May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

ScienceProfOnline.com: Free Biology Education Resources for Instructors, Students & Parents

Posted: Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

by Tami Port

ScienceProfOnline.com is a web resource I started developing several years ago, in cooperation with Colorado high school science teacher Alicia Cepaitis. The purpose of the site was to make all of the biology teaching materials that we have created over the years available, free of cost, to other instructors, students and parents. Below is a summary of what the site offers.

Free College & High School Biology Resources
SPO features completely developed and classroom-tested college-level microbiology, cell biology, general biology, and soon anatomy & physiology course materials. Resources available include PowerPoint lectures, laboratory exercises, homework assignments, practice test questions, study guides, sample syllabi, as well as science photos and video library. These college and high school materials are organized a couple of ways:

Virtual Classrooms
These are the main pages where I have my microbiology and cell biology students go to directly access course material during the semester. These are essentially ready-made micro and cell classes that any instructor teaching these subjects could use. Currently we have instructors and students from 100 countries around the world and all 50 US states utilizing our resources as complete courses or pick and choose pieces to supplement lessons. All resources can be modified and customized to suit the individual using them. For examples of these course main pages see:

“Instructors Corner” Main Pages
Rather than being organized as a complete course that students would access directly, “Instructors Corner” pages have links to all of the site’s teaching resources organized by topic. If an instructor is looking for a basic inorganic chemistry or molecular genetics lecture and supporting class materials, these can easily be found in the “Instructors Corner”.  For an example, visit The Science Prof Online Instructors Corner.

Free Grade School, Home School and Parent Science Education Resources
I have young children and wanted to do more home science projects with them. So, I also developed an area of the website for kids, where we could post the science experiments and activities that we do at home. Topics include frog metamorphosis and care, flatworm regeneration and care, pond life, home microbiology experiments. We are also developing a new monarch butterfly metamorphosis page and a section referencing additional kid-friendly science resources. Many of these topics include detailed observations, experimental design, science coloring pages and word search activities. As with the Virtual Classrooms described above, the kid science topic pages can be used, as is, for class science projects, or teachers can pick, choose and modify any of these resources.

The main page for these kid science activities is our Home School and Classroom Science Main Page

More about ScienceProfOnline.com Website
The ScienceProfOnline.com website does have some advertising on it. These ads generate a very modest income from the site that helps compensate us for the thousands of hours we have put into making our teaching materials available. We continually try to hone the ads to be minimally obtrusive and maximally relevant to the topic of the page they appear on.

The materials on ScienceProfOnline.com are particularly useful for new instructors looking for fully developed, classroom-tested resources as well as experienced instructors seeking some new materials to add to their curriculum. CSTA members, please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments on the ScienceProfOnline.com website.

Tami Port, MS, is a biology instructor at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Chief Executive Nerd of ScienceProfOnline.com and is member of the Michigan Science Teacher Association (MSTA).

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.

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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.

Teaching Science in the Time of Alternative Facts – Why NGSS Can Help (somewhat)

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn

The father of one of my students gave me a book: In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood by Walt Brown, Ph. D. He had heard that I was teaching Plate Tectonics and wanted me to consider another perspective. The book offered the idea that the evidence for plate tectonics could be better understood if we considered the idea that beneath the continent of Pangaea was a huge underground layer of water that suddenly burst forth from a rift between the now continents of Africa and South America. The waters shot up and the continents hydroplaned apart on the water layer to their current positions. The force of the movement pushed up great mountain ranges which are still settling to this day, resulting in earthquakes along the margins of continents. This had happened about 6,000 years ago and created a great worldwide flood. Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

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