Contra Costa County Office of Education

                     SUMMER 2016

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The 2016-2017 school year is about to kickoff. From transitioning to the Next Generation Science Standards to developing opportunities of all students in STEAM, Contra Costa County Office of Education provides resources and programs to engage students, parents, educators and the community in high-quality STEAM throughout the year.
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 professional learning opportunities about integrating STEAM into your PreK-12 classrooms.
California Standards in Science
Framework Draft for Public Review
The Second 60-Day Public Review of the California Science Framework is currently underway. The Instructional Quality Commission and the State Board of Education welcome all to review and comment on the Draft Science Framework for California Public Schools. This second sixty-day public review will be available for comment from June 28, 2016 to August 29, 2016. Please submit all comments to
Follow California's Department of Education updates by joining the NGSS electronic mailing list. Send a blank email to this address
Bundling the NGSS

"Bundles" are groups of standards arranged together to create the endpoints of instruction. The Draft Science Framework for California Public Schools  has sample bundles in the "Instructional Segments." Additional examples of bundling have been released from Achieve at the Next Generation Science Standards websiteNew grade-level bundles will be released over the next several months. 
California's NGSS Rollout training Phase 3: 
Transition to Implementation
California's NGSS Rollout training Phase 3: Transition to Implementation
Join science leaders at the third in a series of statewide professional learning symposia exploring the philosophy, design, awareness of and transition to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
Please limit district teams to 4-6 people. This will allow for additional districts to participate as space is limited. Ideally, teams should include an Administrator or Curriculum Leader in addition to Teacher Leaders. These sessions build on NGSS Symposium II, so teams are encouraged to bring teachers who attended that event.
There are two Bay area events. Both events run from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Registration fee is $250 per participant.
Alameda County Symposium: September 7-8, 2016
California State University, East Bay
Santa Clara County Symposium: November 7-8, 2016
Santa Clara County Office of Education
Visit the website for more information or to register.
California Science Teachers Association Facebook Communities
Join teachers from around California on CSTA's Facebook pages. The Facebook groups provide a forum for sharing resources, asking questions and developing networks across the state. Groups include Science Coaches, Elementary Science Teachers, Middle School Science Teachers, and High School Science Teachers. For information and to join a group, visit CSTA's Facebook Page.
Professional Learning Opportunities
Emily Pilloton and Christina Jenkins:
Creativity as a Habit In- and Beyond - the Classroom
The best teachers inspire students to be brave and think differently. Join Emily Pilloton and Christina Jenkins with this "Unprofessional Development"  and challenge yourself to put creativity at the root of all learning.

Creativity as a Habit In- and Beyond - the Classroomparticipants engage with creative thinking both in and beyond the classroom. The first half of the workshop invites participants to consider why it's often so difficult to start, to practice and to maintain a creative routine. By the end of the morning, participants will have completed a design challenge and will take away a collection of readings full of encouragement and inspiration from artists, chefs, athletes and others who know how difficult it is to do this work. The second half will focus on building a toolkit of methods for creative pedagogy. Participants will leave with a personal toolkit of readings, case studies, planning tools and activities that can be used in the classroom immediately.

This workshop is part of CCCOE's Distinguished Speaker Series, and will be held on October 14, at the CCCOE, Pleasant Hill. Space is limited. Register early to secure a spot in this intimate workshop. 
Visit this Eventbrite site  for additional info and registration. The fee is $110.
Jo Boaler: 
The Mindset Revolution
In recent years scientific studies have demonstrated that student and teacher 'mindsets' have a profound impact on learning. Mathematics teachers play a critical role in the development of mindsets and this session will review the ways to teach for a growth mindset, including attention to classroom norms, math tasks, questions and assessment. 

Dr. Jo Boaler is a Professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford University, and the co-founder of youcubed. In this day-long workshop Dr. Boaler guides participants to consider together what it means to teach math for a growth mindset. Participants will look together at different mathematics tasks, different forms of assessment and grading, grouping arrangements, encouragement and praise, and many other aspects of mathematics teaching. 

This workshop is part of CCCOE's Distinguished Speaker Series, and will be held on December 15, at the Pleasant Hill Recreation Center. Space is limited. Register early to secure a spot in this intimate workshop. An Eventbrite site for additional info and registration is coming soon. Registration info will be available at this website. The workshop's fee is $110.
Contra Costa County NGSS Institute
Explore the Next Generation Science Standards through the lenses of Phenomena, Crosscutting Concepts, and Engineering. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the NGSS and the impact for student learning. After diving deep into the NGSS, participants will receive tools and time to plan a scope and sequence of NGSS learning for their grade level.

The programs will be held at the CCCOE, in Pleasant Hill, on the following dates:
  • Focus on grades K-2: September 27
  • Focus on grades 3-5: September 28
  • Focus on grades 6-8: October 4
  • Focus on grades 9-12: October 6
For more information, visit this Web page.
2016 California STEM Symposium: Designing Our Future

Registration is now open for Designing Our Future. The CA STEM Symposium brings together thousands of educators, program providers, business leaders and philanthropic representatives to engage in STEM education, sharing best practices for program implementation and development. 

The conference will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center, October 9-11. For more info, visit their website.
2016 California Science Education Conference

CSTA's annual conference will focus on California's implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards. Join over 1800 educators in Palm Springs on October 21-23. Registration and information can be found at CSTA's website.
LeadLearn2016 Forum to Highlight Leadership for Effective Instruction
Registration is now open for a unique professional learning and leadership forum for educators to be held at UCLA on October 4-5, 2016. The California Subject Matter Project (CSMP) is hosting the LeadLearn2016 forum, an event designed to highlight how strategic teacher leadership development can support and expand school-wide and district-wide reform efforts, improve instruction, student learning, and literacy.  A main focus will be curriculum, instruction, and assessments aligned with California's Academic Content Standards. 

To register or learn more, visit their website. Space is limited, and registration closes on 15 September.

Fun Exchanges and Activities for Science Teachers (FEAST)
Join K-12 teachers at Chabot Space and Science Center for networking and sharing science resources. FEAST meets once a month on Saturdays (there are two FEAST dates in October). FEAST will be held from 9:00 a.m. to noon.
  • October 1: Anything Ocean!
  • October 15: Halloween: Tricks or Treats!
  • November 5: Inquiry-based Learning: Modeling
  • February 4: The Body - Human Anatomy
  • March 4: Microbiology
  • April 1: Technology - Share Your Best!
  • May 6: NGSS - Best Shared Practices in Your Classroom
To register and for more information, visit their website
Discover Plasma Science Teachers Day and Student Plasma Expo
On November 1, the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics will host Science Teachers day in San Jose. During Science Teachers Day and the Plasma Sciences Expo, national and international plasma research scientists share their knowledge and enthusiasm for science with teachers and students. For more information and to register, visit the American Physical Society's website for Plasma Physics.
Educator Grants and Awards
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 our national conferences. 

For more information or to download an application, visit the NSTA Teacher Awards Program website
Exploratorium - free visit for teachers

California Teachers can visit the Exploratorium at no charge.  (But be sure to request your free admission HERE.) Check out the Exploratorium and see how you can inspire your students in STEAM.
Dow Chemical Company Community Advisory Panel (CAP) Grant Program 
The DOW CAP Grant Program is accepting on-line applications until September 16, 2016. 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. Grants range from $2,500 to $5,000. For more information and to apply visit their website
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, 2016.  For more information and to apply visit their website.
Classroom Resources and Websites
San Francisco Opera Arts Resources in Action (ARIA) program

Take advantage of San Francisco Opera's ARIA program. Their innovative programs offers opportunities for students to integrate opera with core learning. Programs span K-16 grade levels. Scholarships are available for programs. For more information visit their website
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra Education Programs

San Francisco's Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra offers free educational programs for students in grades 6-12. Bring your students to a concert or have musicians come to you. For more information and to apply for tickets visit their website
Link Engineering

Link Engineering is an online community of educators looking to provide meaningful engineering experience to PreK-12 students and connect with educators throughout the country.
NASA Education

From free webinars to classroom curriculum, NASA Education provides access for K-12 educators to explore STEM throughout the year. Download the Mars Explorers Wanted Career Posters, look for student opportunities, or search the database for lessons.
STEM Teaching Tools
These STEM Teaching Tools highlight ways of working on specific issues that come up during STEM teaching.  From the University of Washington, the tools are authored and reviewed by teachers and researchers, leveraging knowledge from practice and research to inform how to teach STEM subjects. 
California Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources

Educators can find resources on water, drought and more at this website. There are videos, outreach campaigns and more. Find connections to local phenomena that can translate into NGSS classroom units.
KQED Teach

This professional online learning platform for educators provides a series of free, self-paced courses to help educators develop the media skills necessary to bring media production and communication to their students and into various learning environments.
The Mystery of Matter
This six-part PBS science series explores the discovery of matter and the making of the periodic table. Educators can access a Teacher's Guide and video clips for the classroom at the
Phenomena for NGSS
Start with phenomena to hook the students. When phenomena are used effectively, students dig deeper and understand core science by inquiry.
NGSS Phenomena includes a gallery of phenomena, tips to use phenomena and connections to content.
Student and Family Opportunities
California Coastal Cleanup Day

Join thousands of other Californians on September 17 and 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.  Find events showcasing STEM from October 27 through November 5.
The culminating event will be Discovery Days at AT&T Park in San Francisco on November 5. For more information, visit their website.

Maker Ed's Resource Library

Whether you are developing a makerspace or looking for creative activities, the Maker Ed Resource Library has activities for all ages, K-college. Start empowering the creativity in all of our children.
John Muir Land Trust Stargazing Event

John Muir Land Trust and Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society invite you to spend an evening exploring the night sky! This popular event, hosted by JMLT in partnership with the Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society offers something for everyone! The evening promises great views of the full moon, Saturn and its ring system and the Andromeda Galaxy some 2.3 million light years distant! Child-friendly materials and a demonstration of how to use the binoculars and equipment will be included.

The stars are aligned for another stellar Stargazing event on August 17th from 5:30-9:30 p.m. at John Muir Land Trust's Fernandez Ranch, a permanently protected 702-acre natural area. For all the details, visit this 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



Deputy Superintendent, Pamela Comfort, Ed.D.



STEAM Coordinator, Hilary Haugen Dito



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