May 21, 2014
High School Science Newsletter #17
Click here to view this email in your web browser. 

A Year in Review!

The Science Team at Curriculum and Instruction had an amazing year of learning, teaching, coordinating, collaborating, imagining and planning. We've been fortunate enough to be able to support organizations in bringing science experiences directly to our students. Watching students participate in hands-on science has been exciting and rewarding! Here are a few of the largest events we were able to support:


  • Bay Area Science Festival - We kicked off the school year with a day long science fair with interactive and hands-on science booths. This event was open to the public and heavily promoted with SFUSD schools.
  • STEM College and Career Fair - 394 High School students (and parents) engaged in workshops led by UC Berkeley student organizations and academic clubs, and interacted with college and industry professionals in a resource fair around STEM careers.
  • BioBlitz - 1600 SFUSD 4th-8th graders, along with 400 students from other districts, participated in the 2014 BioBlitz. Students inventoried living things  alongside biologists and attended the Biodiversity Festival in Crissy Field.
In addition to student centered events, the Science Team has offered professional development and science support to teachers through central and site-based Professional Development sessions. To date, we've been able to offer:
  • Over 1,500 hours of contact with SFUSD teachers through central PDs
  • Over 625 hours of contact with SFUSD teachers through school site-based PDs
  • Over 475 hours of one-on-one coaching
  • SFUSD's first (but definitely not last) online PD
This year also marked the launch of several new modes of communication from our department, including:
Keep watching these spaces as we fill them with resources for SFUSD teachers, students and families!
We look forward to continuing this support next year, while innovating new ways to encourage high quality science teaching and learning for all SFUSD students. Stay tuned for PD opportunities, science events, student opportunities, and more!
Opportunities and Resources for High Science Teachers

Free and Compensated
  • 4 Spots Available for SFUSD Middle and High School Science Teachers!  Summer Teacher Workshops in Conservation Science at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research:  Join the San Diego Zoo this summer for a 3-Day, 2-night workshop in conservation science for middle and high school science teachers, held at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research.  The program offers teacher the opportunity to study the science of saving species at the largest zoo-based research facility in the world while gathering stories, activities, and lessons in conservation to bring back to students in the classroom.  The program includes a $500 travel stipend, all room & board, and CE credits are available.  Information and application here.  Apply now!  
  • Physics Through Cosmology Workshop for High School Science Teachers and Students: 2006 Nobel Prize Winner George Smoot and 2011 Nobel Prize Winner Saul Perlmutter are seeking students and teachers for the eighth annual summer workshop for high school students and teachers presented by  the Physics Division of the Lawrence Berkeley Lab  and Quarknet in conjunction with the Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics. The workshop is designed for highly motivated high school students with an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and for science teachers who wish to broaden their knowledge of particle physics & cosmology. The format allows participants to attend lectures and work in small groups under the guidance of master teachers. More information here.  Teacher application here.  Student application here.  Location: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory adjacent to the University of California Berkeley Campus.  Dates: Monday, June 23 and ending Friday, June 27. 
  • Google in Education Online Courses: Learn how Google apps and other web tools can help you meet your teaching and learning goals. Your educator peers have created a set of self-paced online courses to help you learn when it's convenient for you. Review videos, toolkits, and reflection questions to build your skills and confidence in using the right technology to meet students' needs for today and the future.  Click here for more information on courses offered.
  • NEW! Apply to become a curriculum writer for the Aquarium of the Bay - Curriculum writers will be hired by contract to develop a total of eight Teacher Resource Guides featuring lesson plans, writing prompts, and recommended resources. There will be a Teacher Resource Guide for each grade level K-12, and they will all be aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards, the Common Core State Standards, and the current California content standards. An initial orientation and a template for the Teacher Resource Guides will be provided, and writers will be expected to write to the themes and direction given by the Aquarium’s Student & Teacher Programs Coordinator. Writers will be paid $500 per resource, with an expected minimum of two resources. Deadline to apply is May 31st, 2014See flier for more information.
  • EcoTech Grants from Captain Planet Foundation: apply for up to $2500 for the purpose of engaging children in inquiry-based projects in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) that use innovation, biomimicry/nature-based design, or new uses for technology to address environmental problems in their communities. Apply here. Rolling deadline through May 31.
  • Meteorology Grant from National Weather Association: apply for up to $750 for supplies, programs, or professional development related to meteorology. Apply here by June 1.
  • NEW! NEA Grants: apply here for $2000 (or $5000 for a group) for professional development. Or apply here for $2000-5000 to pay for student materials or education experiences. Deadline for both is June 1, next deadline is October 15.
  • American Museum of Natural History's "Evolution: A Course for Educators": This online course will focus on the history of evolutionary theory, how scientists reconstruct evolutionary history, human evolution, the societal implications of modern evolutionary theory, and integrating modern evolutionary theory into your teaching. This is a free, online, 4-week, 5-8 hours per week course. Register hereStarts June 2.
  • NEW! Bird Habitat Grants: in May and June, submit information about your schoolyard habit for birds (or lack thereof) to be able to apply for a $100-750 for birdfeeders, seeds, native plants, curriculum materials, etc. Information here.  
  • Exploratorium's Tinkering Fundamentals: A Constructionist Approach to STEM Learning: This online course will provide a powerful way to inspire students' interest, engagement, and understanding in science. The Tinkering Fundamentals course will help educators and enthusiasts develop a practice of tinkering and making. This course will focus on key design elements of high-quality, science-rich tinkering activities, effective facilitation strategies and environmental organization. Sign up here6 week/4-6 hours per week course starts June 22.
  • American Museum of Natural History Coursera (online) Course: "Genetics & Society: A Course for Educators" will focus on an overview of the science of genetics and genomics, the science and ethics of cloning, the science and ethics of gene therapy, the science and ethics of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and learning how to talk to your students about genetics and society. This is a free, online, 4-week, 5-8 hours per week course. Register hereStarts July 7.
  • Teaching Science Through Citizen Science Workshop at Cal Academy: Have you wondered how to engage your students in meaningful science research?  In this free one-day workshop for middle and high school teachers, researchers and educators from California Academy of Sciences will present a toolkit for integrating citizen science into your curriculum, including step-by-step guidance on how to design and implement authentic partnerships between your students and the scientific community.  Choose between two sessions each taking place at the Academy from on August 6th or 7th, 9am-4pm. Flyer here.  Click here to register.
  • NSTA New Science Teacher Academy: For teachers entering their 2nd-5th year of teaching in the 2014-2015 schools year. Information & application hereApply by August 26.
  • Attend Nerd Nite at the Rickshaw Stop on the 3rd Wednesday of every month. Topics vary but are all STEM related. $8 cover, doors open at 8pm. It's recommended to buy tickets in advance and show up early to get a spot. More information here. 
  • CA Academy of Sciences' Conversations on Science Series: $27. Information & tickets here. All lectures at 7:30pm at the Nourse Theater (275 Hayes Street).
    • TONIGHT: The Neuroscience of Music & Creativity with Indre Viskontas
    • Monday, June 9: Science & Scripture: Inside the Vatican Observatory with Father Coyne
  • 2014 SkeptiCAL Conference: Join science fans and people who enjoy examining the foibles of the world for a day of stimulating ideas and fun conversation. $50, purchase tickets hereSaturday, May 31, 9am-6:30pm, Oakland Asian Cultural Center. Speakers and topics include:
    • Benjamin Santer, climate scientists at Lawrence Livermore Labs, on the human influence on climate change
    • Andrew Fraknoi, astronomer at Foothill College, on Nancy Reagan’s astrologer, jetology, and the zodiac
    • Psychologist Patrick O’Reilly (UC San San Francisco) on cons, scams, and undue influence
    • Sheril Kirshenbaum (U of Texas, and coauthor of “Unscientific America”) on science literacy in the 21st century
    • Paul Doherty of the Exploratorium on the boundaries of science.
    • Plus other speakers, science comedian Norm Goldblatt, exhibits, and a chance to mingle with interesting people
  • NEW! 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.
  • NEW! Teacher Research Academy at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory: the academy employs a continuum model where teachers progress through five levels of instruction. Each level builds on the knowledge and experience of the preceding level progressing the teacher from novice to mastery. This summer sessions include Level 1 of: Biotechnology (June 16-18), Computational Modeling & Simulation (July 7-11), Fusion & Astrophysics (July 7-9), and Technical Writing for Science Class (June 19-20). $20 & receive college credits. Information & registration hereApply by June 9.
  • CA Academy of Sciences Summer Professional Development: Summer is the perfect time to connect with colleagues and refresh your enthusiasm for learning. What’s in store at the Academy this summer? Explore the Next Generation Science Standards in an introductory workshop, or dive deeper into the Scientific and Engineering Practices and begin to integrate them into your classroom. Get your hands on our new Astronomy Kit to discover how we know what we know about the solar system, or get outside and explore the park in the Outdoor Learning series.  Click here for more information and to register for the summer workshops or here for the summer PD informational flyer.  $35 Registration fee & $150 stipend at the completion of each workshop series. PDs start June 23!
  • UCMP Summer Institute - Think Evolution VI: Put on your evolution eyeglasses and your nature of science thinking cap and join us for (yet another) fun-filled five days of evolutionary explorations with biologists and educators at the University of California. The Think Evolution Summer Institute combines lectures by prominent evolutionary biologists with sessions focused on hands-on activities for the classroom.  $75.00 for five days; includes lots of free resources plus morning and afternoon snacks.  More information & registration hereMonday through Friday, July 28–August 1, 9am–3pm at the UC Museum of Paleontology at Berkeley.  
  • UCMP Summer Institute - Understanding Global Change: The UC Museum of Paleontology, together with the National Center for Science Education, will launch a new web resource — Understanding Global Change — at the end 2014. The resource will provide vetted scientific content, teaching resources, and strategies for K-16 educators to effectively incorporate the complex and critically important topic of global change into existing curricula. The goal of the workshop is to preview parts of the new website, provide feedback to the UCMP and NCSE, review related teaching resources & supplemental materials that support the teaching of global change, & explore connections to the NGSS. The workshop will also feature invited speakers & prominent scientists whose research intersects with a variety of global change issues, from climate change to ocean acidification. $75.00 for five days; includes free resources plus morning and afternoon snacks. Information & registration hereMonday through Friday, August 4-8, 9am–3pm at the UC Museum of Paleontology at Berkeley.  
  • BAWT Wilderness Leadership Training: The WLT is a 5-day intensive entry-level backpacking course (with pre-trip meeting) from Bay Area Wilderness Training that is designed to give you the tools you need to lead youth on multi-day backpacking adventures. After completing the course, you will gain free full access to our gear loaning libraries. Skills learned include: clothing requirements, nutrition, equipment use, map and compass reading, basic wilderness first aid, leadership styles, group dynamics and more. Food and transportation are provided and no previous experience is necessary. $195.00 (scholarships available & CEUs available). Information & application here. Pre-Trip Meeting is Sat, July 19 from 9-4pm in Oakland, course is Wed, July 23 - Sun, July 27, in Tahoe National Forest (scholarship deadline is July 4). 
Upcoming Opportunities for your School and Science Students
  • NEW! Teachers may now apply for an Academy field trip for the 2014-2015 academic year!  Visit the California Academy of Sciences before November 30, 2014 to see the new SKULLS exhibit before it closes.  Visit in the spring to bring your grades 3-12 students to the new Planetarium show on ecosystems. For information on the SKULLS exhibit, click here.  To apply for field trip dates, click here.
  • NEW! The Branson Summer STEM Institute in Biology is able to offer 5 additional full scholarships. BSSI is an immersive, four-week non-residential program on Branson's campus at 39 Fernhill Ave., Ross, CA 94957 this summer that integrates advanced coursework and labs, in-depth mentored research, and talks from professionals and scientists.  If you teach or know a science-hungry, low-income student (students that qualify for free or reduced lunch) who would thrive in a challenging 4-week summer program, please let them know.  Application deadline: May 15, 2014. For more information, visit or email Carl Ma at  
  • NEW! TeenTechSF@Stanford: Great opportunity to get the inside scoop about the science, tech, engineering, and math scene at Stanford from current Stanford students. Panel discussion, special presentations/demos from Stanford Robotics, Stanford Women in Engineering, and the Stanford Virtual Reality Lab, plus small group breakout sessions with Stanford students majoring in STEM for individual questions and campus visit. Space is very limited.  High school students ONLY & one registration per person. You must like TTSF FB page before registering. Once registration is verified, details will be sent to the confirmed participants.  Saturday, May 24, 2014.  Register here: TeenTechSF@Stanford eventbrite
  • (K-12) NASA Exploration Design Challenge: these grade span (K-4, 5-8, 9-12) STEM challenges set up the goal for students to research and design ways to protect astronauts from space radiation as they travel beyond low Earth orbit and on to an asteroid or Mars. Complete lesson plans & information online. Complete this challenge by July 1.
  • (7-12) Get to the Coast with YMCA Point Bonita and Coastal Conservancy: This program is intended to provide first time overnight coastal outdoors experiences to Bay Area youth enrolled in Title 1 middle and high schools. This is for a teacher-led enriched or honor class (or science-themed club) of interested students to experience meaningful scientific research. Three days/2 nights will be full of YMCA outdoor education programming with integrated grade-level appropriate guided research with YMCA staff. Low-cost with busing included. Apply here ASAP for dates in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015.
  • Entry call for Bay Area Youth Media Festival: BAYMN Fest (October 17-18) is an interactive showcase of media produced by youth ages 12-24 hosted at the San Francisco Public Library. This event is a unique opportunity for youth, educators and the general public to celebrate the work of talented young media makers through screenings, workshops, a transmedia gallery, and networking opportunities. Prizes will be awarded to all filmmakers whose entries are accepted to the Festival. Information on submission hereDeadline is August 1st.
  • (6-12) NEW! 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.
  • (4-12) UCSF Outdoor Kayak Program: UCSF Outdoor Programs provides scholarships for 2-hour kayak programs at our Mission Creek site for Bay Area youth. Apply for scholarship funding by contacting Kirk McLaughlin at or 415.502.2121. Programs require a minimum of 16 participants, maximum of 30, preferably no younger than 10 yrs of age. Programs can occur any day and any time that guides and gear are available. Mission Creek is a protected waterway with an accessible dock that leads to AT&T park and McCovey Cove.
  • (K-12) BayMobile - Bringing the Bay Your Way!  Can’t make it to the Aquarium? Now the Aquarium can come to you.  During a visit from the BayMobile, your students will dive into the science of climate change and meet some of Aquarium of the Bay’s animal ambassadors, all without leaving the classroom. Through experimentation and demonstration, your students will engage in scientific practices and gain a better understanding of one of the most important issues of our time. All courses are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards, and are taught by our talented education team, who are well-versed in classroom management and education best practices. We look forward to bringing the Aquarium–and climate change education–to your school!  Click here for more information.
  • (6-12) Dark Universe Planetarium Show: Book a spring or summer field trip and pre-reserve seats in the 11:30am showing of Dark Universe! Venture into a new frontier in space exploration in this new planetarium show. Fly through distant galaxies, plunge into the atmosphere of the planet Jupiter, and learn how scientists are attempting to shed new light on dark matter and dark energy—mysterious components that account for 95% of our known Universe. Developed by the American Museum of Natural History, in collaboration with the California Academy of Sciences and GOTO Inc. There's an Educator Guide, too!  Click here for more information
  • (K-12) The Felidae Conservation Fund offers free presentations, labs and field trips for Bay Area schools. The presentations discuss basic physiology and ecology of puma and bobcats. The lab focuses on predator/prey dynamics in the natural, and human modified world. The field trip takes students out to a local wild space to teach them how to identify local wildlife sign, and allows them to work with our research equipment (remote camera, tracking equipment). Presentations are for grades K-12, labs and field trips are for grades 3-12. For more information, click here.
Save the Date for Science Events!
  • NEW!  The 4th Annual San Francisco Green Film Festival is approaching- May 29-June 4. This year's festival covers a multitude of environmental topics, and discussions with filmmakers themselves!!  The SFGFF fundraised to offer a group of students free tickets for the festival. If you are a youth interested in getting a FREE ticket to one of the films listed below please contact Talia Schmitt directly at  Check out the website for film titles, dates, and times.  
  • NEW! The 2014 Bay Area Science Festival will return this fall from 10/23-11/1.  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 1st from 11 AM – 4 PM.  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:
  • 2nd Annual California STEM Symposium: held in San Diego, Monday & Tuesday, September 22 & 23. Apply here to present by Friday, May 30.
  • The American Association for the Advancement of Science publishes a weekly STEM Event Roundup of webinars, Twitter chats, and events - check it out here.
  • California Science Teachers Association and National Science Teachers Association Area Conference in Long Beach: join both organizations for only $105 for one year and save on registration for the conference held December 4-6. Information here and join here!
Contact us!   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, Secondary Science Content Specialist, Science Department (STEM @ C & I)
Katie Tobin, Secondary Science Content Specialist, Science Department (STEM @ C & I)
Eric Lewis, Secondary Science Content Specialist, LEAD - High Schools Division
Follow us on Twitter
Visit our SFUSD Science Website
Copyright © 2014 SFUSD Office of Curriculum & Instruction.  STEM Department, Science Division, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences