Contra Costa County Office of Education

            May 14 2013 

STEAM Masthead
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Teacher Opportunities and Professional Development
Classroom Resources
Student Opportunities.
Choose Civility
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STEAM News and Events 




Summer is just around the corner. What a fantastic time to engage in STEAM and prepare for new standards. There are several opportunities for educators and students to explore in the near future. 


Next Generation Science Standards are Available for Public Comment

The Next Generation Science Standards were released in April. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson will present new Science Content Standards for California to the State Board of Education (SBE) in July 2013. The State Board of Education has until November 13 to adopt, modify or reject these standards. For more information, go to the California Department of Education Web page.

Teacher Opportunities and Professional Development

Creative Visual Thinking: A Study Guide of Studio Habits Workshop

Come learn the tools to help your students be creative from artists John Kleber and Roger Renn. They will share "Studio Thinking" from a world point of view and help develop your visual thinking. Expand your visual-spatial abilities and explore the real benefits of visual art education. These activities are designed for STEAM teachers.


The 2.5-hour workshops will be held on May 14 and May 18, 6:30- 9:00 p.m., at the ARTU4iA Art Studio, in Martinez. Registration is $20 in advance. For more information, you can email them or visit their website.

On-line Learning with ArtThink

CCCOE in partnership with SFMOMA presents: On-line Learning with ArtThink. Explore online learning opportunities with SFMOMA ArtThink. ArtThink offers theme-based activities that provide students with an accessible look at the art of our time. Prepare your class before a museum visit with Art Basics; follow up after touring the galleries with Detail Detective; and integrate art, history, and cultural studies into your core classroom curriculum with standards-aligned activities spanning
grades four through college. 


This free event will be held at the CCCOE, in Pleasant Hill, on May 23, 4:00-6:00 p.m. Attendees must register at

STEM Programs for the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) is hosting three STEM activities for educators:


Galileo Looks Beyond to Other Worlds focuses on basic astronomy content with a content thread on exploring planets both in our own solar system as well as around distant stars. This event will be held on July 20. There is multiple price points offered with this program.

Project ASTRO program is now accepting applications for the 2013-2014 school year.  Teacher-astronomer partners together attend a workshop on August 2-3 in Redwood City, followed by the astronomer visiting the teacher's classroom four times during the school year. This program is free.


Ensuring STEM Literacy is the focus of ASP's 125th Annual Meeting. The three day event, July 20-24, features workshops, panels, and plenaries for science educators.Multiple price points for admission.


For more program information and to register, visit the Astronomical Society of the Pacific's website.

The Bay Area Earth Science Institute is hosting a Climate Literacy workshop funded by NASA. They are currently accepting applications from teachers of grades 6-12. 

This week-long session, July 15-19, will feature a blend of climate science content and ready-to-use classroom activities and will be aligned with standards, including the existing CA Science Standards, Common Core standards, and the forthcoming Next Generation Science Standards. Climate change will be an explicit part of the Next Generation Science Standards, and this will be your chance to get a head start!. 

Visit their Web page for more information.

Mathematical Modeling and Introductory Statistics Summer Institute

From June 11-20, the Bay Area Mathematics Project (BAMP) invites teachers from grades 6 through 12 to participate in the Mathematical Modeling and Introductory Statistics Institute, which will offer middle and high school teachers unique opportunities to learn how to use modeling of real-world situations through the lens of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics. Based on a module developed by a California Mathematics Project task force and designed to foster student engagement and deeper learning in all math courses, this institute will include both whole group activities and breakout sessions by grade level bands.

This program will be held at El Cerrito High School, in El Cerrito. For more information and to register, visit their Web page.  


Transformational Geometry Summer Institute

From June 24-28th, the Bay Area Mathematics Project (BAMP) invites teachers from grades 6 through 12 to participate in the Transformational Geometry Institute, which will offer middle and high school teachers unique opportunities to learn this modern approach to Geometry through the lens of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSSM). Based on a module developed by a California Mathematics Project (CMP) task force, this institute will include both whole group activities and breakout sessions by grade level bands.  


This event will be held at Albany Middle School, in Albany. For more information and to register, visit their Web page.


Additional questions about these two institutes can be answered by Carolyn Billingsley, at 510-642-7154. 

Registration is now open for several summer workshops at the California Science Academy, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. A $35 fee is required to register for each series. Participants will receive a $150 stipend upon completion of a series. 
Questions can be answered by following up with the Academy's Contact Center, 877-227-3311, or by visiting their website.
The second annual Integrated Learning Summer Institute, Inventing Our Future, will be held at the beautiful Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland on August 13-15, 2013. For more info, visit their Web page.
Classroom Resources  

2013 Junior Achievement of Northern California Open House

Junior Achievement of Northern California presents the 2013 Open House at the Contra Costa County Office of Education on May 22, 5:00-6:00 p.m. 
Join us to find out how Junior Achievement of Northern California (JA), the world's largest non-profit organization that empowers young people to own their economic success, is impacting local students. JA offers in-school and after-school programs for students in grades K-12, through a dedicated volunteer network that focus on financial literacy, entrepreneurship and workforce readiness. For more information contact: District Manager Shaun Rundle.

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) invites all to explore how the seven crosscutting concepts of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) relate to one another. NGSS Crosscutting Concepts is a free NSTA Web seminar, and will be held May 28, 3:30-5:00 p.m. Attendees can register on their website.

This free education resource is for K-12 students teaches science, geography, English. and art. ARKive is truly a invaluable resource for

conversation, education, and public awareness. For more info about this resource, visit their website.

Art in Action

Art in Action is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing visual arts education to the classroom. The Art in Action Program enriches the lives students each year through an engaging, hands-on curriculum that teaches art history, art appreciation, and art techniques. 

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. Grant requests of more than $5,000 are reviewed twice a year. 

For more information, contact thToshiba 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. 
Student Opportunities
STEM Summer Education Camps 

The CCCOE and the Contra Costa Economic Partnership (along with numerous professional partners) will once again be producing 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 17-21, Diablo Valley College, Pleasant HillBiotechnology, July 8-12, CSUEB, Concord; Environmental Sciences, July 22-26; CSUEB, Concord.  For more information and to register, visit the programs' website. 

YouSTEM helps connect students with opportunities. YouSTEM is a free web resource for K-12 students to find out about local STEM programs. From lectures to internships, the site lists opportunities for students to explore different areas of interest. 

UC Berkeley will be hosting the Samsung Mobile App Academy 2013, on June 26 and 27. All  App Academy attendees will receive a free Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet and a chance to win up to $20,000 in scholarships!



  • Students who are going to be in the 11th or 12th grade during the 2013-2014 school year.
  • Students interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math).
  • Have taken or be enrolled in at least 2 Honors and/or AP STEM related courses.
  • Have at least a 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) GPA.
  • Live within 60 miles of Berkeley.

Please visit their website for more info.

Diablo Valley College (DVC) has several opportunities for high school students to explore engineering and culinary arts this summer. The Culinary and Hospitality Summer Camp will be held at DVC from June 24 to 28. For information, contact Judy Moon.


DVC is offering several courses in architecture and engineering for 11th and 12th grade students. Students will earn college credit while taking classes like American Architecture, Grasshopper 3D modeling, Robotics Design Studio, and more. To register, students must submit a special admission recommendation form and submit registration in person, contact Vicki Brown, at (925) 685-1230, ext. 674, for further information. 

Green Living Project (GLP) announces Student Film Contest

GLP is proud to announce the spring 2013 Student Film Project contest! Students are encouraged to document and submit their own stories of sustainability. The contest is open to 6th grade through graduate level students. Entries should be short films (five minutes or less) documenting any sustainability-related stories. 

The deadline is May 30. Visit their website 
for for full contest details. 
Choose Civility 

DON'T SHIFT RESPONSIBILITY AND BLAME - The Choose Civility Principle for May


"You are accountable for your actions and your responses to other people's action. When you fully appreciate that, you will stop blaming others."

We are all too familiar with the pattern of a person doing something wrong and then denying it or blaming it on someone or something else - quite often the wronged party. Some even feel that taking responsibility and apologizing is a sign of weakness.


We blame family, friends, co-workers, spouses, and strangers. We blame inanimate objects, God, nature, and government. Parents blame educators. Educators blame parents. As long as we can adequately shift responsibility we can avoid being accountable. However, shifting blame hinders relationships, focuses our lives on negativity, and stunts personal growth. Such as:

"Sarah's to blame for the kitchen being a mess. She was the one who suggested that we bake cookies."

The more civil response might be:

"You're right. We left the kitchen a mess. Sarah and I will get it cleaned up right away."

Action step:  Rather than a sign of weakness, appropriately taking responsibility indicates maturity and strength of character. Accepting responsibility for wrong words/actions, naming the offense, identifying that is was wrong and sincerely apologizing for it, and "fixing" the situation when needed as soon as possible with an attitude that demonstrates your regret about what you did, can go a long way to remedy a situation.


Excerpt from P.M. Forni's book, Choosing Civility

Adapted from Ben Dattner's book,  The Blame Game


About CCCOE's Monthly Focus

Choosing Civility, by Dr. P.M. Forni, lists 25 rules of considerate conduct. Over this school year, the CCCOE will consider ten of these principles. For additional information about our Choose Civility initiative, please visit our 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 that 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



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