January 13, 2016
High School Science Newsletter #7


The ability to examine, characterize, and model the transfers and cycles of matter and energy is a tool that students can use across virtually all areas of science and engineering. And studying the interactions between matter and energy supports students in developing increasingly sophisticated conceptions of their role in any system. Visit for information and resources related to the Crosscutting Concept of Structure and Function. 


A Framework for K-12 Science Education identifies seven overarching or Crosscutting Concepts that bridge disciplinary boundaries, uniting core ideas throughout the fields of science and engineering. The Crosscutting Concepts collectively comprise one of the three dimensions of the Next Generation Science Standards.


Professional Learning Groups are designed to support new and experienced middle and high school teachers of science with content-specific learning groups that focus on relevant pedagogy and best practices.

Join us from 4:00-7:00 PM on February 3, 2016 to focus on Biotechnology in the Middle and High School Classroom. Transform bacteria by introducing a gene from the bioluminescent jellyfish Aequorea victoria! Walk away with materials so you can apply what you learned and experienced in your own classroom.
This PLG will be led by ALHS Biotechnology teacher George Cachianes and is developed in partnership with SFUSD Science and Career and Technical Education. Informational Flyer.
Register on Cornerstone: to 24 participants.  Location: Abraham Lincoln High School Biotech Lab, Rm 22

Extended hours pay, lab materials, and snacks provided!

The California Department of Education (CDE) recently released the first draft of the 2016 Science Framework for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (Science Framework). The Science Framework is available for its first 60-day period of review and comment until January 19, 2016.
The Science Framework will provide guidance for implementing the three-dimensional learning of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in California’s science classrooms and includes strategies for extending that focus into all subject areas. For a detailed timeline of the Science Framework and NGSS in CA, click here.
SCIENCE SAFETY UPDATES From Judy Gerber, Science Safety Officer

Science classroom eye washes, emergency showers, and fire extinguishers should be inspected or tested on a monthly basis. Learn how here! 

If you received an e-mail saying you need to complete the Safety Video Course on Cornerstone and have not yet done so, please take care of this by the end of the semester. Send an email to when you have it completed.

Important safety bulletins are available on the Science Safety page. It’s a good idea to be familiar with the information in them. We would like to remind you that if you do not have the proper safety equipment available for a lab, it’s important to find another way to teach the concept.

If you need safe handling procedures for a substance you are using in your classroom, MSDSOnline is a good source for finding that information. Search the database of over 500 chemicals and when you find what you are looking for, select the PDF to read and/or print. 

Free and Compensated
  • Learning to Read in Science, Stanford Online LearningDesigned for teachers; taught by Professor Jonathan Osbourne. Help your students overcome the unique challenges posed by scientific learning materials and improve their comprehension. Pool ideas and resources with colleagues from across the state and around the country.  STARTS TODAY - April 13More information & to register.  
  • STEM SMART Conference: Lessons Learned From Successful Schools Join educators, administrators, researchers, industry representatives, policy makers, and others at the 9th STEM Smart Workshop. This meeting will feature National Science Foundation-supported research and instructional resources, with a primary focus on science that can enhance K-12 STEM education. Monday, February 1, 2016. Hilton, SF Financial District. FREE event - More information & registration. 
  • Join the CSTA Board of Directors: Want to have a say in science education throughout California? Run for the California Science Teachers Association - open positions include HS Director and Region 2 (SF Bay Area) Director. Nomination forms due Monday, February 1 at 5pm.
  • Are you an educator interested in Learning and Sharing about Climate Change and Remote Sensing? Check out Climate Change Conversations PLC – Middle and High School Webinar Series. This month’s topic on Monday, February 1 is “Understanding How People Perceive Climate Change,” with special guest Dr. Kathleen Halvorsen Professor of Natural Resource Policy at Michigan Technological University. Click here for more information and the schedule of monthly webinars through May 2016
  • Argument-Driven Inquiry - Promoting Science Proficiency by Transforming Lab Activities: A hands-on workshop for secondary science teachers presented by The Teacher Learning Center at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Argument-Driven Inquiry is designed to: encourage students to learn how to generate an argument that articulates and justifies an explanation or model as a result of the inquiry process; create a classroom community that teaches students to value evidence, critical thinking, skepticism, and new ideas or ways of thinking; and more. More info & registration here. $60 (includes lunch). Saturday, January 23, 2016, 8:30am-4:30pm, 390 Ashton Avenue, SF.
  • Cal Academy Teacher Workshops: All workshops here. $15 unless otherwise specified. Spend a day at the Academy for some fun (and useful!) professional development. Flyer here.
    • Intro to the NGSS: Saturday Feb 20th , 9am- 3:30pm. Sign up here.
    • NGSS: Connecting with the Crosscutting Concepts: $35. Saturday, March 5 AND March 19, 9am-3pm. Sign up here.
  • LiMPETS Introduction to Sandy Beach & Rocky Intertidal Monitoring: Get involved in this exciting citizen science education program for students. Participants receive in-depth curriculum and are trained to survey the distribution and abundance of tidepool organisms and the Pacific mole crab at one of many monitoring sites along the coast. Flyer here. Cost: $30 refundable deposit required. $50 stipend provided to teachers upon completion of the workshop. More information & registration.
    • Rocky Intertidal: Saturday, February 6, 2016 - Santa Cruz/Monterey
    • Sandy Beach: Saturday, March 19, 2016 - Chrissy Field
  • Collection of Science DVDs Cal Academy is culling part of their library and is looking for a home for about 50 DVDs. They are primarily nature documentaries (Nat Geo, Planet Earth, Life, etc.) and nature education shows (targeted towards youth). Contact Andy Breunig for a list of available titles.
  • Association of American Educators Classroom Grants Classroom grants can be used 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. The number of classroom grants awarded will depend on the total number of applicants. Grants are available for up to $500. Funds must be used within one year of the application deadline. Spring deadline March 1st. More information.
  • Captain Planet Foundation Grants: The mission of Captain Planet Foundation is to promote and support high quality, educational programs that enable children and youth to understand and appreciate our world through learning experiences that engage them in active hands-on projects to improve the environment in their schools and communities. Awards range from $250-$2,500. Click here for more information. Due January 31st for fall and winter projects. 
  • The National Center for Science Education launched this initiative to defend and support the teaching of climate change. The site has four sections: Climate Change 101, Teaching About Climate Change, Climate Change Denial, and Taking Action. Explore the website here!
  • Schoolyard Habitat Project Guide: The US Fish and Wildlife Service's Schoolyard Habitat Project Guide: A planning guide for creating schoolyard habitat and outdoor classroom projects outlines the steps for creating a wildlife habitat on school grounds. The guide is useful for K-12 teachers interested in encouraging stewardship through action. Download the guide in English or Spanish.
  • Science Classroom / Club Presentation Opportunity: Cynthia Fernandez, Abraham Lincoln High School Marine Biology Teacher, recently returned from her fourth trip to Taiji, Japan to document dolphin and whale slaughter. Invite Cynthia to speak with your students to build awareness of the connection between dolphins in captivity, dolphin slaughter, and the the choices they make to disrupt the supply and demand cycle. 45-60 minute presentations can be tailored to meet your needs and include:
    • What makes dolphins so special
    • Marine mammal captivity
    • Slaughter and its relation to the captive trade (for older students)
    • Impact on ocean ecosystem
           Contact Cynthia via email ( for more information
  • Youth for the Environment and Sustainability (YES) Conference: Students from throughout the nine Bay Area counties will come together to exchange ideas, participate in workshops, and share stories from their schools and communities around transportation, clean air, climate change and a healthy San Francisco Bay Area. More information & register here. The conference is free and breakfast and lunch will be provided. Saturday, January 30, 10am- 3pm, UC Berkeley Lawrence Hall of Science (free shuttle from Downtown Berkeley BART). Hang this classroom flyer. 
  • 2016 California Coastal Commission Art & Poetry Contest: California students from kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to enter the Coastal Commission's annual Coastal Art & Poetry Contest. Entries must be postmarked by Saturday, January 30 to be eligible for this year's contest. Entry information.  
  • The DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition!  Students, the DuPont Challenge encourages you to delve deep into your interests in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and express yourself with creativity and purpose. Ours is a growing world that faces new challenges each day, and we want YOU to share your ideas for how science can help keep our global population supplied with food, safety, and clean energy. Essays must be between 700 to 1,000 words in length, include a list of research sources, and fall under one of four categories. Click here to learn more about the essay competition and awards! Entries due Sunday, January 31. 
  • Field Trip to SF International Ocean Film Fest: Experience the magic of the San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival and the enchantment of the ocean with a FREE day of educational, ocean-themed films from around the world! Come see lively and interactive onstage appearances by filmmakers and scientists! Information here. Register by Monday, February 1.
  • Exploravision Science Competition: A teacher and a group of 2-4 students work together to pick a current technology, research it, envision what it might look like in 20 years, and describe the development steps, pros & cons, and obstacles. Win up to $10,000 in savings bonds and a trip to Washington, D.C. Sponsored by the NSTA & Toshiba. Information online. Projects due Tuesday, February 2, 2016 by 2pm PST.
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.

Shahram Mostarshed, High School Science Content Specialist, Curriculum & Instruction
Dawn Rege, High School Science Content Specialist,
Curriculum & Instruction
Katie Tobin, High School Science Content Specialist, Curriculum & Instruction
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