By Joel Rosenbaum
Jumping into the waters of Ulatis Creek Monday, 18-year-old Vacaville High School senior Spencer Pihl remarked how cold his feet were getting.
But Pihl wasn’t complaining. It was all for science.
Pihl and about 90 of his fellow classmates in Erin Gordon’s Advanced Placement Biology classes at Vaca High were taking part in the 11th annual Solano County Biomonitoring Program, a hands-on science program run by the Solano Resource Conservation District.
Source: Getting Their Feet Wet For Science – The Reporter
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that the State Board of Education (SBE) voted to approve the first-ever instructional materials which incorporate California’s groundbreaking Next Generation Science Standards for grades K–8. “California is the first state in the nation to adopt a science framework and approve instructional materials based on the Next Generation Science Standards,” Torlakson said. “I am excited about the new standards, which train students to act like scientists by posing questions and developing their own experiments. In addition, they emphasize climate change and environmental literacy, along with engineering and strategies to support girls and young women in science.”This was the largest state adoption for a content area with 34 programs submitted for review. The SBE approved 29 programs. Districts will have many options of curriculum resources to meet the needs of their students. The approval of instructional materials comes after the Science Framework was approved by the SBE in 2016.
Source: Torlakson Announces Approval of NGSS Materials – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California History-Social Science Project (University of California, Davis) have won the American Historical Association’s Beveridge Family Teaching Prize for distinguished K–12 history teaching. The two organizations collaborated to create the groundbreaking History-Social Science Framework for California Public Schools, which was approved by the State Board of Education in 2016 and published last year.
“California is leading the way in helping our students recognize the diversity of our great state and nation,” Torlakson said. “Thanks to the partnership between the California Department of Education and the California History-Social Science project, California students will learn from the latest research and have a deeper understanding of the important contributions and challenges faced by many individuals and ethnic groups that have sometimes been overlooked. These include every major ethnic group, as well as members of the LGBT community and people with disabilities.”
Among other things, this framework adds more detail on Latino history, the Armenian Genocide, the role Filipinos played in World War II, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and African American history—including slave narratives and firsthand accounts of uprisings, and protests during the Civil Rights movement.
Source: CA History-Social Science Frameworks Win Prize – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)
By Lillian Mongeau
Science could be considered the perfect elementary school subject. It provides real life applications for reading and math and develops critical thinking skills that help students solve problems in other subjects. Plus, it’s interesting. It helps answer all those “why” questions — Why is the sun hot? Why do fish swim? Why are some people tall and other people short? — that 5- to 8-year-old children are so famous for asking.
Young children are “super curious,” said Matt Krehbiel, director of science for Achieve, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping students graduate high school ready to start college or to pursue a career. “We want them to be able to harness that curiosity to help them make sense of the world around them.”
Source: Will New Standards Improve Elementary Science Education? | MindShift | KQED News
By Richard Bammer
Some say “throwing money at schools” makes little or no difference in student achievement outcomes, but American educators generally would argue the exact opposite, asserting that money, indeed, can make a real difference and often does.
To that end, the Solano County Office of Education will use a recently received $50,000 grant to support K-5 math and science standards in area schools.
“We are excited and look forward to working with our school districts to develop model math and science lessons that are engaging and aligned with math and science standards,” Lisette Estrella-Henderson, superintendent of county schools, said in a press release about the County Implementation Award Program (CIAP). “We look forward to supporting our educators who work so hard on behalf of the students they serve.”
Source: Solano County Office of Education lands $50K grant to support math, science
By Daily Republic Staff
The Solano County Office of Education received a $50,000 grant from the County Implementation Award Program (CIAP) to support K-5 math and science standards implementation, according to a press release.
“We are excited and look forward to working with our school districts to develop model math and science lessons that are engaging and aligned with math and science standards,” said Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson in a statement. “We look forward to supporting our educators who work so hard on behalf of the students they serve.”
A pilot team of K-5 teachers from participating school districts will collaborate to develop model lessons that will be available to all teachers by December 2018. The team will engage in a process of developing, pilot-testing, and refining these lessons in their classrooms.
Source: SCOE receives grant to support math, science
By Daily Republic Staff
Students from across Solano County completed their participation in a two-day science showcase Friday that saw projects from elementary schoolchildren to high schoolers take over the gym at Vanden High School.
The annual Solano County Science/STEM Fair opens the door for qualifying students to enter the California State Science Fair next month at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.
Solano County’s science fair was open to sixth- through 12th-graders.
It’s a competition based on the quality of experiments presented through exhibits, according to event organizers. The event is designed to stimulate an active interest in science, provide a quality educational experience, and to give public recognition to talented students for the work they have done in the field of science.
Source: Students showcase scientific chops at Solano science fair
By Reporter Staff
Will they learn to how to make their own “volcano”? What about building a soap-powered model boat? Like a magician, will they figure out how to “bend water” with static electricity?
They might, if they attend the city of Suisun City’s Spring Break Science Camp.
The six-day camp, from March 26 to April 2 (no camp on Saturday and Sunday) and sponsored by the city’s Recreation & Community Services Department, is open to children in grades one to six and will be held at the Anson G. Burdick Center, 1101 Little Rock Circle, in Suisun City. Daily hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Organizers say the camp will be a fun and educational experience for the children, as they learn how the world works through field trips to Rush Ranch Open Space, the Imagine That! Museum in Vacaville, and through experiments and other activities.
Source: Science fun for kids during holiday week
By Carolyn Jones
Days after Congress passed a budget that mostly preserves funding for science education, President Donald Trump released a new budget proposal for 2019 that would eliminate many of those same programs.
Trump’s budget proposal, released on Monday, was drawn up before Congress passed its two-year deal last week. Although Congress already approved a budget, Trump’s proposal can offer funding priorities within approved budget caps, and it lays out his overall vision for the country. It calls for a $26 billion increase in defense spending next year, but $5 billion in cuts to non-defense programs, including a 10.5 percent cut to the Department of Education.
Source: Science education funding still in Trump’s crosshairs, despite being saved by Congress | EdSource
By Daily Republic Staff
High school students are invited to participate in the Solano County 4-H Science, Engineering and Technology program, which offers a chance for teens to engage in community service, learn new skills and experience teaching firsthand.
Program participants will be trained to teach science in teams to elementary-age children in after-school programs.
Training will take place from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday and Monday at the 4-H office, 501 Texas St. Teens must attend both days. The deadline to register is Friday.
Source: Solano 4-H SET program offers teens training workshop
By Richard Bammer
They are pint-sized versions of Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin and Lyda D. Newman, inventors all, of the incandescent light bulb, bifocals, and the improved modern hair brush, respectively.
They also possessed several traits common to successful inventors four and five times their age, not necessarily genius but, chief among them, persistence in the face of repeated failure, what Edison called “1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”
As they showed off their inventions Tuesday at the Dan O. Root Health and Wellness Academy, where the Suisun City campus held its first Invention Convention, fourth-graders in three classes proudly explained their projects in the multipurpose room.
Source: Fourth-graders at Dan O. Root Academy show off at Invention Convention
By Richard Bammer
Reliable research shows that we remember field trips long into adulthood — journeys to museums, state and national monuments, state capitols, major libraries, seashores, national forests and the like — enriching visits that offer real educational value.
That, in part, is the mission of the Solano Resource Conservation District and its Suisun Marsh Watershed Education Program as it intersects with the missions of county school districts, which, like districts across the nation, are increasingly hard-pressed to fund.
But just ending its 10th year, the RCD program — which uses Rush Ranch, just south of Suisun City, and the massive adjacent marsh as an outdoor classroom — continues to flourish, thanks to its partners: the Solano County Water Agency, the Solano County Department of Resource Management and the Fairfield-Suisun Sewer District.
Source: Nearly 1k students took part in RCD’s education program
By Daily Republic Staff
A variety of volunteer positions await adults who want to help at the North Bay Region Academic Decathlon Jan. 27 and Feb. 3 at Solano Community College, 4000 Suisun Valley Road.
The Academic Decathlon is a competitive event modeled after the Olympics to stimulate academic achievement and honor “athletes of the mind.” The competition among high school students centers on art, music, literature, mathematics, economics, science and social science.
A list of volunteer jobs, and a volunteer form, can be found at NBRAD Application.
For more information, send an email to Ken Scarberry at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 646-7601.
Source: Academic Decathlon organizers seek volunteers
By Carolyn Jones
At Design Tech High, a charter school in Burlingame that’s affiliated with Oracle, students are analyzing the science behind the Tubbs Fire that raged through Sonoma County in October and creating blueprints for how the destroyed neighborhoods can rebuild in a way that could minimize impacts from the next fire.
The crash course in sustainability is an example of how, amidst the devastation and human suffering, teachers are using wildfires, hurricanes and other natural disasters to further students’ understanding of science, history and social studies.
“Drought, famine, fire, war — students get it. They see the connection between what’s on the news and these larger environmental issues,” said Andra Yeghoian, environmental education coordinator for the San Mateo County Office of Education, who teaches environmental science and trains teachers at Design Tech and other public schools in San Mateo County.
Source: Fires, floods, hurricanes: Teachers turn natural disasters into science and history lessons | EdSource
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that the State Board of Education (SBE) voted to approve instructional materials for grades K–8 that teach California’s groundbreaking History/Social-Science Curriculum Framework.
“I am proud California continues to lead the nation by teaching history-social science that is inclusive and recognizes the diversity of our great state and nation,” he said. “Students will benefit enormously.”
Torlakson said the instructional materials will give students a broader, deeper, and more accurate understanding of history and the social sciences, provide them with current research, and equip them with the critical thinking and research skills to make up their own minds about controversial issues.
“They update the teaching and learning of history and social science and convey important new information about the challenges and contributions made by individuals and ethnic groups, members of the LGBT communities, and people with disabilities,” he said. “They recognize some individuals and groups who may not have been fully included in the past.”
Source: Board Approves History Social Science Materials – Year 2017 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced that he has appointed Barbara Murchison as Director of the California Department of Education (CDE) Professional Learning Support Division.
Murchison will oversee the division’s efforts to support educators throughout their professional career, from recruitment to leadership opportunities. This division works in collaboration across the Department and the state, helping educators implement the California Standards and curriculum frameworks.
It administers several professional learning programs for educators at all levels and in all content areas, including science, technology, engineering, math, history-social science, literacy, and arts, with the goal of ensuring equitable learning opportunities for the state’s most vulnerable students, including English learners.
Murchison most recently served as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Lead, where she helped create a plan that meets federal requirements while shifting away from top-down decision-making and toward local control that helps local school districts better meet their own needs. The plan was developed over 18 months with input from thousands of Californians.
Source: New Professional Learning Support Director – Year 2017 (CA Dept of Education)
By Daily Republic Staff
The Suisun Valley K-8 School’s Edible Schoolyard project was one of three $2,500 winners of the California Educational Research Association Classroom Innovation Grant.
Jas Wright, principal of Suisun Valley K-8 School, and Stacy Burke, Fairfield-Suisun School District‘s assistant director of public relations and grant writing, teamed up to write the grant.
Suisun Valley’s Agri-Science Program is an innovative approach to teaching the Next Generation Science Standards. In addition to teaching and reinforcing state science standards, the goal of the Agri-Science Program is to teach K-8 students where their food comes from, how it is grown and produced, and the vital role that agriculture plays in their everyday lives.
Source: Good News: Suisun Valley K-8 School wins CERA grant
By Daily Republic Staff
The Suisun Marsh attracts professional scientists from all over the world who come to study it.
Few people know that young, local scientists have been studying the marsh consistently for the past eight years thanks to a free opportunity offered by the Solano Resource Conservation District.
About 1,000 sixth- and seventh-graders will conduct soil, water and plant analysis during visits that began Monday and continue into early December. Testing happens during a visit to Rush Ranch Open Space, owned by Solano Land Trust.
Source: Solano students get hands-on experience studying Suisun Marsh
By Tim Goree
The California Educational Research Association (recently announced three winners of its $2,500 Classroom Innovation Grant, and Suisun Valley K-8 School’s Edible Schoolyard project was one of those winners.
Jas Wright, principal of Suisun Valley K-8 School, and Stacy Burke, Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District’s assistant director of Public Relations and Grant Writing, teamed up to write the grant.
Suisun Valley K-8 Edible Schoolyard serves to meet the needs of the Suisun Valley’s agriculture community. The Agri-Science program is an innovative approach to teaching the Next Generation Science Standards.
Source: Good News: Suisun Valley K-8 School wins innovation grant
By Todd R. Hansen
Shelley Shumate was a student the first year Solano College offered a biotech program. The next year she was working in the manufacturing division of Genentech.
Shumate on Wednesday attended the dedication of the new $34 million, 32,000-square-foot Biotechnology and Science Building at the Vacaville campus across the street from her employer.
She was one of about 75 people who attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The building was funded with voter-approved Measure Q monies.
Source: Solano College gives students career edge with new science building