July/August 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 8

Region 4 News and Events

Posted: Sunday, May 1st, 2011

by Pete A’Hearn

Region 4 is the most amazingly diverse place in the world to teach science. We stretch from the cold Pacific Ocean to the hottest desert in the world, contain the highest and lowest points in California, the oldest tree in the world, and the oldest cloned plant. We have top research facilities from the Salk Institute in San Diego to the 200-inch telescope at Mt. Palomar. Region 4 is the counties of San Diego, Orange, Riverside, Imperial, San Bernardino, Inyo, and Mono.

Ah…springtime in region 4 and a young teacher’s thoughts turn to…

Summer! Just around the corner with many opportunities for professional growth. In the meantime to keep you from getting into the post-CST test doldrums, there is lots going on.

Boojom Institute in Idyllwild is having an Open House on May 7. They do some great outdoor science programs. More info at: http://www.boojum.org/images/openhouse_may_7_10.jpg.

Head to Los Angeles for the International Science and Engineering Fair on May 9 to May 13, and cheer on the region 4 kids who are competing. More information can be found at: http://www.societyforscience.org/intelisef2011.

Sally Ride Science Festival, May 14, San Diego, CA: Presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation, the festival for 5th to 8th grade students features hands-on workshops, guest speakers, and a street fair complete with food, booths and music. A highlight of the day will be the keynote presentation by former NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence. Since 2001, Sally Ride Science Festivals have given middle school girls the opportunity to explore a variety of science fields and meet inspiring scientists such as Sally Ride, Laurie Leshin, and Ellen Ochoa. The festival runs from 11 a.m. until 4:15 p.m. and, with the exception of workshops, will be held completely outdoors. The event is open to the public and advanced registration is required. Tickets cost $20 and can be purchased online at www.sallyridescience.com/festivals or by calling 1-800-561-5161.

JPL is having an open house on May 14 and 15. JPL! Need I say more? Details can be found at: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/.

The District Science Leadership Network for Riverside and San Bernardino counties is on May 17 at Riverside County Office of Education. Come hear presentations from schools identified as science education “outliers”, hear what the latest research says, and get connected with what’s going on in the region. Check out the details at: http://scienceinquirer.wikispaces.com/.

Mark your calendars for Yami’s amazing notebook training July 13 and 14 at RCOE. If you don’t know Yami she is the new RCOE science person and has done amazing work with using notebooks in high school biology. More detailed info in the next report or contact Yamileth Shimojyo at YSHIMOJYO@rcoe.us.

Join  the California Institute for Biodiversity team, naturalist David Lukas, and UC researchers as we explore the Sierra Nevada, focusing on climate change’s influence on natural systems. You will learn how climate change has already affected California and how mitigation can reduce the impact in the future. Participating teachers will also have the opportunity to “do science” by participating in a team field investigation that explores an aspect of global climate change. We will give you the right tools to help your students understand the threat of global climate change and how they can respond now and in the future! This intensive course will integrate state science standards for sixth through 12th grades. The registration fee includes room and board, your own field journal, a teacher packet with hands-on activities, and the use of scientific equipment for your field investigations. Regular registration is $375. http://eurekaseries.org/main/node/122.

Applications for the CSULB Master’s in Science Education program are due June 1. There are options for elementary, secondary and informal science educators. Details about the MS program and contact information are located at www.scienceteaching.org.

As the new region 4 director, I need help tracking all the events in a big and spread out region. You can help me to include events in your part of region 4 by sending me information about events and opportunities at pahearn@psusd.us.

Pete A’Hearn is the K-12 science specialist in the Palm Springs Unified School District and is region 4 director for CSTA.

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

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

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CTC Seeking Educators for Science Standard Setting Conference

Posted: Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

The Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) and Evaluation Systems group of Pearson are currently seeking California science educators to participate in a Science Standard Setting Conference for the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) program. Each standard setting panel is scheduled to meet for one-day, in Sacramento, California. The fields and dates are listed below:

Multiple Subjects Subtest II (Science), Monday, October 2, 2017
Science Subtest II: Physics, Monday, October 2, 2017
Science Subtest II: Chemistry, Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Science Subtest II: Life Sciences, Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Science Subtest II: Earth and Space Sciences, Thursday, October 5, 2017
Science Subtest I: General Science, Friday, October 6, 2017

The purpose of the conference is for panel members to make recommendations that will be used, in part, by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) in setting the passing standard, for each field, in support of the updated California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET).

Click here to nominate educators. If you are interested in participating yourself, complete an application here for consideration.


Public school educators who are:

• Certified in California
• Currently practicing (or have practiced within the last school year) in one or more of the fields listed above. 

College faculty who are:

• Teacher preparation personnel (including education faculty and arts and sciences faculty)
• Practicing (or have practiced within the last school year) in one or more of the fields listed above, and
• Preparing teacher candidates in an approved California teacher preparation program.

 Benefits of Participation Include:
• Receive substitute reimbursement for their school (public school educators only),
• Have the opportunity to make a difference in California teacher development and performance,
• Have the opportunity for professional growth and collaboration with educators in their field,
• Be reimbursed for their travel and meal expenses, and
• Be provided with hotel accommodations, if necessary.

For more information, visit their website at www.carecruit.nesinc.com/cset/index.asp

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.

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.