May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Getting to Know Jim Brazell

Posted: Friday, September 30th, 2011

Keynote Speaker at our CSTA Annual Conference, October 21, 2011
What’s Next for Science Education in America?

by Valerie Joyner

This year we are extremely excited to have noted speaker, strategist, and technology forecaster Jim Brazell give the keynote address at our annual CSTA Conference on Friday, October 21. Jim is a compelling speaker and powerful story-teller who will engage us in a lively interactive session that is far more than a speech. We will all be thinking and talking about the future of science education.

What is technology? Is it a thing, a design, or way of thinking? Throughout the history of education, one thing has always remained constant… there will be change. Students have moved from Horn Books and pieces of slate, to chalkboards, whiteboards, and now Smart-boards. Curriculum has changed from the didactic teachings of Plato, to learning science while tilling the field, to rote memory of scientific facts and arithmetic. Our references have expanded from textbooks to include audio-books and on-line books. Classroom tech is reaching a new peak with the ever increasing student use of netbooks, tablet PCs and iPads. Education is in a constant state of flux that keeps teachers challenged to reflect on our known best practices in teaching to new information. Now more than ever, thanks to the extraordinarily fast development and increased use of new technologies, we need to employ them effectively in our classrooms.

I talked to Jim about the keynote session and he emphasized that it is not a speech or address, but rather is an opportunity for him to facilitate a summit on science education with us, the experts, working day to day in the field. He is going to lead the group and share his expertise as a technology forecaster and strategist in three hands-on activities where we all participate together – no microphones. He will gather all of the information we develop, process it, and return it to CSTA for our use.

Jim will discuss how things are changing in education in terms of emerging technology and jobs in the sciences. Also, he will cover the emerging best practices in science education, those tailored to meet the needs of today’s kids, as they become the scientists of the near future. What should our science classrooms look like today? How will they prepare our students for real world technology and jobs? As science educators, we all know that technology is intertwined with every aspect of our lives including our students, their families, and the community at large. As Jim says, technology is the people, not just machines and devices. It is a reflection of human design – thinking, process, design, and people is what it is all about. Be sure to join us as we explore the many ways we can put current technology to work for our students, and help them prepare to create the new technologies of tomorrow as well.

The Art of the Future with Jim Brazell

Short Course offering #SC 23, Saturday, October 22, 1:00-4:00 pm

Don’t miss the opportunity to come explore and shape the future of science education in Jim Brazell’s short course, The Art of the Future.  Based on his interactive keynote session on Saturday morning, Jim will continue to guide and work with us to shape our understanding and concept of science education for the next generation of California science teachers. Fee: $5.00. Click here to register.

Valerie Joyner is district science lead teacher for Petaluma City Schools and is the CSTA’s region 1 director.

 

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.

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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.