Contra Costa County Office of Education

                      August 2014

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





Welcome to the start of a new school year. With the implementation of Common Core State Standards in full swing and work on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) beginning, it is a perfect time to integrate these standards into curriculum that benefit our students.


Things to do this year include:

  • Learn more about the NGSS and provide feedback through public forums. Join California's Department of Education's NGSS mailing list. Send a blank e-mail to
  • Attend the CSTA / NSTA Regional Area Conference in Long Beach on December 4-6.
  • Check out various STEAM resources (see below) and develop an integrated unit.
  • Participate in the 5th Annual STEAM Colloquium on January 30, 2015 (look for proposal requests in September).
  • Take advantage of the professional learning opportunities and classroom grants to motivate your students.
  • Explore the California Department of Education's first draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Systems Implementaiton Plan for California. The plan is available online at the CDE Next Generation Science Standards website. The plan is open for public comment until Monday, August 25, 2014, at 5:00 pm. Please submit any comments and suggestions for improvement via email
    Visit our website to view resources, link to standards and stay up-to-date with events. Feel free to contact Hilary Dito with questions, comments, and thoughts about integrating STEAM into your classroom.

Teacher Opportunities and Professional Development

Stanford University Online: Designing for Deeper Learning: How to Develop Performance Tasks for the Common Core

This FREE online course will focus on using, developing and implementing performance tasks in the classroom. The nine-week course will include evaluating sample performance tasks and developing tasks aligned with a specific unit. The course is designed for grade 6-12 core-discipline teachers (math, English, science, and social studies). 


The course begins on September 8. For more information or to register, visit the program's website.

Second Annual California STEM Symposium

Registration is now open for Invest in California STEM Education: 

Innovate, Integrate, and Inspire! Hosted by The Californians Dedicated 

to Education Foundation in partnership with The California Department 

of Education and The Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, 

this conference will bring together 3000 educators, program providers, 

business leaders and philanthropic representatives to engage in STEM 


The conference will be held at the San Diego Convention CenterSeptember 22-23. For more info, visit their website.

Lindsay Wildlife Museum Educator's Resource Fair

Learn more about Lindsay Wildlife Museum's school programs and other workshops at the Free Educators' Resource Fair. Enjoy food and wine while you explore the museum and meet other organizations that offer educational resources. Bring your calendar to book a field trip orschedule a program. The event will be held on Tuesday, September 30, from 3:30-6:00 p.m. No reservations are needed. For more information, contact Melissa Strongman, director of education, at 925-627-2914.

Next Generation Science Standards State Rollout Symposium

California's science education leaders from the California Department of Education, K12 Alliance, the California Science Project, Curriculum & Instruction Steering Committee, and California Science Teachers' Association present the NGSS State Rollout, a two-day workshop for school and district leaders.

This event will  be held October 20-21, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the 
Hilton Oakland Airport, One Hegenberger Road, Oakland. Registration is $200 per person; for more information and to register visit their website

2014 San Francisco Bay Area Common Core State Standards Summit 

The Contra Costa County Office of Education presents the San Francisco-Bay Area Common Core State Standards Summit, titled: Strengthening The Core.

The Summit will be held at the Concord Crowne Plaza Hotel, October 28-29. Visit their
Web page for details and registration.

NSTA offers 19 different awards that recognize teachers for their development and implementation of unique-science programs and curricula, outstanding leadership and dedication to the profession. The NSTA awards offer recognition and a multitude of prizes for educators. Prizes include cash awards and grants, school supplies and materials, and trips to the national conferences.

For more information or to download an application, visit the NSTA Teacher Awards Program websiteThe submission deadline for most of the awards is November 30.

Exploratorium's Institute for Inquiry

Applications are now available for Fundamentals of Inquiry: Examining Scientific Practices and the Next Generation Science Standards at the San Francisco Exploratorium. The institute will be offered October 20-24 or December 8-12. Participants will explore ways to develop an inquiry- based approach to teaching that aligns with NGSS. 


For more information and to apply visit their website

Classroom Grants  

Dow Chemical Company Community Advisory Panel (CAP) Grant Program

The DOW CAP Grant Program is now accepting on-line applications. Eligible applicants must represent community non-profit organizations, schools, municipalities, or county governmental agencies/departments that have identified science, education or environmental projects that will enhance the quality of life within East Contra Costa County. The grants will range from $2,500 to $5,000. For more information and to apply, visit their website. The deadline is September 19.

Air Force Association Educator Grants

The Educator Grant program promotes aerospace education activities in K-12 classrooms. Awards of up to $250 are available to encourage innovative lesson development. Funds can be used to purchase kits, materials, and software. Applications are due November 18. For more information and to apply visit their website.

The Safeway Foundation's Grants

Safeway funds grant applications for communities where stores are located. Grants should focus on Safeway's priorities, including education. Grants are accepted throughout the year. Typical grants are between $2,500 - $10,000. For more information and to apply visit their website.

Classroom Resources and Websites
Lindsay Wildlife Museum - School programs and tours

Cultivate curiosity and engage in life science exploration with live animal ambassadors from Lindsay Wildlife Museum! The 2014-2015 School Program Guide is available on the museum's websiteReservations open on August 11.


For more information contact Kelly Hughes, educator registrar at 925-627-2913.

EducatorLabs - an online resource bank for educators
EducatorLabs is an on-line resource bank developed by school librarians and media specialists. Browse the resource bank for curated activities, resources, and lessons. If you don't find what you need, submit a request for a new project. 
Learn How To Become...

Looking for resources to aid your students in researching future career paths or to incorporate into a unit on career exploration? provides detailed insight into 45 of today's most popular career fields, including accounting, engineering, medical assisting, nursing, firefighting, financial advising, and teaching.

Youreka Science

Youreka Science showcases easy-to-understand videos on medically-relevant, biological findings. These short visually enhanced videos help make new research understandable to the public. 

You Cubed

You cubed provides resources for parents, students, teachers and administrators including mathematical tasks, videos and research to improve mathematics instruction.

Student Opportunities
California Costal Cleanup Day

Join thousands of other Californians on September 20, to help clean up our beaches and waterways. For information on how to participate, visit their website.

Bay Area Science Festival

More than 200 science, technology, and engineering organizations from across the Bay Area will present the fun and excitement of science, through hands-on and interactive exhibits, science-themed performances and demonstrations, and family-oriented entertainment.  

The Bay Area Science Festival will also be offering Discovery Days events on November 1 at Sonoma County Fairgrounds and at AT&T Park.

For more information, visit their website.

America's Home Energy Education Challenge

Students in grades 3-8 find ways to save energy. By analyzing data, teams develop a presentation to showcase their understanding of energy and conservation. 


Registration is open until November 15. Presentations are due on March 31st. For more information and to register visit their website

Stanford University EDUC115-S: How to Learn Math
This is a FREE course designed for learners of all levels of mathematics. Dr. Jo Boaler presents how to approach and learn math effectively. The course runs until December 15, 2014.

For more information or to register, visit the program's website

On-line Biodiversity Course

The California Academy of Science and the Khan Academy have partnered to offer a free on-line course on Biodiversity. Discover why it is such an important feature for sustainable ecosystems and questions scientists are asking to learn more.

Visit their Web page for more information.

Technovation Challenge

Empower your students to create apps with Technovation, an all-girls' technology program. Girls gain computer science and entrepreneurship skills, while competing in a global challenge. Technovation provides hands-on curriculum, training, resources, and support. Students will compete to win $10,000 in seed funding to take their app to market!

Visit Technovation's website for more information and to start your team. 

Choose Civility
Acknowledge Others
The Choose Civility Principle for August and September


"You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins." 

-Jim Stovall


Acknowledgement comes in many forms: remembering someone's name, paying a thoughtful compliment, summarizing what was just said for a newcomer to the conversation, holding a door open to let someone through, welcoming, thanking, and just plain saying "Hello."


The author of Choosing Civility, Dr. P.M. Forni, relates that a simple "Hello" or "Good Morning" is the most basic form of acknowledgment. A simple greeting confers honor and acknowledges the other person's presence. It sets a positive tone, puts people at ease, and wishes them well.


Action Step: Decide on a way that you will acknowledge others that you may not have been in the habit of acknowledging previously. Challenge yourself to do this at least once each day - a wave, a smile, a nod, a verbal greeting...


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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