California Regional Environmental
Education Community

California Department of Education,
STEM Office

Region 7 Central Valley Newsletter 
Summer - 2016

Coordinator Message 

Outdoor and Other Non-Formal Educators Supporting the New Standards
While many districts are just beginning to make the shift to the new science standards, directors of California's network of outdoor programs say their week-long outdoor science camps can help districts and their students now.  Because their outdoor science curriculum, with its focus on asking questions based on observations, carrying out investigations and analyzing data, hands-on learning and group interaction, supports the NGSS, it can support teacher's needs, while the new standards are being rolled out across the state this year. To read more about how outdoor schools are supporting these standards  click here  (Ed Source on Outdoor Schools and  Science Standards) .

Plus this spring nearly 40 Environmental Educators from every Region 7 county participated in a set of Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS) Workshops, to learn more about these new standards.  They took part in NGSS-style lessons, discovered resources, acquired tools and developed pathways that could help them make their own programs more NGSS-like.  With the recently published  Blueprint for Environmental Literacy recommending nearly 40 hours of outdoor instruction per year, these non-formal educators are gearing up to help classroom teachers, by providing outdoor NGSS-style experiences that can fit the bill.  They realize that the environment provides the outdoor, real-world phenomena, through which students ask questions and participate in scientific processes and engineering design and they want to help teachers access it.

This summer there are plenty of opportunities to learn more about the new standards or to spend some time learning about the environment.  Several are listed below.  For in depth opportunities  click here and for opportunities in the south valley click here
So, get outdoors and enjoy the summer fun!

Nancy Bruce, Circle J Ranch Outdoor School, Leads BEETLES Activity at Environmental Educator Workshop, April 25, 2016
Please share this newsletter with your fellow teachers and colleagues. We need all of us!
Jody Bertolucci, CREEC Coordinator, Region 7
What's New in Region 7

Price Reduced for Catalina's Island Eco Course, August 1-5, 2016

The Discovery Institute for the Advancement of Science and Technology Education is offering an exciting 5-day field oriented course on Island Ecology designed for science teachers. This course will be conducted, August 1 -5, 2016, on Catalina Island at the USC Marine Science Center.  Credit is being offered through Cal Poly Extension . . .
The "Pick and Gather and Merced River Fair Festival at Riverdance Farms" includes, science, nature, crafts, geo-caching, fishing lessons, kayaking and river adventures.  This River Fair takes place one day only, on Saturday, June 4, 2016, and is a part of a full weekend of Riverdance Farm's "The Pick and Gather Festival" activities are happening on both days, June 4 and 5, 2016 . . .

2016-2017 - Professional Learning Communities for Teachers 5- 12th, in Science & NGSS  Application Deadline August 29, 2016

The Fresno County Office of Education presents a 4-day workshop (one day per quarter) focusing on science content and pedagogical strategies designed for EL Learners.  Teachers will be working together in similar content groups to learn the processes and tools needed to effectively implement NGSS in the classroom . . .   

City of Merced Offering FREE Water Conservation and Recycling Presentations 

Looking for a classroom or assembly size presentation, for K to 12th school children in Merced? The City of Merced is offering FREE conservation presentations that can be tailored to fit any time frame, but typically lasts 45 minutes . . .

Local Events
Workshops at Tulare County
Office of Education 
2016 Sequoia Forestry Challenge Reduces Fees
in Hopes of Attracting Students,
 After Visalia School
Ranks High at 2015 Challenge

Last fall seventeen students from Visalia's Eleanor Roosevelt Community Learning Center (ERLC) took third place in the 2015 Sequoia Forestry Challenge ( ). They successfully competed with 19 other Northern California teams at SCICON also called the Clemmie Gill School of Science and Conservation and at the Mountain H ome Demonstration State Forest, above Springville, California. 
Among the highlights for the ERCL students were the Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest activities. Students collected data on recently logged woody debris in an area. Then, they took their data and used it in a fire behavior computer modeling program to determine optimum conditions under which to conduct a prescribed burn on the Forest. During the Challenge, teams of students also completed field training, followed by a field test, to assess their technical forestry knowledge and data collecting skills.
The Forestry Challenge was "an intense, fun, challenging learning experience," said Eleanor Roosevelt Community Learning Center (ERCLC) teacher Jeff Alexander. A student at ERCLC summed it up as follows: "It is an amazing place to learn everything you ever need to know about forestry, in a way that causes you to retain and take interest in it."
This fall's 2016 Forestry Challenge will take place at Camp Sequoia, in October. This event is an academic event for high school students in technical forestry and current forestry topics. Participants spend four days in the forest learning about the ecology and management of the forested landscapes that provide communities with water, recreational opportunities, wood products, and wildlife habitat. It gives students the opportunity to explore careers by interacting with natural resource professionals including foresters, hydrologists, soil scientists, wildlife biologists, and fire scientists.
Sign up your high school students by the August 30, 2016, and this year's registration will be reduced by 50 percent! That's only $75 per student, for four days at Camp Sequoia, room and board included.  What an incredible deal for four days of real-world environmental education!
For more information click here  or contact Diane Dealey Neill, but hurry rates will go up soon.    

                    Get outdoors and enjoy the summer fun!
The more Environmental Education Collaboration the Better!!


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Disclaimer: These professional learning opportunities and resources are intended merely to provide access to information. The California Department of Education (CDE) has not reviewed these opportunities or resources for effectiveness or alignment with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). CDE does not warrant or guarantee the effectiveness or results of any opportunity or resource that may be made available through this communication network. The inclusion of an opportunity or resource is neither an endorsement nor recommendation by CDE. Please excuse formatting errors that may result from the software application used to distribute this newsletter.

The California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC) Network is an educational project supported by the California Department of Education in collaboration with state, regional and local partners. Its expansive communication network provides educators with access to high-quality educational resources to enhance the environmental literacy of California Students.
CREEC is housed and supported by the Fresno County Office of Education
Jody Bertolucci, Contact Info (, (559) 265-3098 Ext.4354

Shannon Gordon, Statewide CREEC Coordinator,
STEM Office, California Dept. of Education, 1430 N Street, Suite 4309, Sacramento, CA 95814

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