September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

Region 1, April 2014

Posted: Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

by David Pummill and Marian Murphy-Shaw

As a science educator, or supporter of science education, this article has a list of some events and updates you may want to get on your calendar now! Consider looking at what you can align your resources to support this spring, summer, and next fall. With NGSS science is coming to life in CA we hope you are as excited as we are not to miss the fun!

  • Chico State 14th Annual Science Teaching SymposiumApril 26 from 8:30-3:30, from attached or contact the CMSE at CSU Chico. Register by April 22!
  • California Science Teacher’s Association has some great membership deals for new teachers, current members and those attending the December joint conference with NSTA!
  • First and Second Year Teachers: Get two years’ CSTA membership for the price of one! Join CSTA at the regular member rate of $50 and get your second year of membership for free! We must receive verification of your status as a new (first or second year) teacher, signed by your principal or BTSA provider. Download a membership form and send it in to CSTA along with your verification. Click here for a sample verification form.
  • Current Members: Get three, get one free. Current CSTA members who bring in three new members will get their following year’s membership free! Introduce your colleagues to the benefits of belonging to their professional organization and get a year’s free membership in the bargain. Send in memberships for three individuals who are not and have not been CSTA members for at least three years; new memberships must be submitted at the same time. Download this membership form for your colleagues (don’t forget to fill in your name at the bottom!) and send all three in at the same time.
  • NEW for 2014: Joint 1-Year NSTA/CSTA Membership: $105 (a $125 value) To celebrate the 2014 NSTA Area Conference in Long Beach in Collaboration with CSTA (join on the NSTA website – look under “Membership Type”, it is the last option) This is a limited time offer only available in 2014 and only via the NSTA website.
  • Second Annual CA STEM Symposium: September 22-23, 2014 at the San Diego Convention Center. Save the date.
  • CSTA is partnering with the National Science Teachers Association to produce the 2014 NSTA Long Beach Area Conference – in Collaboration with CSTA! December 4-6 at the Long Beach Convention Center. Conference Strands for 2014 are:

• #NGSS #Implementation
• Science: The Gateway to Common Core State Standards
• STEM Classrooms: Anytime/Anyplace/Anywhere

Additional Region 1 Events:

CREEC Student Competitions and Contests
April 15, 2014: Nominate a Young Environmental Hero for a $5,000 Barron Prize.Do you know a young person who is doing great things to help other people or the planet? Nominate him or her for the 2014 Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes! The Barron Prize celebrates inspiring, public-spirited young people (ages 8–18) who have made a significant positive difference to people and our environment. Each year, 10 to 15 winners each receive a $5,000 cash award to support their service work or higher education. Half of each year’s winners are chosen for their work to protect the environment. Deadline: April 15, 2014

May 30, 2014: Green Living Project: Student File Project
GLP Films has launched the 2014 Student Film Project! Students are encouraged to document and submit unique and compelling short films (5 minutes or less) about local or global sustainability-related projects. Winning films will be screened at GLP events this year! Winners also receive prize packages valued at $500 from Mountainsmith, The North Face, Think Tank Photo, Freewaters, Pura Vida, Relan and more. The contest is open to 6th grade through graduate level students. Regular Deadline: May 30, 2014

May 3, 2014: NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE SATURDAY
When: May 3, 2014 – 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Where: Sacramento State Union
Cost: $90 (after April 28 late registration is $99)
Included: Three Workshops, Workshop Materials,
Breakfast, Lunch, 6 Professional Development Hours
Download A Super SIRC Flyer
Download a Registration Form

Marian Murphy-Shaw is the student services director at Siskiyou County Office of Education and is CSTA’s secretary.

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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State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces 2017 Finalists for Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Posted: Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today nominated eight exceptional secondary mathematics and science teachers as California finalists for the 2017 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

“These teachers are dedicated and accomplished individuals whose innovative teaching styles prepare our students for 21st century careers and college and develop them into the designers and inventors of the future,” Torlakson said. “They rank among the finest in their profession and also serve as wonderful mentors and role models.”

The California Department of Education (CDE) partners annually with the California Science Teachers Association and the California Mathematics Council to recruit and select nominees for the PAEMST program—the highest recognition in the nation for a mathematics or science teacher. The Science Finalists will be recognized at the CSTA Awards Luncheon on Saturday, October 14, 2017. 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.

Thriving in a Time of Change

Posted: Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

by Jill Grace

By the time this message is posted online, most schools across California will have been in session for at least a month (if not longer, and hat tip to that bunch!). Long enough to get a good sense of who the kids in your classroom are and to get into that groove and momentum of the daily flow of teaching. It’s also very likely that for many of you who weren’t a part of a large grant initiative or in a district that set wheels in motion sooner, this is the first year you will really try to shift instruction to align to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). I’m not going to lie to you, it’s a challenging year – change is hard. Change is even harder when there’s not a playbook to go by.  But as someone who has had the very great privilege of walking alongside teachers going through that change for the past two years and being able to glimpse at what this looks like for different demographics across that state, there are three things I hope you will hold on to. These are things I have come to learn will overshadow the challenge: a growth mindset will get you far, one is a very powerful number, and it’s about the kids. 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.

If You Are Not Teaching Science Then You Are Not Teaching Common Core

Posted: Thursday, August 31st, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn 

“Science and Social Studies can be taught for the last half hour of the day on Fridays”

– Elementary school principal

Anyone concerned with the teaching of science in elementary school is keenly aware of the problem of time. Kids need to learn to read, and learning to read takes time, nobody disputes that. So Common Core ELA can seem like the enemy of science. This was a big concern to me as I started looking at the curriculum that my district had adopted for Common Core ELA. I’ve been through those years where teachers are learning a new curriculum, and know first-hand how a new curriculum can become the focus of attention- sucking all the air out of the room. Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

Peter A’Hearn is the Region 4 Director for CSTA.

Tools for Creating NGSS Standards Based Lessons

Posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

by Elizabeth Cooke

Think back on your own experiences with learning science in school. Were you required to memorize disjointed facts without understanding the concepts?

Science Education Background

In the past, science education focused on rote memorization and learning disjointed ideas. Elementary and secondary students in today’s science classes are fortunate now that science instruction has shifted from students demonstrating what they know to students demonstrating how they are able to apply their knowledge. Science education that reflects the Next Generation Science Standards challenges students to conduct investigations. As students explore phenomena and discrepant events they engage in academic discourse guided by focus questions from their teachers or student generated questions of that arise from analyzing data and creating and revising models that explain natural phenomena. Learn More…

Written by Elizabeth Cooke

Elizabeth Cooke

Elizabeth Cooke teaches TK-5 science at Markham Elementary in the Oakland Unified School District, is an NGSS Early Implementer, and is CSTA’s Secretary.

News and Happenings in CSTA’s Region 1 – Fall 2017

Posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

Cal

This month I was fortunate enough to hear about some new topics to share with our entire region. Some of you may access the online or newsletter options, others may attend events in person that are nearer to you. Long time CSTA member and environmental science educator Mike Roa is well known to North Bay Area teachers for his volunteer work sharing events and resources. In this month’s Region 1 updates I am happy to make a few of the options Mike offers available to our region. 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.