Gateways East Bay STEM Network Newsletter

March 2013
Issue 8

East Bay STEM Network News

This month we are launching a new regular feature of our newsletter, an update about the on-going work of the Gateways East Bay STEM Network.


The Early STEM Action Group met last week to continue work on a draft of a Framework for Quality Early STEM. The document will be used to identify programs that can serve as examples throughout the region. The Framework will also serve as the foundation of a messaging plan about the importance of starting STEM education early.


Our STEM in Out-of-School-Time (OST) Action Group has been focused on supporting the Power of Discovery: STEM2 project. Over 100 after school providers participated on our second video-conference linked workshop on February 12. Girls Inc. of Alameda County led participants in Fairfield, San Francisco, Emeryville, Hayward, San Mateo, San Jose and Monterey through an investigation of Inquiry-based facilitation.


The Gateways STEM Network Steering Committee authorized the launch of a new Action Group. The College and Career Pathways Action Group will be co-chaired by Pamela Comfort, Ed.D., Associate Superintendent, Contra Costa County Office of Education, and April Treece, Project Director, Contra Costa Economic Partnership.


On February 26, The Institute for STEM Education and the Gateways East Bay STEM Network convened a group of 60 regional leaders in STEM education at the behest of State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson. The meeting was hosted at the campus of our partner,  Bayer Healthcare, in Berkeley. After opening remarks from Kevin Pegels, Bayer Healthcare, Leroy M. Morishita, President, CSU East Bay, Robert J. Birgeneau, Chancellor, UC Berkeley, and Superintendent Torlakson, the attendees broke into working group to review and provide comments on 5 draft white papers about STEM Education policy in California. The day concluded with each group presenting its recommendations to Superintendent Torlakson.


Clare Lewis, Lecturer in the Art Department, at CSU East Bay received a grant from the Provost's office to develop a web tool to increase access to STEM Learning opportunities in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.   CrowdSTEM will be a crowd-sourced platform that will allow users to post STEM Learning opportunities and other users to seek out learning opportunities sorted by age, location and interest. The tool is being tested in concert with the Livermore Valley Unified School District and will soon be available across the region.
Winner of this Year's 'Bay Area Brain Bee' Second in National Competition
Bay Area Brain Bee winners (L to R) First Place Winner Anvita Mishra, with Ramya Auroprem, Anna Thomas and Vishal Jain (Photo courtesy James Murray)
The International Brain Bee, a nonprofit competition for high school students, uses a format similar to a spelling bee to test knowledge of the nervous system. CSUEB first hosted a qualifying round for the Brain Bee in 2012.


Associate Professor James Murray (biological sciences) is the mastermind behind bringing the Bay Area Brain Bee to campus, to "inspire interest in research and medicine related to the brain, neuroscience and biological physiology." CSUEB's Institute for STEM Education helped fund the 2013 event with a support grant, which also provided travel assistance for the Northern California winner to advance to the national round hosted in Washington, DC.

This year, Anvita Mishra of Granite Bay High School in Granite Bay won the Northern California qualifying round with a perfect score. At the national competition held March 2-3, she placed second in the nation!

Other Northern California awards went to Anna Thomas, Presentation High School, San Jose, who placed second; and Ramya Auroprem, Lynbrook High School in San Jose and Vishal Jain, Monte Vista High School, Danville, who tied for third.

For more information on this event, please visit the following link:
Sparking Curiosity: Inspiring the Scientist in Every Child - 19th Annual Early Learning Conference

Saturday, April 6 2013, 7:30AM -3:30 PM
Diablo Valley College
Parents and early educators are invited to the Contra Costa Childcare Council's 19th Early Learning Conference. The keynote speaker is UC Berkeley professor and best-selling author, Dr. Alison Gopnik. Attendees will be treated to dozens of workshops focused on science, technology, engineering, math and more. There has been much publicity and media attention for STEM in elementary and high school levels. The conference brings added attention to the importance of developing the already present natural scientific aptitude of young children.
Keynote speaker Dr. Alison Gopnik is a psychology professor and affiliate professor of philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Gopnik is an internationally recognized leader in the study of children's learning and development and was the first to argue that children's minds could help us understand deep philosophical questions. She was one of the founders of the study of "theory of mind", illuminating how children come to understand the minds of others, and formulated the idea that children learn in the same way that scientists do.
To register, visit:


11th Annual Day of the Teacher - "Learn Today - Lead Tomorrow"

Anyone interested in exploring teaching as a career will want to attend "Day of the Teacher: Learn Today - Lead Tomorrow" Saturday, April 27, at the Concord Campus of California State University, East Bay, 4700 Ygnacio Valley Road. The event is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Early bird admission is $15 until April 1 and $20 thereafter. Registration includes lunch, access to all conference workshops, take-home materials, mock interviews, networking opportunities and raffle prizes.                   

The event features a series of workshops exploring teaching opportunities and topics that include technology in the classroom; effective classroom management techniques; teaching English learners; and incorporating science, technology, engineering and math. Additional workshops will explore CBEST/CSET test-taking strategies and marketing one's teaching career.

Presenters and session leaders include Cal State East Bay staff and faculty members and other experienced teaching professionals.

"Day of the Teacher" is open to anyone considering teaching as a career, as well as new and seasoned kindergarten through 12th grade education professionals. Space is limited. Registration and additional information are available online at

Questions or accommodation requests should go to Annie Nogales Chandler, event coordinator, at or (925) 602-8638.


Google Science Fair 2013 has launched!

We are pleased to announce that the Google Science Fair 2013 in partnership with CERN, The LEGO Group, National Geographic and Scientific American, is now LIVE!

Students aged 13 - 18 from around the world are invited to ask questions and answer them through science experiments with a chance to win once-in-a-lifetime experiences, scholarships and real-life work opportunities.

This year entries are being accepted in English, German, Italian, Spanish, French, Arabic, Hebrew, Polish, Japanese, Russian, Portuguese (BR), Korean, or Chinese (Hong Kong or Taiwan).

Go to to find out more information, and follow the fair on Google+, Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date.

Techbridge Summer Institute

Join us at the Techbridge Summer Institute in Oakland, CA July 31- August 2, 2013. This summer institute focuses on the development of STEM educators and offers strategies and curriculum for engaging girls in science, technology, and engineering. During this workshop we will explore science, technology and engineering through inquiry-based activities.

Techbridge's experienced staff will guide attendees through:

  • Recruiting and engaging girls in a STEM program
  • Training on Techbridge's hands-on curriculum for grades 5-12
  • Planning field trips and visits with role models
  • Planning family outreach
  • Developing STEM facilitation skills
  • Integrating career exploration into your programming

Who should come? Teachers, after-school program staff, museum educators, youth development organization leaders, and any others interested in promoting girls in STEM.

Cost: $800 including a digital copy of the Techbridge hands-on curriculum. Register by April 1, 2013 and for an early bird discount and get $50 off your registration fee.

Special Offer: Save $100 when you register 2 people from your organization!
Register at:

Maker Faire Bay Area Education Day is May 16th, 2013!
Maker Faire is just around the corner, and you are invited to a special preview event, Education Day, on Thursday, May 16th from 11am to 2pm!

Maker Media is delighted to partner with Intel to provide a unique educational opportunity for students and teachers grades K-12: a preview tour of Maker Faire.

On Thursday, May 16th, we will be running 2 hour tours at staggered arrival times which include special exhibits, hands-on activities, and a behind-the-scenes look at the set-up and preparation for Maker Faire.

Students will have an opportunity to meet with Makers in-person, in all areas of art, science, and engineering. Each attendee will also receive a free day pass for a return visit to Maker Faire on Saturday or Sunday!

To learn more about Education Day, please visit: 

To register your school's field trip, please visit: 


The Maker Fair, a two-day, family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement is back at the San Mateo Event Center. Come celebrate MAKE magazine's 15th Maker Faire and eighth anniversary in the Bay Area, showcasing creative and resourceful people in the areas of science and technology, engineering, food, and arts and crafts.


Saturday - May 18th, 2013 from 10am - 8pm
Sunday - May 19th, 2013 from 10am - 6pm

Grade 8 Algebra and the New Common Core Standards: Getting the Facts Straight!
How does algebra at Grade 8 align with the new Common Core State Standards? How should districts handle math acceleration at the middle school level? Please join the panelists below for a discussion of this important topic.

Mary Perry, Bill Honig, Ze'ev Wurman, Jacki Horejs, and Barbara Marshman.

Tuesday, March 26, from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.  
9:30 Check-in and Refreshments 
10:00 Program Begins 
12:00 Discussion Concludes

Microsoft Corporation 
Building One 
1065 La Avenida Street 
Mountain View, CA 94043

Registration Information 
$20 registration fee. Use this link to register by Friday, March 22:
If you have any questions, contact Anna Schuessler at

Hear from: 
  • Mary Perry, Education Consultant and former Deputy Director of EdSource, will present her paper on Grade 8 Algebra and the Common Core State Standards. 
  • Bill Honig, retired California Superintendent of Public Instruction and Chair of the Instructional Quality Commission, will present the Commission's recommendations on this topic.
  • Ze'ev Wurman, Silicon Valley executive and former participant on the State Academic Content Standards Commission, will participate as a panelist. 
  • Jacki Horejs, Superintendent of Union School District, will participate as a panelist.

Barbara Marshman, editorial page editor of the San Jose Mercury News, will moderate this discussion.

The discussion is sponsored by Microsoft and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla to chair Select Committee to highlight need for stronger STEM education standards in California Schools

Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord) was recently appointed by Speaker John A. Pérez to chair the "Assembly Select Committee on Increasing the Integration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in Education in California K-14 Schools. Bonilla issued the following statement:


"In order to compete and succeed in the 21st Century economy, it is essential for students to excel in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). STEM-based curriculum can improve educational outcomes of all students, support students' progress toward higher education and prepare students for success in the workplace. The goal of this Select Committee is to work toward providing all students in our public schools access to engaging, project-based STEM education programs. Greater integration of STEM in our classrooms will ultimately enable California to more successfully compete in the global economy.

I look forward to working with my colleagues on this Select Committee, along with business leaders, school administrators, teachers, parents and students in expanding opportunities for these rewarding education programs."


Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla was first elected to the Assembly in November 2010, and represents California's 14th Assembly District, which is comprised of the north and central portions of Contra Costa County and southern portion of Solano County.


Call for entries is now open for BAYMN FEST

Deadline: April 1


BAYMN FEST is a free two-day interactive showcase of media produced by youth ages 12-24 hosted at the San Francisco Public Library. Presented by BAYMN (The Bay Area Youth Media Network) in partnership with KQED, sponsored by Adobe Youth Voices and the AT&T Foundation, this event will be a unique opportunity for youth, educators and the general public to celebrate the work of talented young media makers. 


Through screenings, workshops, a transmedia gallery and networking opportunities, BAYMN FEST will be a place for young artists to share their work, meet their peers, acquire new tools, make their voices heard-and win cash prizes and media-making tools! All entries will be judged by a mix of youth, media arts educators, and media professionals.

Prizes will be awarded to all filmmakers whose entries are accepted to the Festival. Additional cash awards and media making tools (such as GoPro cameras and Adobe design and editing software) will be presented during the Festival to award winners selected by a jury in each of the following categories: 

Science, Technology & Innovation
Arts & Expression
Social Justice & Community Engagement

The call for entries is open to any youth between the ages of 12-24, from anywhere. This is not just a California thing. 


Please share this announcement with your students and colleagues!!


For more info and to submit a video online, go to

Network participants are encouraged to submit any STEM related news that they would like to share in future editions to Bruce can also be contacted to unsubscribe.
In This Issue

East Bay STEM Network News


Winner of this Year's 'Bay Area Brain Bee' Second in National Competition


Sparking Curiosity: Inspiring the Scientist in Every Child - 19th Annual Early Learning Conference  


11th Annual Day of the Teacher - "Learn Today - Lead Tomorrow"    


Google Science Fair 2013 has launched!   


Techbridge Summer Institute    

Maker Faire Bay Area Education Day is May 16th, 2013!


Grade 8 Algebra and the New Common Core Standards: Getting the Facts Straight!


Grade 8 Algebra and the New Common Core Standards: Getting the Facts Straight!


Call for entries is now open for BAYMN FEST

Gateways East Bay STEM Network
Leroy M. Morishita
CSU East Bay

Alexander Zwissler
Executive Director/CEO
Chabot Space and Science Center

Stephanie Couch
Gateways East Bay STEM Network
Institute for STEM Education

Bruce Simon
Associate Director
Gateways East Bay STEM Network
CSU East Bay

Action Group Facilitators

Erin Freschi
Early STEM Learning

Jackie Shonerd
STEM in Out-of-School Time

Hilary Haugen Dito
STEM Professional Learning
Quick Links
East Bay STEM Network
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