May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

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 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.