January/February 2018 – Vol. 31 No. 2

Region 2 News and Events

Posted: Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

by Eric Lewis

The summer is upon us, though we’re still grappling with our lingering winter weather. As a person who is critical of weather forecasting – especially living in San Francisco where there weather can be vastly different a mile in any direction – I’m always listening when I hear people talk about the weather and their own predictions.

While there is always room for skeptics in science, I’m pretty much convinced that Earth is getting warmer and that humans are to blame (OK – the occasional volcano eruption hasn’t helped, but still…). While we’ve been seeing colder than usual temperatures in our part of the world, I’ve been able to understand that our local weather is only a part of the picture – that while we observed certain patterns locally, the overall temperature of the Earth may in fact be rising. Even hearing my East Coast family talk about their “crazy weather” makes me realize all the more that our country’s wild temperature swings, hurricanes, tornadoes, and the like are all probably influenced by global changes in temperature.  With that said, I’m all the more convinced that we need to do a better job educating our youth about earth science, and even more disturbed that we’ve not been more aggressive fighting for making earth sciences a UC-D science (along with biology, chemistry, and physics).

Of course, one great thing about our region is that are always a variety of great opportunities for science enthusiasts in the coming months. 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 hope you have a great summer break and that you’ll have an opportunity for following some of your passions.

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

Dreaming about better weather,

Eric Lewis


SETI Institute Open House
On June 1, 4:30 – 7:00 pm, the SETI Institute will hold an Open House in our new facility at 189 Bernardo Ave, Mountain View, CA (corner of Bernardo & Central Expressway). Please stop by and help us formally inaugurate our new home as we embark on our 2nd quarter-century of studying the universe!

Also, at 7:30 pm that same evening, the Open House will be followed by a highly interesting colloquium with Marc Kaufman of the Washington Post. Mark will speak about his new book “First Contact: Scientific Breakthroughs in the Hunt for Life Beyond Earth”, and will then join Frank Drake, Seth Shostak, and Jill Tarter for a panel discussion.

Please plan to drop by and meet our Center Directors, scientists, and staff. We’d also like to encourage you to pass this invitation along to any scientists you may know who might be interested in learning more about the SETI Institute and what it’s like to work here.

6th Annual Math, Science, and CTE Teacher’s Conference
On Wednesday and Thursday June 1-2, 2011, City College of San Francisco is excited to host the 6th Annual Math, Science, and CTE Teacher’s Conference with the theme: Opening the Door – Increasing Access. Click here for the save-the-date flyer. Here are some tidbits about this year’s conference:

  1. Over 30 workshops will be offered which cover both specific Math, Science and CTE topics as well as general pedagogy, parent engagement strategies, environmental equity, equitable assessment, using movement as a teaching strategy and classroom management approaches to engage and support diverse learners.
  2. Keynote on June 1 with Antwi Akom, Research Scientist and Professor at San Francisco State and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Professor Akom’s current projects include Green Education Technology academies and the Environmental Sustainability Planning Network. His research interests include schools as centers of communities, the joint use of schools as places to improve individual and community health, clean energy, equity, sustainability and reducing children’s obesity.
  3. Workshops relevant to teachers of K-14 students will be offered.
  4. Science topics include: Scientific Inquiry, STEM access for diverse learners, Living Library, Earth Science, Citizen Science 2.0, and Using Specimens in Lessons.
  5. Math topics include: Math Engagement Strategies, Mathemagics, Math Festivals, and Hands-On Math Activities.
  6. CTE topics include DIY Engineering projects, Incorporating Biotechnology into Your Classroom, and Facebook in the Classroom.
  7. Presenters include representatives from CCSF, Foothill College, the Academy of Sciences, the Exploratorium, Science and Health Education Partnership at UCSF, Lawrence Hall of Science, Headlands Institute, Literacy for Environmental Justice, Project Commotion, and Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth.
  8. All-Day Institute as an option on June 2: Students Behind the Wheel: Accelerate Toward Excellence
  9. Fifteen or more community groups will be exhibiting at the conference to share resources for teachers and classrooms, ranging from field trips to guest presenters to books and other available resources.
  10. 10.  We offer continental breakfast, lunch, and afternoon cookies!


  • June 1-2, 2011, 9:00 am-4:30 pm, CCSF Ocean Campus
  • Please pre-register in CDEV 41C for 1 unit (CRN 52045) now.
  • Reimbursement for the cost of the 1 unit to current SFUSD teachers available.
  • In-person class registration starts at 8:30 am, June 1, at Diego Rivera Theater.
  • Conference meets in Diego Rivera Theater, MUB, and Science Building.

Please feel free to contact Tracy Burt at 415-452-7171 for more information about the conference.

Annual Open House at Larner Seeds in Bolinas
On Saturday, June 4, from 12:00 to 4:00, tours of the 30-year-old Larner Seeds Demonstration Garden will be held at 1:00 and 3:00. Native edibles, such as our world famous chia and red maid seed cookies, agua de chia, and other goodies, will be served. The garden is blooming with our seed grow-outs, new species trials, a garden designed around the needs of California valley quail, and our NO TOLERANCE policy for weeds (particularly Oxalis pes-caprae). Seeds, books, tools, and unique items such as meadowfoam seed oil will be available in the Garden Shop. Many items will be on sale in the nursery, including such rarities as showy Indian clover and presidio clarkia. Larner Seeds is located at 230 Grove Road in Bolinas, and directions are available at our website. Signs will point the way. All are welcome. 415-868-9407, www.larnerseeds.com.

Experience Species Diversity at McLaren Park – 17th Annual San Francisco Butterfly Count
When: Monday, June 6, 9:30 am to 5:00 pm

Where: Mansell@Visitacion parking lot

McLaren Park is second only to the Presidio for butterfly species diversity within San Francisco’s natural areas. The Butterfly Count is a fun way to learn about our local varieties while collecting valuable data about our environment – in other words, it’s citizen science at it’s best. Lepidopterist and event coordinator Liam O’Brien tells us “it will be very thorough and will take you about all over. We will give you a “Butterflies of San Francisco” brochure and maps to show what you might find where. You’ll have a blast!” Here you can review last year’s results and here are articles from the Marina Times and Bay Nature.

If you are interested in attending the McLaren count, please drop a note to ken@savemclarenpark.org. We’ll gather at 9:30 am with coffee and pastries but please bring your own lunch and water. If you would rather participate at another park in the City-wide count, meet at Randall Museum at 9:00 am. For more information, please contact liammail56@yahoo.com. A $3.00 fee from each participant will go towards butterfly conservation through the North American Butterfly Association.

Free Children’s Dental Screening in the Bayview in SF
The UCSF School of Dentistry is partnering with Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, Supervisor Malia Cohen, and the Bayview Opera House to provide a Free Children’s Dental Screening during the June 12 Sunday Streets Festival. Details are below and in the attached flyer.


What:  Free Children’s Dental Screening (Including Fluoride Varnish Applications)

When:  Sunday, June 12, 2011, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Where: Bayview Opera House – 2nd Annual Bayview Health and Wellness Fair, 4705 Third Street @ Oakdale, San Francisco, CA 94124

There will be street closures and limited parking. Participants are encouraged to walk, bike or take public transit (Muni 23, 24, 44 or the T-Third). Free screenings are open to children ages 0 months – 18 years and no appointment is necessary.

If you have any questions, please contact: Heather Carroll-Fisher at 415-476-8431 or hcarroll-fisher@cgr.ucsf.edu.

Green Kids Conference…explore your passion
A conference dedicated for children!

When: Saturday, June 18, 2011, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Where: Microsoft Silicon Valley Campus, SVC, Building 1, 1065 La Avenida, Mountain View, CA 94043

Our goal is to educate kids and their families on environmental issues, make them aware of available resources and opportunities, and also to promote, encourage, and reward new innovative ideas.

Come and explore the latest developments and opportunities in the following areas:

  • Education and Research
  • Clean Technology
  • Alternative Resources
  • Waste Management
  • Air Quality
  • Land/Nature Preservation
  • Energy/Water Conservation

This is an indoor conference, hence registration is mandatory to enter the building. Children ages 3 to 18 can participate and need to be registered. The booths will be open for the entire time. Presentations and performance will take place at  scheduled times. Check the agenda for details. There will be snacks and refreshments. For more information visit: www.greenkidsconference.org.

Mount Zion Community Health Day
We invite you, your family, your friends, and your patients to join us at the Mount Zion Community Health Day on Saturday, June 18.

You will have access to health screenings, educational materials and activities, along with local entertainment and food vendors. Our goal is to celebrate, educate and promote good health! There will be over twenty booths featuring various Medical Center clinics and services, including:

  • the Bloodmobile
  • Cancer Center
  • Division of General Internal Medicine
  • Headache Center
  • Nutrition Counseling Clinic
  • Osher Center for Integrative Medicine
  • Radiology
  • Sleep Disorders Center
  • Tobacco Education Center
  • Women’s Health
  • and more.

Event Details: Mount Zion Community Health Day Outdoor Street Fair will take place on Saturday, June 18, 2011, 11:00 am–4:00 pm, on Post Street between Divisadero and Scott streets.

Did You Know?: We are approaching the centennial of the Hellman Building at Mount Zion—the cornerstone of the twentieth century hospital. Mount Zion has played an important role in San Francisco’s rich history by serving the Western Addition neighborhood and the San Francisco community from the end of the nineteenth century through the twentieth and into the twenty-first century. It has been a part of the UCSF Medical Center since 1990.

Celebrating our Community: The leadership at the UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion, led by Associate Dean Jeffrey Pearl, M.D., is hosting this Community Health Day. It is a way to celebrate our local community, and to extend our thanks and appreciation to the neighborhood for its support of the Mount Zion campus.

We invite everyone at UCSF and in the community to join us in making this event a success. For more information, contact the Fishbon Library at Mount Zion, (415) 885-7378 or visit: http://mzhealthfair.ucsf.edu/mzhealthfair/mz_health_fair.pdf.

Headlands Institute June 2011 Climate Change Workshop for Teachers
On June 20-21, Headlands Institute is hosting a 2 day professional development experience for teachers called Bringing Climate Change to Your Classroom.

The workshop – designed for current classroom teachers, with a focus on grades 6-8 – aims to provide teachers with background information about climate science, a new set of engaging and student-centered activities, a deeper connection to National Parks, and the tools and time to create an action project for their classrooms.

The workshop is free and includes a $200 stipend, as well as food, lodging, and teaching materials! For more information or to register, please see the flier or visit our website: http://www.naturebridge.org/headlands/teacher-professional-development.

Galaxy Forum USA
Awareness and learning about our Milky Way galaxy and humanity’s place in it, offers a transnational, transcendent focus and dynamic for a 21st Century Renaissance in American and Global Education — primary and secondary, public and private, university and advanced. You are cordially invited to attend Galaxy Forum USA: Galaxy Education and Galaxy Enterprise in the 21st Century, part of an international program of Galaxy Forums sponsored by the International Lunar Observatory Association and Space Age Publishing Company.

When: July 2, 2011,  9:30 am -11:30 am

Where: The Tech Museum of Innovation, 201 South Market Street, San Jose, CA. (408) 294-8324

Featured Presentations: Dr. Leo Blitz, UC Berkeley, “The Structure of Our Milky Way Galaxy”; Dr. Louis Friedman, The Planetary Society, “LightSail-1: Solar Sailing The Milky Way”;  Steve Durst, Space Age Publishing Company, International Lunar Observatory Association – Founder, “International Lunar Observatory (ILO) Galaxy First Light Imaging Program”;

This free event is open to the public. Seating is limited. Please R.S.V.P. today. info@iloa.org or 650-324-3705.

SaveNature’s Director, Norm Gershenz “Answers the Call of the Wild”:
Norm Gershenz is speaking on July 9 at 7:30 pm at San Pedro Valley Park in Pacifica.  Mr. Gershenz, the Director of SaveNature.Org, will be speaking about how he and his organization reach hundreds of thousands of children, schools and adults around the country to save wildlife and wild places around the world. Norm will share some wild stories of his time in the rainforest and ideas on how to be successful in conservation for the 21st century. To get to San Pedro Valley Park’s Visitor Center, follow Linda Mar Boulevard east to its end at 600 Oddstad Blvd. The park sign is on the right and a parking lot gate will be open. Sponsored by The Friends of San Pedro Valley Park, the event is free and includes refreshments.

Build and Repair McLaren Park trails
Trail building Weekend in McLaren Park, Friday – Sunday, July 22-24.

Once again the stewardship organization V-O-CAL (Volunteers for Outdoor California) will spend a weekend helping San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department build and repair several different sections of the park’s trails, and you can help!

On Saturday and Sunday breakfast and lunch are provided, and Saturday evening there will be entertainment and an outdoor dinner. Bring boots, work gloves, and water. To sign up, contact us at info@savemclarenpark.org or leave a message at the SMP Google Voicemail number, 650-516-7657 for more information.

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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Accelerating into NGSS – A Statewide Rollout Series Now Accepting Registrations

Posted: Friday, January 19th, 2018

Are you feeling behind on the implementation of NGSS? Then Accelerating into NGSS – the Statewide Rollout event – is right for you!

If you have not experienced Phases 1-4 of the Statewide Rollout, or are feeling behind with the implementation of NGSS, the Accelerating Into NGSS Statewide Rollout will provide you with the greatest hits from Phases 1-4!

Accelerating Into NGSS Statewide Rollout is a two-day training geared toward grade K-12 academic coaches, administrators, curriculum leads, and teacher leaders. Check-in for the two-day rollout begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by a continental breakfast. Sessions run from 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Day One and from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Day Two.

Cost of training is $250 per attendee. Fee includes all materials, continental breakfast, and lunch on both days. It is recommended that districts send teams of four to six, which include at least one administrator. Payment can be made by check or credit card. If paying by check, registration is NOT complete until payment has been received. All payments must be received prior to the Rollout location date you are attending. Paying by credit card secures your seat at time of registration. No purchase orders accepted. No participant cancellation refunds.

For questions or more information, please contact Amy Kennedy at akennedy@sjcoe.net or (209) 468-9027.



MARCH 28-29, 2018
Host: San Mateo County Office of Education
Location: San Mateo County Office of Education, Redwood City

APRIL 10-11, 2018
Host: Orange County Office of Education
Location: Brandman University, Irvine

MAY 1-2, 2018
Host: Tulare County Office of Education
Location: Tulare County Office of Education, Visalia

MAY 3-4, 2018
Host: San Bernardino Superintendent of Schools
Location: West End Educational Service Center, Rancho Cucamonga

MAY 7-8, 2018
Host: Sacramento County Office of Education
Location: Sacramento County Office of Education Conference Center and David P. Meaney Education Center, Mather

JUNE 14-15, 2018
Host: Imperial County Office of Education
Location: Imperial Valley College, Imperial

Presented by the California Department of Education, California County Superintendents Educational Services Association/County Offices of Education, K-12 Alliance @WestEd, California Science Project, and the California Science Teachers Association.

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.

The Teaching and Learning Collaborative, Reflections from an Administrator

Posted: Friday, January 19th, 2018

by Kelly Patchen

My name is Mrs. Kelly Patchen, and I am proud to be an elementary assistant principal working in the Tracy Unified School District (TUSD) at Louis Bohn and McKinley Elementary Schools. Each of the schools I support are Title I K-5 schools with about 450 students, a diverse student population, a high percentage of English Language Learners, and students living in poverty. We’re also lucky to be part of the CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative with the K-12 Alliance. 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.

2018 CSTA Conference Call for Proposals

Posted: Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

CSTA is pleased to announce that we are now accepting proposals for 90-minute workshops and three- and six-hour short courses for the 2018 California Science Education Conference. Workshops and short courses make up the bulk of the content and professional learning opportunities available at the conference. In recognition of their contribution, members who present a workshop or short course receive 50% off of their registration fees. Click for more information regarding proposals, or submit one today by following the links below.

Short Course Proposal

Workshop Proposal 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.

CSTA’s New Administrator Facebook Group Page

Posted: Monday, January 15th, 2018

by Holly Steele

The California Science Teachers Association’s mission is to promote high-quality science education, and one of the best practice’s we use to fulfill that mission is through the use of our Facebook group pages. CSTA hosts several closed and moderated Facebook group pages for specific grade levels, (Elementary, Middle, and High School), pages for district coaches and science education faculty, and the official CSTA Facebook page. These pages serve as an online resource for teachers and coaches to exchange teaching methods, materials, staying update on science events in California and asking questions. CSTA is happy to announce the creation of a 6th group page called, California Administrators Supporting Science. 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: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.

Find Your Reason to Engage

Posted: Monday, January 15th, 2018

by Jill Grace

I was recently reflecting on events in the news and remembered that several years ago, National Public Radio had a story about a man named Stéphane Hessel, a World War II French resistance fighter, Nazi concentration camp survivor, and contributor to the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The story focused on a book he had published, Time for Outrage (2010).

In it, Hessel makes the argument that the worst attitude is indifference:

“Who is in charge; who are the decision makers? It’s not always easy to discern. We’re not dealing with a small elite anymore, whose actions we can clearly identify. We are dealing with a vast, interdependent world that is interconnected in unprecedented ways. But there are unbearable things all around us. You have to look for them; search carefully. Open your eyes and you will see. This is what I tell young people: If you spend a little time searching, you will find your reasons to engage. The worst attitude is indifference. ‘There’s nothing I can do; I get by’ – adopting this mindset will deprive you of one of the fundamental qualities of being human: outrage.  Our capacity for protest is indispensable, as is our freedom to engage.”

His words make me take pause when I think of the status of science in the United States. A general “mistrust” of science is increasingly pervasive, as outlined in a New Yorker article from the summer of 2016. 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.