January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

Focus Speaker Spotlight: Eldridge Moores and the Importance of Earth Science

Posted: Saturday, September 1st, 2012

Eldridge Moores is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Davis, where he has been a faculty member since 1966. His research has involved the tectonics of ophiolites in the Alpine-Himalayan and Western US Cordilleran mountain systems and has involved field work in about 30 countries.

For several decades, Moores has been working on raising general awareness of Earth Science. In particular, he has been working during the past decade to improve the status of Earth and Space Sciences instruction in California secondary schools. Moores holds that the field of Earth and Space Sciences has gone through two revolutions in the past fifty years. The first was the plate tectonic revolution, which lead to new insights into the nature of the Earth and natural processes active on and in it. The second was the planetary revolution, occasioned by exploration of neighboring planets and of their compositions and histories in comparison to that of the Earth. The products of these revolutions are exciting, integrate multiple science disciplines, and can an ideal way to get students interested in science.

Moores believes that from the perspective of future generations, the 21st century will probably defined by the issues of climate change, water availability, earth hazards, and energy resources. Clearly, all of these deeply involve Earth science and many important political, legal, and ethical decisions are currently being made that stand to affect the lives of all people. The need for general Earth science knowledge is crucial, Moores believes, and is especially acute in California with its increasing population, many Earth hazards, and water and energy issues. All California citizens need an understanding of Earth science and California geology in order to make informed decisions about Earth problems that will affect their own lives and those of their children and grandchildren.

Over the years has taught many specialist and general interest courses, has mentored some 45 graduate students, and is the author or co-author of over 120 publications and books on both technical and general-interest themes. He has received many awards, including the first ever Geological Association of Canada Medal in 1994, the Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award of the University of California, Davis in 2002-2003, the GSA Distinguished Service Award in 1988 and the GSA International Division Career Contribution in 2005. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the Geological Society of America (GSA). He is relatively fluent, if rusty, in Modern Greek, French, and German, and can survive in Spanish and Italian.

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.

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Science Assessment Update – Alternate Pilot Item Available

Posted: Thursday, January 26th, 2017

California Alternate Assessment for Science Training Sample Is Here!

The training test for the California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for Science is now available on the CAASPP Portal CAAs Web page! This training test is the same type of embedded performance task (PT) that will be administered during this year’s pilot CAA for Science. Designed to be administered one on one, the training test PT is nonsecure and for use in preparing for the pilot CAA for Science.

The training test is aligned with the grade five California Next Generation Science Standards but can be used by students in any of the tested grades to familiarize both educators, students, parents, and stakeholders with the testing format of the pilot. The CDE is preparing a letter for LEAs to use to inform parents about this innovative test and the availability of the training test. 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.

STEM Conference Hosted by CMSESMC

Posted: Saturday, January 14th, 2017

The Council of Math/Science Educators of San Mateo County will be hosting the 41st annual STEM Conference this February 4, 2017 at the San Mateo County Office of Education. This STEM Conference is the place to get lots of new lessons and ideas to use in your classroom. There will be over twenty-five workshops and a variety of exhibitors that provide participants with a wide range of practical and realistic ideas and resources to use in their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs from Pre-K to grade 12. With California’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, we are dedicated to ensuring that we prepare our teachers to take on these educational policies.

Teachers, administrators, and parents are invited to explore the many exciting aspects of STEM education and learn about and discuss the latest news, information, and issues. This is also an opportunity to network with colleagues who can assist you in building your programs and meet new friends that share your interests and love of teaching. Register online today!

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.

Submit Your NGSS Lessons and Units Today!

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

Achieve has launched and is facilitating an EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science–a group of expert reviewers who will evaluate the quality and alignment of lessons and units to the standards–in an effort to identify and shine a spotlight on emerging high-quality lesson and unit plans designed for the NGSS.

If you or your state, district, school, or organization has designed NGSS-aligned instructional materials, please consider submitting these in order to help provide educators across the country with various models and templates of high-quality lesson and unit plans. 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.

Opportunity for High School Students – Los Angeles County

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

An upcoming Perry Outreach Program on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children in Los Angeles, CA. The Perry Outreach Program is a free, one-day, hands-on experience for high school and college-aged women who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine and engineering. Students will hear from women leaders in these fields and try it for themselves by performing mock orthopaedic surgeries and biomechanics experiments. 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.

Science Education Policy Update

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

January 2017 has proven to be a very busy month for science education policy and CA NGSS implementation activities. CSTA has been and will be there every step of the way, seeking and enacting all options to support high-quality science education and the successful implementation of CA NGSS.

California Department of Education/U.S. Department of Education Science Double-Testing Waiver Hearing

The year started with California Department of Education’s (CDE) hearing with the U.S. Department of Education conducted via WebEx on January 6, 2017. This hearing was the final step in California’s efforts to secure a waiver from the federal government in order to discontinue administration of the old CST and suspension of the reporting of student test scores on a science assessment for two years. As reported by EdSource, the U.S. Department of Education representative, Ann Whalen, a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary John King Jr., committed to making her final ruling “very shortly.” Deputy Superintendent Keric Ashley presented on behalf of CDE during the hearing and did an excellent job describing the broad-based support for this waiver in California, the rationale for the waiver, and California’s commitment to the successful implementation of a new high-quality science assessment. As previously reported, California is moving forward with its plans to administer a census pilot assessments this spring. The testing window is set to open on March 20, 2017. For more information visit New CA Science Test: What You Should Know.

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.