May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Jim Brazell’s Sessions at the 2011 California Science Education Conference

Posted: Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Keynote: What’s Next for Science Education in America?

Join the California Science Teachers Association in a large group interactive keynote session initiating dialogue among the membership about what’s next for science education in America. Our facilitator, Jim Brazell, will tell stories about emerging technology, jobs, communities and schools while helping us connect the dots between what we honor and cherish in teaching and the future. Jim’s passion is the pursuit and elevation of the voice of teachers, students and communities in the transformation of American education afoot today. You can learn more about Jim at his blog

Short Course: The Arts of the Future with Jim Brazell

Only available to the first 70 participants to RSVP (tickets are only $5), Jim will model “guide on the side” teaching techniques while facilitating a design workshop based on the outcomes and interactions in the keynote address: What’s Next for Science Education in America? Become a part of this Short Course and help shape our understanding and concept of education for the next generation of California science teachers, 2011-2031.

To register for the Short Course, click here

About Jim:

Jim Brazell is a technology forecaster, strategist and public speaker focused on innovation and transformation.  As an analyst to the Innovation, Creativity and Capital Institute at the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas State Technical College System (2003-2008), Jim lead research and development projects including analysis of emerging international high technology regions; international technology commercialization; technology forecasting for education and economic development; video games for military training transformation; and robotics for STEM+ARTS education in the State of Texas. Jim began his career in educational technology as the Internet designer of Nelson Heller’s Desktop edNET serving the market news and leading trends in educational technology 1996-2000. During this same period, Jim also served Fortune 100 clients with Internet strategy and cloud design/build services including the launch of, State Farm’s network for insurance agents and several other global and US house-hold brands.


A sampling of the diversity of his clients for keynote speeches in 2010-2011 include the National School Boards Association, the League for Innovation in the Community College, Computer Using Educators, Brigham Young University, St Francs University, South Carolina Association for Arts Education, Florida Association of Arts Education, the National Career Pathway Network, 25th Annual Careers Conference, American Technical Education Association, Texas Workforce Commission, Texas School Board Association, the Citadel Military College, the Armed Forces Communications Electronics Association, and the Society for Design and Process Science.

Jim resides in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife, Lisa Cervantes and daughter Ava Brazell. Jim blogs about his educational experiences at and for USA Today’s Career and Technical Education blog. Jim is a 1995 graduate of Bradley University, Bachelors of Science, Sociology, Summa Cum Laude. He is a 1995 George Gilder Fellow in High Technology, Entrepreneurship and Public Policy.


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.

2 Responses

  1. […] In addition to the keynote, Jim will conduct a three hour Short Course limited to the first 70 registrants. Tickets for this course are only $5. The Short Course, The Arts of the Future with Jim Brazell, will take place on Saturday, October 22, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. For more information about the Short Course and Jim Brazell click here. […]

  2. […] there will be two general session meetings. The Friday morning General Session will feature Jim Brazell. The closing session on Sunday is by Ed Begley, Jr. – a pioneer in environmental […]

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CSTA Annual Conference Early Bird Rates End July 14

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

Teachers engaged in workshop activity

Teachers engaging in hands-on learning during a workshop at the 2016 CSTA conference.

Don’t miss your chance to register at the early bird rate for the 2017 CSTA Conference – the early-bird rate closes July 14. Need ideas on how to secure funding for your participation? Visit our website for suggestions, a budget planning tool, and downloadable justification letter to share with your admin. Want to take advantage of the early rate – but know your district will pay eventually? Register online today and CSTA will reimburse you when we receive payment from your district/employer. (For more information on how that works contact Zi Stair in the office for details – 916-979-7004 or

New Information Now Available On-line:

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.

Goodbye Outgoing and Welcome Incoming CSTA Board Members

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Jill Grace

Jill Grace, CSTA President, 2017-2019

On July 1, 2017 five CSTA members concluded their service and four new board members joined the ranks of the CSTA Board of Directors. CSTA is so grateful for all the volunteer board of directors who contribute hours upon hours of time and energy to advance the work of the association. At the June 3 board meeting, CSTA was able to say goodbye to the outgoing board members and welcome the incoming members.

This new year also brings with it a new president for CSTA. As of July 1, 2017 Jill Grace is the president of the California Science Teachers Association. Jill is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach, a former middle school science teacher, and is currently a Regional Director with the K-12 Alliance @ WestEd where she works with California NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative districts and charter networks in the San Diego area.

Outgoing Board Members

  • Laura Henriques (President-Elect: 2011 – 2013, President: 2013 – 2015, Past President: 2015 – 2017)
  • Valerie Joyner (Region 1 Director: 2009 – 2013, Primary Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Mary Whaley (Informal Science Education Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Sue Campbell (Middle School/Jr. High Director: 2015 – 2017)
  • Marcus Tessier (2-Year College Director: 2015 – 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.

Finding My Student’s Motivation of Learning Through Engineering Tasks

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Huda Ali Gubary and Susheela Nath

It’s 8:02 and the bell rings. My students’ walk in and pick up an entry ticket based on yesterday’s lesson and homework. My countdown starts for students to begin…3, 2, 1. Ten students are on task and diligently completing the work, twenty are off task with behaviors ranging from talking up a storm with their neighbors to silently staring off into space. This was the start of my classes, more often than not. My students rarely showed the enthusiasm for a class that I had eagerly prepared for. I spent so much time searching for ways to get my students excited about the concepts they were learning. I wanted them to feel a connection to the lessons and come into my class motivated about what they were going to learn next. I would ask myself how I could make my class memorable where the kids were in the driver’s seat of learning. Incorporating engineering made this possible. 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 California NGSS k-8 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.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Unveils Updated Recommended Literature List

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson unveiled an addition of 285 award-winning titles to the Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list.

“The books our students read help broaden their perspectives, enhance their knowledge, and fire their imaginations,” Torlakson said. “The addition of these award-winning titles represents the state’s continued commitment to the interests and engagement of California’s young readers.”

The Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list is a collection of more than 8,000 titles of recommended reading for children and adolescents. Reflecting contemporary and classic titles, including California authors, this online list provides an exciting range of literature that students should be reading at school and for pleasure. Works include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama to provide for a variety of tastes, interests, and abilities. Learn More…

Written by Guest Contributor

From time to time CSTA receives contributions from guest contributors. The opinions and views expressed by these contributors are not necessarily those of CSTA. By publishing these articles CSTA does not make any endorsements or statements of support of the author or their contribution, either explicit or implicit. All links to outside sources are subject to CSTA’s Disclaimer Policy:

Teaching Science in the Time of Alternative Facts – Why NGSS Can Help (somewhat)

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn

The father of one of my students gave me a book: In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood by Walt Brown, Ph. D. He had heard that I was teaching Plate Tectonics and wanted me to consider another perspective. The book offered the idea that the evidence for plate tectonics could be better understood if we considered the idea that beneath the continent of Pangaea was a huge underground layer of water that suddenly burst forth from a rift between the now continents of Africa and South America. The waters shot up and the continents hydroplaned apart on the water layer to their current positions. The force of the movement pushed up great mountain ranges which are still settling to this day, resulting in earthquakes along the margins of continents. This had happened about 6,000 years ago and created a great worldwide flood. Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

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