January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

Your Association Fellow Teachers Need You

Posted: Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

by Rick Pomeroy

Over the past year and a half, I have tried to make the point that CSTA is your association. It is as good and as valuable as you make it and NOW is the time to make a resolution to become more involved.  January is the time to nominate members for positions on the CSTA Board of Directors and nominations are currently open for President-Elect, Secretary, Primary Director, Middle/Junior High Director, 2-Year College Director, Informal Science Education Director, plus Directors for Region 1 and Region 3. If you are interested in running for one of these positions, or you would like to nominate a colleague, please go to the CSTA website. There, you can also find information about the terms, position descriptions, and instructions on how to submit a name for nomination.  The nomination period ends on January 31, 2013.  Please don’t let this opportunity pass you by.

As you consider running or nominating someone for one of these positions, please keep in mind that CSTA is primarily a volunteer organization with a small office staff that strives to do the day-to-day work necessary to ensure or at least promote high quality science education in California. Because of this structure, the members of the Board of Directors play an important role in the mission of the organization and the work that it does. For example, CSTA represents you on legislative issues, acts as a clearing house for science education related information, sponsors the California Science Education Conference, and keeps you informed through California Classroom Science (CCS). In addition to these activities, CSTA is called on to nominate and recommend people for leadership positions on state and national science committees (Instructional Quality Commission, Building Capacity for State Science Education), task forces, and working groups (STEM Task Force, NGSS review team, California Teacher Advisory Council) as well as advisory boards for science and STEM related organizations (CSLNet, and the California Science Project).  The members of the Board of Directors and I take this responsibility very seriously. By recommending high quality science teachers to these various committees, panels, etc. CSTA hopes to positively influence the future of science education for years to come.

As we move forward with new standards, new frameworks, new assessments, and new instructional materials, CSTA needs new ideas. CSTA can be your eyes, ears, and mouths but it cannot be your brain. CSTA only knows what you want, need, or believe, when individuals, like you, play an active leadership role in the organization.  Please consider volunteering to serve on the Board by asking a colleague to nominate you for one of the open positions. Active participation in the leadership of your association will give you a whole new perspective on how science education policy is made in California and the talented pool of science teachers who will make those policies into reality. Please feel free to contact me through the comment section below if you have any questions about serving on the board.

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Written by Rick Pomeroy

Rick Pomeroy

Rick Pomeroy is science education lecturer/supervisor in the School of Education, University of California Davis.

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STEM Conference Hosted by CMSESMC

Posted: Saturday, January 14th, 2017

The Council of Math/Science Educators of San Mateo County will be hosting the 41st annual STEM Conference this February 4, 2017 at the San Mateo County Office of Education. This STEM Conference is the place to get lots of new lessons and ideas to use in your classroom. There will be over twenty-five workshops and a variety of exhibitors that provide participants with a wide range of practical and realistic ideas and resources to use in their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs from Pre-K to grade 12. With California’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, we are dedicated to ensuring that we prepare our teachers to take on these educational policies.

Teachers, administrators, and parents are invited to explore the many exciting aspects of STEM education and learn about and discuss the latest news, information, and issues. This is also an opportunity to network with colleagues who can assist you in building your programs and meet new friends that share your interests and love of teaching. Register online today!

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.

Submit Your NGSS Lessons and Units Today!

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

Achieve has launched and is facilitating an EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science–a group of expert reviewers who will evaluate the quality and alignment of lessons and units to the standards–in an effort to identify and shine a spotlight on emerging high-quality lesson and unit plans designed for the NGSS.

If you or your state, district, school, or organization has designed NGSS-aligned instructional materials, please consider submitting these in order to help provide educators across the country with various models and templates of high-quality lesson and unit plans. 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.

Opportunity for High School Students – Los Angeles County

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

An upcoming Perry Outreach Program on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children in Los Angeles, CA. The Perry Outreach Program is a free, one-day, hands-on experience for high school and college-aged women who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine and engineering. Students will hear from women leaders in these fields and try it for themselves by performing mock orthopaedic surgeries and biomechanics experiments. 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.

Science Education Policy Update

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

January 2017 has proven to be a very busy month for science education policy and CA NGSS implementation activities. CSTA has been and will be there every step of the way, seeking and enacting all options to support high-quality science education and the successful implementation of CA NGSS.

California Department of Education/U.S. Department of Education Science Double-Testing Waiver Hearing

The year started with California Department of Education’s (CDE) hearing with the U.S. Department of Education conducted via WebEx on January 6, 2017. This hearing was the final step in California’s efforts to secure a waiver from the federal government in order to discontinue administration of the old CST and suspension of the reporting of student test scores on a science assessment for two years. As reported by EdSource, the U.S. Department of Education representative, Ann Whalen, a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary John King Jr., committed to making her final ruling “very shortly.” Deputy Superintendent Keric Ashley presented on behalf of CDE during the hearing and did an excellent job describing the broad-based support for this waiver in California, the rationale for the waiver, and California’s commitment to the successful implementation of a new high-quality science assessment. As previously reported, California is moving forward with its plans to administer a census pilot assessments this spring. The testing window is set to open on March 20, 2017. For more information visit New CA Science Test: What You Should Know.

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.

NSTA Los Angeles Conference Features Many CA Science Leaders

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

The early-bird registration rates for the 65th NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Los Angeles is just days away (ends Feb. 3). And as the early-registration deadline approaches excitement is building for what is anticipated to be the largest gathering of science educators (both California and nationwide) – with attendance expected to reach 10,000 or more. If you have never had the pleasure of attending the NSTA National Conference, I recommend you visit their website with tips for newcomers that describe the various components of the event. A conference preview is also available for download. Learn More…

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.