September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

Sold Out Hotels ~ World Famous People ~ Exclusive Opportunities!

Posted: Friday, September 30th, 2011

What is it you ask?

Is it the World Series? No. The royal wedding of Will and Kate? Nope. The final launch of the space shuttle? NO!

It’s the California Science Education Conference! For the first time ever, the California Science Education Conference is coming to Pasadena and it is better than ever.

Sold Out Hotels:
Two hotels have already sold out, but we still have a few rooms at the Hilton – so make your reservations on-line today:

World Famous People:
CSTA has pulled out all the stops for this year’s program.

  • The closing session on Sunday, October 23 will feature none-other than world famous actor and environmental activist Ed Begley, Jr.
  • The internationally-renowned artist Wyland will not only be at the conference to present as a part of a panel presentation on the connections between art, science, and creativity, he will also be auctioning off a limited edition print, the proceeds of which will benefit CSTA and the Wyland Foundation.
  • Famed biochemist, chef, and cookbook author Shirley Corriher will be presenting at the Awards Breakfast. Her expertise has been sought after by the likes of Alton Brown and Julia Child!

Exclusive Opportunities:
In addition to the over 200 workshops, two general sessions, seven focus speakers lectures, a fantastic exhibit hall, and excellent networking opportunities included in your registration, the conference offers exclusive, custom-designed, and even once-in-a-lifetime opportunities at very low prices.

  • Field Course #1 to tour the SOFIA aircraft, receive over $80 in classroom materials, lunch, and more – only $10 – but you must register by October 7, on-site registration is not allowed due to security requirements (must be 18 or older and a US citizen). (Friday, October 21, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm)
  • Awards Breakfast: Featuring Shirley Corriher (see above) – only $25 and includes a hot breakfast – tickets for this event are not available for purchase on-site, you must register by October 7. (Saturday, October 22, 7:30 am – 9:00 am)
  • Over two dozen hands-on Short Courses, ranging from $5 – $65. All are limited participation – reserve your seat today, waiting until you get to the conference could mean that you don’t get a seat.
  • Five additional custom-designed Field Courses that take full advantage of the Pasadena area. These are not your everyday field trips – the CSTA conference committee has worked closely with each Field Course provider to develop a one-of-a-kind experience. This is your opportunity for a behind-the scenes tour of the new eco-systems exhibit at the California Science Center, a “backstage” pass to the Caltech Seismology Lab, or the indoor Mars yard at JPL. All are limited participation – reserve your seat today, waiting until you get to the conference could mean that you don’t get a seat.

On the Serious Side:

  • All workshops at the California Science Education Conference are California science standards aligned and will help you meet your professional development goals.
  • Discounted registration rates are only available through October 7.
  • You will need your CSTA username and password to register:
  • Your username: %username%
  • Your password: %password%

For more information, download a copy of the registration brochure or visit There you will find detailed session descriptions and links to register. We look forward to seeing you in Pasadena on October 21 – 23.

CSTA thanks the sponsors of the California Science Education Conference for their support: Chevron, Northrop Grumman, California Institute for Biodiversity, Molina Healthcare, County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works, CPO Science, Delta Education, Frey Scientific, Generation Earth, Instructional Technology Outreach (LACOE), NEED, SeaWorld San Diego, SOFIA, ArtPlantae – Botany & Botanical Art Education, and UC Davis School of Education

California Science Teachers Association
3800 Watt Ave., Suite 175
Sacramento, CA 95821


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.

Leave a Reply


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…

Powered By DT Author Box

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…

Powered By DT Author Box

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.

News and Happenings in CSTA’s Region 1 – Fall 2017

Posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

by Marian Murphy-Shaw


This month I was fortunate enough to hear about some new topics to share with our entire region. Some of you may access the online or newsletter options, others may attend events in person that are nearer to you. Long time CSTA member and environmental science educator Mike Roa is well known to North Bay Area teachers for his volunteer work sharing events and resources. In this month’s Region 1 updates I am happy to make a few of the options Mike offers available to our region. Learn More…

Written by Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw is the student services director at Siskiyou County Office of Education and is CSTA’s Region 1 Director and chair of CSTA’s Policy Committee.