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:http://www.conferencehousing.com/csta/Pasadena/.

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 www.cascience.org/csta/conf_home11.asp. 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

Sincerely,
California Science Teachers Association
3800 Watt Ave., Suite 175
Sacramento, CA 95821
916-979-7004
http://www.cascience.org/

 

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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Participate in Chemistry Education Research Study, Earn $500-800 Dollars!

Posted: Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

WestEd, a non-profit educational research agency, has been funded by the US Department of Education to test a new molecular modeling kit, Happy Atoms. Happy Atoms is an interactive chemistry learning experience that consists of a set of physical atoms that connect magnetically to form molecules, and an app that uses image recognition to identify the molecules that you create with the set. WestEd is conducting a study around the effectiveness of using Happy Atoms in the classroom, and we are looking for high school chemistry teachers in California to participate.

As part of the study, teachers will be randomly assigned to either the treatment group (who uses Happy Atoms) or the control group (who uses Happy Atoms at a later date). Teachers in the treatment group will be asked to use the Happy Atoms set in their classrooms for 5 lessons over the course of the fall 2017 semester. Students will complete pre- and post-assessments and surveys around their chemistry content knowledge and beliefs about learning chemistry. WestEd will provide access to all teacher materials, teacher training, and student materials needed to participate.

Participating teachers will receive a stipend of $500-800. You can read more information about the study here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HappyAtoms

Please contact Rosanne Luu at rluu@wested.org or 650.381.6432 if you are interested in participating in this opportunity, or if you have any questions!

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.

2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption Reviewer Application

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

The California Department of Education and State Board of Education are now accepting applications for reviewers for the 2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption. The application deadline is 3:00 pm, July 21, 2017. The application is comprehensive, so don’t wait until the last minute to apply.

On Tuesday, May 9, 2017, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson forwarded this recruitment letter to county and district superintendents and charter school administrators.

Review panel members will evaluate instructional materials for use in kindergarten through grade eight, inclusive, that are aligned with the California Next Generation Science Content Standards for California Public Schools (CA NGSS). 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.

Lessons Learned from the NGSS Early Implementer Districts

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

On March 31, 2017, Achieve released two documents examining some lessons learned from the California K-8 Early Implementation Initiative. The initiative began in August 2014 and was developed by the K-12 Alliance at WestEd, with close collaborative input on its design and objectives from the State Board of Education, the California Department of Education, and Achieve.

Eight (8) traditional school districts and two (2) charter management organizations were selected to participate in the initiative, becoming the first districts in California to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Those districts included Galt Joint Union Elementary, Kings Canyon Joint Unified, Lakeside Union, Oakland Unified, Palm Springs Unified, San Diego Unified, Tracy Joint Unified, Vista Unified, Aspire, and High Tech High.

To more closely examine some of the early successes and challenges experienced by the Early Implementer LEAs, Achieve interviewed nine of the ten participating districts and compiled that information into two resources, focusing primarily on professional learning and instructional materials. 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.

Using Online Simulations to Support the NGSS in Middle School Classrooms

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

by Lesley Gates, Loren Nikkel, and Kambria Eastham

Middle school teachers in Kings Canyon Unified School District (KCUSD), a CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative district, have been diligently working on transitioning to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) integrated model for middle school. This year, the teachers focused on building their own knowledge of the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs). They have been gathering and sharing ideas at monthly collaborative meetings as to how to make sure their students are not just learning about science but that they are actually doing science in their classrooms. Students should be planning and carrying out investigations to gather data for analysis in order to construct explanations. This is best done through hands-on lab experiments. Experimental work is such an important part of the learning of science and education research shows that students learn better and retain more when they are active through inquiry, investigation, and application. A Framework for K-12 Science Education (2011) notes, “…learning about science and engineering involves integration of the knowledge of scientific explanations (i.e., content knowledge) and the practices needed to engage in scientific inquiry and engineering design. Thus the framework seeks to illustrate how knowledge and practice must be intertwined in designing learning experiences in K-12 Science Education” (pg. 11).

Many middle school teachers in KCUSD are facing challenges as they begin implementing these student-driven, inquiry-based NGSS science experiences in their classrooms. First, many of the middle school classrooms at our K-8 school sites are not designed as science labs. 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 NGSS 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.

Celestial Highlights: May – July 2017

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

May Through July 2017 with Web Resources for the Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017

by Robert C. Victor. Twilight sky maps by Robert D. Miller. Graphs of planet rising and setting times by Jeffrey L. Hunt.

In spring and summer 2017, Jupiter is the most prominent “star” in the evening sky, and Venus, even brighter, rules the morning. By mid-June, Saturn rises at a convenient evening hour, allowing both giant planets to be viewed well in early evening until Jupiter sinks low in late September. The Moon is always a crescent in its monthly encounters with Venus, but is full whenever it appears near Jupiter or Saturn in the eastern evening sky opposite the Sun. (In 2017, Full Moon is near Jupiter in April, Saturn in June.) At intervals of 27-28 days thereafter, the Moon appears at a progressively earlier phase at each pairing with the outer planet until its final conjunction, with Moon a thin crescent, low in the west at dusk. You’ll see many beautiful events by just following the Moon’s wanderings at dusk and dawn in the three months leading up to the solar eclipse. Learn More…

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Written by Robert Victor

Robert Victor

Robert C. Victor was Staff Astronomer at Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University. He is now retired and enjoys providing skywatching opportunities for school children in and around Palm Springs, CA. Robert is a member of CSTA.