January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

Thank You and Farewell

Posted: Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

by Tim Williamson

It’s hard to believe that two years have gone by so quickly!  As my presidency comes to a close, I would like to reflect on a few of the challenging issues that we have faced, and say thank you to some wonderful people who have helped me along this fast-paced, ever-changing, and incredible journey.

Unfortunately, as most of you know, the downturn of the economy did not spare us. As a result, CSTA has gone through some structural and financial transitions over the past two years. With the help of our experienced and knowledgeable executive director, Christine Bertrand, your CSTA Board of Directors took on the difficult task of balancing our budget during these severe economic times.  We carefully examined our income and expenditures and made some serious decisions that allowed us to balance-out the budget during these trying times.  After a complete overhaul of our publications structure, going all electronic, we were able to eliminate a big part of our expenditures. We also decided to restructure our administrative staff, again to save some money and bring our budget more in-line with our income. This task was made much less difficult by the unfortunate, yet anticipated, retirement of our wonderful executive director of 15 years, Christine Bertrand.  A very dedicated and effective search/transition committee consisting of Rick Pomeroy, Dean Gilbert, Meg Burke, Christine Bertrand, and me began this restructuring process by discussing the pros and cons of reducing number of office staff personnel. It was decided to eliminate an office position and promote our existing staff members. Jessica Sawko was promoted to the executive director position and Connie Morrill was promoted to manager of programs and membership.  There were many other “belt tightening”, cost saving measures, all resulting in a balanced budget with our reserves remaining at required percentages. I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to Christine, Jessica, Connie, my search/transition committee, and all of the board members for their contributions in keeping the California Science Teacher’s Association strong and financially viable. We couldn’t have done it without everyone’s cooperation.

The members of CSTA’s Board of Directors are some of the most hard-working and dedicated people I have ever had the privilege to work with. These people are volunteers and receive no compensation for their hard work. I would personally like to thank them all for their time, expertise and thorough work ethic. This group is the machine that makes things happen for you, the CSTA members.

Our CSTA office staff, consisting of Jessica Sawko, Executive Director and Connie Morrill, Manager of Programs and Membership, is the backbone of our organization. They quickly adapted to their new positions and made what could have been a very difficult transition a very smooth one. A huge thank you to both of them for putting up with my bothersome phone calls and incessant emails. We are so lucky to have you both!

And finally, my heartfelt thanks to you, the CSTA members. Your continued support through your dues, conference attendance, volunteering, and outstanding science teaching to California’s youth helps keep the California Science Teacher’s Association one of the finest, effective, and influential state content associations in the US.

So, as of July 1, 2011, I pass the torch to Rick Pomeroy. His tenacity, determination, and just plain old hard work will allow CSTA to continue to thrive, even during these difficult economic times. Have a wonderful summer break and enjoy some well deserved R&R. You’ve earned it!

Written by Tim Williamson

Tim Williamson is a science methods instructor at CSU Long Beach and is a member and past-president of CSTA.

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LATEST POST

STEM Conference Hosted by CMSESMC

Posted: Saturday, January 14th, 2017

The Council of Math/Science Educators of San Mateo County will be hosting the 41st annual STEM Conference this February 4, 2017 at the San Mateo County Office of Education. This STEM Conference is the place to get lots of new lessons and ideas to use in your classroom. There will be over twenty-five workshops and a variety of exhibitors that provide participants with a wide range of practical and realistic ideas and resources to use in their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs from Pre-K to grade 12. With California’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, we are dedicated to ensuring that we prepare our teachers to take on these educational policies.

Teachers, administrators, and parents are invited to explore the many exciting aspects of STEM education and learn about and discuss the latest news, information, and issues. This is also an opportunity to network with colleagues who can assist you in building your programs and meet new friends that share your interests and love of teaching. Register online today!

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.

Submit Your NGSS Lessons and Units Today!

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

Achieve has launched and is facilitating an EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science–a group of expert reviewers who will evaluate the quality and alignment of lessons and units to the standards–in an effort to identify and shine a spotlight on emerging high-quality lesson and unit plans designed for the NGSS.

If you or your state, district, school, or organization has designed NGSS-aligned instructional materials, please consider submitting these in order to help provide educators across the country with various models and templates of high-quality lesson and unit plans. 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.

Opportunity for High School Students – Los Angeles County

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

An upcoming Perry Outreach Program on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children in Los Angeles, CA. The Perry Outreach Program is a free, one-day, hands-on experience for high school and college-aged women who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine and engineering. Students will hear from women leaders in these fields and try it for themselves by performing mock orthopaedic surgeries and biomechanics experiments. 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.

Science Education Policy Update

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

January 2017 has proven to be a very busy month for science education policy and CA NGSS implementation activities. CSTA has been and will be there every step of the way, seeking and enacting all options to support high-quality science education and the successful implementation of CA NGSS.

California Department of Education/U.S. Department of Education Science Double-Testing Waiver Hearing

The year started with California Department of Education’s (CDE) hearing with the U.S. Department of Education conducted via WebEx on January 6, 2017. This hearing was the final step in California’s efforts to secure a waiver from the federal government in order to discontinue administration of the old CST and suspension of the reporting of student test scores on a science assessment for two years. As reported by EdSource, the U.S. Department of Education representative, Ann Whalen, a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary John King Jr., committed to making her final ruling “very shortly.” Deputy Superintendent Keric Ashley presented on behalf of CDE during the hearing and did an excellent job describing the broad-based support for this waiver in California, the rationale for the waiver, and California’s commitment to the successful implementation of a new high-quality science assessment. As previously reported, California is moving forward with its plans to administer a census pilot assessments this spring. The testing window is set to open on March 20, 2017. For more information visit New CA Science Test: What You Should Know.

Learn More…

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.

NSTA Los Angeles Conference Features Many CA Science Leaders

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

The early-bird registration rates for the 65th NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Los Angeles is just days away (ends Feb. 3). And as the early-registration deadline approaches excitement is building for what is anticipated to be the largest gathering of science educators (both California and nationwide) – with attendance expected to reach 10,000 or more. If you have never had the pleasure of attending the NSTA National Conference, I recommend you visit their website with tips for newcomers that describe the various components of the event. A conference preview is also available for download. Learn More…

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.