January/February 2018 – Vol. 31 No. 2

PAEMST Nominees Announced

Posted: Friday, July 1st, 2011

California Department of Education

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson nominated six outstanding secondary teachers as 2011-12 California finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). The national winners will be named next year by the White House.

The math nominees are: William Conrad Thill, an Advanced Placement (AP) statistics and calculus teacher at the independent Harvard-Westlake School in North Hollywood, Los Angeles County; Kentaro Iwasaki, a math teacher and chair of the Mathematics Department at Mission High School in the San Francisco Unified School District, San Francisco County; and Juliana E. Jones, an algebra teacher at Longfellow Magnet Middle School in the Berkeley Unified School District, Alameda County.

The science nominees are: Dean Andrew Baird, a physics teacher at Rio Americano High School in the San Juan Unified School District, Sacramento County; Ericka Senegar-Mitchell, a biotechnology teacher at Junipero Serra High School in the San Diego Unified School District, San Diego County; and Ziba Mayar, a biology teacher at Temecula Valley High School in the Temecula Valley Unified School District, Riverside County.

“As a teacher, it is my honor to recognize these educators and the work they are doing to inspire students in mathematics and science, and prepare them for success in our technology-driven economy,” said Torlakson, a science teacher-on-leave from Contra Costa County’s Mount Diablo Unified School District. “All six nominees have demonstrated a deep understanding of their respective disciplines. Congratulations and good luck to all of them as they move forward in the national competition.”

The California Department of Education partnered with the California Science Teachers Association and the California Mathematics Council to recruit and select nominees for the PAEMST program. Each applicant had to demonstrate a mastery of math or science, appropriate use of instructional methods and strategies, effective use of assessment strategies, employ life-long learning, and show leadership in education outside the classroom. Each candidate was also required to submit a 45-minute video lesson in support of their application.

Thill has taught upper division math, including AP statistics, pre-calculus, and calculus since 2000 at the Harvard-Westlake school. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in math from the Trinity University and a Master of Arts degree in secondary math education from California State University, Northridge. His video featured a pre-calculus lesson on creating patterns, conjectures, sequences, and proofs.

Iwasaki teaches math and serves as the Chair of the Mathematics Department at Mission High School, a high poverty school with 38 percent of its students learning English. He not only teaches struggling students, but also excels at teaching honors and AP math courses, explaining the most complex math topics in such a way that students can then become teachers of math themselves.

Jones has taught algebra since 2008 at Longfellow Magnet Middle School. Prior to that, she taught in the Oakland Unified School District. She was named in 2007 as the Alameda County Teacher of the Year. Jones, who earned both a Bachelor of Science in math and a Master of Arts in education from the University of California, Los Angeles, was an Oakland Teacher of the Year, the 2005 Mathematics Teacher of the Year for Alameda-Contra Costa counties and a 2007 Alameda County Teacher of the Year. Her video focused on factoring, using an area model to determine length and width.

Baird has taught physics, computer science and electronics, and physical science since 1986 at Rio Americano High School. He is the recipient of numerous local, state, and national recognition awards and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the University of Michigan and a Master of Science degree in instructional leadership in curriculum and instruction from National University. Baird presented his “Why the Sky is Blue” video that actively explores a variety of alternative explanations through experimentation, demonstration, and discussion.

Senegar-Mitchell has taught biology and biotechnology courses since 2007 at Junipero Serra High School. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from Loyola Marymount University, a second Bachelor of Science in biology from the California State University, Dominguez Hills; a teaching credential in biological sciences and chemistry from California State University, Fullerton; and a Master of Arts and a Doctorate in Education Psychology from Chapman University. Senegar-Mitchell is San Diego Unified’s 2010 High School Teacher of the Year, a San Diego County Teacher of the Year, and a finalist for the California Teacher of the Year. Her video was a laboratory-based lesson focused on mammalian cell culture techniques.

Mayar has taught high school biology courses since 2001 at Temecula Valley High School. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from San Diego State University and was selected as the 2011 Riverside County Science Teacher of the Year. Her video focused on DNA re-combination and used student coaches to instruct and support the learning of other students.

The nominees’ applications will now be sent to the National Science Foundation and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy for additional consideration for this highly esteemed national award that will be finalized next year. PAEMST is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through twelfth grade math or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. PAEMST was enacted by Congress in 1983 and authorizes the President each year to bestow up to 108 awards to math and science teachers from each of the 50 states and four U.S. jurisdictions including Washington, D.C.; Puerto Rico; Department of Defense Schools; and the U.S. territories. PAEMST awards primary and secondary teachers in alternate years.

Since the program’s inception, 82 California teachers have been named PAEMST recipients. For more information about PAEMST, please visit the California Department of Education’s (CDE) Presidential Awards for Math & Science Teaching Web page. For contact information for the national finalists and the state nominees, please contact the CDE Communications Division at 916-319-0818 or communications@cde.ca.gov.


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.

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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

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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.

Find Your Reason to Engage

Posted: Monday, January 15th, 2018

by Jill Grace

I was recently reflecting on events in the news and remembered that several years ago, National Public Radio had a story about a man named Stéphane Hessel, a World War II French resistance fighter, Nazi concentration camp survivor, and contributor to the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The story focused on a book he had published, Time for Outrage (2010).

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His words make me take pause when I think of the status of science in the United States. A general “mistrust” of science is increasingly pervasive, as outlined in a New Yorker article from the summer of 2016. Learn More…

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Written by Jill Grace

Jill Grace

Jill Grace is a Regional Director for the K-12 Alliance and is President of CSTA.