September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

Region 1 – News and Events

Posted: Friday, February 1st, 2013

by Valerie Joyner

I hope that everyone was able to find time in their busy schedules to review and comment on the second draft of NGSS.  The Sonoma County Office of Education hosted a review workshop on January 24 that was well attended.  Science educators from as far away as Humbolt County were able to work in small teams, reviewing the second draft and sharing their ideas and comments about it both statewide and nationally.  The participants engaged in serious study and discussion.  While initially finding the document difficult to maneuver, they all came away with a better understanding of NGSS and were ready to bring information back to share with their colleagues.

A special thanks to Mike Roa and Rick Phelan of the Sonoma County Office of Education for hosting and providing their expertise for this event.

There are so many things going on in science in our region.  Informal institutions like the Sonoma County Children’s Museum, which is under development, is looking to provide young people with science experiences.  High school teachers are talking about teaming up colleagues around the state and nation to put together technology resources, like Wiki’s, to enhance and enrich their students learning.  Elementary schools and districts are working with parents and businesses to support hands-on science programs.  You will be hearing more about some of these ideas and more in the coming months.  Remember eCCS is your publication and is it a place where we can all share opportunities, successes, failures, ideas, and interests.

Region 1 Event List:

There is still time to participate in the Sonoma County Water Agency’s Community Service Opportunities!

The Sonoma Counter Water Agency has two remaining Community Service Days this school year. The first involves planting native species in local creeks to improve habitat for steelhead and salmon. The second will be a creek cleanup. High school and middle school students can earn three community-service hours while they learn a bit about riparian ecology and have a good time with friends. The Community Service Days are also a first step in getting students interested in the “Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps” which is a paid summer jobs program that helps students learn job-readiness skills.

Students and teachers can learn more about these events and programs at http://youthecologycorps.org/, or contact Stefan Klakovich at 547-1930.

Native planting:

February 2, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Five Creek, Rohnert Park (Cross Street Ellen Street) Park at Eagle Park on Emily Road

Creek cleanup:

March 9, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Pollen Creek, Santa Rosa (Cross Street: Guerneville Road) Park at Northwest Community Parkon Marlow Road

Sonoma County Science Fair

February 23, 2013,SonomaState University, Rohnert Park

Handbook and forms available at http://www.scoe.org/

Contact Mike Roa mroa@scoe.org for additional information

Sonoma County Science Olympiad

March 27, 2013

Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park

Handbook and forms available at www.scoe.org

Contact Mike Roa for additional information mroa@scoe.org

Sonoma County Spring Science Showcase (May 14, 2013)

Sonoma County will host the first Spring Science Showcase for students in grades 4-12 who did not participate in the county’s Science Fair.  Learn how your students can participate in this event by contacting Mike Roa at mroa@scoe.org.

Project ASTRO Summer Workshop

August 2 – 3, 2013,San Mateo County Office of Education.

This program of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific provides 3rd through 9th grade teachers with an opportunity to attend a free, two-day summer workshop to learn hands-on, inquiry-based astronomy activities. Online applications are due by May 29, 2013.

For information, call 415-715-1426 or go to: astrosociety.org/baprojectastro.html

The teacher application can be accessed at: astrosociety.org/education/k12-educators/teacher-information/

Written by Valerie Joyner

Valerie Joyner

Valerie Joyner is a retired elementary science educator and is a member of CSTA.

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LATEST POST

CSTA Is Now Accepting Nominations for Board Members

Posted: Friday, November 17th, 2017

Current, incoming, and outgoing CSTA Board of Directors at June 3, 2017 meeting.

Updated 7:25 pm, Nov. 17, 2017

It’s that time of year when CSTA is looking for dedicated and qualified persons to fill the upcoming vacancies on its Board of Directors. This opportunity allows you to help shape the policy and determine the path that the Board will take in the new year. There are time and energy commitments, but that is far outweighed by the personal satisfaction of knowing that you are an integral part of an outstanding professional educational organization, dedicated to the support and guidance of California’s science teachers. You will also have the opportunity to help CSTA review and support legislation that benefits good science teaching and teachers.

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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.

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).

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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

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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

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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.