Region 2 News and Events
by Eric Lewis
Welcome back to school everyone! I hope that you had a great summer and had a chance to do some valuable professional development. I also trust that like me, you’re re-energized for another school year and that you’re excited to meet your new students and families.
This summer I took part in many worthwhile professional development opportunities. While I really enjoyed building my skills for my English Language Learners through QTEL from WestEd and learning about (and creating!) digital curriculum resources at the Exploratorium, my favorite was as Educator-at-Sea on E/V Nautilus. After a four day training in Rhode Island where I learned about the types of exploration happening this summer and fall on the ship, the types of resources that support Nautilus’ underwater explorations, and the ins and outs of using the Nautilus website, I was flown out to Turkey to start my work on the ship.
I had NEVER lived on a ship before, and my last time aboard a boat was probably 25 years earlier. That said, I’ve always felt like the best professional development is one that exposes you to new experiences and new ideas. This definitely fit the bill! Aboard the ship I learned tons about the kinds of experiences that you need to become ocean engineers, 3-D map creators, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) pilots, underwater archeologists, geo-chemists and more. Additionally, I learned about what it means to be on a watch and to participate fully in the operations of a ship.
I was surprised that the ship was so cosmopolitan. For example, our captain was from Australia, our navigator was from Scotland, our chef was from the UK, the crew was mostly Ukrainian, and many of the scientists were from Turkey. Another surprise was learning that the vast majority of the engineers and scientists were young, and also that so much equipment was being serviced, maintained and used by people in his or her twenties. I was incredibly impressed with how well everyone worked as a team and how quickly people grew to depend on one another to be experts in their part of the work.
If you’re interested in participating as an Educator-at-Sea, I can certainly recommend the program highly. The training in Rhode Island was great and I’m excited to share my stories aboard Nautilus throughout this year. You can learn more about the program at the Ocean Exploration Trust Website and can see what is going on LIVE with Nautilus at www.nautiluslive.org. I would recommend spending some time on the Nautilus Live website, which was recently redone with help from partners at National Geographic. On the site you can watch LIVE exploration, ask questions by clicking on the “participate” tab, and see what’s been happening all season by reading blogs and viewing the archived video highlights. There are also great links to other resources that teachers can be use to enhance curriculum in a variety of subjects from Biology, Earth Science and Marine Science to Robotics courses, Physics, and more!
I also hope that you take the opportunity to attend the California Science Education Conference in San Jose this year. Don’t forget to encourage your colleagues to join CSTA. I’m hoping that we’ll have the opportunity to grow our organization and expand to better meet your needs and your colleague’s needs this year. To that end, please feel free to email me directly so that I can represent your questions and concerns with the CSTA board, and please let me know if there are events or opportunities that you’d like to add to our Region’s offerings.
Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Michelle French
Since the public reviews of the Next Generation Science Standards have come to a close, like many primary teachers, I’ve been wondering what science will look like in kindergarten, first, and second grade classrooms. Learn More…
“SOL Grotto, 2012. 1368 glass tubes, paint. Fabrication: Matarozzi Pelsinger, Rael San Fratello Architects. SOL Grotto is a contemporary take on a grotto or Throeau’s cabin – a spartan retreat that is a space of solitude and close to nature – where one is presented with a mediated experience of water, coolness and light. The SOL Grotto also explores Solyndra’s role as a company S#@t Out of Luck. 1,368 of the 24 million high tech glass tubes destined to be destroyed as a casualty of their bankruptcy, are used in the installation. The tube’s original role as a light concentrating element is extended to transmit cool air into the space via the Venturi effect, to amplify sounds from the adjacent waterfall via the vibrations of the tubes cantilevering over the creek, and to create distorted views of the garden. The form of the electric blue array evokes Plato’s Allegory of the Cave where shadows, light and sounds can call reality into question.”
Responses from Readers:
Peter A’Hearn: Rush hour in little blue circle land.
by Valerie Joyner
Congratulations to CSTA member and STEM Educator, Katherine Schenkelberg, of West High School, in Torrance, CA! Katherine was recently awarded one of the 2013 Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards. An appointed panel of experts selected her for her innovative use of data-collection technology. “The use of data-collection technology in the classroom helps foster students’ interest in STEM education and provides them with engaging, hands-on opportunities for scientific investigation,” said David Vernier, co-founder of Vernier and a former physics teacher. “For ten years Vernier and NSTA have recognized innovative STEM educators through this award and this year’s winners are no exception – their projects and programs truly utilize the power of data-collection technology as part of the teaching and learning process.” Learn More…
by Tim Williamson
Members of the California Science Teachers Association are now in the process of voting for qualified CSTA members to fill the seven openings on the CSTA Board of Directors for the 2013-2015 term.
The election is being conducted electronically and opened for voting on April 16, 2013. Voting will close on May 16, 2013. All CSTA members were sent links to the online ballot. Members for whom we do not have current email addresses or who request a paper ballot have been mailed a ballot and candidate statements. Learn More…