September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

Region 2 – News and Events for October 2013

Posted: Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

by Eric Lewis

I hope that your school year has been off to a great start. I also hope that you can take advantage of some of the great science opportunities in our region this month!

The Next Generation Science Standards have arrived in California and now we need to get to work. In my district, as I’m sure is true in yours, there is a mixed response to the NGSS from fanatical excitement to tempered indifference. I myself think that these standards are going to be amazing not only because they emphasize a whole different kind of science teaching and learning, but also because they connect so wonderfully to the CA Common Core Standards in ELA and Mathematics. Of course, I think in order to really make the changes that we want in education, we’re going to need to support a different structure for schools – especially high schools. We will need more time to work with our colleagues in other disciplines to ensure that we’re utilizing the tools provided in our standards. How else will we be able to weave these standards together? I hope that we see some new innovations in school structures over the next few years to help teachers to meet the challenges and opportunities that these new standards provide. 

Additionally, many of us are watching carefully to see how the assessments for these new standards come to fruition. Some of us remember the Golden State Exams used from 1983 to 2003 – they seemed to be aligned to the kinds of performance expectations that the NGSS encourage. When will these new assessments arrive in CA? Will they be online like the other content area standards’ assessments? Will we have sufficient time with these new standards before we are assessed on them? We are excited to find out!

I do hope that I’ll get to see you at this year’s Education Conference in Palm Springs later this month. Please let me know if there are things that you’d like to add to our Region’s offerings. 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 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.

Eric Lewis, lewise2@sfusd.edu

There are many, many science opportunities in the Bay Area. Please visit here to see a year round calendar of events in our area. Some big events to remember:

Free Entry Days at:

Bay Area Discovery Museum, First Wednesday of the month

UC Botanical Gardens, First Thursday of the month

Oakland Museum of California, First Sunday of the month

California Academy of Sciences, Free days on selected Sundays: December 8th

Exploratorium, Free Days, Selected days: October 13th

 

Star Parties:

Houge Park Star Party, October 11th and 25th

San Mateo County Astronomical Society Star Party, October 5th and 26th

 

Super-cool science parties:

Night Life, Thursdays, 6-10 pm, at the California Academy of Sciences

After Dark, First Thursday of the month, 6-10 pm, at the Exploratorium

 

Highlighted Event/s in October:

October LASER at UC Berkeley

Wednesday, 10/09/13, 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Barrows Hall room 110, UC Berkeley, Berkeley

6:30-6:55: Zann Gill, (former NASA scientist) on “Resolving Prediction’s Paradox: collaborative intelligence ecosystems.”

6:55-7:20: Jennifer Parker (UC Santa Cruz) on “Down to earth: Art, Astronomy and Physics”

7:20-7:40: BREAK. Before or after the break, anyone in the audience currently working within the intersections of art and science will have 30 seconds to share their work. Please present your work as a teaser so that those who are interested can seek you out during social time following the event.

7:40-8:05: Cheryl Leonard (Composer) on “Music from High Latitudes”

8:05-8:30: Wayne Vitale (Gamelan Sekar Jaya) on “Between Ancient Texts and Three Screens”

8:30pm-9:00pm: Discussions, networking – You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

For more information, visit their website at http://www.leonardo.info/isast/laser.html

East Bay Mini Maker Faire 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013, 10:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.

Park Day School, 360 42nd Street, Oakland

What and why: A Maker Faire is about celebrating learning and doing – not the finished and perfect end product. It’s a place to share what we’re learning with others, and celebrate the fun and freedom of being an amateur.

Featuring both established and emerging local “makers,” the East Bay Mini Maker Faire is a family-friendly celebration coming to Oakland for its fourth year on Sunday, October 20, 2013. It will feature rockets and robots, digital fabrication, DIY science and technology, urban farming and sustainability, alternative energy, bicycles, unique hand-made crafts, music and local food, and educational workshops and installations.

The East Bay Mini Maker Faire follows the “big” Maker Faire model of celebrating invention, creativity, and resourcefulness, but is smaller in scale (170 makers vs. 900 makers; 5,000 people on one day vs. 65,000) and will showcase the wonders of Alameda and Contra Costa counties and beyond!

Tickets range from $10-$20 depending on when you purchase (so purchase early!).

For more information contact Sabrina Merlo at info@ebmakerfaire.com, call 510.325.5178, or visit their website at http://ebmakerfaire.wordpress.com/

For additional events in our region, please reference the VERY comprehensive calendar compiled by the Bay Area Science Festival. 

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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State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces 2017 Finalists for Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Posted: Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today nominated eight exceptional secondary mathematics and science teachers as California finalists for the 2017 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

“These teachers are dedicated and accomplished individuals whose innovative teaching styles prepare our students for 21st century careers and college and develop them into the designers and inventors of the future,” Torlakson said. “They rank among the finest in their profession and also serve as wonderful mentors and role models.”

The California Department of Education (CDE) partners annually with the California Science Teachers Association and the California Mathematics Council to recruit and select nominees for the PAEMST program—the highest recognition in the nation for a mathematics or science teacher. The Science Finalists will be recognized at the CSTA Awards Luncheon on Saturday, October 14, 2017. Learn More…

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CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Thriving in a Time of Change

Posted: Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

by Jill Grace

By the time this message is posted online, most schools across California will have been in session for at least a month (if not longer, and hat tip to that bunch!). Long enough to get a good sense of who the kids in your classroom are and to get into that groove and momentum of the daily flow of teaching. It’s also very likely that for many of you who weren’t a part of a large grant initiative or in a district that set wheels in motion sooner, this is the first year you will really try to shift instruction to align to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). I’m not going to lie to you, it’s a challenging year – change is hard. Change is even harder when there’s not a playbook to go by.  But as someone who has had the very great privilege of walking alongside teachers going through that change for the past two years and being able to glimpse at what this looks like for different demographics across that state, there are three things I hope you will hold on to. These are things I have come to learn will overshadow the challenge: a growth mindset will get you far, one is a very powerful number, and it’s about the kids. Learn More…

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Written by Jill Grace

Jill Grace

Jill Grace is a Regional Director for the K-12 Alliance and is President of CSTA.

If You Are Not Teaching Science Then You Are Not Teaching Common Core

Posted: Thursday, August 31st, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn 

“Science and Social Studies can be taught for the last half hour of the day on Fridays”

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

Peter A’Hearn is the Region 4 Director for CSTA.

Tools for Creating NGSS Standards Based Lessons

Posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

by Elizabeth Cooke

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Science Education Background

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Written by Elizabeth Cooke

Elizabeth Cooke

Elizabeth Cooke teaches TK-5 science at Markham Elementary in the Oakland Unified School District, is an NGSS Early Implementer, and is CSTA’s Secretary.

News and Happenings in CSTA’s Region 1 – Fall 2017

Posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

Cal

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Written by Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw is the student services director at Siskiyou County Office of Education and is CSTA’s Region 1 Director and chair of CSTA’s Policy Committee.