September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

The Early Bird Catches the Worm – And Saves Money

Posted: Friday, July 1st, 2011

by Jessica Sawko

The early bird registration deadline for the 2011 California Science Education Conference is just one month away. Registering early has several advantages, not just saving money. By registering early, you get first pick on the most popular Field Courses and Short Courses. Many of these events sell out before the conference and registering early means you won’t be left out come conference time. You can also make your hotel reservations on-line and get your first choice of hotel.

Even if you don’t plan to attend a ticketed event, registering early will save you as much as $25. Your registration includes access to all 175+ workshops, the general sessions, focus speakers, evening events, and the exhibit hall. That is a lot of programming for just $98. Remember, you must be a current CSTA member and register before August 1 to take advantage of this fantastic rate.

If your LEA or school will be helping you pay for your registration, but they will not be able to do so until the fall, not to worry, we will work with you. Register today using your credit card, and we will refund your card when we receive payment from your school in the fall.

Here is just one example of the many engaging and fascinating speakers you can enjoy while attending the conference:

Fuels from Sunlight, Water and Carbon Dioxide: A Thermochemical Approach
Saturday, October 22, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM

Sossina M. Haile, Professor of Materials Science and of Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology

Perhaps the greatest challenge facing our planet is sustainable energy. Remarkably, more energy from sunlight strikes the earth in one hour than all of the energy consumed on the planet in one year. Thus, the challenge modern society faces is not one of identifying a sustainable energy source, but rather one of capitalizing on the vast, yet intermittent, solar resource base. Laboratories around the world are pursuing a variety of promising storage methods for converting solar energy into a reliable energy source for on-demand utilization. We have developed a unique thermochemical approach for converting water and carbon dioxide to storable fuels using the heat of the sun. We describe here the state-of-the-art in this approach and the outstanding challenges.

Sossina M. Haile is Professor of Materials Science and of Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. She earned her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992. As part of her studies, Haile spent two years at the Max Plank Institute for Solid State Research, Stuttgart, Germany, first as a Fulbright Fellow then as a Humboldt Fellow. Before assuming her present position at Caltech in 1996, Haile was a member of the faculty at the University of Washington. Her research broadly encompasses solid state ionic materials and devices, with particular focus on energy technologies and especially fuel cells. Her more recent interests include solar-driven water dissociation (or water splitting) by thermochemical processes. She has published more than 120 articles on these and other topics. In 2007 Haile was named by Newsweek Magazine as one of twelve people ‘to watch’. In 2008 Haile was awarded an American Competitiveness and Innovation (ACI) Fellowship from the National Science Foundation in recognition of her “her timely and transformative research in the energy field and her dedication to inclusive mentoring, education and outreach across many levels.” She is also the recipient of the 2010 Chemical Pioneers Award of the Chemical Heritage Foundation. Her national service includes membership on the National Materials Advisory Board, a committee serving the National Academies of Sciences and of Engineering, from 2005 to 2011.

 

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 Is Now Accepting Nominations for Board Members

Posted: Friday, November 17th, 2017

Current, incoming, and outgoing CSTA Board of Directors at June 3, 2017 meeting.

Updated 7:25 pm, Nov. 17, 2017

It’s that time of year when CSTA is looking for dedicated and qualified persons to fill the upcoming vacancies on its Board of Directors. This opportunity allows you to help shape the policy and determine the path that the Board will take in the new year. There are time and energy commitments, but that is far outweighed by the personal satisfaction of knowing that you are an integral part of an outstanding professional educational organization, dedicated to the support and guidance of California’s science teachers. You will also have the opportunity to help CSTA review and support legislation that benefits good science teaching and teachers.

Right now is an exciting time to be involved at the state level in the California Science Teachers Association. The CSTA Board of Directors is currently involved in implementing the Next Generations Science Standards and its strategic plan. If you are interested in serving on the CSTA Board of Directors, now is the time to submit your name for consideration. 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.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces 2017 Finalists for Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Posted: Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today nominated eight exceptional secondary mathematics and science teachers as California finalists for the 2017 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

“These teachers are dedicated and accomplished individuals whose innovative teaching styles prepare our students for 21st century careers and college and develop them into the designers and inventors of the future,” Torlakson said. “They rank among the finest in their profession and also serve as wonderful mentors and role models.”

The California Department of Education (CDE) partners annually with the California Science Teachers Association and the California Mathematics Council to recruit and select nominees for the PAEMST program—the highest recognition in the nation for a mathematics or science teacher. The Science Finalists will be recognized at the CSTA Awards Luncheon on Saturday, October 14, 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.

Thriving in a Time of Change

Posted: Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

by Jill Grace

By the time this message is posted online, most schools across California will have been in session for at least a month (if not longer, and hat tip to that bunch!). Long enough to get a good sense of who the kids in your classroom are and to get into that groove and momentum of the daily flow of teaching. It’s also very likely that for many of you who weren’t a part of a large grant initiative or in a district that set wheels in motion sooner, this is the first year you will really try to shift instruction to align to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). I’m not going to lie to you, it’s a challenging year – change is hard. Change is even harder when there’s not a playbook to go by.  But as someone who has had the very great privilege of walking alongside teachers going through that change for the past two years and being able to glimpse at what this looks like for different demographics across that state, there are three things I hope you will hold on to. These are things I have come to learn will overshadow the challenge: a growth mindset will get you far, one is a very powerful number, and it’s about the kids. Learn More…

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Written by Jill Grace

Jill Grace

Jill Grace is a Regional Director for the K-12 Alliance and is President of CSTA.

If You Are Not Teaching Science Then You Are Not Teaching Common Core

Posted: Thursday, August 31st, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn 

“Science and Social Studies can be taught for the last half hour of the day on Fridays”

– Elementary school principal

Anyone concerned with the teaching of science in elementary school is keenly aware of the problem of time. Kids need to learn to read, and learning to read takes time, nobody disputes that. So Common Core ELA can seem like the enemy of science. This was a big concern to me as I started looking at the curriculum that my district had adopted for Common Core ELA. I’ve been through those years where teachers are learning a new curriculum, and know first-hand how a new curriculum can become the focus of attention- sucking all the air out of the room. Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

Peter A’Hearn is the Region 4 Director for CSTA.

Tools for Creating NGSS Standards Based Lessons

Posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

by Elizabeth Cooke

Think back on your own experiences with learning science in school. Were you required to memorize disjointed facts without understanding the concepts?

Science Education Background

In the past, science education focused on rote memorization and learning disjointed ideas. Elementary and secondary students in today’s science classes are fortunate now that science instruction has shifted from students demonstrating what they know to students demonstrating how they are able to apply their knowledge. Science education that reflects the Next Generation Science Standards challenges students to conduct investigations. As students explore phenomena and discrepant events they engage in academic discourse guided by focus questions from their teachers or student generated questions of that arise from analyzing data and creating and revising models that explain natural phenomena. Learn More…

Written by Elizabeth Cooke

Elizabeth Cooke

Elizabeth Cooke teaches TK-5 science at Markham Elementary in the Oakland Unified School District, is an NGSS Early Implementer, and is CSTA’s Secretary.