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.

Leave a Reply


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:

Please contact Rosanne Luu at 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…

Powered By DT Author Box

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…

Powered By DT Author Box

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.