May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

In Memoriam . . .

Posted: Friday, October 1st, 2010

Robert Rice
Robert Rice
1911-2010

CSTA Bids Farewell to One of its Heroes

Robert Rice, one of the founders of CSTA, died Sunday evening, August 29, 2010.  He was 99 years old.

Bob, along with Margaret Nicholson and others, started the Northern California section of CSTA in 1970, which eventually evolved into the statewide organization we know today.  He served as president of the association from 1951-1952, and was the association’s first executive director, serving in that position from his office at Lawrence Hall of Science from 1974 to 1985.

Bob was actively involved in science education, notably the San Francisco Bay Area Science Fair and the Northern California Western Nevada Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (both of which he co-founded) until very recently and was on the team that designed Lawrence Hall of Science.  He was president of the National Science Teachers Association in 1960-61, and in 1986 was a recipient of the NSTA Distinguished Service to Science Education Award.  Bob was also the first recipient of the CSTA Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award, in 1981.

Bob taught at Berkeley High School for 34 years, where he had future UC President David Pierpont Gardner in his class.  Dick Merrill, a longtime friend of Bob’s, recalls, “He loved to tell about how Gardner failed miserably at identifying unknowns in chemistry class.  He almost got a ‘D’ in chemistry, which would have had serious consequences for university eligibility.  Finally it was revealed that Gardner was colorblind, a serious handicap in doing ‘wet chemistry’ analysis.  They worked something out so that Gardner got a ‘C’ and was able to continue his academic education.”

Bob served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, teaching meteorology to prospective pilots and airmen.

Quoting from the memorial service program, “Bob’s dedication to youth and science education lasted throughout his lifetime.  His legacy will last in the lives and successes of all those who were privileged to participate in the programs he provided for them.”

Says Dick Merrill, “Bob was my friend and mentor for 48 years.”

All of CSTA mourns the passing of this great leader and wishes Bob’s family well.

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.

One Response

  1. I remember well when we gathered at Margaret’s home in Jenner to think about the possibility of forming a state wide science association. I was always impressed by Bob’s wisdom and deep concern for students. I was extremely fortunate to have both Bob and Margaret as mentors in my early years of teaching, I miss them both.

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LATEST POST

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

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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

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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.

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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.