May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Journalists of the Sea King News Bring You Technology, Engineering, and Science!

Posted: Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

7th graders Siena O’Regan and Mehak Dedmari interview 8th grade STEM student Ryan Bloodgood.

7th graders Siena O’Regan and Mehak Dedmari interview 8th grade STEM student Ryan Bloodgood.

Journalists from the Sea King News at Palos Verdes Intermediate School (PVPUSD, Los Angeles County) have been hard at work.  They have stepped up to do a special report for CSTA!  Check out their video broadcast, highlighting how their school uses technology and engineering to help students understand math and science.  Under the spotlight in this episode is the school’s STEM program, a series of very popular elective classes.  See why students love this program so much, how it helps them bridge understanding in their other classes, and how students recognize the impact it will have on their future.

7th graders Mehak Dedmari and Sereene Saab do the final video edits.

7th graders Mehak Dedmari and Sereene Saab do the final video edits.

A special thank you to PVIS STEM teachers, Kurt Hay, Scott Garman, and Jackie Starodub for supporting our reporters and to journalism teacher, Sue Demerjian for guiding her students in use of technology to support Common Core instruction, bringing beat reporting to life!  We’d like you to know that this video is entirely conceptualized, filmed, produced, and edited by students!

Written by Jill Grace

Jill Grace

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

14 Responses

  1. Great work! I know these kids worked very hard on this video and they did an amazing job.

  2. Wow! A great video showing so much of what is great about science and STEM at PVIS.

  3. Three cheers for FUTURE ENGINEERS! Good work! Love your ROBOTS!

  4. Man, it is so great to see students that are actually getting “hands on” experiences with science. From the journalists that produced this great video (that was not an easy task), to the students in the STEM classes – it is obvious that they are engaged!

  5. What an amazing program!!

  6. Kia Ora!

  7. Not only did the kids make an amazing video, but they have also been creating amazing STEM projects. Through stellar teaching, these kids have been encouraged to experiment – a scary prospect for some. Good job to all of you! Very inspiring!

  8. I am so impressed by these enthusiastic, knowledgable, and well spoken students! They display such professionalism — and they are enjoying it! Great job:-)

  9. Fantastic job! We love everything STEM here in The Rocket City, Huntsville, AL. Shared this with my husband who works for NASA as an engineer and he was quite impressed!

  10. Great video about a great program! Makes me want to be back at PVIS!

  11. What an inspiration! Congratulations to the students on a job well done, and thank you to all those involved for a behind-the-scenes tour of such an incredible program!

  12. The video does a great job showcasing STEM and PVIS! I’m pleased that the exposure is providing some connection between their science/math classes and real world application. I want to go play in the STEM lab too! Great job Sea Kings!

  13. Great job, everyone!

  14. Wonderful, informative video. Very well done. 🙂 So jealous of all the state-of-the-art technology these students get to work with – MakerBot 3D printers, aerial drones! Very cool. 🙂

    As a programmer, it’s great to see young students writing their own code and then watching their robots respond to their commands.

    Great work everyone.

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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

On March 31, 2017, Achieve released two documents examining some lessons learned from the California K-8 Early Implementation Initiative. The initiative began in August 2014 and was developed by the K-12 Alliance at WestEd, with close collaborative input on its design and objectives from the State Board of Education, the California Department of Education, and Achieve.

Eight (8) traditional school districts and two (2) charter management organizations were selected to participate in the initiative, becoming the first districts in California to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Those districts included Galt Joint Union Elementary, Kings Canyon Joint Unified, Lakeside Union, Oakland Unified, Palm Springs Unified, San Diego Unified, Tracy Joint Unified, Vista Unified, Aspire, and High Tech High.

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

Middle school teachers in Kings Canyon Unified School District (KCUSD), a CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative district, have been diligently working on transitioning to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) integrated model for middle school. This year, the teachers focused on building their own knowledge of the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs). They have been gathering and sharing ideas at monthly collaborative meetings as to how to make sure their students are not just learning about science but that they are actually doing science in their classrooms. Students should be planning and carrying out investigations to gather data for analysis in order to construct explanations. This is best done through hands-on lab experiments. Experimental work is such an important part of the learning of science and education research shows that students learn better and retain more when they are active through inquiry, investigation, and application. A Framework for K-12 Science Education (2011) notes, “…learning about science and engineering involves integration of the knowledge of scientific explanations (i.e., content knowledge) and the practices needed to engage in scientific inquiry and engineering design. Thus the framework seeks to illustrate how knowledge and practice must be intertwined in designing learning experiences in K-12 Science Education” (pg. 11).

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.

In spring and summer 2017, Jupiter is the most prominent “star” in the evening sky, and Venus, even brighter, rules the morning. By mid-June, Saturn rises at a convenient evening hour, allowing both giant planets to be viewed well in early evening until Jupiter sinks low in late September. The Moon is always a crescent in its monthly encounters with Venus, but is full whenever it appears near Jupiter or Saturn in the eastern evening sky opposite the Sun. (In 2017, Full Moon is near Jupiter in April, Saturn in June.) At intervals of 27-28 days thereafter, the Moon appears at a progressively earlier phase at each pairing with the outer planet until its final conjunction, with Moon a thin crescent, low in the west at dusk. You’ll see many beautiful events by just following the Moon’s wanderings at dusk and dawn in the three months leading up to the solar eclipse. Learn More…

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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.