September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

Secondary Science Teachers: Updates and Opportunities

Posted: Thursday, March 1st, 2012

by Heather Wygant

  • You can find an Honors Earth Science course that was accepted by the University of California as a “d” lab course at honorsearthscience.com.  Also included is some information about Honors Geology and offering a dual-credit course by partnering with a neighboring university.
  • High school teachers!  We need your input!  Please go to the following link and take the short survey about your experiences with CSTA.  Please pass on this survey to non-CSTA members as well.  We would like to know what high school science teachers need and want in a professional organization!  So please go here: http://goo.gl/9W8yB to complete the survey!

Summer Opportunities for Secondary School Teachers:

Lunar Workshops for Educators

Taking place in several different locations across the United States this summer

Grade 6-12 science teachers are invited to attend a weeklong workshop focused on lunar science, exploration, and how our understanding of the Moon is evolving with the new data from current and recent lunar missions. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has allowed scientists to measure the coldest known place in the Solar System, map the surface of the Moon in unprecedented detail and accuracy, find evidence of recent lunar geologic activity, characterize the radiation environment around the Moon – and its potential effects on future lunar explorers, and much, much more! Workshop participants will:

• Learn about the latest discoveries in lunar science from LRO and other recent lunar missions

• Gain tools to help address common student misconceptions about the Moon

• Interact with lunar scientists and engineers and work with LRO data

• Learn how to bring these data and information to your students using hands-on activities aligned with National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks

For further information or to apply to attend, go to http://lunar.gsfc.nasa.gov/lwe/index.html.

Mars Revealed: Evolving Technology, Advancing Science

July 19-23, 2012

High school teachers, both those currently teaching high school and those preparing to teach high school, are invited to attend this weeklong workshop investigating Mars science and exploration at the Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston.

Topics include:  Earth/Mars Geology, Martian Volcanic and Aqueous Mineralogy, Reflectance Spectrometry, past, present, and future missions to Mars, and online tools to access and manipulate spacecraft data of Mars. Workshop registration is free, and includes breakfasts and lunches. Workshop participants will receive a $700 stipend upon completion of the workshop.

Applications are not online yet but will be available soon.  For further information or to apply to attend, go to http://www.lpi.usra.edu/education/workshops/mars/ .

Heather Wygant  teaches CP geology at Sobrato High School in Morgan Hill and is CSTA’s high school director.

Written by Heather Wygant

Heather Wygant

Heather Wygant teaches CP geology at Sobrato High School in Morgan Hill, CA and is a member of CSTA.

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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.

Is This a First: Young Female Teens Propose California Water Conservation Legislation?

Posted: Monday, August 28th, 2017

Meet the La Habra Water Guardians from the Optics of their Teacher Moderator, Dr. P.

by Susan M. Pritchard, Ph.D.

You have just won the 2016 Lexus Eco Challenge as one of four First Place Winners in the Middle School Category across the nation! Now, what are you going to do … go to Disneyland? No, not for four of the six La Habra Water Guardians, Disneyland is not in their future at this time. Although I think they would love a trip to Disneyland, (are you listening Mickey Mouse?), at this moment they are focused big time on one major thing … celebrating the passage of their proposed legislation: Assembly Bill 1343 Go Low Flow Water Conservation Partnership Bill and now promoting the enactment of this legislation. Learn More…

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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.