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May 6, 2015
High School Science Newsletter #18


The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) bring exciting shifts to the science classroom for both teachers and students. With summer right around the corner and the 2015-16 school year not far off, we’d like to share how you can jump start your NGSS learning!



What should I focus my practice on during the 2015-2016 school year regarding the NGSS?

What is happening next school year with NGSS implementation?

How can I continue my NGSS learning?


Explore the 8 NGSS Science & Engineering Practices! We encourage teachers to become familiar with them and to integrate them into their current science curriculum during the 2015-2016 school year.  

C&I is building sample inter-disciplinary curriculum maps and units for elementary school teachers. These sample units will include Science and Engineering Practices that can be emphasized with the current FOSS CA curriculum.

Ask your principal to set up an NGSS PD with the SFUSD Science Department at your site next year.

This summer, UCSF’s SEP is offering 2-day introductions to NGSS in June. The California Academy of Sciences is offering teacher workshops around all three dimensions of the NGSS.     


Teachers are encouraged to continue focusing on incorporating the NGSS Science & Engineering Practices into their current curriculum (instructional guides, Prentice Hall textbook support, & more on our website), as well as looking for opportunities to connect learning to Crosscutting Concepts throughout the year.

In June 2015, a group of middle school science teachers will begin designing units for the Sixth Grade Science Core Curriculum. It will be piloted by teachers in 2015-2016 school year.

In June 2016, we will begin building 7th and 8th grade units.

There are a few spots left for science teachers of grades 6-8 to design the Sixth Grade Science Core Curriculum this summer (June 8-12). Contact us if you would like to pilot the Sixth Grade Science Core Curriculum in 2015-2016! 

If you would like site-based PD for your science department during the 2015-2016 school year, contact us to schedule dates!


Teachers are encouraged to continue focusing on incorporating the NGSS Science & Engineering Practices into their current units and to look for opportunities to connect learning to Crosscutting Concepts throughout the year.

In June, a group of high school science teachers will begin to develop the scope and sequence for high school science courses with the integration of Earth and Space Science Standards.

During the 2015-2016 school year, the group will begin designing units for the high school science Core Curriculum.

We encourage you to take advantage of the resources provided below and on our website

Contact us if you would like to organize PD for your science department during the 2015-2016 school year.


And check out these NGSS Resources to continue your NGSS learning:

SFUSD & Stanford University Science Event

Dr. Bryan Brown of Stanford University will be speaking on "What does language, learning, and cognition have to do with science instruction? Research findings about urban science education with implication for SFUSD’s implementation of the NGSS."

Tomorrow! Thursday May 7, 4-5pm
SFUSD Science Resource Center, 2055 Sunnydale Avenue, SF

This is a FREE talk that includes a light dinner. Prop A hours can be used with your site administrator’s approval.  Space is limited. Please refer to the flyer for additional event details. Email to register or register on Cornerstone.

Site Chemical & Biological Specimen Inventory: Site-specific chemical inventory links have been emailed to your school site. Please update your inventory of science-related chemicals (including biological specimens and household items) and submit it by May 8, 2015.
Chemical Sweeps: A 3-Phase plan has been created with the goal of reducing chemical surplus at sites. This 3-Phase plan will be implemented to ‘sweep’ unused, unwanted, and unmarked waste that may have accumulated at your site.  
The inventory update provides a great opportunity for school sites to sweep these unwanted items. A letter outlining the sweep process and labels were mailed to your site. Please label, set-aside, and submit the phase 1 form for any Known Chemicals that are surplus, unused, or expired at your site. Submit your Phase 1 chemicals by May 8, 2015. 

Have a science safety-related question or want to notify us of your updated chemical inventory? 
Middle School: Bonnie Daley (
High School: Dawn Rege (

Free and Compensated
  • Teacher Appreciation Week Raffle from Cal Academy: drawing for great prizes, including a one-year teacher membership and a Behind the Scenes tour, ends on Friday, May 8 at 5pm. Enter here (short entry!).
  • TOMODACHI Toshiba Science & Technology Leadership Academy: one-week, cross-cultural STEM exchange & leadership program for high school students & teachers from Japan & the U.S. in early August. Information & application hereDeadline extended to Friday, May 8! 
  • National Summer Teacher Institute on Innovation, STEM, and Intellectual Property: The USPTO will host its 2nd Annual National Summer Teacher Institute on July 12-17, 2015 in Dallas, Texas. This multi-day professional development training opportunity is designed to help elementary, middle, and high school teachers incorporate concepts of making, inventing, and Intellectual Property creation & protection into classroom instruction. For more information please read our FAQ and Apply NowTravel & lodging are covered for accepted teachers! Apply by Tuesday, May 12. 
  • Understanding Global Change: The Earth is a changing set of systems. We can see what is happening right now, and the rocks provide us a history of Earth.  But what does change mean?  How do we know (what is the evidence)?  How fast (or slow) and how much is actually changing?  This workshop will feature discussions and presentations by scientists whose research intersects with a variety of global change topics, from climate change to nitrogen and carbon cycling to ocean acidification. This one-week workshop (July 13-17) is offered through a partnership between the Stanford School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences and the University of California Museum of Paleontology. $200 stipend & lunch ($50 refundable registration fee). Apply here by Friday, May 15. 
  • Mars Through Time Workshop: This is a free, four day, high school teacher PD focusing on Mars science & exploration & the nature & process of science. Participants explore the relationship between technology & science using the history of Mars exploration as an example. Participants also learn about & discuss the nature & process of science with each other and invited speakers. Travel stipends are available for select participants based on need. Apply here by May 15July 13–16, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX.
  • Game Time Expo at Hoover Middle School: Come here Hoover STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math) Coding students pitch the games they made. RSVP here. Thursday, May 21, 5:45-7:30pm, Hoover Middle School.
  • MAVEN Educator Ambassadors Workshop:  Join NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission team! In September of 2014, the MAVEN mission began exploring Mars’ upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the sun and solar wind. The MAVEN Educator Ambassador (MEA) program will focus on in-depth learning experiences around Earth, space, and physical science topics for educators teaching middle and high school grades. In this week-long, NASA funded program, you will receive training to become a MAVEN Ambassador and to train other teachers on NASA Heliophysics and Planetary Science educational resources. Participants receive a single travel stipend of $700. Free housing and meals will be provided. Information & application hereAugust 3-7, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. Apply by Friday, May 22. 
  • Modeling Watershed Workshop: Participants & their students will use free portal-based activities that employ maps & models to study their own school’s watershed; teachers will participate in two summer face-to-face workshops and two online courses. $1000 stipend for completion of all NSF-funded research activities (travel & housing reimbursed). Information & apply here by Saturday, May 30. June 23-25 in Sanger, CA, plus follow up in 2015-16 school year. Spots are being held for SFUSD teachers!
  • Tinkering Fundamentals with the Exploratorium: The Tinkering Fundamentals online course will offer educators an opportunity to develop a practice of tinkering & making. The Exploratorium Institute of Inquiry sees tinkering as a serious endeavor -- one that is generalizable across content & especially good at interweaving disciplines in a way that leads to complex projects and individualized learning opportunities. Sign up here for this free, online Coursera course July 22 - September 3.
  • 2015 Stanford Summer Teaching Institute (SSTI): Two great opportunities for high school Chemistry and AP Biology Teachers! More information & to register!
    • ChemEx2: Teachers will work with a set of chemistry experiences and experiments that can foster student learning and expand high-leverage, core teaching practices in chemistry. The experiences will provide opportunities for participants to make strong connections with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core State Standards. Participants will develop a plan for their own classrooms that uses these experiences, experiments, and core teaching practices to address the science learning goals in the NGSS and Common Core State Standards. Follow-up days during the academic year will enhance learning through additional instruction, collaborative feedback, and your own continued reflection on effective teaching practice in chemistry.This two-week course is generously supported by a grant, and therefore costs the same as our one-week courses. July 27 - August 6, 2015 (M - Th each week)
    • NABT/BSCS AP Biology Teacher Academy: Teachers will use research-based strategies to strengthen their pedagogical knowledge in order to enhance their students' conceptual understanding of biology. By focusing on integrating the AP Science Practices as outlined in the AP Biology Curriculum Framework, teachers will work collaboratively to analyze and enhance their current curriculum to better reflect the big ideas and unifying concepts of biology. Teachers will explore biology curriculum-building, teaching practices, and assessments in the context of their upcoming school year. July 6 - 10, 2015 or August 3 - 7, 2015
  • After Dark at the Exploratorium: Photography: Did you know pigeons were in some ways the drones of the past? How would you go about taking photos of atomic bombs? Have you ever tried to make your own camera? Dive into photography’s evolution from analog to digital images, looking at photographic printing techniques, and hearing from photographers about their craft and what makes a memorable image on Thursday, May 7, 6-10pm. $15, purchase here.
  • Bird Language Saturday Series: The ancient skill of interpreting Bird Language is an art form that has existed as long as humans have interacted with the land and animals. This experiential workshop will immerse you in a village based learning model that will help you to connect your students with the natural world even in the most urban parts of the city! $45. To sign up or learn more, click hereSaturday, May 16, 10am-4pm, San Francisco's Presidio.
  • California Academy of Sciences: Conversations on Science. Science-themed lecture series. $27 non-members, $24 members. Click here for more details.
    • The Science of Sleep Wednesday, May 20th, 7:30pm, Nourse Theatre 275 Hayes
  • Cal Academy Teacher Workshops: all workshops will be held at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. More information & registration for all classes here.
    • One-Day K-12 Introduction to the NGSS, 9:30am-4pm; offered June 8, 9, & 10. $15
    • Three-Day K-12 Series on NGSS Crosscutting Concepts, 9:30am-3:30pm; offered June 23-25 AND August 4-6. $35 fee with $150 stipend.
    • Three-Day K-12 Series on NGSS Science & Engineering Practices, 9:30am-3:30pm; offered July 6-8. $35 fee with $150 stipend
    • Three-Day PreK-2 Series on Inquiry, 9:30am-3:30pm; offered July 21-23. $35 fee with $150 stipend.
  • Think Evolution VII with UC Museum of Paleontology: Put on your evolution eyeglasses & your nature of science thinking cap & join us for 5 fun-filled days of evolutionary explorations with biologists & educators at the UC. The Think Evolution Summer Institute, returning for its seventh year, will combine lectures by prominent evolutionary biologists with sessions focused on hands-on activities for the grades 6-14 classroom. $75.00 for five days; includes lots of free resources distributed to participating teachers plus morning and afternoon snacks. Register here (ASAP as it will fill up!). July 27–31, 9am-3pm each day, UC Museum of Paleontology at UC Berkeley
  • Summer Astronomy Institute: Space Science and the NGSS, A Hands-on Workshop for Teachers of Grades 5-12: Workshop Content Includes: Classroom tested, inquiry-rich activities designed to help students learn the processes of science through the study of space science, explicit alignment to the Three Dimensions of the Next Generation Science Standards, connections to Literacy and the Common Core. $300 registration. Scholarships and CEUs are available. Click here to register. Click here for flier. Monday-Thursday, August 3-6, 8:30am-4pm, Astronomical Society of the Pacific 390 Ashton Ave. at Ocean Ave. 
  • Online Summer University Courses in Science Education: Courses ranging from Plant Science: It Grows On You to Quantum Mechanics to Contemporary Issues in Science Education are being offered online from Montana State University's Science Education Department. Cost is $355-$915 depending on number of credits & includes all materials needed for the course shipped to you. NSTA members receive a 10% discount. Most courses are June 15 - July 31.
  • California Science Teachers Association Awards: nominate Future & Current Science Teachers, as well as Science Organizations. Nominate here before May 8.
  • Fab School Labs: teachers or school admin can apply for up to $100,000 to remake their science lab. Apply here between May 4 and June 12.
  • Solar Week: May 18-22, 2015. Access online activities, games, and lessons for the week. 
  • Mapping Diversity of Arctic Marine Microbes: Between January 2015 - August 2016, scientists from University of Alaska Fairbanks will be using cutting-edge technology to explore the largely unknown molecular diversity of microbes associated with Arctic sea ice and seafloor habitats. Explore the Expedition Education Module!
  • Sign-up for 2015-2016 Field Trips to the California Academy of Sciences! Interested in planning a field trip to the California Academy of Sciences for next school year? Dates are now available through May 2016! San Francisco schools receive free admission for groups in grades preK-12. Visit summer, fall or spring! Apply today!
  • Science Saturdays! Looking for a fun way to spend time with your family? Head to the EcoCenter at Heron’s Head for hands-on, nature based, fun events! Website and flyer
    • May 9, 9:30am-12:30pm: Get Down and Dirty with our Native Plant Garden
    • May 16, 12-1:30pm: The Science of Seeds
    • May 23, 10am-12:30pm: Heron's Head Park Trail Walk
    • May 30, 9:30am-12pm: Why We Love Bees - And So Should You!
  • Exploratorium Explainer: The High School Explainer Program welcomes all high school-aged students, including students that attend alternative schools. A key factor in the selection is reviewing where students are in their development and how this experience will make a difference. In selecting a new group of Explainers, the program director’s main focus is to choose individuals who can work together. Some Explainers are knowledgeable in the sciences while others may display strong public relations skills. The program directors look for students who have a spark for learning new things and a desire to work with people. We are also interested in finding students that speak more than one language. Information here. Online applications will be accepted during the week of May 1-8 for the Summer Semester and August 8 - 16 for the Fall Semester. Mailed applications must be postmarked no later than May 10. Interviews for the upcoming semester will be scheduled the week after applications are due.
  • TeenTechSF presents "Diversity Fuels Innovation"TeenTechSF is an interactive tech community run by and for teens committed to empowering and inspiring the next generation of tech innovators. This event will feature a Diversity Panel, a talk on STEM Academic and Career Pathways, & student breakout sessions.Parents are also welcome to attend. Flyer here. Register by May 8; event is Saturday, May 9, 8:30am-12pm, Galileo HS, 1150 Francisco St.
  • Keep America Beautiful Youth Advisory Council: Want to participate in a service-learning & leadership development program with a nationwide organization? Want to contribute to & inform KAB on programs while acting as ambassadors & leaders for youth service in your communities? If you are aged 15-18 & can commit 1 hour/month from June 2015 - June 2016, then apply here by May 15.
  • Grow, Earn, Succeed. BEETS Internship Now Hiring Teens! Are you, or someone you know, 15-19 years old and looking for an awesome way to spend your summer AND get paid? We’re now accepting applications for the Summer 2015 BEETS cohort!  This summer our focus is on water conservation and teens will learn how to plant and maintain water-wise gardens while also gaining valuable leadership and job skills. The Summer BEETS schedule includes a camping trip in the Presidio, attending the Mo’Magic Workshop Series, and BEETS will also visit Green Gulch Farm in Marin. Apply here by Friday, May 15 at 5pm. Flyers in English, Spanish.
  • Upward Bound Math & Science at USF: The Upward Bound Math and Science Summer program at University of San Francisco offers students: hands-on experience in Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM); exposure to college culture & campus life; field trips; and more. This is a FREE opportunity for low-income, first generation college bound students attending these high schools: Academy of Arts and Sciences, Phillip and Sala Burton, International Studies Academy, June Jordan School for Equity, Thurgood Marshall, Mission, or John O'Connell. Summer program is June 4 - July 10, with continued programming through the school year. Teachers can contact for classroom presentations! Flyer here. Apply here by Friday, May 22.
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.

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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