Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Guidance on New Science Standards

California Department of Education: News Release

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said the state is one step closer to implementing the California Next Generation Science Standards(CA NGSS) as the State Board of Education today adopted a new plan.
            “This plan lays out what the state, districts, and the community can do to ensure that the exciting new science standards are implemented smoothly,” said Torlakson. “These standards will provide all students with a deeper understanding of science so they are better prepared for college and careers, including jobs in the high-technology fields,” said Torlakson.
            The NGSS Systems Implementation Plan for California offers school districts and the community strategies on how to provide educators training and resources to teach the new standards. The plan helps districts align local testing to improve teaching and learning. There are also tips on improving communication; how to get everyone to work together; and using the new standards in before and after school programs.
            The CA NGSS moves away from teaching science by rote memorization in a single subject matter, and now teaches students how to use analytical skills learned in several subject matters to understand the world around them. For example, CA NGSS integrates engineering and technology practices to help students understand science and the natural world. The CA NGSS also connects students with the Common Core State Standards, which teach them 21st century skills needed for college and careers.           
            Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)-related industries are major drivers of California's economy. A 2011 U.S. Department of Commerce study found that over the last decade, growth in STEM jobs grew three times faster than other occupations, and will continue to outpace non-STEM jobs in the next decade.                 
            California was a lead partner in a national movement to develop the NGSS. The State Board of Education adopted them in 2013 to better prepare students for college and careers in STEM fields. The CA NGSS replaces the old science standards last adopted in 1998.

Now on to all of the great hands-on project based STEM learning activities that the expanded learning program practitioners are engaging students in around Region 3.

Name of Out-of-School-Time ProviderSacramento Chinese Community 
                                                                    Service Center

Grade Level of Activity: 5th Grade

Number of students who took part in the activity: 20

Type of Activity: S.T.E.M. - Building Your Own Marshmallow Catapult

Learning Outcomes- Students were able to: 

  • Describe how force affects the motion of a projectile
  • Discuss the uses of catapults in industry and connections to engineering
  • Explain and compare the meanings of accuracy and precision
  • Explain the optimum angle (45 degrees) for launching a projectile the farthest distance
  • Explain and demonstrate higher-level thinking of how to construct a catapult with different materials
  • Collaborate with a partner to solve problems, design, build, and test the mechanism

SCCSC Expanded Learning Program Staff checking for understanding.
SCCSC Expanded Learning Program student showing off their catapult.

Another SCCSC Expanded Learning Program student proudly showing off his catapult.

For more information on this S.T.E.M. activity please contact Kae Saeteurn at kae@sccsc.org

Name of Out-of-School-Time Provider
Sacramento Chinese Community 
                                                                    Service Center

Grade Level of Activity: K-8th

Number of students who took part in the activity: 113

Type of Activity: School to Fuel Program: The School to Fuel Program of Breathe California of Sacramento (BREATHE) aims to improve our local air quality by working with schools to collect cafeteria food waste and transport that waste to a local biodigester for conversion into clean fuel and electricity.  The afterschool program staff, headed by Monik Vega, piloted School to Fuel with amazing success. School to Fuel now seeks to roll-out site-wide to collect more food waste, but student and staff participation is key for continued success!

Learning Outcomes- Students were able to: 

  • Learn how to separate food waste and trash
  • Learn how to dump the food waste in the dumpster
  • Learn how to explain this program to other students
  • Learn about how the School to Fuel Program is helping to save our environment
SCCSC students taking part in a BREATHE activity.

An SCCSC student taking part in a BREATHE activity.

SCCSC displaying their messy gloves during a BREATHE activity.

Name of Out-of-School-Time ProviderSacramento Chinese Community 
                                                                    Service Center

School Site: Nicholas Elementary

Grade Level of Activity: 3rd

Number of students who took part in the activity: 18

Type of Activity: Foil Boats

Learning Outcomes- Students were able to: 

  • Design a boat using a 12" x 12" piece of aluminum foil to understand buoyancy of objects 
  • Use teamwork to come up with one design that will hold the most mass
  • Test different designs before deciding on final design and starting their model
  • Predict how many crayons their boat would hold
  • Hypothesize why their boat sank and how they could build a better model next time
  • Deepen their understanding of the scientific method and the engineering and design process

A group of SCCSC students testing their foil boat.
Another group of SCCSC students testing the design of their foil boat.

The winning foil boat vs mass design.

For any information in regards to this activity, please contact Rian Carroll at rain@sccsc.org.

Name of Out-of-School-Time Provider: Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado County 
                                                                     Western Slope

Grade Level of Activity: 3rd through 5th

Number of students who took part in the activity: 20

Learning Outcomes- Students were able to: 

a) Learn that scientist investigate by making observations and performing tests

b) Deepen their understanding of air resistance

c) Explore and understand that skinny streamlined shapes can move                                      
     faster because they have less air resistance

d) Understand that air resistance is an important factor in designing rockets                                
     fast takeoffs and soft landings

BGC students trying to slow down the pull of gravity.

BGC students deepening their understanding of air resistance.

BGC testing their rocket and parachute design.

For more information on this activity please contact Shandra Raymond at shandra@bgce.org.

Name of Out-of-School-Time ProviderBoys and Girls Club of El Dorado County 
   Western Slope

Grade Level of Activity: 6rd through 8th

Number of students who took part in the activity: 20

Type of ActivityEngineering Everywhere

Learning Outcomes- Students were able to: 

a) MS-ETS1-1 Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem

b) MS-ETS1-2 Evaluate competing design solutions

c) MS-ETS1-4 Develop a model to generate data

A BGC student testing her design theory.
For more information on this activity please contact Shandra Raymond at shandra@bgce.org.

STEM and Other Pertinent Articles:

1) How Cross-Sector Collaborations are Advancing STEM Learning (Noyce)

2) Why We Need to Value Student's Spatial Creativity (KQED)

3) The Value of Connecting the Dots to Create Real Learning (KQED)

4) Comprehensive Plan to Strengthen Future Computer Science Workforce (CSL Network)

5) Five Great Teachers on What Makes a Great Teacher (NPR) 

6) America After 3 PM: How are kids spending their time after school?
    (After School Alliance Report)

7) STEM and Writing: A Super Combination (Edutopia)

8) 8 Strategies for Teaching Academic Language (Edutopia)

9) FUSE: Next Generation Brief Provides Strategies for Integrating NGSS (TASC)

10) Policy Brief: Next Generation Science Standards: Considerations for Curricula, 
      Assessments, Preparation, and Implementation (MCREL)

11) New Study Offers First Look at LCFF in CA School Districts (Ed Brief)

STEM (and other Integrated Core Content) 

1) When Women Stopped Coding (NPR Podcast)

2) George Washington Carver: Renaissance Man (Science Friday Podcast)

3) Smart Milk Jug Invented by Sixth Graders (Science Friday Podcast)

4) Letter to a Young Scientist (Science Friday Podcast)

5) Zip Line Zoo (Activity: Grades 3-5)

6) Goodnight Moon, Goodnight Math (Science Friday Podcast)

7) One for All: A Natural Resources Game (Activity: Grades 6-12)

8) No Waffling on on the Numbers (Activity Grades: All Ages)

9) Fashion Circuit (Activity Grades: 5-12)

10) One Problem, Many Approaches (Teaching Chanel: Video)

11) After School and Next Generation Science Standards: Where to Start?
      (After School Alliance: Webinar)

12) Engineering Adventures: Bubble Bonanza (Grades 3-5)

13) Land Based Learning (Professional Development / Resources)

14) 3D Space Gallery (NASA Resources)

15) Code Curriculum (Free at Code.org)

STEM Grants:

1) Project WET: Grant Database (Over 20 different grants available)

     Grants are made for activities that promote and support high-quality educational 
     programs, enable children and youth to understand and appreciate our world through
     learning experiences and engage them in active, hands-on projects to improve the 
     environment in their schools and communities. CPF grants are limited to $2,500 and 
     preferential consideration is given to applicants who have secured at least 50% 
     matching or in-kind funding for their program.
     (Deadline: Will fund as many projects that annual resources will allow. )
     (January 31, 2015 for fall and winter projects)

3) California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC Database)

STEM Professional Development / Misc. / Events / Contest:

1) California Environment Education Community (Resource Page)

2) Encouraging Collaborative STEM Work (Online Professional Development)

3) Hour of Code (December 8-14, 2014)

4) The Tech Challenge (Contest 2015)

5) SF Bay Area 5th Annual STEAM Colloquium (January 30, 2015)

6) California After School Resource Center: Explore It! (Free: Online PD)

7) California After School Resource Center: Dig In!  (Free: Online PD)

Thanks again for all that you do in the field. Please keep us posted about STEM events/activities in your area. Please feel free to contact us at any time.

Monica Gonzalez-Williams (SCOE: Region 3: After School Regional Lead):

Phil Romig: (SCOE: Science Curriculum Specialist): promig@scoe.net

Mark Drewes: (SCOE: Project Specialist II: After School): mdrewes@scoe.net


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