January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

Heading to the Aquarium? A Chance to Chat About Climate Change

Posted: Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

by Minda Berbeco

If you, like many other educators, are considering a trip to an aquarium or the coast this winter, don’t miss the opportunity to talk to your students about the ocean and climate change. There are so many intersections with climate change when talking about marine systems, it is hard to figure out where to start. You could address the impact that warming waters have on species ranges or phenology, or you could talk about how ocean acidification will impact shelled organisms. Sea level rise is another option for addressing climate change, and if you have a really bright set of students you can connect sea level rise to shoreline species management. There are a lot of really great lessons and activities for working with your students to connect the classroom activity to the field trip. I’ve listed a few below:

  • For elementary school students, try working with them on ideas of geography and the physical landscape by talking about sea level rise. An excellent activity on sea level rise due to melting ice sheets was created by ANDRILL, an international scientific organization that is gathering information about past climate trends through Antarctic drilling (http://cleanet.org/resources/42700.html). In this activity, students construct and compare models to see how melting ice leads to sea level rise.
  • If you are working with middle school students, consider using NASA’s activity of coral bleaching and sea surface temperature (http://cleanet.org/resources/41899.html). Students can use satellite data to see how change in ocean temperature could lead to coral bleaching. This is also an opportunity to address some basic biology related to corals themselves and the ecosystems they produce.
  • If you are working with high school students, consider using the Virtual Urchin from Stanford University (http://cleanet.org/resources/43513.html). The multi-part virtual lab allows you to investigate the sea urchin life cycle to see how ocean acidification will impact the development of their larvae. Since there is quite a bit of research specifically on sea urchins and climate change going on right now, you could also have your students do a little looking for news articles, connecting their work to that of researchers elsewhere.

There are many opportunities to talk about climate change when addressing marine systems. Using a field trip to the aquarium or a coastal area is an opportunity to connect your classroom activities to the field.

Minda Berbeco is the Programs and Policy Director at the National Center for Science Education and is a member of CSTA.

Written by Minda Berbeco

Minda Berbeco

Minda Berbeco is the Programs and Policy Director at the National Center for Science Education and is CSTA’s Region 2 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

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.

NSTA Los Angeles Conference Features Many CA Science Leaders

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

The early-bird registration rates for the 65th NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Los Angeles is just days away (ends Feb. 3). And as the early-registration deadline approaches excitement is building for what is anticipated to be the largest gathering of science educators (both California and nationwide) – with attendance expected to reach 10,000 or more. If you have never had the pleasure of attending the NSTA National Conference, I recommend you visit their website with tips for newcomers that describe the various components of the event. A conference preview is also available for download. Learn More…

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.