January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

Region 2 Events for January, 2015

Posted: Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

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 

Super-cool Science Parties and lectures:
Nerd Nite East Bay, Last Monday of the month
Nerd Nite San Francisco, Third Wednesday of the month
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
Café Inquiry, First Thursday of the month, 6pm, at Café Borrone, Menlo Park 

Highlighted Events in January:

Bird Walk Hike at Lake Merritt in Oakland
Saturday, 01/10/15 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Lindsay Wildlife Museum
January is the perfect time to observe wintering waterfowl. Join the Lindsay Wildlife Museum for a morning of birding with experienced birdwatchers from the Mt Diablo Audubon Society. Bring your binoculars and learn how to tell the difference between a tern and a gull. Bird walk hike will be at Oakland’s Lake Merritt. Map and directions will be sent after registration is completed. To register online: http://wildlife-museum.org/cart/registration/4108

For more information, visit their website at: http://wildlife-museum.org/

The Venus Fly trap and other Amazing Carnivorous Plants
Saturday, 01/10/15 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
UC Botanical Garden
John Bartram was the first to introduce the Venus Fly Trap into cultivation. Family members of all age are invited to discover some of the fascinating and beautiful plants that can eat insects. Get up close with the amazing leaf adaptations as you learn more
about them.

For more information, visit their website at: http://events.berkeley.edu/index.php/calendar/sn/bot.html?event_ID=83269&date=2015-01-10

2015 Stanford Brain Bee
Saturday, 01/10/15 12:00 PM – 05:00 PM
Hewlett Teaching Center Stanford University

The Stanford Brain Bee is a local qualifying round of the International Brain Bee (IBB), a neuroscience competition exclusively for high school students ages 14-18. The Stanford Brain Bee involves both a written component and a live oral Q&A session. In addition to the competition, students will have the opportunity to attend a presentation by a Stanford neuroscientist and speak with Stanford professors and students from the medical, biosciences, and neuroscience fields.

The IBB motivates students to learn about the brain, captures their imagination, and inspires them to pursue neuroscience careers in order to help treat and find cures for neurological and psychological disorders. There are currently about 150 Local Brain Bee coordinators in 30 countries worldwide that conduct competitions annually. The winner of each Local Bee is invited to attend the National Brain Bee (NBB) competition in his or her own country, and the winner of each NBB is invited to compete in the International Brain Bee Championship.

Deadline to register December 27, 2014. For more information, visit their website at: http://oso.stanford.edu/programs/125-stanford-brain-bee

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Groundwater: California’s Real Buried Gold
Tuesday, 01/13/15 7:00 PM – 09:00 PM
St. Albans Parish Hall, Albany
California stores far more water than falls as rain or snow, or can be held in reservoirs. But this hidden treasure has been treated first-come, winner-take-all. California’s new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and just-passed Proposition 1 bring opportunities to use groundwater more wisely. Environmental attorney Tina Cannon Leahy, Principal Consultant to the California Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife, and the Assembly’s primary water law and policy expert, outlines the value and complexity of groundwater, along with opportunities.

For more information, visit their website at: http://www.fivecreeks.org/calendar.shtml

Mushrooms in the Garden
Saturday, 01/17/15 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
UC Botanical Garden
Join local naturalist and mycologist Debbie Viess, Co-Founder of the Bay Area Mycological Society, for a fun talk on local mushrooms that occur in our Bay Area woods, lawns and yes, even gardens. Beautiful photos, stories and plenty of easy to digest science will be value added.
After this indoor preview of the world of fungi, we will walk the beautiful UC Botanical Garden and see just who has made themselves at home. Fungus are everywhere we wanna be!

For more information, visit their website at: http://events.berkeley.edu/index.php/calendar/sn/bot.html?event_ID=83852&date=2015-01-17

The Inner Lives of Animals
Wednesday, 01/21/15 7:00 PM
Jewish Community Center
Dr. Vint Virga (The Soul of All Living Creatures) is likely the only veterinarian in the country whose fulltime job is tending to the psychological welfare of animals in captivity. What does it mean when an elephant lowers her head and folds her trunk beneath it? Or when a zebra wuffles, softly blowing air between her lips? Virga enlightens us on how animals – in captivity or in our homes – are reporting their inner states and how we can respond.

For more information, visit their website at: https://www.jccsf.org/arts-ideas/lectures/science-technology/dr-vint-virga/

The Ultimate Mouthful: Lunge-feeding in Rorqual Whales
Tuesday, 01/27/15 7:00 PM – 09:00 PM
Bay Model Visitors Center
Some of the largest baleen whales-such as blue whales, fin whales and humpbacks-fall into a family called rorquals that use an unusual method of feeding. These whales feed on aggregations of zooplankton and fish by lunging with their mouths open wide to tremendous gape angles to force huge volumes of water and prey into their expandable oral cavities.

This extreme lunge feeding strategy is facilitated by some of the most bizarre anatomical adaptations, many of which are completely unique among mammals. This talk will present anatomical and behavioral data that help us understand how the largest vertebrates ever subsist on the smallest food.

Speaker: Jeremy Goldbogen, Hopkins Marine Station

For more information, visit their website at: http://acs-sfbay.org/2014/11/15/new-science-on-california-orcas-october-28th-at-bay-model/

Science Saturday: Migration and Sandy’s Birthday
Saturday, 01/31/15 11:00 AM – 03:00 PM
Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History
Could you travel hundreds, even thousands of miles only using your memory, or your sense of smell? Come see how well you can migrate! Try matching scents as salmon do when they try to find their home river, create a bracelet that follows the long journey of a gray whale, and see if you can survive life as a migratory bird! Spend your day at the Museum as you learn just what makes these migrations so amazing! We’re also celebrating Sandy the Whale’s 31st Birthday! At 1:00pm we’ll sing happy birthday and serve cake to guests (first come first serve basis).

For more information, visit their website at: http://www.pgmuseum.org/museum-events/2015/1/31/science-saturday-january

Written by Minda Berbeco

Minda Berbeco

Minda Berbeco is the Programs and Policy Director at the National Center for Science Education and is CSTA’s Region 2 Director.

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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.

Learn More…

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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.