March/April 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 6

Pasadena…Home of Science and Engineering in Southern California

Posted: Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

. . . and the 2011 California Science Education Conference

The beautiful city of Pasadena will host the 20th annual California Science Education Conference.  CSTA invites you to this charming Southern California “city that feels like a village.”  Not only does Pasadena offer excellent convention facilities, hotels, and restaurants, it is also home to institutions that are recognized worldwide for the important contributions they have made to science and technology since the early 20th century.

Some of the biggest advances in astronomy, medicine, geology, and space exploration have occurred here, making it a great location in which to host the 2011 California Science Education Conference.

Pasadena’s reputation as a major center for science continues to attract great minds eager to make the next big discovery.  Pasadena is the home of many venerable science and engineering institutions, including Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and California Institute of Technology (Caltech).  Below are a few fun facts about these institutions:


Caltech is one of the finest academic and research institutions in the world. Modern earthquake science was born here in the 1920s and 1930s with the invention of a sensitive seismograph to record earthquakes and the development of the Richter Scale to measure them.  The principles of modern aviation and jet flight grew out of work carried on at Caltech by Theodore von Karman.  During the 1930s, von Karman and his students developed the principles of airplane design and flight that helped get the aircraft industry off the ground.

Caltech is known as the center of the universe for astronomers because of its major contributions to the field.  In 1948, Caltech completed the first survey of the entire sky visible from the northern hemisphere, a survey that created an atlas of the heavens that  astronomers the world over used for the next three decades.

Psychobiologist Roger Sperry determined that the left hemisphere of the brain and the right hemisphere of the brain are specialized for different capacities here in 1981.  Caltech receives more invention disclosures per faculty member than any other university in the nation.  The university has received over 1,800 U.S. patents since 1980.


In the mid-1930s, off-campus experiments by several of Theodore von Karman’s Caltech students led to the establishment in 1943 of the world famous Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).  Today JPL is the nerve center of America’s robotic space program.

Though a part of NASA, JPL is still managed by Caltech.  In the early 1940s, JPL developed the United States’ first rockets and guided missiles.  In 1958, JPL helped create and launch Explorer I, the first U.S. satellite.  This started the “space race” with the Soviet Union.  That year JPL joined space exploration as part of the newly formed NASA.  In the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, JPL launched the Pioneer, Mariner, Voyager, Magellan, and Galileo missions to explore the solar system.  In July 1997, the Mars Pathfinder and its Sojourner rover captivated the world with its spectacular images of the Martian surface.  Currently JPL has 20 spacecraft and nine instruments conducting active missions.

What better place to host a conference that brings together in one location the who’s who of science education in California?  Start making your plans to participate today.  Registration for the 2011 conference will open in June.

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.

2 Responses

  1. When will the Conference take place?

  2. Dear John,
    The conference will take place October 21 – 23, 2011 at the Pasadena Convention Center.

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California Science Curriculum Framework Now Available

Posted: Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

The pre-publication version of the new California Science Curriculum Framework is now available for download. This publication incorporates all the edits that were approved by the State Board of Education in November 2016 and was many months in the making. Our sincere thanks to the dozens of CSTA members were involved in its development. Our appreciation is also extended to the California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, the Instructional Quality Commission, and the Science Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee and their staff for their hard work and dedication to produce this document and for their commitment to the public input process. To the many writers and contributors to the Framework CSTA thanks you for your many hours of work to produce a world-class document.

For tips on how to approach this document see our article from December 2016: California Has Adopted a New Science Curriculum Framework – Now What …? If you would like to learn more about the Framework, consider participating in one of the Framework Launch events (a.k.a. Rollout #4) scheduled throughout 2017.

The final publication version (formatted for printing) will be available in July 2017. This document will not be available in printed format, only electronically.

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.

Call for CSTA Awards Nominations

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

The 2017 Award Season is now open! One of the benefits of being a CSTA member is your eligibility for awards as well as your eligibility to nominate someone for an award. CSTA offers several awards and members may nominate individuals and organizations for the Future Science Teacher Award, the prestigious Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award, and the CSTA Distinguished Contributions Award (organizational award). May 9, 2017 is the deadline for nominations for these awards. CSTA believes that the importance of science education cannot be overstated. Given the essential presence of the sciences in understanding the past and planning for the future, science education remains, and will increasingly be one of the most important disciplines in education. CSTA is committed to recognizing and encouraging excellence in science teaching through the presentation of awards to science educators and organizations who have made outstanding contributions in science education in the state and who are poised to continue the momentum of providing high quality, relevant science education 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.

Call for Volunteers – CSTA Committees

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017


CSTA is now accepting applications from regular, preservice, and retired members to serve on our volunteer committees! CSTA’s all-volunteer board of directors invites you to consider maximizing your member experience by volunteering for CSTA. CSTA committee service offers you the opportunity to share your expertise, learn a new skill, or do something you love to do but never have the opportunity to do in your regular day. CSTA committee volunteers do some pretty amazing things: 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.

A Friend in CA Science Education Now at CSTA Region 1 Science Center

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

If you attended an NGSS Rollout phase 1-3 or CDE workshops at CSTA’s annual conference you may recall hearing from Chris Breazeale when he was working with the CDE. Chris has relocated professionally, with his passion for science education, and is now the Executive Director at the Explorit Science Center, a hands-on exploration museum featuring interactive STEM exhibits located at the beautiful Mace Ranch, 3141 5th St. in Davis, CA. Visitors can “think it, try it, and explorit” with a variety of displays that allow visitors to “do science.” To preview the museum, or schedule a classroom visit, see Learn More…

Written by Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw is the student services director at Siskiyou County Office of Education and is CSTA’s Region 1 Director and chair of CSTA’s Policy Committee.

Learning to Teach in 3D

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

by Joseph Calmer

Probably like you, NGSS has been at the forefront of many department meetings, lunch conversations, and solitary lesson planning sessions. Despite reading the original NRC Framework, the Ca Draft Frameworks, and many CSTA writings, I am still left with the question: “what does it actually mean for my classroom?”

I had an eye-opening experience that helped me with that question. It came out of a conversation that I had with a student teacher. It turns out that I’ve found the secret to learning how to teach with NGSS: I need to engage in dialogue about teaching with novice teachers. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching science in some capacity for 12 years. During that time pedagogy and student learning become sort of a “hidden curriculum.” It is difficult to plan a lesson for the hidden curriculum; the best way is to just have two or more professionals talk and see what emerges. I was surprised it took me so long to realize this epiphany. 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: