January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4


Free Resources    Teacher Opportunities    Awards and Competitions for Students         Awards and Grants for Teachers

Free Resources

NGSS Instructional Materials and Lesson Review Tools

Taken together, these resources and others serve to illustrate some important features of NGSS-aligned instructional materials and highlight some of the common ideas and frequently asked questions that emerge regarding classroom activities.

Making New Knowledge with Citizen Science

Lab Out Loud podcast co-hosts Brian Bartel and Dale Basler welcome ecologist and author Caren Cooper to the show. Cooper joins Lab Out Loud to share stories, ideas, and resources on how educators can engage their students in creating new knowledge from the world around them. http://laboutloud.com/2017/01/episode-159-citizen-science/

The California Academy of Sciences has a large variety of workshops, resources, guides, and tools available for teachers implementing CA-NGSS. See this summary of offerings and follow the links for more information. Or visit https://www.calacademy.org/educators. They also offer incredible resources for science notebooking, from beginners to veterans you will find strategies for deepening your students’ learning.

NGSS Example Bundles
The Example Bundles (formerly known as the Model Content Frameworks for Science) will show samples of ways to bundle the NGSS within a school year. “Bundling” is an important strategy for implementing standards, as it brings coherence to instruction and greatly reduces the amount of instructional time necessary.

In June, Achieve released the first set of Example Bundles which featured the following resources:

  • Kindergarten Bundles (Thematic Model and Topics Model)
  • Middle School Course I Models (Phenomenon and Topics Model)
  • High School Course I Models (Conceptual Progressions Model and Domains Model – Chemistry)
  • NGSS Example Bundles Guide

In August, Achieve released the second set of bundles which highlight the following resources:

  • 1st Grade Bundles (Thematic Model and Topics Model)
  • 4th Grade Bundles (Thematic Model and Topics Model)
  • High School Course II Models (Conceptual Progressions Model and Domains Model – Physics)

In October, Achieve released the third set of bundles:

  • 3rd Grade Bundles (Thematic Model and Topics Model)
  • Middle School Course II Models (Phenomenon Model and Topics Model)
  • High School Course III Models (Conceptual Progressions Model and Domains Model-Biology)

All of the currently available NGSS Example Bundle resources can be viewed here.

The remaining sets of example bundles will be released in coming months and will ultimately cover all grade levels. This rollout will help ensure that curriculum developers for science, including educators and commercial publishers, have a broad set of examples to consider in preparation for the 2016-17 school year.

CREEC Network Newsletters
CREEC publishes a Statewide e-Newsletter (10 issues per year), and local regional Newsletters (4 issues, Quarterly). You may choose from Statewide and/or Local Newsletters, sent directly to your inbox!  CREEC will, on occasion, send you email announcements regarding time-sensitive opportunities (no more than once per week).  Archives and a newsletter sign-up form are available online.

CSTA Facebook Pages
These groups are active and exclusive to educators that meet those descriptors. Ask questions, share resources, get answers – join today!

To join a group, please submit a request on that page:

NGSS Rollouts 1 & 2 Presentation Materials
You can find all the materials from the first and second phases of the NGSS Rollouts on the CA NGSS My Digital Chalkboard reference page. These materials are intended to be used for further local training and development. Educators are strongly encouraged to attend a Rollout training before using the posted materials to develop instructional activities or deliver training.

NGSS Classroom Sample Tasks
The Classroom Sample Tasks blend content, practices, and concepts from both the NGSS and the Common Core State Standards. Teachers across the disciplines have collaborated to write sample tasks, which are the result of a vision of integrating science, engineering, and mathematics for classroom use.

Currently, nine draft middle and high school tasks are available below. Additional tasks, including those for elementary grade levels, will be added as they become available. Educators are encouraged to modify these tasks for their needs and to let us know how they can be improved (via the website contact form).  It important to note that these tasks are drafts and that they will be revised as we receive feedback from users.  http://www.nextgenscience.org/classroom-sample-assessment-tasks

NGSS Frequently Asked Questions by CDE
CDE has compiled a comprehensive FAQ site around the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for California. http://www.cde.ca.gov/pd/ca/sc/ngssfaq.asp

Digital Chalkboard
The Digital Chalkboard replaces the Brokers of Expertise Web site. The portal now has more than 400,000 digital resources, including training modules and videos, model lesson plans, and researched-based data. Teachers can also use the Web site to join discussion groups where they can share success stories and help each other improve their teaching. It is faster and easier to navigate and provides more assistance to teachers.

Check out the California Common Core State Standards: Professional Learning Modules: Literacy in Science. Not only is the content great, the module features many CSTA members!

Teacher Opportunities

Free Online PD Opportunity Through Stanford University: Reading to Learn in Science

Reading and writing are fundamental to science, yet are rarely a focus of science teacher education. “Reading to Learn in Science” provides an opportunity for science teachers to learn about the challenges of science texts and develop strategies to support student comprehension before, during, and after reading. Visit www.novoed.com/science-mooc-winter-2017 to register! Course begins January 14, 2017.

E/V Nautilus Expedition: The Ocean Exploration Trust is now accepting applications for students and educators to participate in the 2017 Nautilus Exploration Program. Participants will gain exposure to and experience in the applications of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in the field of ocean exploration. The Nautilus Exploration Program, founded in 2008 by Dr. Robert Ballard is conducted by the Ocean Exploration Trust and centers of scientific exploration of the ocean launched from Exploration Vessel Nautilus, a 64-meter research ship equipped with remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and mapping technologies. Opportunities for students and educators include:

Science & Engineering Internship Program: Undergraduates, graduate students, and recent graduates sail on E/V Nautilus for 2-5 weeks, training alongside STEM professionals in ocean science, seafloor mapping, ROV engineering, and video engineering. Interns are eligible for college credit or a stipend.  Application Deadline: January 20, 2017  Read More »

NIFA Announces $858,500 in Funding to Foster the Agricultural Science Workforce

The Secondary Education, Two-Year Postsecondary Education, and Agriculture in the K-12 Classroom Challenge Grants Program (SPECA) supports projects that improve science education and help increase and diversify the future FANH sciences workforce. Projects may be developed for K-12 state Agriculture in the Classroom programs, for secondary schools, and for junior or community colleges. Projects can target curriculum development and faculty development or establish partnerships with other academic institutions.

Proposals are due March 10, 2017.
For more details, see the request for applications on the NIFA website.

Applications are now open for the 2017 CDC Science Ambassador Fellowship!

The competitive fellowship is for teachers and educational leaders interested in bringing public health into current middle- and high- school classrooms. It includes a 5-day summer course (July 10-14, 2017) at CDC headquarters in Atlanta, GA and a 1-year distance-based professional development opportunity. Applications are due February 15, 2017.

For more information, please see the attachments or visit our website. We look forward to your application.

2017 Earth Expeditions

Now accepting applications for 2017 OXFORD, Ohio (Nov. 10, 2016) – Miami University’s Project Dragonfly is accepting applications for 2017 Earth Expeditions graduate courses that offer extraordinary experiences in 16 countries throughout the world. New in 2017 is a course in Brazil. http://EarthExpeditions.MiamiOH.edu/formaleducator

Earth Expeditions can build toward the Global Field Program (GFP), a master’s degree that combines summer field courses worldwide with web learning communities so that students can complete the GFP master’s part-time from anywhere in the United States or abroad. http://GFP.MiamiOH.edu/formaleducator

Project Dragonfly also offers the Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) master’s degree that combines web instruction from Miami University with experiential learning and field study through several AIP Master Institution zoos in Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, San Diego and Seattle. Applications for Miami’s 2017 AIP cohorts are being accepted now through February 28. http://AIP.MiamiOH.edu/formaleducator

Graduate tuition for all programs is greatly reduced because of support from Miami University.

Check out our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PrjDragonfly.

Opportunities to Participate in the Redevelopment of the Commission’s Teaching Performance Assessment (CalTPA)
The Commission is seeking current California teachers, practicing TK-12 school administrators, educators who help prepare and/or mentor beginning teachers, and teacher preparation program faculty to participate in the upcoming pilot testing, field testing, scoring, and standard setting study for the Commission’s model Teaching Performance Assessment (CalTPA) currently under redevelopment. It is anticipated that pilot testing will take place during 2016-17, with field testing and the standard setting study taking place during 2017-18. Scoring opportunities will be available both years. The Commission’s Executive Director recently appointed 20 members to a California Design Team to work with Commission staff and its technical contractor, Evaluation Systems group of Pearson, to redevelop the CalTPA. The continuing involvement of California educators as the CalTPA is redeveloped will help ensure that candidates have the appropriate knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform the job of a beginning California teacher. If you are interested in finding out more about participating in the pilot test, field test, scoring, and/or standard setting activities for the CalTPA, please contact Evaluation Systems at es-caltpa@pearson.com.

The San Joaquin County Office of Education STEM Department will be offering a great deal of professional learning opportunities for science education in the coming 2016-17 school year. For dates and information, check out these links:
TK-5 PD flyer
6-8 PD flyer
9-12 PD flyer

For information about programs and events this summer visit: http://www.sjcoescience.org/professional-development-opportunites.html.

Apply to Participate in CA NGSS Assessment Development
Educational Testing Services (ETS) is soliciting applications for content reviewers for the new CA NGSS assessment and alternate assessment. Apply today: http://caaspp.org/reviewers.html.

Association of American Educators Foundation Classroom Grant Application
Classroom grants can be used for a variety of projects and materials, including but not limited to books, software, calculators, math manipulatives, art supplies, audio-visual equipment, and lab materials. The number of classroom grants awarded will depend on the total number of applicants. Grants are available for up to $500. Funds must be used within one year of the application deadline. Due: October 1st and March 1st each year.

AT&T Teacher Grant
The Internet Experts at ATTInternetService.com have just launched a new $1,000 teacher grant. The grant is open to college professors and school teachers and asks applicants to write a 300-450 word essay or create a 1-2 minute video that explains how they or their students use internet-connected technology in the classroom. More details and the online application form can be found here: http://www.attinternetservice.com/tech-teacher-grant.html. The deadline to apply is February 3rd, 2017.

Awards and Competitions for Students and Teachers

Scholarships Available for Teacher Credential Candidates

The Friends of the California State Fair Scholarship Program seek to motivate well-rounded, high academic achievers with scholarships ranging from $1,000 – $2,500 each. Applicants must be enrolled as a college sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate student in a four-year accredited college, university, or an accredited community college in the state of California in the fall of 2017 (re-entry professionals included). Teacher Credential Program Applicants must also meet the following criteria to be an eligible candidate; be enrolled in a Teacher Credential Program or be an undergraduate Education major, have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, and be a California resident with a valid ID.  Applications are due March 2, 2017. An applicant must complete one essay, include two recommendations, and provide information about community and school activities/recognitions. For details and the online application: http://www.castatefair.org/friends-of-the-california-state-fair-scholarship-program.

Edison International

Edison International is looking for high school seniors with a passion for science, technology, engineering or math to apply for the $40,000 Edison Scholars scholarships. The scholarships are awarded to 30 students each year living or studying in Southern California Edison’s service territory. Students from underserved communities and ethnic minorities are encouraged to apply. Application period is Dec. 1 to Feb. 1.

News Release:

California Coastal Art & Poetry Contest

California students in kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to submit artwork or poetry with a California coastal or marine theme to the Coastal Commission’s annual Coastal Art & Poetry Contest. Entries must be postmarked by January 31, 2017. For rules and entry form, the contest flyer, and helpful links for teachers and students, visit www.coastal.ca.gov/publiced/poster/poster.html or email coast4u@coastal.ca.gov.

Up to ten winners will be selected to win $100 gift certificates to an art supply store (for artists) or book store (for poets). Each winner’s sponsoring teacher will receive a $50 gift certificate for educational supplies from the Acorn Naturalists catalog. Winners and honorable mentions will have their work featured on the Coastal Commission website and will be exhibited throughout the state. They will also receive family tickets to visit Aquarium of the Pacific.

The 2016 contest is currently on exhibit at Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center in Ventura until November 23, to be followed by the Seymour Marine Discovery Center in Santa Cruz in December and January, and at the California State Capitol in Sacramento in February.

K–12 STEM Competition Deadline: February 6
Submit projects for the 2016–2017 Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision competition, celebrating the 25th year of being the world’s largest K–12 science competition! Student participants will have a chance to win a number of great prizes, including $10,000 U.S. Series EE Savings Bonds (at maturity). Registration deadline is February 6. Learn More

Register for The Bright Schools Competition Today
Engage students in STEM education with The Bright Schools Competition. In this free competition, middle school students (grades 6–8) explore the links among light, sleep, student health, and performance. Registration is open and projects are due on February 6, 2017. For more information please go to: http://brightschoolscompetition.org/.

Awards and Grants for Teachers

Directpackages.com Launches $1,000 Teacher Grants

Submit a write-up on the benefits of classroom technology for a chance to win big
Directpackages.com is giving away a total of $3,000 to three lucky teachers. Starting today, teachers can submit a 400-500 essay on the impacts of having improved classroom technology, and how the grant money would be used. Three winners will be selected on March 10, 2017, and each will win $1,000 to spend on new technology for their classroom.

All write-ups are encouraged to include the following:

  • A learning challenge exacerbated by inadequate technology
  • Specific technology you plan to utilize
  • Reasons why such technology will support your teaching efforts
  • Anticipated impacts that improved technology will have on your students

The deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. EST on Feb. 24, 2017. For more information, visit http://www.directpackages.com/teachers-grant/.

Make Over Your Science Lab by Winning the Shell Science Lab Challenge

The Shell Science Lab Challenge, sponsored by Shell and administered by NSTA, encourages teachers (grades 6–12) in the U.S. and Canada, who have found innovative ways to deliver quality lab experiences with limited school and laboratory resources, to share their approaches for a chance to win up to $93,000 in prizes, including a grand prize school science lab makeover support package valued at $20,000. Registration deadline is January 23, 2017. To apply and for more information please go to: http://www.nsta.org/shellsciencelab/


National Science Teachers Association Awards: The deadline for NSTA Awards Nominations is November 30, with two exceptions. Visit http://www.nsta.org/about/awards.aspx?lid=tnav for details.

An abundance of additional resources can be found on the CSTA website at http://www.cascience.org/csta/resources.asp.