January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

Region 2 – News and Events

Posted: Thursday, August 1st, 2013

by Eric Lewis

As August is quickly approaching, I’m sitting on a train heading from New York to Boston.  From there I’ll head to Europe for a bit before I return to San Francisco.  Summer will be ending early this year for me as I’ll be going to training on Complex Instruction for a week, and then to San Diego (thanks Region 4!) for training at the San Diego Zoo.  Shortly after that we’ll be gearing up for our own districts professional development days – our first in YEARS to be centralized, content-focused, and provided by the district’s professional development minions.

In my travels, I’ve been struck at how well our region does science.  There are pockets of other science-rich areas where I traveled, but nothing like what we have in the Bay Area.  When in NYC, I was struck by all the museums and urban renewal that has been going on.  NYC is incredible, but the California Academy of Sciences and the Exploratorium hold their own against any of the NYC museums. Also, if you didn’t see this – the Exploratorium has indicated that any CA teacher is now free to visit the museum at no charge.  (But be sure to request your free admission here!) Between free days, field trip venues, professional development opportunities, and sponsored workshops, science teachers in our region are in great shape with resources at our own area museums.

As the school year approaches once again, I recommend taking some time to review your past year of teaching and identify a few ways that you can improve your lessons and try something new.  I often get push back from teachers – not necessarily the most senior teachers – about changing curriculum and trying new teaching techniques.  And, since I’m not afraid of push back, I still urge them to change up their curriculum a bit.  I know that it can seem difficult to do  – and we’re not paid to do the half the work that we do as it is – but I still think that it is worth it to the whole school community to continue learning something new and trying out new teaching methods.  Engaged and happy students are WAY easier to manage in class!  For new teachers this is relatively easy – pretty much everything you do is new.  But for those that have been teaching for five or more years, I think it is so essential to take advantage of professional development offered through your districts or accessible through online media.  For example, engage your class with more media.  KQED has amazing resources to engage students and to help support classroom discussion and argumentation about scientific ideas and issues in OUR region! You can also look at PBS LearningMedia to get access to even more curriculum and media to strengthen your curriculum.  And, don’t be afraid if this doesn’t work smoothly the first time – it may take a few tries to get the timing right and for students to understand what you expect of them.

I hope that some of you were able to submit your ideas for workshops for this year’s Education Conference in Palm Springs in October!  Please let me know if there are things that you’d like to add to our Region’s offerings and 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.

Eric Lewis, lewise2@sfusd.edu

There are many, many science opportunities in the Bay Area.  Some big things 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, Free days on selected Sundays:  September 29th, December 8th

Exploratorium, Free Days, Selected days:  September 29th, October 13th

Star Parties:

Houge Park Star Party, August 2nd

San Mateo County Astronomical Society Star Party, First Friday of the month (NOT in July or August)

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

For additional events in our region, please reference the VERY comprehensive calendar compiled by the Bay Area Science Festival. 

 

Written by Eric Lewis

Eric Lewis

Eris Lewis is high school area science support in the San Francisco Unified School District LEAD office.

Leave a Reply

LATEST POST

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…

Powered By DT Author Box

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…

Powered By DT Author Box

Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.