May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

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.

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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

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:

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.