September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

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 Is Now Accepting Nominations for Board Members

Posted: Friday, November 17th, 2017

Current, incoming, and outgoing CSTA Board of Directors at June 3, 2017 meeting.

Updated 7:25 pm, Nov. 17, 2017

It’s that time of year when CSTA is looking for dedicated and qualified persons to fill the upcoming vacancies on its Board of Directors. This opportunity allows you to help shape the policy and determine the path that the Board will take in the new year. There are time and energy commitments, but that is far outweighed by the personal satisfaction of knowing that you are an integral part of an outstanding professional educational organization, dedicated to the support and guidance of California’s science teachers. You will also have the opportunity to help CSTA review and support legislation that benefits good science teaching and teachers.

Right now is an exciting time to be involved at the state level in the California Science Teachers Association. The CSTA Board of Directors is currently involved in implementing the Next Generations Science Standards and its strategic plan. If you are interested in serving on the CSTA Board of Directors, now is the time to submit your name for consideration. 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.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces 2017 Finalists for Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Posted: Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today nominated eight exceptional secondary mathematics and science teachers as California finalists for the 2017 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

“These teachers are dedicated and accomplished individuals whose innovative teaching styles prepare our students for 21st century careers and college and develop them into the designers and inventors of the future,” Torlakson said. “They rank among the finest in their profession and also serve as wonderful mentors and role models.”

The California Department of Education (CDE) partners annually with the California Science Teachers Association and the California Mathematics Council to recruit and select nominees for the PAEMST program—the highest recognition in the nation for a mathematics or science teacher. The Science Finalists will be recognized at the CSTA Awards Luncheon on Saturday, October 14, 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.

Thriving in a Time of Change

Posted: Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

by Jill Grace

By the time this message is posted online, most schools across California will have been in session for at least a month (if not longer, and hat tip to that bunch!). Long enough to get a good sense of who the kids in your classroom are and to get into that groove and momentum of the daily flow of teaching. It’s also very likely that for many of you who weren’t a part of a large grant initiative or in a district that set wheels in motion sooner, this is the first year you will really try to shift instruction to align to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). I’m not going to lie to you, it’s a challenging year – change is hard. Change is even harder when there’s not a playbook to go by.  But as someone who has had the very great privilege of walking alongside teachers going through that change for the past two years and being able to glimpse at what this looks like for different demographics across that state, there are three things I hope you will hold on to. These are things I have come to learn will overshadow the challenge: a growth mindset will get you far, one is a very powerful number, and it’s about the kids. Learn More…

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Written by Jill Grace

Jill Grace

Jill Grace is a Regional Director for the K-12 Alliance and is President of CSTA.

If You Are Not Teaching Science Then You Are Not Teaching Common Core

Posted: Thursday, August 31st, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn 

“Science and Social Studies can be taught for the last half hour of the day on Fridays”

– Elementary school principal

Anyone concerned with the teaching of science in elementary school is keenly aware of the problem of time. Kids need to learn to read, and learning to read takes time, nobody disputes that. So Common Core ELA can seem like the enemy of science. This was a big concern to me as I started looking at the curriculum that my district had adopted for Common Core ELA. I’ve been through those years where teachers are learning a new curriculum, and know first-hand how a new curriculum can become the focus of attention- sucking all the air out of the room. Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

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

Tools for Creating NGSS Standards Based Lessons

Posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

by Elizabeth Cooke

Think back on your own experiences with learning science in school. Were you required to memorize disjointed facts without understanding the concepts?

Science Education Background

In the past, science education focused on rote memorization and learning disjointed ideas. Elementary and secondary students in today’s science classes are fortunate now that science instruction has shifted from students demonstrating what they know to students demonstrating how they are able to apply their knowledge. Science education that reflects the Next Generation Science Standards challenges students to conduct investigations. As students explore phenomena and discrepant events they engage in academic discourse guided by focus questions from their teachers or student generated questions of that arise from analyzing data and creating and revising models that explain natural phenomena. Learn More…

Written by Elizabeth Cooke

Elizabeth Cooke

Elizabeth Cooke teaches TK-5 science at Markham Elementary in the Oakland Unified School District, is an NGSS Early Implementer, and is CSTA’s Secretary.