May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

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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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…

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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 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…

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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.