May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Where Will You Be in December?

Posted: Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

by Laura Henriques

I sure hope you answered that question with an enthusiastic “I’ll be in Long Beach for the conference” sort of response!

Come join your science education colleagues for three to four days of professional learning. The conference, hosted by NSTA with some input from CSTA, will take place on December 4-6. With a couple hundred workshops, lectures, short courses and field trips, this is the place to be! You can peruse the schedule on-line and get a sense of some of the outstanding sessions awaiting you. The keynote speakers will address a range of topics that include linkages between science and Common Core ELA, STEM, and science education moving forward. (Go online today to verify your membership or join CSTA today – CSTA members can register for the conference at the NSTA Affiliate Member rate and save $90 on their registration!)

  • Julie Scardina Naturalist, Author, SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Ambassador is the conference’s keynote speaker at the General Session. She’ll have some animal ambassadors on hand with her.
  • Myrna Perez Sheldon, a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Rice University, Houston, Texas will talk about Using the Past to Take Science Education into the Future.
  • Arthur Beauchamp, Interim Director of the Sacramento Area Science Project and Senior Director of Professional Learning Systems, School of Education, University of California–Davis, is well known in California and is a long-time member of CSTA. He’ll be talking about The Central Role of Dialogue in the Sense-Making Classroom.
  • Another California/CSTA notable, Nancy Taylor, Principal Investigator, Exploring STEM Careers at San Diego State University, will be talking about STEM the New Normal! Really When Did That Happen?

Conference Field Trips cover a wide range of topics and interests. There will be six events offered during the conference, with two additional trips are offered as pre-conference trips. All field trips are ticketed events and have limited space available.

  • Journey into Space at the Columbia Memorial Space Center Thursday, December 4, 8:00 AM–1:15 PM
  • Up Close and Personal with Ocean Critters: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium Thursday, December 4, 12 Noon–5:15 PM
  • The Science in Your Beer: Chemistry, Microbiology, and Sensory Analysis at Smog City Brewing Company Thursday, December 4, 12:30–5:10 PM
  • Looking to the Future: Visiting the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the Endeavour Space Shuttle Friday, December 5, 8:00 AM–1:00 PM
  • Wet and Wild Adventures with the Southern California Marine Institute Friday, December 5, 8:00 AM–1:00 PM
  • Slip-Sliding Away: A Palos Verdes Geology Tour Friday, December 5, 12 Noon–5:00 PM

In addition to the events at the conference, CSTA is hosting four events that merit your attention.

The CSTA Annual Meeting of the Membership will occur on Thursday afternoon, 3:15-4:30. At this session, CSTA will honor the CSTA Award recipients and the California State Finalists and Awardee of the Presidential Awards for Excellence and Math and Science Teaching, and conduct its brief annual meeting. Following that, Stephen Pruitt, Sr. Vice President at Achieve, will be sharing the latest resources to help us implement and understand NGSS. His talk, entitled Using the Tools of the NGSS to Support Quality Science Instruction, promises to be timely and readily useful.

©Photo courtesy of the Aquarium of the Pacific. All rights reserved.

Thursday evening CSTA and the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific are hosting an event for conference attendees. The aquarium will be the venue for an evening with the fish, interesting science and science education mini-lectures, and an NGSS & Engineering Lesson Showcase. This is a ticketed event and includes light hors d’oeuvres and one drink ticket. The evening is generously sponsored by Chevron. CSTA Members will get an e-mail soon about submitting proposals to be part of the NGSS & Engineering Lesson Showcase.

As if 200 workshops, lectures, and the evening at the aquarium isn’t enough, you can arrive in Long Beach a day early to participate in one of two all-day field trips! CSTA has arranged opportunities for you to spend a day of geoscience on the San Andreas Fault or a day doing marine biology at Catalina Island. Tickets for these field trips are available now.

Talk to your school and district administrators! Do what you need to do in order to be in Long Beach. The conference strands address NGSS, science and Common Core, and STEM education. You will learn timely, useful information and strategies which will inform your practice.

See you in Long Beach! Conference registration is open now with early bird rates until October 24.

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Written by Laura Henriques

Laura Henriques

Laura Henriques is a professor of science education at CSU Long Beach and past-president of CSTA. She serves as chair of CSTA’s Nominating Committee and is a co-chair of the NGSS Committee.

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Participate in Chemistry Education Research Study, Earn $500-800 Dollars!

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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Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

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On Tuesday, May 9, 2017, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson forwarded this recruitment letter to county and district superintendents and charter school administrators.

Review panel members will evaluate instructional materials for use in kindergarten through grade eight, inclusive, that are aligned with the California Next Generation Science Content Standards for California Public Schools (CA NGSS). 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.

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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.