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.

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CSTA Annual Conference Early Bird Rates End July 14

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

Teachers engaged in workshop activity

Teachers engaging in hands-on learning during a workshop at the 2016 CSTA conference.

Don’t miss your chance to register at the early bird rate for the 2017 CSTA Conference – the early-bird rate closes July 14. Need ideas on how to secure funding for your participation? Visit our website for suggestions, a budget planning tool, and downloadable justification letter to share with your admin. Want to take advantage of the early rate – but know your district will pay eventually? Register online today and CSTA will reimburse you when we receive payment from your district/employer. (For more information on how that works contact Zi Stair in the office for details – 916-979-7004 or

New Information Now Available On-line:

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.

Goodbye Outgoing and Welcome Incoming CSTA Board Members

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Jill Grace

Jill Grace, CSTA President, 2017-2019

On July 1, 2017 five CSTA members concluded their service and four new board members joined the ranks of the CSTA Board of Directors. CSTA is so grateful for all the volunteer board of directors who contribute hours upon hours of time and energy to advance the work of the association. At the June 3 board meeting, CSTA was able to say goodbye to the outgoing board members and welcome the incoming members.

This new year also brings with it a new president for CSTA. As of July 1, 2017 Jill Grace is the president of the California Science Teachers Association. Jill is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach, a former middle school science teacher, and is currently a Regional Director with the K-12 Alliance @ WestEd where she works with California NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative districts and charter networks in the San Diego area.

Outgoing Board Members

  • Laura Henriques (President-Elect: 2011 – 2013, President: 2013 – 2015, Past President: 2015 – 2017)
  • Valerie Joyner (Region 1 Director: 2009 – 2013, Primary Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Mary Whaley (Informal Science Education Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Sue Campbell (Middle School/Jr. High Director: 2015 – 2017)
  • Marcus Tessier (2-Year College Director: 2015 – 2017)

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.

Finding My Student’s Motivation of Learning Through Engineering Tasks

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Huda Ali Gubary and Susheela Nath

It’s 8:02 and the bell rings. My students’ walk in and pick up an entry ticket based on yesterday’s lesson and homework. My countdown starts for students to begin…3, 2, 1. Ten students are on task and diligently completing the work, twenty are off task with behaviors ranging from talking up a storm with their neighbors to silently staring off into space. This was the start of my classes, more often than not. My students rarely showed the enthusiasm for a class that I had eagerly prepared for. I spent so much time searching for ways to get my students excited about the concepts they were learning. I wanted them to feel a connection to the lessons and come into my class motivated about what they were going to learn next. I would ask myself how I could make my class memorable where the kids were in the driver’s seat of learning. Incorporating engineering made this possible. Learn More…

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Written by NGSS Early Implementer

NGSS Early Implementer

In 2015 CSTA began to publish a series of articles written by teachers participating in the California NGSS k-8 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.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Unveils Updated Recommended Literature List

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson unveiled an addition of 285 award-winning titles to the Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list.

“The books our students read help broaden their perspectives, enhance their knowledge, and fire their imaginations,” Torlakson said. “The addition of these award-winning titles represents the state’s continued commitment to the interests and engagement of California’s young readers.”

The Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list is a collection of more than 8,000 titles of recommended reading for children and adolescents. Reflecting contemporary and classic titles, including California authors, this online list provides an exciting range of literature that students should be reading at school and for pleasure. Works include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama to provide for a variety of tastes, interests, and abilities. Learn More…

Written by Guest Contributor

From time to time CSTA receives contributions from guest contributors. The opinions and views expressed by these contributors are not necessarily those of CSTA. By publishing these articles CSTA does not make any endorsements or statements of support of the author or their contribution, either explicit or implicit. All links to outside sources are subject to CSTA’s Disclaimer Policy:

Teaching Science in the Time of Alternative Facts – Why NGSS Can Help (somewhat)

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn

The father of one of my students gave me a book: In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood by Walt Brown, Ph. D. He had heard that I was teaching Plate Tectonics and wanted me to consider another perspective. The book offered the idea that the evidence for plate tectonics could be better understood if we considered the idea that beneath the continent of Pangaea was a huge underground layer of water that suddenly burst forth from a rift between the now continents of Africa and South America. The waters shot up and the continents hydroplaned apart on the water layer to their current positions. The force of the movement pushed up great mountain ranges which are still settling to this day, resulting in earthquakes along the margins of continents. This had happened about 6,000 years ago and created a great worldwide flood. Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

Peter A’Hearn is the Region 4 Director for CSTA.