January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

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 is the Programs and Policy Director at the National Center for Science Education and is CSTA’s Region 2 Director.

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Posted: Saturday, January 14th, 2017

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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. Register online today!

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Opportunity for High School Students – Los Angeles County

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Science Education Policy Update

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

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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…

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.

NSTA Los Angeles Conference Features Many CA Science Leaders

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.