Region 2, April 2014
Posted: Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014
by Eric Lewis
April has arrived, and with it warmer weather and excitement about summer! Of course, we’re lucky to be in this part of our state: not only do we have amazing places to hike, swim and paddle, but we have incredible places to further our passions in science and technology. We’re fortunate to have so many incredible opportunities to further our science knowledge in our local communities. Be sure to take advantage of this month’s total lunar eclipse on April 14th (peak time is 12:45 am) and National Park Week (April 19-27 in a National Park near you!).
Don’t forget to encourage your colleagues to join CSTA. I’m hoping that we’ll have the opportunity to grow our organization and expand to meet your needs and your colleague’s needs. To that end, please feel free to email me directly so that I can represent your questions and concerns with the CSTA board as a whole. Make sure that you participate in our upcoming elections; we will be electing many new board members in the coming year (including a new one for Region 2!).
There are many, many science opportunities in the Bay Area. Please visit here to see a year round calendar of events in our area. Some events to remember:
Free Entry Days at:
Bay Area Discovery Museum, First Wednesday of the month
UC Botanical Gardens, First Thursday of the month
Oakland Museum of California, First Sunday of the month
California Academy of Sciences, Quarterly free days: The next is June 1st, 2014
Exploratorium, Free Days, Selected days: May 11th, September 28th, October 12th
Houge Park Star Party, April 18th, 8:45 pm
Super-cool Science Parties:
Night Life, Thursdays, 6-10 pm, at the California Academy of Sciences
After Dark, First Thursday of the month, 6-10 pm, at the Exploratorium
Highlighted Event/s in April:
Friday, 4/4/14, 2:00 PM
Dominican University of CA, Angelico Hall, 50 Acacia Ave, San Rafael
Renowned naturalist and bestselling author Jane Goodall examines the critical role that trees and plants play in our world. In her new book, Goodall blends her experience in nature with her enthusiasm for botany to give readers a deeper understanding of the world around us. Long before her work with chimpanzees, Goodall’s passion for the natural world sprouted in the backyard of her childhood home in England, where she climbed her beech tree and made elderberry wine with her grandmother. The garden her family began then, she continues to enjoy today. “Seeds of Hope” takes us from England to Goodall’s home-away-from-home in Africa, deep inside the Gombe forest, where she and the chimpanzees are enchanted by the fig and plum trees they encounter. She introduces us to botanists around the world, as well as places where hope for plants can be found, such as The Millennium Seed Bank, where one billion seeds are preserved. She shows us the secret world of plants with all their mysteries and potential for healing our bodies as well as Planet Earth. Looking at the world as an adventurer, scientist, and devotee of sustainable foods and gardening – and setting forth simple goals we can all take to protect the plants around us – Jane Goodall delivers an enlightening story of the wonders we can find in our own backyards. Jane Goodall is the world’s foremost authority on chimpanzees and an internationally renowned conservationist. She is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and has received many distinguished awards in science. Dr. Goodall is also the author of many acclaimed books, including the bestseller Reason for Hope.
* This event will be facilitated by Gail Hudson. Gail Hudson has worked in the publishing industry as a freelance writer, as well as a newspaper and magazine editor. Her features and personal essays about natural health, spiritual growth, and parenting have appeared in numerous publications, including Self, Utne, Natural Health, Parents, Body & Soul, and Good Housekeeping. For many years Gail was Spirituality Editor at Amazon.com. Hudson co-authored this book, along with Goodall’s other works, Harvest for Hope and Hope for Animals and Their World. She teaches classes and workshops on personal narrative and memoir writing. She lives with her husband and two children near Seattle.
Cost: $35 (includes signed book)
Berkeley Bay Festival
Saturday, 4/12/14, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Berkeley Marina, 201 University Avenue, Berkeley
This wonderful FREE event first happened 77 years ago when the Marina first opened in 1937. The Bay Festival now showcases activities and environmental education that are available here at the Marina and all around the region. Come celebrate the Earth and our Bay by listening to Music, eating wonderful food, and enjoying a day by the Bay. There will be entertainment for all ages.
Reengineering Your Science Curriculum – STEM Conference at the Exploratorium
Sunday, 4/13/14, 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Exploratorium, Pier 15, San Francisco
Wondering how to integrate the NGSS for engineering into your middle- or high-school classroom? Join the Exploratorium’s Teacher Institute for this daylong conference, which features hands-on workshops, and activities you can use in the classroom to engage your students and meet the Standards (you’ll leave with handouts of the activities). Lunch and an evening cocktail social at the Exploratorium are included.
Cost: $45 (fee includes lunch).
Click here to register.
Posted: Tuesday, March 14th, 2017
The pre-publication version of the new California Science Curriculum Framework is now available for download. This publication incorporates all the edits that were approved by the State Board of Education in November 2016 and was many months in the making. Our sincere thanks to the dozens of CSTA members were involved in its development. Our appreciation is also extended to the California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, the Instructional Quality Commission, and the Science Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee and their staff for their hard work and dedication to produce this document and for their commitment to the public input process. To the many writers and contributors to the Framework CSTA thanks you for your many hours of work to produce a world-class document.
For tips on how to approach this document see our article from December 2016: California Has Adopted a New Science Curriculum Framework – Now What …? If you would like to learn more about the Framework, consider participating in one of the Framework Launch events (a.k.a. Rollout #4) scheduled throughout 2017.
The final publication version (formatted for printing) will be available in July 2017. This document will not be available in printed format, only electronically.
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
The 2017 Award Season is now open! One of the benefits of being a CSTA member is your eligibility for awards as well as your eligibility to nominate someone for an award. CSTA offers several awards and members may nominate individuals and organizations for the Future Science Teacher Award, the prestigious Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award, and the CSTA Distinguished Contributions Award (organizational award). May 9, 2017 is the deadline for nominations for these awards. CSTA believes that the importance of science education cannot be overstated. Given the essential presence of the sciences in understanding the past and planning for the future, science education remains, and will increasingly be one of the most important disciplines in education. CSTA is committed to recognizing and encouraging excellence in science teaching through the presentation of awards to science educators and organizations who have made outstanding contributions in science education in the state and who are poised to continue the momentum of providing high quality, relevant science education into the future. Learn More…
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
CSTA is now accepting applications from regular, preservice, and retired members to serve on our volunteer committees! CSTA’s all-volunteer board of directors invites you to consider maximizing your member experience by volunteering for CSTA. CSTA committee service offers you the opportunity to share your expertise, learn a new skill, or do something you love to do but never have the opportunity to do in your regular day. CSTA committee volunteers do some pretty amazing things: Learn More…
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
by Marian Murphy-Shaw
If you attended an NGSS Rollout phase 1-3 or CDE workshops at CSTA’s annual conference you may recall hearing from Chris Breazeale when he was working with the CDE. Chris has relocated professionally, with his passion for science education, and is now the Executive Director at the Explorit Science Center, a hands-on exploration museum featuring interactive STEM exhibits located at the beautiful Mace Ranch, 3141 5th St. in Davis, CA. Visitors can “think it, try it, and explorit” with a variety of displays that allow visitors to “do science.” To preview the museum, or schedule a classroom visit, see www.explorit.org. Learn More…
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
by Joseph Calmer
Probably like you, NGSS has been at the forefront of many department meetings, lunch conversations, and solitary lesson planning sessions. Despite reading the original NRC Framework, the Ca Draft Frameworks, and many CSTA writings, I am still left with the question: “what does it actually mean for my classroom?”
I had an eye-opening experience that helped me with that question. It came out of a conversation that I had with a student teacher. It turns out that I’ve found the secret to learning how to teach with NGSS: I need to engage in dialogue about teaching with novice teachers. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching science in some capacity for 12 years. During that time pedagogy and student learning become sort of a “hidden curriculum.” It is difficult to plan a lesson for the hidden curriculum; the best way is to just have two or more professionals talk and see what emerges. I was surprised it took me so long to realize this epiphany. Learn More…