July/August 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 8

Region 2 News and Events

Posted: Friday, September 30th, 2011

by Eric Lewis

As always, it’s an exciting time for Science!  I’m not sure how many of you have had an opportunity to look over the new Framework for K-12 Science Education (download the FREE pdf here), but it seems to be a great move forward for Science Education.  I know that there is a lot of excitement over the new California Common Core Standards for English/Language Arts and Mathematics.  I hope that our standards are also so well received.  I’m also glad that California will be one of the lead states that will be working on creating the Common Core Standards for Science.

The first annual Bay Area Science Festival will be commencing at the end of this month.  This science festival will span 10 days, starting on October 29th and will incorporate science and technology activities throughout the entire Bay Area – from Santa Rosa to San Jose.  There will be all sorts of science events including lectures, debates and exhibitions, as well as concerts, plays, workshops, and even a science-themed pub-crawl in the Mission District of San Francisco (really, there will something for EVERYONE).  The festival’s FREE grand finale will be at AT&T Park in San Francisco on Sunday, November 6th, from 11am to 4pm.  There will be over 170 hands-on interactive science activities for students, families, and the community at large to enjoy.  For the complete program schedule, visit http://www.bayareascience.org.  Kudos to UCSF for choreographing this awesome series of science events!

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 you 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 down in Pasadena for the CSTA Education conference from October 21st through the 23rd!

Eric Lewis, lewise2@sfusd.edu

Berkeley Lab’s ‘Cirque Des Sciences’ Open House on Oct. 15

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, step right up to experience amazing feats of cutting-edge science at “Cirque des Sciences,” Berkeley Lab’s Open House on Saturday, October 15th, from 10 am to 3 pm. A three-ring circus under the Big-Top, surrounded by nearly an acre of booths, will feature exhibits on nanotechnology, energy efficiency and conservation, climate change, solar cells, biofuels, batteries, physics, chemistry, and much more. Costumed stilt walkers and jugglers will roam the grounds to delight and entertain guests. The event also includes tours, hands-on learning activities, lectures, entertainment, food, and henna hand painters. Visit the Open House website at http://www.lbl.gov/openhouse for more information and to register.  The event is free, but registration is required! All visitors will need a printout of their registration confirmation in order to enter the event.

Grant Writing Workshop for Teachers on Oct 5th

The Stanford Optical Society, along with the help of Ann Shioji, is hosting another grant writing workshop this year after receiving great feedback from past events! This workshop is intended for the teacher who is new to grant writing. Subjects covered include: how to keep an eye out for interesting grants, a quick overview of the grant process, anatomy of a typical grant, how to find information on your school’s breakdown, and pointers from a grant recipient.  The last part of the session will include outlining our typical grant and how to make your grant appealing for committees. A grant graphic organizer will be included! The details are as follows: October 5, 2011 from 6:30 – 7:30 pm (light dinner served at 6) in the Havana Room, Stanford Graduate Community Center, 750 Escondido Rd, Stanford University. Please follow this link to fill out the form if you would like to attend (there are a limited number of seats available): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/embeddedform?formkey=dFhwVlZWSHo4eEZnbTR1VDlaRDFleUE6MA

Free Mars Workshop for Educators (Hands-on Activities): “Packing for Mars” with the Astronomical Society of the Pacific

WHEN: Saturday, October 1, 2011, 9:00am – noon. WHERE: Resource Area for Teachers (RAFT), 101 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood City, CA. Join the staff of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) for a 3-hour workshop including engaging hands-on activities to introduce the science and exploration of the red planet Mars to students and audiences of all ages.  All activities in the workshop are appropriate for presentations in libraries, community centers, museums, and classrooms. The instructors for this workshop will be:

  • Suzy Gurton, Astronomy Education Manager for the (ASP) and author of a whole series of family astronomy activities in use around the country.
  • Juanita Ryan, retired K-5 teacher from the Berryessa School District in San Jose.
  • Target Audience: 3rd – 8th grade teachers, informal educators, and amateur and professional astronomers who visit classrooms.

There is no cost for the workshop or the materials, but advance registration is required. To register, please go to: http://www.raft.net/workshops/in-house#2741 (click the box at left, scroll to the top of the page, and hit the enroll now button).

Expanding Your Horizons in Science and MathematicsTM Conference

Saturday, October 29, 2011 at San Francisco State University 1600 Holloway/19th Avenue from 8:30 AM – 2:45 PM. The Expanding Your Horizons in Science and MathematicsTM conferences nurture girls’ interest in science and math courses in order to encourage them to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. Our mission is to encourage young women to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. The San Francisco Expanding Your Horizons Conference (EYH) will provide STEM role models and hands-on activities for middle school girls. Our ultimate goal is to motivate girls to become innovative and creative thinkers ready to meet 21st century challenges. Registration Deadline: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2011.  Register at http://sf-eyh.com/


At The Bio-Link / CCSF Depot our goal is to connect local California teachers with the science supplies and equipment they need.  As biotech companies restructure, move, or upgrade, they donate to the Depot. Donor companies gladly give us recycled high caliber biotech equipment and supplies. The next Open House is on Saturday, October 8th, 2011 from 10am to noon.  For more information (including how to get stuff from there to your classroom/school), go to: http://www.ccsf.edu/Resources/Bio-Link_Depot/index.html

Coastweeks is still going strong through October 9th

For more information about coastal and water resources events in your area, check out their website of events at: http://www.coastal.ca.gov/publiced/coastweeks/coastweeks.html

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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  1. […] greeted with more and more news about the Bay Area Science Festival.  Just in case you missed this announcement last month, the science festival will span 10 days – it started on October 29 – and will incorporate […]

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CTC Seeking Educators for Science Standard Setting Conference

Posted: Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

The Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) and Evaluation Systems group of Pearson are currently seeking California science educators to participate in a Science Standard Setting Conference for the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) program. Each standard setting panel is scheduled to meet for one-day, in Sacramento, California. The fields and dates are listed below:

Multiple Subjects Subtest II (Science), Monday, October 2, 2017
Science Subtest II: Physics, Monday, October 2, 2017
Science Subtest II: Chemistry, Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Science Subtest II: Life Sciences, Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Science Subtest II: Earth and Space Sciences, Thursday, October 5, 2017
Science Subtest I: General Science, Friday, October 6, 2017

The purpose of the conference is for panel members to make recommendations that will be used, in part, by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) in setting the passing standard, for each field, in support of the updated California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET).

Click here to nominate educators. If you are interested in participating yourself, complete an application here for consideration.


Public school educators who are:

• Certified in California
• Currently practicing (or have practiced within the last school year) in one or more of the fields listed above. 

College faculty who are:

• Teacher preparation personnel (including education faculty and arts and sciences faculty)
• Practicing (or have practiced within the last school year) in one or more of the fields listed above, and
• Preparing teacher candidates in an approved California teacher preparation program.

 Benefits of Participation Include:
• Receive substitute reimbursement for their school (public school educators only),
• Have the opportunity to make a difference in California teacher development and performance,
• Have the opportunity for professional growth and collaboration with educators in their field,
• Be reimbursed for their travel and meal expenses, and
• Be provided with hotel accommodations, if necessary.

For more information, visit their website at www.carecruit.nesinc.com/cset/index.asp

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 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 zi@cascience.org.)

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: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.