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.
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:
Rick Pomeroy is science education lecturer/supervisor in the School of Education, University of California, Davis and is CSTA’s president.
Posted: Tuesday, March 14th, 2017
The pre-publication version of the new California Science Curriculum Framework is now available for download. This publication incorporates all the edits that were approved by the State Board of Education in November 2016 and was many months in the making. Our sincere thanks to the dozens of CSTA members were involved in its development. Our appreciation is also extended to the California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, the Instructional Quality Commission, and the Science Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee and their staff for their hard work and dedication to produce this document and for their commitment to the public input process. To the many writers and contributors to the Framework CSTA thanks you for your many hours of work to produce a world-class document.
For tips on how to approach this document see our article from December 2016: California Has Adopted a New Science Curriculum Framework – Now What …? If you would like to learn more about the Framework, consider participating in one of the Framework Launch events (a.k.a. Rollout #4) scheduled throughout 2017.
The final publication version (formatted for printing) will be available in July 2017. This document will not be available in printed format, only electronically.
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
The 2017 Award Season is now open! One of the benefits of being a CSTA member is your eligibility for awards as well as your eligibility to nominate someone for an award. CSTA offers several awards and members may nominate individuals and organizations for the Future Science Teacher Award, the prestigious Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award, and the CSTA Distinguished Contributions Award (organizational award). May 9, 2017 is the deadline for nominations for these awards. CSTA believes that the importance of science education cannot be overstated. Given the essential presence of the sciences in understanding the past and planning for the future, science education remains, and will increasingly be one of the most important disciplines in education. CSTA is committed to recognizing and encouraging excellence in science teaching through the presentation of awards to science educators and organizations who have made outstanding contributions in science education in the state and who are poised to continue the momentum of providing high quality, relevant science education into the future. Learn More…
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
CSTA is now accepting applications from regular, preservice, and retired members to serve on our volunteer committees! CSTA’s all-volunteer board of directors invites you to consider maximizing your member experience by volunteering for CSTA. CSTA committee service offers you the opportunity to share your expertise, learn a new skill, or do something you love to do but never have the opportunity to do in your regular day. CSTA committee volunteers do some pretty amazing things: Learn More…
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
by Marian Murphy-Shaw
If you attended an NGSS Rollout phase 1-3 or CDE workshops at CSTA’s annual conference you may recall hearing from Chris Breazeale when he was working with the CDE. Chris has relocated professionally, with his passion for science education, and is now the Executive Director at the Explorit Science Center, a hands-on exploration museum featuring interactive STEM exhibits located at the beautiful Mace Ranch, 3141 5th St. in Davis, CA. Visitors can “think it, try it, and explorit” with a variety of displays that allow visitors to “do science.” To preview the museum, or schedule a classroom visit, see www.explorit.org. Learn More…
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
by Joseph Calmer
Probably like you, NGSS has been at the forefront of many department meetings, lunch conversations, and solitary lesson planning sessions. Despite reading the original NRC Framework, the Ca Draft Frameworks, and many CSTA writings, I am still left with the question: “what does it actually mean for my classroom?”
I had an eye-opening experience that helped me with that question. It came out of a conversation that I had with a student teacher. It turns out that I’ve found the secret to learning how to teach with NGSS: I need to engage in dialogue about teaching with novice teachers. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching science in some capacity for 12 years. During that time pedagogy and student learning become sort of a “hidden curriculum.” It is difficult to plan a lesson for the hidden curriculum; the best way is to just have two or more professionals talk and see what emerges. I was surprised it took me so long to realize this epiphany. Learn More…