September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

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 Is Now Accepting Nominations for Board Members

Posted: Friday, November 17th, 2017

Current, incoming, and outgoing CSTA Board of Directors at June 3, 2017 meeting.

Updated 7:25 pm, Nov. 17, 2017

It’s that time of year when CSTA is looking for dedicated and qualified persons to fill the upcoming vacancies on its Board of Directors. This opportunity allows you to help shape the policy and determine the path that the Board will take in the new year. There are time and energy commitments, but that is far outweighed by the personal satisfaction of knowing that you are an integral part of an outstanding professional educational organization, dedicated to the support and guidance of California’s science teachers. You will also have the opportunity to help CSTA review and support legislation that benefits good science teaching and teachers.

Right now is an exciting time to be involved at the state level in the California Science Teachers Association. The CSTA Board of Directors is currently involved in implementing the Next Generations Science Standards and its strategic plan. If you are interested in serving on the CSTA Board of Directors, now is the time to submit your name for consideration. 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.

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.