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October 22, 2014
High School Science Newsletter #6


Meet your inner scientist during Discovery Days! AT&T park will be transformed into a science wonderland for the concluding event of the Bay Area Science Festival – a FREE science extravaganza for families and all ages on Saturday, November 1st, 11am-4pm. Join more than 30,000 people to enjoy a non-stop program of interactive exhibits, experiments, games, and shows, designed to entertain and inspire people of all ages. Experience over 150 hands-on exhibits and activities from leading science and technology organizations from across the Bay Area. Visit our SFUSD booths on the left field line to experience fun hands-on activities on physics, environment, math, and biology led by SFUSD teachers and students. To volunteer for SFUSD booths, please contact Katie Tobin at

This year, the event will feature:

  • Chevron STEM Zone - 4000 square feet on hands-on engineering activities including take home kits! 
  • Robot Zoo returns to Willie Mays Plaza 
  • Science on your Plate - explore AT&T Park’s new organic garden with numerous food science and environmental education activities 
  • Fireside Chats with scientists from a myriad of backgrounds
  • Oracle Marine Science Plaza - Pilot an underwater ROV, build water sensors, and explore creatures from the depths in the new area in Seals Plaza at AT&T Park, and much more!

Discover Day is a FREE event, rain or shine! View more information on the website or the flyer

There are over 50 events taking place during the 10 day Bay Area Science Festival (starting tomorrow, Oct 23 through Saturday, Nov 1). See the full calendar here and a year-round calendar of Bay Area science events here.


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 Wednesday, November 5, 4:30-6:30pm at the SFUSD Science Resource Center for content-area probes, classroom application, and collaborating with other content area teachers. Extended hours pay & snacks provided!
Content area groups: Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science & Physics. 
Cornerstone Registration link:
RSVP Form link: (so we know 
the content group you'll be joining) 
Discovery Days at AT&T Park: Join in the fun at Discovery Days at AT&T Park on November 1, 2014 at 11:00 AM! The SFUSD STEM Department invites teachers to help to staff our 4 booths and represent SFUSD at this popular science event! Join us by working in one of our exciting hands-on and interactive science booths. Receive extended hour pay, an SFUSD STEM t-shirt, and free parking. Sign-up to volunteer. For more information about the day, visit or click here.  

Donor's Choose Workshop: Learn how to write a grant for Donor's Choose to get up to $2000 for your classroom. Get help with writing and submitting your grant. Free gift cards will be raffled off. RSVP before 10/24 by emailing Bonnie Daley at daleyd@sfusd.eduMonday, October 27, 4-6pm at Alice Fong Yu Alternative School. Prop A hours available.

Are you working on obtaining your National Board Certification this year in Science (Early Adolescence or Adolescence and Young Adulthood)? An SFUSD middle school teacher would like to meet with other SFUSD teachers working on their National Board Certification in Science this year to support each other (ideally meeting in the Sunset or Mission districts). Please email Casey at to make the connection.

Free and Compensated
  • Grants Galore! Tons of opportunities to get funding for your classroom or your professional development:
    • Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest: up to $2 million of technology will be given away for innovative ideas for solving problems in their local communities. Apply here by Friday, 10/31.
    • Whole Kids Garden Grant: up to $2000 for an edible school garden; must have support from a partner organization. Apply here by Friday, 10/31.
    • American Honda Foundation: $20,000-75,000 for STEM programs. Apply here by Saturday, 11/1.
    • Max & Victoria Dreyfus Foundation Grant: $1,000-20,000 for schools. Information here. Postmark by Monday, 11/10.
    • Air Force Association Educator Grant: up to $250 to support innovative aerospace activities. Apply here by Wednesday 11/19.
    • NSTA's Shell Science Lab Challenge: up to $93,000 for 18 schools to makeover their science labs. Apply here by Thursday, 12/19.
  • Water Safety with Bay Area Wilderness Training: Risk management is a vital part of well-planned and fun outdoor adventures. Many school districts, after school programs, and summer camps are particularly aware and concerned about water-based activities and play. During this workshop you will receive tips and best practices for supervising youth around water. Thursday, October 23 at 6pm.  More information here.  
  • Climate & Energy FEAST Workshop: What can we tell by looking at a single tree ring? How does human use of energy impact the climate? What kinds of renewable energy technologies can we use that generate less or no carbon emissions? What are the impacts of carbon emissions on our surrounding natural ecosystem? Bring your ideas, demonstrations/or lessons and share how you’ve made this connection with students. Saturday, October 25th, 9am-12pm, Chabot Space & Science Center, Oakland.
  • Climate Change in the Classroom: Through this workshop, teachers will learn how climate change is affecting the San Francisco Bay Area, discover new ways to talk about climate change with their students, try out a couple of demonstrations, and discuss valuable, effective solutions to impart to the leaders of tomorrow. RSVP here. This workshop is available:
    • Wed, Oct 29, 4:30-7:30pm at Crissy Field: Carol Preston, Education and Outreach Coordinator of NOAA’s Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary
  • Youth Stewardship Program Kick-Off: YSP, a free environmental education program for grades 2-12 with the Park and Rec Department, is hosting their annual kick-off for teachers. Come meet the educators, learn more about the program, schedule field trip dates, enjoy free snacks, & meet like-minded educators. The event is hosted at the Heron’s Head Park EcoCenter – an amazing off the grid building. Come learn more and hear about other field trip opportunities with our partners at Heron’s Head. Thursday, October 30, 4pmInformation here
  • LiMPETS Introduction to Sandy Beach Monitoring: This school year, learn how to get your students involved in authentic, hands-on scientific investigations at your local beach. These workshops are for teachers & educators who are interested in participating in the LiMPETS (Long-term Monitoring and Experiential Training for Students) Program. $50 stipend. Flyer here. RSVP hereSaturday, Nov 1, 9am-4pm, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Office, SF.
  • Bright Ideas Grants: Educators, principals, deans, department heads, district administrators, and facilities managers in Northern and Central California can earn $1,000 to $10,000 grants for K-12 public schools for innovative solar or other renewable energy projects, for science-related field trips, green your school projects or professional development, service learning and workforce development programs.  Educators have received grants for installing solar panels, designing and implementing energy-saving ideas in classrooms, field trips to nuclear power plants, hosting solar car derbies and other solar-powered inventions.  More information here.  Visit to apply.  Application deadline: November 1, 2014
  • Bay Area Earth Science Institute Workshops: Sign up for one or both days. Both are Saturdays 8:30am-4:30pm. Information & registration here.
    • Nov 8: Earthquakes and Other Natural Hazards (at SJSU)
    • Nov 9: San Andreas and Calaveras Faults Field Trip (near Hollister)
  • Fostering the Sense of Wonder: Using Exploration to Teach Scientific Practices and Principles: How can we foster the sense of wonder and love of learning in our students? Discover innovative strategies to use exploration and student driven learning to not only inspire life-long learning but to build meaningful and engaging science lessons. Aquarium of the Bay thanks the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation for their support of this workshop. Please note: There will be two sessions of the same workshop, so please select the date and location that work best for you. This workshop is most appropriate for elementary school teachers, but is also open to secondary teachers, school support staff, and informal educators. The first 20 participants who sign up for each respective date will receive a stipend. RSVP hereThis workshop will be available:
    • Wed, Nov 12, 4:30-7:30pm at the EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park
    • Thurs, Nov 20, 4:30-7:30pm at Aquarium of the Bay
  • Point Bonita YMCA Outdoor Education & Wellness Program Focus Group: Share your ideas about our new integrated Outdoor Education & Wellness Program. Your input will help us develop curriculum and program components to maximize the value of this resource to schools and students. Stick around after for a free lunch & naturalist-led hike. More information. Saturday, November 15th, 10:30am-12:30pm, Point Bonita YMCA, 981 Fort Barry, GGNRA, Sausalito.
  • Design Thinking for Educators Workshop at Stanford’s Institute of Design: the “'s" next introduction to Design Thinking will be held on January 19-20, 2015. The program will give priority to educators proposing to come with a collaborator from his/her school or program. Space is limited with rolling admissions. Apply here before the final deadline of December 1.
  • Solar Eclipse After Party at California Academy of Sciences. Next Nightlife theme is Creatures of the Night on Oct 30. $12, 21+, buy tickets here. Thursday, October 23, 6-10pm.
  • Teacher Workshops at the Cal Academy: Information & registration for all workshops here. $15 for most workshops. More workshops on the website.
    • (6-12) Geology Kit Training: Sat, Oct 25, 8:30am-12:30pm
  • California Academy of Sciences Educator Extravaganza! This year's Educator Extravaganza will feature all-new educational experiences, highlighting the Science and Engineering Practices of the Next Generation Science Standards. Participate in a diverse array of hands-on activities, chat with Academy researchers and educators, and explore the exhibits after hours. $5. More informationSaturday, Nov 15th, 6-9pm.
  • NSTA Virtual Conference: NGSS Practices in Action: During this web-based professional learning opportunity participants will: explore the practices modeling, explanation and argumentation, and engineering; learn about specific strategies by grade level and discipline; ask questions of NGSS experts;  & engage in dialogue with science educators from across the country. $79 members/$99 non-members. Saturday, November 15, 7am-3pm PST.
  • Exploratorium's Third Annual NGSS STEM Conference: Infusing Art into STEM crafting a STEAM curriculum. 8 sessions options led by the Teacher Institute staff. $48.47. Register here ASAP as this will fill up. Saturday, November 22, 9am-4:30pm.
  • Student Volunteers - BASF Discovery Days at AT&T Park: Join in the fun! Volunteer to take part in Discovery Days at AT&T Park on November 1, 2014! SFUSD is inviting high school students to interact with the public, help to staff our 4 booths and represent SFUSD at this popular science event! Participate by working in one of our exciting hands-on and interactive science booths. Each student volunteer will a SFUSD STEM t-shirt and free parking. Sign-up to volunteer here. For more information visit or see the flyer here.  
  • Partial Solar Eclipse: best viewing is 3-3:30pm. If you're going to be viewing, you need proper eye protection! The Astronomical Society of the Pacific has put together a list of tips for viewing in San Francisco (by making a pinhole projector or buying special viewers such as #14 glass filters), as well as what local organizations are doing to celebrate the eclipse. Thursday, October 23, 1:52-4:32pm.
  • Are We Alone in the Cosmos? Wondering if life exists on other planets? Come and learn what the experts have to say. Join premier planet hunter Geoff Marcy and expert alien detective Dan Werthimer as they engage in a lively and interactive debate about this most fascinating of scientific questions. Star gazing included - weather permitting! More information here and registration hereMonday, October 27, 7-9pm, Thurgood Marshall High School.
  • Solar Week: connect with scientists and find curriculum, games, citizen science opportunities, and activities about the Sun online here. Oct 27-31.
  • The 2014 Bay Area Science Festival will return this fall from Oct 23 - Nov 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 1, 11am – 4pm. 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: or click here
  • The Science Education Partnership at UCSF is now accepting applications for the spring Bio&Chem Teach program! This is a great way to get real scientists into your classroom to co-teach and collaborate, not to mention an extra set of hands to help you with hands-on science. Apply online here. For more information, see the websiteApplications are due by November 7.
  • Design a Space Tool Challenge: The ability to 3D print in space is a game-changer for space exploration. NASA wants students to create & submit a digital 3D model of a tool that they think astronauts need in space. The winning design will become one of the first things ever to be 3D printed in Space. Information here. Designs due by December 15.
  • Matter of Trust Eco Center FREE Field Trips: Offer a curriculum with engaging, hands-on activities that promote environmentally conscientious solutions. Our experts provide information, eco-education and inspirational tools and guidance for your students. We have several featured themes but are also happy to develop a custom field trip with you that suits your specific curricular needs. Mon-Fri 10:30-12:00. Location: 3338 17th Street, between Valencia and Hoff Street. Contact: or (415) 252-1177
  • 2015 NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing (for HS Girls): Honoring young women who are active and interested in computing and technology, and encourages them to pursue their passions. This multi-tiered competition includes recognition at the national level (sponsored by Bank of America) and at the local level (sponsored by Microsoft), serving 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Any U.S. high school woman with computing aspirations is eligible and encouraged to apply - NCWIT recognizes aspirations as well as accomplishments. Aspirations Award recipients are chosen for their outstanding aptitude and interest in computing, proven leadership ability, academic performance, and plans for post-secondary education. Each award recipient receives recognition at an award event, scholarship and internship opportunities, access to a peer network of technical young women in the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Community (sponsored by Bloomberg), and various other prizes — computing resources, gadgets, sponsor swag, engraved awards and certificates, and more. Additionally, National Award recipients receive: $500 in cash, a laptop computer, a trip to attend the Bank of America Technology Showcase and Awards Ceremony in Charlotte, North Carolina on March 7, 2015, an engraved award for both the student and her school, and networking opportunities with Bank of America employees. Students can apply online here by November 2 8:59 pm PST.
  • 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!
  • NSTA National Conference in Chicago, March 12-15: want to attend? Apply here to one of the many scholarship opportunities to attend.
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, STEM High School Science Content Specialist, Division of Curriculum & Instruction
Katie Tobin, STEM High School Science Content Specialist, Division of Curriculum & Instruction
Eric Lewis, Science Content Specialist, LEAD - High Schools Division
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Copyright © 2014 SFUSD Office of Curriculum & Instruction, STEM - Science Department. All rights reserved.

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