Delta Sierra Science Project Newsletter
January 2021

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 2020-21 throughout the state of California as the transition progresses towards the full implementation of the science standards and assessments supported by the 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 

Registration is now open for the CA NGSS Statewide Implementation Professional Learning #1!

   STEM Teacher Professional Development and Announcements

SJCOESTEMPDSJCOE STEM Programs Professional Learning 

SJCOE Virtual Workshops for Hybrid Learning
Join our SJCOE team for up to 4 unique hybrid learning modules:

1. Social Emotional Learning Supports
2. Shifting Relationships: Behavior and Positive Teacher-Student Relationships
3. Choosing Synchronous and Asynchronous Activities
4. Collaboration

SJCOE STEM For Virtual and Blended Learning
Join our SJCOE team for a 60-90 minute virtual session on STEM for virtual and blended learning. 
We will customize it for your individual district or school's needs. 
Contact Bret States: or see our flyer for additional information

SJCOE Distance Learning Support Modules
Join the SJCOE Educational Service Distance Learning Team and view any or all of the 5-part series of Workshops for Virtual and Blended Learning. Purchase one PLC unit to help you move over on the salary schedule. 

Module 1 - Essential Skills for Virtual and Blended Learning
Module 2- Model Lessons for Virtual and Blended Learning
Module 3 - Lesson Planning for Virtual and Blended Learning
Module 4 - Unfinished and Learning Loss
Module 5 - Designated ELD in a Virtual Setting

Region 6 STEM Distance Learning Tools
Recorded Sessions

Are you looking to build your distance learning toolbox? Join the Region 6 STEM Team Distance Learning workshops as we a tackle difference online tool each week. Free Weekly workshops include highlighting a single online tool with built-in opportunities for discussion, collaboration and reflection. 
Topics include:
  • Screen Casting
  • Edpuzzle
  • Flipgrid 
  • Google Science Journal
  • Hyperdocs
  • Virtual Tours
SJCOE Middle School Mosquito-Borne Disease Lesson Sequence Workshop

Calling All Middle School Science Teachers! Join SJCOE STEM Programs and SJC Mosquito & Vector Control District in a workshop to explore a free engineering-based lesson sequence adapted for distance learning.  The NGSS lesson sequence focuses on ecology, biology, behaviors of a mosquitoes, mosquito-borne disease prevention, and integrated pest management.

Upon attending this workshop, you will have access to:
  • The full lesson plan
  • A Hyperdoc to facilitate the lesson in distance learning
  • An option to invite a guest speaker from the San Joaquin County Mosquito & Vector Control District to Zoom in to your classroom
The workshop will be held virtually on 
Saturday, March 6th. Please register here. If you have any questions, please contact Dean Reese at

Zoomin' with a STEM Professional

"Dinner with a Scientist" has been reimagined to "Zoomin' with a STEM Professional''. Once a month we will "Zoom" into a classroom with a STEM Professional as a guest speaker.  The guest will engage with students about their career and career path.  Students from San Joaquin County schools will be encouraged to ask questions through SJCOE STEM Programs social media accounts prior to the session. We'll share your answers from our guest speaker.
The first session was held on January 13th with Abigail Van Vuren's class of Ripon High school along with Dr. Brian Bennion of Lawrence Livermore Labs.  

We will run this program January - May of 2021.  Stay tuned for additional information about the schedule for each monthly session.

FabLab EDC

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 virtual field trip options for grades K-12.  If you are interested in scheduling a virtual field trip or just have questions
please contact Stephen Callahan:, (209) 468-9247 or visit our website

Environmental Literacy at SJCOE

SJCOE's vision for environmental literacy is to equitably educate and empower school communities to understand the intersections between human and natural systems in the past, present, and future, and to inspire civic responsibility on local and global environmental issues in order to innovate solutions towards a more sustainable future.

The SJCOE Enviro Team is building environmental literacy networks to connect and support environmental education between community-based partners, educators, students, and school districts. 

Come YEL it, TEL it, GEL it, and CPEL it!  SJCOE has lots of options to engage with Environmental Literacy.  Come join the conversation!

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 miles 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. 

All field trips are temporarily on hold due to COVID-19. 
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 is $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. For more information, please contact

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 database of the local species. Field Trip cost is $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. For more information, please contact

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 :

Upcoming Events

TEL Virtual Meeting Series
Teachers for Environmental Literacy
February 10, 2021 @ 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
March 3, 2021 @ 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
April 20, 2021 @ 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
May 11, 2021 @ 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

We are looking for passionate K-12 educators to join this network and help lead the charge for environmental literacy in San Joaquin County. The focus of this network is all things environmental literacy ranging from the CA Green Ribbon Schools Award, the CA Seal of Civic Engagement, California's water network, experiential place-based learning, environmental justice, climate change education, and more. Teachers interested in this series can apply for 2 units through Teacher's College of San Joaquin. Click HERE to register.

YEL Virtual Meeting
Youth for Environmental Literacy
February 20, 2021 @ 10: 00 AM - 12:00 PM

Are you a high school in San Joaquin County and passionate about the environment? YEL if you are! Join our Youth for Environmental Literacy Network to become part of a community of likeminded teens.

As educators, it is our responsibility to empower our students with the knowledge, support, and skills they need now to face their future.  This is an exciting time in Environmental Education, and we at SJCOE would like to provide a platform for students to build on this work.
To find out more, visit our website.

CPEL Virtual Meeting
Community Partners for Environmental Literacy
February 11, 2021 @ 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

The goal of the CPEL network is to connect Environmental Education Community-Based Partners and the environmental work you are doing in the real world to the students, schools and districts in San Joaquin County.  Teachers may also join CPEL meetings to learn about community partners that are promoting environmental literacy in our region. 
Future dates: 
May 13, 2021. 
To find out more, please visit our website

Community Partners for Environmental Literacy Resources

City of Lodi Watershed Program

Do you know where your drinking water comes from? Or how a watershed works? Do you know where the rain that falls in Lodi goes? What plants and animals depend on the Mokelumne River, from its source in the Sierra to where it flows into the Delta?

Find out about: Community Programs, Educational Resources, Mokelumne Current, and Storm Drain Detectives program.

The Stockton Area Water Suppliers (SAWS) Water Education Program

SAWS are providing water education for Stockton area students. Using the distance learning software Padlet, the SAWS Water Education Program has created a collection of virtual water education videos, links, websites and activities that teachers can share with students during online classroom sessions or as remote assignments/ homework. 
The material focuses on water science, the water cycle, water conservation and other water-related topics appropriate for each grade level. 
If teachers can physically share materials with students, the SAWS Water Education Program can also provide items for send home packets, including pencils, crayons, coloring/activity books and supplies for activities and experiments.
Contact SEWD Water Conservation Coordinator: 
Kristin Coon at or 209-444-3126.

Department of Water Resources
Water Wednesdays - Careers in Water Resources
1:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Join DWR scientists in live stream events. Topics vary each month. Students will learn about careers in water resources, climate change and water, water and equity, and others. Explore the Youtube library for numerous resources that could be used in the classroom. 
STEMforStudentsSTEM Opportunities for Teachers and Students

CA NGSS Statewide Implementation - Professional Learning #1
Building Student Sensemaking Through Disciplinary Literacy

The California NGSS Statewide Implementation: Building Student Sensemaking Through Disciplinary Literacy is an online professional learning experience designed for K-12 academic coaches, administrators, curriculum leads, and teacher leaders to deepen their understanding and implementation of teaching practices to advance student science understanding. Flyer

January 28-29, 2021
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
February 22-25, 2021
4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
March 16, 18, 23 and 25, 2021
8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Virtual Online Follow-up
Date Options:
March 10, April 7 and 28, 2021
4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Tune Up Sessions:
July 28, August 18 and
September 15
Times TBD

See Nature Differently with the Youth Design Challenge

Challenging times call for new ways of problem solving. Now is the time to empower your students to re-imagine a sustainable world with nature-inspired design.

The Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge is now open for registration for the 2020-2021 school year! While social distancing may be drawing students and teachers apart, the opportunity to grow closer to nature through STEM-rich biomimicry learning has never been more important.

Teachers College of San Joaquin Professional Learning Center
Inspire. Learn. Grow

What is the Professional Learning Center? 
Teachers College of San Joaquin's Professional Learning Center (PLC) provides opportunities for educators to purchase non-degree, Professional Development Units (PDUs) to continue their education and move over on the pay scale.* (One professional development unit is equal to a total of 15 hours of seat time.)

*Always check with your school and/or district prior to purchasing PD units to ensure that they will accept them.

Dinner with a Scientist - REVAMP
Dinner with a Scientist will take a whole new approach this year!  Stay tuned for more information.  

Virtual 7th Annual Stockton Health Empowerment Conference 

We plan to host students from the Central Valley through a series of virtual workshops, panels, and activities on Saturday, February 6, 2021
This is a FREE event! Registration is required and can be completed online in advance. Link to register: Please see our website for more information and our Instagram @shec2021virtual for updates.
SHEC aims to empower, motivate, and provide information about health professions to students from disadvantaged backgrounds. As a diverse medical school with students from all walks of life, we want to provide resources and wisdom from our learned experiences to students aspiring a career in healthcare. This conference will encourage conversations about: long-term goals, college admissions, financial aid, health profession careers, educational achievement, community service, research, and encourage self-growth. 

The Fall @Concord is here!

Check out these great resources from The Concord Consortium!
STEM Resources:

LLNL Science Education Program Has New Resources for Teachers and Students!
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) Science Education program is offering a variety of new resources for teachers and students. A new Physics with Phones section provides a series of lessons in a wide range of physics topics. The popular Fun with Science field trip is brought to the classroom through online videos for a virtual experience. In partnership with the Livermore Lab Foundation, the Science@Home video series highlights LLNL scientists and engineers sharing an experiment from home. Also new to the Science Education program are virtual classroom tours of the National Ignition Facility (NIF) and the National Atmospheric Research Advisory Center
 (NARAC) along with the Scientist in the Classroom virtual visits.
Please click on the interactive PDF to explore to these sites and learn more about our programs.

Joanna S. Albala, Ph. D.
Manager, Science Education Program
University Relations & Science Education
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Regional Environmental Literacy Resources, Events & Opportunities

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

Visit our website

CA Department of Fish and Wildlife
Nimbus Fish hatchery Virtual Field Trips

The arduous journey that salmon and steelhead trout take from the ocean to their stream of origin to reproduce is a fascinating one! It is a journey filled with danger, death and success, and it can all be witnessed at Nimbus hatchery. Students are naturally curious about this biological process and also the role that humans play. Join us virtually as we follow the fish! To make a request for the 2020-2021 school year, use this link.

Symposiums and Workshops

Environmental Education Collaborative 
7th Annual Environmental Education Symposium: Justice, Literacy, Wellness
February 25 - 28, 2021
Cost: $10
  • Three keynote speakers for each of the symposium themes: Justice, Literacy, and Wellness
  • Exciting virtual breakout sessions led by community members
  • Networking and collaborative opportunities with formal and non-formal educators
  • Updates on the Environmental Education Collaborative and the EEC Mini-Grant program
  • A sneak peek of the first annual Youth Climate Action Summit
Chino Basin Water Conservation District 
Rainwater Harvesting for Home Landscapes 
January 16, 2021 @ 9:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M.

When rain falls, it is best to slow, spread, and sink it into our landscapes, for multiple benefits, both to our gardens and the region. In this class, we will explore practical, low cost approaches to capturing the rain at home. Learn a practical approach that will cover infiltration basins and rain gardens, swales and berms, and rain barrels and cisterns. Register here.

Contests and Awards 

Clean Vehicle Empowerment Collaborative
CVEC Video and Art Contest
Ages 4-17
The Clean Vehicle Empowerment Collaborative would like to invite San Joaquin Valley youth to participate in our Valley-wide CVEC Video and Art Contest! Show us your creative side and color, draw, produce a video or make something truly unique to show us why electric vehicles (EVs) are here to stay. Artwork should highlight the environmental and economic benefits of driving an eV, like reducing air pollution. Show us what a Valley with more EVs look like for you. Find out more here.

President's Environmental Youth Award

The President's Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) recognizes outstanding environmental projects by K-12 youth. The PEYA program promotes awareness of our nation's natural resources and encourages positive community involvement. 

Each year the PEYA program honors a wide variety of projects developed by young individuals, school classes (kindergarten through high school), summer camps, public interest groups, and youth organizations to promote environmental awareness. Thousands of young people from all 50 states and the U.S. territories have submitted projects to EPA for consideration. 

The One Earth Award offers $1,000 scholarships for four students whose works address human-caused climate change. All students in grades 7-12 (ages 13 and up) are eligible to participate and should apply through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Deadlines vary between December 2020 and January 2021, depending on your region. Teens can to find out their regional deadlines and how to apply.

World of 7 Billion Video Contest
September 1, 2020 through February 25, 2021.

Create a short video - up to 60 seconds - about human population growth that highlights one of the following global challenges: Promoting Environmental Justice, Strengthening Global Health, Re-Imagining Industrial Systems. All videos must include:
a) how population growth impacts the issue
b) at least one idea for a sustainable solution

Online Resources to teach climate change in K-12 classroom

Regional STEM Opportunities and Resources for Teachers

NASA STEM Engagement: Overview
NASA's journeys have propelled technological breakthroughs, pushed the frontiers of scientific research, and expanded our understanding of the universe. These accomplishments, and those to come, share a common genesis: education in science, technology, engineering, and math.
In NASA STEM Engagement, we deliver tools for young Americans and educators to learn and succeed. We seek to:
  • Create unique opportunities for a diver se set of students to contribute to NASA's work in exploration and discovery.
  • Build a diverse future STEM workforce by engaging students in authentic learning experiences with NASA's people, content and facilities.
  • Attract diverse groups of students to STEM through learning opportunities that spark interest and provide connections to NASA's mission and work.
To achieve these goals, NASA STEM Engagement strives to increase K-12 involvement in NASA projects, enhance higher education, support underrepresented communities, strengthen online education, and boost NASA's contribution to informal education. The intended outcome is a generation prepared to code, calculate, design, and discover its way to a new era of American innovation. Check out their website which includes at home activities to try out!

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.

hhmi BioInteracitve Resources for Educators
Empowering Educators.
Inspiring Students.

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

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.