State Science Education Updates
Posted: Tuesday, October 7th, 2014
by Laura Henriques
The start of a school year is always a busy time. This year has a great deal more energy around science education than we’ve seen in a long time. The adoption of new science standards has taken place, the Science Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee has begun their work, a few thousand STEM education enthusiasts descended on San Diego for the STEM Symposium, NGSS State Rollout Symposiums are being conducted around the state, LCFF/LCAP legislation allows districts to support science professional development and science standards implementation, and the NSTA Regional Conference in Long Beach is just around the corner. These are good times for science education in California! Read on to learn how CSTA is involved in these activities and how you too can be involved.
Science Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee (CFCC)
The State Board of Education appointed a team of 20 science educators to serve on the Instructional Quality Commission’s Science CFCC. The team had their first meeting in September and will meet every month through February. The group reads drafts of chapters prior to arriving at the meeting. As a group they provide input for improvement. This process is open to the public and CSTA is attending these meetings and providing input into the process as allowed. Once the CFCC has provided its input, a draft will be released for a 60-day public review period in June-July 2015. The Science Subject Matter Committee (part of the IQC) will review public input and staff recommendations before a second public draft is released. This draft will also have a 60-day public review period (October/November 2015). CSTA’s NGSS Committee will be reviewing drafts of chapters as they are available and providing input as we are able through the public comment process of the CFCC meetings. (Click here for CSTA’s overview of the CFCC, timelines, and other information. See also CDE’s CFCC website
2014 California STEM Symposium
The second California STEM Symposium was held in San Diego September 21-23. Approximately 3,000 STEM educators from around the state gathered to hear keynote addresses, participate in round table discussions and hands-on workshops. 100 of the attendees stopped by the CSTA booth to get their CSTA member ribbon. It was nice to see so many of you in person and we look forward to seeing you at other upcoming events in the state. Be sure to stop by the CSTA booth/table to get your member ribbon so you can show your CSTA pride! Check out their Dropbox site for handouts and presentations.
Next Generation Science Standards State Rollout Symposium #1
A collaboration between California Department of Education, California Science Project, K-12 Alliance/WestEd, Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee, and CSTA resulted in the development of a two-day NGSS workshop (part 1). To date, workshops have been held in San Joaquin County, Long Beach, Yucaipa and San Diego. There are three additional sets of dates to catch this workshop. Fresno (October 16-17), Oakland (October 20-21) and Redbluff (October 23-24). Teams from districts are encouraged to attend together. It would be ideal to bring an administrator and teacher leaders. Details about the events and registration information is available online. Find your CSTA representatives to get your CSTA member ribbon!
As we reported earlier, the Local Control Funding Formula and Local Control Accountability Plans call for districts to develop plans about how they will implement state adopted standards (all standards — including science). Money allocated under State Priority #2 enable schools to support science professional development. Be sure that you are part of the conversation when your school and district develop their plans so that what you need for successful implementation of NGSS gets included in the plan.
NSTA Regional Conference in Long Beach
End out 2014 with your science education colleagues in Long Beach! The NSTA Regional Conference (in collaboration with CSTA) will bring together thousands of science educators from California and beyond. There will be workshops, speakers, short-courses, field trips and a great exhibit hall. Check out the conference preview booklet and register now. Early bird prices expire on October 24th. CSTA (or NSTA) members save $90 on conference registration. Since CSTA membership only costs $50 that’s $40 in your pocket! In addition to all the NSTA events, there are three CSTA-hosted events and a CSTA Membership Meeting. Preconference field trips to Catalina and the San Andreas Fault take place on Wednesday December 3rd. The CSTA Night at the Aquarium of the Pacific NGSS Science & Engineering Showcase will highlight outstanding STEM/Engineering/NGSS instruction, speakers and time with the fish. All three of these are ticketed events (with discounts for CSTA members). The CSTA Membership Meeting & Awards Presentation will be Thursday 3:15-4:30 in the Long Beach Convention Center. This will include Steven Pruitt as the keynote speaker sharing the latest resources to support NGSS implementation. Stop by the CSTA booth to get your CSTA member ribbon, chat with Board Members, and learn about the October 2015 conference in Sacramento.
Posted: Tuesday, March 14th, 2017
The pre-publication version of the new California Science Curriculum Framework is now available for download. This publication incorporates all the edits that were approved by the State Board of Education in November 2016 and was many months in the making. Our sincere thanks to the dozens of CSTA members were involved in its development. Our appreciation is also extended to the California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, the Instructional Quality Commission, and the Science Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee and their staff for their hard work and dedication to produce this document and for their commitment to the public input process. To the many writers and contributors to the Framework CSTA thanks you for your many hours of work to produce a world-class document.
For tips on how to approach this document see our article from December 2016: California Has Adopted a New Science Curriculum Framework – Now What …? If you would like to learn more about the Framework, consider participating in one of the Framework Launch events (a.k.a. Rollout #4) scheduled throughout 2017.
The final publication version (formatted for printing) will be available in July 2017. This document will not be available in printed format, only electronically.
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
The 2017 Award Season is now open! One of the benefits of being a CSTA member is your eligibility for awards as well as your eligibility to nominate someone for an award. CSTA offers several awards and members may nominate individuals and organizations for the Future Science Teacher Award, the prestigious Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award, and the CSTA Distinguished Contributions Award (organizational award). May 9, 2017 is the deadline for nominations for these awards. CSTA believes that the importance of science education cannot be overstated. Given the essential presence of the sciences in understanding the past and planning for the future, science education remains, and will increasingly be one of the most important disciplines in education. CSTA is committed to recognizing and encouraging excellence in science teaching through the presentation of awards to science educators and organizations who have made outstanding contributions in science education in the state and who are poised to continue the momentum of providing high quality, relevant science education into the future. Learn More…
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
CSTA is now accepting applications from regular, preservice, and retired members to serve on our volunteer committees! CSTA’s all-volunteer board of directors invites you to consider maximizing your member experience by volunteering for CSTA. CSTA committee service offers you the opportunity to share your expertise, learn a new skill, or do something you love to do but never have the opportunity to do in your regular day. CSTA committee volunteers do some pretty amazing things: Learn More…
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
by Marian Murphy-Shaw
If you attended an NGSS Rollout phase 1-3 or CDE workshops at CSTA’s annual conference you may recall hearing from Chris Breazeale when he was working with the CDE. Chris has relocated professionally, with his passion for science education, and is now the Executive Director at the Explorit Science Center, a hands-on exploration museum featuring interactive STEM exhibits located at the beautiful Mace Ranch, 3141 5th St. in Davis, CA. Visitors can “think it, try it, and explorit” with a variety of displays that allow visitors to “do science.” To preview the museum, or schedule a classroom visit, see www.explorit.org. Learn More…
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
by Joseph Calmer
Probably like you, NGSS has been at the forefront of many department meetings, lunch conversations, and solitary lesson planning sessions. Despite reading the original NRC Framework, the Ca Draft Frameworks, and many CSTA writings, I am still left with the question: “what does it actually mean for my classroom?”
I had an eye-opening experience that helped me with that question. It came out of a conversation that I had with a student teacher. It turns out that I’ve found the secret to learning how to teach with NGSS: I need to engage in dialogue about teaching with novice teachers. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching science in some capacity for 12 years. During that time pedagogy and student learning become sort of a “hidden curriculum.” It is difficult to plan a lesson for the hidden curriculum; the best way is to just have two or more professionals talk and see what emerges. I was surprised it took me so long to realize this epiphany. Learn More…