January/February 2018 – Vol. 31 No. 2

News and Happenings in CSTA’s Region 1 – Fall 2017

Posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

by Marian Murphy-Shaw


This month I was fortunate enough to hear about some new topics to share with our entire region. Some of you may access the online or newsletter options, others may attend events in person that are nearer to you. Long time CSTA member and environmental science educator Mike Roa is well known to North Bay Area teachers for his volunteer work sharing events and resources. In this month’s Region 1 updates I am happy to make a few of the options Mike offers available to our region.

First of all, if you are really close to Mike in Sonoma or neighboring counties he wants to hear from science educators are interested in volunteering at activity tables at the North Bay Science Discovery Day on Saturday, October 28, 2017. The purpose of the event is to get kids excited about science in general, and as a career more specifically, especially being science teachers who get to do science stuff all the time! The focus of the table would be hands-on activities for kids. But the people “working” at the table would look for opportunities to encourage people to think about science teaching as a STEM career path. If you contact him directly at mroa@sonic.net.

Second, for those in the greater Region 1 area, Mike produces a free monthly e-newsletter, The Grapevine. It includes information on events, resources, grants, training, job openings, and other information of interest to both formal and non-formal science and environmental educators in the North Bay Area and beyond. In addition to receiving information, subscribers can post information about their events, ask for ideas, materials, or other assistance, and share information that would be of interest to the over 800 Grapevine subscribers.

For information, or to receive a sample Grapevine, contact Mike Roa at mroa@sonic.net. You can also talk with Mike at the Project Learning Tree table at the CSTA Conference in October.

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Two sites can help you locate Maker Faires and Science Festivals in your area. These events are intended to raise awareness and enthusiasm about science, engineering, technology, design and creative thought across communities, going beyond the classroom.

Science Festival Alliance https://sciencefestivals.org/

Maker Faire http://makerfaire.com/

CSTA Region 1 has so much going on! Join the fun! Teachers can send the word home to your student’s families, volunteer to be part of an event near your community, let organizers know about the community partners you value. Celebrate STEAM!

Here are some Region 1 events…

Rogue Valley Mini Maker Faire: September 23, 2017

The Rogue Valley Mini Maker Faire, in Ashland Oregon, is a family friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning. Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers. They are of all ages and backgrounds.

The aim of Maker Faire is to entertain, inform, connect and grow this community. Southern Oregon has long been a hotbed for technology, innovation, creativity, and the entrepreneurial spirit. The Rogue Valley Mini Maker Faire will bring together a diverse audience of all ages interested in technology, engineering, arts, crafts, food, music, science, and sustainability. Whether your company is local or international, you will reach the right mix of technologists, creatives, and enthusiasts. These families, educators, engineers, entrepreneurs and more are looking to learn more about the Maker movement and companies that support it. The Faire provides access to some of the brightest young minds in the Southern Oregon area and their parents.

Rocklin Mini Maker Faire: October 14, 2017

Featuring both established and emerging local “makers,” the Rocklin Mini Maker Faire, held at Sierra College, is a family-friendly celebration featuring rockets and robots, digital fabrication, DIY science and technology, urban farming and sustainability, alternative energy, bicycles, unique hand-made crafts, music and local food, and educational workshops and installations. The Rocklin Mini Maker Faire follows the “big” Maker Faire model of celebrating invention, creativity, and resourcefulness, but is smaller in scale and will showcase the wonders of Placer and Sacramento counties and beyond!

North Bay Science Discovery Day: October 28, 2017

Returning for its seventh year, the free North Bay Science Discovery Day will be held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa on Saturday, October 28, 2017, from 10 to 4. This year’s one-day attendance is expected to exceed 15,000, as the successful and exciting day has grown in the past from 4,000 to over 14,000.

It will feature over 100 hands-on science games, experiments and other activities to spark kids’ curiosity about all fields of science from astronomy to zoology, and including health, medicine, engineering, technology, biotechnology, climate science, botany, entomology, and many other areas. Children will learn about Bluetooth technology, operate a variety of robots, make SLIME, touch tide pool critters, use microscopes, build gravity powered cars, dissect a squid, learn about protecting endangered wildlife, and climb inside a jet cockpit, among many other fun and interesting activities.

This year’s Discovery Day will include several booths at which visitors with a passion for science will be encouraged to consider a career in science teaching. If you would like to know more about those – and possibly help out, or about the Discovery Day in general, you are welcome to contact CSTA member Mike Roa at mroa@sonic.net.

For information on the North Bay Science Discovery Day, go to www.northbayscience.org

The North Bay Science Discovery Day is part of the Bay Area Science Festival, which runs from October 26 to November 11. For information, go to www.bayareascience.org

Bay Area Science Festival: October 27 – November 5, 2017

Organized by the Science & Health Education Partnership (SEP) at UC San Francisco (UCSF) in partnership with local scientific, cultural, and educational institutions, the Bay Area Science Festival (BASF) is an annual celebration of the unique science and technology of the Bay Area. With over 50 events from Santa Rosa to San Jose, the Bay Area Science Festival reaches more than 50,000 people each year. Our mission is to celebrate the Bay Area’s scientific wonders, resources, and opportunities by exploring the role of science, engineering, and technology locally & in the world. Attendance has averaged well over 70,000, making BASF one of the largest science festivals in the country. BASF specializes in large-scale events for adults, multiple hands-on family expo events in different geographic regions, and intimate tours of scientific facilities, normally off limits to the public.

Details coming soon for the newest Region 1 Science Festival – May 2018 in Siskiyou County! Interested volunteers or collaborators may contact the Sisson Museum at museum@mtshastamuseum.com

In Fall of 2018 look for the Shasta County Mini Maker Faire offered every-other year.

As always let me know what you have to share with our region or questions you have about resources needed by the many unique districts and schools in CSTA Region 1.

Written by Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw is the student services director at Siskiyou County Office of Education and is CSTA’s Region 1 Director and chair of CSTA’s Policy Committee.

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Accelerating into NGSS – A Statewide Rollout Series Now Accepting Registrations

Posted: Friday, January 19th, 2018

Are you feeling behind on the implementation of NGSS? Then Accelerating into NGSS – the Statewide Rollout event – is right for you!

If you have not experienced Phases 1-4 of the Statewide Rollout, or are feeling behind with the implementation of NGSS, the Accelerating Into NGSS Statewide Rollout will provide you with the greatest hits from Phases 1-4!

Accelerating Into NGSS Statewide Rollout is a two-day training geared toward grade K-12 academic coaches, administrators, curriculum leads, and teacher leaders. Check-in for the two-day rollout begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by a continental breakfast. Sessions run from 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Day One and from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Day Two.

Cost of training is $250 per attendee. Fee includes all materials, continental breakfast, and lunch on both days. It is recommended that districts send teams of four to six, which include at least one administrator. Payment can be made by check or credit card. If paying by check, registration is NOT complete until payment has been received. All payments must be received prior to the Rollout location date you are attending. Paying by credit card secures your seat at time of registration. No purchase orders accepted. No participant cancellation refunds.

For questions or more information, please contact Amy Kennedy at akennedy@sjcoe.net or (209) 468-9027.



MARCH 28-29, 2018
Host: San Mateo County Office of Education
Location: San Mateo County Office of Education, Redwood City

APRIL 10-11, 2018
Host: Orange County Office of Education
Location: Brandman University, Irvine

MAY 1-2, 2018
Host: Tulare County Office of Education
Location: Tulare County Office of Education, Visalia

MAY 3-4, 2018
Host: San Bernardino Superintendent of Schools
Location: West End Educational Service Center, Rancho Cucamonga

MAY 7-8, 2018
Host: Sacramento County Office of Education
Location: Sacramento County Office of Education Conference Center and David P. Meaney Education Center, Mather

JUNE 14-15, 2018
Host: Imperial County Office of Education
Location: Imperial Valley College, Imperial

Presented by the California Department of Education, California County Superintendents Educational Services Association/County Offices of Education, K-12 Alliance @WestEd, California Science Project, and the California Science Teachers Association.

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.

The Teaching and Learning Collaborative, Reflections from an Administrator

Posted: Friday, January 19th, 2018

by Kelly Patchen

My name is Mrs. Kelly Patchen, and I am proud to be an elementary assistant principal working in the Tracy Unified School District (TUSD) at Louis Bohn and McKinley Elementary Schools. Each of the schools I support are Title I K-5 schools with about 450 students, a diverse student population, a high percentage of English Language Learners, and students living in poverty. We’re also lucky to be part of the CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative with the K-12 Alliance. 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.

2018 CSTA Conference Call for Proposals

Posted: Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

CSTA is pleased to announce that we are now accepting proposals for 90-minute workshops and three- and six-hour short courses for the 2018 California Science Education Conference. Workshops and short courses make up the bulk of the content and professional learning opportunities available at the conference. In recognition of their contribution, members who present a workshop or short course receive 50% off of their registration fees. Click for more information regarding proposals, or submit one today by following the links below.

Short Course Proposal

Workshop Proposal 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.

CSTA’s New Administrator Facebook Group Page

Posted: Monday, January 15th, 2018

by Holly Steele

The California Science Teachers Association’s mission is to promote high-quality science education, and one of the best practice’s we use to fulfill that mission is through the use of our Facebook group pages. CSTA hosts several closed and moderated Facebook group pages for specific grade levels, (Elementary, Middle, and High School), pages for district coaches and science education faculty, and the official CSTA Facebook page. These pages serve as an online resource for teachers and coaches to exchange teaching methods, materials, staying update on science events in California and asking questions. CSTA is happy to announce the creation of a 6th group page called, California Administrators Supporting Science. 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.

Find Your Reason to Engage

Posted: Monday, January 15th, 2018

by Jill Grace

I was recently reflecting on events in the news and remembered that several years ago, National Public Radio had a story about a man named Stéphane Hessel, a World War II French resistance fighter, Nazi concentration camp survivor, and contributor to the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The story focused on a book he had published, Time for Outrage (2010).

In it, Hessel makes the argument that the worst attitude is indifference:

“Who is in charge; who are the decision makers? It’s not always easy to discern. We’re not dealing with a small elite anymore, whose actions we can clearly identify. We are dealing with a vast, interdependent world that is interconnected in unprecedented ways. But there are unbearable things all around us. You have to look for them; search carefully. Open your eyes and you will see. This is what I tell young people: If you spend a little time searching, you will find your reasons to engage. The worst attitude is indifference. ‘There’s nothing I can do; I get by’ – adopting this mindset will deprive you of one of the fundamental qualities of being human: outrage.  Our capacity for protest is indispensable, as is our freedom to engage.”

His words make me take pause when I think of the status of science in the United States. A general “mistrust” of science is increasingly pervasive, as outlined in a New Yorker article from the summer of 2016. Learn More…

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Written by Jill Grace

Jill Grace

Jill Grace is a Regional Director for the K-12 Alliance and is President of CSTA.