May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

What’s Up Region 2 aka Bay Area?!

Posted: Friday, December 11th, 2015

by Minda Berbeco

As we get towards the end of the year, many of you might be getting ready for a winter break. But we here at CSTA headquarters never rest! We are constantly thinking about the next awesome thing that we can connect you with – and as the year comes to an end and we start to think about the next year, there is a lot to share!

So, what is going on? Well, a lot!

First, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about two really cool programs that the organization I work for, the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), is having for educators – in Region 2 (Bay area) and out! The first program is getting early career scientists into classrooms called (surprise, surprise) Scientist in the Classroom. Piloted this fall, we had some amazing success playing matchmakers to scientists and teachers to bring the scientists to come into the classroom to talk about climate change and evolution. This spring we are rolling the program out fully. Also, NCSE is going to be sponsoring two teachers to head down the Grand Canyon with us this summer – all expenses paid. It’s a wild trip (literally) on the river, and an amazing opportunity. Check out http://ncseteach.com/index.php/news/ to find out more.

Okay, enough about NCSE – you are probably wanting to know about cool things coming up right here in the Bay Area. And there is a lot!

The Council for Math/Science Educators of San Mateo County is having its annual STEM conference on February 6, 2016. I went last year to represent CSTA and learned about ocean acidification from the Aquarium of the Bay, among other things. It was an awesome professional development opportunity – small enough to have real conversations with presenters, but large enough to have a good mix of people there and topics covered. Early registration is only $40!

But, maybe you are not interested in professional development…maybe you want something more fun? What about a FUNgus Fair at Golden Gate Park? Want to see the Wizard of Electricity? How about a midnight meteor shower?

There is a lot going on in the bay this winter – I hope to see you there!

Minda Berbeco is the Programs and Policy Director at the National Center for Science Education and is CSTA’s Region 2 Director.

Written by Minda Berbeco

Minda Berbeco

Minda Berbeco is the Programs and Policy Director at the National Center for Science Education and is CSTA’s Region 2 Director.

One Response

  1. Minda, thanks for sharing about the STEM Conference.
    The 2016 STEM Conference marks the 40th Annual!
    Saturday, February 6th at the San Mateo County Office of Education
    http://cmsesmc.org/events/stem-conference.html

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Posted: Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

WestEd, a non-profit educational research agency, has been funded by the US Department of Education to test a new molecular modeling kit, Happy Atoms. Happy Atoms is an interactive chemistry learning experience that consists of a set of physical atoms that connect magnetically to form molecules, and an app that uses image recognition to identify the molecules that you create with the set. WestEd is conducting a study around the effectiveness of using Happy Atoms in the classroom, and we are looking for high school chemistry teachers in California to participate.

As part of the study, teachers will be randomly assigned to either the treatment group (who uses Happy Atoms) or the control group (who uses Happy Atoms at a later date). Teachers in the treatment group will be asked to use the Happy Atoms set in their classrooms for 5 lessons over the course of the fall 2017 semester. Students will complete pre- and post-assessments and surveys around their chemistry content knowledge and beliefs about learning chemistry. WestEd will provide access to all teacher materials, teacher training, and student materials needed to participate.

Participating teachers will receive a stipend of $500-800. You can read more information about the study here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HappyAtoms

Please contact Rosanne Luu at rluu@wested.org or 650.381.6432 if you are interested in participating in this opportunity, or if you have any questions!

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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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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Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

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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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Written by NGSS Early Implementer

NGSS Early Implementer

In 2015 CSTA began to publish a series of articles written by teachers participating in the NGSS 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.

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Written by Robert Victor

Robert Victor

Robert C. Victor was Staff Astronomer at Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University. He is now retired and enjoys providing skywatching opportunities for school children in and around Palm Springs, CA. Robert is a member of CSTA.