September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

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 Is Now Accepting Nominations for Board Members

Posted: Friday, November 17th, 2017

Current, incoming, and outgoing CSTA Board of Directors at June 3, 2017 meeting.

Updated 7:25 pm, Nov. 17, 2017

It’s that time of year when CSTA is looking for dedicated and qualified persons to fill the upcoming vacancies on its Board of Directors. This opportunity allows you to help shape the policy and determine the path that the Board will take in the new year. There are time and energy commitments, but that is far outweighed by the personal satisfaction of knowing that you are an integral part of an outstanding professional educational organization, dedicated to the support and guidance of California’s science teachers. You will also have the opportunity to help CSTA review and support legislation that benefits good science teaching and teachers.

Right now is an exciting time to be involved at the state level in the California Science Teachers Association. The CSTA Board of Directors is currently involved in implementing the Next Generations Science Standards and its strategic plan. If you are interested in serving on the CSTA Board of Directors, now is the time to submit your name for consideration. 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.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces 2017 Finalists for Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Posted: Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today nominated eight exceptional secondary mathematics and science teachers as California finalists for the 2017 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

“These teachers are dedicated and accomplished individuals whose innovative teaching styles prepare our students for 21st century careers and college and develop them into the designers and inventors of the future,” Torlakson said. “They rank among the finest in their profession and also serve as wonderful mentors and role models.”

The California Department of Education (CDE) partners annually with the California Science Teachers Association and the California Mathematics Council to recruit and select nominees for the PAEMST program—the highest recognition in the nation for a mathematics or science teacher. The Science Finalists will be recognized at the CSTA Awards Luncheon on Saturday, October 14, 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.

Thriving in a Time of Change

Posted: Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

by Jill Grace

By the time this message is posted online, most schools across California will have been in session for at least a month (if not longer, and hat tip to that bunch!). Long enough to get a good sense of who the kids in your classroom are and to get into that groove and momentum of the daily flow of teaching. It’s also very likely that for many of you who weren’t a part of a large grant initiative or in a district that set wheels in motion sooner, this is the first year you will really try to shift instruction to align to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). I’m not going to lie to you, it’s a challenging year – change is hard. Change is even harder when there’s not a playbook to go by.  But as someone who has had the very great privilege of walking alongside teachers going through that change for the past two years and being able to glimpse at what this looks like for different demographics across that state, there are three things I hope you will hold on to. These are things I have come to learn will overshadow the challenge: a growth mindset will get you far, one is a very powerful number, and it’s about the kids. Learn More…

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Written by Jill Grace

Jill Grace

Jill Grace is a Regional Director for the K-12 Alliance and is President of CSTA.

If You Are Not Teaching Science Then You Are Not Teaching Common Core

Posted: Thursday, August 31st, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn 

“Science and Social Studies can be taught for the last half hour of the day on Fridays”

– Elementary school principal

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

Peter A’Hearn is the Region 4 Director for CSTA.

Tools for Creating NGSS Standards Based Lessons

Posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

by Elizabeth Cooke

Think back on your own experiences with learning science in school. Were you required to memorize disjointed facts without understanding the concepts?

Science Education Background

In the past, science education focused on rote memorization and learning disjointed ideas. Elementary and secondary students in today’s science classes are fortunate now that science instruction has shifted from students demonstrating what they know to students demonstrating how they are able to apply their knowledge. Science education that reflects the Next Generation Science Standards challenges students to conduct investigations. As students explore phenomena and discrepant events they engage in academic discourse guided by focus questions from their teachers or student generated questions of that arise from analyzing data and creating and revising models that explain natural phenomena. Learn More…

Written by Elizabeth Cooke

Elizabeth Cooke

Elizabeth Cooke teaches TK-5 science at Markham Elementary in the Oakland Unified School District, is an NGSS Early Implementer, and is CSTA’s Secretary.