May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Region 2 News and Events

Posted: Sunday, May 1st, 2011

by Eric Lewis

If you are anything like me, you’re probably wondering when this winter weather is going to stop already. Not only have I been so surprised to see rain in the forecast so late in the spring, but I am also missing the hot days that usually occur regularly this time of year. Regardless, it’s a great time to get outside and into nature – just be sure to bring an umbrella…

As always, there are many great opportunities happening throughout our region in the coming months. Besides PD opportunities during the school year, there are opportunities for summer learnings as well! Be sure to look over prior months’ information too, as there are plenty of resources that are still valid.

Please let me know if there are things that you’d like to add to our region’s offerings! Also, 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.

I look forward to seeing you all in October down in Pasadena for our next CSTA conference!

All my best,

Eric Lewis

Events in Region 2

San Francisco Nature Education Announces the 2011 Season of Heron Watch.
Saturdays: May 7 and 14 – 10:00 am – 1:00 pm.

Come experience the excitement of viewing nesting Great Blue Herons – four-foot tall birds with six-foot wingspans. Naturalists and interns will be stationed at the observation site with spotting scopes, ready to offer spectacular views into the nests. Observe adults feeding chicks and learn more about these spectacular birds. Free observation at spotting scopes. Tours: 10:30 am – 12:00 pm, $10 donation.

Location: Stow Lake Boathouse in Golden Gate Park. Follow signs to observation site.

This event is appropriate for all ages. Children free. Adults $10. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds. For more information visit call (415) 387-9160,  email,  or visit

UC Berkeley Hydrology Symposium
Saturday, May 7, 2011

The annual UC Berkeley hydrology symposium happens on May 7 from 9:00 am-1:00 pm in Wurster Hall, Room 112.
Highlights will include:

  • Student presentations from independent research projects
  • A keynote address titled “Restoring Streamflow in Coastal California Watersheds: Lessons Learned Through a Science-Based Process” by Matthew Deitch of the Center for Ecosystem Management and Restoration
  • A panel discussion by a variety of professionals on current issues and future trends in hydrology and restoration

The event is free, but please RSVP to ensure a space at

Habitat and Trail Stewardship:
May 7, 2011

The Sutro Stewards, behind UCSF Parnassus in San Francisco, hold monthly habitat and trail stewardship events, always the first Saturday of each month from 9-12:30. Info can be found on our homepage, Upcoming events are on May 7  with an ADVANCED trail stewardship on May 22nd.

ICME Open Day
May 7

K-12 teachers are invited to join Stanford’s Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering (ICME) for a day of talks, demos, and posters showcasing some of the exciting research projects ICME faculty and students of ICME are involved in. Research presentations are all 30 minutes and cover projects in animation and graphics, earth sciences, aircraft and engine design, coastal ocean dynamics, and social networks, among others. You will learn how the exciting field of computational mathematics drives innovation in the sciences and engineering at this day of talks on real life applications. The ICME open day event will be held at Stanford University in the Mackenzie Room located on the 3rd floor of the new Huang Engineering Center. For registration and information visit:

Monthly Sick Plant Clinic at UC Berkeley
May 7

Attend the sick plant clinic and find out which diseases ail your plants. Entomologists are also available to identify the pests that are living in your plants too! Please cover plants and disease samples in containers or bags before entering the Garden. Registration not required: Free
Contact: Dr. Raabe, Phone: 510-643-2755 ext. 03
Located at University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley, 200 Centennial Drive, Berkeley CA.

Free Skin Cancer Screening

Saturday, May 7, 2011

May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month and the UCSF Department of Dermatology is partnering with the President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, David Chiu, and the Chinatown Public Health Center to hold its annual Free Skin Cancer Screening Event. Details are below and here:
Saturday, May 7, 2011, 8:30 am— 4:00 pm, Chinatown Public Health Center, 1490 Mason Street @ Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133.

Free screenings are open to the public and no appointment is necessary.

Coyote Ridge and Valley Oak Hike in Gilroy
May 7, 9:00 am -10:30 am

Ranger Crockett will lead a leisurely loop hike on the Coyote Ridge and Valley Oak trails . . . We’ll take a look at what’s bloomin’, take in the great views of the lake and valley, learn how some of these plants were use by Native Americans, and just chat and have some fun in the “great outdoors!”
If this sounds like fun, call Ranger Crockett at 408 842-7800. Registration is not required, but knowing approximately how many people will be coming would be helpful. The hike and park entry is free! To reach the park from U.S. Highway 101 in Gilroy , take the Leavesly Road exit and turn left at the light. Head east approx. 2 miles, then take a left on New Ave. After a mile turn right on Roop Road and head toward the hills. After about 3.5 miles you will find, turn left into the parking lot at the Mendoza Ranch section of the park. Ranger Crockett can be reached at, 408-842-7800.

Crab Cove Visitor Center, Visiting the Mud Flats of Alameda
May 8, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

After meeting at the Crab Cove Visitor Center, explore the mudflats with a naturalist. During the low tide we’ll look for slimy bubble snails, hidden hermit crabs, and other wonders of the shoreline.  Contact us, 510-544-3187.  For more information, visit us at Crab Cove Visitor Center, 1252 McKay Ave., Alameda, CA.

Golden Gate Audubon Society

May 11

Conservation Director at Commonwealth Club join park supporters, preservationists, neighbors and environmentalists for “Golden Gate Park Under Siege.” Learn about current construction plans for Golden Gate Park and what can be done to protect our open space today and for future generations. GGA Conservation Director Michael Lynes will be one of the panelists. Commonwealth Club of California, 595 Market Street, San Francisco, CA. Time: 6:00 pm networking reception, 6:30 pm program
Registration: on-line at or call: 415-597-6705

Volunteer Opportunities with the Golden Gate Audubon Society
May 7, 9:00 am -12:00 pm at Pier 94 in San Francisco
May 14,  Celebrate International Migratory Bird Treaty Day by participating at a bird census in the Presidio in San Francisco.
May 21, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm near the Bison Paddock in Golden Gate Park with the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department
May 21, 1:00 pm  – 4:00 pm at the East Wash in the Presidio with Parks Conservancy
May 21, 10:00 – 12:00 stop by the Golden Gate Audubon table and speak with the docents at Lake Merritt in Oakland
Visit for more information.

Join Us in Claremont Canyon
May 7:  Spring Bird Walk. Meet Dave Quady and Kay Loughman at 7:00 am at Four Corners, where Claremont meets Grizzly Peak. We will look for birds that breed in Claremont Canyon, both year-round residents and the neotropical migrant birds. Bring binoculars although we will have a few pairs to share if you need them. Field guides are helpful as well. If you’re an early bird, Dave and Kay will be at the foot of Gelson Street at 5:00 am to enjoy the dawn chorus before sunrise. We’ll stand quietly to identify birds by their song until about 6:30 am when we’ll break for a quick breakfast before we re-gather at 7:00 am. If there’s rain on the 7th we’ll try again on the 8th, same times and places.

May 8: Butterfly Walk. Lepidopterist and illustrator Liam O’Brien will walk you through Butterflies 101 and give tips on identifying butterfly species and understanding the close relationship between each species and its host plant. This event is sponsored by the California Native Plant Society. We will meet at the Rockridge BART Station at 11 and carpool from there. With the steep or rough terrain, sturdy shoes and a walking stick are recommended. For more information, contact Liam O’Brien at or 415.863.1212.

May 14: Second Saturday Stewardship. This month we will be back at the area above Stonewall Road working with the East Bay Regional Park District to remove broom and beat down thistle and euphorbia. Park above 180 Stonewall and walk up the stairs at #261 to Marilyn Goldhaber’s backyard. We’ll meet at 10:00 am will work until 12:00 pm, as usual. Next month we’ll be back on the UC side of Claremont Avenue and continue trail improvements with Tom Klatt.

May 21: Garber Park. This is the day for our monthly documentation and weeding of the restoration planting site. We also will continue our French broom and Cape ivy eradication efforts.

Coming in June:  Yoga Walk on Sunday, June 5.


Saturday, May 7, Anthony Khalil, HHP’s new EcoCenter and Literacy for Environment Justice at Heron’s Head Park.
Saturday, May 14, Josephine Quiocho, Glide’s “green” Cecil Williams Community House and urban sustainability at Glide’s Rooftop Garden.
Saturday, June 4, Anthony Khalil, HHP’s new EcoCenter and Literacy for Environment Justice at Heron’s Head Park.

Glide Foundation’s Rooftop Garden
May 14

Meet Josephine Quiocho, Glide Foundation/Graze the Roof, Project Organizer and Educator  on Glide Foundation’s Rooftop Garden in the Tenderloin neighborhood you can. She will provide information on this outstanding model of urban sustainability and talk about Glide’s “green” Cecil Williams Community House.

The workshop will provide a holistic ecological approach to identifying and understanding Northern California’s unique climate, weather, soil, landforms, watersheds, native plants and wildlife. Emphasis is on observation of natural characteristics, discussing interrelationships of natural systems, and on-site learning in an amazing environment. This is a must for learning about and seeing what makes our bioregion distinct from any other on the planet and for understanding what we must do to restore and maintain healthy natural systems within San Francisco.

Call now for more information and to reserve your place in one of the upcoming workshops.  Workshops will fill up quickly! Call Planet Drum Foundation, (415) 285-6556 or email today to register and/or learn. Glide Foundation’s Rooftop Garden is located at 330 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA.

Living with Coyotes

Thursday, May 12, 2011, 6:30 pm

Gina Farr- guest speaker; presentation- Living with Coyotes. Sponsored by San Francisco Recreation & Parks and Project Coyote. San Francisco County Fair Bldg, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. Event flyer:

Starr King Open Space Spring Wildflower Walks
Sunday, May 15, 2011

Starr King Open Space, a community-owned open space on the south side of Potrero Hill is hosting spring wildflower walks. More than 30 California wildflowers grow in this special hilltop serpentine grassland. Come join us for some fun exploration and discovery of what makes this land special. People of all ages are welcome. Walks will begin at 11:00 am and last approximately one hour. Meet on Carolina at Coral loop across from Starr King Elementary in San Francisco.

Redwoods and Berries Hike at Big Tree and the Heritage Grove
Sunday, May 15, 2011, 9:00 am- 3:00 pm at Big Tree and the Heritage Grove in San Mateo County.

This outing starts with a hike along the Big Tree and the Heritage Grove trails where we’ll pass through a valley of old growth redwood trees. We’ll also learn a bit about the history of this park and its founder, Sam McDonald. In the afternoon, we’ll stop for lunch and visit Phipps Ranch in Pescadero. We can tour the farm, visit the farm animals, and pick strawberries, if circumstances allow. Gael Erickson will be leading the hike.  Please reserve your spot by calling (415)255-3233.  You can find out more information about this at:

Walk in the Wild 2011
Saturday, June 25, 2011

The East Bay Zoological Society presents the Oakland Zoo’s 19th Annual Walk in the Wild: An Epicurean Escapade! Make your reservations online starting April 1, or at the door on Saturday, June 25, 2011. Walk in the Wild brings together some of the Bay Area’s finest bakeries, breweries, caterers, restaurants, and wineries for the Oakland Zoo’s largest annual fundraiser. Guests of this unique event will stroll through the Zoo and enjoy delicious cuisine, libations, fabulous entertainment, and dancing under the stars. Due to the service of alcohol, adults only please. Guests under 21 will not be admitted. For more information visit:

NASA’s Multi-Wavelength Universe – Online Professional Development Course
July 11-22, 2011

Middle and high school teachers (both pre- and in-service) are invited to register for an online professional development course sponsored by several different NASA missions exploring our universe across the electromagnetic spectrum. The course is offered for academic or continuing education credit through Sonoma State University. At the conclusion of the course, participants will be able to use astronomical examples (images, phenomena, telescopes) to describe the nature of light and color in terms of the regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.  They will also be able to explain why NASA uses a variety of telescopes and space-based instruments to make observations of the universe, to identify NASA resources for the classroom, and to understand how NASA resources can be used to address common student misconceptions about the nature of light and color. For more information and to register, please see

High School Lunar Research Program with the Lunar and Planetary Institute

The Center for Lunar Science and Exploration at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) and NASA’s Johnson Space Center is looking for teams of highly motivated and dedicated high school students and their teachers to participate in a two-semester lunar research program for the 2011-2012 academic year. Under the mentorship of a lunar scientist, students work alongside their teachers as they undertake a national standards-based research project that engages them in the process of science and supports the science goals of the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI). At the end of the semester, students present their research results to a panel of lunar scientists, competing with other teams for a chance to present their work at the NLSI Forum held in July 2012.

For more information, contact Andy Shaner at 281-486-2163 or Visit the program’s website at You can also visit the FAQ page at Lewis is high school area science support in the San Francisco Unified School District LEAD office and is CSTA region 2 director.

Written by Eric Lewis

Eric Lewis

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

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CSTA Annual Conference Early Bird Rates End July 14

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

Teachers engaged in workshop activity

Teachers engaging in hands-on learning during a workshop at the 2016 CSTA conference.

Don’t miss your chance to register at the early bird rate for the 2017 CSTA Conference – the early-bird rate closes July 14. Need ideas on how to secure funding for your participation? Visit our website for suggestions, a budget planning tool, and downloadable justification letter to share with your admin. Want to take advantage of the early rate – but know your district will pay eventually? Register online today and CSTA will reimburse you when we receive payment from your district/employer. (For more information on how that works contact Zi Stair in the office for details – 916-979-7004 or

New Information Now Available On-line:

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.

Goodbye Outgoing and Welcome Incoming CSTA Board Members

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Jill Grace

Jill Grace, CSTA President, 2017-2019

On July 1, 2017 five CSTA members concluded their service and four new board members joined the ranks of the CSTA Board of Directors. CSTA is so grateful for all the volunteer board of directors who contribute hours upon hours of time and energy to advance the work of the association. At the June 3 board meeting, CSTA was able to say goodbye to the outgoing board members and welcome the incoming members.

This new year also brings with it a new president for CSTA. As of July 1, 2017 Jill Grace is the president of the California Science Teachers Association. Jill is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach, a former middle school science teacher, and is currently a Regional Director with the K-12 Alliance @ WestEd where she works with California NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative districts and charter networks in the San Diego area.

Outgoing Board Members

  • Laura Henriques (President-Elect: 2011 – 2013, President: 2013 – 2015, Past President: 2015 – 2017)
  • Valerie Joyner (Region 1 Director: 2009 – 2013, Primary Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Mary Whaley (Informal Science Education Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Sue Campbell (Middle School/Jr. High Director: 2015 – 2017)
  • Marcus Tessier (2-Year College Director: 2015 – 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.

Finding My Student’s Motivation of Learning Through Engineering Tasks

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Huda Ali Gubary and Susheela Nath

It’s 8:02 and the bell rings. My students’ walk in and pick up an entry ticket based on yesterday’s lesson and homework. My countdown starts for students to begin…3, 2, 1. Ten students are on task and diligently completing the work, twenty are off task with behaviors ranging from talking up a storm with their neighbors to silently staring off into space. This was the start of my classes, more often than not. My students rarely showed the enthusiasm for a class that I had eagerly prepared for. I spent so much time searching for ways to get my students excited about the concepts they were learning. I wanted them to feel a connection to the lessons and come into my class motivated about what they were going to learn next. I would ask myself how I could make my class memorable where the kids were in the driver’s seat of learning. Incorporating engineering made this possible. 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 California NGSS k-8 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.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Unveils Updated Recommended Literature List

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson unveiled an addition of 285 award-winning titles to the Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list.

“The books our students read help broaden their perspectives, enhance their knowledge, and fire their imaginations,” Torlakson said. “The addition of these award-winning titles represents the state’s continued commitment to the interests and engagement of California’s young readers.”

The Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list is a collection of more than 8,000 titles of recommended reading for children and adolescents. Reflecting contemporary and classic titles, including California authors, this online list provides an exciting range of literature that students should be reading at school and for pleasure. Works include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama to provide for a variety of tastes, interests, and abilities. Learn More…

Written by Guest Contributor

From time to time CSTA receives contributions from guest contributors. The opinions and views expressed by these contributors are not necessarily those of CSTA. By publishing these articles CSTA does not make any endorsements or statements of support of the author or their contribution, either explicit or implicit. All links to outside sources are subject to CSTA’s Disclaimer Policy:

Teaching Science in the Time of Alternative Facts – Why NGSS Can Help (somewhat)

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn

The father of one of my students gave me a book: In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood by Walt Brown, Ph. D. He had heard that I was teaching Plate Tectonics and wanted me to consider another perspective. The book offered the idea that the evidence for plate tectonics could be better understood if we considered the idea that beneath the continent of Pangaea was a huge underground layer of water that suddenly burst forth from a rift between the now continents of Africa and South America. The waters shot up and the continents hydroplaned apart on the water layer to their current positions. The force of the movement pushed up great mountain ranges which are still settling to this day, resulting in earthquakes along the margins of continents. This had happened about 6,000 years ago and created a great worldwide flood. Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

Peter A’Hearn is the Region 4 Director for CSTA.