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February 25, 2015
HS School Science Newsletter #13

An excerpt of the San Francisco Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights, with signatures from city officials.

SPOTLIGHT ON: San Francisco Children’s Outdoor Bill Of Rights  & SFUSD’s “Get Outside Week”

San Francisco Children’s Outdoor Bill Of Rights  & SFUSD’s “Get Outside Week”.
by Lisa Wojcik, SFUSD Environmental Science Center. 
This past October, our city and county of San Francisco formally recognized that “…direct exposure to nature is a necessary component of a child’s physical and emotional wellbeing, and cognitive development” through enacting the “San Francisco Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights”.
This bill supports the 100,000+ children growing up in San Francisco, of which 55,000+ are enrolled with SFUSD. To help support our students participate in these experiences, SFUSD is supporting our first-ever “Get Outside Week” scheduled for April 20-24th 2015.

The following are the 10 experiences explicitly named in the bill, with supporting SFUSD opportunities highlighted. To read more about each experience, and to access more associated resources, click here.  

  1. Explore all wild places in the city
  2. Harvest and eat a fruit or vegetable
  3. Plant a seed and watch it grow
  4. Visit and care for a local park
  5. Splash by the ocean or in the bay
  6. Play in the sand or mud
  7. Discover urban wildlife
  8. Sleep under the stars
    • Our own SFUSD Environmental Science Center (ESC) houses one of the only two permitted camping spots within San Francisco. ESC camping is available for SFUSD elementary school groups.  While registration is full for 2014-15, our April science department newsletter will open registration for 2015-16. If you are looking for something for secondary students, Camping in the Presidio houses the only other camping spot within our city, and is open to PK-12.
  9. Climb a tree
  10. Ride a bike

If you are interested in how to get your school more involved with Get Outside Week, or other resources that may exist to help you support these efforts, contact


Science Professional Learning Groups: PLGs 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 on Tuesday, March 3, 4:30-6:30pm at the Division of Curriculum and Instruction in the Multipurpose Room as we focus on the Interconnected Nature of Science.
  • Engage in a collaborative introductory activity with colleagues
  • Learn from practicing scientist Dr. James Chandler from the Microbiology Department at the California Academy of Sciences
  • Participate in interconnected content area activities
The Division of Curriculum & Instruction is located at 750 25th Avenue, San Francisco 94121
Cornerstone Registration

3rd Annual Environmental Literacy For All Educators' Conference! Join us for a day of Environmental Literacy with workshops and exhibitions from members of the San Francisco Science, Sustainability and Stewardship Collaborative and fellow SFUSD teachers. Register at For more information, contact Elishama Goldfarb: Saturday, April 18, 2015, 9:30-12:30. Prop A hours available.

FREE STEM College & Career Fair for students age 13-18 (STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering & Math).  All middle and high school students are invited to an exciting day filled with hands-on STEM activities, demonstrations, workshops and interactions with STEM students and professionals. Saturday, March 7, 10am-2pm. Balboa High School@ 1000 Cayuga Avenue, San Francisco, CA. NOTE: A valid student ID and registration are required to enter. Event Sponsors: SFUSD, Bay Area Teen Science, Science@Cal
Map of Balboa High School

Event Flyer


Free and Compensated
  • Grants & Discounts! Opportunities to get funding for your classroom or PD:
    • Toshiba America Foundation Grants Teachers of Grades 6 - 12: up to $5,000 to math and science teachers who engage students in positive and challenging learning experiences. Applications for $5,000 or less are accepted on a rolling basis, throughout the calendar year. More information and application here.
    • Association of American Educators Classroom Grants: The AAE provides grants of up to $500 for various projects and materials, including books, software, calculators, audiovisual equipment, and lab supplies. Full-time educators who have not received a scholarship or grant in the last 18 months are eligible. Apply by March 1. 
    • Engineering Award: If you teach engineering to secondary students, you can be nominated by March 16 for an award of up to $2000, class supplies, & a trip to DC.
  • Lead a Workshop at the 3rd Annual Environmental Literacy For All Educators' Conference: Are you an SFUSD teacher? Do you have content and resources related to environmental literacy to share? Come present a workshop at our 3rd Annual Educators' Conference on Saturday, April 18, 2015. Please fill out a Presenters Application before March 6th to be considered.
  • Learning With Technology: A New Era: Technology plays a vital role in our daily lives. We must upgrade the way we use technology to create a coherent learning experience for our students. During this session we will explore the role technology plays in learning. Click here for flier. March 7, 2015, 8:45am-12:30pm, Albany High School.
  • Frontcountry Leadership Training: hosted by Bay Area Wilderness Training, this is an entry-level, two-day course covering all the required skills for teachers to successfully take youth students on car-camping based overnight trips. Skills covered include: camping safety, day-hiking, tent and stove-set up, clothing requirements, nutrition and team building activities. All learning is experiential! Registration includes a Gear Orientation, pre-trip meeting, and food during the training. Information & registration here. $65 (discounts for groups). Tilden Regional Park. Registration required 1 week in advance of pre-trip meeting.
    • Training on Saturday, March 21, 8am - Sunday, March 22, 12pm with pre-trip meeting and gear orientation on Tuesday, March 17, 5pm-7pm in Oakland
    • Training on Saturday, April 18, 8am - Sunday, April 19, 12pm with pre-trip meeting and gear orientation on Tuesday, March 17, 5pm-7pm in Oakland
  • Exploratorium Teacher Institute's Summer Institute: Each day, you'll participate in hands-on investigations led by Teacher Institute scientists and educators that will help your students learn both the content and processes of science. You’ll explore a variety of high school science concepts and get an insider's perspective of many of the Exploratorium's 400 discovery-based exhibits. The Exploratorium is the museum of science, art, and human perception, and the study of perception will be one of the many components of our program. We will focus on this and other interdisciplinary science topics such as light and color to teach content from high school level physics, chemistry, biology, earth science, and math. Time will be provided most every day for you to select from a menu of mini-workshop topics, create your own classroom exhibits in a machine shop, work on individual projects, and to meet in small groups with Teacher Institute staff to focus on your specific needs. The Teacher Institute will help you tailor what you learn in the summer to meet the needs of your students. Happening Monday, June 22 - Friday, July 10 (9am-3:30pm, M-F). $2500 stipend. Information here & apply here by March 15.
  • Summer Introduction to Design Thinking Workshop at Stanford’s Design School: Are you an educator interested in exploring your creative potential? Apply for Stanford’s Summer Introduction to Design Thinking workshop. You’ll have the opportunity to build your design thinking skills, connect with like-minded educators, and become part of the K12 Lab Network. Breakfast and lunch are included both days. Priority will be given to educators proposing to come with a collaborator from his/her school or program and the workshop is expected to fill up before the deadline. For more information and to apply by March 15, click here. June 29-30, Stanford 
  • San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research is now accepting applications for 2015 Teacher Workshops in Conservation Science! Teachers that participate in this 3 day, 2 night professional development opportunity work together to frame content standards in the context of wildlife conservation and explore ways to challenge students to apply their textbook knowledge of life science to issues in saving biodiversity. The program offers participating teachers a $500 stipend for full participation and all workshop room and board is included. Four workshops will be offered during the month of July. More information & teacher application. Apply by March 20. 
  • American Meteorological Society's Project Atmosphere: is a two-week teacher enhancement workshop specifically designed for teachers of science courses with atmospheric content. It is intended to introduce teachers to the latest technologies and techniques for sensing, analyzing, and forecasting weather; explore and suggest ways in which the products of these technologies and techniques can be employed in school studies of the atmospheric environment; prepare workshop attendees to conduct training sessions on selected atmospheric science topics for teachers in their home regions during the next school year; and possibly participate in DataStreme Atmosphere Local Implementation Teams. Accepted teachers will get: a stipend of $600; single hotel room for twelve nights, arranged by AMS; food and incidentals allowance of $350; round-trip air or land travel from US home to Kansas City, MO; instructional and laboratory supplies; tuition; and a set of instructional materials. Information & application hereWorkshop will be held Sunday, July 12 - Friday, July 24 at the U.S. National Weather Service Training Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Applications should be postmarked by March 20, 2014.
  • 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, March 21, 10am-2pm.
  • Library of Congress Summer Science Teacher Institute: K-12 educators who teach science or collaborate with science teachers are welcome to apply.Topics will include the nature of science, scientific practices, the lives of scientists, the historical context of scientific discovery and more. Using the Library’s primary sources, participants will draft an activity on a science topic related to their classroom content. No fee & includes breakfast/lunch. Transportation & accommodation not provided. Apply here by Tues, Mar 24. Science July 20-24; All contents June 22-26, July 6-10, & July 27-31.
  • Education Outside is hiring! - Teachers, do you know someone who is a natural leader? Someone who is passionate about school gardens, science education, the environment, elementary-aged kids, and public service? We’re looking for recent college graduates who share these passions to join our growing Corps for Education Outside—the nation’s first science-and-sustainability service corps. To apply, or to learn more, please click hereApplication deadline is Tuesday, March 31.
  • 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: Saturday, February 28, 9am-3pm
    • (K-12) Unlocking the NGSS Practices: Saturdays, March 7 & 21, 9am-3pm
  • 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.
  • Stanford Summer Teaching Institute: Two different weeks of great courses for educators interested in learning new teaching strategies, developing materials for classroom use, and joining a vibrant community of practitioners. Courses vary in length during the weeks of July 6-10 and August 3-7. Example courses include AP Biology: Adapting to the New Framework & Transforming Teaching and Learning with TechnologyChemEX2, and many others! Registration begins Friday, February 27. Early registration is $450 by March 7. Final deadline is July 6. CEUs available & $100 group discounts. Full course descriptions & application here.
  • Lick Observatory Teacher Institute (LOTI): Come learn ideas for NGSS & CCSS within the context of astronomy. Investigate ways of using astronomical data in your classroom using well-vetted, inquiry and standards-based classroom activities. The workshop at the University of California’s Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton, 20 miles east of San Jose, will feature tours and demonstrations of the research facilities, as well as nighttime observing with research telescopes. $575 to cover lodging, meals, registration, and instructional materials (not transportation). More information & apply here by March 11. Workshop is 3 days/2 nights on July 7-9.
  • Engineers Week: Find videos & activities to help students discover engineering during Engineers Week. If you teach engineering to secondary students, you can be nominated by March 16 for an award of up to $2000. This week - February 22-28.
  • Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy - Linking Individuals to their Natural Environment (LINC) is a 6-week summer internship program for high school youth. A $1000 stipend is awarded to youth upon successful completion of the program. No experience necessary to apply—just a desire for adventure, being part of a team, and trying new things! Visit for more information. Application & informational flyer. Deadline to apply: 3/20/15.  
  • Summer Internships with SFPUC! Each summer, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission hosts high school interns who complete projects and learn job skills related to the environment, water, power, and sewer. In summer 2014, more than 1200 youth had a paid job or work-based learning opportunity! Please visit for more information on internship opportunities with students in grades 9-12. Some deadlines are coming up in February, so act now! Please email if you have any questions.
  • Neighborhood Free Weekends at the Academy: Come see how all life is connected at the world’s only aquarium-planetarium-rainforest-living museum. The Academy invites SF residents to enjoy free admission on the dates designated by their zip code. Neighborhood Free Weekends occur in February and March in Spring 2015, so look up your free weekend soonFree adult admission with valid photo ID and proof of residency. Up to 6 children free per adult.
  • The Gladstone Summer Scholars (GSS) internship program is now accepting applications from rising seniors. Gladstone is a non-profit biomedical research organization located on UCSF’s Mission Bay campus in San Francisco. During the program, GSS interns are paired with a scientific mentor and work on an individual research project in one of our laboratories. GSS interns work part-time (25hrs/week) over the course of 9-weeks (Monday 6/8 – Friday 8/7) and participate in a final poster session where they present their research findings to the scientific community. More information and applicationThe deadline to apply is Friday February 27, 2015 at 5:00pm. 
  • Young Eco-Hero Awards: Apply to become a 2015 International Young Eco-Hero. Join over a hundred young environmentalists who are making a difference. Award applicants should be 8 to 16 years as of February 28, 2015, and have achieved a significant environmental self-initiated accomplishment. Prizes up to $500. Poster here. More information and apply here by Feb 28, 2015.
  • 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.  
  • 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.
  • Linking Individuals to their Natural Community: LINC runs for 6 weeks in the summer. We kick off the program with a 4-day camping trip in Yosemite, and proceed to have a summer filled with habitat restoration, service work, and outdoor adventure! All current high school students from the Bay Area are eligible to apply. Upon successful completion of the program each youth will receive a $1000 educational award. Information & application here. Here’s a short video of what we doFlyer hereApply by March 20 at 5pm!
    • Mt. Tam Team: 6/16-7/24, Tuesdays-Fridays, 9 am-5 pm, Corte Madera, Marin County
    • Golden Gate Team: 6/23-7/31, Tuesdays-Fridays, 9 am-5 pm, Fort Mason, San Francisco
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
  • Content and Language Objectives in Science
  • 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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Copyright © 2014 SFUSD Office of Curriculum & Instruction, STEM - Science Department. All rights reserved.

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