September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

Region Updates: Region 2

Posted: Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

by Eric Lewis

After a long wait,  the Next Generation Science Standards will be released on January 8, 2013!  It will be important for as many of us as possible to review them and provide feedback.

In general, I’m excited about the new standards though I’ve grown quite fond of our old standards.  Well, perhaps “fond” isn’t the right word… it’s more like I have grown comfortable with them.  I’ve been teaching with our current standards for my whole career.  I’ve never had to teach anything else and I’m excited and nervous about the changes that are coming to our science standards.

One aspect of the Next Generation Science Standards that I’m very happy about is the attention to communication of science by our students.  I think this part of the standards will be a boon to our English Language Learners by ensuring that science class is one that is language rich in reading, speaking and writing.  Of course as science teachers, this is an area where we will need to build new skills and be prepared to struggle and stumble.

I do think that science fairs are a natural fit for these expectations in science.  I’ve been becoming a bigger and bigger fan of science fairs and science symposia over the past few years.  If you are interested in getting involved in science fairs, check out the Bay Area Science Fair website and the Science and Humanities Symposium website.  And, please read my interview with Tokiwa Smith – the director of SEM Link – in this month’s eCCS.  Tokiwa’s organization might be really helpful in getting science fairs started in your classroom.

Finally, don’t forget to submit your ideas for workshops for next year’s Education Conference in Palm Springs!  And, 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

Events in Region 2

Houge Park Star Party

Friday, 1/4/12, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

San Jose Astronomical Association, Houge Park, Twilight Drive, San Jose

Meet with members of San Jose Astronomical Society for a Star Party, weather permitting.

For more information visit their website at http://www.sjaa.net/.

Fabulous plants and stories from the East Bay flora

Saturday, 1/5/13, 10:30 AM

Regional Parks Botanic Garden Visitors Center, Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley

Join us for our popular series of free public lectures on a broad array of topics related to plants and natural history. Named in honor of its founder, the Wayne Roderick Lecture Series takes place in the Visitor Center of the Regional Parks Botanic Garden. These illustrated presentations are enjoyable for beginners and professionals alike. All lectures are free and open to the public.  Speaker: Heath Bartosh

Note: Seating is limited, so it is advisable to arrive early, save a seat, and enjoy the garden until lecture time.
For more information, call (510) 544-3169 or visit their website.

Free Day of Science

Sunday, 1/6/13, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak Street, Oakland

OMCA is free all day the first Sunday of every month.  Tour the building with members of the Museum’s Council on Architecture at 1 pm and enjoy a docent-led tour of the Gallery of California Art at 2 pm.

For more information, call 510-238-2200 or visit their website.

The atmospheric circulation of Pluto and Triton as predicted by a general circulation model

Tuesday, 1/8/13, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

SETI Institute Colloquium Series, 189 Bernardo Avenue, Mountain View

A variety of previous studies have investigated the 1D vertical temperature-pressure profiles of Pluto and Triton’s atmospheres, while another class of models has investigated the bulk north-south transport of volatiles on these worlds.  However, only recently have modern, 3D general circulation models (GCMs) been applied to Pluto and Triton.

GCMs are global models that solve for the primitive equations of the atmosphere and surface simultaneously, and can be used to predict surface, subsurface, and atmospheric temperature; atmospheric pressure; the three components of atmospheric flow; and surface ice thickness and extent in a physically consistent way.  Most importantly from a meteorological standpoint, is that GCMs are the best tool for predicting atmospheric circulation, since this property is difficult to measure remotely.

Dr. Zalucha will discuss the results from one such Pluto/Triton GCM based off of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology GCM dynamical core.

Speaker: Angela Zalucha, SETI

For more information, email info@seti.org, call 650.961.6633, or visit their website.

Beach Clean Up

Saturday, 1/12/13, Start Time TBA

Ocean Beach at Taraval, San Francisco

Meet on the  steps at the end of Taraval at noon. We’ll pick up trash and look for shorebirds along 1.5 miles of Ocean Beach. Bags and gloves will be provided. We’ll finish up with refreshments at the Park Chalet! Heavy rain cancels.

For more information, visit their website.

Grid Flexibility and Research Challenges to Enhance the Integration of Variable Renewable Energy Sources

Monday, 1/14/13, 4:15 PM – 5:15 PM

Stanford University Energy Seminar, Huang Science Center, NVIDIA Auditorium, Stanford

Grid flexibility is a characteristic that is proposed to help the integration of variable renewable energy resources. However it has proven very difficult to quantify and this has spurred intense research efforts over the past few years. There are many sources, sinks and enablers for flexibility in the grid and these are all subject to numerous research challenges. Flexibility will be introduced, defined and a number of methods to quantify it will be described. This will be followed by an overview of research into unlocking flexibility in the power system e.g. demand side participation and power system operational strategies. There are potential hidden costs of flexibility and some of these will be highlighted, for example thermal plant cycling, and mitigation measures to reduce these will be formulated. Concluding remarks will try to give insights into how a future grid with very high penetrations of variable renewable energy may look like.

Speaker: Mark O’Malley, University College Dublin

For more information, visit their website at http://energyseminar.stanford.edu/.

From inventories to a mycoflora for North America – ‘Getting to Know California Mushrooms’

Tuesday, 1/15/13, 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Mycological Society of San Francisco, Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way, San Francisco

Speaker: Else Vellinga

Due to a scheduling conflict, the general meeting will be held downstairs in the Buckley Room.

For more information, visit their website.

The Sentinel B612 Telescope – Finding Asteroids Before They Find Us

Tuesday, 1/15/13, 7:00 PM

SETI Institute Colloquium Series, 189 Bernardo Avenue, Mountain View

We know how to deflect asteroids, but our technology is useless if we do not scan the skies to look for asteroids to know well in advance if one is on a collision course with Earth.  The Sentinel Space Telescope, the first privately supported deep space mission, is designed to do just that and to enable humanity to protect our planet from future asteroid impacts.   Sentinel is an infrared space telescope to be placed into solar orbit in 2017 from where it will find and track asteroids that threaten Earth.  It will discover more asteroids each month than the total discovered by all other telescopes combined up until the present.   In addition to becoming one of the humanity’s great scientific instruments, Sentinel will be unique in that its main purpose is actually to protect the Earth.

Speaker: Ed Lu, B612

For more information, email info@seti.org, call 650.961.6633 or visit their website.

Getting Comfortable with Global Warming

Wednesday, 1/16/13, 12:00 PM – 12:45 PM

Presidio of San Francisco, Building 105 (Temporary Visitors Center), Lincoln Boulevard & Montgomery Street, San Francisco

What emotional state are you in about global warming? Shock, denial, anger, depression… or acceptance and readiness for action? Bring a brown bag lunch and help move yourself toward action.

Meet Ranger Will Elder at the temporary visitor center, 105 Montgomery St. at Lincoln Blvd.

For more information, visit their website.

The Tigers of Market Street: Our Largest Butterfly

Wednesday, 1/16/13, 7:30 PM

Shaping San Francisco, Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics, 518 Valencia Street, San Francisco

Not long after the transit tunnels of Muni and Bart went in below Market Street in the ’70s, a San Franciscan butterfly – the Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus) moved into an ecosystem freshly lined with one of her host trees: the London Plane sycamore (Plantanus acerifolia). She lays eggs on this tree and much of the creature’s lifecycle has played out for years unheralded by the thousands who walk below this canopy daily. As the city re-imagines our grandest boulevard with the Better Market Street campaign, come this evening and learn of a creature that seems to be keeping up with how radically we’ve altered our landscape and add your two cents to this fascinating convergence of city coexistence. Lepidopterists and artists Amber Hasselbring and Liam O’Brien will “tell the tale of a swallow-tail” and propose novel ideas of connecting our species with this species.

For more information, visit their website.

What’s Trending? Sustainable, Prosperous and Greener Corporations

Thursday, 1/17/13. 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM

UC Berkeley Extension, Room 212, 1995 University Avenue, Berkeley

Today, leading companies are using dramatically fewer materials, less energy and safer chemicals when they manufacture products. These innovations impressively address climate change and natural resources depletion while generating corporate profits, community benefits and professional pride. Engineers, managers and interested citizens hear a hopeful, future story based on real-world examples in this dynamic presentation.

Please register here and visit their website for more information.

Houge Park Star Party

Friday, 1/18/12, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

San Jose Astronomical Association, Houge Park, Twilight Drive, San Jose

Meet with members of San Jose Astronomical Society for a Star Party, weather permitting.

For more information visit their website at http://www.sjaa.net/.

Central coasting, with emphasis on our diverse marine algae

Saturday, 1/19/13, 10:30 AM

Regional Parks Botanic Garden Visitors Center, Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley

Join us for our popular series of free public lectures on a broad array of topics related to plants and natural history. Named in honor of its founder, the Wayne Roderick Lecture Series takes place in the Visitor Center of the Regional Parks Botanic Garden. These illustrated presentations are enjoyable for beginners and professionals alike. All lectures are free and open to the public.  Speaker: Bob Case

Note: Seating is limited, so it is advisable to arrive early, save a seat, and enjoy the garden until lecture time.

For more information, call (510) 544-3169 or visit their website.

Jazz Under the Stars

Saturday, 1/19/13, 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

College of San Mateo, Building 36, 1700 W. Hillsdale Road, San Mateo

Visit our roof top observatory and see the moon and Saturn thru our telescopes, while listening to KCSM Jazz 91 FM. Dress warmly.

No food or drinks in the observatory. Children are welcome and need to be attended at all times. Parking is free in lot 5.

For more information, visit their website.

Newly described mushroom poisoning syndromes

Tuesday, 1/22/13, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Bay Area Mycological Society, 338 Koshland Hall, UC Berkeley, Berkeley

Denis R. Benjamin, MD, grew up in South Africa, emigrating to the Pacific Northwest in 1970. He practiced pediatric pathology at the children’s hospitals in Seattle, Washington and Fort Worth, Texas. He became an amateur mycologist soon after his arrival in the USA. He recently returned to the east slopes of the Cascade Mountains in Washington to continue his passion for mushrooms, the outdoors and natural history. He was a consultant to the regional poison control center, a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Puget Sound Mycological Society and a past Chairman of the Toxicology Committee of the North American Mycological Association. He is frequent speaker at mushrooms clubs and societies. In addition to nearly 100 professional publications, he has contributed to the lay literature and mushroom magazines. He was chosen to be a community Op/Ed writer for the Fort Worth Star Telegram. His is author of the landmark book on the health effects of mushrooms (Mushrooms: Poisons and Panaceas) and recently published a collection of mushroom foraging essays (Musings of a Mushroom Hunter: A Natural History of Foraging).

For more information, visit their website.

Genomic Medicine

Thursday, 1/24/13, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

UC Berkeley, Stanley Hall, Room 105. Berkeley

Dr. Thomas White, former Chief Scientific Officer of Celera will be giving a talk titled Genomic Medicine: The Development, Economic and Ethical Challenges of Translating Basic Research Into Clinical Practice. There will be a reception immediately following the talk.

For more information, visit their website.

On the trail of Streptanthus (jewel flowers) from Lily Lake (Modoc) to Mt. Eddy, by way of southern Oregon

Saturday, 1/26/13, 10:30 AM

Regional Parks Botanic Garden Visitors Center, Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley

Join us for our popular series of free public lectures on a broad array of topics related to plants and natural history. Named in honor of its founder, the Wayne Roderick Lecture Series takes place in the Visitor Center of the Regional Parks Botanic Garden. These illustrated presentations are enjoyable for beginners and professionals alike. All lectures are free and open to the public.  Speaker: Dick O’Donnell

Note: Seating is limited, so it is advisable to arrive early, save a seat, and enjoy the garden until lecture time.

For more information, call (510) 544-3169 or visit their website.

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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LATEST POST

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…

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.

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”

– Elementary school principal

Anyone concerned with the teaching of science in elementary school is keenly aware of the problem of time. Kids need to learn to read, and learning to read takes time, nobody disputes that. So Common Core ELA can seem like the enemy of science. This was a big concern to me as I started looking at the curriculum that my district had adopted for Common Core ELA. I’ve been through those years where teachers are learning a new curriculum, and know first-hand how a new curriculum can become the focus of attention- sucking all the air out of the room. Learn More…

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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

Think back on your own experiences with learning science in school. Were you required to memorize disjointed facts without understanding the concepts?

Science Education Background

In the past, science education focused on rote memorization and learning disjointed ideas. Elementary and secondary students in today’s science classes are fortunate now that science instruction has shifted from students demonstrating what they know to students demonstrating how they are able to apply their knowledge. Science education that reflects the Next Generation Science Standards challenges students to conduct investigations. As students explore phenomena and discrepant events they engage in academic discourse guided by focus questions from their teachers or student generated questions of that arise from analyzing data and creating and revising models that explain natural phenomena. Learn More…

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

This month I was fortunate enough to hear about some new topics to share with our entire region. Some of you may access the online or newsletter options, others may attend events in person that are nearer to you. Long time CSTA member and environmental science educator Mike Roa is well known to North Bay Area teachers for his volunteer work sharing events and resources. In this month’s Region 1 updates I am happy to make a few of the options Mike offers available to our region. Learn More…

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.