May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Region 2 News and Events

Posted: Saturday, September 1st, 2012

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.

View the event calender for events in our area.

Please send me an email at lewise2@sfusd.edu.

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 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.

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.