Contra Costa County Office of Education

                      January 2014

STEAM Masthead
Featured Sections
Teacher Opportunities and Professional Development
Classroom Resources
Teacher Awards and Grants
Student Opportunities
Choose Civility
Join Our Mailing List
STEAM News and Events 



Join us on February 7, 2014 for the 4th annual SF Bay Area STEAM Colloquium: Full STEAM Ahead: at the Corner of Common Core and STEAM.


This engaging day includes featured speakers, resource and showcase fair, and breakout sessions focused on integrating STEAM with Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards.


The STEAM Colloquium will be held from 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., at the San Ramon Valley Conference Center, in San Ramon. The fee is $60 per person or $50 per person in teams of three (pre-registered at same time). You can register on Eventbrite.


Be sure to follow STEAM Colloquium updates on its Web page and Twitter #steamcolloq. For more information or questions, please contact Hilary Dito at (925) 942-3396. 

Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards

Contra Costa County Office of Education presents Common Core State Standards Professional Development Program - How to Connect Math and Literacy

Join 2009 California Teacher of the Year, Alex Kajitani in a full-day math professional development experience in which teachers will explore, discuss, practice and reflect upon high-leverage strategies that are easy to implement, and will get students on the path toward achieving the Common Core Math Standards.


This program will be held on February 6, from 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m., at the CCCOE, Pleasant HillRegister via Eventbrite.

Teacher Opportunities and Professional Development

California Academy of Sciences

Explore many facets of science through teacher professional development at the Academy! Dive into science content, explore scientific practices, engage in effective teaching pedagogy, and develop a sense of how science really works. The spring workshops include relevant science activities, thoughtful discussions, and the opportunity to connect with other educators. 


For more information and to register, visit the educator's Web page

University of California Curriculum Integration (UCCI) 
UCCI program is offering two spring institutes: Information and Communication Technologies for English and Math integration and Engineering and Architecture with Math or Laboratory Science.

Participants will develop curriculum that integrates academic subjects with Career Technical Education (CTE) pathways. 


The institute will be held on April 10-13, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency, in San Francisco. Applications are due by February 7, and are available at this Web site. 

IISME Summer Fellowship Program For Teachers
Are you ready to experience a summer of innovation, collaboration, renewed energy and professional growth? Apply for an IISME Summer Fellowship! The IISME Summer Fellowship Program places eligible K-16 teachers from all disciplines into high-performance corporate and research environments for the summer. Teachers work full-time for eight weeks, complete a project for their host organization, and are paid $8,200 for their work. Teachers devote 10% of their paid time to focus on how they will transfer their Summer Fellowship experience back to their students and colleagues. 

For more information about the IISME Summer Fellowship Program and to apply, visit this Web site. Applications are now open and educators are encouraged to apply by February 15, 2014, to increase their chances of being selected in this competitive process.  
Cool Tools X

East Bay CUE is organizing Cool Tools X for educators. Come learn about integrating technology with the Common Core State Standards. Topics include iPads for students, Digital Storytelling, Screencasting, and more! See how to use technology to enhance your students' learning in the classroom.


This annual event will be held at the Head Royce School campus, in Oakland, on February 8. For more information or to register, go to this website.

UMass Nanotechnology Summer Institute

Applications are now available for the 2014 Summer Institutes in Nanotechnology. Middle and high school math, science, and technology teachers explore concepts in nanotechnology and develop lessons to integrate those concepts into classroom activities. Participants will receive a stipend for the week - July 7 to 11, at UMass Amherst


Applications are available at this Web site, and are due April 1, 2014.

Classroom Resources  
Free Resource Guide for Teaching About Extrasolar Planets

An annotated guide to written, web, and audio-visual resources for teaching or learning about planets orbiting other stars is now available!  Materials in the guide to this rapidly-changing branch of astronomy include video and audio files of lectures and interviews with leading scientists in the field, phone and tablet apps, a citizen-science web site, popular-level books and articles, and more.

Published by the NASA Astrophysics Education and Outreach Forum and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the guide can be found as a PDF file at this Web page
Project H Design Toolbox  

Studio H, Camp H and REALM Charter school are partnering to share lesson plans, activities, project briefs and resources to engage students in design, construction and integrating core curriculum. 


Visit their website for all the details.

Biomimicry Education Network

At the Biomimicry Education Network website, educators can explore the concepts of bimomimicry, connect with educators and resources and download curriculum. Educators can incorporate lessons, student challenges and activities for students Pre K-university to explore how designs and process found in nature can solve human problems. 

Cell Day 2014

Join National Institute of General Medical Sciences (MIGMS) scientists on February 28, to "cell"-e-brate the smallest form of life. Scientists will host a web chat from 7:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and answer questions from students, teachers, and the general public. For more information, classroom resource, and registration visit their website.

2014 Engineers Week

Join the National Engineers Week Foundation for 2014 Engineers Week. From February 16-23 celebrate the positive contributions engineers make to society. Order your free Engineers Week Volunteer kit today at this website to get activities and posters. 

The Clean Tech Competition 

The Clean Tech Competition, by Applied Materials, is your chance to help solve the world's pollution problems. Enter for a chance to win great prizes and scholarships in the 2014 Competition. Teams identify one of the world's critical pollution problems and design a clean energy technology solution. Register at this website before the March 7 deadline, early incentives for teams who register before February 7.

Teacher Awards and Grants

Making Education Relevant and Interactive through Technology (MERIT) 

MERIT applications are now available. Hosted at the Krause Center for Innovation at Foothill College, participants will engage in opportunities to integrate innovative technology tools to enhance student learning. Teachers can earn a stipend after completing the summer institute. For more information and to apply, visit their website. 
LEGO Children's Fund Grants

The LEGO Children's Fund awards grants that help children from birth to age 14 develop creativity and learning skills through constructive play. Programs that encourage creativity, technology and communication to advance learning are encouraged to submit a proposal. Grants are reviewed quarterly. For grants funded in June, the eligibility period is open from March 1 to March 28 and applications are due on April 15.

Math Heroes

Raytheon honors inspirational math educators with $2,500 awards. Nominations for middle and high school teachers open in February. For more information and to apply visit their website.

Student Opportunities
Contra Costa County Science and Engineering Fair

The Contra Costa County 2014 Science and Engineering Fair will be held March 20-22, at Los Medanos Collegein Pittsburg.


The CCCSEF Organizing committee is also recruiting for judges and members for the Scientific Review Committee. If you are interested, you may go to the Contra Costa Science Fair websitePlease mark your calendar today for 2014's Science Fair judging day. 

It Takes a Community! Education Summit

Students in 7-12th grades are invited to It Takes a Community! Education Summit. This FREE event for first-generation, African American, Latino, Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander students, and their families, will include workshops on STEM careers, preparing for college, financial aid, and more. The Summit will be held on Saturday, March 8, from 8:30 a.m. -1:00 p.m. at California State University East Bay, Hayward


Attendees can register on their website. Applications for bus scholarships are due by January 17.

The House STEM App Challenge

High school students from California's 11th Congressional District are invited to participate in the first annual Congressional STEM Academic Competition, "The House STEM App Challenge." 


Participating students will be provided opportunities to engage with various STEM educational partners located throughout the community to mentor and assist them with developing a software application.  Students entering the competition must submit their app's source code online by the March 31, midnight EST deadline, as well as provide a YouTube video demo explaining their app and what they learned through this competition process.


More information may be found in Congressman George Miller's invitation letter or on this Web page.

MATHCOUNTS Math Video Challenge

MATHCOUNTS Math Video Challenge (formerly known as the Reel Math Challenge) is an innovative program involving teams of students using technology to create videos about math problems and their real-world application. Students can create math videos with their friends and classmates, win prizes, and improve their 21st century skills such as communication, creativity, and collaboration. Learn more at this website. 

Expanding Your Horizons
Expanding Your Horizons is a conference for girls currently in the 6-8 grades and their parents. This is a great opportunity to explore careers in STEAM. Attendees will engage in hands-on activities and interact with women in STEAM fields.


Expanding Your Horizons will be held on Saturday, May 3, from 8:30 a.m. -2:00 p.m., at Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill. For more information, visit their website or contact Hilary Dito at (925) 942-3396. 

Choose Civility 
Respect Others' Opinions

The Choose Civility Principle for January

 "If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."

- John Stuart Mill


"Respecting others' opinions is part of a larger attitude of respect - respect for the whole person. Respect for opinions is not an easy art at all. It requires self-esteem, self-control, sensitivity, tolerance, fairness, and generosity. It applies both to stated opinions and to opinions that are left unspoken."


There are two ways to show disrespect for others on account of what they think. One is to tell them their opinions are crazy, stupid, worthless... The other is to assume that what we think must be what they think also. Respecting others' opinions doesn't mean being untrue to our own. It simply requires us to recognize that others are entitled to look at the world differently, and when they share their views they can expect a fair hearing.


Present your opinions as just opinions, rather than transcendental truths. Invite feedback. Ask "What do you think?" Make room for disagreement. You may learn something by listening to an opposing view. There are forms of qualified disagreement, which in most circumstances are preferable to absolute disagreement. If, however, the opinion in question is repugnant to you, feel free to reject it outright: "I'm sorry, I believe this is wrong"; "You know, this really goes against my principles." You are entitled to your preferences, but others are also entitled to hear them expressed in a civil way.

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


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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