January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

Region 4 Is All Shaken Up!

Posted: Friday, November 1st, 2013

by Jeanine Wulfenstein

In October, schools across region 4 practiced their earthquake preparedness strategies.  In order to practice for the next large earthquake, “The Great California Shake Out” was held on October 17th, 2013 at 10:17 am.  Educational professionals joined students and community members to practice recommended earthquake safety actions including dropping to the ground, taking cover under a sturdy desk or table, and holding onto their shelter until the shaking stops.   Everyone was reminded that a crawling position is the best way to protect your vital organs and to be prepared to move if and when necessary.  Through practice, our schools and community are one step closer to effectively managing this type of emergency situation.

Region 4 fall spirit is also alive and well at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana. Along with Cal State Fullerton, the Center is hosting a free Pumpkin Launch family event on November 2nd.  The day promises to be filled with entertainment, hands-on activities, and of course, flying pumpkins!  Scheduled activities include Marshmallow mayhem, Archimedes floating lab, a catapult shoot-out, reaction rockets, medieval battle camp, and Da Vinci’s flight school.  The fun starts at 10:00 a.m. will run until approximately 1:30 p.m.  Be sure to bring your lawn chair and a carved pumpkin for the pumpkin carving contest.  An array of gourmet food trucks will also be there to please your palate. Other upcoming events at the Discovery Science Center include:

  • The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not (October 26th through January 5th)
  • Parent Workshop – How Children Learn (November 16th–17th)
  • The science of Gingerbread (November 29th through January 5th).  This holiday festival is designed to bring families together for the holidays with activities like the “Science of Snow” stage show, racing your own candy car, gingerbread creations, and cookie decorating.

There is even more fun to be had at the Orange County Department of Education’s Technology Festival held on November 2nd from 9:00 to 5:00 pm. This event is sponsored by the OCDE and the Schools First Federal Credit Union.  Teachers interested in purchasing computers and other equipment will be able to take out 0% APR loans to finance their technological needs.

If you are interested in grant writing, the OCDE is also offering a grant writing series.  On November 7th from 12:00 – 1:00 in room B1107, the topic will be Branding and Commonly Requested Grant Pieces Session #2.  The next session in the series will be held November 21st from 12:00 to 1:00. The topic of that session is Proof Reading, Editing, and Writing Succinctly.  For more information visit the links above or contact Roberta Tovar rtovar@ocde.us.

There is something for everyone during the Holiday season in Region 4.  I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities to strengthen both your science content knowledge and to strengthen your family.  Have a safe and joyous holiday season!

Written by Jeanine Wulfenstein

Jeanine Wulfenstein

Jeanine Wulfenstein teaches science at Gardner Middle School and is the CSTA Treasurer. You can reach her by emailing jwulfenstein@tvusd.k12.ca.us.

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STEM Conference Hosted by CMSESMC

Posted: Saturday, January 14th, 2017

The Council of Math/Science Educators of San Mateo County will be hosting the 41st annual STEM Conference this February 4, 2017 at the San Mateo County Office of Education. This STEM Conference is the place to get lots of new lessons and ideas to use in your classroom. There will be over twenty-five workshops and a variety of exhibitors that provide participants with a wide range of practical and realistic ideas and resources to use in their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs from Pre-K to grade 12. With California’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, we are dedicated to ensuring that we prepare our teachers to take on these educational policies.

Teachers, administrators and parents are invited to explore the many exciting aspects of STEM education and learn about and discuss the latest news, information and issues. This is also an opportunity to network with colleagues who can assist you in building your programs and meet new friends that share your interests and love of teaching.

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.

Opportunities to Support NGSS Implementation with CTC

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

What follows are several opportunities for science teachers to work with the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) on various projects that have direct or indirect implications for the implementation of NGSS in California. Please consider applying to one or more of the following opportunities.

CSET Field Testing Opportunities

Field testing opportunities for future CSET Multiple Subjects and Science tests are available beginning Dec. 5, 2016. Participants will have the choice between a $50 Barnes and Noble eGift Card or a $75 test fee voucher that may be applied to future test registration fees. For more information, including how to register to participate, please visit: http://www.pearsonvue.com/espilot/cset.asp. 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.

Submit Your NGSS Lessons and Units Today!

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

Achieve has launched and is facilitating an EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science–a group of expert reviewers who will evaluate the quality and alignment of lessons and units to the standards–in an effort to identify and shine a spotlight on emerging high-quality lesson and unit plans designed for the NGSS.

If you or your state, district, school, or organization has designed NGSS-aligned instructional materials, please consider submitting these in order to help provide educators across the country with various models and templates of high-quality lesson and unit plans. 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.

Opportunity for High School Students – Los Angeles County

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

An upcoming Perry Outreach Program on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children in Los Angeles, CA. The Perry Outreach Program is a free, one-day, hands-on experience for high school and college-aged women who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine and engineering. Students will hear from women leaders in these fields and try it for themselves by performing mock orthopaedic surgeries and biomechanics experiments. 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.

Science Education Policy Update

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

January 2017 has proven to be a very busy month for science education policy and CA NGSS implementation activities. CSTA has been and will be there every step of the way, seeking and enacting all options to support high-quality science education and the successful implementation of CA NGSS.

California Department of Education/U.S. Department of Education Science Double-Testing Waiver Hearing

The year started with California Department of Education’s (CDE) hearing with the U.S. Department of Education conducted via WebEx on January 6, 2017. This hearing was the final step in California’s efforts to secure a waiver from the federal government in order to discontinue administration of the old CST and suspension of the reporting of student test scores on a science assessment for two years. As reported by EdSource, the U.S. Department of Education representative, Ann Whalen, a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary John King Jr., committed to making her final ruling “very shortly.” Deputy Superintendent Keric Ashley presented on behalf of CDE during the hearing and did an excellent job describing the broad-based support for this waiver in California, the rationale for the waiver, and California’s commitment to the successful implementation of a new high-quality science assessment. As previously reported, California is moving forward with its plans to administer a census pilot assessments this spring. The testing window is set to open on March 20, 2017. For more information visit New CA Science Test: What You Should Know.

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.