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April 22, 2015
High School Science Newsletter #17


What better way for students to study science than to provide them with a supported nature immersion experience? Since 1978, SFUSD has partnered with the National Park Service Golden Gate National Recreation Area to provide no-fee science programming for SFUSD classrooms in their local parks. For the 2015-2016 school year, we are offering two elementary programs described below. Environmental education opportunities for K-2 and 6th-12th grade students are listed below as well.

2015-2016 Overnight Programming for Grades 3-5

The SFUSD Environmental Science Center’s coastal landscape serves as the students' laboratory, while SFUSD staff support daytime student science investigations. Evenings are spent notebooking, processing daytime experiences, cooking dinner together, participating in a campfire circle, and investigating the landscape through night-hike science activities. Classes are provided tents or indoor sleeping options. For the 2015-16 school year, all programming has been updated to support the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts.

To participate, each interested teacher must register at the link below and attend a three-hour workshop on Wednesday, September 2, 4-7pmPriority acceptance will be given to grades 4 & 5, classes from Title 1 schools, and teams of teachers across a single grade level from the same school. Each teacher on a grade level team MUST register on their own. Registration will close on Friday, August 28, with notification of acceptance or waitlist status to all applicants. For more information, photos of programming in action, a sample schedule, and facility information, visit our websiteApply here: Overnight Application Form

Third Grade Habitat Exploration Day Programming

For SFUSD third grade classrooms, registration is now open for a no-cost four-hour, supported day program in your school’s local park during the 2015-2016 school year. All programming supports the Next Generation Science Standards, the Common Core ELA, and aligns to your third grade FOSS curriculum. Title 1 schools will be given priority, as will teams of teachers from the same schools. To participate, each individual teacher needs to register using the form below. If accepted, a pre-trip hour-long meeting will be scheduled with the ESC staff at your school site in the fall. Registration ends Friday, August 28 and email notifications of acceptance or waitlist will be sent out by September 1st. Apply here:  Day Trip Application Form

Options for PreK-2 & 6-12 Teachers
Are you interested in an overnight science program for your students? The following free and fee-for-service partners work to support SFUSD classrooms (K-12 unless specified):

  • Camping in the Presidio: This free program at the only camping facility in San Francisco (Rob Hill) includes free gear usage and other support. Required teachers training dates & information can be found here.
  • Bay Area Wilderness Training: BAWT offers both frontcountry and wilderness training and has 2 gear libraries to loan gear for their graduates to lead trips with students. Food & transportation are provided for their trainings & no previous experience is necessary. Find dates & sign up early as their programs fill up. Sliding scale cost of $65-$395 depending on training (scholarships available). Trainings are available during the summer & school year. 
  • YMCA Point Bonita: Located in the Marin Headlands & offering 1-5 day overnight programs with trained naturalists. $30-372 per person depending on program length & dates. They can also offer programs at or near your school. New schools receive a 10% discount & scholarships are available.
  • NatureBridge: Golden Gate: Located in the Marin Headlands & offering 3-5 day overnight programs with trained naturalists. $238-$414 per person depending on program length & dates. Scholarships are available.
  • Outdoor Hostel Adventures: Located at hostels in the Marin Headlands, Point Reyes, & Montara, programs can be a half-day or full day with/without overnight. Program is $12-24 per day per participant. Scholarships available.
  • Slide Ranch: Located in Muir Beach and offering 1-3 day overnight programs for PreK-12 students. $22-135 per person depending on program length. Scholarships are available.

For questions, please do not hesitate to reach out for support to Lisa Wojcik ( We are here to serve and support you to provide meaningful, place-based science learning for your classroom community!


Site Chemical & Biological Specimen Inventory: Site-specific chemical inventory links have been emailed to your school site. Please update your inventory of science-related chemicals (including biological specimens and household items) and submit it by May 8, 2015.
Chemical Sweeps: A 3-Phase plan has been created with the goal of reducing chemical surplus at sites. This 3-Phase plan will be implemented to ‘sweep’ unused, unwanted, and unmarked waste that may have accumulated at your site.  
The inventory update provides a great opportunity for school sites to sweep these unwanted items. A letter outlining the sweep process and labels were mailed to your site. Please label, set-aside, and submit the phase 1 form for any Known Chemicals that are surplus, unused, or expired at your site. Submit your Phase 1 chemicals by May 8, 2015. 
Phase 1 Chemicals Request Form:
Have a science safety-related question or want to notify us of your updated chemical inventory? 
Middle School: Bonnie Daley (
High School: Dawn Rege (

Free and Compensated
  • Join Statewide Science Committees with CSTA: want to hone your leadership skills and have a say in science education across the state? The California Science Teachers Association are looking for volunteers to join their commtitees, including NGSS, Legislative Oversight and more. More information and apply here by Friday, May 1. 
  • 21st Century Teacher Academy with NASA Ames Research Center: Develop and implement real-world, Project-Based Learning (PBL) curriculum using NASA missions. Tour NASA facilities, work with experts, and learn about NASA research, including aeronautics. Teacher teams are highly encouraged! More information hereApply here by Thursday, April 30 (directions for applying are here). July 8th-22nd, at Moffett Field.
  • Arduino & Astronomy - Come Tinker with the Astronomical Society of the Pacific: The ASP is convening a focus group of science or mathematics teachers interested in helping develop Arduino-based astronomy investigations for use in classrooms or afterschool settings. Experience with the Intel Galileo 2 board is preferred, however any background in Arduino programming is acceptable. The sessions do not include basic training on Arduino. Participants will receive $150 for each session, a basic Intel Galileo 2 board kit, & lunch. Register here. Saturday, May 9, 2015, 10am-3pm (during which will schedule 2 follow-up sessions), 390 Ashton Avenue at Ocean. 
  • Education and Environmental Initiative (EEI) at Chabot Space & Science: Explore this engaging K-12 environment-based science & history-social science curriculum that enhances student learning by bringing engaging environmental lessons into the classroom. This curriculum supports Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. Receive full class sets of the EEI curriculum. Register by May 9. Information hereSaturday, May 16, 9am-11:30 am.
  • National Summer Teacher Institute on Innovation, STEM, and Intellectual Property - Attention Teachers! The USPTO will host its 2nd. Annual National Summer Teacher Institute on Innovation, STEM, and Intellectual Property (IP) on July 12-17, 2015 in Dallas, Texas. This multi-day professional development training opportunity is designed to help elementary, middle, and high school teachers incorporate concepts of making, inventing, and IP creation and protection into classroom instruction. Space is limited. For more information please read our FAQ and Apply NowTravel and lodging are covered for accepted teachers! Deadline to apply is May 12.
  • MƒA Berkeley Master Teacher Fellowships: change the very landscape of science & math teaching & learning in this country while enjoying a rewarding career in the classroom. Benefits include: Up to $60,000 in stipends over four years; membership in a community of dynamic STEM teachers who share best practices; participation in the development & design of high level professional growth & enrichment opportunities designed to reflect Master Teachers’ status as leaders in their schools & beyond; opportunities to facilitate professional development workshops & mentor early career MƒA fellows; funding to attend relevant conferences & workshops & for classroom materials; and support for National Board Certification. You must be in your third or more years of teacher & spend teach at least 3 math or science classes. Apply here by Friday, May 15 at 11:59pm. 
  • Modeling Watershed Workshop: Participants & their students will use free portal-based activities that employ maps & models to study their own school’s watershed; teachers will participate in two summer face-to-face workshops and two online courses. $1000 stipend for completion of all NSF-funded research activities (travel & housing reimbursed). Information & apply here by Saturday, May 30. June 23-25 in Sanger, CA, plus follow up in 2015-16 school year. Spots are being held for SFUSD teachers!
  • National Park Service Teacher Ranger Teacher (TRT) Program: this is unique opportunity immerses teachers in educational projects at National Parks all over the country. Stipend & university credits provided, as well as housing as some locations. Flyer for Fairbanks, Alaska attached. Find more locations & apply here. Deadlines vary by park.
  • American Association of Physics Teachers, Northern CA/Nevada Section Conference: featuring a Poster Session, share and tell, discussion groups, keynote speaker Alex Filippenko of UC Berkeley's Astronomy Department, and a “behind the scenes” at PASCO tour. Lunch & breakfast pastries are included with registration. $35 for first time attendees. Friday evening "History of PASCO" & Social event is free. Register hereSaturday, April 25, 8am-4:30pm, PASCO Scientific in Roseville.
  • California Academy of Sciences: Conversations on Science. Science-themed lecture series. $27 non-members, $24 members. Click here for more details.
    • The Internet of Things (IoT) Wednesday, April 29th 7:30pm, Nourse Theatre 275 Hayes St.
    • The Science of Sleep Wednesday, May 20th, 7:30pm, Nourse Theatre 275 Hayes St.
  • Cal Academy Teacher Workshops: all workshops will be held at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. More information & registration for all classes here.
    • One-Day K-12 Introduction to the NGSS, 9:30am-4pm; offered June 8, 9, & 10. $15
    • Three-Day K-12 Series on NGSS Crosscutting Concepts, 9:30am-3:30pm; offered June 23-25 AND August 4-6. $35 fee with $150 stipend.
    • Three-Day K-12 Series on NGSS Science & Engineering Practices, 9:30am-3:30pm; offered July 6-8. $35 fee with $150 stipend
    • Three-Day PreK-2 Series on Inquiry, 9:30am-3:30pm; offered July 21-23. $35 fee with $150 stipend.
  • SUNY Cortland Belize Summer Teacher Institute: Are you a K-12 teacher looking for an affordable international professional development opportunity? Or a student who would like to earn 3 credits while learning about culture, history and languages of Central America as well as tropical ecology and sustainability? Participate in the SUNY Cortland Belize Summer Teacher Institute from July 10-19, 2015. We will spend time in the Western Belize rainforest and meet with Belizean educators for 5 days during the course, share environmental education lessons and classroom practices and ideas. The group will go on several guided tours and the Belize Zoo. For additional information please contact or SUNY Cortland International Programs Office 607-753-2209 Website: July 10-19.
  • Summer Astronomy Institute: Space Science and the NGSS, A Hands-on Workshop for Teachers of Grades 5-12: Workshop Content Includes: Classroom tested, inquiry-rich activities designed to help students learn the processes of science through the study of space science, explicit alignment to the Three Dimensions of the Next Generation Science Standards, connections to Literacy and the Common Core. $300 registration. Scholarships and CEUs are available. Click here to register. Click here for flier. Monday-Thursday, August 3-6, 8:30am-4pm, Astronomical Society of the Pacific 390 Ashton Ave. at Ocean Ave. 
  • NSTA Press Gift Certificate: enter each day through Friday, April 24 for a daily chance to win a $50 gift certificate to the National Science Teachers Association Press.
  • SAVE THE FROGS! is offering teachers the ability to order the April 2015 edition of SAVE THE FROGS! magazine free of charge, in batches of 10, 20 or 30 copies. The magazines are a great way to educate your students and community about amphibians. To receive your copies, fill out this form. You can also download the December 2014 issue.
  • Clue into Climate KQED eBOOKS: Bring science to life at the touch of a fingertip. Access the latest e-books from KQED. Explore STEM topics and careers through real-wold examples. Access eBooks here!
  • Climate Education Week Resources: Earth Day Network’s inaugural Climate Education Week will take place on April 18-25. To provide students with the latest information, Earth Day Network has developed an easy-to-use, ready-to-go online toolkit for K-12 students, with everything needed to participate in Climate Education Week, including lesson plans, short videos, service-learning projects, and Earth Day actions--all supporting the Next Generation Science Standards. Access materials here!
  • Extreme Weather 101 Online Course: Through videos, quizzes and toolkits with tips and links to trusted resources, you will learn "the basics" about extreme weather and climate change. Free, online, one-hour long course from the National Environmental Education Foundation.
  • Unsung Hero Awards: Full-time educators, teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, or classified staff with effective projects that improve student learning can apply for one hundred awards of $2,000 to help fund their innovative class projects. There are three additional awards of $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000. Apply here by April 30.
  • California Science Teachers Association Awards: nominate Future & Current Science Teachers, as well as Science Organizations. Nominate here before May 8.
  • Save The Frogs Day: Save The Frogs Day is the world's largest day of amphibian education and conservation action. On this day we encourage the appreciation and celebration of amphibians by people from all walks of life. Our goal is to make the amphibian extinction crisis common knowledge, and Save The Frogs Day is our best way to make this happen! Please get your school involved: Saturday, April 25.
  • (Grades 7-12) Teen Advocates for Science Communication at Cal Academy: Youth volunteers in the TASC Force program carry out the California Academy of Science’s mission to explore, explain, and sustain life by designing and presenting original public programs. Youth work with Academy professionals to engage museum visitors in experiences that communicate science in fun and exciting ways, such as flash mobs, collections-based fashion shows, interactive theater, and more. Must commit to one program day per week between June 6 - August 15 (Friday-Tuesday; 9:30am-3pm) and to attend monthly all-cohort meetings. Classroom flyer hereApply here by April 26. 
  • (Grades 6-11) TechTeens Summer Street Team: Youth will work with Academy experts to explore current science issues, and use digital media (such as film, photography, audio, and blogs) to create their own science stories. The TechTeens Summer Street Team also serve as Academy ambassadors and communicate science to the public at internal and external events. Classroom flyer hereApply here by April 26.
    • June Crew: for 6th-8th graders able to attend every program day: June 2, 4, 7, 14, 21, & 28
    • July Crew: for 7th-11th graders able to attend every program day: July 7, 8, 9, 12, 19, 26, and August 2
  • (Grades 9-12) Exploratorium Explainer: The High School Explainer Program welcomes all high school-aged students, including students that attend alternative schools. A key factor in the selection is reviewing where students are in their development and how this experience will make a difference. In selecting a new group of Explainers, the program director’s main focus is to choose individuals who can work together. Some Explainers are knowledgeable in the sciences while others may display strong public relations skills. The program directors look for students who have a spark for learning new things and a desire to work with people. We are also interested in finding students that speak more than one language. Information here. Online applications will be accepted during the week of May 1-8 for the Summer Semester and August 8 - 16 for the Fall Semester. Mailed applications must be postmarked no later than May 10. Interviews for the upcoming semester will be scheduled the week after applications are due.
  • (Grades 8-12) Latinas In STEM To Achieve Success Conference: Inspirational career workshops for students and college workshops for parents presented by Latina professionals in English & Spanish. Keynote speakers: Ligia Vilela (CTO and SVP, Wells Fargo Bank) and Monica Feliu-Mojer (Vice Director at Ciencia Puerto Rico and Program Manager at iBiology). Classroom flyer here. Free for students & parents. Breakfast & lunch provided. Information & registration hereRegister by April 23; event is Saturday, May 2, 8:30am-3:30pm, Cañada College in Redwood City. 
  • (Grades 6-12) 3D Design for Outer Space at Cal Academy: Teen leaders from NASA’s NOVA teen program based at UC Berkeley will lead this playshop on 3D design and space exploration. Learn how to use simple but powerful 3D design tools to create tools and instruments as part of a NASA design challenge for space exploration. No previous 3D design or astronomy/astrophysics knowledge required. Classroom flyer here. $40. Tickets hereSaturday, May 2, 10am-2:30pm. 
  • (Grade 6-12) TeenTechSF presents "Diversity Fuels Innovation"TeenTechSF is an interactive tech community run by and for teens committed to empowering and inspiring the next generation of tech innovators. This event will feature a Diversity Panel, a talk on STEM Academic and Career Pathways, & student breakout sessions.Parents are also welcome to attend. Flyer here. Register by May 8; event is Saturday, May 9, 8:30am-12pm, Galileo HS, 1150 Francisco St.
  • (Grades 9-12) Paid Summer Internships at SF Botanical Garden: Interns' primary responsibility is to assist senior interns with our "From Acorn to Oak" summer program. This program serves children enrolled in day camps and similar programs, providing them an opportunity to spend a day working, playing, and learning outdoors. "From Acorn to Oak" is centered around our Children's Garden, where children can plant, pick and eat a variety of garden crops. Flyer here. Must be at least 15 years old as of May 14 & volunteer at garden before applying. Information & application here. Deadline is May 9 & requires action before then.
  • (Age 15-19) Grow, Earn, Succeed. BEETS Internship Now Hiring Teens! Are you, or someone you know, 15-19 years old and looking for an awesome way to spend your summer AND get paid? We’re now accepting applications for the Summer 2015 BEETS cohort!  This summer our focus is on water conservation and teens will learn how to plant and maintain water-wise gardens while also gaining valuable leadership and job skills. The Summer BEETS schedule includes a camping trip in the Presidio, attending the Mo’Magic Workshop Series, and BEETS will also visit Green Gulch Farm in Marin. Apply here by Friday, May 15th at 5pm. Flyers in English, Spanish.
  • (Grades 11 & 12) Seeking Students and Teachers! The Physics in and Through Cosmology workshop! The workshop will be held at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory adjacent to the University of California Berkeley. The workshop is designed for highly motivated high school students with an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The format allows students to attend lectures and work in small groups under the guidance of master teachers. The ideal student applicant will have completed algebra, geometry, advanced algebra, and Chemistry and have completed or will be taking Physics next year. Apply ASAP, program is Monday, June 22 through Friday, June 26. More information & application request. 
  • (Grades 10 & 11) Green Energy Camp and Biotechnology Summer Camp at Skyline College for 10th and 11th grade students: Learn about alternative energy and produce a video addressing energy solutions with Skyline College's Green Energy Camp class. Our Biotechnology Summer Camp, June 15-June 26, 9am-3:30 pm. Learn the various steps involved in manufacturing a new antibiotic and exploring STEM careers. Camp classes are free to high school students. Registration begins May 14. Enrollment Form. For more information contact Rita Gulli at or at 650.738.4491.
  • Climate Education Week: April 18-25, 2015
  • Earth Day: Today, April 22. Happy Earth Day!
  • SFUSD Secondary Science R&D Day 5: Thursday, May 7
  • SFUSD Secondary Science NGSS & R&D Learning Day for NEW Science R&D Reps: Saturday, May 9
  • SFUSD High School Science Department Chairs/Leads Meeting: Thursday, May 21
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
  • 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
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Copyright © 2014 SFUSD Office of Curriculum & Instruction, STEM - Science Department. All rights reserved.

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