May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

News from Region 2

Posted: Monday, November 1st, 2010

by Eric Lewis

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

Region 2 News and Events

Greetings from our great region and home of the World Series Champions!  As usual, our area of California is full of wonderful events and resources for science teachers!

A free online database of high-quality science lessons from the Science and Health Education Partnership (SEP) at UCSF:

Each year, the teachers and volunteers involved in SEP programs, as well as the SEP staff themselves, design and pilot hundreds of high quality science lessons—lessons that actively engage learners in the processes of science.  These lessons have been captured and shared through SEP’s online lesson plan database, SEP Lessons (—an online resource of high quality, investigative lesson plans to benefit the K-12 science teaching community.  Classroom-tested partnership lessons are reviewed by SEP staff and then published on the free, publicly accessible site.  All lessons in the database can be printed as conveniently formatted lesson plans for classroom use.  In addition, many lessons in the database include attachments of supporting materials such as diagrams, student data sheets, etc., as well as web links and more traditional citations.

Chabot To Open Bill Nye’s Climate Lab on November 20th and 21st

Chabot Space & Science Center will be featuring a new permanent exhibition: Bill Nye’s Climate Lab.  This new exhibition in the science center will feature Emmy-award-winning Bill Nye the Climate Guy® as commander of the Clean Energy Space Station.  In the exhibit, visitors will be doing some hands-on activities to design and implement a mission to help stop climate change on our planet.  Visitors will explore air, water, and land galleries to discover how climate change affects the earth’s interconnected system and how we can use the energy from the sun, wind, land, and water to generate clean energy for our energy needs.

As part of the exhibit, visitors will ride a hot-air balloon and imagine diving into the ocean in an underwater research vessel.  Visitors will learn how scientists uncover our planet’s climate history through samples of ancient ice, trees, and mud.  Bill Nye’s humor and excitement for science education is a perfect match with Chabot’s hopeful, solutions-oriented approach to climate change education.  By focusing on solutions for a healthier planet, rather than focusing on the threats posed by climate change, visitors to this exhibit will take away tools to make smarter choices in their homes, their cars, and their lives.

To join in the opening weekend celebration November 20 and 21, check Chabot’s website, for a schedule of activities.

Expanding Your Horizons in Science & Mathematics(tm)
On Saturday, November 20, 2010 at San Francisco State University (8:30 AM – 2:45 PM), students will once again have the opportunity to attend the Expanding Your Horizons in Science and Mathematics(tm) conferences nurture girls’ interest in science and math courses to encourage them to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. The mission of this conference is to encourage young women to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. The San Francisco Expanding Your Horizons Conference (EYH) will provide STEM role models and hands-on activities for middle school girls. Our ultimate goal is to motivate girls to become innovative and creative thinkers ready to meet 21st century challenges. The Keynote Speaker for the event will be Cathy Valentino, Author-in-Residence, Houghton Mifflin Company.

Please go to to get more information and to get students to register for the event!

The Exploratorium to move into new home at Piers 15 and 17 in SF by 2012

The Exploratorium, San Francisco‘s hands-on science museum, is preparing to move from the Marina for its new home along the Embarcadero in San Francisco.  While the museum has received over $90 million to help the move to happen, there is still additional fundraising to be done to get the job done.

While many people lament the move from the Palace of Fine Arts, it is clear that the move will bring the Exploratorium into the future.  The new site will not only be incredibly modern—especially when compared to its current home—but the move will also bring additional programs for local teachers, students, and the public at large.

To learn more about the Exploratorium programs and resources and to plan a visit to the museum while it’s still in the Marina, visit their website at

Excited about the World Series win?  Teach about the Physics of Baseball from our region’s resources

At KQED QUEST’s online site, you can find out about how UC Berkeley science undergraduates were experimenting with force, velocity, and aerodynamics.  Of course, to do their investigations they eschewed the laboratory and took up temporary residence at a baseball diamond.  The QUEST site has a link to the original television story, as well as additional links to teacher resources.  Check it out at:

After checking out the KQED QUEST site, head over to the Exploratorium’s award-winning website on the Science of Baseball.  This site has great links to experiments that you can do with your students, historical articles about baseball, and a variety of other great articles that help you to learn about the science of the game,

Finally, if you want a more personal feel to your baseball science, check out the Physics Teacher SOS site.  One of the major contributors to the site is a HUGE baseball fan—of the SF Giants to be specific—and he has created a variety of baseball themed activities and experiments for his students.  Once you go to the website, contact Paul Robinson about his work with baseball,

The 34th Annual BAEER Fair, with 75 exhibitors and numerous workshops for educators and parents with a special interest in wildlife, ecology, adventure, and much more, will take place on  Saturday, January 22nd, 2011 at the Marin Civic Center in San Rafael, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Discover the latest in classroom materials, environmental education programs, and field trip sites. Attend workshops introducing conservation and wildlife education, transportation, and fuel use, plus strategies for fostering environmental awareness. General admission to the BAEER Fair is just $12.00; high school students and seniors $10; youth $8; children 6 and under are free. For more information, please call Ken Hanley at (510) 657-4847 or contact Ken via email at kenpacx@yahoo.comRead a personal story about how the BAEER Fair affected one science teacher.

Eric Lewis is high school area science support in the San Francisco Unified School District LEAD office and is CSTA region 2 director.

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.

Leave a Reply


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

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…

Powered By DT Author Box

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:

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…

Powered By DT Author Box

Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

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