January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

Gray Lodge Wildlife Area

Posted: Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

by David Pummill

Gray Lodge Wildlife AreaThere are so many opportunities for science learning outside of the classroom, this month’s issue of CCS is devoted to informal science education. Most of us conjure images of museums, zoos, aquariums or science centers when we hear informal science education. You don’t have to go to a building, however, for science learning to take place. The great outdoors can be a wonderful classroom!

Most of CSTA’s Region One is within a few hours drive to one of the Central Valley’s little known treasures, Gray Lodge Wildlife Area. This wetland is located about 60 miles north of Sacramento. The wildlife area includes more than 9,000 acres and is located along the Pacific Flyway resulting in wide diversity of wildlife. In addition to the wetlands there’s also riparian woodland and a freshwater marsh. Wildlife is on display year-round, although fall and winter are most exciting as the migratory waterfowl fill the area.

Ninety-minute tours are available on the weekends (through February) and you don’t need reservations for groups with fewer than 12 people. As with most of the informal science education destinations highlighted in this issue of CCS, the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area has an informative website – see below for details about some of the information you can find on their site.

The website’s Seasonal Wildlife Viewing Guide and Birds of the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area are very informative publications. In addition to this bird checklist you can find these: Amphibian/Fish/Reptiles List, Mammal List, and Vegetation/Habitat List.

Gray Lodge offers opportunities for photograph, hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, and car, walking, and bicycle routes. Educational tours and nature study programs are explained in the current Educational Brochure.

Contact Information:

Gray Lodge Wildlife Area
3207 Rutherford Road
Gridley, CA 95948

Tours and Outreach: Naturalist Office
Phone: (530) 846-7505
Email: Lori.Dieter@wildlife.ca.gov 

Fees: A day use pass is required for a charge of $4.32 per person. However, this fee is waived for visitors less than 16 years of age, and a valid California hunting, trapping or fishing license will also get you a free day pass to Gray Lodge. The hours are sunrise to sunset.

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Written by David Pummill

David Pummill

David Pummill is a retired California science teacher and CSTA’s Region 1 Director.

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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

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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.

Learn More…

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.

NSTA Los Angeles Conference Features Many CA Science Leaders

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.