January/February 2018 – Vol. 31 No. 2

Get Ready for October’s Two Eclipses

Posted: Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Revised October 7, 2014

by Robert C. Victor

There are two eclipses in October 2014. First up is a total lunar eclipse in the predawn hours of Wednesday, October 8. (Set your alarm when you turn in for the night on Tuesday, October 7.) Owing to the unfortunate timing of this lunar eclipse during early predawn hours, the event might not be widely seen by elementary school students. The brief total lunar eclipse on April 4, 2015, centered on 5:00 a.m. PDT, may be somewhat more convenient to observe. The lunar eclipse on the evening of September 27, 2015 will be just about perfect for public viewing in California, with the Moon in partial eclipse as it rises around sunset; in total eclipse during 7:11-8:23 p.m. PDT; and out of the umbra by 9:27 p.m.

Here are the times for the various stages of the October 8, 2014 lunar eclipse for the Pacific Time Zone. Moon’s position in the sky is given for Palm Springs, CA. Report the brightness and color of the Moon at beginning, middle, and end of totality, at 3:25 a.m., 3:55 a.m., and 4:24 a.m. PDT: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/OHres/Danjon.html.

EclipseStagesTable

During totality in Palm Springs, CA, Uranus (mag. 5.7) should be visible in binoculars nearly 1.0° to the left or lower left of the center of the eclipsed Moon. A medium to high power telescope reveals the planet’s disk, 3.7 arcseconds across.

In the two weeks after the Oct. 8 lunar eclipse, leading up to the solar eclipse:

Oct. 10-20: Good dates for daytime Moonwatch as first activity of school day.

Oct. 14-18 are the best dates for viewing lunar surface details through telescope and binoculars. When observing the Moon in the daytime through a telescope, use a single polarizing filter threaded into your low-power eyepiece to enhance contrast of Moon against the sky. While observing the Moon, rotate the eyepiece in its tube until the blue sky surrounding the Moon’s disk appears darkest. This works best when the Moon is within a day or two of Last Quarter or First Quarter phase.

Consider holding a predawn session in October. While we’re still on daylight saving time, starting your session 1-3/4 hours before sunrise wouldn’t be unreasonably early by the clock, and you’d get good looks at Jupiter and a preview of the stars of late winter.

Oct. 17 and 18, dawn: Look for Jupiter near the waning crescent Moon.

October’s second eclipse is a partial solar event in the afternoon on Thursday, October 23.

The times of the stages of a solar eclipse depends on your location. In California, this eclipse gets underway with first contact of the Moon’s disk at the edge of the Sun’s disk occurring just after 1:40 p.m. PDT in the northwest corner of the state, to 2:19 p.m. in the southeast corner. Deepest eclipse occurs at 3:06 p.m. in the northwest corner of California, to 3:36 p.m. in the southeast. Last contact, marking the end of the eclipse, occurs at 4:25 p.m. in the northwest corner of California, to 4:44 p.m. in the southeast.

Seen from Palm Springs, the solar eclipse begins at 2:12 p.m. PDT, as the Moon’s disk makes first contact with the upper right edge of the Sun’s disk. Greatest eclipse for Palm Springs occurs at 3:31 p.m. PDT, as the Moon’s disk covers the upper right portion of the Sun’s disk, the Moon covering 45 percent of the solar diameter, or 33 percent of the disk area. From Palm Springs, the eclipse ends at 4:41 p.m. PDT, as the Moon’s disk makes last contact with the upper left edge of the solar disk.

During the eclipse in Palm Springs, the Sun will be sinking through the southwestern sky, at an altitude ranging from 38° at the start of the event, to 15° at the end.

Follow these web links to obtain information on visibility of solar and lunar eclipses for any locality:

http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/JSEX/JSEX-index.html

http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/JLEX/JLEX-index.html

How to observe the solar eclipse (October 23)

Indirect viewing: A solar eclipse can be viewed indirectly, by looking at a projected image. Take a postcard or 3” x 5” index card, puncture a small pencil point hole in the center of the card, and allow the projected image of the Sun to fall on a second white card held 3 or 4 feet away, in the shadow of the first card. The diameter of the solar image will be just under one percent of the projection distance, and the size of the punctured hole should be small compared to that. You can improve the view by using a long cardboard box, cutting a large hole at one end, and covering that hole with the first index card with the small puncture hole. Tape a sheet of white paper inside the box at the opposite end, to serve as a screen.

You can also stand in the shade of a tree, and look for projected images of the eclipsed Sun, on the ground or on a white sheet you have spread on the ground, or on the side of a light-colored building. Try out this method at the same time of day as the eclipse will occur, on any day before the event, and notice the round projected images of the full disk of the Sun.

Direct viewing: Groups organizing a solar eclipse watch can also order a quantity of solar eclipse viewers for participants. Hand-held, safe eclipse viewers and eclipse glasses to be worn like regular eyeglasses are available from Rainbow Symphony. Both styles are identically priced and employ the same filter materials. The minimum quantity for those items is 25 count, at 85 cents each. There is a discount for quantity orders. For more information, and to order, go to www.rainbowsymphonystore.com and click on eclipse shades.

The viewers can be recycled for future eclipses! (They can also be used to check for sunspots; very large ones would be visible through the filter.)

In Palm Springs, the eclipse on Thursday, Oct. 23, begins at 2:12 p.m. PDT, as the moon’s disk makes first contact with the upper right edge of the sun’s disk. Greatest eclipse for Palm Springs occurs at 3:31 p.m., as the moon’s disk covers the upper right portion of the sun’s disk—45 percent of the solar diameter, or 33 percent of the disk area. The eclipse ends at 4:41 p.m., as the moon’s disk makes last contact with the upper left edge of the solar disk.

During the eclipse in Palm Springs, the sun will be sinking through the southwestern sky, at an altitude ranging from 38 degrees at the start of the event, to 15 degrees at the end.

In the days following the Oct. 23 solar eclipse:

Oct. 25, Two days after the solar eclipse, at dusk: Can you spot Saturn 4°-5° lower right of the thin young crescent Moon?

Oct. 26 at dusk: Look for Antares 8° lower left of Moon.

Oct. 27 and 28, at dusk: Find Mars near Moon.

On Nov. 3 and 11-12, at nightfall: Watch Mars pass close to stars in the Teapot of Sagittarius.

Use the following web links to obtain information on visibility of past, present, and future eclipses for any locality. Choose your city or enter your longitude and latitude. For times expressed in Pacific Daylight Time, choose Time Zone 7h 00m W. Next, for eclipses in the current century, choose Century 2001-2100, and subtract one hour from times for eclipses occurring on dates Pacific Standard Time is in effect.

Solar eclipses: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/JSEX/JSEX-index.html

Lunar eclipses: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/JLEX/JLEX-index.html

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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.

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California Science Test Academy for Educators

Posted: Thursday, February 15th, 2018

California Science Test Academy for Educators

To support implementation of the California Science Test (CAST), the California Department of Education is partnering with Educational Testing Service and WestEd to offer a one-day CAST Academy for local educational agency (LEA) science educators, to be presented at three locations in California from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. As an alternative to traveling, LEA teams can participate virtually via WebEx on one of the dates listed below.

The dates and locations for the CAST Academy are as follows:

  • Monday, April 23, 2018—Sacramento
  • Wednesday, April 25, 2018—Fresno
  • Thursday, April 26, 2018—Irvine

The CAST Academy will help participants develop a deeper understanding of the assessment design and expectations of the CAST. The academy also will provide information and activities designed to assist educators in their implementation of the California Next Generation Science Standards and three-dimensional learning to help them gain an understanding of how these new science assessment item types can inform teaching and learning. The CAST Academy dates above are intended for school and district science instructional leaders, including teacher leaders, teacher trainers, and instructional coaches. Additional trainings will be offered at a later date specifically for county staff. In addition, curriculum, professional development, and assessment leaders would benefit from this training.

A $100 registration fee will be charged for each person attending the in-person training. Each virtual team participating via WebEx will be charged $100 for up to 10 participants through one access point. Each workshop will have the capacity to accommodate a maximum of 50 virtual teams. Each virtual team will need to designate a lead, who is responsible for organizing the group locally. Registration and payment must be completed online at http://www.cvent.com/d/6tqg8k.

For more information regarding the CAST Academy, please contact Elizabeth Dilke, Program Coordinator, Educational Testing Service, by phone at 916-403-2407 or by e‑mail at caasppworkshops@ets.org.

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.

Accelerating into NGSS – A Statewide Rollout Series Now Accepting Registrations

Posted: Friday, January 19th, 2018

Are you feeling behind on the implementation of NGSS? Then Accelerating into NGSS – the Statewide Rollout event – is right for you!

WHO SHOULD ATTEND
If you have not experienced Phases 1-4 of the Statewide Rollout, or are feeling behind with the implementation of NGSS, the Accelerating Into NGSS Statewide Rollout will provide you with the greatest hits from Phases 1-4!

OVERVIEW
Accelerating Into NGSS Statewide Rollout is a two-day training geared toward grade K-12 academic coaches, administrators, curriculum leads, and teacher leaders. Check-in for the two-day rollout begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by a continental breakfast. Sessions run from 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Day One and from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Day Two.

Cost of training is $250 per attendee. Fee includes all materials, continental breakfast, and lunch on both days. It is recommended that districts send teams of four to six, which include at least one administrator. Payment can be made by check or credit card. If paying by check, registration is NOT complete until payment has been received. All payments must be received prior to the Rollout location date you are attending. Paying by credit card secures your seat at time of registration. No purchase orders accepted. No participant cancellation refunds.

For questions or more information, please contact Amy Kennedy at akennedy@sjcoe.net or (209) 468-9027.

REGISTER

http://bit.ly/ACCELERATINGINTONGSS

DATES & LOCATIONS
MARCH 28-29, 2018
Host: San Mateo County Office of Education
Location: San Mateo County Office of Education, Redwood City

APRIL 10-11, 2018
Host: Orange County Office of Education
Location: Brandman University, Irvine

MAY 1-2, 2018
Host: Tulare County Office of Education
Location: Tulare County Office of Education, Visalia

MAY 3-4, 2018
Host: San Bernardino Superintendent of Schools
Location: West End Educational Service Center, Rancho Cucamonga

MAY 7-8, 2018
Host: Sacramento County Office of Education
Location: Sacramento County Office of Education Conference Center and David P. Meaney Education Center, Mather

JUNE 14-15, 2018
Host: Imperial County Office of Education
Location: Imperial Valley College, Imperial

Presented by the California Department of Education, California County Superintendents Educational Services Association/County Offices of Education, K-12 Alliance @WestEd, California Science Project, and the California Science Teachers Association.

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.

The Teaching and Learning Collaborative, Reflections from an Administrator

Posted: Friday, January 19th, 2018

by Kelly Patchen

My name is Mrs. Kelly Patchen, and I am proud to be an elementary assistant principal working in the Tracy Unified School District (TUSD) at Louis Bohn and McKinley Elementary Schools. Each of the schools I support are Title I K-5 schools with about 450 students, a diverse student population, a high percentage of English Language Learners, and students living in poverty. We’re also lucky to be part of the CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative with the K-12 Alliance. 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.

2018 CSTA Conference Call for Proposals

Posted: Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

CSTA is pleased to announce that we are now accepting proposals for 90-minute workshops and three- and six-hour short courses for the 2018 California Science Education Conference. Workshops and short courses make up the bulk of the content and professional learning opportunities available at the conference. In recognition of their contribution, members who present a workshop or short course receive 50% off of their registration fees. Click for more information regarding proposals, or submit one today by following the links below.

Short Course Proposal

Workshop Proposal 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.

CSTA’s New Administrator Facebook Group Page

Posted: Monday, January 15th, 2018

by Holly Steele

The California Science Teachers Association’s mission is to promote high-quality science education, and one of the best practice’s we use to fulfill that mission is through the use of our Facebook group pages. CSTA hosts several closed and moderated Facebook group pages for specific grade levels, (Elementary, Middle, and High School), pages for district coaches and science education faculty, and the official CSTA Facebook page. These pages serve as an online resource for teachers and coaches to exchange teaching methods, materials, staying update on science events in California and asking questions. CSTA is happy to announce the creation of a 6th group page called, California Administrators Supporting Science. 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.