January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

Season’s Greetings

Posted: Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

by Laura Henriques

Happy December! I am exhausted but really happy after the Long Beach Conference. It was great to see so many CSTA members! With more than 5,200 people in attendance (most from California), this was one of the biggest NSTA regional conferences ever. Sessions were packed, some to the point of overflowing. I applaud NSTA’s efforts to extend the conference into Saturday afternoon and I thank the conference presenters who were willing to repeat their workshop on Saturday. (To get handouts from the sessions please visit the NSTA Conference site, browse sessions and select the session(s) of interest. If the presenter has uploaded handouts you will find them posted with the session information.)

The CSTA hosted events at the conference were great. The two pre-conference field trips were sold out. In spite of rain, people loved the trips to Catalina Island and the San Andreas Fault. The CSTA Evening at the Aquarium was also sold out with hundreds of people having a great time with the fish, each other and the STEM/Engineering Showcase. The CSTA Annual Meeting provided us with an update on CSTA activities this past year, a chance to recognize our various volunteers and the opportunity to honor this year’s awardees.


While it might have been a little frustrating to be standing in the doorway or sitting on the floor, it was energizing to be surrounded by so many colleagues who all share our passion for quality science teaching. I think lots of us have been feeling the surge of energy around science education in California. We have adopted new standards. The State Board of Education approved the state’s NGSS Implementation Plan. Local Control Funding Formulas allow districts to make decisions about how best to support their teachers and students. This means that there is finally money to support science professional development again! It’s been a while since we’ve had that and it’s incumbent upon each of us to make sure that our districts continue to include science funding in the local plans.

One of the things I always enjoy about CSTA (or NSTA) conferences is wandering around the exhibit hall. I always find instructional materials, supplies and equipment to support my teaching. I usually find things for the young people in my life (who always get science presents from me!). This year’s exhibit hall produced the same results. However, more than the t-shirts, supplies and science earrings (can never have too many of them!), I was pleased to see so many colleagues from across the state. The CSTA Booth was constantly buzzing with members stopping by to check out the latest news and California’s NGSS timeline, pick up their member ribbon, or stop by for their aquarium ticket.

In addition to renewing and new memberships, we had a few of our members make donations to the CSTA 50th Anniversary Fund. Money from this fund supports CSTA’s efforts, especially leadership development efforts. This is an ongoing mission for CSTA and something you’ve seen me write about before. During the conference we hosted a CSTA Leadership Forum. This is part of our ongoing effort to identify and nurture future leaders. The event was supported by donations to CSTA by members and Carolina Biological Supply.

As you think about your end of year gifts, please consider supporting CSTA. You can do this outright, with a donation to CSTA (donations are tax deductible, CSTA’s Tax ID number is 94-2926545) or you can donate more passively by using Goodshop/Goodsearch or Amazon Smile for your holiday shopping with CSTA as your designated charity.

As the year comes to a close, CSTA has much for which to be thankful, but we still have work to do. We are blessed with dedicated, hard-working members who devote their time to serve on the Board of Directors, CSTA Committees, volunteer at conferences and write articles. CSTA is only successful because of these contributions. On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, thank you for your membership and your commitment to CSTA.

Have a great holiday and we’ll see you next year!

Written by Laura Henriques

Laura Henriques

Laura Henriques is a professor of science education at CSU Long Beach and past-president of CSTA. She serves as chair of CSTA’s Nominating Committee and is a co-chair of the NGSS Committee.

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LATEST POST

STEM Conference Hosted by CMSESMC

Posted: Saturday, January 14th, 2017

The Council of Math/Science Educators of San Mateo County will be hosting the 41st annual STEM Conference this February 4, 2017 at the San Mateo County Office of Education. This STEM Conference is the place to get lots of new lessons and ideas to use in your classroom. There will be over twenty-five workshops and a variety of exhibitors that provide participants with a wide range of practical and realistic ideas and resources to use in their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs from Pre-K to grade 12. With California’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, we are dedicated to ensuring that we prepare our teachers to take on these educational policies.

Teachers, administrators and parents are invited to explore the many exciting aspects of STEM education and learn about and discuss the latest news, information and issues. This is also an opportunity to network with colleagues who can assist you in building your programs and meet new friends that share your interests and love of teaching.

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.

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Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

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CSET Field Testing Opportunities

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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.

Submit Your NGSS Lessons and Units Today!

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

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If you or your state, district, school, or organization has designed NGSS-aligned instructional materials, please consider submitting these in order to help provide educators across the country with various models and templates of high-quality lesson and unit plans. 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.

Opportunity for High School Students – Los Angeles County

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

An upcoming Perry Outreach Program on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children in Los Angeles, CA. The Perry Outreach Program is a free, one-day, hands-on experience for high school and college-aged women who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine and engineering. Students will hear from women leaders in these fields and try it for themselves by performing mock orthopaedic surgeries and biomechanics experiments. 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.

Science Education Policy Update

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

January 2017 has proven to be a very busy month for science education policy and CA NGSS implementation activities. CSTA has been and will be there every step of the way, seeking and enacting all options to support high-quality science education and the successful implementation of CA NGSS.

California Department of Education/U.S. Department of Education Science Double-Testing Waiver Hearing

The year started with California Department of Education’s (CDE) hearing with the U.S. Department of Education conducted via WebEx on January 6, 2017. This hearing was the final step in California’s efforts to secure a waiver from the federal government in order to discontinue administration of the old CST and suspension of the reporting of student test scores on a science assessment for two years. As reported by EdSource, the U.S. Department of Education representative, Ann Whalen, a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary John King Jr., committed to making her final ruling “very shortly.” Deputy Superintendent Keric Ashley presented on behalf of CDE during the hearing and did an excellent job describing the broad-based support for this waiver in California, the rationale for the waiver, and California’s commitment to the successful implementation of a new high-quality science assessment. As previously reported, California is moving forward with its plans to administer a census pilot assessments this spring. The testing window is set to open on March 20, 2017. For more information visit New CA Science Test: What You Should Know.

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.