September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

News from Region 2

Posted: Friday, October 1st, 2010

Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano counties

Region 2 News and Events

Insecta-Palooza at Sonoma State University, October 30.  Explore the fantastic world of insects, including basic bugs, garden allies, habitat gardens, aquatic insects, insect defenses, and Japanese theme special features: insect haiku exhibit, origami, film and silk moths.  A family-friendly event for all ages, from budding entomologist to  expert gardener, beekeeper to aquatic insect enthusiast.  Lectures, interactive labs, tours, children’s activities, displays, costume contest, silent auction, film, and much more.  More information on Facebook:

This summer, Stanford University launched a science program called Geoscape Bay Area: Towards an interactive approach to teaching earth science.

This is a new effort by Stanford to help develop teachers and provide insights into the teaching of science in sixth grade.  Geoscape Bay Area has many components, including a summer institute for teachers, three follow-up sessions during the school year, facilitated mentoring at school sites, and a culminating summer institute.  The program currently involves teachers from Ravenswood City School District and San Francisco Unified School District and has been collaboratively designed and implemented by a team of faculty and graduate students.  Jonathan Osborne from Stanford School of Education and Greg Beroza from the Stanford School of Earth Sciences are leading the project.

This program will foster close connections and productive partnerships between Stanford faculty in Education and Earth Sciences, teacher educators, and teacher leaders.  The goals for the program include: enhanced teaching of science through content and pedagogy, increased use of local examples for the teaching of earth sciences, supported teaching of science for English learners, and a general increase of students’ conceptual understanding of science.  For more information, visit CSET’s website at:

The Bay Area Science Festival is a weeklong celebration of the unique science and technology of the Bay Area.  Scientists from our local universities, companies, and museums will share their stories, passion and science at over 50 events – designed to invigorate interest in science.  Scheduled for October 2011, programs will feature hundreds of hands-on-activities, provocative conversations, electrifying performances, and tours of cutting-edge facilities.  Science is heading out of the lab and into our community!  Planned programs include:

Science Carnivals—Large-scale celebrations of science with hundreds of exhibitors presenting family-friendly hands-on-activities, performances, and demonstrations.  Opening carnival at Cal State East Bay Hayward with closing event at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

OpenLabs—Dozens of the Bay Area’s leading science organizations will provide exclusive opportunities to see science-in-action at the region’s research laboratories.  These unique behind-the-scenes tours will be targeted to local area high school students.

Wonder Dialogues—Conversations on science and culture between accomplished researchers and compelling individuals. Discussions and debates revolve around the questions at the edge of scientific understanding.

The festival is organized by UCSF through the Science & Health Education Partnership (SEP).  Bay Area science museums, universities, professional laboratories, and corporations have already convened to collaboratively plan the event.  Regardless of where you live in the Bay Area, you’ll find a science event happening close by.

For more information, visit (site launching at end of August).

This year’s Math/Science Resource Fair from the Council of Math/Science Educators of San Mateo County (CMSESMC) will be on September 29th at the San Mateo County Office of Education, at 101 Twin Dolphin Drive in Redwood City, CA.  Be sure to save the date and enjoy this great opportunity to get science resources and materials from Bay Area organizations and agencies.  For more information visit

The Exploratorium Teacher Institute (TI) and Literacy For Environmental Justice (LEJ) present:  Understanding The Science of Sustainability on Saturday, September 11 and Saturday, October 16, 2010, from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.

The Understanding the Science of Sustainability institute will focus on environmental awareness, stewardship, eco-literacy, and sustainability.  This institute for teachers will be based at LEJ’s new EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park in San Francisco.  The EcoCenter is the first environmental education center in the Bay Area to focus on environmental justice.  In the institute, teachers will examine the use of various technologies and strategies through hands-on activities and discussions.  Subject areas will include solar power, wastewater treatment, wetlands as filters, rainwater catchment, green building, and native plant gardening.  Sample activities include building simple solar cells, modeling filtration systems, participating in a beach cleanup at Heron’s Head Park, exploring the mathematics of rainwater catchment, and calibrating the amounts of water needed for native plants.  Time will be provided during the Institute for teachers to meet in small groups to adapt institute ideas to their own curricula and to help teachers plan a field trip to the EcoCenter.  Teachers attending both days of this institute will be paid a $200 stipend.  Follow-up half-day Saturday workshops will be offered during the 2010/2011 school year.  Attendance at these follow-up workshops is not required.   Please contact Lori Lambertson at or (415) 353-0499 for more information about this great opportunity.

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.

One Response

  1. The 35th Annual Spring Math/Science Conference of the Council of Math/Science Educators of San Mateo County (CMSESMC) will be on Saturday, March 5, 2011, at Sequoia High School, in Redwood City, starting at 8 a.m.

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State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces 2017 Finalists for Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Posted: Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today nominated eight exceptional secondary mathematics and science teachers as California finalists for the 2017 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

“These teachers are dedicated and accomplished individuals whose innovative teaching styles prepare our students for 21st century careers and college and develop them into the designers and inventors of the future,” Torlakson said. “They rank among the finest in their profession and also serve as wonderful mentors and role models.”

The California Department of Education (CDE) partners annually with the California Science Teachers Association and the California Mathematics Council to recruit and select nominees for the PAEMST program—the highest recognition in the nation for a mathematics or science teacher. The Science Finalists will be recognized at the CSTA Awards Luncheon on Saturday, October 14, 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.

Thriving in a Time of Change

Posted: Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

by Jill Grace

By the time this message is posted online, most schools across California will have been in session for at least a month (if not longer, and hat tip to that bunch!). Long enough to get a good sense of who the kids in your classroom are and to get into that groove and momentum of the daily flow of teaching. It’s also very likely that for many of you who weren’t a part of a large grant initiative or in a district that set wheels in motion sooner, this is the first year you will really try to shift instruction to align to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). I’m not going to lie to you, it’s a challenging year – change is hard. Change is even harder when there’s not a playbook to go by.  But as someone who has had the very great privilege of walking alongside teachers going through that change for the past two years and being able to glimpse at what this looks like for different demographics across that state, there are three things I hope you will hold on to. These are things I have come to learn will overshadow the challenge: a growth mindset will get you far, one is a very powerful number, and it’s about the kids. 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.

If You Are Not Teaching Science Then You Are Not Teaching Common Core

Posted: Thursday, August 31st, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn 

“Science and Social Studies can be taught for the last half hour of the day on Fridays”

– Elementary school principal

Anyone concerned with the teaching of science in elementary school is keenly aware of the problem of time. Kids need to learn to read, and learning to read takes time, nobody disputes that. So Common Core ELA can seem like the enemy of science. This was a big concern to me as I started looking at the curriculum that my district had adopted for Common Core ELA. I’ve been through those years where teachers are learning a new curriculum, and know first-hand how a new curriculum can become the focus of attention- sucking all the air out of the room. Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

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

Tools for Creating NGSS Standards Based Lessons

Posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

by Elizabeth Cooke

Think back on your own experiences with learning science in school. Were you required to memorize disjointed facts without understanding the concepts?

Science Education Background

In the past, science education focused on rote memorization and learning disjointed ideas. Elementary and secondary students in today’s science classes are fortunate now that science instruction has shifted from students demonstrating what they know to students demonstrating how they are able to apply their knowledge. Science education that reflects the Next Generation Science Standards challenges students to conduct investigations. As students explore phenomena and discrepant events they engage in academic discourse guided by focus questions from their teachers or student generated questions of that arise from analyzing data and creating and revising models that explain natural phenomena. Learn More…

Written by Elizabeth Cooke

Elizabeth Cooke

Elizabeth Cooke teaches TK-5 science at Markham Elementary in the Oakland Unified School District, is an NGSS Early Implementer, and is CSTA’s Secretary.

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. Learn More…

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.