March/April 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 6

March Madness Equals Science Madness in San Diego

Posted: Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

by Donna Ross

As I write this, our men’s basketball team at San Diego State University is battling for the Mountain West title and they are ranked 21st in the Associated Press poll.  The energy in the arena on game nights is electrifying and the enthusiasm for March Madness is undeniable on our campus.  Across the city, there is another madness taking hold this month, too.  Science!  March has become the science month for San Diego. The sheer number of community members, scientists, non-profits, and educators donating their time to share their passion for science is also electrifying.  Now, if only we could get the science activities nationally televised along with the basketball games!

Having so many science events in the community and schools during the month of March has a variety of benefits.  There are the obvious advantages.  The nifty-fifty program brings scientists into classrooms all across the county. Students meet scientists, learn about current research, become excited about career opportunities, and rekindle an interest in the discipline.  But, beyond the benefits for our students, it has been fascinating to watch the effects on researchers and community members.  At planning meetings, I have heard adults commenting

  • “I had no idea this research was occurring here in San Diego”
  • “Your daughter was asking really good questions. Have her email me if she is interested in doing an internship.”
  • “Some of our local schools seem to need a lot of support, I’m wondering what I can do during the rest of the year”
  • “I don’t know why we haven’t ever shared our resources, we have a lot of overlap in our areas of research”
  • “I don’t know how to present my research to children, but I’ll do it if someone will help me think about what would work.”
  • “I have a graduate student who would be a great fit for your lab.”
  • “Why haven’t we collaborated on this before?”

Science madness in March brings people with shared interest together and builds connections that benefit the entire community.  I am keeping my fingers crossed for many continued successful science events and, of course, the Mountain West title for the Aztecs.

Here are just a few of the events taking place in the San Diego area this month.  For more information on these events and descriptions of many other opportunities, be sure to check out all of the events on the website for the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering at http://sdsciencefestival.com

 

A sample of the Saturday, March 17 events:

San Diego State University, Science and Engineering Sampler

Saturday, March 17    11am-2pm  Free to the public
SDSU Campus, College of Sciences
Activities and demonstrations of science and technology projects taking place on campus.  Appropriate for all ages.

California State University, San Marcos Super STEM Saturday
Saturday, March 17    11am-2pm  Free to the public
CSUSM Campus
Activities and demonstrations of science and technology projects taking place on campus.  Appropriate for all ages.

San Diego Miramar College,  Science Fun
Saturday, March 17  9am-12pm  Free to the public
Miramar College Science and Technology Building
Appropriate for ages 9-99

Scripps Research Institute, SMART Teams Exploration
Saturday, March 17   9:30am-12pm  Free
Explore groundbreaking new research using Rapid Prototyping Technology.

 

A sample of the Sunday, March 18 events:

San Diego River Park Foundation, River Bugs are Cool!
Sunday, March 18   12pm-3pm  Free
Mission Valley Preserve and Interpretive Garden
Learn how river bugs can unlock the secret of the San Diego River’s health.

Cymer presents Imagination Innovation
Sunday, March 18  1pm-4pm  Free
Cymer Campus
Experiments and robots!!!

A sample of the Monday, March 19 events:

Tony Hawk and Physics of Skateboarding
Monday, March 19    10am-11am   Free
Carmel Valley Skate Park

Training for Endurance Events
Monday, March 19   6pm-7:30pm  Free
Running and training tips with Dr. Jason Karp

A sample of the Tuesday, March 20 events:

General Atomics Tour w/ Bus
Tuesday, March 20    9am-12pm  Free (bus included)
Facility tour of General Atomics for school groups

Maritime Robotics
Tuesday, March 20  3:30-5pm  Free
2877 Historic Decatur Rd.
Tour and demo of mini-ROV underwater vehicles

A sample of the Wednesday, March 21 events:

Crime Scene and Traffic Accident Investigation
Wednesday, March 21  9am-1pm  Free
Escondido Police Department

Advancing Understanding of Human Health and Disease
Wednesday, March 21  3pm-6pm  Free
Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine

Science Speed Round
Wednesday, March 21  6pm-8pm  Free
Short talks about mind-boggling science!
The Neurosciences Institute

A sample of the Thursday, March 22 events:

Career Night
Thursday, March 22,    5-7:30pm  Free
UC San Diego Extension
Career guidance and course opportunities

Science Applications International Corporation Technology Demos
Thursday, March 22,  5:30-7pm  Free
SAIC Vista Technology Center
Learn how VACIS technology allows people to see through trucks and other things.

A sample of the Friday, March 23 events:

Mad Science presents Spin, Pop, Boom
Friday, March 23   1-2:45 (2 sessions)  Free
Beaumont Elementary

Engineering is Fun:  Converting Ideas into Reality
Friday, March 23 2-5:30pm   Free
Qualcomm Campus

And the culminating event:  Expo Day at Petco Park

Science Festival, March 24th
Saturday, March 24   10am-5pm  All ages, Free
A full day of free science and technology activities for the whole family.

Donna Ross is associate professor of science education at San Diego State University and is CSTA’s 4-year college director.

Written by Donna Ross

Donna Ross is Associate Professor of Science Education at San Diego State University.

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CSTA Endorses March for Science

Posted: Monday, March 27th, 2017

The California Science Teachers Association (CSTA) stands with our science and science education colleagues in endorsing the March For Science and its associated activities.

The decision by the CSTA Board of Directors to support the March for Science was based on the understanding that this is an opportunity to advocate for our mission of high quality science education for all and to advance the idea that science has application to everyday life, is a vehicle for lifelong learning, and the scientific enterprise expands our knowledge of the world around us. The principles and goals of the March for Science parallel those of CSTA to assume a leadership role in solidarity with our colleagues in science and science education and create an understanding of the value of science in the greater community. CSTA believes that the integrity of the nature of science and that the work of scientists and science educators should be valued and supported. We encourage your participation to stand with us.

There are over 30 satellite marches planned for the April 22, 2017 March for Science in California (to find a march near you, click on “marches” in the upper right of the main page, select “satellite marches” and use the search feature). We encourage members who participate in the March for Science to share their involvement and promotion of science and science education. Feel free to promote CSTA on your signs and banners. For those on social media, you may share your involvement via Twitter, @cascience and our Facebook groups.

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.

California Science Curriculum Framework Now Available

Posted: Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

The pre-publication version of the new California Science Curriculum Framework is now available for download. This publication incorporates all the edits that were approved by the State Board of Education in November 2016 and was many months in the making. Our sincere thanks to the dozens of CSTA members were involved in its development. Our appreciation is also extended to the California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, the Instructional Quality Commission, and the Science Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee and their staff for their hard work and dedication to produce this document and for their commitment to the public input process. To the many writers and contributors to the Framework CSTA thanks you for your many hours of work to produce a world-class document.

For tips on how to approach this document see our article from December 2016: California Has Adopted a New Science Curriculum Framework – Now What …? If you would like to learn more about the Framework, consider participating in one of the Framework Launch events (a.k.a. Rollout #4) scheduled throughout 2017.

The final publication version (formatted for printing) will be available in July 2017. This document will not be available in printed format, only electronically.

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.

Call for CSTA Awards Nominations

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

The 2017 Award Season is now open! One of the benefits of being a CSTA member is your eligibility for awards as well as your eligibility to nominate someone for an award. CSTA offers several awards and members may nominate individuals and organizations for the Future Science Teacher Award, the prestigious Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award, and the CSTA Distinguished Contributions Award (organizational award). May 9, 2017 is the deadline for nominations for these awards. CSTA believes that the importance of science education cannot be overstated. Given the essential presence of the sciences in understanding the past and planning for the future, science education remains, and will increasingly be one of the most important disciplines in education. CSTA is committed to recognizing and encouraging excellence in science teaching through the presentation of awards to science educators and organizations who have made outstanding contributions in science education in the state and who are poised to continue the momentum of providing high quality, relevant science education into the future. 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.

Call for Volunteers – CSTA Committees

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

Volunteer

CSTA is now accepting applications from regular, preservice, and retired members to serve on our volunteer committees! CSTA’s all-volunteer board of directors invites you to consider maximizing your member experience by volunteering for CSTA. CSTA committee service offers you the opportunity to share your expertise, learn a new skill, or do something you love to do but never have the opportunity to do in your regular day. CSTA committee volunteers do some pretty amazing things: 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.

A Friend in CA Science Education Now at CSTA Region 1 Science Center

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

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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.