Contra Costa County Office of Education

                  December 2014

STEAM Masthead
Featured Sections
Contra Costa County Office of Education's Common Core State Standards Distinguished Speakers Series
Teacher Opportunities and Professional Development
Classroom Grants and Teacher Awards
Classroom Resources and Websites
Student Opportunities
Join Our Mailing List
STEAM News and Events 





It is that time when educators reflect on the successes and challenges of the first half of the school year. This issue of STEAM News highlights many opportunities to bring STEAM into your classroom, expand your own knowledge of STEAM, and motivate students both in and out of the classroom.


5th annual SF Bay Area STEAM Colloquium, Full STEAM Ahead: Designing for Learning. There is still space available for the 2015 STEAM Colloquium. Join us on January 30, 2015, at the San Ramon Marriott.

This engaging day includes a keynote by Jeffrey Charbonneau, 2013 National Teacher of the Year, more than 35 breakout sessions engaging participants in STEAM education and the STEAM resource fair and gallery showcasing classroom activities, programs and resources for integrating STEAM.


Register on Eventbrite. The $75 fee includes access to keynote and breakout sessions, breakfast, lunch, and parking. And, be sure to follow the Colloquium via Twitter, at #steamcolloq. For information contact Hilary Dito at (925) 942-3396. 

Contra Costa County Office of Education's 
Common Core State Standards Distinguished Speakers Series

Making Science Accessible to English Learners

Join WestEd's Ursula Sexton for a three-day Professional Development Series on engaging students in scientific discourse, exploring teaching strategies aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards, and designing appropriate assessments for English learners. 


Cost for the three-part series is $150 per person. It is suggested that learning teams attend together. The workshops takes place on February 3, March 3, and April 30, 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m., at the CCCOE, in Pleasant Hill. All participants will receive the book: Making Science Accessible to English Leaners: A Guidebook for Teachers. Register via Eventbrite. For more information, contact Marsha Tokuyoshi or Hilary Dito. 

Engaging Students in Difficult Mathematics through Real World Examples, Relevance, and Examples of Math in the World of Jobs

This workshop will engage participants in developing questions, creating intellectual need and teaching in three acts. Mathematics educator, Dan Meyer will lead teachers through research based strategies to develop meaningful math for all students. 

The workshop will be held at the CCCOE, in Pleasant Hill on February 5, 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.. The $100 registration can be made at Eventbrite. For more information, contact Marsha Tokuyoshi or Hilary Dito.

Amplifying STEM with Technology

Learn how to engage students with opportunities that integrate STEM and PBL through technology. Practicing educator, Michael Gorman, will lead participants through a PBL educational experience. 

The workshop will be held at the CCCOE, in Pleasant Hill on March 10, 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.. The $100 registration can be made at Eventbrite. For more information, contact Marsha Tokuyoshi or Hilary Dito.

Teacher Opportunities and Professional Development

Responsive Design for Educators

Based on the theory of design thinking, responsive design focuses on creative-classroom solutions to engage all students. Join Ralph Córdova, Ph.D., founder of  and his team to learn how to transform classrooms and schools into learning communities of courageously confident problem-solvers and problem-seekers

The workshop will be held at the Contra Costa County Office of Education on January 29, 2015. Registration is $100 per person, suggested that teams of 3-4 attend together. Register via

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 a.m. to noon on January 31. 


To register and for more information, visit their website.  

LiMPETS Introduction to Sandy Beach Monitoring Workshop

LiMPETS is an environmental monitoring and education program that provides hands-on activities. Participants receive a stipend, 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 January 31 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.

Cool Tools X

East Bay CUE is organizing Cool Tools 2015 for educators. Come learn about integrating technology with the Common Core State Standards. See how to use technology to enhance your students' learning in the classroom.


This annual event will be held at Valley View Middle School, in Pleasant Hill, on February 7. For more information, visit their website.
Classroom Grants and Teacher Awards 

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 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 their website. Applications open this month and educators are encouraged to apply by mid-February to increase their chances of being selected in this competitive process. 

UMass Nanotechnology Summer Institute

Applications are now available for the 2015 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 13 to 17, at UMass Amherst

Visit the program's website for more information.

Exploratorium - Free Visit for Teachers  

Exploratorium - Free Visit for Teachers  

California Teachers can visit the Exploratorium at no charge, but be sure to request your free admission at this website

Classroom Resources and Websites

Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society

Bring your students to the stars. Astronomy programs are offered free of charge from the Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society. Contact them soon to reserve a good opportunity for an observing night at your school. The Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society will deploy great telescope technology guided by knowledgeable volunteers. 


To set up a date and/or for more information, you can visit their website.

Creative Educator

Looking for ideas to engage your students across the curriculum? Check out Creative Educator for project-based learning, professional development, and other resources. Articles include Five Hallmarks of a Creative Project and The Power of Play. Visit this website for details.

Holiday Lecture 2014: Biodiversity in the Age of Humans

Each autumn, leading scientists come to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) headquarters, where they speak to an audience of high school students from around the greater Washington, D.C., region. The annual two-day event is an energetic celebration of science, with hands-on activities, lectures, discussion, and lively exchanges between students, teachers, and scientists. 


In six half-hour lectures, three leading scientists describe the state of biodiversity on our planet and how to face the great challenges that lie ahead. To stream the series, visit HHMI's website

Turtle Diary

Visit for interactive games, puzzles, storybooks, and lessons. The site provides resources in science, math, and logic for pre-K to 3rd-grade students. K-5 Teacher Workshops

Elementary teacher can register for free computer science professional development workshops.  The workshop prepares educators to teach the Code Studio courses for grades K-5. The workshops are 6-7 hours. 


There is one scheduled in San Francisco on January 24. For more information, to register, or find other workshops, visit their website.

Engineers Week
Join the National Engineers Week Foundation for 2015 Engineers Week. From February 22-28 celebrate the positive contributions engineers make to society. Log on to their website to order your free Engineers Week Volunteer kit today, to get activities and posters.
Student Opportunities

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, January 31, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m. at California State University, East Bay, Hayward. 

Attendees can register on their websiteApplications for bus-transportation scholarships are due by December 19.

Contra Costa County Science and Engineering Fair

The Contra Costa County 2014 Science and Engineering Fair will be held in March 2015.  Students must submit applications by January 16, 2015 in order to be part of this annual science fair. Applications are available on their website
Camp H
Camp H, a design/build camp for girls, is now registering 5th-8th grade girls for the spring camp. This eight-week after-school program will run from January to March, with the theme, "I can fix anything!"

Coupled with core-subject math and science concepts, participants will tinker, experiment, build, and repair. Each week girls will take on a different repair task so that they become confident to tackle everyday problems at home, at school, and out in the world.

All courses will be held at REALM Charter Middle School, 2023 8th Street, Berkeley. 
Tuition is $300 for the eight-week program. For information and to register  go to their website

The 2015 Brain Bee

The Brain Bees are local qualifying rounds of the International Brain Bee (IBB), a neuroscience competition exclusively for high school students ages 14-18. The Brain Bee involves both a written component and a live oral Q&A session. No previous neuroscience knowledge required! Contestants should study the 2012 edition of Brain Facts, a 96-page primer available for free at this website. Answers to ALL test questions can be found in this booklet, with the exception of questions that are reserved for tiebreakers. Registration closes on December 27.


Stanford Brain Bee: Saturday, January 10, click here for more info.


East Bay Brain Bee: Saturday, January 17, at Cal State East Bay, Hayward. For more info, click here

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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