January 17, 2014
High School Science Newsletter #8
A parent chaperone shares a California Slender Salamander, Batrachoseps attenuatuswith her student's class during a field trip to Fort Point.  

Spotlight on Parent & Family Involvement in Science Education

Science is the study of the natural world.  It is not just about facts but also about the processes involved in verifying facts and making new discoveries about the living and non-living world around us.  This is the same world that our students and their families share.  No one will argue that Family Involvement is key to students’ success in school.  How do you get families involved in science education? One of the easiest ways is to show an interest in what their student is learning.  This is a great opportunity for science teachers to reach out to offer simple suggestions on how families can support their student in science education, even if they aren’t knowledgeable about the content being learned. 
Here are a variety of simple suggestions teachers can choose from to facilitate family involvement.

  • Assign simple open-ended journal prompts for homework.
  • Create a movie and TV program suggestion guide that relates to your curriculum.
  • Assign simple take home science projects, activities, or experiments.
  • Interview a parent or other adult family member about a science concept.
  • Chaperone a field trip
  • Science Showcase or School Event
  • Provide parents/families with a list of conversations starters
  • Create a list of Museums, Aquariums, and Zoo Free Admission Days and/or special exhibits.
  • Create a Parent/Family Involvement “Tips” Sheet
  • Invite parents and other adult family members to assist in the classroom during experiments, investigations, and activities.

            Tip Sheet for Parents/Families with Students in Elementary School
            Tip Sheet for Parents/Families with Students in Secondary School
            Conversation Starters:  How to Talk to Your Child about Science

SFUSD Science Professional Learning for Teachers!

Teaching With FOSSILS!
Saturday Jan. 25, 2014, 9:00am-12:00pm - 
Register here
500+ million year old trilobites from Utah, 50 million year old fish from Wyoming, and 5-10 million year old shell fossils from California? Join the Mission Science Workshop and the University of California Museum of Paleontology to learn about these fossils and engage in hands-on classroom ready activities that align with current and Next Generation Science Standards. All participating teachers will receive their own class set of fossils! Additionally, teachers will have continued access to support from the Mission Science Workshop through their science programs. All fossils are accompanied with written documentation and suggested activities with clear linkages to the Earth and Life Science Standards. Flyer here.

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) PDs
February 11, March 4, March 22, and April 10
These SFUSD workshops are designed to introduce the major shifts in science education the Next Generation Science Standards will bring.  The workshops can be taken individually or as a series, and will incorporate hands-on science activities and planning resources.  All workshops are planned in partnership with the California Academy of Sciences.  
Search and register for any of 4 NGSS workshops here through Cornerstone*.  Extended hour pay provided for all attendees. Flyer here

*First time users on Cornerstone, use your SFUSD ID and the password Welcome1 (case-sensitive). You will then be prompted to create a new password.
Opportunities and Resources for High School Science Teachers!

  • Canvas Grants: Have an idea to innovate education? Win one of five $10,000 grants to make your idea come to life. Applications due online by Jan 20, 2014
  • CDE Science Framework Public Focus Group: Want to give input to the CA Department of Education on the revision of the Science Framework for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve? Free, open to the public. Information here. Saturday, January 25, 10 AM-noon at the Exploratorium.
  • Where’s the Math...In Your Science Curriculum? FEAST Session: At this FEAST (Fun Exchanges and Activities for Science Teachers) session, teachers will discuss math applications for science investigations that show students why it’s important to learn math. Do you have some favorite lessons that have optimized both math and science? Take a close look at your lessons/demos and you might be surprised how often you combine these disciplines. Bring your ideas, demonstrations and/or lessons to share and collect a few ideas for yourself while you’re at it.  Information & RSVP here. Saturday, Jan 25, 9 AM-noon, Biology Lab, Chabot Space & Science Center, Oakland.
  • Amgen Award for for Science Teaching Excellence: Win $5000 for you and $5000 for your school for your excellence in elevating the level of science literacy through creativity in the classroom and motivation of students. Must have 3 or more years teaching experience before 2013-2014. Information hereApply online by January 28, 2013.
  • Summer Learning through Fund for Teachers: Want to spend time learning, traveling, and/or doing science this summer? Apply for up to $5000 per individual or $10,000 per team from the SF Education Fund & Fund for Teachers. Information & application here. Due Thursday, January 30th by 3 PM. 
  • CSTA Board of Directors Region 2: SFUSD's Eric Lewis has served on the CSTA's Board of Directors and has been termed out. It would be great to have another SFUSD teacher serve the two-year term. Information here and application here. Due by January 31, 2014.
  • Biolink CCSF Depot Giveaway: Wondering what happens when all the medical and biotech companies in our area have to get rid of things? It comes to the Biolink CCSF Depot for you to come get for free. See the guidelines and directions before attending. Saturday, February 1, 10 AM-1 PM.
  • Siemens Summer of Learning - STARS & STEM Institutes: Apply to be one of 50 middle and high school educators to attend Siemens STEM Institute, an all-expenses-paid week (August 3-8) at Discovery Communications World  headquarters outside of Washington, D.C. Fellows will learn about hands-on STEM integration in the classroom, take field trips to leading institutions to observe real-world STEM applications, and network with STEM leaders and peers. The Siemens Teachers As Researchers (STARs) program, offered at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, gives middle and high school educators the opportunity to spend two weeks, all-expenses-paid, engaging with top scientists and researchers on short-term mentored research projects at a top U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory. STARs will be offered twice: June 8-20 and July 20-August 1. Information & apply online. Apply by February 4, 2014.
  • LiMPETS Introduction to Sandy Beach & Rocky Intertidal Monitoring: Get trained to do authentic, hands-on coastal monitoring experiences with your students to conduct real science at monitoring sites in SF and along the coast of CA. Get curriculum & support for field trips. $50 stipend & CEUs are available. Register for one or both workshops hereDates: Feb 15 (Sandy Beach in SF) and March 1 (Rocky Beach in Moss Beach).
  • IISME Summer Fellowship Program For Teachers: The IISME Summer Fellowship Program places eligible K-16 teachers from all disciplines into high-performance corporate and research environments for the summer. Teachers work full-time for eight weeks, complete a project for their host organization, and are paid $8,200 for their work. Teachers devote 10% of their paid time to focus on how they will transfer their Summer Fellowship experience back to their students and colleagues. For more information and to apply, please click here.  Applications are now open and educators are encouraged to apply by February 15, 2014.  
  • Lawrence Hall of Science Saturday Seminars - Building STEAM: In this PD series for teachers, the focus is on the common ground & connections between science, math & reading. Keynote byEmily Pilloton. In this climate of economic uncertainty, America is once again turning to creativity as the way to ensure a prosperous future. Yet innovation remains tightly coupled with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – the STEM subjects. Art and Design are poised to transform our economy in the 21st century just as science and technology did in the 20th. Join us as we explore strategies to engage students in STEAM. Free. More information here. Saturday, March 1, 8:45 AM-12:45 PM at Albany Middle School.
  • CTA Institute for Teaching Grants: Intended for CTA members and chapters to support strength-based, teacher-driven reform for students and public schools in the 2014-15 school year. Grants awarded to individuals & small teams of teachers up to $5,000. Chapter grants awarded to associations up to $20,000. Announcements of awards in June 2014. Information hereDue April 30. 
  • California Academy of Sciences Teacher Workshops: Explore many facets of science through teacher professional development at the California Academy of Sciences! Dive into science content, explore scientific and engineering practices, engage in effective teaching pedagogy, and develop a sense of how science really works. Topics this spring include: Climate Myths, Sustainability and Engineering, Infographics in the Classroom, and more! For details and to register, click here.
  • Bay Area Wilderness Training (BAWT): This annual snowshoeing course includes an evening session on Wednesday, 2/5 from 7-9 PM in Oakland and a day-long trip to Tahoe on Saturday, 2/8.  Participants will learn how to properly use snowshoes, plan winter trips, and some snow-based environmental education.  All graduates of the training will be eligible to borrow snowshoes, boots, and all other winter clothing from our gear library for friends and for classes of students.  Cost is $45 to $60. Click here for more information. Registration deadline: Tuesday, Feb 4.
  • SF Bay Area STEAM Colloquium: This 4th annual colloquium will address critical issues in implementing STEAM education, showcase best practices, build leadership capacity for educators, and provide opportunities to develop learning communities throughout the region.  $60 includes breakfast and lunch.  Click here for more information and to register. Friday, February 7th, 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM in San Ramon.  
  • 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
  • UCMP Short Course: Where have all the species gone?  Spend a day learning about the complex web of interacting mechanisms that influence extinction both in deep time and today.  Information and registration here. $25 - register soon as this will fill up! Saturday, March 1, 9am-3:30pm, UC Berkeley
Upcoming Opportunities for your School and Science Students
  • Code Camp: High School Meets Industry Brunch:  Interested in computer science and engineering?  Square is hosting a Women in Engineering Brunch for local high school girls to meet industry role models on Saturday, January 25th from 10:45 AM - 1 PM.  Square is located at 1455 Market Street.  Space is limited! Please email Vanessa Slavich at for more information or to register for this event.   
  • Youth Programs at California Academy of Sciences:  Applications are now being accepted for the following youth programs: Virtual Expeditions, Science in Action Summer Intensive, Food Sleuths, Science Action Club, TASC: Teen Advocates for Science Communication, Careers in Science Intern Program, and Student Science Fellows.  Visit programs for more information, associated deadlines, and applications.  
  •  Marine Mammal Center Youth Crew: The Marine Mammal Center’s Youth Crew Program introduces current high school students between the ages of 15- 18 to the Center’s mission and the importance of volunteerism. This experience will allow youth to work alongside adults as well as our marine mammal patients. Through this program, youth will have the chance to connect with fellow youth who share similar passions; and they will have the opportunity to develop interpersonal skills, all while gaining hands-on experience in the field of marine science! Youth Crew is a five month commitment beginning in March and continuing through July. All program participates will gain experience working on an Animal Care Crew and as an Education Docent.  Application deadline: January 26, 2014.    Visit for more information and to apply.  
  • California Coastal Art & Poetry Contest: The California Coastal Commission invites K-12 students to submit artwork or poetry with a California coastal or marine theme to the annual Coastal Art & Poetry Contest. Up to ten winners will be selected to win $100 gift certificates to an art supply or book store. For rules and entry form and information, visit the website. Entries must be postmarked by January 31, 2014. 
  • The DuPont Challenge: This is a science essay contest about food, energy, protection and innovation.  Win up to $5000 in savings bonds plus a free trip to Orlando, Florida. Register and submit by January 31 (must be 13 years old by Jan 31 to enter).
  • 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 onlineProjects due Jan 31, 2014.
  • NASA's REEL Science Communication Contest: NASA is looking for talented high school students to create videos that engage younger students in earth science.  Students are consuming over 10 hours of media each day, and video is increasingly important to reach and engage this audience about science. NASA is hosting the second annual video contest, challenging high school students to produce a two-minute video for middle school students. The videos should communicate one of the following science concepts: how climate impacts ice and ice impacts climate, forest fire effects on air quality or water of the water planet. Deadline for submitting videos is Feb. 21, 2014.  For more information and instructions for submitting a video, visit
  • Gladstone Summer Scholars (GSS):  Calling all future scientists!  The GSS internship program is now accepting applications.  This is a paid internship in which students earn approximately $2500 over the course of the summer.  Gladstone is a non-profit biomedical research organization located on UCSF's Mission Bay campus.  During the program, interns are paired with a scientific mentor and work on an individual research project in one of our laboratories.  GSS interns work part-time (25 hours/week) over the course of 9 weeks (6/9 - 8/8) and participate in a final poster session where they present their research findings to the scientific community at Gladstone an UCSF.  Click here for more information, eligibility requirements, and to apply.  Apply by Friday, 2/28 at 5 PM.  
  • iCLEM High School Biotech Internship Summer Internship Program: iCLEM is a summer research internship program for exceptionally motivated high school sophomores and juniors with an interest in biotechnology. The program is operated by UC Berkeley and takes place at the Joint BioEnergy Institute from June 17-Aug 7, 2014. Students work on a team-based bioenergy research project with four scientists and 2 credentialed science teachers. Stipend is $1500 plus a scholarship of $500 upon successful completion of the program. Students must commit to full time work (40 hrs/wk) for eight weeks. Applicants must be enrolled in high school in Alameda, SanFrancisco or Contra Costa counties, must be US citizens/permanent residents, must be age 16 by 6/1/14, and their families must have income below $60,000. Apply by March 1st at:
  • Summer Programs for free: Wishbone helped over 80 high school students crowd-fund the summer program of their dream last summer and is accepting applications for summer of 2014 now. Opportunities in many fields, including scienceInformation and application onlineDeadline depends on program selected.
Save the Date for Science Events!
  • SFUSD Science Resource Center Ribbon Cutting & Teacher Resource Fair:  Join us as we celebrate the opening of the Science Resource Center!  Meet other science-minded teachers and community organizations, learn about resources and support available to you and your students, and participate in hands-on activities.  Raffle, teacher give-aways, food, fun & science!  Info & RSVP here. Tuesday, February 4th, 3:30 PM - 6:30 PM
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

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