September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

Join Us For Recycle-Bowl and America Recycles Day 2013

Posted: Sunday, September 1st, 2013

Are you looking for a fun and creative way to increase school recycling participation in your community? Keep America Beautiful‘s, third annual, “Recycle-Bowl,” is a comprehensive nationwide recycling competition for elementary, middle and high-school students. Public, private and charter schools are eligible. Registration is now open on the Recycle-Bowl website at http://recycle-bowl.org. The first 1,000 schools to register will receive a Recycle-Bowl coordinator toolkit. The competition runs from October 21 through November 15, culminating on America Recycles Day. Participating schools will track and report how much recyclable material they collect for a chance to win prizes. 

At the close of the four-week competition, the school in each state (and the District of Columbia) that collects the most recyclable material per capita will win $1,000. A national champion will then be chosen from the top statewide winners to receive additional prizes. Schools that collect material from the community will compete in a separate category for first-, second- and third- place cash prizes. Prizes will also be given to the most improved school and schools that use the competition to start recycling for the first time.

New this year

  • National School District Champion for those systems that can’t break-out school specific data. A cash prize will be given.
  • Waste Reduction Champion for those schools that can track their trash data, along with recycling data. Bragging-rights only.
  • Food Scrap Collection Champion for those schools that are composting. Bragging-rights only.

Want to know how many schools in your state are currently competing? You can find a state leaderboard on our website – http://recycle-bowl.org/state-ranking/ and an interactive map showing all the competing schools – http://recycle-bowl.org/map/.

Want more information? Join us for an introductory webinar on Thursday, September 26, 2013 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT. Register here-

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Do you know all about what is recycled in your community? Are you interested in sharing recycling information with family and friends or conducing a recycling collection event? If so, why not host an America Recycles Day Event!

America Recycles Day, a national initiative of Keep America Beautiful (KAB).

Takes place annually on November 15, recognizes the benefits of recycling while providing an educational platform that helps raise awareness about the value of reducing, reusing and recycling – every day – all throughout the year.

Online event registration is now open at Americarecyclesday.org for local organizers to schedule events in their communities and gain access to valuable resources to plan, promote and host events.  This year we have switched our registration process over to Re-TRAC Connect. A complete step by step how- to- registration guide can be found on the Host An Event page of the ARD website.

To support event organizers, there are best practices guides for hosting events, activity ideas, downloadable posters and banners, media outreach tools, sample proclamations, and much more. Events can be scheduled any time during the fall, but should be held as close to November 15 as possible. For more information, log on to www.americarecyclesday.org

To learn more, join us on a upcoming webinar on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 – 2:00-3:00 pm EST- Register here

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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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.