September 2016 – Vol. 29 No. 1

Events and Resources in CSTA’s Region 1

Posted: Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

by David Pummill

The Discovery Museum Science and Space Center
3615 Auburn Blvd, CA 95821

Event and Activity Calendar

Winter Schedule: Closed Mondays, Tuesday – Friday Noon – 4:30PM,
Saturday  & Sunday 10:00AM – 4:30PM Admission Rates: $4 — $8
Planetarium  and Family Feature on Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays
Field trips available Monday through Friday


Each weekend from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., the Museum explores a new science topic through special displays, visiting exhibits and guest presentations—followed by free craft activities for kids 4 to 12 years old! Planetarium shows at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. (ages 4 and older, please)

Creature Features at noon and 2:00 p.m. (all ages) are included with admission

Saturday & Sunday, October 11th & 12th, 2014
Pumpkin Science

It’s the season for Jack-o-lanterns! Some family friendly pumpkin stations are set-up to learn a bit about this squash. Kids 12 and under craft a paper pumpkin to take home as Fall décor. Admission includes these activities, an animal presentation at noon & 2pm, the Blast from the Past exhibit and planetarium shows at 1pm & 3pm (for ages 4 and older).

Saturday & Sunday, October 18th & 19th, 2014
Microscope Mania

From large to microscopically small, the Discovery Museum has it all this weekend! Visit gigantic dinosaurs in our Blast from the Past exhibit and colossal redwoods in our nature area. Get down to the teeny, tiny in our microscope lab. By using different levels of magnification, visitors explore pond life and other samples. This is a great opportunity for youngsters to get their hands on real science tools! Admission includes planetarium shows at 1pm & 3pm for ages 4 and older.

Saturday & Sunday, October 25th & 26th, 2014
World Pasta Day

Have some fun celebrating World Pasta Day at the Discovery Museum! Children craft a pasta necklace to take home as a souvenir.   Admission includes a visit to our Blast from the Past exhibit, an animal program at noon & 2pm, and planetarium shows at 1pm & 3pm (for ages 4 and older).

Turtle Bay Exploration Park

844 Sundial Bridge Drive, Redding, CA 96001
Phone: 800-TURTLEBAY (800-887-8532)

Winter Hours: September 1, 2014 – April 30, 2015
Museum: Wed-Sat 9AM-4PM, Sunday 10AM-4PM
Gardens: Daily 7AM-dusk
Nursery: Wed & Sat 9AM-1PM
Park Admission: September 1, 2014 – April 30, 2015
Includes admission to the Museum, Forest Camp, Parrot Playhouse, and Botanical Gardens
Adult (16+) $16, Child (4-15) $12, Seniors (65+) $12, Members
and children 3 & under Free

Saturday, October 4, 2014 9 am – 1 pm

Walk This Way at Turtle Bay

Healthy Shasta is proud to present the 9th Annual Walk This Way at Turtle Bay celebration!  Choose healthy and join us Saturday, October 4, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Turtle Bay Exploration Park for this fantastic FREE family event.  Once again this year’s festivities include healthy cooking demonstrations, health screenings, nutrition information, food samples, arts and crafts, as well as games and activities for kids of all ages.  Don’t miss this year’s special cooking demonstrations at the scenic Sundial Bridge.  Get great healthy cooking tips from top local chefs, including Chef Sadie Roy from Mercy Medical Center, Leila Karim from Grilla Bites, and Ann Webber from Savory Spoon.

Walk This Way at Turtle Bay majors sponsors include Mercy Medical Center Redding, Shasta County Public Health, The McConnell Foundation and Turtle Bay Exploration Park.

Click here for a full schedule of events, or call 242-3180 for more information. Healthy Shasta is a partnership committed to making healthy eating and physical activity choices easier where you live, work and play

Friday, October 24, 2014, 6 – 10 pm


Come in costume for a Halloween-themed night of family fun! Watch a Spook-tacular movie and enjoy ghoulishly fun activities for kids, with a special Creatures of the Night animal talk, a no-host beer garden for adults, a root-biergarten for kids, and lots of tricks and treats!

Tickets are just $5 per person or $20 for a family (2 adults and up to 4 kids) presale, or $8 per person at the door.  Check back soon for more details

June 21, 2014 – December 21, 2014


Help us with the construction of our new, permanent exhibit about Shasta Dam and the Sundial Bridge! This temporary exhibition will undergo a solstice to solstice transformation into a permanent place to explore these engineering marvels and our human connection with the river that flows through one and under the other.

This is our first crowd curated exhibit and we need your help! If you’d like to share your stories and memorabilia for the exhibit, please email

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Science in the River City
California State University
Sequoia Hall Lobby (1st Floor, Science Building)
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819

SIRC 2014-2015 Brochure

Fall 2014 Schedule

SAVE THE DATE! May 2, 2015, 9:00am to 3:30pm

Super SIRC: Next Generation Science Saturday
Sacramento State Union
Early Bird Discount before February 1st: $90, Regular Price: $95, Late Registration after April 24: $99
Included: Science Workshops, Workshop Materials, Lunch, Networking, and fun with science!
Check our website for the most up to date information on workshops!
Contact: Debbie Dennick, MASE Center, 916 278-4497,

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 6:30pm to 9:00pm

An Evening with Prof. Alex Filippenko-Benefit for Save Lick Observatory

Sonoma Academy, 2500 Farmers Lane, Santa Rosa, CA 95404, (866) 343-3434

This is a charity benefit lecture for the ‘Save Lick Observatory’ effort. Cost: $20

The Sonoma County Astronomical Society and our host the Sonoma Academy are proud to present Alex Filippenko, Professor of Astronomy from UC Berkeley for one evening only. Professor Filippenko’s Lecture Topic is: Exploring the Frontiers of Astronomy and the Lick Observatory.

“University of California astronomers are in a fight over the future of historic Lick Observatory atop Mount Hamilton, where arrays of telescopes spy on stars and galaxies and the Milky Way’s far-off exoplanets. The issue involves a recent university decision to end its funding for the observatory within five years – a move UC Santa Cruz astronomers say would force the observatory to close unless they’re able to find outside money to keep it open”.

Please join us for a wonderful evening with one of astronomy’s foremost educators, lecturers, and personalities.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Archaeology Day

Clarke Historical Museum, 240 E. Street, Eureka, CA 95501 707-443-1947

Archaeology Day is part of a national program intended to promote the preservation of our country’s heritage.

The Clarke Museum, in association with California State Parks, Redwood National Park and HSU Anthropology Club, as well as local volunteers and artisans to provide demonstrations on basket weaving, flint knapping (how to make stone tools and blades), bow/arrow making, indoor and outdoor activities for all ages, healthy snacks and make & take art projects.

Founded by Eureka High School teacher Cecile Clarke, the museum has been housed in the landmark Bank of Eureka building since 1960. The Clarke Museum proudly displays the rich history of Humboldt County, which includes vibrant Native American cultures, gold rush settlements, the lumber industry, prosperous ranching, farming and livelihoods wrung from the sea.

Pacific Coast Air Museum, One Museum Way, Santa Rosa, CA 95043 Phone: 707-575-7900

Saturday, October 18 and Sunday, October 19, 2014
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Climb Aboard an Ilyushin IL-14 Crate


“Climb Aboard”this vintage aircraft, and learn about its history from the crew who has lovingly restored it. This is a Soviet transport aircraft that was formerly used by the Polish Air Force. This is a rare opportunity to get a close-up look and sit in the cockpits of these historic aircraft.
Sit in the cockpits of our vintage aircraft, and learn about the history of where and how they were used from the crews who have lovingly restored them. We feature one or two historic aircraft each Climb Aboard Weekend. More opportunities to “Climb Aboard” this fall can be found here.

Thursday and Friday, October 23-24, 2014


Next Generation Science Standards State Rollout Symposium
Tehama County Department of Education
1135 Lincoln St
Red Bluff, CA 96080
Registration/Continental Breakfast – 7:30 a.m.
Meeting – 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (day two 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
Parking: No Fee
Hotel Reservations:
Hampton Inn & Suites, 520 Adobe Rd. Red Bluff, CA 96080 530-529-4178; Please let them know that you are attending the NGSS Rollout to receive the State Rate.
CDE, CISC, CSTA, California Science Project and K-12 Alliance are pleased to be able to provide rollouts statewide in partnership with the county offices of education.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Boo at the Zoo

Sequoia Park Zoo
3414 W Street, Eureka, CA  95503, 707-442-5649
Enjoy spooky family fun and discover the world of bats, spiders, snakes and more with exciting games and activities. Plus, animal encounters and costume parade. Activities included with general zoo admission; members join the fun for free! Bring the whole family for a frighteningly good time

October 25, 2014  8:00PM – 11:00PM

Dr. Bill Haddon: “The Rosetta Probe – Seeking to Explain the Origin of Life on Earth

Taylor Observatory 5725 Oak Hills Lane, Kelseyville CA 95451
2014 Taylor Window to the Universe Lecture Series Sponsored by the Friends of Taylor Observatory.

Dr. Bill Haddon: “The Rosetta Probe – Seeking to Explain the Origin of Life on Earth”. In 2004 the European Space Agency launched the Rosetta Probe. In November, Rosetta launches a comet lander containing 21 experiments to explore the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Admission: $5.00 Adults; $3.00 Under 12 years old. Public events include the lecture, a planetarium show and telescopic viewing of the night sky, weather permitting.

Sacramento Zoo
3930 West Land Park Drive, Sacramento, CA 95822
Phone: 916-808-5888
Zoo Open Daily: 9 am to 4 pm Admission Rates: $7.25 — $11.25 Free On-Street Parking

Thursday, October 30 and Friday, October 31, 2014: 5pm to 8 pm

Boo at the Zoo        
Bring the family to the Zoo for a spook-tacular good time. Play ghoulish games, trick-or-treat around the lake and much more! Zoo closes at 1:30 pm. Admission Rates for this event: $8 — $12

Have the wildest classroom around with a Sacramento Zoo fieldtrip! Reserve and plan your class or group trip to the Sacramento Zoo.

Offsite Programs Bringing the Zoo to You

Are your students looking for a wild adventure without leaving the classroom? We offer age-appropriate programs for preschool through 12th grade.  The ZooMobile, our Zoo on wheels, will bring a variety of live animals to your class and discuss topics ranging from how animals move to the plight of endangered species. Also, check out Docent Outreach Program a volunteer educator led lesson including an action-packed video, activity, and more.

The Gateway Science Museum at California State University, Chico
625 Esplanade (near Bidwell Mansion), Chico CA 95926
Phone: 530-898-4121

From September 27, 2014 through January 4, 2015, (except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day, New Years Eve Day and New Years Day) Gateway’s operating hours will be:

Wednesday through Sunday:  OPEN noon to 5pm Monday, Tuesday:  CLOSED

ADMISSION: Members: FREE, Adults (18 and older): $6, Children (3 – 17 years) and students with valid ID: $3, Children (2 and under): FREE


This exhibit, created by Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), opens in the North Gallery on September 27, 2014 and runs through January 4, 2015.

What is in the food we eat? Are fruits and vegetables important? Can everyday activities burn calories? Families, children and school groups will find the answers to these questions by exploring nutrition and fitness in Eat Well, Play Well. This highly interactive, bi-lingual (English/Spanish) exhibit encourages healthy living by teaching the science of making healthy food choices and helping children and adults discover there are many fun and interesting ways to stay active. Visitors will discover what an appropriate serving size looks like, see firsthand what it takes to burn off calories, test their flexibility and balance, review the latest clinical research and realize that they can reduce their risk of disease with healthy choices that are within their reach! Take Home Guide, English. Guía para llevar a casa, Español. Eat Well, Play Well was made possible by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Administrative Supplement from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


This interactive exhibit of north state agriculture highlights regional production and practices, agricultural science and the agricultural community. The exhibit opens in the Newberry Gallery on September 27, 2014 and runs through January 4, 2015. This is a new exhibit produced by the Gateway Science Museum in collaboration with Gyroscope, Inc. and Group Delphi. Content development has been enhanced through consultation with local agricultural experts from the California State University, Chico College of Agriculture, Butte County agricultural boards, and numerous local farmers and ranchers. This exhibit is made possible through generous gifts provided by our founding members and donors.

PATTERNS ON THE LAND – Agricultural Landscapes of the Sacramento Valley

This stunning display of quiet and pastoral images captured by photographer Anthony Dunn opens in the James W. Cornyn Valley Gallery on September 27, 2014 and runs through January 4, 2015.

Class Field Trips Fall 2014 Scheduling Open Now!

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
18220 North Highway 1
Fort Bragg, CA 95437 Phone: 707-964-4352

Our Mission is to engage and enrich lives by displaying and conserving plants in harmony with our Northern California coastal ecosystems.

NOTICE: Between September 17 and October 15, we will be making improvements to our ADA Trail to allow better access for visitors of all abilities. There will be detours, and the Dahlia Garden will not be accessible to visitors (previously scheduled events will be the exception). The North Trail will allow access to the ocean bluffs for those who are sure-footed. Electric carts will not be allowed past the deer gates. Admissions will be half off during this period. We apologize for any inconvenience, and we will complete the work as quickly as possible.

Bird Watching with Mendocino Coast Audubon Society

Over 150 species of birds live in or visit the Gardens each year. Join the experts from our local Mendocino Coast chapter of the Audubon Society and learn more about our avian friends. Walks start at the Gardens entrance.

Monthly walks are as follows:

Beginning Birding: 1st Saturday, 9:00 am
Early Bird Walk: 3rd Wednesday, 8:00 am  (May through October)
Early Bird Walk: 3rd Wednesday, 8:30 am  (November through April)
Payment Information: Gardens’ members free. Non-members pay a reduced admission fee when attending these walks.
Contact Email:

Saturday, November 1, 2014 10:00am to 2:00pm

Growing, Processing, and Eating Quinoa (and other grains)


Gardens Meeting Room

Classes are $10 Members and Master Gardeners, $20 Non-Members (includes Gardens admission).

Class size may be limited; please reserve your space by phoning 707 964-4352 ext. 16 or stopping by The Garden Store at MCBG.

Join the harvest! In celebration of fall, we will be harvesting, processing, and eating the Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden’s own home-grown organic quinoa. Quinoa, the multi-faceted miracle crop from the Andes, is considered the only food that provides all essential amino acids. Learn the benefits and processes involved in growing this—and other grains—in your own backyard!

Jaime Jensen is a passionate advocate for backyard vegetable gardening, delicious fresh meals, food preservation, and health education. She has a background teaching food literacy to underserved urban youth and managing food production for a local farm-to-table restaurant and garden. She loves teaching and learning about all of the unique relationships that take place between plants, animals, insects, fungus, soil, minerals, water, air, and sunshine. When she is not in the garden Jaime is cooking fresh, locally grown, organic meals, or illustrating books and painting murals.

January 1, 2014 – December 31,2014

Tour the Arcata Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary

The Redwood Region Audubon Society offers BIRD WATCHING TOURS EVERY SATURDAY MORNING BEGINNING AT 8:30 a.m., which begin at the Klopp Lake parking lot end of So. I Street.

This is a prime spot for birding, hiking (all easy hikes) and great views of the Arcata Bay. At any time of the year birds or mammals can be viewed from one of the many trails that network the over 225 acres that are open to the public.

Located at the north end of Humboldt Bay, the sanctuary is situated along the Pacific Flyway, a major migratory route for thousands of birds that breed in the far north and winter in California, Mexico, and Central and South America. These wetlands provide homes and migratory resting places for over 270 species of birds.

The Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary is a world famous innovative wetland system built as a cost-effective and environmentally sound wastewater treatment solution. In addition to effectively fulfilling wastewater treatment needs, it provides an inspiring bay view window to the benefits of integrated wetland enhancement and wastewater treatment.

The Arcata Marsh Interpretive Center on South “G” Street has a bookstore, free maps and literature, interpretive displays, bird lists and log of recent bird sightings.

Audubon Society- Redwood Region
P.O. Box 1054, Eureka, CA

Bird Sightings Hotline/ Arcata Bird Box
707-822-LOON (5666)

A note from the CSTA Region 1 Director:

Please send monthly news and events for CSTA Region 1 to David Pummill. Region 1 includes: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. (Events must be submitted at least one month in advance to be published in California Classroom Science)

Written by David Pummill

David Pummill

David Pummill is a retired California science teacher and CSTA’s Region 1 Director.

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California Science Assessment Update

Posted: Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

by Jessica Sawko

In June 2016 California submitted a waiver application to discontinue using the old CST (based on 1998 standards) and conduct two years of pilot and field tests (in spring 2017 and 2018, respectively) of the new science assessment designed to support our state’s current science standards (California Next Generation Science Standards (CA-NGSS) adopted in 2013). The waiver was requested because no student scores will be provided as a part of the pilot and field tests. The CDE received a response from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on September 30, 2016, which provides the CDE the opportunity to resubmit a revised waiver request within 60 days. The CDE will be revising the waiver request and resubmitting as ED suggested.

At its October 2016 North/South Assessment meetings CDE confirmed that there will be no administration of the old CST in the spring of 2017. (An archive of the meeting is available at 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.

Some ways to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in your classroom

Posted: Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

by Carol Peterson

1) To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, Google has put together a collection of virtual tours combining 360-degree video, panoramic photos and expert narration. It’s called “The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks” and is accessible right from the browser. You can choose from one of five different locales, including the Kenai Fjords in Alaska and Bryce Canyon in Utah, and get a guided “tour” from a local park ranger. Each one has a few virtual vistas to explore, with documentary-style voiceovers and extra media hidden behind clickable thumbnails. Ideas are included for use in classrooms. 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.

2016 Award Recipients – Join CSTA in Honoring Their Accomplishments

Posted: Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

CSTA is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 CSTA Awards for Distinguished Contributions, Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award, 2014 and 2015 PAEMST-Science recipients from California, and the 2016 California PAEMST Finalists. The following individuals and organizations will be honored during the 2016 California Science Education Conference  on October 21- 23 in Palm Springs. This year’s group of awardees are truly outstanding. Please join us in congratulating them!

Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award

John Keller

John Keller

The Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award honors an individual who has made a significant contribution to science education in the state and who, through years of leadership and service, has truly made a positive impact on the quality of science teaching. This year’s recipient is John Keller, Ph.D. Dr. Keller is Associate Professor, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Co-Director, Center for Engineering, Science, and Mathematics Education, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. In her letter of recommendation, SDSU science education faculty and former CSTA board member Donna Ross wrote: “He brings people together who share the desire to make a difference in the development and implementation of programs for science teaching. Examples of these projects include the Math and Science Teaching Initiative (MSTI), Noyce Scholars Program, Western Regional Noyce Initiative, and the Science Teacher and Researcher (STAR) program.” Through his work, he has had a dramatic impact on science teacher education, both preservice and in-service, in California, the region, and the country. He developed and implemented the STEM Teacher and Researcher Program which aims to produce excellent K-12 STEM teachers by providing aspiring teachers with opportunities to do authentic research while helping them translate their research experience into classroom practice. SFSU faculty member Larry Horvath said it best in his letter:“John Keller exemplifies the best aspects of a scientist, science educator, and mentor. His contributions to science education in the state of California are varied, significant, and I am sure will continue well into the future.” 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.

NGSS: Making Your Life Easier

Posted: Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

by Peter A’hearn

Wait… What?

NGSS is a big shift. Teachers need to learn new content, figure out how this whole engineering thing relates to science, and develop new unit and lesson plans. How could NGSS possibly make life easier?

The idea that NGSS could make our lives easier came to me during the California State NGSS Rollout #1 Classroom Example lesson on chromatography. I have since done this lesson with high school chemistry students and it made me think back to having my own students do chromatography. I spent lots of time preparing to make sure the experiment went well and achieved the “correct” result. I pre-prepared the solutions and organized and prepped the materials. I re-wrote and re-wrote again the procedure so there was no way a kid could get it wrong. I spent 20 minutes before the lab modeling all of the steps in class, so there was no way to do it wrong. Except that it turns out there were many. Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

Peter A’Hearn is the K-12 science specialist in the Palm Springs Unified School District and is Region 4 Director for CSTA.

Celestial Highlights, September 2016

Posted: Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

by Robert C. Victor. Twilight sky maps by Robert D. Miller. Graph of evening planet setting times by Dr. Jeffrey L. Hunt 

Our evening twilight chart for September, depicting the sky about 40 minutes after sunset from SoCal, shows brilliant Venus remaining low, creeping from W to WSW and gaining a little altitude as the month progresses. Its close encounter within 2.5° N of Spica on Sept. 18 is best seen with binoculars to catch the star low in bright twilight. The brightest stars in the evening sky are golden Arcturus descending in the west, and blue-white Vega passing just north of overhead. Look for Altair and Deneb completing the Summer Triangle with Vega. The triangle of Mars-Saturn-Antares expands as Mars seems to hold nearly stationary in SSW as the month progresses, while Saturn and Antares slink off to the SW. Learn More…

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Written by Robert Victor

Robert Victor

Robert C. Victor was Staff Astronomer at Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University. He is now retired and enjoys providing skywatching opportunities for school children in and around Palm Springs, CA. Robert is a member of CSTA.