Association of Future Science Educators

May 12, 2003 find out about future events

The end of the semester did not keep folks from attending the last event of the year! This month we shared information about the benefits of your student NSTA membership, gave announcements about summer activities and an update on AFE events. AFE will host their fall meetings on Thursday nights. Please visit their website for more information (
We then split into two groups. Single Subject Credential candidates attended a panel presentation and Q&A session with Eric Brundin, LBUSD Science Curriculum Coordinator, Elizabeth Fessler, Biology Teacher at Lakewood HS, and Martin Matthews, Physics Teacher at Wilson HS. 

This expert panel shared strategies for successfully implementing inquiry approaches into the secondary setting.

Students who missed this panel presentation can watch a video tape of the event in the Science Education Office (FO5-118).

A special thanks to Eric, Elizabeth and Martin!

Multiple Subject candidates spent an evening looking at childrens books as a starting point for inquiry investigations. We read Bear's Shadow, Porker's Taxi and The Happy Hedgehog Band.
Bear's Shadow by Frank Asch

So what do we need to make a shadow?

a light source, an object to block the light and a screen or surface for the shadow to fall upon.

What happens to the shadow if we move the object?

Click here to download the questions for Bear's Shadow Activity.

April 3, 2003

Los Angeles County Office of Education Elementary Science Specialist Tim Williamson shared important information about the new 5th grade science test. Participants learned about assessment strategies, the test and mapped the test objectives to the K-5 curriculum. It quickly became apparent that this test is the responsibility of ALL elementary teachers, not just the 5th grade teacher!

March 11, 2003

Media Literacy specialist Christine Honeyman Fazio shared an informative evening with us. She showed us  lots of images from advertising and helped us learn to be more critical consumers of what we see. More importantly, she shared a rationale for why we need to help our students be critical consumers. Kids are bombarded with 3,000-5,000 advertisements or logos per day. There are very few places kids can go and NOT see advertising.  Her suggestions for developing media literacy include

1) awareness
2) analysis
3) reflection
4) action
Ms. Fazio had a list of books about the topic.
Can't buy my love (Deadly Persuasion), Ad Cult, No Logo, Fast Food Nation, Where the Girls Are.

To find out more, visit

December 9, 2002
 Preparing for the Job Market

A distinguished panel presented information about the state of education, jobs, the hiring process, and the induction phase of teaching. Joining us for the evening were Jean Stuesser, (head of HR at Centralia School District), Wendy Claflin (principal, Hudson School, LBUSD) and Judi Walker (director of the Educational Career Placement Services here at CSULB). 

After the presentations students had the chance to talk to the panelists in small groups. During this phase of hte evening AFSE members learned about the sorts of questions to ask (and avoid) during interviews, how best to present themselves during an interview and the like. 
Judi Walker met with the Single Subject Credential candidates to discuss hiring, job files, and job searches.

Principal Wendy Claflin talking with MSCP and Liberal Studies students.

Human Resource Director Jean Stuesser describes the hiring process.

Our Panelists: 
Wendy Claflin, Judi Walker, Jean Stuesser
A special thank you to our presenters!

Association of Future Science Educators
 November 19, 2002

The Bolsa Chica Wetlands 
Planning Field Trips

We had a presentation by Alma Bowman from The Bolsa Chica Wetlands. She provided background information about the wetlands in addition to sharing ways of integrating a field trip into science, social studies or geography.

After her presentation there was a video entitled Enhancing the Field Trip Experience. This video made ten suggestions for planning field trips. They include:

1. Visit the site in advance to prepare for the trip.   Pay special attention to access for handicapped students.
2. Provide students with a map of the site and specific learning goals.
3. Involve students in planning the field trip.
4. Plan for students needs and emergencies.
5. Create a strong link between the classroom curriculum and the field trip.
6. Helps students generate personally relevant questions for the field trip.
7. Design the trip as part of a learning cycle instructional plan.
8. Guide students' discovery with higher order, thought-provoking questions (and help your chaperones to do the same).
9. Follow up the field trip with a debriefing.
10. Apply students' informal learning choice to the in-school environment.
An additional pointer -- have enough chaperones so that you don't need to assign yourself a group. You need to be free to deal with emergencies, act as a second adult for a group when needed, and circulate among groups. Bring a first aid kit, list of emergency contact information for kids, and know how many kids and adults you have with you!  Have fun!

Association of Future Science Educators
 October 8, 2002

Two 45-50 minute rotations, pizza, drinks & door prizes.

Station 1 was a presentation by Mary-Scarlett Amaris. She spoke about reading science texts in schools. What does the text say? What does it mean?  What does it matter? The reasons we read in science are different from the reasons we read in other disciplines. It took us a long time to figure out how to effectively read non-fiction science texts, it will take our students a long time, too. We need to help them with this process, share our strategies, etc.

Texts used and referred to during the presentation (with commentary by Mary-Scarlett Amaris).

NONFICTION MATTERS:  Reading, Writing, and Research in Grades 3 - 8
Stephanie Harvey   Portland, ME:  Stenhouse, 1998.

READING FOR UNDERSTANDING:  A Guide to Improving Reading in Middle and High School Classrooms (but GREAT strategies for ALL students. MSA)
Ruth Schoenbach, Cynthia Greenleaf, Christine Cziko, Lori Hurwitz.  San Francisco:  JoseyBass,

STRATEGIES FOR CONTENT AREA LEARNING:  Vocabulary, Comprehension, Response   (reproducible handouts galore! MSA) Jerry L. Johns, Roberta L. Berglund   Dubuque, IA:  Kendall Hunt

MOSAIC OF THOUGHT:  Teaching Comprehension in Reader's Workshop (The book that started it all!  MSA)   Ellin Oliver Keene and Susan Zimmerman   Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1997.

Station 2 was devoted to linking children's books to science activities. The two books focused on at this station dealt with microworlds (Seuss) and gender in science & being a naturalist (Ross).  Students made investigations and observations of flowers (Ross) and of microworlds (Seuss).

Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss.
Flower Watching With Alice Eastwood (Naturalist's Apprentice Biographies) by Michael Elsohn Ross, Laurie A. Caple  (Illustrator).
Bird Watching With Margaret Morse Nice (Naturalist's Apprentice Biographies) by Michael Elsohn Ross, Laurie A. Caple (Illustrator).

Thanks to Professors Amaris, McMahon and Saylor for coordinating activities at each station!