November/December 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 2

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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Priority Features of NGSS-Aligned Instructional Materials

Posted: Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Recommendations for Publishers, Reviewers, and Educators. The California Science Teachers Association and the science teachers associations of three other Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) west-coast states, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, have co-authored a white paper on priority features of NGSS instructional materials. This is the first time our states have collaborated to convey a common vision on an issue of great importance for the implementation of the NGSS. We understand all too well that for meaningful shifts to happen and to support the full vision of the NGSS, strong K-12 Instructional materials are required. 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.

State Board Moves Forward Two Key Pieces Supporting CA NGSS Implementation

Posted: Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

CSTA President Jill Grace provides public comment at the November 8, 2017, California State Board of Education meeting.

On November 8, 2017, the California State Board of Education (SBE) took action on two items of import relating to the implementation of the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS). One item was relating to the California Science Test (CAST) and the other to instructional materials. CSTA provided both written and oral comments on both items along with providing input on what CSTA and many other advocates view as a critical component of our state’s emerging accountability system – student access to a broad course of study. 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.

NGSS – Early Attempts and Later Reflections from an Early Implementer Teacher

Posted: Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

by Christa Dunkel

  • There are so many acronyms! Where do I start?
  • What “baby step” should I take first? 
  • How can I make this happen in my elementary classroom?

All of these thoughts and more swam through my head over three years ago when I began my journey into NGSS. I was fresh from a week-long institute with the K-12 Alliance as part of the CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative. Much of the week was spent on digging into the NGSS architecture – how the standards are set-up, how to read the standards, what each of the three dimensions meant. Now that I knew how to read them, I needed to figure out how to implement them into my classroom of 24 eight-year-olds. With some guidance from the K-12 Alliance leaders and my own district-level NGSS team, I began the process with some easy “baby steps.” 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.

CSTA Is Now Accepting Nominations for Board Members

Posted: Friday, November 17th, 2017

Current, incoming, and outgoing CSTA Board of Directors at June 3, 2017 meeting.

Updated 7:25 pm, Nov. 17, 2017

It’s that time of year when CSTA is looking for dedicated and qualified persons to fill the upcoming vacancies on its Board of Directors. This opportunity allows you to help shape the policy and determine the path that the Board will take in the new year. There are time and energy commitments, but that is far outweighed by the personal satisfaction of knowing that you are an integral part of an outstanding professional educational organization, dedicated to the support and guidance of California’s science teachers. You will also have the opportunity to help CSTA review and support legislation that benefits good science teaching and teachers.

Right now is an exciting time to be involved at the state level in the California Science Teachers Association. The CSTA Board of Directors is currently involved in implementing the Next Generations Science Standards and its strategic plan. If you are interested in serving on the CSTA Board of Directors, now is the time to submit your name for consideration. 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.

Expanding Your Definition of Informal Science Education

Posted: Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

by Lori Walsh

When deciding on a field trip, zoos, aquariums and science centers typically come to mind. These facilities offer students hands-on opportunities to make science observations using inquiry. Teachers can schedule standards aligned workshops or self-guided visits. If your students have already visited these facilities, you can broaden your options by exploring the larger world of Informal Science Education. Nature centers, non-profits, and environmental groups often also offer NGSS aligned programs in the natural setting. Your students can discover the local environment while making memorable experiences. Learn More…

Written by Lori Walsh

Lori Walsh

Lori Walsh is the Education/Operations Supervisor at SEA LIFE Aquarium at LEGOLAND California Resort and Informal Science Director for CSTA.