March/April 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 6

Students Need YOU!

Posted: Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

by Dena Deck, M.Ed. & Sharon Snyder

Editor’s note: You read about the value of science fairs to students in the March issue (this article was updated this month with an infographic). This article shares information about the biggest science fair around! If you are in the LA area you might want to stop by to see the exciting things our students are doing. If you have a day to donate, consider volunteering. Just as students need support to get to this level of science and engineering, the Science Fair needs lots of help to be successful.

The Intel® International Science and Engineering Fair® (Intel ISEF) is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. It occurs annually and provides a forum for more than 1,600 high school students from over 70 countries, regions, and territories to showcase their independent research and compete for more than $4 million in awards.

Today, millions of students worldwide compete each year in local and school-sponsored science fairs; the winners of these events go on to participate in Intel ISEF-affiliated regional and state fairs from which the best win the opportunity to attend Intel ISEF. The event unites these top young scientific minds, showcasing their talent on an international stage, enabling them to submit their work to judging by doctoral-level scientists. The Intel ISEF is the premier global science competition for students in grades 9–12 and the work submitted is astounding. For example in 2012, Maryland high school sophomore Jack Andraka won the Gordon E. Moore award of $75,000 at the Intel ISEF. At age 15 he had invented an inexpensive but sensitive dipstick-like sensor for the rapid, early detection of pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancers!

Success relies upon a whole community coming together. In many cases the experience of talking with a scientist or engineer who is reviewing a project helps to shape a student’s future research.  For students traveling from other cities or countries, having a friendly face to meet them at the airport or stand by their side to help translate an unfamiliar word or phrase empowers them to present to the best of their ability.  The experience allows you, the volunteer, the opportunity to travel alongside and learn about their efforts and home as well as be part of a tremendous region-wide team that applauds youth initiatives long and loud.  These students will be finding the solutions we may never have even dreamed of and you can help that happen. Your expertise will be especially appreciated on Outreach Day, May 15th. On that day we will guide 5,000 Los Angeles students through a scenario as they apply science skills and content knowledge to determine which lake to protect.  Volunteers will be instrumental in using microscopes, doing water quality analysis and biological surveys.

Other volunteer opportunities include, but are not limited to:

Friday, May 9 from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – bag stuffing for finalists, attendees, outreach participants, teachers and judges (12,500 total)

Saturday, May 10 and Sunday, May 11– Airport greeters at LAX

Sunday, May 11 and Monday, May 12 – Registration

Tuesday, May 13 – Registration in the A.M.

Wednesday, May 14 – Interpreters in over 20 languages (mostly Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Mandarin and Portuguese)

Thursday, May 15, as mentioned above – Outreach Day

All volunteer opportunities are at the Los Angeles Convention Center, unless otherwise stated.  Volunteers will receive a meal for every shift over 4 hours, free parking, a t-shirt, and a certificate.  They will also receive the total number of hours contributed (if desired) and an electronic badge.

The evening of Monday, May 12 is like an Olympics Opening Ceremony.  Each country will have finalists representing them by running up on stage with a poster depicting their country’s highlights.  This is a high-energy show with an audience of about 4,500 people.

Nobel Laureates. Students will have the opportunity to interact with Nobel Laureates on Tuesday during the Excellence in Science and Technology panel from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Volunteers like you, who already have a commitment to education and sciences, are greatly needed! Whether it’s for a 4-hour shift, or for to the entire week, you can help. For more information and/or to sign up, go to:

Volunteer: Click here

Judging: Click here.  More than 1,000 judges are needed in 17 scientific disciplines. Judging is the single most important event of the Intel ISEF for finalists and is, in the words of recent judge, “Judging was one of the most personally challenging, educational and rewarding experiences I have had in some time. These are truly amazing people!” And from another, “I cannot emphasize enough what a fantastic experience this science fair is for students and judges alike.

Video: Click here

Dena Deck is an alumnus of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Teacher at Sea Program, and a CSTA Member.  Sharon Snyder is Manager of International Fairs and Volunteer Recruitment for the Society for Science & the Public

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 Endorses March for Science

Posted: Monday, March 27th, 2017

The California Science Teachers Association (CSTA) stands with our science and science education colleagues in endorsing the March For Science and its associated activities.

The decision by the CSTA Board of Directors to support the March for Science was based on the understanding that this is an opportunity to advocate for our mission of high quality science education for all and to advance the idea that science has application to everyday life, is a vehicle for lifelong learning, and the scientific enterprise expands our knowledge of the world around us. The principles and goals of the March for Science parallel those of CSTA to assume a leadership role in solidarity with our colleagues in science and science education and create an understanding of the value of science in the greater community. CSTA believes that the integrity of the nature of science and that the work of scientists and science educators should be valued and supported. We encourage your participation to stand with us.

There are over 30 satellite marches planned for the April 22, 2017 March for Science in California (to find a march near you, click on “marches” in the upper right of the main page, select “satellite marches” and use the search feature). We encourage members who participate in the March for Science to share their involvement and promotion of science and science education. Feel free to promote CSTA on your signs and banners. For those on social media, you may share your involvement via Twitter, @cascience and our Facebook groups.

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.

California Science Curriculum Framework Now Available

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.

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.

Call for CSTA Awards Nominations

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…

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.

Call for Volunteers – CSTA Committees

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

Volunteer

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…

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.

A Friend in CA Science Education Now at CSTA Region 1 Science Center

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

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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.