May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

IISME (Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education)

Posted: Monday, December 3rd, 2012

by Eric Lewis

Eric:  What exactly is IISME?

Shari:  IISME is a non-profit organization founded in 1985 that seeks to transform teaching and learning through industry-education partnerships. IISME exists to address the critical need for a strong, highly skilled workforce in math, science and technological fields. This industry-education partnership focuses on teachers as the primary agents for effecting meaningful change in mathematics and science education.  Our IISME Summer Fellowship Program is a program that places eligible K-16 teachers of all subjects into industry and research settings for the summer. Teachers work full-time for eight weeks, complete a project for their Fellowship Hosts, and are paid $8,200 for their work. Teachers also spend 10% of their paid time focusing on how they will transfer their Summer Fellowship experience back to their students and colleagues.

Eric:  Who can apply?

Shari:  Teachers are eligible to apply for the IISME Summer Fellowship Program if they meet a series of requirements.  First, teachers need to teach in our service area. Bay Area teachers must currently teach any grade, K-16, full-time in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz or Solano Counties.  IISME is also currently expanding into new regions in California. Teachers in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego Counties are eligible to apply for a small number of Fellowships that will be available in those regions in summer 2013.  All teachers must be contracted to teach full-time during the following school year in the IISME service area.

We are always looking for teachers who are committed to teaching.  Eligible teachers will have completed at least two years of full-time teaching in any discipline by June of the current school year and be committed to continuing to teach for at least the next three years.

Finally, teachers need to have the necessary documents to work in the US in a non-teaching job and be available full-time during standard business hours for the Fellowship period. 

Eric:  What kinds of things have teachers done for their summer work?

Shari:  Each year we place between 150 and 200 teachers into a wide variety of different settings and Fellowship opportunities all around the Bay Area.  The Fellowships span areas such as marketing, laboratory science, website development, and curriculum development, just to name a few.  Once approved, teachers have the opportunity to see all available positions and express interest in the ones that appeal to their professional development goals.

Eric:  What are the requirements for fully completing an IISME Fellowship?

Shari:  IISME Fellows are required to complete an eight-week Fellowship, working 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week during standard business hours.  At least six weeks of any Fellowship must be held during the core eight week Fellowship period (June 17th – August 9th).  Besides completing the Fellowship project assigned by the Host organization, teachers will need to attend a variety of other meetings during the summer.

Besides the work completed for the Host organizations, teachers will need to design and implement an Education Transfer Plan (ETP) for applying the summer experience during the academic year. Earning a passing score on the ETP rubric is required for the Fellow to earn all grant money and be eligible for future IISME Fellowships.

The ETP lies at the very core of the Summer Fellowship Program and brings the Fellows experience back to their students and school.  It is completely up to the Fellows to decide which ETP option meets the needs of their classroom or school. Also, our Host organizations invest in this program because they want to see each teacher transfer new knowledge, ideas, skills, and real world connections back into the classroom as a result of their summer positions. This is an important part of what makes the Fellowship Program successful.

Eric:  If you could add any new areas of work (businesses, locations, etc.) what would they be?

Shari:  We are always looking for new partners in both the business and research communities.  We would love support making new connections to people in San Francisco corporations and research labs in order to discuss the IISME Summer Fellowship Program and the possibility of hosting teachers.  We are trying to break into social media companies and add more from the biotechnology/health sector, but would be happy to work with any industry sector. 

Eric:  Any suggestions and next steps for teachers?

Shari:  The application process for summer 2013 will open in early December. Teachers who would like to be notified when applications become available can sign up here: http://goo.gl/FrThF.  The application process is done completely online at the www.iisme.org website.  We will be offering a number of Application Support Sessions in early 2013 that will provide insight into the program and the application process.  Signing up to attend a support session will answer any questions an attendee may have regarding the program and will increase the chances of a teacher being selected for a 2013 Fellowship position.

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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Participate in Chemistry Education Research Study, Earn $500-800 Dollars!

Posted: Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

WestEd, a non-profit educational research agency, has been funded by the US Department of Education to test a new molecular modeling kit, Happy Atoms. Happy Atoms is an interactive chemistry learning experience that consists of a set of physical atoms that connect magnetically to form molecules, and an app that uses image recognition to identify the molecules that you create with the set. WestEd is conducting a study around the effectiveness of using Happy Atoms in the classroom, and we are looking for high school chemistry teachers in California to participate.

As part of the study, teachers will be randomly assigned to either the treatment group (who uses Happy Atoms) or the control group (who uses Happy Atoms at a later date). Teachers in the treatment group will be asked to use the Happy Atoms set in their classrooms for 5 lessons over the course of the fall 2017 semester. Students will complete pre- and post-assessments and surveys around their chemistry content knowledge and beliefs about learning chemistry. WestEd will provide access to all teacher materials, teacher training, and student materials needed to participate.

Participating teachers will receive a stipend of $500-800. You can read more information about the study here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HappyAtoms

Please contact Rosanne Luu at rluu@wested.org or 650.381.6432 if you are interested in participating in this opportunity, or if you have any questions!

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.

2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption Reviewer Application

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

The California Department of Education and State Board of Education are now accepting applications for reviewers for the 2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption. The application deadline is 3:00 pm, July 21, 2017. The application is comprehensive, so don’t wait until the last minute to apply.

On Tuesday, May 9, 2017, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson forwarded this recruitment letter to county and district superintendents and charter school administrators.

Review panel members will evaluate instructional materials for use in kindergarten through grade eight, inclusive, that are aligned with the California Next Generation Science Content Standards for California Public Schools (CA NGSS). 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.

Lessons Learned from the NGSS Early Implementer Districts

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

On March 31, 2017, Achieve released two documents examining some lessons learned from the California K-8 Early Implementation Initiative. The initiative began in August 2014 and was developed by the K-12 Alliance at WestEd, with close collaborative input on its design and objectives from the State Board of Education, the California Department of Education, and Achieve.

Eight (8) traditional school districts and two (2) charter management organizations were selected to participate in the initiative, becoming the first districts in California to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Those districts included Galt Joint Union Elementary, Kings Canyon Joint Unified, Lakeside Union, Oakland Unified, Palm Springs Unified, San Diego Unified, Tracy Joint Unified, Vista Unified, Aspire, and High Tech High.

To more closely examine some of the early successes and challenges experienced by the Early Implementer LEAs, Achieve interviewed nine of the ten participating districts and compiled that information into two resources, focusing primarily on professional learning and instructional materials. 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.

Using Online Simulations to Support the NGSS in Middle School Classrooms

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

by Lesley Gates, Loren Nikkel, and Kambria Eastham

Middle school teachers in Kings Canyon Unified School District (KCUSD), a CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative district, have been diligently working on transitioning to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) integrated model for middle school. This year, the teachers focused on building their own knowledge of the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs). They have been gathering and sharing ideas at monthly collaborative meetings as to how to make sure their students are not just learning about science but that they are actually doing science in their classrooms. Students should be planning and carrying out investigations to gather data for analysis in order to construct explanations. This is best done through hands-on lab experiments. Experimental work is such an important part of the learning of science and education research shows that students learn better and retain more when they are active through inquiry, investigation, and application. A Framework for K-12 Science Education (2011) notes, “…learning about science and engineering involves integration of the knowledge of scientific explanations (i.e., content knowledge) and the practices needed to engage in scientific inquiry and engineering design. Thus the framework seeks to illustrate how knowledge and practice must be intertwined in designing learning experiences in K-12 Science Education” (pg. 11).

Many middle school teachers in KCUSD are facing challenges as they begin implementing these student-driven, inquiry-based NGSS science experiences in their classrooms. First, many of the middle school classrooms at our K-8 school sites are not designed as science labs. 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 NGSS 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.

Celestial Highlights: May – July 2017

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

May Through July 2017 with Web Resources for the Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017

by Robert C. Victor. Twilight sky maps by Robert D. Miller. Graphs of planet rising and setting times by Jeffrey L. Hunt.

In spring and summer 2017, Jupiter is the most prominent “star” in the evening sky, and Venus, even brighter, rules the morning. By mid-June, Saturn rises at a convenient evening hour, allowing both giant planets to be viewed well in early evening until Jupiter sinks low in late September. The Moon is always a crescent in its monthly encounters with Venus, but is full whenever it appears near Jupiter or Saturn in the eastern evening sky opposite the Sun. (In 2017, Full Moon is near Jupiter in April, Saturn in June.) At intervals of 27-28 days thereafter, the Moon appears at a progressively earlier phase at each pairing with the outer planet until its final conjunction, with Moon a thin crescent, low in the west at dusk. You’ll see many beautiful events by just following the Moon’s wanderings at dusk and dawn in the three months leading up to the solar eclipse. Learn More…

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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.