COMET • Vol. 19, No. 03 – 5 June 2018



(1) Upcoming Conferences in California for STEM Educators (2018-2019)

Dates, locations, and registration websites (when available) for a variety of professional conferences and other events for STEM educators are provided below

[The California Science Teachers Association states that “2018/19 will be a pivotal year in the ongoing implementation of the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS) in classrooms across California. The California State Board of Education is scheduled to take action to adopt instructional materials in K-8 on November 8-9, 2018 and the first operational statewide summative assessments for science will be launched in early 2019”–]
  • California STEAM Symposium 2018– October 28-29, Long Beach,  (Early bird registration ends June 8. Note: To submit a proposal to speak at the Symposium, visit (also see The submission deadline is June 20.
  • Computer Using Educators (CUE) Spring 2019 Conference– March 14-16, Palm Springs,
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics(NCTM) 2019 Annual Meeting – April 3-6, San Diego
  • National Science Teachers Association2019 STEM Forum and Expo – July 24-25, San Francisco


Related information:

(a) Early Mathematics Symposium

Fresno Pacific University will host an Early Mathematics Symposium on June 22 with speakers who will share strategies for fostering mathematical discovery and development in young children. More information and an agenda may be found here:  The symposium is being jointly sponsored by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA), California Department of Education, California Early Math Project, California State Board of Education, First Five California, and WestEd

Although registration has now closed, the symposium website notes that the organizers “will be providing a link to a live webinar in the next week or so.” Further, “all the sessions will be recorded and video-archived on the California Department of Education Special Education web site” (

Please direct any questions about the Symposium to


(2) National Council of Teachers of Mathematics 2018 Annual Meeting Videos and Session Materials

The 2018 Annual Meeting and Exposition for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) was held in Washington, DC, on April 25-28. A variety of engaging videos are available on the conference website for viewing (e.g., opening and closing sessions; IGNITE session–8 presenters, each showing 20 slides within a 5-minute timeframe; addresses by Lifetime Achievement Award recipients and outgoing NCTM President Matt Larson; Iris M. Carl Equity Address; and ShadowCon):

In addition, Dan Meyer (@ddmeyer), a former high school mathematics teacher and the current CAO for Desmos, has compiled the handouts from over 300 sessions presented at April’s NCTM Annual Meeting and made them available at

As a sidenote, COMET readers may want to visit the Desmos website for updates on its free e-calculators and digital mathematics activities ( Desmos is also hiring new team members (


(3) California’s Statewide Direct Primary Election: Candidates for Governor and State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Californians cast their votes today in the state’s primary election. Among the many offices to be filled are those of Governor (27 candidates) and State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI; 4 candidates), two positions that may be of particular interest to educators.

Helpful information about the candidates for the SSPI position is contained on the following websites:

–  “Election 2018: Your Guide to the Race for State Superintendent”:

–  “EDlection2018: Your Quick Guide to the 4 Candidates Running for State Superintendent & Highlights from Their Interviews”:

– “Where the Two Leading Candidates Stand on the Issues”:

– Archived video of EdSource interview on May 23 with SSPI candidates Tony Thurmond and Marshall Tuck:

(There will only be a run-off in November if no candidate for SSPI receives a majority of the votes in today’s election.)

EdSource invited the top six candidates for governor to respond to a comprehensive survey “to find out where they stand on some of the most pressing education topics in the state. The questions dive deep into early childhood, K-12 and higher education, touching on college affordability, the future of charter schools, California’s teacher shortage and more.” The candidates’ responses to these questions can be found here:  Also see #EDlection2018: Where do California governor candidates stand on education and children’s issues? URL:

(The two candidates who receive the most votes will be placed on the November ballot.)


Related articles:

(a) What Can Scientists Bring to Congress?

Source: Science Friday – 1 June 2018

“This year’s midterm elections have seen an upswing in the number of scientists running for office. There are approximately 60 candidates with STEM backgrounds in the races for federal offices, and 200 for state positions, according to 314 Action (, an advocacy organization that helps scientists run for office…”

(b) “Two NASA Engineers Try Out Politics” by Marguerite Holloway

Source: The New Yorker – March 27, 2017

(c) “March for Science Draws Smaller Crowds than Last Year, but Attendees are Still Passionate” by Dakin Andone and Lindsay Benson

Source: – 14 April 2018


(4) State Superintendent Torlakson Announces “Make the Switch: Become a Teacher” Campaign


State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson recently announced a new statewide “Make the Switch: Be a Teacher” campaign. The campaign, created by the California Department of Education (CDE), highlights those who have switched to teaching after starting careers in other fields and encourages more mid-career professionals to consider becoming teachers.

In announcing the new campaign, Torlakson said, “Teaching isn’t just a job. It isn’t just a career. It’s a calling. It’s a commitment to your community, your students, and most of all, a commitment to the future.”

The California Department of Education (CDE) posted a video profile of a teacher (, Melissa May, who joined the field after a career as a local broadcaster. Visit for more information about nominating a teacher (perhaps yourself) to be profiled in a video on the CDE website!

Additional information about becoming a teacher is available on the Teach California website ( and through the California Center on Teaching Careers (, which operates regional satellite centers dedicated to increasing the teacher workforce. In addition, visit the EduCorps teacher recruitment website ( hosted by California State University and the CalTeach website ( hosted by the University of California.


(5) Teacher Supply in California: A Report to the Legislature

Source: California Commission on Teacher Credentialing

Each year, state law requires the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to provide a report to the Governor and the Legislature on the number of teachers who received credentials, certificates, permits and waivers to teach in California public schools. At the April 2018 Commission meeting, this report was presented, along with recently-developed dashboards on teacher supply. To view the 2016-17 teacher supply report, visit Summary tables are available in an Appendix, which also provides credential counts for each credential-producing institution:

Report findings include the following:

  • There was an increase of 6.8 percent in the number of newly issued credentials across all three types of preliminary teaching credentials (i.e., Multiple Subject, Single Subject, and Education Specialist). After a steady decline for ten consecutive years, 2016-17 was the third year in which there was an increase in the new teaching credentials.
  • The average age ranged from 31 years for Multiple Subject preliminary credential recipients to 40 years for Education Specialist district intern candidates.
  • Following are the estimated number of teachers hires for 2017-18:

– Mathematics: 2156

– Life Sciences: 1003

– Physical Sciences: 946

  • California State University campuses issued 5793 (First Time + New Type) credentials.
  • University of California campuses issued 873 credentials.
  • Private/independent institutions issued 5107 credentials.

To watch the presentation of this report at the Commission meeting, visit  (begins at 1:39:10).


Related articles:

(a) Addressing the Teacher Shortage in Career Technical Education

Next week, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing’s agenda includes an item that “provides an overview of a potential collaborative effort to explore solutions to the challenges surrounding Career Technical Education (CTE) in California and requests the Commission’s direction for moving forward to help assure effective teachers for CTE courses,” as well as a sufficient number of these teachers. Possible bridges from general education credentials and CTE credentials have been discussed. A possible collaboration among WestEd, the California Department of Education, and the Commission will be proposed in this agenda item. Visit the website above to read the item in its entirety.


(6) Applications for Educator Preparation Student Liaison to the Commission Now Being Accepted

Source: California Commission on Teacher Credentialing

The Commission’s Policy Manual provides for the appointment of a student enrolled in an educator preparation program to represent the views and experiences of students as a liaison to the Commission. The student liaison appointment will be made by the Commission’s Executive Committee at the September 27-28 Commission meeting. Interested parties must complete the application form and send it, with all additional requested documentation, to the attention of the Executive Office at the address provided on the form. More information is available via the Commission Website: Deans and Directors of California educator preparation programs are encouraged to share this information with students enrolled in preparation programs. Applications must be postmarked by August 10, 2018.


(7) Bill to Establish Golden State STEM Teacher Grant Program


Last Thursday, AB-2186 was unanimously passed by the State Assembly and had its first reading in the State Senate yesterday. This bill, which was introduced by Assembly Member Tony Thurmond and coauthored by Gonzalez Fletcher, would establish the Golden State STEM Teacher Grant Program.

Bill excepts appear below:

“Under the program, the commission shall select a county office of education to administer the program and provide grant funds of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) to each student enrolled on or after January 1, 2018, in a professional preparation program leading to a preliminary teaching credential, approved by the commission, if the student commits to teaching in a STEM field, at a school district, county office of education, or charter school, for four years after he or she receives the preliminary teaching credential…

“The administrator of the grant program shall provide grant funds of five thousand dollars ($5,000) after the recipient completes two years of employment as a STEM teacher and five thousand dollars ($5,000) after the recipient completes four years of employment as a STEM teacher, within the obligation period.

“A grant recipient shall agree to teach in a STEM field for four years and shall have five years, upon completion of his or her preparation program, to meet that obligation…”

For more details, please visit


(8) Free Online Reviews for CSET Mathematics Subtest III and CSET Science Subtests I and II (All Content Areas) Begin This Month

This summer, the Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI) at Fresno State will offer a free, online, interactive course reviewing the content assessed on the CSET: Mathematics Subtest III (Calculus), as well as a series of workshops covering all content areas tested on the science CSETs.

Dr. Adnan Sabuwala will be the instructor of the mathematics course, which will be offered on June 18, 20, 25, 27 and July 2, 9, 11, 16, 18, 23, 25 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. The science workshops will be offered on Saturdays in June and July.

Additional details, including how to register, may be found in the following PDF document:


(9) Draft Computer Science Standards 60-Day Review Period Closes June 20

At its meeting on March 22, the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) approved a 60-day public review and comment period for the draft Computer Science Standards. To participate in the Standards review, visit and click on the Computer Science Standards Online Survey link (

Links to the draft Standards chapters that were approved by the IQC are available at and also via the links below:

– Introduction:
– California K–12 Computer Science Standards:
– Appendices and Glossary:
– Computer Science Standards K–12 Progression:

The review period will conclude on June 20, after which the feedback will be analyzed and the draft Standards presented at the July meeting of the ITQ for recommendation to the State Board of Education.


(10) Two-Day Institute for K-12 Teachers Focuses on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP)

Source: California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Update – California Department of Education – 23 May 2018

Registration is now available for Summer Institute 2018: “Analyzing Student Work and Using the Interim and Digital Library Systems to Inform Teaching and Learning.” This is a two-day, in-person professional development opportunity for K-12 classroom teachers, instructional coaches, teachers on special assignment, and administrators that will be held at various locations through the state in July and August. A stipend of $150 per day will be provided to teachers whose schools are not in session the day of the workshop.

Participant goals include the following:

  • Understand the purpose of different types of assessment and how they work together to support student learning.
  • Understand the design of Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment items aligned with college- and career-ready standards, and use evidence-based scoring to analyze student responses.
  • Learn how to use interim assessment/Digital Library systems, including accessibility features, to support teaching and learning.
  • Understand the value of and connection between the systems in improving teaching and learning.
  • Plan for how and when to use assessment to support teaching and learning.

To maximize this learning opportunity, schools and local educational agencies (LEAs) may consider sending educators as a team and dividing their participation between the English language arts/literacy and mathematics content areas. Visit the CAASPP Workshop Information Web page for an information flyer and a link to registration:

If you have questions, please contact the California Technical Assistance Center by phone at (800) 955-2954 or by e-mail at


(11) Multiple Paths Forward: Diversifying Mathematics as a Strategy for College Success

A new report produced by WestEd, Just Equations, and the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan outlines how colleges are creating mathematics pathways that are aligned with students’ programs of study. The report, Multiple Paths Forward: Diversifying Mathematics as a Strategy for College Success, targets community college instructors and is available for free download from

The volume “provides the rationale for diversification, including statements by mathematics associations; definitions of math pathways and research on their impact; learning outcomes associated with specific math pathways; and an analysis of math course-taking patterns in California community colleges.”

Key findings include the following:

– In addition to providing algebra-intensive pathways appropriate for STEM majors, many states have developed options in areas like statistics and quantitative reasoning.

– California has diverse college-level math pathways, particularly in the area of statistics–a quarter of students take a non-algebra math course that can be transferred as a general education course to a four-year university.

– However, most students never take these courses–almost half of students only get as far as remedial math.

– By ensuring that any prerequisite or co-requisite requirements are aligned with students’ major, colleges can ensure that students get farther in math and acquire the skills necessary for career and life.

An Executive Summary ( and an infographic ( are also available.


(12) Online Resources for Mathematics Course Redesign Offered by California State University

Over the past year, the California State University (CSU) has expended much effort in providing resources and support for faculty on its 23 campuses as they redesign General Education (GE) courses in mathematics, quantitative reasoning, and written composition to address the implications of Executive Order 1110 (see updated FAQs at and support CSU students in timely and successful degree attainment ( and

An online resource was established to support faculty at Included here are links to the following: (a) archived webcasts produced by the Institute for Teaching and Learning (ITL) and the Center for the Advancement of Instruction in Quantitative Reasoning (CAIQR), (b) articles pertaining to remediation and alternative approaches, (c) mathematics course redesign articles, (d) upcoming professional development events (e.g., conferences, webcasts, and workshops), and (e) GE Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning (QR) listservs (Statistics, QR, Path to Calculus, and Math/QR Course Coordination).

Higher education mathematics faculty members, as well as interested high school teachers and the public, are invited to view the library of articles and the archived webcasts and slides located at  Topics of recent webinars (led by CSU mathematics faculty) include adopting a standards-based approach to grading, how assessment can help students learn mathematics, and the affective domain in mathematics instruction.

While the listservs and face-to-face events (e.g., the Math/QR Lesson Design workshop at CSU Los Angeles on June 8) are designed for CSU faculty members, feedback from both CSU and non-CSU educators regarding the usefulness of the webinars is invited. Please email ITL Director Emily Magruder at with any feedback.


(13) State Assembly Approves Legislation Promotion STEM Education Through After School Coding Courses for Kids


The California State Assembly has approved AB 2098 ( by Assembly Member Kevin McCarty, which would establish the After School Kids Code Grant Pilot Program to provide funding for after school programs that promote STEM education and focus on computer coding as part of their curriculum. The measure was approved on a 65 to 0 vote and had its first reading in the Senate last Wednesday. The bill was coauthored by Assembly Member Tony Thurmond.

Excerpts from the law in its current form follow below:

“Existing law establishes the After School Education and Safety Program (ASES) to serve pupils in kindergarten and grades 1 to 9, inclusive, at participating public elementary, middle, junior high, and charter schools, under which a program can apply for a grant for operating a before school component, an after school component, or both the before and after school components, on one or multiple schoolsites…

“This bill, subject to an appropriation of moneys by the Legislature, would establish the After School Kids Code Grant Pilot Program under the administration of the State Department of Education to provide one-time grant funds to eligible after school education and safety programs that focus on computer coding as part of their program curriculum. The bill would require those one-time grant funds to be allocated and expended for the 2019–20, 2020–21, and 2021–22 fiscal years, as determined by the department. The bill would require the department, in consultation with interested stakeholders, to develop an application process and criteria for determining eligible grant recipients consistent with the purpose of promoting computer coding education…

“(2) Priority shall be given to grant applications that demonstrate all of the following:

(A) The applicant offers high-quality coding curriculum and a commitment to provide instructional training to coding instructors utilizing a train-the-trainer model.

(B) The applicant has established a plan for sustaining the program beyond the three-year pilot program.

(C) The applicant inspires pupils to consider science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and careers and emphasizes a growth mindset as a key to success in the 21st century digital world.

(D) The applicant incorporates a college and career component that includes information about growing STEM opportunities in education and careers, and STEM internships and field trips that expose youth to STEM college opportunities and careers.

(E) The applicant incorporates introductory digital literacy and responsible use of technology into its program curriculum…”


(14) State Assembly Bill Would Establish a State Seal of STEM for High School Graduates


Assembly Bill 2265, which was introduced in February, “would establish a State Seal of STEM to recognize high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. The bill would establish criteria for the receipt of the State Seal of STEM, would require the Superintendent of Public Instruction to prepare and deliver to participating school districts an appropriate insignia to be affixed to pupil diplomas or transcripts… The bill would not become operative until both (1) data from the statewide administration of specified state science assessments are available and (2) the State Board of Education, in a public meeting, makes specified declarations…”

This bill was authored by Assembly Members Members Bill Quirk and Jay Obernolte, who has degrees in engineering and artificial intelligence and who founded a video game development company (FarSight Studios).

Follow the progress of the bill at


(15) California Science Test (CAST) Academy

Source: CAASPP Update – 16 May 2018

To support the implementation of the California Science Test (CAST), the California Department of Education (CDE) has partnered with the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) to present the CAST Academy, a training that will be held at five locations in October 2018. The one-day training will be offered in fall 2018 as follows:

October 2: Sacramento

October 9: Riverside

October 16: San Diego

October 23: Clovis

October 30: Los Angeles

The CAST Academy is intended for school and LEA science instructional leaders, including teachers, teacher leaders, teachers on special assignment, trainers, and instructional coaches. In addition, curriculum, professional development, and assessment leaders would benefit from attending this training.

Visit the CAST Academy registration webpage for agendas and online registration:


 (16) Science Assessments Preliminary Indicator Communication Toolkit


At its May meeting, the State Board of Education heard a comprehensive update about program activities related to the CAASPP by State Assessment Director Michelle Center. Visit for details of this agenda item. Also view a video of Center’s presentation at (4:21:00).

Below is an excerpt from this agenda item regarding the Science Assessments Preliminary Indicator Communication Toolkit available at

For this year’s administration of the science assessments, LEAs will receive student Preliminary Indicator results, specifically the percent correct and an indicator category. As with all assessments, these Preliminary Indicators are one of many sources of information about a student’s knowledge, and given the preliminary nature of the results, provides only a snapshot of what students know about the new science standards. The CDE has developed a Preliminary Indicator Communication Toolkit for the Science Assessments to aid LEA communication about the preliminary indicators…

[The Toolkit] includes the following resources:

  • Background information
  • Timeline of the CAST and CAA for Science reporting activities
  • Key messages for LEAs to assist in their communication regarding the science assessments
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Instructions and tools on how to access the student data
  • Sample template letters to parents…


 (17) CAASPP Content Reviewers for Mathematics, Science, ELA, and Spanish are Needed

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) content reviewers are currently being recruited for the following assessment(s) and content area(s):

– California Alternate Assessments (CAA) for English language arts (ELA), mathematics, and science

– California Science Test (CAST)

– California Spanish Assessment (CSA)

CAASPP content reviewers contribute their expertise as California educators at various stages in the assessment development process such as reviewing new test questions and making recommendations regarding their content accuracy and alignment to content standards. Content reviewers are invited to participate in specific meetings on an as-needed basis.

If you are interested in participating as a content reviewer, please visit for application instructions. If you have any questions, please contact CalTAC at (800) 955-2954 or


(18) “Lawrence Hall of Science Celebrates 50 Years of Science and Math Education” by Sakura Cannestra and Ryan Geller

Source: The Daily Californian – 4 June 2018

The Lawrence Hall of Science is marking its 50th anniversary with a “Summer of Invention” festival and a series of events to celebrate the hall’s impacts on science and mathematics education.

According to Rena Dorph, the Lawrence Hall of Science’s interim director, the hall emphasizes studying how people from diverse communities learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics…

The Lawrence Hall of Science features a museum for adults and children, runs a science-based summer camp and develops science and math curriculum materials that are used nationwide and internationally…

While the hall’s “Opening Day” celebration already took place May 20, it is holding a “Birthday Bash Weekend” from Nov. 10-12. The hall will also be holding an “Innovations & Inspirations Benefit” in the spring of 2019, according to the 50th anniversary events website (…

“Our work is research based, and we go beyond creating a model, to making sure that model works, and then disseminating it,” said Susan Gregory, the hall’s deputy director, in an email. “It has meant that most of our programs achieve wide use.”

More than 12 million people use programs and materials developed by the hall annually, according to Gregory. Dorph also said 25 percent of children in the United States are taught using curricula developed by the Lawrence Hall of Science…


(19) The Ignited Summer Fellowship Program for Educators

Source: Syreeta Watkins, Fellowship Manager, Ignited

The Ignited Summer Fellowship Program provides paid, challenging summer work opportunities for eligible K-college educators of all subjects in corporations and university research labs. The experience is currently open to teachers in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Solano counties.

Teachers work fulltime for 8-weeks and are paid $9,000 for their work.  Approximately 90% of their time is dedicated to completing a project for their Host organization. The other 10% of the time is devoted to focusing on how they will transfer their Summer Fellowship experience back to their students.

By working at one of Ignited’s San Francisco Bay Area Host organizations such as Genentech, Stanford University, Lockheed Martin, UC Berkeley, Oculus and Synopsys, teachers are able to experience firsthand the practical applications of the subjects they teach. The Summer Fellowship experience becomes a springboard for infusing curriculum with “real world” connections that further engage students in learning.  Many Ignited Fellows report that their Summer Fellowship experiences reenergize their enthusiasm and commitment to teaching as they come away with exciting ideas for how to better prepare their students for 21st Century careers.

There are currently only a few Fellowships left for this summer, but the program will start accepting applications for summer 2019 in early December. If you would like to be notified when the application period opens, please contact Syreeta Watkins, Fellowship Manager, to ask to be put on her mailing list: or (408) 553-2258. Interested educators are encouraged to apply by mid-February/early March, as this will increase their chances for selection.

For more information about the Ignited Summer Fellowship Program, please visit

(Subscribe to Ignited’s e-newsletter to receive a compilation of grant opportunities, teaching resources, contests, workshops, educational events and other items of interest to educators:



(1) 2018 STEM for All Video Showcase

On May 14-21, 713 presenters and co-presenters shared 214 short (under 3-minute) videos highlighting federally-funded projects that seek to transform STEM and Computer Science education in the 2018 STEM for All Video Showcase.

Videos can be searched by keyword (e.g., cyberlearning, mathematics, mentoring, informal learning, addressing NGSS, etc.), grade level, audience type, institution, text search, and more. Public posts about the videos are also available to peruse.

Visit to view these informative videos.


(2) ULTRA: Free Real Analysis Course Resources for Teachers

Project ULTRA (Upgrading Learning for Teachers in Real Analysis) is an NSF-funded collaborative project to design, implement, and assess materials for an innovative real analysis course for pre-service and in-service mathematics teachers (PISTs). This project introduces an alternative model to teaching advanced mathematics to PISTs, a model that more meaningfully connects the teaching of secondary mathematics to the advanced mathematics content.

Please visit the project website to learn more about the instructional model and to download the 12 modules (instructor, student, and workshop copies for each):   (Related Geogebra files created for the modules can be found at


(3) Mathematics News and Public Outreach

Through the materials and services [found on], the American Mathematical Society (AMS) Public Awareness Office promotes mathematics awareness to members, the mathematical and sciences communities, decision-makers on Capitol Hill, the media, and the general public.

Check out the variety of resources on this website (e.g., news and information for high school and undergraduate students, math in the media, mathematical imagery, AMS math posters, math essays, “Who Wants to be a Mathematician” game, etc.).


(4) The K-12 Computer Science Access Report

Source: Medium – 21 May 2018

On May 21, the following letter from Hadi Partovi, founder of, was posted on the Medium website:

Today, we’re excited to announce a joint initiative between the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and to create a nationwide database of schools showing which teach computer science…

Given our goal is for every school to teach computer science (CS), we want to be able to report more precisely which schools do or don’t offer this opportunity to their students.

The K-12 Access Report project aims to answer not only how many but also which schools offer CS. This comprehensive report will include all schools in the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) database ( and will be compiled based on a definition of teaching CS ( developed in accordance with the K-12 Computer Science Framework(

Our goal is to gather data for 100% of US schools by the end of 2018. The K-12 CS Access Report will guide us and help the CS community collectively to make our shared vision a reality. Please consider helping us in one of the following ways:

(a) Look up your school, or your kids’ school, on our map and fill out our survey:

(b) Promote the survey on Facebook or Twitter.

(c) Include a link to the survey in your organization’s newsletter (…


Related article

(a) Computer Science Professional Learning Opportunities for Middle and High School Teachers

URL: shared that applications are still being accepted for summer professional learning opportunities for the following computer science (CS) courses:

– CS Discoveries (grades 6-10)

– CS Principles (grades 9-12)

For more information, please visit website above.


(5) STEM + Computing in K-12 Education (STEM+C) Funding Opportunity 

Source: The National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation’s STEM + Computing K-12 Education (STEM+C) Program focuses on research and development of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches to the integration of computing within STEM teaching and learning for preK-12 students in both formal and informal settings. STEM+C supports research on how students learn to think computationally to solve interdisciplinary problems in the STEM fields.

For more information on this program and proposal guidelines, please visit


(6) Breakthrough Junior Challenge Seeks Creative Videos on STEM Concepts

URL: (also watch video)

On April 3, the Breakthrough Prize Foundation announced the launch of its fourth annual Breakthrough Junior Challenge, a global student science and mathematics competition designed to inspire creative thinking about fundamental concepts in the life sciences, physics, and mathematics. All students must register at and submit complete entries by July 1.

Students ages 13 to 18 from countries across the globe are invited to create original videos (up to three minutes in length) that illustrate a concept or theory in the life sciences, physics or mathematics. The submissions will be judged on the students’ ability to communicate complex scientific ideas in the most engaging, illuminating and imaginative ways.

One winner will be recognized and awarded a $250,000 college scholarship. The science teacher who inspired the winning student will win $50,000. The winner’s school will also receive a state-of-the art science lab, designed by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and valued at $100,000.

“Developing clear, compelling explanations of complex ideas is a great way for students to show they truly understand a subject. The Breakthrough Junior Challenge gives them the chance to do just that,” said Sal Khan, founder and CEO of Khan Academy, partner with the Breakthrough Prize Foundation. “We’re proud to support the Challenge again this year.”

The 2017 installment of the global competition attracted more than 11,000 registrants – from 178 countries – and resulted in more than 3,200 video submissions. The winner of last year’s Breakthrough Junior Challengewas Hillary Diane Andales from the Philippines. Her video, which focused on relativity and reference frames, can be viewed at

The Breakthrough Junior Challenge will once again host a regional Popular Vote contest, which this year will be held from September 7 through September 20. The Popular Vote contest will occur on the Breakthrough Facebook page at, and will be a separate challenge within the larger competition, with selected videos vying for automatic entry to the final round.

Visit to learn more details about the competition. A launch video with details on the Challenge can be found at


 (7) “U.S. Postal Service Honors Space Pioneer Sally Ride with A Forever Stamp” by Jacob Elyachar 

Source: Tech Times – 24 May 2018

On May 23, the U.S. Postal Service released a “Forever” postage stamp with America’s first woman in space…

Ride joined NASA in 1978 as a part of the space agency’s first all-female astronaut class. She was the first woman to be a capsule commander for the 1981 Columbia flight…Ride also conceptualized with the EarthKAM project. This allowed for middle school students to connect with the International Space Station through using a camera to photograph the planet.

Outside of NASA, she was a physics professor at the University of California at San Diego. She also co-founded Sally Ride Science, a non-profit organization that helped students learn about science, engineering, technology, and math education.

“Sally Ride’s history-making journey has made it easier for young girls to dream one day being an astronaut, an engineer, a physicist or a mathematician. Today, girls don’t just dream. Because of trailblazers like Sally Ride, they have been empowered to do,” said Kristin Seaver, U.S. Postal Service Chief Information Officer and Executive Vice President.

Ride received several additional posthumous honors. LEGO immortalized her and three additional NASA alumni in a unique series called the “Women of NASA.” The other women that received this distinguished honor included computer scientist Margaret Hamilton, astronaut Mae Jemison (the first African-American woman to orbit the Earth onboard Endeavour), and Nancy Grace Roman, who played a crucial role in setting up with the Hubble Space Telescope…

President Barack Obama awarded Ride with the nation’s highest post civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom [on 20 November 2013]…


Related Articles

(a) “Astronaut Mae Jemison on Empowering STEM Education Through Sports” by Tom Taylor

Source: SportTechie – 25 May 2018

Visit the website above to read this interesting article about NASA’s first African American female astronaut, Mae Jemison.

(b) U.S. Postal Service Issues STEM Education Stamps

On 6 April 2018, the United States Postal Service (USPS) issued a set of four STEM postage stamps at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C. ( Each stamp contains a depiction of one of the disciplines in the STEM acronym. Visit to learn more about these unique stamps.


COMET is supported by a grant from the California Mathematics Project.


~ To unsubscribe from COMET, send the following message to Unsubscribe COMET

~ To subscribe to COMET, send the following message to Subscribe COMET [followed by your name]

Example:  Subscribe COMET Albert Einstein



Carol Fry Bohlin, Ph.D.
Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator (M.A. in Education-C&I)
Director, Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI)
Reporter/Editor, California Online Mathematics Education Times (COMET)
California State University, Fresno
5005 N. Maple Ave. M/S ED 2
Fresno, CA  93740-8025