May 2014: Upcoming Events in the South
Posted: Tuesday, May 6th, 2014
by Jeanine Wulfenstein
The southern part of the state is full of professional development opportunities for educators to learn more about Earth and Ocean Sciences, physics, as well as the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Standards. Field tests of the new Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessments are well underway in the region. The Smarter Balanced practice tests are an opportunity for schools and districts to become familiar with the format and testing procedures inherent with the shifts in the Smarter Balanced Assessments. With this in mind, there is much anticipation for what the future of assessment will look like for the sciences. It is already clear that teachers, schools, and students will need to be proficient in several technology components. Fortunately, both the Common Core Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards embrace technological literacy for all students. As we delve deeper into both sets of standards, teachers will need training and support in the latest content discoveries, as well as advances in technology to best support student learning.
With that said, there are many technology, CCSS, NGSS, and curricular content-based workshops that teachers in the region may attend to hone their skills. The following is a list of upcoming professional development opportunities for Earth and ocean sciences, physics, NGSS, CCSS and STEM topics broken down by county:
- RCOE STEM Leadership Network Meeting: This meeting is a venue for district and school STEM leaders to come together to discuss best practices, and issues related to forming, sustaining, and elevating STEM education across Riverside County. This meeting will be held on Wednesday May 7th from 8:30 – 12:00pm at Citrus Hill High School in Perris, CA. Click for more information.
- NGSS State Rollout Symposium #1: Statewide science leaders will converge for a professional learning symposium to discuss implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards. The Rollout Symposium will be held May 27th and May 28th at Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa. Click for more information and to register.
- For teachers interest in Space, The San Diego Air & Space Museum will host its 11th Annual Space Day celebration This day will be packed full of access to local and national experts in the field providing demonstrations, giveaways, and hands-on activities. This event will be held May 3rd from 10:00 – 2:00pm. Click for more information.
- The Ruben H. Fleet science center is sponsoring a Suds & Science bimonthly event on May 12, 2014 from 06:30 to 08:00pm at Callahan’s Pub in Mira Mesa. Click for more information.
- Teachers interested in content on water quality and generating clean green power will want to attend the Perspectives on science lecture: Waste not: Recovering Clean Water and power from wastewater using microbial fuel cells. This event is scheduled to be held on May 13, 2014
from 04:30 to 07:30pm at Point Loma Nazarene University. For more additional information about this event, click here.
- Teachers interested in ocean exploration and the reasons we explore, will want to attend a two part professional development series sponsored by the Birch Aquarium entitled, “Why Do We Explore?” This event will be held on May 17th from 8:00 to 4:00pm at the Birch Aquarium. Click for more information about this event.
- NGSS State Rollout Symposium #1: Statewide science leaders will converge for a professional learning symposium to discuss implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards. The Rollout Symposium will be held Thursday, May 22nd and Friday May 23rd from 8:30 until 4:30 pm at the Hilton Long Beach. Click for more information on that event and to register.
It is my hope that all educators embrace the new standards as a way to grow personally and professionally in instructional practice. Enjoy the events our region has to offer!
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…