May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Wyland: Merging Art, Science, and Conservation

Posted: Friday, September 30th, 2011

by Dean Gilbert

Two years ago, I had the opportunity to meet marine conservation artist Wyland at an Earth Day event in the San Fernando Valley.  We were both there to celebrate the winners of the Robert Bateman Get to Know Environmental Science Art Contest. After the awards presentation, Wyland and I had lunch and discussed a variety of topics.  I shared my interest in science; he shared his passion for art.  Oddly enough, the topics we discussed were very much similar in nature, no pun intended.

I have always been an admirer of Wyland’s art and how he so elegantly captures the beauty of the marine ecosystem.  We spoke of whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, the kelp forest, and how we both use scuba diving as “down time” – to relax and to take time to appreciate the awesome beauty nature offers.

Wyland and I found a common denominator that not only defines who we are, but also what drives us in our respective professions.  Wyland uses his talent to create masterpieces of the marine creatures that we both admire when exploring the underwater world with our compressed air lifelines.  And I, as a former marine biology teacher, marvel at the diverse taxonomy of marine life, from the simplest cnidarians to the largest mammals, the whales.  Looking through different lenses, we both find unique ways to express our visual perception of marine animals.

Since that initial introduction, I have visited the Wyland studio in Laguna Beach numerous times, and had the opportunity to meet with Wyland and his staff from the Wyland Foundation. Each time we meet, we seem to pick up the conversation where we left off, as if no time has elapsed.

I invited Wyland to be a part of the Los Angeles County Science and Engineering Fair last April.  Experiencing the World through Art & Science became the theme of the Science Fair. The highlight of the three-day event for over 300 students who participated was painting a 40-foot mural alongside Wyland.  It was the perfect fit – the integration of art and science.  Students of all ages grabbed paintbrushes and acrylic paint to express themselves, with Wyland at the helm.  Yes, science students were creatively expressing themselves!  At the day’s close, we had a finished product that would become part of Wyland’s personal collection.

Wyland even stayed late into the evening for the awards ceremony.  He amazed the audience as he created Chinese brush paintings which he auctioned off as a means of fundraising for our non-profit Science Fair organization.

As Co-chair of the upcoming CSTA Annual Conference in Pasadena, I again sought to partner with the Wyland Foundation. I wanted to extend art and science opportunities to my science colleagues. I want them to meet Wyland, witness to his passion for nature, art and science, and to have first-hand experience and hands-on interaction with the Wyland Clean Water Mobile Learning Center. This center is a project of the Wyland Foundation focusing on the preservation and conservation of water.

Wyland’s Mobile Learning Center connects science and art. It is a great location to view Wyland’s phenomenal work up close and to learn about the life stories behind each painting, sculpture, and photograph.

So there you have it.  The world renowned marine conservation artist Wyland is coming to Pasadena to be a part of the CSTA’s California Science Education Conference.  Don’t miss this opportunity to meet Wyland, and hear him speak about his passion for art and the integrated connections between art and science.  Coupled with the other fantastic focus and keynote speakers, workshops, field courses and vendors, the CSTA Conference will prove to be a great professional development experience for everyone.

Wyland’s work will be on display throughout the conference, with affordable prints for purchase and collector pieces for bid at auction as a fundraiser for CSTA.

Dean Gilbert is science consultant with the Los Angeles County Office of Education, is CSTA’s region 3 director, and is co-chair of the 2011 California Science Education Conference Committee.


Written by Dean Gilbert

Dean Gilbert

Dean Gilbert is the science coordinator for the Orange County Department of Education, and a member of CSTA.

Leave a Reply

LATEST POST

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.

2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption Reviewer Application

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

The California Department of Education and State Board of Education are now accepting applications for reviewers for the 2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption. The application deadline is 3:00 pm, July 21, 2017. The application is comprehensive, so don’t wait until the last minute to apply.

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.

Lessons Learned from the NGSS Early Implementer Districts

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

On March 31, 2017, Achieve released two documents examining some lessons learned from the California K-8 Early Implementation Initiative. The initiative began in August 2014 and was developed by the K-12 Alliance at WestEd, with close collaborative input on its design and objectives from the State Board of Education, the California Department of Education, and Achieve.

Eight (8) traditional school districts and two (2) charter management organizations were selected to participate in the initiative, becoming the first districts in California to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Those districts included Galt Joint Union Elementary, Kings Canyon Joint Unified, Lakeside Union, Oakland Unified, Palm Springs Unified, San Diego Unified, Tracy Joint Unified, Vista Unified, Aspire, and High Tech High.

To more closely examine some of the early successes and challenges experienced by the Early Implementer LEAs, Achieve interviewed nine of the ten participating districts and compiled that information into two resources, focusing primarily on professional learning and instructional materials. 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.

Using Online Simulations to Support the NGSS in Middle School Classrooms

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

by Lesley Gates, Loren Nikkel, and Kambria Eastham

Middle school teachers in Kings Canyon Unified School District (KCUSD), a CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative district, have been diligently working on transitioning to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) integrated model for middle school. This year, the teachers focused on building their own knowledge of the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs). They have been gathering and sharing ideas at monthly collaborative meetings as to how to make sure their students are not just learning about science but that they are actually doing science in their classrooms. Students should be planning and carrying out investigations to gather data for analysis in order to construct explanations. This is best done through hands-on lab experiments. Experimental work is such an important part of the learning of science and education research shows that students learn better and retain more when they are active through inquiry, investigation, and application. A Framework for K-12 Science Education (2011) notes, “…learning about science and engineering involves integration of the knowledge of scientific explanations (i.e., content knowledge) and the practices needed to engage in scientific inquiry and engineering design. Thus the framework seeks to illustrate how knowledge and practice must be intertwined in designing learning experiences in K-12 Science Education” (pg. 11).

Many middle school teachers in KCUSD are facing challenges as they begin implementing these student-driven, inquiry-based NGSS science experiences in their classrooms. First, many of the middle school classrooms at our K-8 school sites are not designed as science labs. Learn More…

Powered By DT Author Box

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.

Celestial Highlights: May – July 2017

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

May Through July 2017 with Web Resources for the Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017

by Robert C. Victor. Twilight sky maps by Robert D. Miller. Graphs of planet rising and setting times by Jeffrey L. Hunt.

In spring and summer 2017, Jupiter is the most prominent “star” in the evening sky, and Venus, even brighter, rules the morning. By mid-June, Saturn rises at a convenient evening hour, allowing both giant planets to be viewed well in early evening until Jupiter sinks low in late September. The Moon is always a crescent in its monthly encounters with Venus, but is full whenever it appears near Jupiter or Saturn in the eastern evening sky opposite the Sun. (In 2017, Full Moon is near Jupiter in April, Saturn in June.) At intervals of 27-28 days thereafter, the Moon appears at a progressively earlier phase at each pairing with the outer planet until its final conjunction, with Moon a thin crescent, low in the west at dusk. You’ll see many beautiful events by just following the Moon’s wanderings at dusk and dawn in the three months leading up to the solar eclipse. Learn More…

Powered By DT Author Box

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.