May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

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 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 zi@cascience.org.)

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: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.

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.