September 2016 – Vol. 29 No. 1

NGSS Statewide Symposia: NGSS Transition Phase – Rollout II

Posted: Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

by Laura Henriques

Almost 2,000 of us attended the state’s first round of NGSS workshops. These were two-day symposia held around the state to help district teams of teacher-leaders and administrators learn about Next Generation Science Standards and start to think about what NGSS is, how to plan and think about three-dimensional learning and increase awareness. As the “Rollout I” sessions come to a close (there are two left), “Rollout II” is getting ready to debut.

NGSS Transition Phase Rollout II symposia will again be two full days of NGSS. The sessions for the two days were jointly developed by the consortium of CSTA, California Science Project, K-12 Alliance/WestEd, County Offices of Education and the California Department of Education. The lead presenters for each session will be representatives from these five groups.

Come to NGSS Transition Phase – Rollout II and participate in the following sessions.

  • NGSS 103: Deepen Your Understanding of the NGSS:
    Engage with the Conceptual Shifts to refine your understanding of the NGSS vision for science education for all students. Learn about the importance of developing a professional learning plan to prepare teachers for the NGSS. Discuss the types of administrative and system supports necessary to implement these learning plans.
  • The Tool:  Designing for Learning:
    Building on Roll Out #1, incorporate a new tool to design a learning sequence that addresses the 3D aspect of the NGSS.  Learn how to order concepts from a conceptual flow and Phenomenon-Question-Practice (PQP) chart into an instructional sequence that resonates with the 5Es (engage, explore, explain, elaborate, evaluate) instructional model.
  • But What Does It Look Like?
    Apply the tool to a learning sequence for grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8 or 9-12 and experience what the learning looks like in a classroom over a multi-day lesson.  Discuss with grade level colleagues how this applies to your classroom and your instruction.
  • Teaching Through the Practices:
    Experience the coherent integration of the NGSS Scientific and Engineering Practices from the observation of a phenomenon to constructing an explanation for those observations.  This session focuses on three practices: 1) developing and revising models, 2) engaging in argument from evidence, and 3) constructing explanations, and it provides instructional strategies for each practice. Attend either a session targeted for elementary (K-5) or secondary (6-12).

Participants will select one of the following sessions

  • Administrator Strand:
    Learn how to support the implementation of NGSS at your school site and in your district through exploring various implementation resources and collaborating with other administrative leaders. This session emphasizes strategies to move from awareness to transition.
  • High School Session:
    Review the policy issues related to the implementation of NGSS at the high school level. Explore and compare sample HS course sequences that might be appropriate for your district. Discuss strategies for leading school/district discussions with stakeholders about which model(s) are best for your context.
  • The 3rd Dimension – Crosscutting Concepts:
    Learn how the seven crosscutting concepts of the Next Generation Science Standards deepen understanding of the Practices and Core Ideas and lead to productive inquiry. This hands-on workshop will explore ways to help students use the crosscutting concepts to think like scientists and engineers.
  • Engineering in a Three Dimensional Lesson:
    Experience the NGSS Engineering Design Core Ideas of defining a problem, designing a solution, and optimizing that design solution.  Learn how content specific performance expectations are linked to engineering and how engineering helps students to learn at the nexus of the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas and the Cross Cutting Concepts.

Districts are encouraged to send teams to attend the event. Teacher leaders who attended NGSS Rollout I are encouraged to attend NGSS Rollout II as well. It would be beneficial to your team if a curriculum leader or administrator attended with the team.

In case you missed NGSS Awareness Phase Rollout I , you have two more chances to attend. San Diego County Office of Education is hosting Rollout I on April 17-18 and Ventura County Office of Education is hosting on June 1-2. Learn more and register now. Space at these events is limited.

Dates & Locations for NGSS Transition Phase, Rollout II    

Written by Laura Henriques

Laura Henriques

Laura Henriques is a professor of science education at CSU Long Beach and past-president of CSTA. She serves as chair of CSTA’s Nominating Committee and is a co-chair of the NGSS Committee.

3 Responses

  1. Long Beach web site not working

  2. I checked the link today and it appears to be working, I know they are still accepting registrations.

  3. I checked the link today and it appears to be working, I know they are still accepting registrations.

Leave a Reply


California Science Assessment Update

Posted: Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

by Jessica Sawko

In June 2016 California submitted a waiver application to discontinue using the old CST (based on 1998 standards) and conduct two years of pilot and field tests (in spring 2017 and 2018, respectively) of the new science assessment designed to support our state’s current science standards (California Next Generation Science Standards (CA-NGSS) adopted in 2013). The waiver was requested because no student scores will be provided as a part of the pilot and field tests. The CDE received a response from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on September 30, 2016, which provides the CDE the opportunity to resubmit a revised waiver request within 60 days. The CDE will be revising the waiver request and resubmitting as ED suggested.

At its October 2016 North/South Assessment meetings CDE confirmed that there will be no administration of the old CST in the spring of 2017. (An archive of the meeting is available at 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.

Some ways to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in your classroom

Posted: Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

by Carol Peterson

1) To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, Google has put together a collection of virtual tours combining 360-degree video, panoramic photos and expert narration. It’s called “The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks” and is accessible right from the browser. You can choose from one of five different locales, including the Kenai Fjords in Alaska and Bryce Canyon in Utah, and get a guided “tour” from a local park ranger. Each one has a few virtual vistas to explore, with documentary-style voiceovers and extra media hidden behind clickable thumbnails. Ideas are included for use in classrooms. 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.

2016 Award Recipients – Join CSTA in Honoring Their Accomplishments

Posted: Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

CSTA is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 CSTA Awards for Distinguished Contributions, Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award, 2014 and 2015 PAEMST-Science recipients from California, and the 2016 California PAEMST Finalists. The following individuals and organizations will be honored during the 2016 California Science Education Conference  on October 21- 23 in Palm Springs. This year’s group of awardees are truly outstanding. Please join us in congratulating them!

Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award

John Keller

John Keller

The Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award honors an individual who has made a significant contribution to science education in the state and who, through years of leadership and service, has truly made a positive impact on the quality of science teaching. This year’s recipient is John Keller, Ph.D. Dr. Keller is Associate Professor, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Co-Director, Center for Engineering, Science, and Mathematics Education, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. In her letter of recommendation, SDSU science education faculty and former CSTA board member Donna Ross wrote: “He brings people together who share the desire to make a difference in the development and implementation of programs for science teaching. Examples of these projects include the Math and Science Teaching Initiative (MSTI), Noyce Scholars Program, Western Regional Noyce Initiative, and the Science Teacher and Researcher (STAR) program.” Through his work, he has had a dramatic impact on science teacher education, both preservice and in-service, in California, the region, and the country. He developed and implemented the STEM Teacher and Researcher Program which aims to produce excellent K-12 STEM teachers by providing aspiring teachers with opportunities to do authentic research while helping them translate their research experience into classroom practice. SFSU faculty member Larry Horvath said it best in his letter:“John Keller exemplifies the best aspects of a scientist, science educator, and mentor. His contributions to science education in the state of California are varied, significant, and I am sure will continue well into the future.” 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: Making Your Life Easier

Posted: Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

by Peter A’hearn

Wait… What?

NGSS is a big shift. Teachers need to learn new content, figure out how this whole engineering thing relates to science, and develop new unit and lesson plans. How could NGSS possibly make life easier?

The idea that NGSS could make our lives easier came to me during the California State NGSS Rollout #1 Classroom Example lesson on chromatography. I have since done this lesson with high school chemistry students and it made me think back to having my own students do chromatography. I spent lots of time preparing to make sure the experiment went well and achieved the “correct” result. I pre-prepared the solutions and organized and prepped the materials. I re-wrote and re-wrote again the procedure so there was no way a kid could get it wrong. I spent 20 minutes before the lab modeling all of the steps in class, so there was no way to do it wrong. Except that it turns out there were many. Learn More…

Powered By DT Author Box

Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

Peter A’Hearn is the K-12 science specialist in the Palm Springs Unified School District and is Region 4 Director for CSTA.

Celestial Highlights, September 2016

Posted: Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

by Robert C. Victor. Twilight sky maps by Robert D. Miller. Graph of evening planet setting times by Dr. Jeffrey L. Hunt 

Our evening twilight chart for September, depicting the sky about 40 minutes after sunset from SoCal, shows brilliant Venus remaining low, creeping from W to WSW and gaining a little altitude as the month progresses. Its close encounter within 2.5° N of Spica on Sept. 18 is best seen with binoculars to catch the star low in bright twilight. The brightest stars in the evening sky are golden Arcturus descending in the west, and blue-white Vega passing just north of overhead. Look for Altair and Deneb completing the Summer Triangle with Vega. The triangle of Mars-Saturn-Antares expands as Mars seems to hold nearly stationary in SSW as the month progresses, while Saturn and Antares slink off to the SW. Learn More…

Powered By DT Author Box

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.