.  Participants will receive the new Project WET 2.0 guide.

Future Events and Deadlines:

San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival Student Competition (March 2013)
January 14, 2013 deadline for submission
Middle and high school students
www.oceanfilmfest.org/education

Sonoma County Science Fair

February 23, 2013
Sonoma State University
Rohnert Park
mroa@scoe.org   re: science fair
Handbook and forms available at www.scoe.org
Contact Mike Roa for additional information

Sonoma County Science Olympiad
March 27, 2013
Sonoma State University
Rohnert Park
Handbook and forms available at www.scoe.org
Contact Mike Roa for additional information mroa@scoe.org   re: science olympiad

Science Education in Sonoma County
By Mike Roa

Mike Roa, the Science Consultant for the Sonoma County Office of Education, would like for all Sonoma County CSTA members to be aware of the Grapevine, the science and environmental education newsletter for all schools in the county. The Grapevine is emailed monthly around the first of each month and contains information about resources, professional development and funding opportunities, and other science-related information.

Mike would also like to know if Sonoma County CSTA members would like to meet to discuss ways to improve and support science education in Sonoma County.

If you are interested in any of the above, contact Mike at mroa@scoe.org.

Written by Valerie Joyner

Valerie Joyner

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

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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.