January/February 2018 – Vol. 31 No. 2

Open Letter to High School Earth Science Educators

Posted: Thursday, December 1st, 2011

by Wendy Van Norden, Tom Traeger, Ray Ingersoll, Bruce Luyendyk, and Eldridge Moores.

Dear Earth Science Educators:

We are pleased to announce that the UC Academic Senate Board on Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS), and the UC Office of the President have approved a high school course entitled Honors Earth Science that will meet the UC Area “d” Laboratory Science admissions requirement. The course was designed principally by high school teacher Wendy Van Norden with help from the rest of us.  It is listed on https://doorways.ucop.edu/list/, under the listings for Harvard-Westlake School, North Hollywood, CA.  The  Honors Earth Science course outline, appears on the Honors Geology website of Harvard Westlake School, at http://www.hwscience.com/Geology/Honors/index.html.

The Honors Earth Science course is intended for high school juniors and seniors.  It has prerequisites of algebra, biology, and chemistry.  In principle, any high school that adopts this course should receive UC’s “d” Laboratory Science credit for it.  Widespread adoption of this course in CA high schools should significantly increase the awareness of Earth Science by CA high school graduates, UC’s entering students, and the public at large.

This course does not conflict with or replace existing 9th grade Earth science classes.  It is intended as a third-year science class for college-bound students, particularly those UC-bound.  BOARS has made clear that 9th grade Earth science classes will not receive “d” certification.

The course has Honors status, and that gives students an edge in UC admissions and a grade point bonus, similar to the bonus given to AP courses.  It can also be turned into a dual credit course.  For example,  students who presently take Honors Geology may receive 5 credit units on a UCLA transcript.

We hope that this new development will encourage high schools throughout California to offer this course, and thus better prepare their students to function as informed citizens in the 21st century.

We encourage you to look at this course outline carefully, and we encourage you to consider adopting the course in your own school.  Widespread adoption of this course would go far towards the spread of Earth Science courses eligible for “d” Laboratory Science credit at UC throughout California.  It would benefit all present and future Californians.

If you are interested in the possibility of teaching either Honors Earth Science or Honors Geology at your school, please contact Wendy Van Norden wvannorden@hw.com

Wendy Van Norden, Harvard-Westlake School, North Hollywood, CA.
NESTA Far West Director
Tom Traeger, La Canada High School, La Canada, CA
Ray Ingersoll, Earth and Space Sciences, UCLA
Bruce Luyendyk, Earth Science, UCSB
Eldridge Moores, Geology, UC Davis

 

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.

4 Responses

  1. At long last! Congratulations to all who worked to make this happen, especially to Eldrigde Moores who championed Earth Science in high school during my presidency of CSTA. It was a personal goal of mine that seemed would never occur, but now it has. I am very pleased. Earth Science has been suppressed from the high school curriculum for far too long. Hopefully, this will open more doors to the acceptance that Earth Science like Physics, Chemistry, and Biology is rigorous science.

  2. This is the BEST news I have heard for the future of Geosciences in California! We have such a great need for students to find their passions and it is wonderful that Earth Science can now be a vital part of our students’ education. It is also wonderful that since this course is an Honors course, it can give students an “edge” in the UC system. While president of CSTA I personally wrote to all of the California High Schools which had a three year science requirement for graduation and thanked them for taking such an important step in promoting science. I encourage our current president, Rick Pomeroy, to begin with the address list that our office manager compiled at that time, and send each of these high schools a personal letter encouraging them to implement this course in their curriculum. It seems it would be a perfect fit since these schools already require three years. I would love to send a HUGE email hug to Wendy Van Norden and her cohorts for such an impressive amount of work and labor of love, Bravo!

  3. Thank you Wendy! I am a State of California Professional Geologist and Certificated Geoscience Teacher! This is really big!

    Now it is up to the Earth Science teachers to convince the school’s administration that they teach at to offer the course, then they have to convince the counselors to promote the course, they have to promote the course and then finally someone will get to teach it!

    Yay for California’s students!!!!!

    Thanks again Wendy! And a big thank you to Tom Traeger, Ray Ingersoll, Bruce Luyendyk, and Eldridge Moores, for the time and energy they dedicated to this project and for taking this big step in California science education.

  4. […] may recall that Honors Earth Science was recently approved (in 2011) as a University of California Area (d) laboratory science, in an effort led by Wendy Van […]

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LATEST POST

California Science Test Academy for Educators

Posted: Thursday, February 15th, 2018

California Science Test Academy for Educators

To support implementation of the California Science Test (CAST), the California Department of Education is partnering with Educational Testing Service and WestEd to offer a one-day CAST Academy for local educational agency (LEA) science educators, to be presented at three locations in California from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. As an alternative to traveling, LEA teams can participate virtually via WebEx on one of the dates listed below.

The dates and locations for the CAST Academy are as follows:

  • Monday, April 23, 2018—Sacramento
  • Wednesday, April 25, 2018—Fresno
  • Thursday, April 26, 2018—Irvine

The CAST Academy will help participants develop a deeper understanding of the assessment design and expectations of the CAST. The academy also will provide information and activities designed to assist educators in their implementation of the California Next Generation Science Standards and three-dimensional learning to help them gain an understanding of how these new science assessment item types can inform teaching and learning. The CAST Academy dates above are intended for school and district science instructional leaders, including teacher leaders, teacher trainers, and instructional coaches. Additional trainings will be offered at a later date specifically for county staff. In addition, curriculum, professional development, and assessment leaders would benefit from this training.

A $100 registration fee will be charged for each person attending the in-person training. Each virtual team participating via WebEx will be charged $100 for up to 10 participants through one access point. Each workshop will have the capacity to accommodate a maximum of 50 virtual teams. Each virtual team will need to designate a lead, who is responsible for organizing the group locally. Registration and payment must be completed online at http://www.cvent.com/d/6tqg8k.

For more information regarding the CAST Academy, please contact Elizabeth Dilke, Program Coordinator, Educational Testing Service, by phone at 916-403-2407 or by e‑mail at caasppworkshops@ets.org.

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.

Accelerating into NGSS – A Statewide Rollout Series Now Accepting Registrations

Posted: Friday, January 19th, 2018

Are you feeling behind on the implementation of NGSS? Then Accelerating into NGSS – the Statewide Rollout event – is right for you!

WHO SHOULD ATTEND
If you have not experienced Phases 1-4 of the Statewide Rollout, or are feeling behind with the implementation of NGSS, the Accelerating Into NGSS Statewide Rollout will provide you with the greatest hits from Phases 1-4!

OVERVIEW
Accelerating Into NGSS Statewide Rollout is a two-day training geared toward grade K-12 academic coaches, administrators, curriculum leads, and teacher leaders. Check-in for the two-day rollout begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by a continental breakfast. Sessions run from 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Day One and from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Day Two.

Cost of training is $250 per attendee. Fee includes all materials, continental breakfast, and lunch on both days. It is recommended that districts send teams of four to six, which include at least one administrator. Payment can be made by check or credit card. If paying by check, registration is NOT complete until payment has been received. All payments must be received prior to the Rollout location date you are attending. Paying by credit card secures your seat at time of registration. No purchase orders accepted. No participant cancellation refunds.

For questions or more information, please contact Amy Kennedy at akennedy@sjcoe.net or (209) 468-9027.

REGISTER

http://bit.ly/ACCELERATINGINTONGSS

DATES & LOCATIONS
MARCH 28-29, 2018
Host: San Mateo County Office of Education
Location: San Mateo County Office of Education, Redwood City

APRIL 10-11, 2018
Host: Orange County Office of Education
Location: Brandman University, Irvine

MAY 1-2, 2018
Host: Tulare County Office of Education
Location: Tulare County Office of Education, Visalia

MAY 3-4, 2018
Host: San Bernardino Superintendent of Schools
Location: West End Educational Service Center, Rancho Cucamonga

MAY 7-8, 2018
Host: Sacramento County Office of Education
Location: Sacramento County Office of Education Conference Center and David P. Meaney Education Center, Mather

JUNE 14-15, 2018
Host: Imperial County Office of Education
Location: Imperial Valley College, Imperial

Presented by the California Department of Education, California County Superintendents Educational Services Association/County Offices of Education, K-12 Alliance @WestEd, California Science Project, and the California Science Teachers Association.

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.

The Teaching and Learning Collaborative, Reflections from an Administrator

Posted: Friday, January 19th, 2018

by Kelly Patchen

My name is Mrs. Kelly Patchen, and I am proud to be an elementary assistant principal working in the Tracy Unified School District (TUSD) at Louis Bohn and McKinley Elementary Schools. Each of the schools I support are Title I K-5 schools with about 450 students, a diverse student population, a high percentage of English Language Learners, and students living in poverty. We’re also lucky to be part of the CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative with the K-12 Alliance. 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.

2018 CSTA Conference Call for Proposals

Posted: Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

CSTA is pleased to announce that we are now accepting proposals for 90-minute workshops and three- and six-hour short courses for the 2018 California Science Education Conference. Workshops and short courses make up the bulk of the content and professional learning opportunities available at the conference. In recognition of their contribution, members who present a workshop or short course receive 50% off of their registration fees. Click for more information regarding proposals, or submit one today by following the links below.

Short Course Proposal

Workshop Proposal 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.

CSTA’s New Administrator Facebook Group Page

Posted: Monday, January 15th, 2018

by Holly Steele

The California Science Teachers Association’s mission is to promote high-quality science education, and one of the best practice’s we use to fulfill that mission is through the use of our Facebook group pages. CSTA hosts several closed and moderated Facebook group pages for specific grade levels, (Elementary, Middle, and High School), pages for district coaches and science education faculty, and the official CSTA Facebook page. These pages serve as an online resource for teachers and coaches to exchange teaching methods, materials, staying update on science events in California and asking questions. CSTA is happy to announce the creation of a 6th group page called, California Administrators Supporting Science. 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: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.