May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

News and Events in Region 2

Posted: Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

by Eric Lewis

While the glow from being around over 1,400 science teachers from across California is still pretty bright, I’m finding myself missing Pasadena and the myriad workshops that I didn’t get to attend.  If you’re like me, you might be wondering about all the things that you missed.  Well, be sure to continue looking under the science conference tab on the CSTA homepage.  If you click on the Sessions with Handouts you will be able to access some of the resources that were created and used for the conference.  Sure it would have been better to see the workshop in person, but I’ll take whatever I can get.

Upon returning to the Bay Area, I was greeted with more and more news about the Bay Area Science Festival.  Just in case you missed this announcement last month, the science festival will span 10 days – it started on October 29 – and will incorporate science and technology activities throughout the entire Bay Area from Santa Rosa to San Jose.  There will be all sorts of science events from lectures, debates and exhibitions, to concerts, plays, workshops, and even a science-themed pub-crawl in the Mission District of San Francisco (really, there will something for EVERYONE).  The festival’s FREE grand finale will be at AT&T Park in San Francisco on Sunday, November 6, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.  There will be over 170 hands-on interactive science activities for students, families and the community at large to enjoy.  For the complete program schedule visit  Kudos to UCSF for choreographing this awesome series of science events!

Please let me know if there are things that you’d like to add to our Region’s offerings!  Also, encourage your colleagues to join CSTA.  I’m hoping that we’ll have the opportunity to grow our organization and expand to meet your needs and your colleague’s needs.  To that end, please feel free to email me directly so that I can represent your questions and concerns with the CSTA board as a whole.

Eric Lewis,

Events in Region 2:

SFPUC Lunchtime Talk: Introduction to Residential Graywater Systems in San Francisco
Thursday, November 17, 12:00 pm -1:00 pm
1155 Market St, 6th Floor Conference Room

Don’t let good water go to waste! Come learn about the potential to reuse graywater in your San Francisco landscape. Local expert Laura Allen will give an overview of where and when to install residential graywater systems for outdoor irrigation.  The presentation will cover laundry-to-landscape and branched drain systems, as well as more complex systems.  To learn more about the SFPUC’s graywater programs:

To RSVP for the lunchtime talk, send an e-mail to: Please note that this is a brownbag presentation. You will need to bring your own lunch.

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Open House

Tuesday, November 15, 2011
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Alex Pitcher Room
Southeast Community Facility
1800 Oakdale, San Francisco

Thursday, November 17, 2011
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Mission Bay Visitor Center
255 Channel, San Francisco

Each Open House will present information so that you can:

  • Learn about local water supply planning and how recycled water helps sustain our city.
  • Find out about your role in helping shape the eastside recycled water project.
  • Be eligible for a door prize.

Watershed Tool Workshop

SFPUC is again sponsoring a workshop geared towards teaching teachers, educators, and parents hands-on activities, art projects and scientific investigations they can use with children to learn about our watershed and pollution prevention at home and at school.

Name: Watershed Tool Workshop
Hosted by: The Watershed Project
Sponsored by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
When: Saturday, November 5, 2011, 9am-4pm
Where: Alice Fong Yu Alternative School
1541 12th Ave, San Francisco 94122
Cost: Free!
Registration, call (510) 269-7TWP

UC Landscape Architecture Environmental Program lecture series

All talks are on Monday evenings, beginning at 6:30pm in Room 112 Wurster Hall.
November 7, 2011: “Community, Sustainability, and Public Space: Urban Design after the Arab Spring” – Amir Gohar, Urbanics, Cairo.
December 5, 2011: “The Inclusive City:  Planning Policy and Design Solutions” – Dan Iacofano, MIG, Berkeley

Annual Creeks and Watershed Conference
This year’s conference is titled “Healthy Creeks/Vibrant Bay”.

The conference will take place on November 5, 2011 and with run from 8:00 am – 3:30 pm. It will be held in the beautiful conference room at Linkedin in Mountain View at 2025 Stierlin Court, Building 3.

During the conference, the Creek Advocate of the Year award will be presented to Florence & Phillip LaRaviere  and the Watershed Steward of the Year award will be presented to David Lane.

The keynote speaker will be The Honorable Sally Lieber, former State Assembly Member for the 22nd District & Candidate for State Senate.

Talks this year include two panel discussions relating to Creeks and the San Francisco Bay and an update on the status of Steelhead in the South Bay area.

Special guests include: Ron Blatman from KQED’s Special, “Saving the Bay” & Sam Schuchat, Executive Officer of the State of California Coastal Conservancy.

Advanced Registration is now open for the event which is FREE but we do suggest a donation of $10.00 this year to help us with the cost of lunch.

Heron’s Head Park
Upcoming workday is November 12, 2011.

The activities will last from 9:00 am-12:00 pm and may include planting, weeding, and general care of HHP.  All tools and safety gear are provided. Please wear layered clothing that can get dirty and don’t forget a refillable canteen for water.

The Bay Area Science Festival: Unleash Your Inner Scientist
The Science & Health Education Partnership (SEP) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is pleased to lead the inaugural Bay Area Science Festival, whose mission is to engage Bay Area residents in a region-wide celebration of its scientific wonders, resources, and opportunities by exploring the role of science, engineering, and technology locally and in the world!  The 10 day festival, scheduled October 29 – November 6, will provide a wide range of science and technology activities – lectures, debates, exhibitions, concerts, plays, workshops, etc. – at a variety of locations throughout the Bay Area.

Young people will understand that science is fun, exciting and important, encouraging them to pursue careers in science; parents will feel more confident about supporting their kids’ interests in science; and teachers will have new resources to get students thinking about science outside of the classroom. Here is a sampling of some of the exciting events!

For students, families and teachers:
Encourage your students to attend free Discovery Days Events! 
Each will be packed with hands-on activities, performances, interactive demonstrations and family-oriented science entertainment.

Saturday November 5, 2011: In­fineon Raceway in Sonoma, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sunday November 6, 20-11: AT&T Park in San Francisco, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Bay Area Science Festival Star Party
Saturday evening, Nov. 5, 2011
Organized by Andrew Fraknoi (Foothill College and Astronomical Society of the Pacific)
A “star party” is an occasion to view the night sky together, with our eyes, binoculars, or telescopes. As part of the Bay Area Science Festival, we are throwing a regional star party at over 20 different sites. Colleges, schools, observatories and science centers around the Bay Area will be open, and both professional and amateur astronomers will be on hand to offer telescope viewing and observing tips. If the sky is cloudy, many sites will still offer indoor astronomy activities. Some institutions will also have astronomy talks and events that evening, regardless of the weather. Join us for a stellar evening and meet local astronomers at a dozen star party sites across the Bay Area.

Locations are throughout the bay area, so check out the latest information at:

Educator Give Away! Just for teachers. 
Sponsored by BABEC, PROBE, SCCBEP, and CCSF’s BIO-LINK Depot, the give aways, for educators only, will provide free excess stock/equipment/materials from labs/companies across the area.

Pre-registration is required.

SF/Peninsula Giveaway: at the BIO-LINK Depot near SFO airport on Saturday, November 5, 10:00 am -12:00 pm.
Educator Events at the Tech Museum and the California Academy of Sciences.
On Saturday, November 5, 2011, both the Educator Extravaganza at California Academy of Sciences (1:30-5:30 pm) and the Teacher Open House with an Astronaut at The Tech Museum of San Jose (9:30 am-1:00 pm) will be hosting special educator events with free admission and educational activities that can be used in the classroom.

These are just a few of the many activities and events planned for the Bay Area Science Festival. Complete details can be found at Help spread the word! Check out the flyer at:

Eris Lewis is high school area science support in the San Francisco Unified School District LEAD office and is CSTA region 2 director.


Written by Eric Lewis

Eric Lewis

Eris Lewis is high school area science support in the San Francisco Unified School District LEAD office.

Leave a Reply


Participate in Chemistry Education Research Study, Earn $500-800 Dollars!

Posted: Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

WestEd, a non-profit educational research agency, has been funded by the US Department of Education to test a new molecular modeling kit, Happy Atoms. Happy Atoms is an interactive chemistry learning experience that consists of a set of physical atoms that connect magnetically to form molecules, and an app that uses image recognition to identify the molecules that you create with the set. WestEd is conducting a study around the effectiveness of using Happy Atoms in the classroom, and we are looking for high school chemistry teachers in California to participate.

As part of the study, teachers will be randomly assigned to either the treatment group (who uses Happy Atoms) or the control group (who uses Happy Atoms at a later date). Teachers in the treatment group will be asked to use the Happy Atoms set in their classrooms for 5 lessons over the course of the fall 2017 semester. Students will complete pre- and post-assessments and surveys around their chemistry content knowledge and beliefs about learning chemistry. WestEd will provide access to all teacher materials, teacher training, and student materials needed to participate.

Participating teachers will receive a stipend of $500-800. You can read more information about the study here:

Please contact Rosanne Luu at or 650.381.6432 if you are interested in participating in this opportunity, or if you have any questions!

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.

2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption Reviewer Application

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

The California Department of Education and State Board of Education are now accepting applications for reviewers for the 2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption. The application deadline is 3:00 pm, July 21, 2017. The application is comprehensive, so don’t wait until the last minute to apply.

On Tuesday, May 9, 2017, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson forwarded this recruitment letter to county and district superintendents and charter school administrators.

Review panel members will evaluate instructional materials for use in kindergarten through grade eight, inclusive, that are aligned with the California Next Generation Science Content Standards for California Public Schools (CA NGSS). 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.

Lessons Learned from the NGSS Early Implementer Districts

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

On March 31, 2017, Achieve released two documents examining some lessons learned from the California K-8 Early Implementation Initiative. The initiative began in August 2014 and was developed by the K-12 Alliance at WestEd, with close collaborative input on its design and objectives from the State Board of Education, the California Department of Education, and Achieve.

Eight (8) traditional school districts and two (2) charter management organizations were selected to participate in the initiative, becoming the first districts in California to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Those districts included Galt Joint Union Elementary, Kings Canyon Joint Unified, Lakeside Union, Oakland Unified, Palm Springs Unified, San Diego Unified, Tracy Joint Unified, Vista Unified, Aspire, and High Tech High.

To more closely examine some of the early successes and challenges experienced by the Early Implementer LEAs, Achieve interviewed nine of the ten participating districts and compiled that information into two resources, focusing primarily on professional learning and instructional materials. 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.

Using Online Simulations to Support the NGSS in Middle School Classrooms

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

by Lesley Gates, Loren Nikkel, and Kambria Eastham

Middle school teachers in Kings Canyon Unified School District (KCUSD), a CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative district, have been diligently working on transitioning to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) integrated model for middle school. This year, the teachers focused on building their own knowledge of the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs). They have been gathering and sharing ideas at monthly collaborative meetings as to how to make sure their students are not just learning about science but that they are actually doing science in their classrooms. Students should be planning and carrying out investigations to gather data for analysis in order to construct explanations. This is best done through hands-on lab experiments. Experimental work is such an important part of the learning of science and education research shows that students learn better and retain more when they are active through inquiry, investigation, and application. A Framework for K-12 Science Education (2011) notes, “…learning about science and engineering involves integration of the knowledge of scientific explanations (i.e., content knowledge) and the practices needed to engage in scientific inquiry and engineering design. Thus the framework seeks to illustrate how knowledge and practice must be intertwined in designing learning experiences in K-12 Science Education” (pg. 11).

Many middle school teachers in KCUSD are facing challenges as they begin implementing these student-driven, inquiry-based NGSS science experiences in their classrooms. First, many of the middle school classrooms at our K-8 school sites are not designed as science labs. Learn More…

Powered By DT Author Box

Written by NGSS Early Implementer

NGSS Early Implementer

In 2015 CSTA began to publish a series of articles written by teachers participating in the NGSS Early Implementation Initiative. This article was written by an educator(s) participating in the initiative. CSTA thanks them for their contributions and for sharing their experience with the science teaching community.

Celestial Highlights: May – July 2017

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

May Through July 2017 with Web Resources for the Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017

by Robert C. Victor. Twilight sky maps by Robert D. Miller. Graphs of planet rising and setting times by Jeffrey L. Hunt.

In spring and summer 2017, Jupiter is the most prominent “star” in the evening sky, and Venus, even brighter, rules the morning. By mid-June, Saturn rises at a convenient evening hour, allowing both giant planets to be viewed well in early evening until Jupiter sinks low in late September. The Moon is always a crescent in its monthly encounters with Venus, but is full whenever it appears near Jupiter or Saturn in the eastern evening sky opposite the Sun. (In 2017, Full Moon is near Jupiter in April, Saturn in June.) At intervals of 27-28 days thereafter, the Moon appears at a progressively earlier phase at each pairing with the outer planet until its final conjunction, with Moon a thin crescent, low in the west at dusk. You’ll see many beautiful events by just following the Moon’s wanderings at dusk and dawn in the three months leading up to the solar eclipse. Learn More…

Powered By DT Author Box

Written by Robert Victor

Robert Victor

Robert C. Victor was Staff Astronomer at Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University. He is now retired and enjoys providing skywatching opportunities for school children in and around Palm Springs, CA. Robert is a member of CSTA.