The School Year Is Quickly Approaching!
Posted: Thursday, August 1st, 2013
by Jeanine Wulfenstein
The summer has gone by quickly and soon classrooms across Region 4 will be bustling with energy and excitement in preparation for the upcoming 2013-2014 school year. With the onset of the new school year, there are new opportunities for personal and professional growth. For example, much has transpired over the summer with the state board discussion regarding the proposed adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards for California. As it now stands, the dialog will continue into at least September. This will allow for exciting and robust discussion forums (Pasadena and Orange County) and increased staff development opportunities in the months to come.
Additional upcoming opportunities in the region include:
- 8/8/13 Common Core Technology Tools in 6-12 ELA and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects. Offered by the Orange County Office of Education. For more information visit http://ocde.k12oms.org/eventdetail.php?id=70776
- 9/4/13 Innovation Fun Fair at Bayview Innovation Prep. Hands on games, activities and demonstrations showcasing student learning will shared. Offered by the San Diego County Office of Education. For more information visit http://www.sdcoe.net/news/Pages/Innovation-Fun-Fair-Shares-STEM-Fun-with-Families.aspx
- 9/18/13 Implementing the Common Core Standards in the High School Science Classroom. Offered by the Riverside County Office of Education. For more information visit http://rcoe.k12oms.org/eventdetail.php?id=69043
- 9/14/13 Fall Science Teacher Symposium. Discussion topics will include Science Content Standards, NGSS, Classroom management and safety, Common Core and science connections, and universal access to the curriculum. Offered by the Orange County Office of Education. For more information visit http://ocde.k12oms.org/eventdetail.php?id=74105
- 10/2/13 Science Safety in the Classroom for K-12. Offered by the Orange County Office of Education. For more information visit http://ocde.k12oms.org/eventdetail.php?id=73539
Many teachers took advantage of variety of summer offerings across the region. Teachers in Riverside County (RCOE) had the opportunity to attend a summer Leadership Institute for Science Education. The three-day institute, held from July 30th until August 1st focused on training the next generation of science leaders across the county in effective instructional practices based on the National Research Council framework. Discussions included the topics of crosscutting concepts, disciplinary core ideas, and best scientific and engineering practices.
In June, Mt. San Jacinto College offered free environmental literacy training for 20 teachers. The program, funded by a Career Tech Ed grant, gave teachers the chance to experience hands-on environmental curricula to use with middle and high school students. This learning experience will benefit scores of students across the region this year and in years to come.
Posted: Wednesday, October 12th, 2016
by Jessica Sawko
In June 2016 California submitted a waiver application to discontinue using the old CST (based on 1998 standards) and conduct two years of pilot and field tests (in spring 2017 and 2018, respectively) of the new science assessment designed to support our state’s current science standards (California Next Generation Science Standards (CA-NGSS) adopted in 2013). The waiver was requested because no student scores will be provided as a part of the pilot and field tests. The CDE received a response from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on September 30, 2016, which provides the CDE the opportunity to resubmit a revised waiver request within 60 days. The CDE will be revising the waiver request and resubmitting as ED suggested.
At its October 2016 North/South Assessment meetings CDE confirmed that there will be no administration of the old CST in the spring of 2017. (An archive of the meeting is available at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ai/infomeeting.asp.) Learn More…
Posted: Thursday, September 22nd, 2016
by Carol Peterson
1) To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, Google has put together a collection of virtual tours combining 360-degree video, panoramic photos and expert narration. It’s called “The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks” and is accessible right from the browser. You can choose from one of five different locales, including the Kenai Fjords in Alaska and Bryce Canyon in Utah, and get a guided “tour” from a local park ranger. Each one has a few virtual vistas to explore, with documentary-style voiceovers and extra media hidden behind clickable thumbnails. Ideas are included for use in classrooms. https://www.engadget.com/2016/08/25/google-offers-360-degree-tours-of-us-national-parks/. Learn More…
Posted: Thursday, September 22nd, 2016
CSTA is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 CSTA Awards for Distinguished Contributions, Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award, 2014 and 2015 PAEMST-Science recipients from California, and the 2016 California PAEMST Finalists. The following individuals and organizations will be honored during the 2016 California Science Education Conference on October 21- 23 in Palm Springs. This year’s group of awardees are truly outstanding. Please join us in congratulating them!
Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award
The Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award honors an individual who has made a significant contribution to science education in the state and who, through years of leadership and service, has truly made a positive impact on the quality of science teaching. This year’s recipient is John Keller, Ph.D. Dr. Keller is Associate Professor, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Co-Director, Center for Engineering, Science, and Mathematics Education, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. In her letter of recommendation, SDSU science education faculty and former CSTA board member Donna Ross wrote: “He brings people together who share the desire to make a difference in the development and implementation of programs for science teaching. Examples of these projects include the Math and Science Teaching Initiative (MSTI), Noyce Scholars Program, Western Regional Noyce Initiative, and the Science Teacher and Researcher (STAR) program.” Through his work, he has had a dramatic impact on science teacher education, both preservice and in-service, in California, the region, and the country. He developed and implemented the STEM Teacher and Researcher Program which aims to produce excellent K-12 STEM teachers by providing aspiring teachers with opportunities to do authentic research while helping them translate their research experience into classroom practice. SFSU faculty member Larry Horvath said it best in his letter:“John Keller exemplifies the best aspects of a scientist, science educator, and mentor. His contributions to science education in the state of California are varied, significant, and I am sure will continue well into the future.” Learn More…
Posted: Tuesday, September 20th, 2016
by Peter A’hearn
NGSS is a big shift. Teachers need to learn new content, figure out how this whole engineering thing relates to science, and develop new unit and lesson plans. How could NGSS possibly make life easier?
The idea that NGSS could make our lives easier came to me during the California State NGSS Rollout #1 Classroom Example lesson on chromatography. I have since done this lesson with high school chemistry students and it made me think back to having my own students do chromatography. I spent lots of time preparing to make sure the experiment went well and achieved the “correct” result. I pre-prepared the solutions and organized and prepped the materials. I re-wrote and re-wrote again the procedure so there was no way a kid could get it wrong. I spent 20 minutes before the lab modeling all of the steps in class, so there was no way to do it wrong. Except that it turns out there were many. Learn More…
Posted: Tuesday, September 20th, 2016
by Robert C. Victor. Twilight sky maps by Robert D. Miller. Graph of evening planet setting times by Dr. Jeffrey L. Hunt
Our evening twilight chart for September, depicting the sky about 40 minutes after sunset from SoCal, shows brilliant Venus remaining low, creeping from W to WSW and gaining a little altitude as the month progresses. Its close encounter within 2.5° N of Spica on Sept. 18 is best seen with binoculars to catch the star low in bright twilight. The brightest stars in the evening sky are golden Arcturus descending in the west, and blue-white Vega passing just north of overhead. Look for Altair and Deneb completing the Summer Triangle with Vega. The triangle of Mars-Saturn-Antares expands as Mars seems to hold nearly stationary in SSW as the month progresses, while Saturn and Antares slink off to the SW. Learn More…