Pasadena…Home of Science and Engineering in Southern California
. . . 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.
One of the benefits of being a CSTA member is the opportunity to be recommended by CSTA to serve on important state-level committees. One such opportunity is now available. CSTA is seeking science teachers to recommend for service on the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC), formerly the Curriculum Commission. This committee is charged with writing the curriculum frameworks for the Common Core ELA and math standards and will be tasked with developing the framework for the new science standards (once adopted). Members of the Commission serve without compensation, except that they receive their actual and necessary travel expenses in attending Commission meetings and participating in other Commission activities (airfare, lodging, meals, shuttle service, mileage, parking). No funding is provided for substitute teaching or administrative personnel; each applicant employed by a local education agency must obtain the agency’s acknowledgement of the application and the agency’s agreement to absorb any costs for substitute personnel.
CSTA is seeking a member science educator with experience with integrating literacy and math skills into science instruction. A familiarity with the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards is preferred. If you meet these qualifications and would like to have your name considered, please contact CSTA at email@example.com or 916-979-7004. Please include a copy of your resume and/or a description of your qualifications.
The California State Library invites you to view our online June calendar that highlights four women who have achieved success in STEM-related fields in California. These women and their accomplishments have helped pave the way for future generations.
One such woman is Hattie Scott Peterson, an African American civil engineer who became the first female engineer for the Sacramento district of the Army Corps of Engineers in 1954. She started with the Corps at a time when cultural diversity in the workplace was not common. Her work ethic and personal integrity helped her to overcome the challenges she faced. In the late 1940s she was reputed to be the only female African American civil engineer in the United States.
This monthly calendar is a joint effort of the State Library, California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, and the California Department of Education.
View the calendar here: http://www.library.ca.gov/calhist/calendar6-1.html?utm_source=csl0613
You Are Invited to Participate in an Online Survey Regarding Possible Changes to the High School Academic Performance Index:
In response to state legislation, the California Department Education (CDE) currently is developing new indicators to include in the high school Academic Performance Index (API).
To help with this important task, the CDE invites administrators, teachers, parents or guardians, students, school board members, educational organizations, community members, and business leaders to take an online survey located on the CDE API Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ap/.
CSTA encourages you to take about 20 minutes to complete the survey and let CDE know the vital role that science takes in preparing students for college and career and how achievement in science should be given a high value in the proposed College and Career Readiness Indicator. The survey closes June 20, 2013 – please act today. Please encourage your colleagues, students, parents of students, and administrators to complete the survey as well.
For more information about revisions to the API, including the proposed College and Career Readiness Indicator, please view the video that was prepared by CDE staff as background material for the survey.
Comparing AP Science Practices, Common Core State Standards, and NGSS Science and Engineering Practices
by Bethany Dixon
At NSTA San Antonio and again at the California State Science Fair, I fell into a conversation about connecting NGSS Science and Engineering Practices and AP Biology Science Practices 1-7. In the past few years, ideas have converged on what it looks like to “Do Science:” the habits of mind necessary to develop scientific knowledge. This idea isn’t new to science education – scientific skills are still important. Haven’t we seen this before? We called it using the Scientific Method(s), or Levels of Inquiry, or whichever wrapper we’re putting things into… it doesn’t seem like the ideas of what constitute good science have changed. Or have they? Learn More…
by Lisa Hegdahl
The students are gone, the meetings are over, your classroom is clean – Learn More…