January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

Last Days to Register for Amazing Pre-Conference Field Trips

Posted: Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

October 31, 2014 is the last day to register for one of two amazing pre-conference field courses being offered by CSTA. The field courses will take place on Wednesday, December 3, the day before the NSTA Long Beach Area Conference.

2014 Long Beach Area Conference — CSTA Pre-Conference Field Courses

Marine Science Adventures on Catalina Island

© Anne Maben – Photo courtesy of CSTA member Anne Maben.

Located on Catalina Island just 20 miles off the coast of Los Angeles, Big Fisherman’s Cove is the site of the famed USC Wrigley Marine Science Center, an international research and teaching facility. After a general tour of the facilities and touch tanks, teachers will participate in an ecology and island history walk and hear the latest research on sharks from world-renowned expert, Dr. Chris Lowe. Teachers will also tour and learn about the hyperbaric chamber that saves divers’ lives and explore tiny critters in the plankton lab. Participants may jump into a wetsuit and enjoy a guided snorkeling tour in pristine kelp beds, under the guidance of USC dive instructors or venture on a guided kayak tour off the beautiful coast of Catalina. What a day! Please wear slacks, close-toed shoes, a jacket, sunscreen and bring a bathing suit and towel if you plan to snorkel or kayak – cameras, binoculars and hats are a big plus! If you are prone to seasickness, please bring medication.

Wednesday, December 3, 6:30am – 5:30 pm

CSTA Member/Nonmember Fees: $60/$75

More details:
We will start the day with snorkeling, which has been amazing this year. We will spend time focusing on marine protected areas and why they are important to all of us. Last year was the first year in recent history leopard sharks have been in the cove all year. We will be eating lunch in the dining hall hear a presentation by CSULB’s Dr. Chris Lowe on his research with leopard sharks and tracking them using an innovative system that uses programmable robots. We will do a plankton lab. We will wrap up with a tour of the hyperbaric chamber tour. Depending on time, we will visit the robotics and/or aquaculture labs. Really full day from life sciences to physics to earth sciences taking into account ocean issues such as impacts of climate change.

The cost is all inclusive, including the boat (most of the cost is fuel…) The boat will leave at 6:30 – I will give details on the exact dock # as soon as they know but it will be at Rainbow Harbor, right in front of the Aquarium of the Pacific. It’s cheaper to park at the AOP parking structure ($8.00, open 24 hours) than it will be to park at the Convention Center ($10). We will have a big sign and myself at the dock, to greet and sign in everyone. We will be back at the dock again at 5:30pm. It is an AWESOME trip, trust me! A kind of once in a lifetime trip you can’t get elsewhere.


It’s Your Fault – The San Andreas Fault Up Close

Photo Courtesy of the Southern California Earthquake Center.

Welcome to the San Andreas fault! Where else in the world can you put one foot on the Pacific tectonic plate and the other foot on the North American plate? Join local science educator/scientists and explore the largest fault system in North America. During this field course you will explore several truly remarkable features created by the San Andreas Fault from San Bernardino and west into the San Gabriel mountains. You will also participate in several inquiry activities that can be immediately taken back to the classroom. Throughout the day, there will be an emphasis on how principles such as Steno’s laws, the rock cycle, geologic time, and plate tectonics can be used as powerful tools to understand earthquakes. You will also learn about the 2016 NASA/JPL InSight mission to Mars to study the development of the inner planets through the study of tectonics on Mars. Stops during this trip will include a San Andreas hike behind Cal State San Bernardino, Lost Lake/Cajon Pass, and the Pallett Creek paleoseismic site. Current research will be tied to how STEM fields contribute to understanding earthquakes and the Great California ShakeOut.

More details:
The San Andres Fault tour is being run by the same USC professor (Bob de Groot) who did the CSTA San Andres Fault tour last year, to rave reviews. Lots and LOTS of curriculum to take home as well. His PD partner is a classroom teacher and the co-presenter the field trip. Wonderful, comfy bus and lots of stops. Bring your camera – you’ll get unique photos for the class. You will never have a San Andres fault tour like this anywhere!

Wednesday, December 3, 7:00am – 6:00pm

CSTA Member/Nonmember Fees: $100/$115

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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STEM Conference Hosted by CMSESMC

Posted: Saturday, January 14th, 2017

The Council of Math/Science Educators of San Mateo County will be hosting the 41st annual STEM Conference this February 4, 2017 at the San Mateo County Office of Education. This STEM Conference is the place to get lots of new lessons and ideas to use in your classroom. There will be over twenty-five workshops and a variety of exhibitors that provide participants with a wide range of practical and realistic ideas and resources to use in their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs from Pre-K to grade 12. With California’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, we are dedicated to ensuring that we prepare our teachers to take on these educational policies.

Teachers, administrators, and parents are invited to explore the many exciting aspects of STEM education and learn about and discuss the latest news, information, and issues. This is also an opportunity to network with colleagues who can assist you in building your programs and meet new friends that share your interests and love of teaching. Register online today!

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.

Submit Your NGSS Lessons and Units Today!

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

Achieve has launched and is facilitating an EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science–a group of expert reviewers who will evaluate the quality and alignment of lessons and units to the standards–in an effort to identify and shine a spotlight on emerging high-quality lesson and unit plans designed for the NGSS.

If you or your state, district, school, or organization has designed NGSS-aligned instructional materials, please consider submitting these in order to help provide educators across the country with various models and templates of high-quality lesson and unit plans. 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.

Opportunity for High School Students – Los Angeles County

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

An upcoming Perry Outreach Program on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children in Los Angeles, CA. The Perry Outreach Program is a free, one-day, hands-on experience for high school and college-aged women who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine and engineering. Students will hear from women leaders in these fields and try it for themselves by performing mock orthopaedic surgeries and biomechanics experiments. 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.

Science Education Policy Update

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

January 2017 has proven to be a very busy month for science education policy and CA NGSS implementation activities. CSTA has been and will be there every step of the way, seeking and enacting all options to support high-quality science education and the successful implementation of CA NGSS.

California Department of Education/U.S. Department of Education Science Double-Testing Waiver Hearing

The year started with California Department of Education’s (CDE) hearing with the U.S. Department of Education conducted via WebEx on January 6, 2017. This hearing was the final step in California’s efforts to secure a waiver from the federal government in order to discontinue administration of the old CST and suspension of the reporting of student test scores on a science assessment for two years. As reported by EdSource, the U.S. Department of Education representative, Ann Whalen, a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary John King Jr., committed to making her final ruling “very shortly.” Deputy Superintendent Keric Ashley presented on behalf of CDE during the hearing and did an excellent job describing the broad-based support for this waiver in California, the rationale for the waiver, and California’s commitment to the successful implementation of a new high-quality science assessment. As previously reported, California is moving forward with its plans to administer a census pilot assessments this spring. The testing window is set to open on March 20, 2017. For more information visit New CA Science Test: What You Should Know.

Learn More…

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.

NSTA Los Angeles Conference Features Many CA Science Leaders

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

The early-bird registration rates for the 65th NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Los Angeles is just days away (ends Feb. 3). And as the early-registration deadline approaches excitement is building for what is anticipated to be the largest gathering of science educators (both California and nationwide) – with attendance expected to reach 10,000 or more. If you have never had the pleasure of attending the NSTA National Conference, I recommend you visit their website with tips for newcomers that describe the various components of the event. A conference preview is also available for download. Learn More…

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.