September 21, 2016
High School Science Newsletter #2


This is an exciting year for science in SFUSD as we continue to transition to our new standards, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Our new standards are three-dimensional and integrate Science and Engineering Practices (SEP), Crosscutting Concepts (CCC), and Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI).

Across our district, teachers are bringing exciting changes to the way science is experienced in the classroom. Many are incorporating the Science and Engineering Practices (SEP) when brainstorming classroom activities and adapting existing lesson plans. However, a common question is, “How do I assess the practices?” Researchers at the Research + Practice Collaboratory have developed a tool to help teachers do just that - incorporate the Science and Engineering Practices into assessments! Each of the 8 practice-specific tools offers multiple task formats.

At our Secondary Science PD day on August 11th, middle and high school science teachers successfully used the tool to incorporate a practice into an existing science assessment task. Click
here to download the SEP Assessment Tool and learn more about its development.


Assessment Tool
Research + Practice Collaboratory  Homepage
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices from the SFUSD Website


 The SFUSD Science Scope and Sequences include: NGSS Life Science, NGSS Physics, and NGSS Chemistry. Engineering and Earth and Space Science Standards are threaded into each of the Scope and Sequences. Feedback from over 70 individuals and science partners informed revisions. The most recent working drafts are available for your review and use! Access them on the High School Science Page of SFUSD Science website. The SFUSD HS Science Scope & Sequences will continue to be edited throughout the transition and implementation phases. 
From Judy Gerber, Science Safety Officer

Google goggles are starting to be shipped to Science Department Chairs & Leads at each school site! Please share these with all science teachers who may need to use them with their classes. If you already picked up goggles at the science materials giveaway--those also need to be shared with your colleagues.

Any safety questions? Check and if you can't find the answer there, send me an e-mail and I'll help you out:

Free and Compensated
  • Cal Academy Distance Learning Programs Can’t bring your students on an Academy field trip next year? Too far away to rent a kit? Or just want to add excitement to your science curriculum? Register to preview distance learning programs here.
  • Saturday Seminar Series: Sponsored by the Bay Area Writing, Math and Science Projects. Topics include: A TIme for Bold Action: Speaker: Craig Strang An overview of CDE recent moves toward a goal of Environmental Literacy for All. The Art and Science of Keeping a Nature Journal: Speaker: John (Jack) Muir Laws Help students be more astute observers, curious explorers, creative thinkers, deliberate investigators, and better naturalists Flyer here.Saturday, September 24, 2016, 8:45-12:15, Lawrence Hall of Science  Register Here 
  • SFUSD Newcomer Science Professional Learning Community  Would you like to meet other teachers of Newcomer Science? Then please complete the following survey so that we can collaborate and earn extended hours! Please respond ASAP.
  • California Academy of Sciences Quarterly Free Sundays Admission is free to the general public four Sundays a year. Early arrival is recommended due to the likelihood of high demand. Our next Free Sunday will take place on September 25, 2016.
  • FEAST (Fun Exchanges and Activities for Science Teachers) @ Chabot! Bring a five to ten-minute activity to share! Saturday, October 1st, 9-12 in the Chemistry/Physics Lab. More information & to RSVP. 
  • Recruiting 9th grade science teachers to administer online student survey
    The, a national effort to study persistent engagement in science learning, is recruiting teachers to administer an online 45-minute survey to 9th graders by Oct. 7, 2016. Teachers will receive $50 per class with 25-35 9th graders. Questions/Interested, email

  • (5th-11th, 9/21) Action For Nature's Young Eco-Heroes Winners of Action For Nature's International Young Eco-Hero awards, aged 9 to 17, will describe their projects. Keynote speaker: John (Jack) Laws, Naturalist and Artist. Will also include a video presentation, refreshments, and animal ambassadors. Saturday, October 8, 2-5pm Children's Creativity Museum Theater More information can be found here.
  • PolarTREK Opportunity for Teachers! Teachers are invited to submit an application to participate in field research learning experiences during the 2017 (usually Arctic) or 2017-18 (usually Antarctic) field seasons. PolarTREC, a program of the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS), is a professional development program for educators, which pairs teachers with researchers to improve science education through authentic polar research experiences. More information. Application Deadline: October 10, 2016
  • How Science Works Discussion & Feedback Gathering: Are you a frequent user of Understanding Science and the How Science Works flowchart? UCMP (UC Museum of Paleontology at Berkeley) is hosting a day-long gathering on October 15, 9-4. Please contact Dawn if you are a frequent user and are interested in participating. 
  • Nature is Our Classroom: A NatureBridge Teacher Night Learn more about NatureBridge's environmental science education programs at our upcoming Teacher Night. This free, open house style event includes interactive education stations, a chance to meet our staff, food and refreshments, and raffle prizes. October 25, 4-6:30pm, Fort Cronkhite. RSVP here
  • Design Thinking Workshops at Stanford’s Sign up for a free Discover Design Thinking workshop at Stanford’s There are 2 options, a 2-day course and a 2-hour intro:
    • Discover Design Thinking Workshop: This introductory workshop is a 2-day deep dive into design thinking igniting the creative confidence in educators. Participants will have the opportunity to build their design thinking skills, connect with like-minded educators, and become part of the K12 Lab Network community. Every applicant is asked to apply with at least one collaborator from his/her school site and each individual must complete his/her own application.There is no cost to those admitted, but you must pay your own transportation and lodging. Breakfast and lunch are included both days. October 13-14, 2016 Learn more and apply
    • Design Thinking Burst Join the from 6-8pm for a brief introduction to the design thinking process. This crash course is open to all educators who are curious about the design thinking process and want a quick experience working on a design challenge. September 18, November 15. Please plan to attend only one experience, and bring a collaborator! Learn more and apply.


  • Get Ready for the Great American Eclipse!  On AUgust 21, 2017, the Moon will pass directly in front of the Sun, a phenomenon viewable throughout the country! Learn about how you can take advantage of this spectacular teachable moment at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific Great American Eclipse Workshop. October 8, 2016, 9:00am-12:30pm at College of San Mateo. Registration Fee of $50 includes a one year membership to ASP, The Universe at Your Fingertips 2.0 and a mini-kit of eclipse activity materials. Registration.
  • NGSS and Other Science Learning with Cal Academy: CAS offers a range of NGSS and other science learning throughout the school year! 
  • Bay Area Wilderness: Outdoor Leadership Training Entry-level experiential courses providing teachers with skills to lead youth on outdoor adventures. Completion of course allows FREE gear borrowing privileges for groups up to 30 - Frontcountry Leadership Training ($65) 4/22-4/23 or 5/6-5/7 - Wilderness Leadership Training ($195) 5/17-5/21. Scholarships available, contact for more information.
  • Bay Area Wilderness: Snowshoeing Basics Training Course: Learn how to take kids snowshoeing with this 1-day training in Tahoe National Forest! Pre-trip mtg Wed 2/8 at 6pm in Oakland. After completing the course on 2/11, you will be able to borrow snowshoes, snow boots, and winter clothing FREE OF CHARGE from the Oakland, South Bay, or SF gear libraries. $60 for general public, $45 for BAWT alumni. More information here.

  • Target Field Trip Grants: Have a great field trip idea to inspire your students, but can’t find the funds you need to make it happen? Apply for a Target Field Trip Grant of up to $700! Only one submission per individual educator will be accepted. More information & application. Application deadline: October 1, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. CT
  • Free Science & Engineering Practices Poster for Science Fair Projects: Synopsys Silicon Valley Science & Technology Outreach Foundation designed an infographic that matches examples of science projects with accepted science and engineering practices. Download a copy of the poster.  
  •  Free Crosscutting Concepts Posters: Decorate your classroom with posters representing the NGSS Crosscutting Concepts and refer to them as you make connections in your science lessons! Educators may download and print these posters for noncommercial education use for free! Available on the John Muir Laws website
  • 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.
  • SF Department of the Environment: Free Field Trip Program: The Department of the Environment annually sponsors 100 free field trips that are available to all San Francisco schools for grades 3-12. Field trip destinations include the Recology Transfer Station, Garden for the Environment and Candlestick Park. Apply to join us! Registration begins 9/1/16.  More information here
  • Quarterly Free Sundays at California Academy of Sciences: September 25 Admission is free to the general public four Sundays a year. Early arrival is recommended due to the likelihood of high demand.
  • Sanctuary Explorations: Kent Island Restoration Day 9/24 ($20 Fee) Join the Greater Farallones Association and Marin County Parks to help restore Bolinas Lagoon’s Kent Island. After a short boat ride to the island, we will learn about the island & dune ecology while helping to remove invasive plants, strengthen lagoon function, and restore the original dune habitat. Saturday Sept. 24, 10am- 2pm Flyer here.
  • Open Call for Applications for the KQED Youth Advisory Board! The Youth Advisory Board will meet every other week throughout the school year to contribute their opinions and ideas to KQED Education’s programs KQED is seeking Bay Area high school students, grades 9-12, to join us for the 2016-2017 school year. Participants will be compensated with a $400 gift card. More information. Application deadline: September 30, 2016. 
  • 2016-17 HealthLink @ UCSF application is now open! HealthLink inspires and supports high school students from communities that are under-represented in the health professions through mentorship, workshops and hands-on activities in the health sciences. Encourage your students to apply to be part of this program. Preference is given to 10th grade students. More information & application. Application deadline: Friday, September 23, 2016.
  • Nominate a student for a Local Hero Award for Youth Engagement! Every year, Bay Nature honors three “Local Heroes” who are making significant contributions to the understanding, protection, and stewardship of the natural world of the San Francisco Bay Area. And one of those is a young person who represents the future of conservation in our community. More information & nomination form. Nomination deadline: September 30, 2016.
  • (13-18 year olds) Breakthrough Junior Challenge: Make a short film about a big idea in science or math! One winner is recognized every year and awarded a $250,000 college scholarship. The teacher who inspired the winning student receives a $50,000 prize. The winner’s school also receives a state-of-the art science lab valued at $100,000. More information for students here:
  • (Grades 10-12) Youth Crew at the Marine Mammal Center is accepting applications now! Youth Crew is an multi – year, service learning program offered at The Marine Mammal Center for high school students interested in learning more about the fields of veterinary science and informal education. Students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience helping to rehabilitate marine mammals and engage the Center’s guests. Youth Crew runs from January – August and all applicants must be in high school (or homeschool), between the ages of 15 – 18 to apply. More information. Application deadline: November 15th
  • Center for Climate Protection Climate Change Programs available for your students sponsored by Center for Climate Protection. Contact Amy Jolly at with questions or to book presentations.
    • Book a Free Guest Speaker Series for your 9th /10th grade 2016-17 science classes!  Speakers will deepen students' understanding of human influence on climate, and the principals of climate science. Students will be able to assess scientifically credible information and make informed decisions with regard to action.
    • Global Energy Game Deepen students' understanding of energy, energy sources, generation, use and conservation strategies. Students will participate in simulations that demonstrate society's use of renewable and non­ renewable energy resources to better understand the impacts and consequences of energy use
  • Book a 2016-17 Field Trip to Cal Academy: Interested in planning a field trip to the California Academy of Sciences for next school year? Dates are now available through May 2017! San Francisco schools receive free admission for groups in grades preK-12, including preschool. Visit summer, fall, or spring. More information found here.
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, High School Science Content Specialist, Curriculum & Instruction
Katrina Rotter, High School Science Content Specialist, Curriculum & Instruction 
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