September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

Search Begins for California’s Best High School Water Research Project

Posted: Friday, December 11th, 2015

Call for Applications Begins: California Water Environment Association looking for best and brightest high school student in California to represent state in global Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition. Applications due by April 15, 2016.

The California Water Environment Association (CWEA) is opening the application process for the Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP), an annual water research competition for California high school students. Applications are due by April 15, 2016.

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition is the world’s most prestigious water-science competition for students. The winner of the California competition will advance to the national level, and the winner of that event will represent America at the global competition in Sweden.

Previous winners of the California SJWP have developed systems which detect pathogens; analyze the formation of trihalomethanes; remove nanoparticles from water and screen for toxic chemicals. The purpose of the SJWP program is to increase students’ interest in water-related issues and research and to raise awareness about global water challenges.

The 2015 winner of the California prize is Michele Eggleston from Mt. Everest Academy in San Diego with her research project “Is It Clear? Is it Clean? Correlating Turbidity and Bacterial Contamination Using a Home Made Nephelometer.” Her science teacher is Trudy Pachon. The 2015 winner of the global SJWP is American Perry Alagappan from Houston, Texas.

The winner of the 2016 California SJWP prize will receive:

  • A complimentary trip to the national competition at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, North Carolina, June 17-19, 2016. CWEA and WEF will cover the cost of airfare, hotel and meals for the student.
  • $250 cash prize
  • California SJWP medal and one-year WEF student membership
  • A certificate recognizing the student’s contribution to the water environment
  • An invitation to speak at CWEA’s Annual Conference the following year
  • Winning paper published in CWEA’s Wastewater Professional magazine
  • Complimentary CWEA student membership for one year

The criteria for SJWP entries are:

  • Water-science research project aimed at enhancing the quality of life at the local, regional or global level
  • Open to all high school students, grades 9-12 and ages 15-20 (must reach age 15 by August 1, 2016)
  • Projects may be done individually or by a team of up to three students
  • The competition is open to public high schools, private schools, homeschools, and independent projects not associated with a school

It is essential that all projects use a research-oriented approach, which means they must use scientifically accepted methodologies for experimentation, monitoring, and reporting, including statistical analysis.

Applications are due to CWEA by April 15, 2016. There is no fee at any stage of the SJWP, the program is supported by CWEA and the Water Environment Federation (WEF).

To enter the California competition and for detailed instructions please visit: www.wef.org/enter-sjwp-state-competition/

For general SJWP information please visit: www.wef.org/SJWP

The competition is judged by members of CWEA’s Membership & External Relations Committee with assistance from a distinguished panel of water experts.

About CWEA

The California Water Environment Association (CWEA) is a nonprofit public benefit corporation that is committed to protecting our water environment through education and certification. CWEA is dedicated to the educational development of our 9,500+ members, who are clean water professionals. Based in Oakland and with 17 local sections throughout the state, CWEA conducts training, disseminates information, produces training manuals and tests for competency.

Contact
Ian Mackenzie
CWEA WEF Delegate Director
Chair, California SJWP Selection Committee
iamackenzie@hazenandsawyer.com

Alec Mackie
Director of Communications and Marketing
CWEA
510-532-3800 x114
Cell: 818-261-3399
amackie@cwea.org

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.

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CSTA Is Now Accepting Nominations for Board Members

Posted: Friday, November 17th, 2017

Current, incoming, and outgoing CSTA Board of Directors at June 3, 2017 meeting.

Updated 7:25 pm, Nov. 17, 2017

It’s that time of year when CSTA is looking for dedicated and qualified persons to fill the upcoming vacancies on its Board of Directors. This opportunity allows you to help shape the policy and determine the path that the Board will take in the new year. There are time and energy commitments, but that is far outweighed by the personal satisfaction of knowing that you are an integral part of an outstanding professional educational organization, dedicated to the support and guidance of California’s science teachers. You will also have the opportunity to help CSTA review and support legislation that benefits good science teaching and teachers.

Right now is an exciting time to be involved at the state level in the California Science Teachers Association. The CSTA Board of Directors is currently involved in implementing the Next Generations Science Standards and its strategic plan. If you are interested in serving on the CSTA Board of Directors, now is the time to submit your name for consideration. 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.

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

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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

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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.