Contra Costa County Office of Education

             March 6, 2012 

STEAM Masthead
Featured Sections
Teacher Events, Curriculum, and Professional Development
Join Our Mailing List
STEAM News and Events 




Thank you to all who made the 2012 CCCOE STEAM Colloquium a success. The event included breakout sessions, exhibits and displays of local STEAM resources, and a keynote address on integrating STEAM across the curriculum. Plan to share your best practices at next year's colloquium. Look for a save-the-date email and call for proposals this spring.

Teacher Events, Curriculum, and Professional Development

The Teacher Research Academy (TRA)

The TRA offers middle school, high school, and community college faculty unique professional development experiences at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. TRA teachers participate in a continuum of standards-based instruction, enabling them to progress from novice to mastery in exciting scientific disciplines while they experience the application of real-world science in an environment teachers seldom experience. 
Registration is now open for this summer, visit their website


Call for Contra Costa County Science and Engineering Fair Judges 

The organizers of the Contra Costa County Science and Engineering Fair are looking for volunteer judges.  There are more than 250 projects entered in the categories of Biological, Behavioral, Environmental, Engineering, Math and Computer Science, and Physics/Astronomy. Judges will view and score the projects, and then interview and score the young student scientists.  


Judging will take place on March 16, 7:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., at  Los Medanos College, (Science Building), Pittsburg.  For information, contact Liz Ritchie at (925) 684-4995 or visit the Science & Engineering Fair's judging Web page.


SMASH Summer Math and Science Enrichment Program 

Applications for teachers are now being accepted for SMASH, a summer math and science enrichment program. SMASH scholars spend five weeks each summer at a SMASH site on a college campus (currently at UC Berkeley, Stanford, UCLA and USC) immersed in rigorous STEM classes.


Teachers may apply for summer positions on their website.    

The Eureka Series 

The Eureka Series brings California's educators and scientists together to meet the need for exciting, challenging, and relevant professional development. Eureka's programs integrate experimental design, hands-on classroom activities, and field exploration in regional, state, and national parks, while incorporating the Science Content Standards for California. 


Registration is now open for summer programs


Science Investigation Days 

Science Investigation Days at Lawrence Hall of Science bring students and teachers together to design and conduct investigations. Teachers of 4th - 8th grade may bring 4-5 students.  The program will be held on March 24, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.


For more information or to register, contact Min Shih at (510) 642-3375.

CalSAC STEM Training 

Join CalSAC STEM trainers for a three-hour hands-on science training, and prepare your staff to lead fun and engaging STEM activities! CalSAC STEM trainers will lead program staff through Design It! and Explore It, as well as activities such as Balls and Tracks, Straw Rockets and Sinking and Floating, while digging deeper into best practices for bringing STEM learning to life.  


For questions or to build your own training series just for your program staff, please contact Zak Parpia at (415) 957-1782. You can register for trainings on their website.   Trainings are $20 each.


The IISME Summer Fellowship Program 

The IISME Summer Fellowship Program places K-16 teachers from all disciplines into high-performance industry and research environments for the summer. Teachers work full-time for eight weeks, complete a project for their sponsors, and are paid $8,200 for their work. Learn more about this unique professional development opportunity by attending a 90-minute information session! All Applicant Workshops are held from 4:30 - 6:00pm.  


The next program will be held March 15, at the San Francisco Unified School District Office, in San Francisco.  For more information, visit their website.

Project ASTRO 

Project ASTRO is a program that matches teachers with astronomers in Bay Area schools and community organizations.  The program is looking for 3rd-9th grade teachers to work with volunteer astronomers who have a keen interest in sharing the wonders of astronomy with students. Together, teachers and their astronomer partners attend a free two-day summer workshop to learn hands-on, inquiry-based astronomy activities designed to involve students in the excitement of scientific discovery.

The free workshop will be held July 27-28, 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., at the San Mateo County Office of Education, in Redwood City.
Interested teachers must apply by May 29. For more information and to apply, please visit their website 



PEAK is an award-winning, standards-based energy education program for 3rd-7th grade students. Through hands-on activities, students learn about the science of energy and are inspired to take action to create a more sustainable world.


Register for the CCCOE PEAK training on June 18, at this website.

Teachers will receive free curriculum, interactive software and a $100 stipend.  For more information contact, Audrey Knox.  


MOUSE Squad 

The nonprofit MOUSE Squad program, enables upper elementary, middle, and high school students to learn 21st Century information technology communication, leadership, and problem solving skills, while providing tech support services to their school.


For more information, visit their website


Classroom Resources and Grants
The California Coastal Commission's Public Education Program

The California Coastal Commission's Public Education Program has free classroom resources and workshops for educators. Waves, Wetlands, and Watersheds is a classroom and community activity guide for teachers that address issues such as endangered species, marine debris, coastal geology, water use, and much more. The curriculum is aligned to the California State Science Content Standards for grades 3 through 8, and includes community action lessons adaptable for all ages up to and beyond 12th grade.


For information on the next free workshop, held on April 28, visit their website or contact Annie Frankel


The Synopsys Outreach Foundation Grants



The non-profit Synopsys Outreach Foundation is awarding 10 grants to California K-8 teachers in the amount of $2,000 each to help them undertake class or school-wide projects intended to have a positive and measurable impact on the environment. 


The deadline to apply is April 16, visit their website for details  

The National Forestry Recources

The National Forestry Interpretive Association and the U.S. Forest service have resources available for K-8 students and educators. The Natural Inquirer (Middle School) and  The Science Investi-gator (elementary school) provides lesson plans, articles, and activities.


The American Association for the Advancement of Science

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has revamped its educational website, Science NetLinks. You can find K-12 lesson plans, check out the science history calendar to learn about important historical dates, and stay abreast of the latest science news. 


Intel's Design and Discovery Curriculum 

Intel's Design and Discovery Curriculum is a free, inquiry-based and interdisciplinary curriculum for students ages 11-15 that allows them to explore engineering by engaging in hands-on design activities. Students build their understanding in a sequential way and learn to identify real-world problems and develop ideas for solutions. provides free video lessons in Math and Science. Click on the textbook to find your textbook. Videos are taught by teachers and broken down in chunks.

Student Opportunities, Contests, and Resources
The Kavli Science Video Contest
The Kavli Science Video Contest is offered as a student program of the USA Science & Engineering Festival. Students compete for the chance to win $2000 (first prize) and a travel stipend to Washington DC to attend the festival. The winners are also honored in an awards ceremony, hosted by Bill Nye "The Science Guy," as part of the festival. The theme is Save the World through Science and Engineering. Students will make a short video (:30-:90)  that shows how  scientific discoveries and inventions can improve our lives and change our world, either right now or in the future. Enter by March 21.  
Please check out  the contest page for more details about this opportunity. 


The 2012 Contra Costa County Science & Engineering Fair

The 2012 Contra Costa County Science & Engineering Fair welcomes all to attend and view numerous projects submitted this year by county middle- and high-school students.  Attendees can observe the presentations and experiments up close, as well as talk to the students who entered them. 


This event is free, and will be held on March 17, 10:30-11:30 a.m., at Los Medanos College, (Science Building), Pittsburg. For info: Contact Liz Ritchie at (925) 684-4995 or visit the Science & Engineering Fair's website.


The Google Science Fair

The Google Science Fair is open to students between the ages of 13-18 from all over the world. Students will have the opportunity to compete for over $100,000 in scholarship funds; an expedition to the Galapagos; life changing experiences at CERN, Google, and LEGO; and a new Science in Action Award, courtesy of Scientific American. This year we also have some great educator resources to help you bring the Science Fair into your classroom and encourage your students to explore their scientific passion. 


Entries must be submitted by April 1. Visit their website for more information.


Wouldn't It Be Cool If...

A new online STEM contest, developed by Time Warner Cable and entertainer, titled Wouldn't It Be Cool If...challenges youth ages 10-15 to think up the coolest thing to make their life, community, or world better, and then to think about how math and science could bring those ideas to life. One winner will be selected to receive the ultimate prize - the opportunity to collaborate with Fahrenheit 212, an innovation consulting firm that works with global companies and brands to develop and bring to market industry- or world-changing ideas. The winner will work with Fahrenheit 212 over the course of several months to refine their idea, develop a business model and strategy, and explore how to bring the idea to market. This process will culminate with the winner presenting the refined idea to prospective investors.   


The deadline for the contest is March 28. For more details and to register, visit their website


Doodle 4 Google

Doodle 4 Google invites K-12 students to express the theme--If I could travel in time, I'd visit...--as creatively as possible using Google's logo as their canvas. This year's winner, along with having his or her doodle featured on our homepage for a day, will take home a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology grant for their school. And as an added bonus, the winning Doodle will be featured on a special edition of Crayola's 64 box! We hope you'll get everyone in on the fun (but please, just one doodle per child!). 


All submissions must be postmarked by March 20th and received by March 23rd. Check out their website for more details.   

2012 Young Scientist Challenge

Discovery Education and 3M are looking for students in grades 5-8 who are enthusiastic about science and want to participate in the 2012 Young Scientist Challenge. The top-10 students will receive a trip to the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, MN to compete for the chance to win $25,000! Students must create a 1-2 minute video describing a new innovation or solution that could solve or impact an everyday problem related to the way we move, keep ourselves healthy or make a difference.


All video entries must be submitted online by April 19. Visit it their website for details.



Sciberpalooza! is hosting its fifth annual online science fair. This competition is open to 6th grade students attending school in California. Students complete a science project, fill out an entry form and record a short video about their project. Fifteen projects will be selected to win cash prizes. 


Entries are due on May 1, 2012. For more information, visit their website  


The CCCOE STEAM enews is published regularly, highlighting news, events, and resources that enhance STEAM education for all students.  If you received the STEAM enews from a colleague, please join our mailing list to continue receiving updates. This publication does not signify the Contra Costa County Office of Education endorses the event or program mentioned.


For more information regarding CCCOE STEAM, please visit our website.



Hilary Haugen Dito
CCCOE STEAM Coordinator




Associate Superintendent, Pamela Comfort, Ed.D.



STEAM Coordinator, Hilary Haugen Dito



Published by the Communications Office of the Contra Costa County Office of Education

Layout/Design, Diane Morrell; Web Developer, June Stephens;
Writer/Media Relations, Jonathan Lance