Contra Costa County Office of Education

             April 30, 2012 

STEAM Masthead
Featured Sections
Teacher Events, Curriculum, and Professional Development
Classroom Resources and Grants
Student Opportunities, Contests, and Resources
Join Our Mailing List
STEAM News and Events 



Summer is fast approaching and with that there are several STEAM opportunities for students and educators. Please share this newsletter with interested colleagues.

Teacher Events, Curriculum, and Professional Development

University of California's Summer 2012 UC Curriculum Integration (UCCI) Institutes

The application period is now open for the University of California's Summer 2012 UCCI Institutes, convening July 15-18, in Burlingame. At the Institutes, high school teachers and administrators will meet and collaborate on the design of innovative-model courses integrating career technical education (CTE) with academic ("a-g") subjects. Once approved in the CTE and "a-g" areas, UCCI Institute courses are available for implementation by any California high school.  The summer session features two Institutes meeting concurrently, each devoted to its own combination of CTE industry sector and "a-g" subject area. The Institutes for Summer 2012 are:

-- Health Science and Medical Technology with History/Social Science ("a")

-- Information and Communication Technologies with Mathematics ("c")

High school educators are invited to apply. The Institute is free to participants. Meals and lodging costs are covered with the financial support of the California Department of Education.


For more information, please contact Deborah McCaskey, UC Curriculum Integration Institutes communications coordinator at (510) 987-9437 or visit the program's website

Free Summer Workshop for Biology Teachers 

The Biotech Educators' Network (BEN) is hosting a free summer workshop for Biology teachers, at the CSUEB Hayward Campus (SC N406), June 25-29, 2012, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. each day.  All BEN workshops focus on activities and labs that help convey the most accurate and up-to-date scientific information, best teaching practices, offer access to online resources, address a range of levels of instruction from beginning to advanced, and offer many other resources.  Labs/content covered will include basic biotechnology skills, two bacterial transformation labs, protein purification, restriction enzyme digestion, and PCR.  Lunch and all handouts provided.  


After completing the workshop, attendees will be eligible to use BEN biotech hardware and purchase consumables for all the labs presented (and more) at a very reduced cost.  The cost is free, but there will be $50 deposit to hold a spot, and is returned upon completion.  For further information, questions or to apply, contact Shary Rosenbaum, BEN (formerly EBBEP) program manager, at (925) 376-4041.

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

2012 Energy and Climate Science Program for Teachers

Chabot Space and Science Center is presenting a ten-day (five days, two summers) professional development experience. Fourth- and fifth-grade teachers interested in becoming part of an educators' community that recognizes the importance and timeliness of climate science as a core curriculum topic should contact Stan Fukunaga at (510) 336-7322


The Program is scheduled to begin on Monday, August 13-17 (2013 dates to be determined).  Applications must be received by May 31. Strong consideration will be given to teams of teachers from the same school site and teachers with a minimum of three years of experience with an elementary science curriculum (especially the FOSS Science curriculum). 


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.  

2012-2013 BaySci Science Champions Academy

Are you the teacher who is always advocating for science in your school?

Are parents clamoring to get their kids into your class to do cool and exciting science activities? Are you interested in learning how to champion elementary science?  Then come join an emerging network of like-minded Bay Area teachers for the 2012-13 BaySci Science Champion's Academy at the Exploratorium's Institute for Inquiry. 


For information about the BaySci Science Champions Academy, please contact C. Koenig at (415) 561-0397.

Classroom Resources and Grants
Toshiba American Foundation Grants

Toshiba America Foundation is currently accepting applications from teachers who are passionate about making science and mathematics more engaging for their students.  Do you teach grades 6-12 science or math?  Do you have a wish list of instructional equipment that will make learning more exciting for your students?  If the answer is yes to these questions, Toshiba America Foundation would like to hear from you. Grades 6-12 applications for $5,000 or less are accepted on a rolling basis, throughout the calendar year. Grants requests of more than $5,000 are reviewed twice a year. 


For more information, contact the Toshiba American Foundation at (212) 596-0620 or visit their website.  Annually, applications for grants of more than $5,000 are due August 1st and February 1st each year. 

The Advancing AAAS Science Assessment Website



The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)  website lets users create and administer online tests to their students and then compare their students' performance to national norms. You can assemble tests by selecting questions from more than 700 items that have been developed by AAAS Project 2061 to measure what students know in 16 key science topics. 

The Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society

The Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society will gladly organize a free astronomy night for your school, youth group, or community organization.  The organization's members volunteer their time and their telescopes to bring the universe to you.  They also provide knowledgeable speakers and activities on various astronomy topics,  either in a classroom or in a meeting setting.


For more information, contact Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society by email or visit their website. 

The Berkeley Repertory Theatre has developed a wide range of free and low-cost outreach classes to Bay Area schools that cover multiple California content standards through hands-on, dynamic workshops. Whether bringing dramatic text to life or developing students' original work, their professional teaching artists help students to expand their creative potential by challenging them to explore complex ideas and universal themes in literature and life. Using theatre arts techniques that encourage teamwork and ensemble-building, students will gain self confidence and understand not only the importance of human connection, but the joy of dynamic engagement with their creativity.


The fee for this event is free for the first hour, and a sliding scale of $55-$60 per hour, for additional hours.  To learn more, contact  the outreach department at (510) 647-2972 or visit the program's website 

The California Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators 

The California Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (CAMTE) is a professional organization that promotes and supports excellence in the preparation and professional development of K-12 mathematics teachers throughout California. Visit the CAMTE website for news pertinent to California's mathematics teacher educators. provides free video lessons in Math and Science. Click on the textbook link and select your math or science book. Videos are taught by teachers and broken down in chunks.

Student Opportunities, Contests, and Resources
College Offers Opportunities for Life (COOL) Nite

COOL Nite is a special free evening for middle-school students and their families to learn about the students' transition into high school, as well as opportunities for college and careers. 


COOL Nite will be held on May 4, 6:30-9:00 p.m., at the CSU East Bay, Concord Campus.  For more information, contact Hilary Dito at (925) 942-3396.  Attendees can register via EventBrite.

Adobe Day at the Krause Center for Innovation

Learn from the pros at Adobe Day at the Krause Center for Innovation (KCI) located on the Foothill College Campus, in Los AltosThis is free event and will be held at KCI, on Saturday, May 5, from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.  Adobe engineers will be there to teach students, faculty, and the community the latest and greatest tips and techniques for using CS5, with hints for tablet and mobile device production.


This program is free but advance registration is requested.  For more information and to register, please visit the event's website

Resources from Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology 

The Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, or (KIPAC), is an independent laboratory of Stanford University based at SLAC in Menlo Park.  It serves as a bridge between the disciplines of astrophysics, cosmology and particle physics. One of KIPAC's missions is to reach out to local communities and provide resources and tools for K-12 teachers, students and the general public. You can visit the site to:

  • Ask KIPAC staff members questions about astrophysics and cosmology
  • Request a guest speaker
  • Schedule a showing of one of their presentations, including a 3-D movie that traces the development of the universe, from the birth of the first star to the formation of the galaxies.
  • Schedule a tour for your students
Summer Education Camps 

The CCCOE and the Contra Costa Economic Partnership (along with numerous professional partners) will once again be producing three outstanding hands-on education career camps. Incoming high school juniors and seniors can now register.  The week-long camps are looking for teachers to support student learning.  Instructors will earn professional development hours and a small stipend for each camp, while also being exposed to a full range of industry experts.  


The camps are scheduled for these dates: Engineering, June 18-22, Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill; Biotechnology, July 9-13, CSUEB, Concord; Environmental Sciences, July 23-27; CSUEB, Concord.  For more information and to register, visit the programs' 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