January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

Learning for All Ages Through Informal Science!

Posted: Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

by Jeanine Wulfenstein

Region 4 is full of opportunities for local informal science education experiences. Whether you are a resident of region 4 or visiting the region on vacation, a multitude of learning opportunities await. I encourage you to broaden your horizon with new content and enjoy some of the best educational institutions in the nation.

In the Long Beach area, the Long Beach Aquarium has a host of exhibits and activities designed to showcase the health and stability of marine ecosystems. To celebrate educators, the Aquarium is offering free admission for teachers through the month of January. Family and guests also receive reduced admission rates.

In San Diego, the Fleet Science Center is offering a Family Science Saturday on January 4th at 1:00pm. Their current exhibitions include Explore-o-Rama from now until June 1, 2014. This exhibit showcases interactive exhibits on loan from the SF Exploratorium. Also at the Fleet, for music enthusiasts there is an exhibit entitled, “Guitar- The Instrument that Rocked the World!” This exhibit will run through April 6, 2014.

In Santa Ana, the Discovery Science Center exhibits include the science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not and the Science of Gingerbread. Both of these exhibits run through January 5, 2014. Starting January 25th through April 20th, the Discovery Science Center will have exhibits showing “Animal Grossology”.

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In Riverside County, the Western Center for Archeology and Paleontology is holding an astronomy night on January 10th at 6pm. On February 1, 2014 from 10:20 – 1:00pm the museum will host a Science Saturday Event entitled, Edison and the Science of Electricity.

The March Field Air Museum brings aviation alive! For science experiences related to the history of flight and aviation, plan a visit to the March Air Museum.

In the Palm Desert Area, visit The Living Desert Zoo. Every Friday from January through March 7, 2014, the park comes alive once the lights go out. Equipped with an ultraviolet light, participants will search out the more elusive nighttime creatures.

As you can see, informal science is alive and well in our region.  Informal science learning experiences abound for all ages! I encourage you to take advantage of these learning opportunities.

Written by Jeanine Wulfenstein

Jeanine Wulfenstein

Jeanine Wulfenstein teaches science at Gardner Middle School and is the CSTA Treasurer. You can reach her by emailing jwulfenstein@tvusd.k12.ca.us.

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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.

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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.