May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

The Happiest Place on Earth Welcomes CSTA Members!

Posted: Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

by Lisa Hegdahl

Lab materials are safely stored, textbooks are neatly shelved, counters are completely cleared, and the last of your students have left campus.  The classroom seems uncharacteristically quiet as you pick up your personal belongings and head to your car for the final time this school year.  Summer vacation!  Here at last!  And although you know that some of your summer will be spent preparing for the next school year, you also know you need some personal time to refresh and recharge.

Thankfully, you are a proud member of the California Science Teachers Association!  While you are aware of all the work CSTA does to serve science educators across the state, you also know that CSTA realizes how hard you work for your students.  So, beginning in January 2014, members of CSTA not only get all the benefits that help to promote quality science education, but members also enjoy discounts at Disneyland… The Happiest Place on Earth!

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Discount Information:

  • Access discounted tickets to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park.
  • Ticket prices with a slash through them are the regularly priced tickets, and the discounted price shows below the regular price.
  • These special savings are for members only, but can be used to purchase tickets for family and friends. The limit is eight tickets per order.
  • Note: This discount offer only applies to Disneyland Resort that is located in Southern California, and not to Walt Disney World in Florida.

(Visit the Members Only Discount page for the link to purchase tickets online.)

While making your travel arrangements to Disneyland, or other destinations this summer, don’t forget that CSTA also offers discounts at AVIS/Budget Rental Car:

  • Up to 25% off promotional rates.
  • Convenient airport locations.
  • Where2TM GPS – State-of-the-art GPS system that guides through every mile of your trip, giving you clear, simple directions, real-time road conditions and much more.
  • Time saving services, like Avis Preferred Service, e-Receipt and Roving Rapid Return.
  • Avis e-Receipt – Within 24 hours of returning your vehicle, you’ll have your Avis receipt e-mailed to you, free of charge. It’s a convenient way to avoid lost receipts, complete expense reports, and save time when returning your car.
  • Complimentary Preferred® Service enrollment – A fast and easy counter bypass program with added benefits and special amenities, such as the best parking spots and more vehicles.
  • Available at participating locations.

(Visit the Members Only Discount page for the discount codes.)

The California Science Teachers Association would like to thank you for your membership. Without your support, we could not have accomplished all we have during these past 50 years. We would also like to thank you for all you do for your students every day of the school year.  We wish you a restful summer break.

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Written by Lisa Hegdahl

Lisa Hegdahl

Lisa Hegdahl is an 8th-grade science teacher at McCaffrey Middle School in Galt, CA and is Past-President of CSTA.

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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.

Teaching Science in the Time of Alternative Facts – Why NGSS Can Help (somewhat)

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn

The father of one of my students gave me a book: In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood by Walt Brown, Ph. D. He had heard that I was teaching Plate Tectonics and wanted me to consider another perspective. The book offered the idea that the evidence for plate tectonics could be better understood if we considered the idea that beneath the continent of Pangaea was a huge underground layer of water that suddenly burst forth from a rift between the now continents of Africa and South America. The waters shot up and the continents hydroplaned apart on the water layer to their current positions. The force of the movement pushed up great mountain ranges which are still settling to this day, resulting in earthquakes along the margins of continents. This had happened about 6,000 years ago and created a great worldwide flood. Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

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