September 24, 2014
High School Science Newsletter #4



What is STEAM Education and Why are we Exploring it in SFUSD?  STEAM is the purposeful integration of the Artistic practices and content (Visual, Media, Performing, Literary) into the teaching, learning and assessment of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Why, as a 21st century educator, should I be interested in STEAM?
A STEAM approach allows and challenges us to:
  • Develop habits of mind that inspire students to think critically and creatively to solve real-world problems.
  • Engage students from preschool through college in inquiry-based learning.
  • Excite students about pursuing STEM careers by integrating technology, art and engineering into existing science and mathematics curriculum while developing technical and personal skills.
  • Prepare students for real life challenges by providing opportunities to ask questions, collaborate, communicate, and critique through core standards, including the Arts.
  • Develop teaching methods to improve student engagement, understanding and application of content knowledge from a multidisciplinary, reality-based perspective.
  • Emphasize the wonder of art and science as human endeavors.
So, what does STEAM look like here in SFUSD?
Here are a few examples of the work, investigations, creativity, and play happening in our district:
  • At Herbert Hoover Middle School, STEAM teacher Jacob Aringo’s classes designed “Mighty Towers” - earthquake resistant structures out of tetrahedrons. They also created Rube Goldberg Machines, online games and actual miniature amusement parks.
  • At Abraham Lincoln High School & Thurgood Marshall High School, Physics teachers Greg Calac and Helen Lee had students demonstrate and apply their understanding of resonance and sound waves by creating their own musical instruments.
  • At Paul Revere K-8, Cynthia Vasquez, guided her pre-K students in an exploration of “Things That Roll (or don’t roll)” by physical investigations, song, marble paintings and story-telling. 
In addition, the Arts Integration Specialist, Kim Campisano, works through the STEM - Science team in collaboration with various departments of the Division of Curriculum and Instruction (VAPA, Multilingual, STEM, ELA/Humanities) to identify or develop following Strategies and Structures:
  • Interdisciplinary instructional frameworks that support authentic learning experiences for all students.
  • Study Groups and Unit Design around Topics, Themes and/or Practices that overlap Subjects and Disciplines and that are relevant to more than one discipline.
  • (Patterns, Observations, Scale, Cause and Effect, Argumentation & Reasoning, Sketching, Notebooking, etc.) Ongoing Authentic Assessments with embedded rich academic discourse.
  • Model Sites (E.S., M.S., H.S.), whose specific structures, demands, and opportunities might help us to adapt and scale up in the future.
  • Input on revision of Math Project Units and development of Science Core Curriculum as well as other immersive learning experiences.
  • Career exploration and partnerships with community organizations and agencies.
  • Support and share best STEAM practices.
Find out more by contacting Kim Campisano or via the following resources:
Close Reading in Secondary Science Series Part II: Offered by the SFUSD Humanities Department, this group will continue work from last year to examine strategies to support reading in the science classroom, whether from a textbook, a magazine, a journal or other source. The group will look at strategies that address science text structures, vocabulary development, visual literacy & other components of reading that can facilitate student success in science class.  Participants will take part in a cycle of inquiry through planning, implementing & sharing student work focused on reading. Oct 9, Nov 18, Jan 29, Feb 24, & Mar 24, 4:15-6:15pm, 485 Otsego. Application here.

The NGSS – Science & Engineering Practices: Explore the NGSS Science and Engineering Practices through a series of hands-on and interactive activities. Receive lesson-planning resources to apply this training to your own classroom. Register here on CornerstoneTuesday, October 21, 4:30-6:30pm, SFUSD Science Resource Center.

Free and Compensated
  • FEAST Workshop: Have you been looking for new, exciting, teacher-tested ideas for your science classroom? Perhaps you’ve wanted to connect with others on science resources, safety in the lab or how other teachers manage certain science demonstrations and activities? Or maybe you simply want to network with and build relationships with other local science educators. RSVP required hereSaturday, September 27 9am-12pm at Chabot Space & Science Center.
  • Teacher at Sea: Work, learn, & live aboard a NOAA vessel for 2-3 weeks. Information & application here. Apply by Tuesday, September 30 at 5pm.
  • Grants Galore! Tons of opportunities to get funding for your classroom or your professional development:
    • Moss Foundation Teacher Art Grants: up to $1000 for further program goals or to support a new program integrating art. Mail the paper application by Tuesday 9/30.
    • Captain Planet Foundation Grants: $500-2500 grants for project-based environmental activities. Apply here by Tuesday 9/30 for spring & summer projects.
    • Kids in Need Grants: $100-500 for creative PreK-12 classroom projects. Apply here by Tuesday 9/30 at 9pm PST.
    • Green Thumb Challenge: up to $500 to improve your established garden. Apply here by Tuesday 9/30.
    • Target Field Trip Grants: apply for up to $700 for buses, materials, fees, etc. for field trips. Apply here by Wednesday 10/1 at 9:59pm PST.
    • Synopsys Science Fair Support: Receive up to 300 science fair boards & other supplies. Apply here by Wednesday 10/1 at 5pm PST.
    • Donald Samull Classroom Herb Garden Grant: 3rd-6th grade classrooms can receive up to $200 to support an indoor or outdoor herb garden, given in honor of a teacher! Apply here by Wednesday 10/1.
    • Toshiba America Foundation Grant: grants for making science and math more engaging. Up to $1000 for K-5 (apply here by Oct 1) and up to $5000 for 6-12 (apply here on a rolling basis).
    • Association of American Educators Foundation Classroom Grant: up to $500 for a variety of projects and materials, including but not limited to books, software, calculators, math manipulatives, art supplies, audio-visual equipment, and lab materials. Apply here by Wednesday 10/1 at 8:59pm PST.
    • NEA Grants to Educators: apply here for $2000 (or $5000 for a group) for a professional development opportunity or for $2000-5000 to pay for student materials or education experiences. Deadline for both is Wednesday 10/15.
    • Lowe's Toolbox for Education Grant: $2000-5000 for facility enhancement or landscaping/clean-up projects, especially if they promote parent involvement & community spirit! Apply here by Wednesday 10/15, 2014 8:59pm PST or before 1500 applications are received.
    • Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Grant Program: $100-500 for a native plant project. Apply here by Wednesday 10/15.
    • Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest: up to $2 million of technology will be given away for innovative ideas for solving problems in their local communities. Apply here by Friday, 10/31.
    • Air Force Association Educator Grant: up to $250 to support innovative aerospace activities. Apply here by Wednesday 11/19.
    • NSTA's Shell Science Lab Challenge: up to $93,000 for 18 schools to makeover their science labs. Apply here by Thursday, 12/19.
  • Solar Energy-Solar Science Workshop: This NASA-funded PD is led by Multiverse at UC Berkeley in partnership with We Care Solar. The aim is to bring solar energy & solar science together in a way that enhances the teaching of both topics through learning about cutting-edge NASA solar research as well as more down-to-earth topics such as solar energy and innovative technologies for powering our communities. Participants will receive a wide range of NASA resources as well as free classroom solar materials valued at $275.00. October 25 & Nov 1, 2014 (two consecutive Saturdays) at UC Berkeley. Apply here by October 1, 2014.
  • Presidio Teachers Night is October 2, 5-7pm this year at the Presidio Officer's Club. Information here.
  • Climate Change in the Classroom: Through this workshop, teachers will learn how climate change is affecting the San Francisco Bay Area, discover new ways to talk about climate change with their students, try out a couple of demonstrations, and discuss valuable, effective solutions to impart to the leaders of tomorrow. RSVP here. This workshop is available:
    • Tues, Oct, 2, 4:30-7:30pm at the Bay Model; Sausalito: Marc Holmes, Bay Restoration Program Director of The Bay Institute
    • Wed, Oct 29, 4:30-7:30pm at Crissy Field: Carol Preston, Education and Outreach Coordinator of NOAA’s Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary
  • 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. Rules here & directions hereSaturday, June 7, 10am-1pm.
  • Saturday Seminars: Building Critical Thinking What does argumentation in the classroom mean to you and what role could it play in student learning? Argumentation now appears in the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Our new standards highlight that argument and critique are essential for improving student reasoning and the quality of student learning. Jonathan Osborne will outline distinct styles of reasoning in science and focus on NGSS. Examples and implications of science will be explored. Join us as we discuss argumentation as an essential feature of learning. Click here for a flier with more information. Saturday, October 18, 2014. 8:45-12:30pm, Albany High School.
  • CA's Instructional Quality Commission: The State Board of Education is looking for classroom science teachers to join the ICQ - apply and make recommendations about curriculum frameworks, instructional materials, and more! Information & application here. Deadline is October 20 at 5pm.
  • Teacher Workshops at the Cal Academy: Information & registration for all workshops here. $15 for most workshops. More workshops on the website.
    • (6-12) Climate Myths: Wednesdays, Oct 1, 8 & 15, 4:30-6:30pm ($35 for series)
    • (6-12) Geology Kit Training: Sat, Oct 25, 8:30am-12:30pm
  • Outbreak Nightlife at CAS: explore the fascinating and frightening history of pandemics as NightLife takes a look at the dynamic diseases that shape the world we live in. Meet several of the Bay Area's top scientists as they discuss Emergence: The Potential for Pandemic. $12. Info & ticketsThursday, September 25, 6-10pm.
  • When Tricks are Treats After Dark at the Exploratorium: explore counterfeits, illusions, games of chance, and more. $$15. Info & tickets. Thursday, October 2, 6-10pm.
  • National Chemistry Week: celebrate during October 20-15 with a SEM (Science, Engineering and Mathematics) Link volunteer to lead hand-on chemistry activities. Request a volunteer here by Friday, September 26.
  • World Space Week: get resources to celebrate the UN-declared World Space Week here. October 4-10.
  • Send your name or message into space! NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission and The Planetary Society invite you to submit your name for a round-trip ride to asteroid Bennu starting in 2016 and returning in 2023! Submit & get your certificate here. Messages about solar system exploration in 2014 & predictions for space exploration activities in 2023. The mission team will choose 50 tweets & 50 images to be placed in the capsule. When the sample return capsule returns to Earth in 2023 with the asteroid material, the mission team will open the time capsule to view the messages and images and post them online.  Information here & messages must be submitted by Sept. 30, 2014.
  • Nobel Laureates' School Visits: How many people have ever met a recipient of the Nobel Prize, much less had a face-to-face conversation with one of these exceptional individuals?  A Nobel Laureate Visit is a highly inspirational science event for the entire school system: the participating students, teachers, parents, and the school administration.  It even inspires the Nobel Laureates. Arrange for a Nobel Laureate to visit by emailing or visiting their website.
  • HI-USA's Outdoor Hostel Adventure: An environmental education program that fosters youth appreciation, exploration & stewardship of the natural world, and facilitates cooperation, team building, & intercultural understanding. Discover wildlife, tide pools, native plants & starry skies during day or overnight trips at three locations: HI-Marin Headlands, HI-Point Reyes and HI-Point Montara Lighthouse. Learning with our skilled staff, youth gain an appreciation & respect for nature, an understanding of basic principles of ecology & human impact on the environment, & a sense of place that fosters stewardship and ecological responsibility in their own lives. Cost ranges from $8-$24 per student & $5 for chaperones. Information here.
  • Bringing the Bay Your Way: Can’t get your class to the Aquarium? Now the Aquarium can come to you! Using our Mobile Bay Lab, students will experiment with the science of climate change and meet some of Aquarium of the Bay’s animal ambassadors. To find out more, click here.
  • Free Neighborhood Weekends at the Academy! Come see how all life is connected at the world’s only aquarium-planetarium-rainforest-living museum. The Academy invites San Francisco residents to enjoy free admission on the dates designated by their zip code. Check out the calendar to learn which weekend you should visit in September and October to receive free admission. Click here for a flier with dates.
  • Exploratorium Field Trips: Reservations should be made ASAP and Title 1 schools get free admission (subject to availability). Information here.
  • The 2014 Bay Area Science Festival will return this fall from Oct 23 - Nov 1. This year’s festival promises to be the best yet! There will be 50 events over 10 days concluding with a day full of free hands-on science at Discovery Days in San Francisco at AT&T Park on Saturday, November 1, 11am – 4pm. This year, SFUSD is hosting a number of hands-on science and engineering booths highlighting many exciting STEM programs happening across schools. For more information visit:
  • NSTA National Conference in Chicago, March 12-15: want to attend? Apply here to one of the many scholarship opportunities to attend.
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
Eric Lewis, Science Content Specialist, LEAD - High Schools Division
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Copyright © 2014 SFUSD Office of Curriculum & Instruction, STEM - Science Department. All rights reserved.

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