May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

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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CSTA Annual Conference Early Bird Rates End July 14

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

Teachers engaged in workshop activity

Teachers engaging in hands-on learning during a workshop at the 2016 CSTA conference.

Don’t miss your chance to register at the early bird rate for the 2017 CSTA Conference – the early-bird rate closes July 14. Need ideas on how to secure funding for your participation? Visit our website for suggestions, a budget planning tool, and downloadable justification letter to share with your admin. Want to take advantage of the early rate – but know your district will pay eventually? Register online today and CSTA will reimburse you when we receive payment from your district/employer. (For more information on how that works contact Zi Stair in the office for details – 916-979-7004 or zi@cascience.org.)

New Information Now Available On-line:

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.

Goodbye Outgoing and Welcome Incoming CSTA Board Members

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Jill Grace

Jill Grace, CSTA President, 2017-2019

On July 1, 2017 five CSTA members concluded their service and four new board members joined the ranks of the CSTA Board of Directors. CSTA is so grateful for all the volunteer board of directors who contribute hours upon hours of time and energy to advance the work of the association. At the June 3 board meeting, CSTA was able to say goodbye to the outgoing board members and welcome the incoming members.

This new year also brings with it a new president for CSTA. As of July 1, 2017 Jill Grace is the president of the California Science Teachers Association. Jill is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach, a former middle school science teacher, and is currently a Regional Director with the K-12 Alliance @ WestEd where she works with California NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative districts and charter networks in the San Diego area.

Outgoing Board Members

  • Laura Henriques (President-Elect: 2011 – 2013, President: 2013 – 2015, Past President: 2015 – 2017)
  • Valerie Joyner (Region 1 Director: 2009 – 2013, Primary Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Mary Whaley (Informal Science Education Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Sue Campbell (Middle School/Jr. High Director: 2015 – 2017)
  • Marcus Tessier (2-Year College Director: 2015 – 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.

Finding My Student’s Motivation of Learning Through Engineering Tasks

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Huda Ali Gubary and Susheela Nath

It’s 8:02 and the bell rings. My students’ walk in and pick up an entry ticket based on yesterday’s lesson and homework. My countdown starts for students to begin…3, 2, 1. Ten students are on task and diligently completing the work, twenty are off task with behaviors ranging from talking up a storm with their neighbors to silently staring off into space. This was the start of my classes, more often than not. My students rarely showed the enthusiasm for a class that I had eagerly prepared for. I spent so much time searching for ways to get my students excited about the concepts they were learning. I wanted them to feel a connection to the lessons and come into my class motivated about what they were going to learn next. I would ask myself how I could make my class memorable where the kids were in the driver’s seat of learning. Incorporating engineering made this possible. Learn More…

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Written by NGSS Early Implementer

NGSS Early Implementer

In 2015 CSTA began to publish a series of articles written by teachers participating in the California NGSS k-8 Early Implementation Initiative. This article was written by an educator(s) participating in the initiative. CSTA thanks them for their contributions and for sharing their experience with the science teaching community.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Unveils Updated Recommended Literature List

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson unveiled an addition of 285 award-winning titles to the Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list.

“The books our students read help broaden their perspectives, enhance their knowledge, and fire their imaginations,” Torlakson said. “The addition of these award-winning titles represents the state’s continued commitment to the interests and engagement of California’s young readers.”

The Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list is a collection of more than 8,000 titles of recommended reading for children and adolescents. Reflecting contemporary and classic titles, including California authors, this online list provides an exciting range of literature that students should be reading at school and for pleasure. Works include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama to provide for a variety of tastes, interests, and abilities. 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: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.

Teaching Science in the Time of Alternative Facts – Why NGSS Can Help (somewhat)

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn

The father of one of my students gave me a book: In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood by Walt Brown, Ph. D. He had heard that I was teaching Plate Tectonics and wanted me to consider another perspective. The book offered the idea that the evidence for plate tectonics could be better understood if we considered the idea that beneath the continent of Pangaea was a huge underground layer of water that suddenly burst forth from a rift between the now continents of Africa and South America. The waters shot up and the continents hydroplaned apart on the water layer to their current positions. The force of the movement pushed up great mountain ranges which are still settling to this day, resulting in earthquakes along the margins of continents. This had happened about 6,000 years ago and created a great worldwide flood. Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

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