May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Your CSTA Needs You

Posted: Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

by Rick Pomeroy

As I begin to conclude my first year as your president, I have come to realize that running this Association takes a tremendous amount of effort and time from the professional staff in the office, the Board of Directors, the Conference Committee Members, and the CSTA members who have volunteered to assist these people with the day to day operation of CSTA. Unfortunately, we do not have as many volunteer members working on CSTA committees as we would like. This, in large part, has to do with our lack of outreach efforts to our members for this type of support. Starting with this article and the Survey  Form linked to this article, I hope to change this for next year and well into the future.

We are missing the voices of the majority of the members. In order to make a professional association work, the members need to be involved. As any of us who have ever participated in a volunteer organization know, it is not healthy for the organization nor the members to have a select few volunteers doing all of the decision-making and implementation of those decisions. As we move into these coming years of new standards, new assessments, and changes in the role of science in the core curriculum, it is important to have members involved at all levels.

I would like to encourage you to give a little bit of your time to the Association as it works on your behalf by serving on one of our standing committees. This is the easiest way to test the waters of being involved in your Association leadership. Committees meet (usually by teleconference call) when there are issues that need to be dealt with. Their decisions are then carried to the Board of Directors for action. The committee then organizes and implements the Board’s recommendations. Committee members represent the interests and needs of the members and contribute their voices to the conversations that guide Association decisions. In the past, committees have met infrequently (less than 5-6 times a year) but their input has been substantial and valued.

Please review the brief committee descriptions below and go to the Survey Form to indicate your interest in participating on a committee. To serve on a CSTA committee, a person needs to be a current member of CSTA, have the willingness to help, and be formally appointed by the President.

CSTA Committees:

Finance Committee: In collaboration with the Executive Director, develops the annual budget, monitor’s income and expenditures, and makes recommendations to the Board on issues related to the financial health of the Association.

Legislative Oversight Committee: Monitors current and proposed legislation, develops recommended responses for the Board, President, and Executive Director, and assists in informing the CSTA Membership on legislative issues that pertain to science education in California. If available, members may be called on to speak to proposed legislation at information meetings or hearings using the Board approved position statements.

Membership, Pre-service, & Marketing Committee: Monitors Association membership and works with the Board and professional staff to engage members in the Association. Develops strategies to increase the number of members through outreach to pre-service and new teachers as well as previous or non-current members. Develops plans to provide value for Association membership to CSTA members and communicates these opportunities to members.

Publications and Materials Review Committee: Over sees and assists in the creation, editing, and publication of the Association’s electronic newsletter, California Classroom Science (CCS) and other publications of the Association.

Electronic Communications Committee: Develops, monitors, and participates in all phases of the Associations electronic communications media including but not limited to email, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, RSS feeds, and other media as appropriate. Members of this committee assist in the maintenance of the electronic contact information for members.

2013 Conference Committee: Participates in the planning and implementation of the 2013 California Science Education Conference (to be held in Palm Springs, October 24-27, 2013). Members of this committee assist in the identification and solicitation of speakers, assist in the review of conference short courses and workshop proposals, and assist on site with logistical tasks. This committee holds 2-3 on site meetings, in August, November, and February. Costs for travel to these planning meetings may be supported by CSTA. Members from the Palm Springs area are encouraged to apply.

Ad hoc NSTA Relations Committee: The major focus of this committee is to open communications with NSTA on plans for their 2014 Regional Conference and their 2017 National Conference, both of which are proposed for California venues.

Ad hoc Long Term Planning Committee: Analyzes data from past Association activities and proposes strategies to maximize return on investment in the future. Topics addressed by this committee will likely include conference and membership issues.

Ad hoc NGSS Committee: Monitors the process for the development and review of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and any new science standards proposed for California, develops and recommends strategies to support adoption, implementation, and professional development focused on these standards and the subsequent framework development and adoption process.

There are clearly many opportunities for you be involved in CSTA. There is a lot of work to be done, and we need your help to do it. Please visit the Survey Form and provide information about the committees or other areas where you would like to volunteer for your Association. This information will only be used for CSTA purposes.

Access the survey form with the links above or by entering the following url directly into your browser:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dDB4d1BINWVzcmtmb2NqOXBSQUp1MVE6MQ#gid=0.

Rick Pomeroy is science education lecturer/supervisor in the School of Education, University of California, Davis and is CSTA’s president.

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Written by Rick Pomeroy

Rick Pomeroy

Rick Pomeroy is science education lecturer/supervisor in the School of Education, University of California Davis.

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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!

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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

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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.

Lessons Learned from the NGSS Early Implementer Districts

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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Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

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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.

Celestial Highlights: May – July 2017

Posted: Monday, May 8th, 2017

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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.