Delta Sierra Science Project Newsletter
February 2020

Registration is open for the 
H2O Hackathon 2020! No coding experience is required and trainings are available.  

Thank you for subscribing to the Delta Sierra Science Newsletter, a publication of the San Joaquin County Office of Education and the Delta Sierra Science Project.   The state roll out of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) continues in 2019-20 throughout the state of California as the transition progresses towards the full implementation of the science standards and assessments supported by the newly adopted California Science Framework.

Please contact our SJCOE STEM Programs office if you have any questions or concerns at 209.468.4880 and visit our website at

San Joaquin County Office of Education 

Featured this month -  click on links:

   STEM Teacher Professional Development and Announ cements

SJCOESTEMPDSJCOE STEM Programs Professional Learning 

CCESSA Region 6 Administrator Workshop to Support NGSS Implementation Series
Come learn how to build shared language around the existing data for science instruction; deepen understanding of support for a site vision of equity in science; and, reflect on how science supports the goals of your site. This is a 5 module series alternating locations between the Stanislaus County Office of Education and the San Joaquin County Office of Education. 

Module 4 at San Joaquin County Office of Education, February 19, 9am to noon
Registration and Additional Information

Module 5 at Stanislaus County Office of Education, March 12, 9am to noon
Registration and Additional Information

Building Toward the CAST (How do you design a 2D and 3D assessment?) Grades 6-12
February 25, 2020, 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Come learn how to best utilize the resources for the California Science Test (CAST) including training, practice tests, rubrics and scoring guides. Participants will also experience a performance task and collaboratively work toward creating classroom NGSS assessments to better prepare our students and to inform instruction. This will be 1/2 day workshop. 
Registration and Additional Information

Tech in Teaching
February 25, 2020 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Often in Education people think about what a technology is, rather than what they need students to be able to do. We will cover lots of ways to have tech support student learning. Tech in Teaching is a PD to cover useful technologies for teachers, from media usage to augmented reality.
Registration and Additional Information

NGSS 5E High School Biology Collaborative Planning Internal Workshop (2nd Offering)
February 26, 2020, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
NGSS curriculum resources are often challenging to navigate and develop into an appropriate scope and sequence for classrooms. Let SJCOE STEM Programs facilitate this process in a collaborative workshop with other area educators. We will explore NGSS resources and work alongside other grade-like educators to further develop 5E lessons,
storylines and units that can be immediately implemented into practice.
Registration and Additional Information

Engineering with 3D Printing
March 21, 2020, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
3D printing is a constantly expanding technology, from prototyping small electronic inventions, to building concrete structures.   Students can learn engineering using 3D printers in the classroom. Join us to experience an engineering lesson and learn how to use 3D printers.
Registration and Additional Information

Make and Take Electrophoresis, Grades 6-8
April 30, 4:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Come and experience how electrophoresis can be used to address CA NGSS Performance Expectations and make a class set of equipment that will allow you to continue this activity in your classroom for years to come!  Kit assembly will serve a class of 35 working in pairs. 
Registration and Additional Information

SJCOE Tech Summit 
SJCOE Tech Summit, 2020

September 12, 7:30 am - 3:30 pm

The SJCOE Tech Summit is an annual event where teachers, administrators, curriculum leaders, and IT staff members come together to learn how to incorporate more technology into the classroom. 

Looking for new ways to use technology to bring more art into the classroom? Does your math class need a technology boost? Or are you just learning the basics of education technology and need help getting started? With this year's "Pick Your Path" theme, you'll be able to pick from several Tech Summit pathways to focus your learning as you explore new ways to use technology to prepare students for their futures. Or mix and match from different pathways when building your schedule. It's up to you. Join us, and let's all work together toward becoming the future-ready  educators that our students need us to be to put them on the right path.


STEM Opportunities and Resources for Teachers

The Exploratorium believes that learning is joyful and lifelong. By creating inquiry-based experience and tools that spark wonder; offer hands-on experiences; and encourage questions, explorations, and individual discovery, they're transforming the way people learn. Learning this way empowers people to figure things out for themselves-about science, but also about any topic, claim or idea.

If you're a teacher, parent, after-school educator, or professional developer, there are lots of unique resources for you.

California Academy Of Sciences Resources for Educators
Information on professional development, field trips, videos, lessons plans and many more educator resources!

Next Generation Science Lesson Plans and Ideas | BetterLesson
Easy and effective science lesson plans across all grades including Earth and space sciences, and engineering with free resources from world-class teachers.

NGSS 3D Assessment Implementation Modules
The CA NGSS 3D Assessment Implementation Modules website is designed to provide teachers with assessment resources that support high-quality 3-dimensional learning for formative and summative purposes. The website resources for analyzing, modifying and creating assessment items include:
  • Unpacking the Performance Expectation Module
  • 3D Assessment Analysis Module
  • 3D Development/Modification Module
  • NGSS Assessment Database
  • Reference Resources

Forestry Institute for Teachers
Sierra Outdoor School, Sonora, CA
June 21-27, 2020

Fire and Water: From the Sierras to the Ocean, learn how forestry resiliency keeps water clean for humans and wildlife. 

Learn from professionals and build your own content knowledge through relevant and local topics:
Archaeology, Fire and Fuels, Entomology, Silviculture, Soils, Wildlife, Hydrology, Ecology and Resource Management. 
Registration fee prior to March 15 is only $25 and $200 stipend available upon completion and lesson implementation. Visit or contact Dan Webster for more information

NASA Teacher Resources
JPL Education: 
Mars InSight Mission: 

American Chemical Society -  Chemical Lab Safety Series for High School:
New & an outstanding set of 6 videos addressing high school lab safety issues including safety mindset, SDSs, Dress for lab, preparing for emergencies and RAMP strategies. Check it out:

Video Links


STEMforStudentsSTEM Opportunities for Teachers and Students

STEAM Fair 2020
February 21-26, 2020
We've put more STEAM in the Science Fair!  Here is what's new for the 2020 San Joaquin County, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) Fair:
  • New exhibition categories in science fiction writing, Rube Goldberg machines, robotics and reverse engineering.
  • All students will present their project and share it with STEAM professionals.
  • Hands-on scientific experiences and exhibits will be open to the public.
  • Plus, the same great California state-qualifying science and engineering competition.
See our website for important deadlines and registration links.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
University Relations & Science Education presents
Science on Saturday

Science in Space

February 15: Health in Space
February 22: Planetary Defense
February 29: Monitoring Microbiomes

Free one-hour presentations by LLNL Scientists intended for middle and high school students
For more information:

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
University Relations & Science Education presents
Science on Screen

Science in Space

March 7: The Martian
Health in Space: Developing new tools for the trip to Mars
Matt Colemand and Matthias Frank, LLNL
David Loftus, NASA Ames Research Center

March 14: Lost in Space
   Monitoring Microbiomes: Detection on the International Space Station
   Crystal Jaing and Nick Be, LLNL

April 4: First Man
      Return to Apollo: Geologic evolution of a young moon
      Lars Borg, LLNL

April 18: Deep Impact
 Planetary Defense: Avoiding a cosmic catastrophe
 Megan Bruck Syal and Mary Burkey, LLNL

Free Science Education Program and film with LLNL
Talk to a Scientist - an opportunity to meet and chat with the scientist following their presentation
The State Theatre | 1307 J. Street, Downtown Modesto, CA

SJCOE STEM Summer Camps 2020

Registration is now open for the 2020 Summe r Camps for students! Camps are available for students in grades 2-12 and run in June and July in a wide variety of STEM topics including:
  • Microscopy
  • Biotechnology
  • Robotics
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Programming
  • Outdoor Education

Recruiting Teens for Lawrence Hall of Science Summer Positions
The Lawrence Hall of Science is currently recruiting youth for three positions. (1) teens interested in engineering (2) working in the exhibit areas (3) stipend positions for summer camp counselors. Application deadline is March 6. 

Student Video Contest with Free Curriculum Resources from Population Education

This opportunity is available to all middle and high school students worldwide, and the deadline for submission is February 27, 2020. Participating educators receive free curriculum resource from Population Education, and up to $10,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to over 80 student winners.

EnvironmentalEducationEnvironmental Education

Durham Ferry Outdoor Education Center 

The Durham Ferry Outdoor Education Center is a regional center for STEM and environmental exploration. It sits on over 200 acres of land nestled in a large meander of the San Joaquin River in Manteca, California. Several m iles of hiking trails, seasonal ponds, oak woodlands, a meadow, over 80 acres of wild riparian forest, various picnic areas, a working farm, and the shores of the mighty San Joaquin River are a few highlights of this special place. Please visit our website for more information.

"Let's Play outside" Summer Camps 
These day camp are hosted at Durham Ferry Outdoor Education Center (   29442 Airport Way, Manteca). Students in grades 4 - 7 will participate in science activities, art, nature hikes, archery, fishing, and other recreational activities. We make science fun! We offer four sessions in June and July. Camps run  Monday - Thursday 9:00-2:00 PM  The cost is $250 per camper, lunch included. To see more information, please visit here.

MEANDER field trips, Grades 3-5
The San Joaquin County Office of Education has field trip opportunities for students in grades 3-5. Field Trip cost: $300 for a class of no more than 32 students. We can accommodate up to three classes of students at a time for this field trip. To schedule your field trip, please register here.

BioBlitz field trips, Grades 6-12
Students will work in small groups to identify and record the predominant species at the Durham Ferry Outdoor Education Center. Students will hike, use maps, data sheets and iPads to contribute their observations to the iNaturalist app and help build a data base of the local species.
Field Trip cost: $300 for a class of no more than 32 students. We can accommodate up to two classes of students at a time for this field trip.
Please register here

Volunteer at Durham Ferry Outdoor Education Center
Are you passionate about nature? Would you like to share your  love for the outdoors with elementary school students? Volunteers will help run science activities, hike to the San Joaquin River, work with student groups in grades 3 - 5. Please register here

Please email Kristine Stepping for more information regarding programs at Durham Ferry Outdoor Education Center :

Statewide competitions for students

Mini-grants for Teachers

San Joaquin Earth Day Supports Environmental Science Education in the Classroom
Each year the Earth Day Committee sets aside funds to provide area teachers with a mini grant.   The funding for these grants have been contributed in memory of Fran Abbott, a water education teacher and a leader in the environmental community. Awarded grants are to be used by the teacher to develop environmental education activities in the classroom with a demonstration project as an outcome. Each grantee then presents their class or school project at our annual Earth Day event. Earth Day 2020 is April 26th at Victory Park in Stockton, California.
This year we are awarding up to $250.00 per classroom and are encouraging teams of grade-level or cross age teachers to team up and work together on projects that are focused on Climate Change. Each teacher on the team could be granted up to $250.00. 
Deadline for applications is March 6, 2020. Please apply here.

  Visit here for other mini-grant opportunities for educators.

Environmental Literacy

California Environmental  Literacy Initiative 
The California Environmental Literacy Initiative (CAELI), led by Ten Strands, works statewide with guidance from a leadership council to create systems change in support of environmental literacy with a focus on access, equity, and cultural relevance for all students. Learn more.

Online Resources to teach climate change in K-12 classroom:


The SJCOE FabLab is a state of the art maker space.  Students come for field trips or a series of field trips and learn to engineer using circuits, 3D printers, hand tools, laser cutters and more. Students address NGSS Engineering Design standards through fun activities like engineering a bridge to test and destroy, or building a robot to complete simple task.  There are field trip options for grades K-12.  If you are interested in scheduling a field trip or just have questions
please contact Stephen Callahan: , (209) 468-9247 or visit our website

TOPSInterested in a TOPS STEM Program at your school?
Teaching Opportunities for Partners in Science (TOPS) is a program that places individuals with a background in STEM at your school where they teach hands-on lessons.  Each volunteer spends about 8 hours per month at a specific school site where together with a teacher they help provide interactive, hands-on science and engineering lessons.  If you are interested in having the program at your school or if you would like to volunteer, please contact Lissa Gilmore: or 209-468-4880 for more information. 

SJCOE STEM Programs offers a variety of STEM kits including:
Arduinos, GEMS, Makey Makeys, Math, Science and Beyond to name a few. Please reserve kits utilizing the online reservation request system:  Reserve a Kit
The rental fees range from $20 - $25 and may be checked out for up to one month at a time based on demand.  Kits are on a 1st come - 1st served basis, please call 209.468.4880 to check availability or you can use the above "Reserve a Kit" link. The resource check-out agreement must be signed by both the administrator and the educator prior to pick up. Please download the form here

About Us
San Joaquin County Office of Education STEM Programs is the CCSESA Region 6 Science Lead and the Co-Director of the Delta Sierra Science Project, a California Subject Matter Project. Thank you for reading our newsletter.