September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

News and Events in Region 2

Posted: Thursday, September 1st, 2011

by Eric Lewis

So school is underway here in San Francisco and will be underway across the state in the next week or two. I hope that you had a great summer and that you are fresh and ready to take on a new year! Did you spend time this summer doing professional development? This was my first year participating in IISME. I had heard about it for a long time and was thrilled to be placed at KQED for the summer working with QUEST. I really enjoyed my experience with IISME and will hopefully participate again in the future. What were some of your favorite professional development opportunities? I’d love to hear about some of the things that CSTA members engaged in this summer. Please email me with your experiences and I’ll try to highlight some of these programs in the future!

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.

Good luck with the start of your school year! I look forward to seeing you all down in Pasadena for our next CSTA conference October 21 – 23!

Eric Lewis,


National Science Teachers Association







Region 2 includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Solano counties.

Resources and Events in Region 2

Green Hairstreak News

Come steward Green Hairstreak Habitat on Saturday, September 17 from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm at 14th & Pacheco in San Francisco.

The Green Hairstreak workdays are now the 3rd Saturday of the month. Come for a half hour to socialize and enjoy morning treats with other neighbors, volunteers, and nature enthusiasts. The workday begins at 10:00 am promptly, when we will orient volunteers on the different sites.

Aquarium of the Bay

Important days for Aquarium of the Bay:

September 1, 2011: Registration for K-12 free classes and tours open all Bay Area teachers.

October 12, 2011: Teachers Night Out at Aquarium of the Bay! Get an exclusive tour of our exhibits and special preview of our classroom shenanigans.

October 15, 2011: Hybrid Ferry Discover the Bay Program scholarship applications due for 2011-2012 school year.

California Coastal Cleanup Day Is Saturday, September 17, 2011, 9:00 am-12:00 pm

Join more than 80,000 of your friends and neighbors and help protect our coast and shorelines!

What is Coastal Cleanup Day? California Coastal Cleanup Day, an annual beach and inland waterway cleanup, is the state’s largest volunteer event. In 2010, over 82,500 volunteers removed more than 1.2 million pounds of trash and recyclables from our beaches, lakes, and waterways. When combined with the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by Ocean Conservancy and taking place on the same day, California Coastal Cleanup Day becomes part of one of the largest volunteer events in the world.

Why are beach cleanups so important? California’s coast and waterways have historically been collecting spots for annual accumulations of trash and debris. This debris, if not removed, can be harmful and even fatal to all manners of marine wildlife, can damage our state’s economy, and can even become a human health hazard. Coastal Cleanup Day is a great way for families, students, service groups, and neighbors to join together, take care of our fragile marine environment, show community support for our shared natural resources, learn about the impacts of marine debris and how we can prevent them, and to have fun!

How do I participate? Participating in Coastal Cleanup Day is as easy as 1, 2, 3! For tips for teachers participating with their classes, see our Educator’s Guide.

The Coastal Commission is committed to eliminating the waste created at Coastal Cleanup Day. Please join our efforts by bringing your own reusable supplies to the Cleanup. Learn more on our BYO page.

Be part of the solution to marine pollution! Join us on Saturday, September 17, 2011, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm for the 27th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. Click here to learn more.


Volunteer stewards needed for Alemany Natives

Find over 70 species of San Francisco native plants, enhancing the habitat resources for birds, butterflies, herbs, and other species, while also providing opportunities for visitors to learn about native plants, local ecosystems, and how to increase habitat value in agricultural practices, landscaping – all in an urban environment.

At the center of a 3.5 acre beautiful volunteer-run farm, we need good people to volunteer to manage this area ASAP! If this might be you, or you know the perfect person, please email Iris or call 415-312-2214.

And come by our 3rd Sunday workdays from 1:00 pm -4:00 pm. Our next workday is September 18 at Alemany Farm, 700 Alemany Boulevard in San Francisco.

Check out these photos at:

Ted Kipping Pot Luck/Slideshows

4th Tuesday of the month at 7:00 pm (slide show at 8:00 pm) at the San Francisco County Fair Building, 9th Avenue & Lincoln Way in Golden Gate Park.

Served by Muni bus lines #6, 43, 44, 66, 71, and the N-Judah Metro.

September 27, Brian Kemble: Botanizing Northern Baja

*Please bring a dish and beverage to serve 8 people

What: A geological walk in downtown San Francisco retracing the events of the 1906 earthquake and fire
When: Saturday, October 15, 2011, 9:00 am
Where: Meet at 9:00 am at the City Center BART station on Market Street
Who: K-12 teachers only

A $30 refundable registration fee is require, the fee will be refunded upon attendance. Lunch will be provided in Chinatown.

This walk in downtown San Francisco is part of the Northern California Geological Society’s activities for teachers during the Earth Science Week program for 2011. We will spend the time reliving the events that occurred on that fateful day of April 18, 1906.

Earthquakes are an important part of our life in the Bay area. The walk is of particular relevance to teachers of all grade levels who are interested in including an earthquake lesson in their classroom. We will explore the downtown area in order to  discover the lessons and  knowledge we have acquired  in the past 100 years about the importance of earthquakes for those of us who live in an extremely seismically active area. A well illustrated guide book will be provided to enrich the walk and there will be many places to take photographs. Examples of possible sites we will visit  include buildings in the subsidence area in the South of Market, pre-1906 buildings along Market Street that survived the earthquake, the site of the first residence in San Francisco, and other historical places in the city.

We will assemble at 9 AM at the Civic Center Bart Station The first stop will be at Sixth and Howard streets in the South of Market. This location was “ground zero” for the 1906 tremor.  It was here that the greatest loss of life and the greatest damage occurred at dawn on that April day. It was in this area that most of the fires originated that destroyed the city in the following days. This part of the city was rebuilt following the quake but the area around Sixth Street has retained much of its character. The South of Market is undergoing redevelopment and the older building are disappearing so it is very appropriate to bring your camera and record this part of the city.

The walk continues along Market Street following the path of the fire as it spread outwards from the South of Market. We will see many of the “survivors” or pre-1906 buildings along Market. We eventually end up at Lotta’s Fountain, the site each year of the 1906 remembrance event. The fire reached this part of the City about late morning of the first day and we are on schedule to follow its path through the present day Financial District and Chinatown. NCGS is hosting a lunch for the group at a restaurant in Chinatown.

The walk will be led by Dr. Raymond Sullivan, Emeritus Professor of Geology at San Francisco State University.

For further information and registration contact Paul Henshaw at phenshaw@berkeley.edu925-673-8745, or 925-212-9492 (cell).

Eris 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.