Contra Costa County Office of Education

                      October 2014

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






Save the Date: 5th annual SF Bay Area STEAM Colloquium, Full STEAM Ahead: Designing for Learning


Join us on January 30, 2015, at the San Ramon Marriott. This year's colloquium will address how to move STEAM from concept to action. Colloquium strands include "Designing for the Future", "Designing for Early Learners", "Designing for Integration", and "Designing for Leading". 


Requests for presentations are now available. Applications are due November 10, 2014. You can download the application at this website


Registration opens on November 1.


For information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Hilary Dito at (925) 942-3396. Be sure to follow the STEAM Colloquium updates on its web page and Twitter #steamcolloq.

Teacher Opportunities and Professional Development

Fun Exchanges and Activities for Science Teachers (FEAST) 

Join secondary science teachers at Chabot Space and Science Center for networking and sharing science resources. FEAST meets once a month on Saturdays. 

The next free event is titled: Special Events and Holiday Tricks (or Treats), and will be held from 9:00 am to noon on October 25, 2015. To register and for more information, visit their website.  

4th Annual Conference on Integrated Computing and STEM Education

The UC Davis C-STEM Center will be holding the conference on November 7-9. This year's theme is Igniting Genius and Lighting the Spark for All

More information is available on their website.  

Astronomy in the Classroom for Pre-service Teachers Workshop

Specifically designed for pre-service K-12 teachers, this workshop will engage participants in inquiry-based teaching methods for presenting earth and space science content and NASA developed education resources useful in the classroom. This professional-development opportunity includes a general introduction to basic concepts in astronomy, including the pedagogy of conducting hands-on activities, which emphasize science practices in the context of the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards, and connections to the Common Core Standards.

This free workshop will be held on Saturday, November 15, 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., at the College of San Mateo. Those who are interested may register at this website

Stanford University Online: Constructive Classroom Conversations: Mastering Language for College and Career Readiness

This FREE online course looks closely at student-to-student conversations. Participants may enroll in the Elementary-focused course or the Secondary-focused course. The course begins on October 1.

Exploratorium - Free Visit for Teachers  

California Teachers can visit the Exploratorium at no charge, but be sure to request your free admission at this websiteCheck out the new location and see how you can inspire your students in STEAM.
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

California Math Council (CMC) North Conference: Discovering the Beauty in Mathematics 

Take time to explore mathematics and teaching for understanding. Keynote Speakers include: Tony DeRose, Pixar Animation Studios, Dr. Jo Boaler, Stanford University, and Phil Daro, Common Core Co-author.

This program will be held December 5-7, in Pacific Grove, CA. For more information and to register visit their website.

NSTA Area Conference

The 2014 NSTA Area Conference in Long Beach, in collaboration with CSTA will be held December 4-6. Join science educators to engage in the following conference strands: NGSS Implementation, Science: The Gateway to Common Core State Standards, and STEM Classrooms; Anytime/Anyplace/Anywhere. CSTA members may register for the NSTA membership price. For more information and to register visit their website.

Windows to the Universe

Windows to the Universe and the National Earth Science Teachers Association (NESTA) offer web seminars throughout the year. Check out their past professional development offerings. Topics includes Tides and Orbital Motions of the Earth-Moon System, The Sun and Space Weather, and The NGSS, Space and Planetary Science and Astronomy.
Visit their website for additional information. 

LiMPETS Introduction to Sandy Beach Monitoring Workshop

LiMPETS is an environmental monitoring and education program that provides hands-on activities. Participants receive a stipend and  in-depth curriculum and are trained to survey the distribution and abundance of the Pacific mole crab at one of many monitoring sites along the coast. The San Francisco training is on November 1, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Gulf of the Farollones National Marine Sanctuary Office, in San Francisco. For more information and to register visit their website.
Bay Area Earth Science Institute (BAESI) Workshops

The BAESI workshops are for teachers of grades 4-12. Workshops address Next Generation Science Standards and present a blend of science concepts and ready-to-use classroom activities for teaching them. The workshops meet at San Jose State University, in room 306 Duncan Hall. Workshops are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

November 8: Earthquakes and Other Natural Hazards

November 9: San Andreas and Calaveras Faults Field Trip


The workshop is free. For those looking to earn SJSU credit, you may combine any two sessions to earn 1 unit of Geology 104, for $50. For additional information, visit their website.

Classroom Grants and Teacher Awards 

The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program

This fellowship program provides a unique professional development opportunity for accomplished K-12 educators in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to serve in the national education arena. Fellows spend 11 months working in a federal agency or in a U.S. congressional office, bringing their extensive knowledge and experience in the classroom to education program and/or education policy efforts. 


Applications for the 2015-2016 Fellowship are open until November 20, 2014. 

Classroom Resources and Websites
California Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI)

The Californian EEI curriculum teaches to mastery select K-12 California academic content standards in Science and History-Social Science, using the environment as a context for learning. The EEI Curriculum consists of 85 free K-12 grade units that complement existing instructional materials. The EEI Curriculum also supports your students' efforts to master English language arts' standards.

Earth Science Week 2014 Toolkits Available for Order
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is now accepting advance orders for the Earth Science Week 2014 Toolkit. The toolkit contains educational materials for all ages that correspond to this year's event theme, Earth's Connect Systems.


Materials include the traditional program poster and school-year-activity calendar, as well as materials from distinguished program partners such as NASA, the National Park Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, Esri, and professional geoscientific societies. Earth Science Week 2014 will be celebrated October 12-18. To learn more, please visit the AGI website

UC Davis STEMWiki Hyperlibrary

This multi-institutional collaborative venture is developing the next generation of open-access E-texts to improve STEM education at all levels of higher learning. The texts are being written and re-written by students and faculty members resulting in an online resource for students and teachers. STEMWikis include the BioWiki, the StatWiki, the PhysWiki, the ChemWiki and the MathWiki.

Student Opportunities

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

Contra Costa County Science and Engineering Fair

The Contra Costa County 2015 Science and Engineering Fair will be held March, at Los Medanos College, in Pittsburg. The application process begins now. Projects needing prior approval are due on October 31, 2014.


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 website. Please mark your calendar today for 2015's Science Fair judging day. 

Microsoft's Imagine Cup 2015

High school students will use their imagination and passion to create a technology solution in one of the competitions or challenges. For more information and to register, go to their website

2015 Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge

Are you a creative thinker ready to engineer solutions benefiting humanity? Join the Conrad Challenge. Teams of students (ages 13-18) and young adults (19-25) are invited to register. Team registration closes on November 3. Winning teams receive scholarships, grants and more. Visit their website for details.

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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