May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Region 2 News and Events

Posted: Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

by Eric Lewis

Begin the new year with resolve to get personal and professional development in 2011.  Build your experiences in science education at NSTA’s National Conference on Science Education in San Francisco.  Scheduled for March 10-13, more than 2000 sessions will be offered-hands-on workshops, seminars, and symposia will increase your content knowledge, performance strategies, and techniques in the classroom.  Nationally-known presenters will inspire and inform.  Thousands of your peers will share ideas, experiences, and challenges. Invest in yourself, your career, and your future.  Register before Jan. 14 to save the most. http://www.nsta.org/conferences/2011SAN/

More Events in Region 2

  • Featured Presentation: Ira Flatow, President and Executive Producer, NPR’s Science Friday
  • Giving Elementary Science Teachers the Confidence, Skills, and Experience to Teach Chemistry. (lesson plans, strategies, and rubrics are the take-away’s.)
  • Shaping Children’s Views of Science by Doing and Knowing About Inquiry. Elementary, (research-based techniques)
  • Linking Assessment to Teaching: Ideas and Evidence. Middle School
  • From Cells to Sea Ice: Analyzing Data from Digital Images. Middle-High
  • Developing Literacy and Addressing Content Standards Through Issue-oriented Science. Middle-High
  • Variation, Selection, and Time. (Natural selection) Middle-High
  • Hands-On Learning Activities for AP Biology. High School
  • NASA Brings You Newton’s Laws of Motion. 20 hands-on investigations. Middle-High
  • Featured Presentation: Deeply Digital Science Teaching, Chad Dorsey, Pres, CEO, The Concord Consortium
  • Featured Presentation: Dr. Art’s Planet Earth Show. Art Sussman, Sr Project Director, WestEd
  • Exhibit Hall-test and try the most cutting edge products from companies across the nation. Bring an extra tote for giveaways.
  • Field trips (ticketed) for real discovery. USS Pampanito, Lawrence Hall of Science, the Match Science Nucleus, Wes Gordon Fossil Hall, the Tech Museum, RAFT, and more.

March 4, 2011
San Jose, CA
Project WET Workshop

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is offering a unique experience that will not only engage you in Project WET activities, but will also provide a wealth of information on local water issues and additional materials that can be incorporated into the activities. Each participant will walk away with their own Project WET guide, a new appreciation for the magic of water, and the opportunity to receive CEU credit. Contact Kathy Machado at: (408) 265-2607-2331 –or — kmachado@valleywater.org.

March 19, 2011
Santa Clara, CA
Wolbachia PCR Workshop: Discover the Microbes Within

This workshop can help science teachers to: • Incorporate biotechnology into the life science curriculum • Learn about bacterial infections of insects • Explore the role symbiosis in evolution • Learn techniques for DNA extraction and PCR • Participate in real-world science. Use all or part of the curriculum in any of the following classes: Biology, Chemistry, AP, Biotechnology, Integrated Science, Environmental Biology. For registration details: go to www.babec.org and click on “Wolbachia PCR Workshop” on the right side bar. Travel stipends are available. A refundable $50 deposit check is required. Please register only if you can attend the entire workshop. Continental breakfast, lunch and snacks are provided. Registration deadline is Saturday, March 12.

March 19, 2011
Novato, CA
Waves, Wetlands, and Watersheds/Project WILD Aquatic Educator Workshop

Receive free copies of the Project WILD Aquatic guide and the California Coastal Commission’s science activity guide for teachers, Waves, Wetlands, and Watersheds, a classroom activity guide for teachers that addresses California’s critical coastal and marine issues, such as endangered species, marine debris, coastal geology, water use, and much more. It is aligned to the California State Science Content Standards for grades 3 through 8, and includes community action lessons adaptable for all ages up to and beyond grade 12. Try out some of the activities in the guides and get an overview of other free educational resources and programs available through the Coastal Commission and the Department of Fish & Game. Eligible for professional growth credit from University of the Pacific upon completing additional work. Register for the workshop by contacting Annie Kohut Frankel at afrankel@coastal.ca.gov, (415) 597-5888, or (800) Coast4U. Please provide your name, phone number, email, and organization/school/grade as applicable. This workshop is open to both formal and informal educators. Registration deadline is March 15, 2011.

April 1, 2011
San Francisco, CA
STEMposium

STEMposium is the collaboration of leaders in STEM education who are sharing their innovations in how to teach, learn and engage STEM in the classroom through 60 second videos. Students, teachers and other educational innovators are invited to upload their videos through this site. The most compelling videos will be selected through several rounds of reviews, starting in February and ending in March. Selected presenters will be invited to speak at the STEMposium Event on April 1, 2011 in San Francisco. These videos will be identified within one of five tracks: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Integrated STEM.

For more information visit: http://www.stemposium.org/home

April 8, 2011
Mountain View, CA
You and your students are invited to attend Yuri’s Day at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA from 9am-3pm (or any portion thereof). This free, educational, sciences extravaganza is geared toward students in grades K-12, and will feature a vast array of interactive exhibits, workshops, displays, and keynote speakers. Thousands of students from throughout the San Francisco Bay Area will explore the cutting edge of science, art, math, technology, engineering, sustainability, and space-related fun on 300,000+ square feet of tarmac and hangar space, as they engage with some of the century’s most prominent scientists, visionaries, space-enthusiasts, and entrepreneurs from multiple disciplines. This event is open to all school and youth groups, home-schoolers, educators, and parents/guardians. Free busing for school groups is available on a first-come first-serve basis. Registration is required to attend Yuri’s Day. You can find the registration form (and the bus application) at:
http://sites.google.com/a/ynba.org/schools-info/home. If you have any questions, please email schools@ynba.org or call 650-733-6704.
The deadline to register is November 15th, 2010 for those applying for free busing, and December 31st 2010 for all others.

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.

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Participate in Chemistry Education Research Study, Earn $500-800 Dollars!

Posted: Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

WestEd, a non-profit educational research agency, has been funded by the US Department of Education to test a new molecular modeling kit, Happy Atoms. Happy Atoms is an interactive chemistry learning experience that consists of a set of physical atoms that connect magnetically to form molecules, and an app that uses image recognition to identify the molecules that you create with the set. WestEd is conducting a study around the effectiveness of using Happy Atoms in the classroom, and we are looking for high school chemistry teachers in California to participate.

As part of the study, teachers will be randomly assigned to either the treatment group (who uses Happy Atoms) or the control group (who uses Happy Atoms at a later date). Teachers in the treatment group will be asked to use the Happy Atoms set in their classrooms for 5 lessons over the course of the fall 2017 semester. Students will complete pre- and post-assessments and surveys around their chemistry content knowledge and beliefs about learning chemistry. WestEd will provide access to all teacher materials, teacher training, and student materials needed to participate.

Participating teachers will receive a stipend of $500-800. You can read more information about the study here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HappyAtoms

Please contact Rosanne Luu at rluu@wested.org or 650.381.6432 if you are interested in participating in this opportunity, or if you have any questions!

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.

2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption Reviewer Application

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

The California Department of Education and State Board of Education are now accepting applications for reviewers for the 2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption. The application deadline is 3:00 pm, July 21, 2017. The application is comprehensive, so don’t wait until the last minute to apply.

On Tuesday, May 9, 2017, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson forwarded this recruitment letter to county and district superintendents and charter school administrators.

Review panel members will evaluate instructional materials for use in kindergarten through grade eight, inclusive, that are aligned with the California Next Generation Science Content Standards for California Public Schools (CA NGSS). 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.

Lessons Learned from the NGSS Early Implementer Districts

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

On March 31, 2017, Achieve released two documents examining some lessons learned from the California K-8 Early Implementation Initiative. The initiative began in August 2014 and was developed by the K-12 Alliance at WestEd, with close collaborative input on its design and objectives from the State Board of Education, the California Department of Education, and Achieve.

Eight (8) traditional school districts and two (2) charter management organizations were selected to participate in the initiative, becoming the first districts in California to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Those districts included Galt Joint Union Elementary, Kings Canyon Joint Unified, Lakeside Union, Oakland Unified, Palm Springs Unified, San Diego Unified, Tracy Joint Unified, Vista Unified, Aspire, and High Tech High.

To more closely examine some of the early successes and challenges experienced by the Early Implementer LEAs, Achieve interviewed nine of the ten participating districts and compiled that information into two resources, focusing primarily on professional learning and instructional materials. 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.

Using Online Simulations to Support the NGSS in Middle School Classrooms

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

by Lesley Gates, Loren Nikkel, and Kambria Eastham

Middle school teachers in Kings Canyon Unified School District (KCUSD), a CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative district, have been diligently working on transitioning to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) integrated model for middle school. This year, the teachers focused on building their own knowledge of the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs). They have been gathering and sharing ideas at monthly collaborative meetings as to how to make sure their students are not just learning about science but that they are actually doing science in their classrooms. Students should be planning and carrying out investigations to gather data for analysis in order to construct explanations. This is best done through hands-on lab experiments. Experimental work is such an important part of the learning of science and education research shows that students learn better and retain more when they are active through inquiry, investigation, and application. A Framework for K-12 Science Education (2011) notes, “…learning about science and engineering involves integration of the knowledge of scientific explanations (i.e., content knowledge) and the practices needed to engage in scientific inquiry and engineering design. Thus the framework seeks to illustrate how knowledge and practice must be intertwined in designing learning experiences in K-12 Science Education” (pg. 11).

Many middle school teachers in KCUSD are facing challenges as they begin implementing these student-driven, inquiry-based NGSS science experiences in their classrooms. First, many of the middle school classrooms at our K-8 school sites are not designed as science labs. 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 NGSS 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.

Celestial Highlights: May – July 2017

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

May Through July 2017 with Web Resources for the Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017

by Robert C. Victor. Twilight sky maps by Robert D. Miller. Graphs of planet rising and setting times by Jeffrey L. Hunt.

In spring and summer 2017, Jupiter is the most prominent “star” in the evening sky, and Venus, even brighter, rules the morning. By mid-June, Saturn rises at a convenient evening hour, allowing both giant planets to be viewed well in early evening until Jupiter sinks low in late September. The Moon is always a crescent in its monthly encounters with Venus, but is full whenever it appears near Jupiter or Saturn in the eastern evening sky opposite the Sun. (In 2017, Full Moon is near Jupiter in April, Saturn in June.) At intervals of 27-28 days thereafter, the Moon appears at a progressively earlier phase at each pairing with the outer planet until its final conjunction, with Moon a thin crescent, low in the west at dusk. You’ll see many beautiful events by just following the Moon’s wanderings at dusk and dawn in the three months leading up to the solar eclipse. Learn More…

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Written by Robert Victor

Robert Victor

Robert C. Victor was Staff Astronomer at Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University. He is now retired and enjoys providing skywatching opportunities for school children in and around Palm Springs, CA. Robert is a member of CSTA.