September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

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!

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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.

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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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.

News and Happenings in CSTA’s Region 1 – Fall 2017

Posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

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This month I was fortunate enough to hear about some new topics to share with our entire region. Some of you may access the online or newsletter options, others may attend events in person that are nearer to you. Long time CSTA member and environmental science educator Mike Roa is well known to North Bay Area teachers for his volunteer work sharing events and resources. In this month’s Region 1 updates I am happy to make a few of the options Mike offers available to our region. Learn More…

Written by Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw is the student services director at Siskiyou County Office of Education and is CSTA’s Region 1 Director and chair of CSTA’s Policy Committee.