Your CSTA Needs You
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.
by Michelle French
Since the public reviews of the Next Generation Science Standards have come to a close, like many primary teachers, I’ve been wondering what science will look like in kindergarten, first, and second grade classrooms. Learn More…
“SOL Grotto, 2012. 1368 glass tubes, paint. Fabrication: Matarozzi Pelsinger, Rael San Fratello Architects. SOL Grotto is a contemporary take on a grotto or Throeau’s cabin – a spartan retreat that is a space of solitude and close to nature – where one is presented with a mediated experience of water, coolness and light. The SOL Grotto also explores Solyndra’s role as a company S#@t Out of Luck. 1,368 of the 24 million high tech glass tubes destined to be destroyed as a casualty of their bankruptcy, are used in the installation. The tube’s original role as a light concentrating element is extended to transmit cool air into the space via the Venturi effect, to amplify sounds from the adjacent waterfall via the vibrations of the tubes cantilevering over the creek, and to create distorted views of the garden. The form of the electric blue array evokes Plato’s Allegory of the Cave where shadows, light and sounds can call reality into question.”
Responses from Readers:
Peter A’Hearn: Rush hour in little blue circle land.
by Valerie Joyner
Congratulations to CSTA member and STEM Educator, Katherine Schenkelberg, of West High School, in Torrance, CA! Katherine was recently awarded one of the 2013 Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards. An appointed panel of experts selected her for her innovative use of data-collection technology. “The use of data-collection technology in the classroom helps foster students’ interest in STEM education and provides them with engaging, hands-on opportunities for scientific investigation,” said David Vernier, co-founder of Vernier and a former physics teacher. “For ten years Vernier and NSTA have recognized innovative STEM educators through this award and this year’s winners are no exception – their projects and programs truly utilize the power of data-collection technology as part of the teaching and learning process.” Learn More…
by Tim Williamson
Members of the California Science Teachers Association are now in the process of voting for qualified CSTA members to fill the seven openings on the CSTA Board of Directors for the 2013-2015 term.
The election is being conducted electronically and opened for voting on April 16, 2013. Voting will close on May 16, 2013. All CSTA members were sent links to the online ballot. Members for whom we do not have current email addresses or who request a paper ballot have been mailed a ballot and candidate statements. Learn More…