May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

News and Events in Region 2

Posted: Monday, December 3rd, 2012

by Eric Lewis

You can now start to submit your ideas for workshops for next year’s Education Conference in Palm Springs!  And as always, please let me know if there are things that you’d like to add to our Region’s offerings list. Don’t forget to 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, at lewise2@sfusd.edu.

Upcoming Events in Region 2:

Abundance: A Lecture with Peter Diamandis, X-Prize/Singularity
Monday, 12/03/12, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
NASA Ames Conference Center, 234 S Akron Road, Bldg. 3, Mountain View
A free public lecture + book signing with Dr. Peter Diamandis, Executive Chair Singularity and CEO X-PRIZE, discussing how cutting edge technologies can solve global problems. For more info, contact Kathleen Burton at kathleen.m.burton@nasa.gov, call 650-604-1731 or visit their website at http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/researchpark/home/index.html

‘Blue Meridian’
Tuesday, 12/04/12, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Bay Model Visitors Center, 2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito
Blue Meridian is a journey along the Mississippi River that not only crosses the deep south, but the imagination of North America. Representing the complex relationship between place and identity, this film reveals a story of national identity undergoing radical transformation. The river both joins and separates people as well as real and imaginary places. Southern identity is tightly connected with the notion of home, and Blue Meridian seeks to discover what is left of that notion today.

Part of the Tiburon International Film Festival

For more information  call 415-332-3871 or visit their website at http://www.spn.usace.army.mil/bmvc/.

NASA’s Curiosity Rover: Four Months on Mars
Tuesday, 12/04/12, 7:00 PM
SETI Institute Colloquium Series, 189 Bernardo Avenue, Mountain View
NASA’s Curiosity Rover has been exploring its landing region at Gale Crater on Mars since August 5, 2012, searching for environments in early Mars’ history that may have been habitable, able to support microbial life.  Much of the first 90 sols have been dedicated to engineering checkouts and initial uses of the instruments.  The rover operations to date will be discussed, along with some initial scientific results regarding the geology, mineralogy, and environmental conditions at Gale Crater on Mars.

Speaker: Ashwin Vasavada, JPL
For more information email info@seti.org, call 650.961.6633 or visit their website at http://www.seti.org/talks.

Free First Wednesday at the Bay Area Discovery Museum
Wednesday, 12/5/12, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Bay Area Discovery Museum, 557 McReynolds Road, Fort Baker, Sausalito
Free Museum admission all day.
For more information, email contact@badm.org or call (415) 339-3900.

Free Day at the Exploratorium
Wednesday, 12/5/12, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Exploratorium. 3601 Lyon Street, San Francisco
Museum admission is free the first Wednesday of every month.
For more information, email visit@exploratorium.edu

Evolution of Ectomycorrhizal Symbiosis
Thursday, 12/06/12, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Bay Area Mycological Society, 338 Koshland Hall, UC Berkeley, Berkeley
Microbial symbioses have evolved repeatedly across the tree of life, but the genetic changes underlying transitions to symbiosis are largely unknown, especially for eukaryotic microbial symbionts. We used the genus Amanita, an iconic group of mushroom-forming fungi engaged in ectomycorrhizal symbioses with plants, to identify both the origins and potential genetic changes maintaining the stability of this mutualism. A multi-gene phylogeny reveals one origin of the symbiosis within Amanita, with a single transition from saprotrophic decomposition of dead organic matter to biotrophic dependence on host plants for carbon. Associated with this transition are the losses of two cellulase genes, each of which plays a critical role in extracellular decomposition of organic matter. However a third gene, which acts at later stages in cellulose decomposition, is retained by many, but not all, ectomycorrhizal species. Experiments confirm that symbiotic Amanita species have lost the ability to grow on complex organic matter and have therefore lost the capacity to live in forest soils without carbon supplied by a host plant. Irreversible losses of decomposition pathways are likely to play key roles in the evolutionary stability of these ubiquitous mutualisms.

This meeting is going to be a seminar led by Dr. Anne Pringle, Associate Professor of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, on cutting edge research in her lab. We’re asking attendees to (pre)read and be ready to discuss a paper, published in July by Benjamin Wolfe, Rod Tulloss, and Anne Pringle, titled, “The Irreversible Loss of a Decomposition Pathway Marks the Single Origin of an Ectomycorrhizal Symbiosis.” This will be a very exciting learning experience for us all.

For more information, visit http://www.bayareamushrooms.org/.

Free Day at Botanical Gardens
Thursday, 12/6/12, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
UC Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Drive, Berkeley, CA
There is free admission to the Botanical Garden on the first Thursday of each month.  For more information, email garden@berkeley.edu, call 510-643-2755 or visit our website at http://botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu/.

Houge Park Star Party
Friday, 12/7/12, 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
San Jose Astronomical Association, Houge Park, Twilight Drive, San Jose
Meet with members of San Jose Astronomical Society for a Star Party, weather permitting.
For more information visit their website at http://www.sjaa.net/.

The City From the Valley
Saturday, 12/08/12, 3:30 PM
ZERO1 Garage, 439 S 1st Street, San Jose
Fundamental shifts are underway in the relationship between San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Historically, workers have lived in residential suburbs while commuting to work in the city. For Silicon Valley, however, the situation is reversed: many of the largest technology companies are based in suburbs. Thus, an alternate transportation network of private buses threads daily through San Francisco, completing a daily cycle of picking up workers at a series of unmarked bus stops, and then carries them via the commuter lanes of the 101 and 280 freeways to and from their tech campuses.

What does this flow tell us about Silicon Valley, and the city it feeds? Is San Francisco becoming the new bedroom community for Silicon Valley? What are the effects of this alternate transportation network, and can public mass transit remain flexible enough to fulfill changing transportation and commuting needs?

Join us as a panel of artists, activists and transportation professionals discuss the future of transportation in Silicon Valley. This panel grew out of the project The City From the Valley, a research project by Stamen Design that visualizes the growing phenomenon of private buses transporting workers between San Francisco and Silicon Valley that is currently on view as part of the 2012 ZERO1 Biennial’s hub exhibition, Seeking Silicon Valley.

Fore more information check out their website at http://www.spur.org/events/calendar/city-valley.

San Mateo County Astronomical Society Star Party
Saturday, 12/8/12, 5:00 PM
College of San Mateo, Building 36, 1700 W Hillsdale Road, San Mateo
The City of San Carlos Department of Parks and Recreation and the San Mateo County Astronomical Society have open Star Parties twice a month.

Reasons to Attend:
1. If you have kids interested in space or planets bring them here for a real life view of planets, nebula, star clusters and galaxies.
2. If you are thinking of buying a telescope or want help using a telescope you own, come here to talk with experienced users.
3. If you think you might have an interest in astronomy come and talk to experienced amateur astronomers.

Setup will begin at sunset and observing about one hour after sunset.  In the event of inclement weather (rain, clouds, fog or excessive wind) the star party will not to be held. Because each astronomer makes his or her own decision about bringing their telescope, there is no official cancellation notice.

If you would like help with setting up a telescope or would like to learn about telescopes, come at sunset.  If you would just like to see the universe through a telescope, come at about one or two hours after sunset.

For more information visit their website, email SMCAS@live.com or call 605-862-9602.

Free Sunday at the California Academy of Sciences
Sunday, 12/9/12, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
California Academy of Science, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco
The Academy is changing its free day policy to target more working families, who were previously unable to come on the Wednesday free days. We hope that this change to weekend dates will allow a wider range of people to attend.

For more information, email info@calacademy.org or call 415-379-8000.  You can also visit their website for more information.

The Program in Human Biology at 40 years: What made this start-up so successful?
Tuesday, 12/11/12, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Stanford University, Tresidder Memorial Union, 459 Lagunita Drive, Stanford (Oak West Lounge)
Early faculty from the Program in Human Biology will discuss the idea behind the founding of Stanford’s largest interdisciplinary, inter-school program, the process that led up to the founding and their view of the reasons why HumBio has been so successful over the past 40 plus years. Come join Professors Sandy Dornbusch, Paul Ehrlich, Shirley Feldman, Herant Katchadourian, and Don Kennedy in a panel discussion moderated by Professor Carol Boggs. The evening will also feature clips from a video about the history of the program, including other faculty founders. There will be time for audience questions and discussion.

Panel:

  • Sandy Dornbusch, Reed-Hodgson Professor in Human Biology and Professor of Sociology, Emeritus
  • Paul Ehrlich, Bing Professor of Population Studies and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
  • Shirley Feldman, Former Professor of Human Biology
  • Herant Katchadourian, Professor of Human Biology, Emeritus
  • Don Kennedy, President, Emeritus, and Bing Professor of Environmental Science, Emeritus
  • Carol Boggs, Bing Director in Human Biology (moderator)

For more information visit their website.

Ten Days To The End of the World?
Tuesday, 12/11/12, 7:00 PM
SETI Institute Colloquium Series, 189 Bernardo Avenue, Mountain View
David Morrison, Ed Krupp and Andy Fraknoi will discuss the topic of the end of the Mayan Calender in 2012 and how this has been treated by the media. The negative effect of this millennial meme will also be explored, as well as ways of promoting a successful scientific message on the topic in the YouTube era.

Panel: David Morrison, SETI Institute. Ed Krupp, Griffith Observatory, Southern California. Andy Fraknoi, Foothill College

For more information email info@seti.org, call 650.961.6633 or visit their website at http://www.seti.org/talks.

December Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) Series Event
Wednesday, 10/10/12, 6:45 PM – 8:55 PM
Stanford University, History Corner (Building 200) Room 305, Stanford
Schedule: 7:00-9:00: Presentations

* Jennifer Parker (UC Santa Cruz) will present new works created by artists and scientists from the UCSC OpenLab Network
* Jennifer Dionne (Stanford Univ) will discuss a nanofuture of invisible objects and teleportation
*Deborah Gordon (Stanford) on “TBA”
*Mark Wagner (Street painter) will explain how street painting can create community through impermanent art.

For more information, visit their website: http://events.stanford.edu/events/346/34601/

San Mateo County Astronomical Society Star Party
Saturday, 12/15/12, 5:00 PM
College of San Mateo, Building 36, 1700 W Hillsdale Road, San Mateo
The City of San Carlos Department of Parks and Recreation and the San Mateo County Astronomical Society have open Star Parties twice a month.

Reasons to Attend

1. If you have kids interested in space or planets bring them here for a real life view of planets, nebula, star clusters and galaxies.

2. If you are thinking of buying a telescope or want help using a telescope you own, come here to talk with experienced users.

3. If you think you might have an interest in astronomy come and talk to experienced amateur astronomers.

Setup will begin at sunset and observing about one hour after sunset.  In the event of inclement weather (rain, clouds, fog or excessive wind) the star party will not to be held. Because each astronomer makes his or her own decision about bringing their telescope, there is no official cancellation notice.

If you would like help with setting up a telescope or would like to learn about telescopes, come at sunset.  If you would just like to see the universe through a telescope, come at about one or two hours after sunset.

For more information visit their website, email SMCAS@live.com or call 605-862-9602.

Houge Park Star Party
Friday, 12/21/12, 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
San Jose Astronomical Association, Houge Park, Twilight Drive, San Jose
Meet with members of San Jose Astronomical Society for a Star Party, weather permitting.
For more information visit their website at http://www.sjaa.net/.

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 zi@cascience.org.)

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: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.

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.