California Regional Environmental
Education Community

California Department of Education,
STEM Office

Region 7 (Central Valley) E-News   
Winter 2017

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces
Approval of Science Framework


California becomes the first state in the nation to adopt a Science Framework based on Next Generation Science!

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson recently announced that the State Board of Education (SBE) voted to approve a new Science Framework for California's public schools that will dramatically upgrade and modernize science instruction.
The Science Framework provides guidance to teachers, administrators, and textbook publishers for the teaching of the Next Generation Science Standards from transitional kindergarten through twelfth grade.
The Framework expands and refines discussion of climate change and for the first time includes engineering, environmental literacy, and strategies to support girls and young women in science.
Beyond updated science content, the Science Framework encourages a new teacher-student dynamic with the teacher becoming more of a facilitator, asking questions and encouraging discovery. Students conduct experiments and lead the scientific inquiry.
Throughout the spring of 2017, the California Department of Education (CDE), together with educational partners, will present California Science Framework rollout events around the state to start preparing educators and administrators in all aspects of Next Generation Science Standards instruction. In 2018, the State Board of Education is scheduled to adopt textbooks and other instructional materials aligned to the Standards and Framework.
The CDE also is developing a new online science assessment that will reflect the Standards and Framework.  A pilot test of the new assessment will take place in spring 2017 in grades five, eight, and in one high school grade-ten, eleven, or twelve-that will vary for each high school.
For more information see  the CDE website .

- Jody Bertolucci, CREEC Coordinator, Region 7
More News and Events

Request your FREE Plant Science Curriculum and receive a free tote bag! Select from a variety of lesson plan units, full of hands-on activities geared fro graqdes K-3, 2-14, 5-8, 8-12 . Make plant science a hands-on experience in your classroom. To order click here.
7 winter
This certification program is designed to develop naturalist skills as a means of promoting the stewardship of California's natural communities. The program runs seven weeks, Friday evenings for the classroom component and Saturdays for field experiences. space is very limited. For more information contact the Sierra Foothill Conservancy by clicking here.

The Central Valley Science Project and Fresno State presents a 2-day workshop for teachers, non-formal educators and after school staff. The class will model how to use simple inexpensive materials to build an engaging STEM program for your school, classroom or program, aligned to the 3-D learning of CA NGSS. Participants will take home project materials to use with their students.  This is first in a series of workshops. For information  click here .
Leadership Institute  BEETLES Project: 
Science and Teaching for Field Instructors 
Apply now for the 2017 Leadership Institute with the BEETLES Project, Science and Teaching for Field Instructors. Free (including room/board and a travel stipend) and open to all outdoor environmental education programs that use science as a lens for looking at nature! This 6-day Institute will take place from August 6th-11th, 2017, in the northern Sierra Nevada mountains of California. For information and how to apply click here.
Environmental Education Provider Meeting
January 17, 2017
All Region 7  non-formal environmental educators are invited to an informal meet and greet CREEC meeting.  Learn about updates with the Blueprint for Environmental Literacy or the EE Principles and Concepts, recently included in the new Frameworks.  We will discuss how CREEC can benefit and help you update your program. For information or to  RSVP for this 3:30 meeting, by January 13, 2016, contact Jody Bertolucci  or Sonya Force .
California students in kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to submit artwork or poetry with a California coastal or marine theme to the Coastal Commission's annual Coastal Art & Poetry Contest. Entries must be postmarked by January 3 1, 201 7. For rules and entry form, the contest flyer and helpful links for teachers and students  click here.

This workshop, originally scheduled for February 16, 2017, is strictly for Non-Formal Environmental Educators looking for tools to support the transition of their programs to the new standards. Must be familiar with the 3-dimensions of NGSS. Participants will modify an activity of their choosing into an NGSS style lesson. For details or to register click here 
Fresno County Farm Bureau Hosts Centennial Art Competition - Due February 9, 2017
Fresno County Farm Bureau is seeking artists to participate in its Centennial Art Competition. Entries must be a representation of the agriculture industry through the manipulations of oils, watercolors, photographs etc.Prizes range from $1000 to $50. Entries will be accepted beginning Wednesday, February 1, 2017, through Thursday, February 9, 2017, during normal business hours. Contact the FCFB office by clicking here or for guidelines click here.

The California Farm to School and Garden Conference will be held March 27 - 29, 2017 at the Modesto Centre Plaza. The conference will offer a series of workshops, panels and discussions that will be of significant educational and networking value to attendees who will represent all facets of the farm to school movement, including farmers, distributors, government representatives, procurement officers, educators, and food program administrators. For registration click here .
Cal Water H20 Challenge      

Embark on an H2O Science Adventure with Your Classroom!
California Upper-Elementary Teachers:
Would you like to incorporate lessons into your classroom around our state's historic drought? Perhaps you want to teach about water conservation, but need a place to start? California Water Service (Cal Water) and the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) have collaborated with field-leading educational organizations to develop a program that:
  • Aligns with Common Core State Standards
  • Compliments Next Generation Science Standards
  • Follows a Project-Based Learning Methodology
  • Adheres to an Educator-Created Objective Rubric
Introducing Cal Water H2O Challenge
The Cal Water H2O Challenge is a project-based learning competition designed in conjunction with NAAEE and WestEd K-12 Alliance. Over 4-8 weeks, classrooms initiate, develop, and implement a project focused on caring for water, which must:
  • Explore Water as Both a Global Resource and Local Resource
  • Tackle a Local Water Issue
Deadline February 28,2017

To compete, participants must be a 4th to 6th grade class within Cal Water's service area.
For more information see the CalWater H20 Flyer or go to  the website .


Sources for teachers and providers

View Funding 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.

Shannon Gordon, CREEC Network State Contact,, STEM Office, California Dept. of Education, 1430 N Street, Suite 4309, Sacramento, CA 95814

Region 7 CREEC is housed and supported by the Fresno County Office of Education,
Jody Bertolucci,

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