If these words are underlined, click here.
November 19, 2014
High School Science Newsletter #8

October 29th was a monumental day in San Francisco for two equally exciting reasons:

  1. The Giants out-scored the Royals in game 7 of the World Series, clinching the championship for the third time in five years.
  2. The Secondary Science Response and Development (R&D) group convened for the first of five times during this school year, marking the beginning of SFUSD’s NGSS implementation work. 
While even we have to agree that these events were not equally exciting, the R&D work was notable and we are excited to share the work with you in this edition of the Spotlight. The R&D group is made of 40 sixth-twelfth grade teachers who applied for the position and represent a variety of schools across the District. These teachers bring to our implementation work a wealth of knowledge about science content and pedagogy and a diverse set of experiences.
Together with the Secondary Science Team at Curriculum and Instruction, the R&D teachers will spend this year engaging in deep learning about the NGSS and A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Additionally, they will be assessing and analyzing the current state of science education in SFUSD. Throughout our time together this school year, the R&D group will be applying their learning to make recommendations regarding the implementation of the NGSS, including the following:
For Middle School
- course sequence of standards, bundled into potential units

For High School
- course progression for grades 9, 10, 11
- placement of the Earth and Space Science standards, if they must be integrated
- course sequences for grades 9, 10 and 11
Our NGSS implementation work at the secondary level will help to inform the implementation for grades K-5 in the following years. We encourage teachers, administrators, community members, parents, and all other stakeholders to follow along with our R&D work by visiting our website. On this site you will find:

We hope to see you there. Go Giants! And go NGSS!


The SFUSD Science Safety Bulletins have been published in response to questions and comments that we received during the Safety Training Workshop during the Secondary Science PD Day on August 14, 2014. The Bulletins were generated by SFUSD's Office of Risk Management and include accurate information regarding the following topics:

Please keep a copy of these files for your records and review them as a science department. In addition to this newsletter, the bulletins can be found on our SFUSD Science website, We will continue to provide additional bulletins around safety in the science classroom as the need arises. We welcome your questions and concerns. For questions, please contact Bonnie Daley (Middle Grades) or Katie Tobin (High School).


Free and Compensated
  • Grants Galore! Tons of opportunities to get funding for your classroom or your professional development:
    • Air Force Association Educator Grant: up to $250 to support innovative aerospace activities. Apply here by Wednesday 11/19.
    • Annie's Grants for Gardens: parents, school staff, or afterschool program directors can apply for funds for starting ($500) or upgrading ($1500) your school garden. Apply here by 12/2 at 11:59pm PST or use them to help fundraise.
    • Youth Garden Grants: $500 gift certificates, raised beds and more for schools or youth programs. Apply here by Friday, 12/5.
    • ACS-Hach PD Grant: HS chemistry teachers can request up to $1500 for their own professional development. Apply here by Monday, 12/15.
    • NSTA's Shell Science Lab Challenge: up to $93,000 for 18 schools to makeover their science labs. Apply here by Thursday, 12/19.
    • Herb Society Grant: up to $5000 for supplies, materials, & consumable products to enhance a garden with herbs. Apply here by Wednesday, 12/31.
  • Fostering the Sense of Wonder: Using Exploration to Teach Scientific Practices and Principles: How can we foster the sense of wonder and love of learning in our students? Discover innovative strategies to use exploration and student driven learning to not only inspire life-long learning but to build meaningful and engaging science lessons. Aquarium of the Bay thanks the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation for their support of this workshop. Please note: There will be two sessions of the same workshop, so please select the date and location that work best for you. This workshop is most appropriate for elementary school teachers, but is also open to secondary teachers, school support staff, and informal educators. The first 20 participants who sign up for each respective date will receive a stipend. RSVP here. This workshop will be available:
    • Thursday, Nov 20, 4:30-7:30pm at Aquarium of the Bay
  • Teachers- Nominate your 11th grade students for the SEP High School Intern Program at UCSF! The High School Intern Program is a paid summer internship that provides SFUSD high school juniors the opportunity to conduct biomedical research at UCSF with a scientist mentor. This is a great chance for students to learn valuable lab skills and science content, learn about careers in the sciences, and build an in-depth relationship with a mentor. This program also helps students learn about the college-going process. Application deadline: 12/5/14. More information & to apply.
  • Inspiring the Next Generation of Scientists Through Our Local Waters.  Water is essential to all living things, connecting everything on Earth, and is a common thread that flows through all disciplines of science. With Aquarium of the Bay, delve into the NGSS and local aquatic ecosystems, and explore ways to integrate these two powerful tools to foster science learning in your classroom. There is a stipend. More information & registrationThis workshop is offered:
    • Tuesday, December 9 from 5-8pm: Aquarium of the Bay’s Bay Theater
    • Tuesday, January 19 from 4:30-7:30pm, at the Meeting Room of the Richmond Branch of the San Francisco Public Library
  • BioLink Depot Supply Giveaway: The CCSF BioLink Depot is having an open house to give away truckloads of materials donated by local science & technology companies. Registration & rules here and directions hereSaturday, December 13, 10am-2pm.
  • Teacher Workshops at the Cal Academy: Information & registration for all workshops here. $15 for most workshops. More workshops on the website
    • (K-12) Intro to the NGSS: Sat, Jan 24, 9am-3pm OR Sat Feb 28, 9am-3pm
    • (6-12) Infographics: Using Data Visualization: Sat, Jan 31, 9am-3pm
    • (K-12) Unlocking the NGSS Practices: Saturdays, March 7 & 21, 9am-3pm
  • Exploratorium's Third Annual NGSS STEM Conference: Infusing Art into STEM crafting a STEAM curriculum. 8 sessions options, led by the Teacher Institute staff, from painting with light to making musical instruments. Participants will be able to attend three sessions, have breakfast & lunch provided, and leave with a goodie bag that includes a flash drive pre-loaded with content from all the workshops. $48.47 with the option to purchase a CEU. Register hereSaturday, November 22, 9am-4:30pm.
  • Apply to Girls Who Code’s 2015 Summer Immersion Programs! Girls Who Code is looking for 10th and 11th grade girls who are interested in a life-changing summer opportunity. Our Summer Immersion Program is an innovative approach to computer science education, where you’ll get instruction in robotics, web design and mobile development as well as mentorship and exposure to the industry led by top female entrepreneurs and engineers. No previous computer science experience required! Fill out our interest form to get more information.  Informational flyer
  • Stanford Medicine Program for High School Students: The SSTEM program is designed to give students an opportunity to explore the medical profession and consists of 4 Saturdays; each day introduces students to four different specialties: primary care, general surgery, ophthalmology, and cardiology. Each day will include breakfast, an opening activity, health professional-led presentations, and 2-3 hands-on activities led by Stanford medical students. Students will get opportunities to suture, learn surgical knot tying, perform CPR on manikins, and dissect sheep hearts and cow eyes. In addition, students will also get an opportunity to visit Stanford for a session in the anatomy lab and a tour of the campus. We particularly encourage students from low income and underrepresented groups to consider applying. Participation is free of charge to all accepted students (transportation is not included). Apply here by midnight on Sunday, November 23. More information hereProgram Dates are: January 10, 24, 31 (SSCMA Building in San Jose) and February 7 (Stanford University).
  • California Academy of Sciences Digital Workshop - Programmable Animal Puppets: A programmable puppet is a puppet that uses computer programming and traditional puppet supplies to simulate how an animal interacts with its native environment. During this Digital Playshop, you will learn a computer programming language, a cool computer interface device, puppet creation, different animals at the Academy and how they adapt to survive in their environments. Plus you’ll get to take your animal puppet home with you at the end of the Playshop! Participation is free, and limited to the first 20 students registered. Information & application here. Sat, Dec 6, 10am-2:30pm.
  • The Hour of Code: The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Anyone, anywhere can organize an Hour of Code event. One-hour tutorials are available in over 30 languages. No experience needed. Ages 4 to 104. Check out the tutorials, or find out moreDecember 8-24, 2014.
  • Black Girls CODE Presents - Robot Expo! Join us for a fun and captivating educational experience where girls will learn about robots and how they communicate in an engaging atmosphere, combining hands-on activities with Lego WeDo/NXT kits and Robot Simulators and live demonstrations from area robotics organizations, as well as learning about real-world/business applications and uses for robotics. $36.87, info & registration hereSaturday, December 13, 10am-5pm UC Berkeley.
  • Design a Space Tool Challenge: The ability to 3D print in space is a game-changer for space exploration. NASA wants students to create & submit a digital 3D model of a tool that they think astronauts need in space. The winning design will become one of the first things ever to be 3D printed in Space. Information here. Designs due by December 15.
  • The Stanford Brain Bee for High School Students: This is a local qualifying round of the International Brain Bee (IBB), a neuroscience competition exclusively for high school students ages 14-18. The Stanford Brain Bee involves both a written component and a live oral Q&A session. In addition to the competition, students will have the opportunity to attend a presentation by a Stanford neuroscientist and speak with Stanford professors and students from the medical, biosciences, and neuroscience fields. There is no charge to register and compete. The winner of each Local Bee is invited to attend the National Brain Bee (NBB) competition in his or her own country, and the winner of each NBB is invited to compete in the International Brain Bee Championship. Information & registration here by Saturday, December 27. The Bee is Saturday, January 10, 2015 at Stanford.
  • The Joint Science Education Project (JSEP): The three-week science and cultural-exchange summer program takes place entirely in Greenland. Participants from the USA, Denmark, and Greenland live and work together while exploring current research and completing their own inquiry-based investigations. Students observe scientists as they conduct research in a wide variety of fields including biology, geology, climatology, chemistry, and engineering and also have significant hands-on experiences in field research under the guidance of professional teachers from the participating nations. JSEP is open to U.S. citizens or permanent residents in the 11th grade at the time of application submittal. Applications from underserved students are encouraged. NSF's Division of Polar Programs covers all participant costs, such as food, transportation, lodging, and instruction for students selected to participate. More information and application here. Apply by Friday, January 9.
  • Google Code-in 2014: The Google Code-in is a contest to introduce pre-university students (ages 13-17) to the many kinds of contributions that make open source software development possible. For many students the Google Code-in contest is their first introduction to open source development. For Google Code-in we work with open source organizations, each of whom has experience mentoring university students in the Google Summer of Code program, to provide "bite sized" tasks for participating students to complete during the seven week contest. More information hereContest runs December 1, 2014 - January 19, 2015.
  • NSTA National Conference in Chicago, March 12-15: want to attend? Apply here to one of the many scholarship opportunities to attend. MS teacher can apply for the Hurd Award by 12/15. MS & HS teachers can apply for the Pasco STEM Educator Award by 11/30.
  • NSTA Regional Conferences in Fall of 2015 now accepting applications! The nearest regional conference will be held in Reno, Nevada on October 22-24. Apply here by January 15.
The Science Team at C & I is here to support your science education needs.  In addition to centrally-located professional development opportunities, we are available to provide on-site individual and department-wide support in:
  • Common Core Literacy Standards for Science
  • Next Generation Science Standards
  • Integrating science inquiry
  • Data-based inquiry to inform your science instruction 
  • Content and Language Objectives in Science
  • Strategies for English Language Learners
  • Curriculum development
  • Coaching
Dawn Rege, STEM High School Science Content Specialist, Division of Curriculum & Instruction
Katie Tobin, STEM High School Science Content Specialist, Division of Curriculum & Instruction
Follow us on Twitter
Visit our SFUSD Science Website
Copyright © 2014 SFUSD Office of Curriculum & Instruction, STEM - Science Department. All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences