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
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
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
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.
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
Posted: Wednesday, October 12th, 2016
by Jessica Sawko
In June 2016 California submitted a waiver application to discontinue using the old CST (based on 1998 standards) and conduct two years of pilot and field tests (in spring 2017 and 2018, respectively) of the new science assessment designed to support our state’s current science standards (California Next Generation Science Standards (CA-NGSS) adopted in 2013). The waiver was requested because no student scores will be provided as a part of the pilot and field tests. The CDE received a response from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on September 30, 2016, which provides the CDE the opportunity to resubmit a revised waiver request within 60 days. The CDE will be revising the waiver request and resubmitting as ED suggested.
At its October 2016 North/South Assessment meetings CDE confirmed that there will be no administration of the old CST in the spring of 2017. (An archive of the meeting is available at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ai/infomeeting.asp.) Learn More…
Posted: Thursday, September 22nd, 2016
by Carol Peterson
1) To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, Google has put together a collection of virtual tours combining 360-degree video, panoramic photos and expert narration. It’s called “The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks” and is accessible right from the browser. You can choose from one of five different locales, including the Kenai Fjords in Alaska and Bryce Canyon in Utah, and get a guided “tour” from a local park ranger. Each one has a few virtual vistas to explore, with documentary-style voiceovers and extra media hidden behind clickable thumbnails. Ideas are included for use in classrooms. https://www.engadget.com/2016/08/25/google-offers-360-degree-tours-of-us-national-parks/. Learn More…
Posted: Thursday, September 22nd, 2016
CSTA is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 CSTA Awards for Distinguished Contributions, Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award, 2014 and 2015 PAEMST-Science recipients from California, and the 2016 California PAEMST Finalists. The following individuals and organizations will be honored during the 2016 California Science Education Conference on October 21- 23 in Palm Springs. This year’s group of awardees are truly outstanding. Please join us in congratulating them!
Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award
The Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award honors an individual who has made a significant contribution to science education in the state and who, through years of leadership and service, has truly made a positive impact on the quality of science teaching. This year’s recipient is John Keller, Ph.D. Dr. Keller is Associate Professor, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Co-Director, Center for Engineering, Science, and Mathematics Education, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. In her letter of recommendation, SDSU science education faculty and former CSTA board member Donna Ross wrote: “He brings people together who share the desire to make a difference in the development and implementation of programs for science teaching. Examples of these projects include the Math and Science Teaching Initiative (MSTI), Noyce Scholars Program, Western Regional Noyce Initiative, and the Science Teacher and Researcher (STAR) program.” Through his work, he has had a dramatic impact on science teacher education, both preservice and in-service, in California, the region, and the country. He developed and implemented the STEM Teacher and Researcher Program which aims to produce excellent K-12 STEM teachers by providing aspiring teachers with opportunities to do authentic research while helping them translate their research experience into classroom practice. SFSU faculty member Larry Horvath said it best in his letter:“John Keller exemplifies the best aspects of a scientist, science educator, and mentor. His contributions to science education in the state of California are varied, significant, and I am sure will continue well into the future.” Learn More…
Posted: Tuesday, September 20th, 2016
by Peter A’hearn
NGSS is a big shift. Teachers need to learn new content, figure out how this whole engineering thing relates to science, and develop new unit and lesson plans. How could NGSS possibly make life easier?
The idea that NGSS could make our lives easier came to me during the California State NGSS Rollout #1 Classroom Example lesson on chromatography. I have since done this lesson with high school chemistry students and it made me think back to having my own students do chromatography. I spent lots of time preparing to make sure the experiment went well and achieved the “correct” result. I pre-prepared the solutions and organized and prepped the materials. I re-wrote and re-wrote again the procedure so there was no way a kid could get it wrong. I spent 20 minutes before the lab modeling all of the steps in class, so there was no way to do it wrong. Except that it turns out there were many. Learn More…
Posted: Tuesday, September 20th, 2016
by Robert C. Victor. Twilight sky maps by Robert D. Miller. Graph of evening planet setting times by Dr. Jeffrey L. Hunt
Our evening twilight chart for September, depicting the sky about 40 minutes after sunset from SoCal, shows brilliant Venus remaining low, creeping from W to WSW and gaining a little altitude as the month progresses. Its close encounter within 2.5° N of Spica on Sept. 18 is best seen with binoculars to catch the star low in bright twilight. The brightest stars in the evening sky are golden Arcturus descending in the west, and blue-white Vega passing just north of overhead. Look for Altair and Deneb completing the Summer Triangle with Vega. The triangle of Mars-Saturn-Antares expands as Mars seems to hold nearly stationary in SSW as the month progresses, while Saturn and Antares slink off to the SW. Learn More…