November/December 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 2

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  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,

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 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):

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: (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


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:

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:

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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Apply to Join Achieve’s Science Peer Review Panel

Posted: Friday, December 15th, 2017

Achieve is excited to announce the expansion of the Science Peer Review Panel!

Achieve’s Science Peer Review Panel (“Science PRP”) is an elite group of educators who work to evaluate and share high-quality lesson sequences and units that are designed for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Members of the Science PRP are part of the solution to a persistent problem in the science education field: not enough examples of high-quality instructional materials designed for the NGSS.

Join the Science PRP by filling out this online application and connect with a network of educators across the country committed to advancing science education for all students, develop your expertise in the NGSS, and work to make better science instructional materials more widely available to the science education field. This opportunity includes free, valuable professional learning experiences designed to deepen your understanding of the NGSS and the evaluation process for instructional materials. 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.

Priority Features of NGSS-Aligned Instructional Materials

Posted: Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Recommendations for Publishers, Reviewers, and Educators. The California Science Teachers Association and the science teachers associations of three other Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) west-coast states, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, have co-authored a white paper on priority features of NGSS instructional materials. This is the first time our states have collaborated to convey a common vision on an issue of great importance for the implementation of the NGSS. We understand all too well that for meaningful shifts to happen and to support the full vision of the NGSS, strong K-12 Instructional materials are required. 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 Board Moves Forward Two Key Pieces Supporting CA NGSS Implementation

Posted: Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

CSTA President Jill Grace provides public comment at the November 8, 2017, California State Board of Education meeting.

On November 8, 2017, the California State Board of Education (SBE) took action on two items of import relating to the implementation of the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS). One item was relating to the California Science Test (CAST) and the other to instructional materials. CSTA provided both written and oral comments on both items along with providing input on what CSTA and many other advocates view as a critical component of our state’s emerging accountability system – student access to a broad course of study. 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.

NGSS – Early Attempts and Later Reflections from an Early Implementer Teacher

Posted: Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

by Christa Dunkel

  • There are so many acronyms! Where do I start?
  • What “baby step” should I take first? 
  • How can I make this happen in my elementary classroom?

All of these thoughts and more swam through my head over three years ago when I began my journey into NGSS. I was fresh from a week-long institute with the K-12 Alliance as part of the CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative. Much of the week was spent on digging into the NGSS architecture – how the standards are set-up, how to read the standards, what each of the three dimensions meant. Now that I knew how to read them, I needed to figure out how to implement them into my classroom of 24 eight-year-olds. With some guidance from the K-12 Alliance leaders and my own district-level NGSS team, I began the process with some easy “baby steps.” 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.

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.