May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Sessions for All Grade Bands and Disciplines at NSTA Conference on Science Education in Long Beach

Posted: Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Here are some of the many exciting events you can expect at the NSTA Area Conference on Science Education in Long Beach this December 4–6:

Register today for the most savings! Our Earlybird Deadline ends October 24.  – Remember CSTA members: Select the “NSTA Affiliate Member Rate” when registering to save $90 on registration.

RegisterLong Beach Conference PreviewClick here to browse through all the scheduled sessions and make your schedule today! 
A PEEK AT OVER 400 SESSIONS JUST FOR YOU!
Check out some sessions below to help you get started on your daily schedule.

  • STEM in the Primary Classroom
  • Building a Community Classroom: Encouraging Students to Think Globally and Act Locally
  • From Food to Fuel: Recycling the Molecules of Life
  • Integrating the NGSS Practices Through Online Collaboration with Google
  • Using Case Studies to Promote Technical Literacy in an Anatomy and Physiology Class
  • The Apps That Launched STEAM Classrooms
  • Chemical Change and Stability: Kinetics and Equilibrium
  • Designing a Middle School Integrated NGSS Curriculum
  • Teach Engineering Principles on the Cheap with Concrete
  • NGSS, Close Reading, and Classroom Notebooking Practices

FEATURED SPEAKERS
Julie Scardina

KEYNOTE SPEAKER:

Julie Scardina @juliescardina
Naturalist, Author, SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Ambassador
San Diego, Calif.

The Balancing Act of Environmental Education: Removing the Fear But Keeping Reality

Having begun her career working with species ranging from sea lions and dolphins to killer whales, Julie currently serves many roles with SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, and Discovery Cove—from zoological corporate curator of animal ambassador programs and training to Animal Ambassador. She has traveled to conservation and environmental projects on all seven continents where she learns about issues firsthand and documents on film people and projects that are making a difference for animals. She has also co-authored the book Wildlife Heroes, focusing on 40 people who have committed their lives to preserving species and solving some of the planets most pressing environmental issues. Join Julie for a special presentation along with some “Animal Ambassadors.”

FEATURED PRESENTATIONS:

SheldonUsing the Past to Take Science Education into the Future
Myrna Perez Sheldon @SRCatHarvard
Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Rice University, Houston, Tex.

Why do we teach science in our public school classrooms? We do it because we believe that all students must understand the fundamentals of science in order to succeed in our modern world. But science is much more than a collection of facts about the natural world. If we want our students to have a deeper understanding of science and engineering, we must give them the tools to connect science to the subjects that engage the big questions—social studies, English, political science, and others. In this talk, Myrna Perez Sheldon tells us the power of connecting science education with the humanities, and shows us some of the newest and most innovative digital resources to do this!

PruittUsing the Tools of the NGSS to Support Quality Science Instruction
Stephen L. Pruitt @DrSPruitt
Senior Vice President, Achieve, Inc.

Stephen will provide updates on the various NGSS tools under development and how to use them with teachers to provide a deeper understanding of the NGSS.

The CSTA Annual Meeting and presentation of awards will precede Stephen Pruitt’s presentation.

TaylorSTEM the New Normal! Really When Did That Happen?
Nancy Taylor
Principal Investigator, Exploring STEM Careers
San Diego State University, San Diego, Calif.

Join Nancy for a frank conversation about how this acronym “STEM” has flooded all channels of education reform and for a status report from the field—K-12 classrooms and extended learning time. It’s a transformational time in U.S. education! Society has an insatiable demand for STEM integration and programming while the NGSS and CCSS are driving the redesign of learning progressions. How quickly is this transformation of the school day expected to spring into action and what are the implications? Integrated STEM experiences are building capacity and quality; let’s explore the practices, the partnerships, and possibilities for the new normal.

BeauchampThe Central Role of Dialogue in the Sense-making Classroom
Arthur Beauchamp
Interim Director of the Sacramento Area Science Project and Senior Director of Professional Learning Systems, School of Education, University of California–Davis

The NGSS and CCSS ask for a shift toward more sense making by students in STEM classrooms. Dialogue is one of our main methods of processing information, making sense of things, and advancing understanding. Dialogue is also an important support for student writing, and both neuroscience and psychology point to the importance of dialogue in learning. Join Arthur as he discusses how we might make better use of dialogue as a learning tool in our classrooms.

HayesFrom Silent Spring to Silent Night: A Tale of Toads and Men
Tyrone Hayes
University of California: Berkeley, CA

Join Dr. Tyrone B. Hayes as he shares his amphibian research. Two main areas of interest are metamorphosis and sex differentiation as well as examining growth (larval and adult) and hormonal regulation of aggressive behavior. A few of the amphibians he has studied include local toads, the African clawed frog, the Japanese kajika frog, and the field tree frog.

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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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.