January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

New, FREE DIY Lake Science App

Posted: Thursday, June 4th, 2015

LakeScienceAppPlunge into the fun science of lakes, rivers, creeks, and ponds with a new, free DIY app that lets you investigate freshwater ecosystems anywhere you live. DIY Lake Science explores Earth’s freshwater, and its importance to all life on our planet, in 12 hands-on STEM activities.

Created by UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science, in collaboration with the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) and the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Vermont, the new app for the iPad and iPhone takes you outdoors to find what’s below the surface of bodies of freshwater. The app’s field adventures include making a viewscope and looking for underwater plants and animals, and crafting a Secchi disc and measuring how clear or murky a body of water is. Using such tools helps show how scientists test water quality, monitor pollution, track the populations of species, and even discover new life forms.

The app’s indoor activities guide you to build models of landscapes and bodies of water to see how rain washes soil through a watershed, how lakes freeze in winter, how pollution seeps into hidden groundwater, and where most of the world’s freshwater is found. Funded by the National Science Foundation, DIY Lake Science uses inexpensive, everyday items like food coloring, ice cubes, potting soil, straws, and newspaper. The app can be used for learning at home, at school, after school, and at community environmental events.

“A growing human population uses freshwater for drinking, farming, bathing, cleaning, and generating electrical power,” said Chris Keller, who led the team that developed the app. “We need to better understand how we can maintain sources of freshwater for human use while also maintaining enough freshwater for aquatic plants and animals.”

DIY Lake Science is the fourth DIY app from the Lawrence Hall of Science, following DIY Nano, DIY Sun Science, and DIY Human Body. DIY Sun Science was featured by Apple as one of the Best New Apps on the front page of the App Store, and was tweeted by Apple’s App Store Twitter Account to its almost 2.5 million followers.

Download DIY Lake Science for free from the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/diy-lake-science/id973319218.

For more information visit the DIY Lake Science webpage: http://www.lawrencehallofscience.org/do_science_now/diy_lake_science.

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.