May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Events and Resources in CSTA’s Region 2

Posted: Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

by Minda Berbeco

Free Entry Days at:

Bay Area Discovery Museum, First Wednesday of the month
UC Botanical Gardens, First Thursday of the month
Oakland Museum of California, First Sunday of the month

Hawk Talks, Hawk Hill, Marin Headlands, Every Saturday & Sunday, 12-2pm

Super-cool Science Parties and lectures:

Nerd Nite East Bay, Last Monday of the month

Nerd Nite San Francisco, Third Wednesday of the month

Night Life, Thursdays, 6-10 pm, at the California Academy of Sciences
After Dark, First Thursday of the month, 6-10 pm, at the Exploratorium

Café Inquiry, Firth Thursday of the month, 6pm, at Café Borrone, Menlo Park

Science and Reason with Skeptics in the Pub, Wednesday, 10/22/14 Fiddler’s Green, Millbrae

Highlighted Events in September:

Go Wild! Nature Program for Kids

Wednesday, 10/1/14 4pm

West Valley Branch Library, San Jose

Ever wonder about the San Francisco Bay wetlands and the wildlife in your very own backyard? Join us for an adventure here at your local library. You’ll get up close and personal with real feet and beaks of birds while you play bird games and create your very own wild craft!  Best suited for ages 5-9.

Cost: Free

For more information, visit their website.

Total Lunar Eclipse

Wednesday, 10/8/14, 2-5am

Chabot Space and Science Center, Oakland

The observatory deck opens at 2am for a special presentation about the eclipse. Stay after the presentation for the late night viewing festivities. A Lunar Eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through the shadow of the Earth. For this to happen the Sun, Earth, and Moon must be closely aligned with the Moon and the Moon located furthest from the Sun. Bring binoculars, blankets and warm clothes.

For more information, visit their website.

Spooky Halloween Science

Wednesday, 10/8/14 6pm

Joyce Ellington Branch Library, San Jose

Get ready for Spooky Halloween Science Fun! In this workshop, you will handle slimy worms and learn about their role in decomposition, turn your lab partner into a “mummy”, make a witch’s potion, concoct Oger boogers, create a skull mask, and observe a real sheep’s brain.  If you like disgusting, nasty, scary, creepy-crawly things, this is the workshop for you!!! This workshop is presented by Science Smart Kids (www.ScienceSmartKids.com) and is appropriate for children ages 5-12.

Cost: Free

For more information, visit their website.

From the Eocene to the Anthropocene: An Engineer’s View of Climate Change

Thursday, 10/9/14 3:30-4:30pm

Bechtel Engineering Center, Berkeley

Dr. G. Wayne Clough (CEE PhD ‘69), Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, will be the honored speaker for the 2014 Fall CEE Distinguished Lecture. Dr. Clough’s talk, “From the Eocene to the Anthropocene: An Engineer’s View of Climate Change” will focus on Smithsonian science in multiple disciplines that is adding to the body of evidence about climate change and its consequences, and how that information can guide engineers’ thinking in creating a more sustainable, more resilient future.

For more information, visit their website.

A Milk-Oriented Gut Microbiota in Breast Fed Infants – Yet Another Reason to Thank Your Mother

Tuesday, 10/14/14 12-1pm

Sonoma State University – Biology Colloquium

Speaker: Dr. David A. Mills, Dept. of Food Science and Technology, UC Davis

For more information, visit their website.

Climate Change and West Antarctica

Tuesday, 10/14/14 12pm

SETI Institute Colloquium Series, Mountain View

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet contains the ice equivalent of 5 meters of sea level and is slowly adding to the rise of global ocean levels. It is now thought that the ice sheet is undergoing irreversible marine ice sheet collapse. The primary cause is bottom melting of coastal ice shelves in the Amundsen Sea sector driven by oceanic and/or atmospheric factors. In addition, the air temperature over the ice sheet interior has risen substantially over the past 50 years at a rate comparable to that recorded on the adjacent Antarctic Peninsula. There are many tropical and high latitude influences at play governing the atmospheric and oceanic behavior in this part of the world. The talk will lay out what is happening to West Antarctica at present and what may happen in the future as worldwide temperatures continue to increase.

For more information, visit their website.

Extreme Adaptation

Tuesday, 10/14/14 7-9pm

St. Alban’s Parish Hall, Albany

This year has been one of California’s driest on record, and carbon dioxide levels in Earth’s atmosphere reached levels not seen for almost a million years. More climate changes lie ahead—but the Bay Area, with its history of environmental leadership, is not standing idly by. Kathleen M. Wong and Ariel Rubissow Okamoto will inspire with examples of how scientists, governments, local communities, and ordinary people are striving to ensure that San Francisco Bay and its watershed remain healthy for both people and wildlife – from research to restoring wetlands to resolving conflicts.

For more information, visit their website.

Hayward Fault Walking Tour

Saturday, 10/18/14 9:30-11am

Fremont Earthquake Exhibit, Fremont CA

Over the last million years, the natural beauty of Fremont has been shaped by the Hayward Fault. Instructors will be leading these ‘ground breaking’ tours and exposing the science and beauty of the Hayward Fault. This fault is one of several active faults in the world actually creeping at 5 mm/year. The tour will take place at Central Park (Lake Elizabeth) and explores dramatic faulting effects in both natural and urban environments. Even view the floor of a building that reveals dramatic evidence of this fault activity. (Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult) Tours begin at the Fremont Community Center.

For more information, visit our website.

Ichthyosaurs: Their Discovery, Evolution, and Adaptation to Aquatic Lifestyle

Tuesday, 10/21/14 12-1pm

Sonoma State University – Biology Colloquium, Rohnert Park

Speaker: Dr. Ryosuke Motani, University of California, Davis

For more information, visit their website.

Spooky Halloween Science

Tuesday, 10/21/14 3pm

Edenvale Branch Library, San Jose

Get ready for Spooky Halloween Science Fun! In this workshop, you will handle slimy worms and learn about their role in decomposition, turn your lab partner into a “mummy”, make a witch’s potion, concoct Oger boogers, create a skull mask, and observe a real sheep’s brain.  If you like disgusting, nasty, scary, creepy-crawly things, this is the workshop for you!!! This workshop is presented by Science Smart Kids  and is appropriate for children ages 5-12.

Cost: Free

For more information, visit their website.

Sand Fungi

Tuesday, 10/21/14 7pm

Mycological Society of San Francisco

Each general meeting begins with mushroom identification, appetizers, wine tasting, and then features a guest speaker on a selected mycological topic. General meetings are open to the public.

For more information, visit their website.

Electrons and Electricity

Tuesday, 10/21/14 7pm

Fremont Main Library, Fremont

Ken Miller will treat us with his different machines that generate electricity.  Families will be entertained to learn about the wonders of electricity.

For more information, visit their website.

Molecular and cellular adaptations to the unique lifestyle of mammalian hibernators

Thursday, 10/23/14 12pm

James Clark Center, Stanford University

The Stanford Neurosciences Institute hosts a weekly seminar series to bring together members of the Stanford neuroscience community to hear about and discuss cutting edge basic and/or clinical research that is relevant to the future of neuroscience.

For more information, visit their website..

Owl Prowl

Friday, 10/24/14 7pm

California Nursery Historical Park, Fremont

Visit the California Nursery at dusk and see what birds fly in the night, bring a flashlight.

Spooky Halloween Science

Friday, 10/24/14 3:30pm

Bascom Library and Community Center, San Jose

Get ready for Spooky Halloween Science Fun! In this workshop, you will handle slimy worms and learn about their role in decomposition, turn your lab partner into a “mummy”, make a witch’s potion, concoct Oger boogers, create a skull mask, and observe a real sheep’s brain.  If you like disgusting, nasty, scary, creepy-crawly things, this is the workshop for you!!! This workshop is presented by Science Smart Kids and is appropriate for children ages 5-12.

Cost: Free

For more information, visit their website.

Spooky Halloween Science

Saturday, 10/25/14 3:00pm

Alviso Branch Library, San Jose

Get ready for Spooky Halloween Science Fun! In this workshop, you will handle slimy worms and learn about their role in decomposition, turn your lab partner into a “mummy”, make a witch’s potion, concoct Oger boogers, create a skull mask, and observe a real sheep’s brain.  If you like disgusting, nasty, scary, creepy-crawly things, this is the workshop for you!!! This workshop is presented by Science Smart Kids and is appropriate for children ages 5-12.

Cost: Free

For more information, visit their website.

Energy and the Environment

Monday, 10/27/14

Sonoma State University – What Physicists Do, Rohert Park

Dr. Marc Fisher of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will address how one can apply a physics education to help solve problems of human stewardship of the Earth’s climate.

Cost: Free

For more information, visit their website.

Astrobiology: The Quest to Understand the Potential for Life Beyond Earth

Tuesday, 10/28/14 12-1pm

Speaker: Dr. Carl Pilcher, NASA Astrobiology Institute

For more information, visit their website.

New Science on California Orcas

Tuesday, 10/28/14 7-9pm

While killer whales are found in all of the world’s oceans, their lives in the wild are poorly understood, in part because there are tremendous differences between different groups of orcas. Though the species range spans the globe from pole to pole, individual orcas belong to regional ecological groups, called ecotypes that have distinct ranges and behaviors. Scientists recognize at least 10 ecotypes for the species worldwide, three of which can be found off California: Southern Resident, Transient, and Offshore. Sarah will delve into the different killer whale “ecotypes” that regularly visit the waters of central California and how the Marine Mammal Stranding Network (a group of agencies, organizations and volunteers) retrieved an entire killer whale skeleton for display at the California Academy of Sciences for their “Built for Speed” exhibit. 

For more information, visit their website.

Spooky Halloween Science

Tuesday, 10/30/14 3:30pm

Willow Glen Branch Library, San Jose

Get ready for Spooky Halloween Science Fun! In this workshop, you will handle slimy worms and learn about their role in decomposition, turn your lab partner into a “mummy”, make a witch’s potion, concoct Oger boogers, create a skull mask, and observe a real sheep’s brain.  If you like disgusting, nasty, scary, creepy-crawly things, this is the workshop for you!!! This workshop is presented by Science Smart Kids and is appropriate for children ages 5-12.

Cost: Free

For more information, visit their website.

Upcoming Summer Professional Development Opportunities

Ecological Society of America presents: Life Discovery – Doing Science organization

Friday & Saturday, October 3-4

San Jose State University in San Jose, CA

The 2nd Life Discovery – Doing Science Conference (LDC) focuses on innovative approaches to instruction and assessment that are suitable, scalable, and adaptable to secondary and post-secondary levels of education, aligning with the objectives of both the K12 Next Generation Science Standards and the Vision and Change for Undergraduate Biology Education.

Cost: $135 (discounts available)

For more information, visit their website.

Written by Minda Berbeco

Minda Berbeco

Minda Berbeco was the Programs and Policy Director at the National Center for Science Education and is now the Director of the Sierra Club San Francisco Chapter.

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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.