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January 23, 2015
High School Science Newsletter #11

SPOTLIGHT ON The Next Generation Science Standards: 

Happy New Year! We have many exciting NGSS-related topics to update you on!


The NGSS Network States and Partners have released the following resources to assist in the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards:

  • Example Classroom Sample Assessment Tasks for middle and high school teachers: written by science and math teachers from across the nation, the tasks blend content, practices, and concepts from both the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core State Standards. The elementary tasks are currently being written.

  • High School Evidence Statements: These statements provide educators with details about what students should know and be able to do as described in the Performance Expectations. K-8 Evidence Statements are currently being written.


The California Department of Education appointed a committee in the summer of 2014 to begin writing a new CA Science Framework aligned to the NGSS. This Framework is scheduled to be released for public feedback this summer, with final adoption in January 2016. The committee is being co-led by middle school teacher Robert Sherriff and Helen Quinn, the Stanford particle physicist and keynote speaker for SFUSD Science teachers at our PD day in August 2014. View the Framework Update presented by committee members at the December 2014 NSTA/CSTA Conference. Stay informed of announcements about NGSS in CA by signing up for CA Classroom Science (a publication by CSTA) and the NGSS listserv (from the CDE).


As secondary science departments in SFUSD move from Awareness to Transition, our R&D group continues to meet to assess and analyze the current state of science in the district, engage in deep learning about the NGSS, and determine how to best implement the NGSS in grades 6-12. Our NGSS implementation work at the secondary level will help to inform the implementation for grades K-5 in the following years. If you would like a member of the C&I science team to come to your school site (K-12) to engage staff in learning about the three-dimensionality of the NGSS and how to begin to implement the Science and Engineering Practices, please contact your grade level science content specialists.


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:


Free and Compensated
  • Grants Galore! Tons of opportunities to get funding for your classroom or your professional development:
    • Fund for Teachers: up to $5000 for a teacher or $10,000 for a team of teachers to pursue their own professional learning during the summer. 3 years of classroom experience required. Apply here by Thursday, 1/29 at 3pm PST.
    • Diversified Woodcrafts Create & Explore 40K Giveaway: win $40,000 of new furniture for your school (students aged 14+ can apply as well). Upload your video here by Saturday, 1/31.

  • LiMPETS Introduction to Rocky Intertidal Monitoring Workshop: Learn to participate in this in-depth science education program for students. Participants receive detailed curriculum, learn to correctly identify algae and invertebrates, and practice the monitoring methods used in the field.These workshops are for teachers (grade 6 - college) and educators who are interested in participating in LiMPETS (Long-term Monitoring and Experiential Training for Students). $50 stipend for participation. More information and registration here. Flyer here. Saturday, January 31, 9:30am-5pm.  
  • Free Saturday Seminars: Building Critical Thinking. Localizing Human Rights Education - What does it mean to bring human rights education into our communities? Our schools? Our classrooms? Join us in January to explore this important and provocative topic across subject areas and grades. Dr. Jimerson will talk about what it means to be a human rights educator and how we can design teaching and customize content to educate in meaningful and holistic ways. For more information, click here. 8:45-12:30pm, Albany High School, January 31st, 2015.
  • Urban Nature Connections Workshop: In 2015 San Francisco will join 20 urban areas across the country in a new multigenerational pilot program that will forge deep connections with everyday nature where city dwellers live. To kick-off this initiative, you are invited to a day in the Presidio to explore. More information and flyerSaturday, February 7, 9:30am–4pm at The Presidio’s Rob Hill Campground Great Room.
  • Natural Hazards Workshop: This Bay Area Environmental - STEM Institute (BAESI) workshop will supply an overview of natural hazards with an emphasis on earthquakes and other hazards that affect the Bay Area and will include discussion of tools and strategies for making the transition to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Free with classroom activities, optional .5 Geology units, and and opportunity to earn $150 stipend. Information  here & registration hereSaturday, February 7, 8:30am-4:30pm, SJSU.
  • Alice Programming Summer Workshop: This 2-week workshop will help teachers develop & master curriculum designed to give students a positive first experience in programming. No previous programming experience is needed and after the workshop, teachers will be able to teach programming as part of a unit in an existing course or as a stand-alone class. The Alice software (in English & Spanish) is a 3D virtual worlds programming environment that makes it easy to create animated stories & games. This NSF-funded workshop includes 80 hours of instruction, materials, shared lodging, & 2 meals a day. Information & register here by February 13. Workshop is July 13-17 AND July 20-24 in Santa Cruz.
  • 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, February 14, 10am-2pm.
  • Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education Summer Fellowship Program: The IISME Summer Fellowship Program provides paid, challenging summer work opportunities for K-16 educators of all subjects in corporations and university research labs. Teachers work full-time for 8-weeks and are paid $8,200 for their work. 90% of their paid time is dedicated to completing a project for their Host organization. Teachers devote the other 10% of their paid time focusing on the ways in which they will transfer their Fellowship experience back to their students and schools. For more information, click hereApplications due March 1.
  • Electricity, Magnetism and Light with Physics Teachers SOS: Fun demos, talk about some fun physics, share some laughs and stories, and all go back to school with some materials ready to try some new things. Open to pre-service teachers as well. Free lunch. Registration, email group signup, and resources hereSaturday, March 7, 9am-4:30pm, Los Gatos High School.
  • Energy & Technology Center Workshops: offered by Sacramento Municipal Utility District in various location. Breakfast, lunch & takeaways included. Information & registration information here
    • (4-12) Project WET, Sat March 7, 9am-3pm - receive new Project WET 2.0 Guide
  • 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 After Dark - Nocturnal: Is the night the time when creatures go bump, our brains whirr, or when beautiful music is made? It’s all these and more at After Dark: Nocturnal, so join us to explore the night—see and better understand what lurks in the dark. $15. Thursday, February 5, 6-10pm.
  • BAWT Leadership and Outdoor Education Training for Teachers and Youth Workers: Are you looking to infuse outdoor experiences into your classroom and program sites for 2015 and beyond? If so Bay Area Wilderness Trainings can provide the necessary resources and training to make such trips and experiences possible. After completing our training educators will have access to borrow high quality camping equipment for your students – FREE! Fees to participate vary, contact for more info, or click here.
    • Next event will be a snowshoe trip and informational learning opportunity on February 7, 2015.
  • STEM Conference: over twenty-five workshops & exhibitors offering a wide range of practical & realistic ideas and resources to use in PreK-12 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) classes. This event is sponsored by the STEM Center at the San Mateo County Office of Education and the Council of Math Science Educators of San Mateo County (CMSESMC). $40 in advance (discount for groups), includes brunch & CMSESMC membership. Information & registration hereFeb 7, 8:30am-12:30pm, San Mateo County Office of Education, Redwood City.
  • Global Change: Connecting Earth’s deep history to life today: From the movement of the tectonic plates that form that crust, to the shifts in climate that have occurred throughout Earth's history, these sweeping changes have interacted with one another and broadly impacted the course of life on Earth. Today, of course, human activity represents an additional mechanism of global change that is poised to shape the Tree of Life in a multitude of ways. Join the UC Museum of Paleontology to explore the deep connections that tie Earth systems to changes in biodiversity throughout Earth's history. More information & registrationSaturday, March 7, 9am-3:30pm, 10 Evans Hall, UC Berkeley.
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant Tour - free transportation! Taking your students outside the classroom to explore the City is a great way to teach STEM subjects. Classes 5th grade and up can visit the Southeast Wastewater Treatment Plant for an insider’s look at how our “City under the City” operates, and how we keep wastewater clean to protect public health. Check out the new video  and sign up for a FREE FIELD TRIP (buses included).
  • Apply to Girls Who Code’s 2015 Summer Immersion Programs! Girls Who Code is looking for 10th & 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.
  • California Coastal Commission Art and Poetry Contest: K-12 students are invited to submit artwork or poetry with a California coastal or marine theme. Winners will receive $100 gift certificates to an art supply or book store, and each winner's sponsoring teacher will receive a $50 for educational supplies from Acorn Naturalists. Students may have their work featured on Commission web pages and materials, and winning entries will be exhibited throughout the state. For questions, visit the website, the flyer or email deadline is January 31.
  • Girls on Ice: is a unique, FREE, wilderness science education program for high school girls that “is not a reward for past good grades or academic achievement, it is an inspiration for future success.” Each year a team of 9 teenage girls & 3 instructors spend 12 days exploring and learning about mountain glaciers and alpine landscapes through scientific field studies with professional glaciologists and mountaineers. More information and application hereApply by Saturday, January 31.
    • Girls on Ice NORTH CASCADES is the original expedition in Washington State; open to all girls ages 16-18; July 13-24, 2015. 
    • Girls on Ice ALASKA is open to Californian, Alaskan, and Pacific Northwest girls ages 16-18; June 19-30, 2015.
  • LearnStorm Bay Area Spring 2015: Running mid-February through April, this free, 3-month learning challenge is designed to build a student’s ability to learn anything through mastery of math skills on Khan Academy. It is team-based--school vs. school and city vs. city! Top individual scorers and schools will get special recognition on weekly leaderboards and will be eligible for awards. Register by February 6, 2015.
  • Family Science Days: The American Association for the Advancement of Science and Bay Area Science Festival are offering two FREE days of interactive science exhibits, opportunities to learn about cool science jobs, hands-on demos, shows, talks by scientists, and other activities appropriate for K-12 children and their families. More information hereFebruary 14 – 15, 11am–5pm, San Jose Convention Center.
  • Applications are now being accepted for the Introductory College Level Experience in Microbiology (iCLEM) program for low-income grade 11 and 12 high school students with a passion for science and engineering. Selected students will intern over the summer at the Joint BioEnergy Institute with established science advisors conducting real-world research on biofuels and will also receive college application preparation. This experience will jump start your career path in STEM! Students can visit the iCLEM website or flyer to access the application and for more information on qualification details. Deadline for the application is 3/1 and for the two recommendation letters 3/6.  
  • The University of San Francisco Upward Bound Math and Science program serves low-income, first generation college bound high school students from seven SFUSD high schools:  Mission, Academy of Arts and Science, June Jordan, O'Connell, ISA, Burton and Thurgood Marshall.  Our program provides high school students with a college-going experience through rigorous STEM programming held at the USF campus along with a 5 week residential summer experience.  Participating students also benefit from a wide range of support services throughout all 4 years of high school including SAT/ACT test prep, financial aid advising, mentoring services, academic tutoring, college tours and much, much more. Applications are currently being accepted for Spring 2015. Please visit the website for more information and to apply. Spring courses begin March 7, 2015!
  • UC Davis Young Scholars Program: The UC Davis Young Scholars Program is a summer residential research program designed to expose approximately 40 high achieving high school students to the world of original research in the natural sciences with emphases on the biological, environmental and agricultural sciences. To be eligible for the summer of 2015, students must be currently enrolled as sophomores or juniors in high school. Participants in the 2015 UCD-YSP will work one-on-one with research faculty and research groups in state of the art laboratories for six weeks. Each student will work on an individual project and prepare a journal quality paper and symposium presentation about their work. $25 to apply (can be waived). Apply by March 19. 2015 Program Dates: June 21- August 1, 2015. Website and flyer.
  • STEM Career Fair at Balboa High School. March 7, 2015.
  • National Science Teachers Association National Conference in Chicago, March 12-15. Information here.
  • California Science Teachers Association Conference in Fall of 2015 now accepting applications! The conference will be held in Sacramento on October 2-4 and lead presenters receive a 50% registration discount. Apply here by February 13.
  • The American Association of Physics Teachers, Northern California/Nevada Section Section Conference will be at PASCO Scientific in Roseville, CA on April 24-25. Information here.
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
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