California Regional Environmental
Education Community

California Department of Education,
STEM Office

Orange County Region 9b Newsletter 
Fall 2016  

New Year, New Website (coming soon!)      

I hope all of you were able to enjoy a peaceful, relaxing summer in beautiful Orange County. My pup pack and I enjoyed the beach, outdoor concerts, and outdoor movies.

You may have noticed that our CREEC website is in transition. Thank you for your patience as we revitalize the website to better provide you with information. The Event Calendar and Resource Directory are undergoing significant upgrades and will be available later this academic year. In the meantime, I will do my best to inform you of opportunities via this newsletter. Always feel free to reach out to me via email. I will do my best to help you and your students.

- Helen de la Maza, CREEC Coordinator, Region 9b
What's New in Region 9b  

Inside the Outdoors 2016-2017 Grants

Check out the various grants available to fund your students' Field Trip or Traveling Scientist program with Inside the Outdoors.

FEDCO Teacher Grant

The Orange County Community Foundation, in partnership with the FEDCO foundation, is pleased to announce this opportunity available for full-time Orange County public school teachers serving students in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade. The goal of this grant program is to increase student academic achievement in one of the core subject areas: language arts, mathematics, science, or social studies. Priority is given to schools that serve children with low socio-economic status and/or low academic scores. Teachers may apply individually for grants of up to $750, or collaborate with other teachers in their school and submit a joint application (maximum of four teachers). Individual teachers may not apply for multiple grants and cannot be involved with multiple teams. Schools are eligible for a maximum of four individual grants, or $3,000 total, whichever limit is reached first. Deadline: October 15, 2016 Awards will be announced by November 19, 2016. Contact Austin Muckenthaler at or 949-553-4202 ext 48 if you have questions.

Professional Development Series for SoCAL Sustainability Educators: Green Ambassadors Institute 2016-17: 'Research in Action'

Dates: Oct 3, 2016 // Feb 25, 2017 // May 6, 2017 Environmental Charter Schools invites educators and community leaders to the Green Ambassadors Institute, a 3-part professional development series on incorporating real-world environmental sustainability issues in your curriculum. Using Los Angeles as a learning lab, connect to research being conducted by LA's leading environmental organizations, get localized content knowledge you can use in any K-12 subject and leave with tools to help your students drive relevant solutions of their own. Participants are eligible for $300 minigrants to implement an environmental service learning project with students. Sub costs reimbursed for classroom teachers. Register and get more information.

Local Events
Coastal Cleanup Day
Various sites in Orange County, CA
Coastal Cleanup Day is the world's largest trash pick up. In California alone, 66,000 volunteers gather to take out the trash and beautify our beaches. We have clean up sites all over Orange County that need love, they might even be in your own backyard. Find your clean up site and sign up!
Discovery Cube OC's Educator's Evening of Science, 4-7 p.m.
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Join us for a night of interactive programs, immersive exhibits and hands-on FUN! For one night only, teachers are invited to get an exclusive sneak peek at our award-winning science programs and hands-on exhibits available to help teach STEM in the classroom, after school, and on field trips. You will be able to: experience permanent and traveling exhibits available on field trips, preview our most popular assemblies and workshops for your students, receive complimentary supplies for educators, join in networking opportunities with educators and community partners (including OC-CREEC!), and enjoy complimentary food and drinks. Don't miss this popular event exclusively for teachers! Space is limited and your registration is required.
CA STEM Symposium
Location: Anaheim, CA
The California STEM Symposium brings together thousands of teachers, administrators, students, higher education representatives and others to engage them in STEM education by providing strategies and resources for program implementation. The Symposium has a special focus on increasing and supporting the participation of women and girls-as well as other underrepresented groups-in STEM fields. It also highlights leaders in classroom innovation from across the state and attract student teams to showcase critical thinking, problem solving, and teamwork.
Chemistry Day at the Zoo
Location: Santa Ana, CA
This event at the Santa Ana Zoo is sponsored by the American Chemical Society and will take place 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. The event features: experiments and activities presented by local University Chemistry clubs, activity booths set up around the Exploration Outpost, special Scientist presentations at the Conservation Education Theater. This event is free with the Price of Admission. Zoo Members get in for free.
Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education's Southern Section Fall Conference 2016
Location: Arrowhead Ranch Outdoor Science School, CA
AEOE's mission is to advance the impact of environmental and outdoor education in California. Join AEOE for its first conference of the year. Registration includes educational workshops, 1 meal (Saturday dinner), Saturday Night Campfire entertainment, and tent camping or dorm accommodations. Register by September 24 to take advantage of the $40 early registration fee.
19th Annual Docent Day
Location: Santiago Oaks Regional Park, CA
This annual event brings together local environmental and outdoor educators for a day-long professional learning event from local experts in the field. Contact Winter Bonnin at for more information and to register.
CSTA's California Science Education Conference
Location: Palm Springs, CA
For more than 20 years the conference has been providing up-to-the-minute educational programs for California's science educators. The conference features the perfect mix of hands-on, one-hour workshops, engaging lectures from professional scientists and university-level educators, in-depth three- and six-hour courses, one-of-a-kind field course experiences, and quality networking opportunities that are only possible when meeting face-to-face.
Save the Date! National NSTA Conference
Location: Los Angeles Convention Center, CA
Attend the National Science Teachers Conference and join thousands of science educators and leaders from throughout the nation as we continue to improve science education for ALL students!
Volunteer Opportunity! Work 8 hrs. and receive a 50% reduction in registration. Work 16 hrs. and received a waived registration. Indicate your interest in volunteering.

CREEC Facebook Page

Please "Like" our CREEC Facebook page to keep up-to-date with statewide opportunities and resources.  
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.
In Orange County, CREEC is housed and supported by Inside the Outdoors, OCDE.
Helen de la Maza,

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

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