May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Events in Region 3

Posted: Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

March 19, 2011, Pasadena, CA
Thrill of Discovery: NASA Educator Workshop

2011 is NASA’s Year of the Solar System! NASA’s Discovery and New Frontiers missions are traveling vast distances to find answers to age-old questions. Join these celestial detectives on a cosmic road trip at an exciting workshop for educators of all grade levels—and share in the Thrill of Discovery. • See sights never before seen on Mercury: MESSENGER • Get up close to asteroids and comets: Dawn, Stardust-NExT and EPOXI • Map the moon’s gravity with twin satellites: GRAIL • Peer through Jupiter’s clouds: Juno • Cruise to the outer reaches of the solar system: New Horizons. Hear from mission scientists and engineers, discover engaging activities for grades K-12 and out-of-school time programs, and receive a resource packet loaded with items to enrich learning. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA. A webinar option is available for those unable to attend in person. Contact Whitney Cobb: wcobb@mcrel.org or 303-632-5572 for questions. Find out more and register at http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/discovery/thrill_of_discovery.asp.

January 13 – 14, February 3 – 4, March 14 – 15, and April 14 – 15, 2011 , Claremont, CA
Paleontology for Educators Workshop – Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology

The Paleontology for Educators Workshop is a two-day workshop providing K-12 teachers with a hands-on introduction to paleontology, the study of past life. Each session includes a short course on paleontology, evolution, and earth science, with the aim of illustrating how to present this material in an interactive way to students. Each participant will gain experience in paleontological museum methods, within the setting of an accredited museum. A “Paleontology in the Classroom” book of activities and teaching kit will be given to each participant and made available online. The museum will also make available “classroom kits” for check-out, including real and replica fossils for use in activities in the classroom.

The workshop is hosted at the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology (www.alfmuseum.org), located 30 miles east of Los Angeles in Claremont, in the only accredited natural history museum on a secondary school campus. There is *no cost* to attend this workshop (including all materials, lunch, and snacks), and funding is provided to reimburse school districts for the cost of hiring substitute teachers for workshop participants. For registration information or other questions, please contact museum curator Andy Farke (afarke@webb.org).

February 26, 2011 and April 9, 2011, Beverly Hills, CA
Water Pollution Prevention Workshop

Have you ever felt like watershed issues are complex and difficult to grasp? Does the size of your watershed inhibit you from taking action to improve it? When working to improve the health of your watershed, a combination of small modifications can add up to make a big difference. Come learn about three specific watershed restoration projects you can do on your campus or the surrounding community. Click here to register. Or check out the workshop flyer for more details.
At this Water Pollution Prevention Workshop you will learn how to:
• Understand the dynamics of urban watersheds in Los Angeles County
• Utilize watershed management techniques to restore your watershed
• Survey water flow across your campus

Click here to register. Registration Deadline: February 24, 2011
Contact Loyda Ramos at: lramos@treepeople.org or (818) 623-4856

April 9, 2011, Downey, CA
NASA/JPL Teacher Workshop: Physics of Sound

Do you know why there is no sound in space? Did you know that elephants and whales communicate using the similar low frequencies? Learn these and other exciting ways to teach the physics of sound to your students. Meets 2nd and 3rd grade science standards and admission is FREE! For more information please call (562) 231-1200. R.S.V.P. is required for this event. www.columbiaspacescience.org · info@downespacecenter.org

Written by Dean Gilbert

Dean Gilbert

Dean Gilbert is the science coordinator for the Orange County Department of Education, and a member of CSTA.

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Participate in Chemistry Education Research Study, Earn $500-800 Dollars!

Posted: Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

WestEd, a non-profit educational research agency, has been funded by the US Department of Education to test a new molecular modeling kit, Happy Atoms. Happy Atoms is an interactive chemistry learning experience that consists of a set of physical atoms that connect magnetically to form molecules, and an app that uses image recognition to identify the molecules that you create with the set. WestEd is conducting a study around the effectiveness of using Happy Atoms in the classroom, and we are looking for high school chemistry teachers in California to participate.

As part of the study, teachers will be randomly assigned to either the treatment group (who uses Happy Atoms) or the control group (who uses Happy Atoms at a later date). Teachers in the treatment group will be asked to use the Happy Atoms set in their classrooms for 5 lessons over the course of the fall 2017 semester. Students will complete pre- and post-assessments and surveys around their chemistry content knowledge and beliefs about learning chemistry. WestEd will provide access to all teacher materials, teacher training, and student materials needed to participate.

Participating teachers will receive a stipend of $500-800. You can read more information about the study here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HappyAtoms

Please contact Rosanne Luu at rluu@wested.org or 650.381.6432 if you are interested in participating in this opportunity, or if you have any questions!

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.

2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption Reviewer Application

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

The California Department of Education and State Board of Education are now accepting applications for reviewers for the 2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption. The application deadline is 3:00 pm, July 21, 2017. The application is comprehensive, so don’t wait until the last minute to apply.

On Tuesday, May 9, 2017, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson forwarded this recruitment letter to county and district superintendents and charter school administrators.

Review panel members will evaluate instructional materials for use in kindergarten through grade eight, inclusive, that are aligned with the California Next Generation Science Content Standards for California Public Schools (CA NGSS). 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.

Lessons Learned from the NGSS Early Implementer Districts

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

On March 31, 2017, Achieve released two documents examining some lessons learned from the California K-8 Early Implementation Initiative. The initiative began in August 2014 and was developed by the K-12 Alliance at WestEd, with close collaborative input on its design and objectives from the State Board of Education, the California Department of Education, and Achieve.

Eight (8) traditional school districts and two (2) charter management organizations were selected to participate in the initiative, becoming the first districts in California to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Those districts included Galt Joint Union Elementary, Kings Canyon Joint Unified, Lakeside Union, Oakland Unified, Palm Springs Unified, San Diego Unified, Tracy Joint Unified, Vista Unified, Aspire, and High Tech High.

To more closely examine some of the early successes and challenges experienced by the Early Implementer LEAs, Achieve interviewed nine of the ten participating districts and compiled that information into two resources, focusing primarily on professional learning and instructional materials. 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.

Using Online Simulations to Support the NGSS in Middle School Classrooms

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

by Lesley Gates, Loren Nikkel, and Kambria Eastham

Middle school teachers in Kings Canyon Unified School District (KCUSD), a CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative district, have been diligently working on transitioning to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) integrated model for middle school. This year, the teachers focused on building their own knowledge of the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs). They have been gathering and sharing ideas at monthly collaborative meetings as to how to make sure their students are not just learning about science but that they are actually doing science in their classrooms. Students should be planning and carrying out investigations to gather data for analysis in order to construct explanations. This is best done through hands-on lab experiments. Experimental work is such an important part of the learning of science and education research shows that students learn better and retain more when they are active through inquiry, investigation, and application. A Framework for K-12 Science Education (2011) notes, “…learning about science and engineering involves integration of the knowledge of scientific explanations (i.e., content knowledge) and the practices needed to engage in scientific inquiry and engineering design. Thus the framework seeks to illustrate how knowledge and practice must be intertwined in designing learning experiences in K-12 Science Education” (pg. 11).

Many middle school teachers in KCUSD are facing challenges as they begin implementing these student-driven, inquiry-based NGSS science experiences in their classrooms. First, many of the middle school classrooms at our K-8 school sites are not designed as science labs. 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 NGSS 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.

Celestial Highlights: May – July 2017

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

May Through July 2017 with Web Resources for the Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017

by Robert C. Victor. Twilight sky maps by Robert D. Miller. Graphs of planet rising and setting times by Jeffrey L. Hunt.

In spring and summer 2017, Jupiter is the most prominent “star” in the evening sky, and Venus, even brighter, rules the morning. By mid-June, Saturn rises at a convenient evening hour, allowing both giant planets to be viewed well in early evening until Jupiter sinks low in late September. The Moon is always a crescent in its monthly encounters with Venus, but is full whenever it appears near Jupiter or Saturn in the eastern evening sky opposite the Sun. (In 2017, Full Moon is near Jupiter in April, Saturn in June.) At intervals of 27-28 days thereafter, the Moon appears at a progressively earlier phase at each pairing with the outer planet until its final conjunction, with Moon a thin crescent, low in the west at dusk. You’ll see many beautiful events by just following the Moon’s wanderings at dusk and dawn in the three months leading up to the solar eclipse. Learn More…

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Written by Robert Victor

Robert Victor

Robert C. Victor was Staff Astronomer at Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University. He is now retired and enjoys providing skywatching opportunities for school children in and around Palm Springs, CA. Robert is a member of CSTA.