September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

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 Is Now Accepting Nominations for Board Members

Posted: Friday, November 17th, 2017

Current, incoming, and outgoing CSTA Board of Directors at June 3, 2017 meeting.

Updated 7:25 pm, Nov. 17, 2017

It’s that time of year when CSTA is looking for dedicated and qualified persons to fill the upcoming vacancies on its Board of Directors. This opportunity allows you to help shape the policy and determine the path that the Board will take in the new year. There are time and energy commitments, but that is far outweighed by the personal satisfaction of knowing that you are an integral part of an outstanding professional educational organization, dedicated to the support and guidance of California’s science teachers. You will also have the opportunity to help CSTA review and support legislation that benefits good science teaching and teachers.

Right now is an exciting time to be involved at the state level in the California Science Teachers Association. The CSTA Board of Directors is currently involved in implementing the Next Generations Science Standards and its strategic plan. If you are interested in serving on the CSTA Board of Directors, now is the time to submit your name for consideration. 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.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces 2017 Finalists for Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Posted: Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today nominated eight exceptional secondary mathematics and science teachers as California finalists for the 2017 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

“These teachers are dedicated and accomplished individuals whose innovative teaching styles prepare our students for 21st century careers and college and develop them into the designers and inventors of the future,” Torlakson said. “They rank among the finest in their profession and also serve as wonderful mentors and role models.”

The California Department of Education (CDE) partners annually with the California Science Teachers Association and the California Mathematics Council to recruit and select nominees for the PAEMST program—the highest recognition in the nation for a mathematics or science teacher. The Science Finalists will be recognized at the CSTA Awards Luncheon on Saturday, October 14, 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.

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.