News from Region 4
by Peter A’Hearn
As the new region four director for CSTA, my first question was, “ Okay, so what is region 4?” Turns out, region 4 is impressively large and diverse. It stretches from the beaches of San Diego and Orange counties, over the mountains of Southern California, across the deserts to the Colorado River, and up the scarp of the eastern Sierra. It includes the highest point in the lower 48 states, the lowest point in North America, and the oldest tree on Earth. What an amazing place to be teaching science!
In November it’s cooling off fast, which is great news for those of us living in the desert. The end of daylight savings time and the beginning of daylight wasting time has only one possible benefit—after-school astronomy can begin earlier. In November, the spectacular object you see in the east right after sunset is a very close Jupiter. Even small binoculars will pick up the four Gallilean moons, and Jupiter is awesome in even a small telescope.
November is also a good time for meteors, with several showers taking place this month. What this means is that on any evening, you have a good chance of catching a shooting star (not really stars, but you know that).
I’ve frequently heard people complain that California doesn’t have fall colors. Actually, the canyons of the eastern Sierra, especially Bishop canyon, have beautiful displays of yellow, orange, and red.
Events and Opportunities:
The Natural Science Collaborative of the Desert Region is throwing the Educator’s Fall Festival November 4 at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert. Come have some wine and cheese and learn about all of the opportunities to connect with the informal science community in and around the Coachella Valley. The event is from 3:00 to 6:00. Call for more information at 760-346-5694 x2501.
The Santa Rosa National Monument has a full schedule of events in November. Check their website at http://www.desertmountains.org/events.html for more information.
As the new region 4 director, I’ve had great support from outgoing director Karen Whitley- Smith. But it’s a big region and it’s hard for me to find out about everything that is going on. You’ve probably noticed that this newsletter is heavy on desert events. You can help me to include events in your part of region 4 by sending me information about events and opportunities at email@example.com.
Peter A’Hearn is science specialist at Palm Springs Unified School District and CSTA’s region 4 director.
by Michelle French
Since the public reviews of the Next Generation Science Standards have come to a close, like many primary teachers, I’ve been wondering what science will look like in kindergarten, first, and second grade classrooms. Learn More…
“SOL Grotto, 2012. 1368 glass tubes, paint. Fabrication: Matarozzi Pelsinger, Rael San Fratello Architects. SOL Grotto is a contemporary take on a grotto or Throeau’s cabin – a spartan retreat that is a space of solitude and close to nature – where one is presented with a mediated experience of water, coolness and light. The SOL Grotto also explores Solyndra’s role as a company S#@t Out of Luck. 1,368 of the 24 million high tech glass tubes destined to be destroyed as a casualty of their bankruptcy, are used in the installation. The tube’s original role as a light concentrating element is extended to transmit cool air into the space via the Venturi effect, to amplify sounds from the adjacent waterfall via the vibrations of the tubes cantilevering over the creek, and to create distorted views of the garden. The form of the electric blue array evokes Plato’s Allegory of the Cave where shadows, light and sounds can call reality into question.”
Responses from Readers:
Peter A’Hearn: Rush hour in little blue circle land.
by Valerie Joyner
Congratulations to CSTA member and STEM Educator, Katherine Schenkelberg, of West High School, in Torrance, CA! Katherine was recently awarded one of the 2013 Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards. An appointed panel of experts selected her for her innovative use of data-collection technology. “The use of data-collection technology in the classroom helps foster students’ interest in STEM education and provides them with engaging, hands-on opportunities for scientific investigation,” said David Vernier, co-founder of Vernier and a former physics teacher. “For ten years Vernier and NSTA have recognized innovative STEM educators through this award and this year’s winners are no exception – their projects and programs truly utilize the power of data-collection technology as part of the teaching and learning process.” Learn More…
by Tim Williamson
Members of the California Science Teachers Association are now in the process of voting for qualified CSTA members to fill the seven openings on the CSTA Board of Directors for the 2013-2015 term.
The election is being conducted electronically and opened for voting on April 16, 2013. Voting will close on May 16, 2013. All CSTA members were sent links to the online ballot. Members for whom we do not have current email addresses or who request a paper ballot have been mailed a ballot and candidate statements. Learn More…