July/August 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 8

STEM Task Force

Posted: Monday, July 2nd, 2012

A volunteer group appointed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to explore the status of STEM (Science, Technology, Education, and Mathematics) education in curriculum, instructional practices, professional learning, etc.

On May 24, 2012, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla convened 55 volunteers to become members of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Task Force.

Co-chaired by Herb Brunkhorst and Susan Hackwood, the STEM Task Force members will explore the status of STEM education in curriculum, instructional practices, professional learning, student testing, existing resources, and community and business partnership.

The STEM Task Force members will then assess the state’s future needs, as well as recommend a blueprint on how to improve teaching, learning, and equal access to STEM-related courses and careers for students in kindergarten through grade twelve. The public may also contribute information–including resources and research–to the Task Force via the Brokers of Expertise Web site at CommentSTEM.myboe.org.

Responsibilities

The STEM Task Force members will recommend a blueprint on how to improve teaching, learning, and equal access to STEM-related courses and careers for students in kindergarten through grade twelve. The resultant blueprint will include career technical education, and newly developed national Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.

The Task Force will organize its work to address five key areas—curriculum and instruction, resources and infrastructure, professional learning, testing and assessment, and community and business partnerships.

  1. Curriculum and Instructional Practices: Review the status of STEM education and recommend how to improve instructional practices and engage more students in STEM-related fields.
  2. Resources: Identify existing resources and recommend the development and dissemination of additional resources. These resources should assist schools develop STEM programs that are relevant and engaging to students.
  3. Professional Learning: Identify existing and recommend professional learning support that provides high quality professional learning opportunities to educators of STEM-related courses and disciplines.
  4. Student Testing/Assessment: Review, identify, and recommend state and local STEM-related testing and assessments that measure applied learning and real-world situations and what constitutes high-quality STEM programs and disciplines.
  5. Community and Business Partnerships: Identify, review, and recommend how community and business partnerships, including informal learning settings, can support and engage students in STEM education.
Members (bolded names = CSTA members as of June 1, 2012)
  • Herb Brunkhorst, CSU San Bernardino, Professor and Department Chair of Science, Math and Technology, Task Force Co-Chair
  • Susan Hackwood, California Council on Science and Technology, Executive Director, Task Force Co-Chair
  • Elizabeth Babcock, California Academy of Sciences, Chief Public Engagement Officer and Roberts Dean of Education
  • Arthur Beauchamp, UC Davis School of Education, Professor
  • Robert Becker, Downey Unified School District, Science Teacher
  • Susan Bonilla, California Assembly, Assemblywoman
  • Joan Buchanan, California Assembly, Assemblywoman
  • Aida Buelna, Esparto School District, Superintendent, Esparto SD
  • Lewis Chappelear, Los Angeles Unified School District, Teacher
  • Muhammed Chaudhry, Silicon Valley Education Foundation, President and CEO
  • Kevin Cuff, UC Berkeley/ Lawrence Hall of Science , Director, East Bay Academy for Young Scientists, Coordinator of Public Programs
  • Doug Dall, Glendale Unified School District, Principal
  • Gina Dalma, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Program ofOicer
  • Jeff Davis, California After School Network , Afterschool Network Coordinator
  • LaTonya Derbigny, Vallejo Unified School District, Director, School and Student Accountability
  • Kathi DiRanna, Wested/K-12 Alliance, Executive Director
  • Rowena Douglas, Exploratorium, Director of Educational Outreach
  • Zack Dowell, Los Rios Community College, Instructor
  • Jon Dueck, Fresno County Office of Education, Mathematics and Science Consultant
  • Richard Farnsworth, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Manager, Education Outreach
  • Karen Flammer, Sally Ride Science and Sally Ride Science Camp, President and CEO
  • Anna Gaiter, California Science Center, Los Angeles, Director of Professional Development
  • John Galisky, Lompoc Unified School District, Teacher
  • Linda Galliher, Bay Area Council, Vice President Public Policy
  • Emilio Garza, Foshay Learning Center, Los Angeles, Assistant Principal
  • Susie Hakansson, California Mathematics Project, Executive Director
  • Christi Harter, San Mateo County Office of Education, STEM Center Director
  • Joe Head, SummerHill Homes, CEO
  • Arron Jiron, S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, Program Officer, STEM Projects
  • Sheila Jordan, Alameda County Office of Education, Superintendent
  • John Knezovich, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Director, University Outreach and Science Education
  • John Lamb, California National Guard, Starbase Youth Program, Sargent Major, Director
  • Kathlan Latimer, California Mathematics Council, President
  • Meri Maben, U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Honda’s Office, 15th Congressional District (Strong advocate for STEM)
  • Devon MacLeod, Galt Unified School District, Teacher
  • Robin Mencher, KQED, Director, STEM Resources
  • Suzanne Nakashima, Yuba City Unified School District, Teacher
  • Rick Pomeroy, California Science Teachers Association, President
  • Oscar Porter, Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement (MESA)/UCOP, Statewide Executive Director
  • Curren Price, California Senate, Senator
  • Bruce Roberts, California School Boards Association, Natomas USD Board Member
  • Christopher Roe, California STEM Learning Network, CEO
  • Jacqueline Rojas, Californians Together , Teacher
  • Patricia “Pat” Rucker, California State Board of Education, Member
  • Tim Sbranti, CDE Foundation, CDE Foundation Liaison
  • David Seidel, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Manager of Elementary and Secondary Education Programs
  • Maria Simani, California Science Project, Executive Director
  • Gerald Solomon, Samueli Foundation, Executive Director
  • Mark Sontag, Irvine Unified School District, Curriculum Coordinator
  • Leroy Tripett, Intel Corp, STEM Coordinator
  • Mark Walker, Applied Materials, Head of Philanthropy
  • Willie B. Williams, National Technical Association, Regional President
  • Alison Wiscombe, California State PTA, PTA Representative
  • Mark Wyland, California Senate, Senator
  • Tom Zazueta, Coakley Hagerty, CEO

Current California Department of Education STEM Information is available on the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Web page.

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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CTC Seeking Educators for Science Standard Setting Conference

Posted: Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

The Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) and Evaluation Systems group of Pearson are currently seeking California science educators to participate in a Science Standard Setting Conference for the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) program. Each standard setting panel is scheduled to meet for one-day, in Sacramento, California. The fields and dates are listed below:

Multiple Subjects Subtest II (Science), Monday, October 2, 2017
Science Subtest II: Physics, Monday, October 2, 2017
Science Subtest II: Chemistry, Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Science Subtest II: Life Sciences, Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Science Subtest II: Earth and Space Sciences, Thursday, October 5, 2017
Science Subtest I: General Science, Friday, October 6, 2017

The purpose of the conference is for panel members to make recommendations that will be used, in part, by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) in setting the passing standard, for each field, in support of the updated California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET).

Click here to nominate educators. If you are interested in participating yourself, complete an application here for consideration.

Eligibility:

Public school educators who are:

• Certified in California
• Currently practicing (or have practiced within the last school year) in one or more of the fields listed above. 

College faculty who are:

• Teacher preparation personnel (including education faculty and arts and sciences faculty)
• Practicing (or have practiced within the last school year) in one or more of the fields listed above, and
• Preparing teacher candidates in an approved California teacher preparation program.

 Benefits of Participation Include:
• Receive substitute reimbursement for their school (public school educators only),
• Have the opportunity to make a difference in California teacher development and performance,
• Have the opportunity for professional growth and collaboration with educators in their field,
• Be reimbursed for their travel and meal expenses, and
• Be provided with hotel accommodations, if necessary.

For more information, visit their website at www.carecruit.nesinc.com/cset/index.asp

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.

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 zi@cascience.org.)

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: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.