September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

Region 2 June Events

Posted: Thursday, June 4th, 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, Firth Thursday of the month, 6pm, at Café Borrone, Menlo Park

Action for California Condors

Wednesday, 06/03/15 6:30 PM Oakland Zoo

For more than 20 years, and through joint efforts, Ventana has lead the way to save the California Condor from extinction by treating them for lead poisoning caused by ingesting food shot by lead-based ammunition. Oakland Zoo is now one of only a few zoos that partner with the California Condor Recovery Program to medically treat wild condors. Come learn how Ventana Wildlife Society and Oakland Zoo take action to help.

For more information: http://www.oaklandzoo.org/Lectures.php

Solar Eclipse Chasing and Astronomical Tourism

Friday, 6/05/15 8:00 PM College of San Mateo

Solar eclipses have been observed by humans for thousands of years and have been recorded in the archives of the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, and Chinese going back 4000 to 4500 years ago.  Precise predictions of their occurrences in space and time only date from the 19th Century when the dimensions and dynamics of the solar system became well characterized.  Once precise prediction was proven to work, people began making expeditions to observe eclipses.

For more information: http://www.bayareascience.org/calendar/index.php?eID=14547

SkeptiCal

Saturday, 6/06/15 8:30 AM – 06:00 PM Asian Cultural Center

SkeptiCal is the Northern California conference of science and skepticism, a day-long event with speakers, panels, and discussions on a wide array of subjects.

For more information: http://www.skepticalcon.com/

Hayward Fault Walking Tour

Saturday, 6/06/15 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM Tule Ponds at Tyson Lagoon

Over the last million years, the natural beauty of Fremont has been shaped by the Hayward Fault. Instructors will be leading these ‘ground breaking’ tours and exposing the science and beauty of the Hayward Fault. This fault is one of several active faults in the world actually creeping at 5 mm/year. The tour will take place at Central Park (Lake Elizabeth) and explores dramatic faulting effects in both natural and urban environments. Even view the floor of a building that reveals dramatic evidence of this fault activity. (Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult)

For more information: http://www.bayareascience.org/calendar/index.php?eID=14322

June LASER Event – Stanford

Thursday, 06/11/15 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM LASER Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous

The LASERs are a national program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversation with an audience. See the program for the whole series. The event is free and open to everybody. Email me if you want to be added to the mailing list for the LASERs. Like previous evenings, the agenda includes some presentations of art/science projects, news from the audience, and time for casual socializing/networking.

For more information: http://www.bayareascience.org/calendar/index.php?eID=15023 or http://www.scaruffi.com/leonardo/jun2015.html

5th annual, Green Kids Conference

Saturday, 6/13/15 10:30 AM – 03:30 PM

This is a conference dedicated to children ages 5 to 18 years. Come with your family and friends, explore your passion, and be inspired to take action! Come prepared to learn and have fun; there are lots of hands-on-activities and information that is sure to keep adults and kids of all ages curious and interested.

For more information: http://www.bayareascience.org/calendar/index.php?eID=14540

Maker Saturdays

Saturday, 6/20/15 and 6/27/15 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Join us for our Summer Maker Series.  Come make, share and learn with hands-on activities. Bring your creativity and ideas, we’ll supply enough projects to keep you busy making things all summer. This free, family-friendly series for all ages is hosted by Bon Air Center and Marin Maker Mobile.

For more information: http://www.bayareascience.org/calendar/index.php?eID=15059

The Top Tourist Sights of the Solar System: Where Bill Gates’ Great-Granddaughter Will Go on Her Honeymoon

Saturday, 06/20/15 8:30pm Mountain Theater, Mill Valley

Using spectacular images from space probes and the world’s largest telescopes, explore the most intriguing future “tourist destinations” among the planets and moons in our cosmic neighborhood.  Among our stops will be the 4,000-mile lava channel on Venus, the towering Mount Olympus volcano on Mars, the awesome Verona Cliffs on the moon Miranda (,the tallest “lover’s leap” in the solar system), and the recently discovered steam geysers on Saturn’s intriguing moon Enceladus.

For more information: http://www.bayareascience.org/calendar/index.php?eID=14764

How to Clone a Mammoth–The Science of De-Extinction

Thursday, 6/25/15 6pm Commonwealth Club

Could extinct species, like mammoths and passenger pigeons, be brought back to life? The science says yes. Beth Shapiro, evolutionary biologist and pioneer in “ancient DNA” research, will discuss the astonishing and controversial process of de-extinction. From deciding which species should be restored, to sequencing their genomes, to anticipating how revived populations might be overseen in the wild, Shapiro explores the extraordinary cutting-edge science that is being used to resurrect the past. Journeying to far-flung Siberian locales in search of ice age bones and delving into her own research – as well as those of fellow experts such as Svante Paabo, George Church and Craig Venter – Shapiro considers de-extinction’s practical benefits and ethical challenges. Would de-extinction change the way we live? Is this really cloning? What are the costs and risks? And what is the ultimate goal? Shapiro’s work has appeared in numerous publications, including Nature and Science, and she is a 2009 recipient of a MacArthur Award

For more information: http://www.commonwealthclub.org/events/2015-06-25/how-clone-mammoth-%E2%80%93-science-de-extinction

The Buzz about Bees

Saturday, 6/27/15 1:00pm Common Ground Grow Biointensive Garden, Palo Alto

From the White House to our local communities, there is a growing concern for the health and well-being of our honey bee populations, which pollinate one-third of the crops we depend on. Learn tips and techniques that will help you transform your garden into a safe oasis for honeybees, native bees, birds and other pollinators.

For more information: http://www.bayareascience.org/calendar/index.php?eID=14736

Written by Minda Berbeco

Minda Berbeco

Minda Berbeco was the Programs and Policy Director at the National Center for Science Education and is now the Director of the Sierra Club San Francisco Chapter.

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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.