2021 California Science Education Conference

Field Courses

Ticketed Events


Field courses offer hands-on learning experiences at exciting destinations throughout the Sacramento area. They are optional, require advance ticket purchase, and are open to adult, registered conference participants on a first-come, first-served basis. Ticket prices include round trip bus service between the Sacramento Convention Center and the field course site.

All CSTA Field Courses will depart by bus from the Sacramento Convention Center located at 1400 J st, Sacramento, CA. Times listed include travel time, which may vary depending upon road and traffic conditions. Please arrive at the bus departure site in front of the Sacramento Convention Center 15 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time to ensure an on-time departure. For outdoor activities, participants are encouraged to wear walking shoes, layered clothing, and carry a backpack containing sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, binoculars, camera, a notepad, and a pen. Lunch will be provided only where noted. CSTA recommends that you bring your own snacks as needed.

Friday, October 13, 2017

FC01: Learn and Create at the Hacker Lab!

Are your students interested in STEM (STEAM - Science, Technology, Electronics, Art and Mathematics) in the classroom? This hands-on new field brings the traditional teaching of learning by doing into the most innovative areas of education. Learn about Laser Cutters, 3D printers, CAD and industrial design using the latest in technology. Do it the old-fashioned way, learning by doing. Hacker Lab will offer a field-trip opportunity to up to 30 educators, to see a maker space in action. We will be hosting Laser Cutting demos by the students of the onsite Sac Maker Academy, a private 7th - 12th Maker School that is located within Hacker Lab. 3D printer demos, opportunities to work with design software, and a chance to engage with robotics. All within a 3-hour tour / hands-on training program.

  • More details: Fee Includes light snacks.
  • When: Friday, October 13, 2017 - 8:30 am-12:00 pm
  • Fee: $15
  • Maximum 30 attendees

FC02: Tour the Nuclear Reactor Facility - McClellan Nuclear Research Center & the Aerospace Museum of California

McClellan Nuclear Research Center (MNRC) is operated by UC Davis. The facility was originally built for the primary purpose of detecting low-level corrosion & hidden defects in aircraft structures using non-destructive testing techniques such as neutron radiography & tomography. The nuclear research reactor at the MNRC was commissioned under the United States Air Force in 1990, making it one of the newest research reactors in the US. It is the highest power TRIGA™ (Training, Research, Isotope Production General Atomics) reactor in the United States, rated at 2mil watts in steady state with the capability to pulse to approximately 400mil watts for 30msec. Unlike large power reactors & naval reactors, you can watch this reactor operate safely through 23' of water and see the characteristic “blue glow” of a nuclear reactor.

  • More details: Participants must complete online briefing before visit. Fee includes boxed lunch
  • When: Friday, October 13, 2017 - 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Fee: $75
  • 30 maximum attendees

FC03: Nimbus Hatchery/ Folsom Power Plant Museum

This field course has been cancelled due to low enrollment. Please follow the links below for information regarding these amazing facilities.

Nimbus Hatchery: Nimbus Hatchery raises Chinook salmon and steelhead for release to the American River. The Nimbus Hatchery Visitor Center offers fun and educational activities. Enjoy the on-site nature trail along the American River to view wildlife, as well as the American River Parkway trail directly adjacent to the Nimbus Hatchery.

Folsom Power Plant Museum: The Folsom Powerhouse is part of a colorful chapter of Sacramento history and is also an example of the tremendous advance in the commercial application of electricity. H.P. Livermore realized that the water of the American River could turn generators for electricity in Sacramento, 22 miles downstream. With his partners, Livermore built the powerhouse, which still looks much as it did in 1895.

FC04: Exploring the Cosumnes River by Canoe

Join Cosumnes River Preserve staff and scientists on a behind the scenes tour of the Preserve. Visit a large scale floodplain restoration project coordinated by The Nature Conservancy in collaboration with UC Davis scientists and researchers. Learn how local elementary school students engage in habitat improvement projects that are academically rich and lead to long term environmental stewardship. After lunch you will embark on a leisurely canoe trip exploring rivers and sloughs. Watch for a variety of wildlife including ospreys, herons, egrets, turtles and otters.

The 50,000 acre Cosumnes River Preserve is a sanctuary of global significance just 30 minutes south of Sacramento. Located on the Cosumnes River Preserve are the largest remaining examples of Valley Oak forests which once dominated the Central Valley landscape. The Preserve also protects spectacular examples of seasonal and fresh water wetlands. The Cosumnes River is the only unregulated river freely flowing from the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada to the rich Sacramento San Joaquin Delta. The Cosumnes River Preserve is also home to more than 300 species of resident and migratory birds.

  • When: Friday, October 13, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Fee: $85 (includes lunch)
  • 20 Maximum attendees

Saturday, October 14, 2017

FC05: Sun, Wind and Cow Farts - Renewable Energy Bus Tour

This field course has been cancelled due to low enrollment.

Sponsored by Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)

Enhance your curriculum with renewable energy! Board the bus and learn how to integrate energy in your classroom. Experts will keep your curriculum fresh wile meeting NGSS. Tour: wind farm, dairy digester, solar array, electric vehicles and a home efficiency exhibit. Some schools are already leading the way and encouraging students to be green. Such schools place considerable emphasis on sustainable development through good teaching, stimulating lessons, and by encouraging students to take an active part in improving the sustainability of their schools and their communities. Teaching about renewable energy, sustainability and energy efficiency can help to bring the significance of air quality, pollution and climate change to life while meeting the three dimensions of science learning.

On this tour, teachers will view in person the energy technologies of solar, wind, biogas and electric transportation and learn how to integrate the related science into their curriculum. They will also tour a LEED certified office building and an exhibit of an energy efficient home. Subject matter experts in these fields will provide background information and science teachers will present relative lesson plans and activities.

FC06 California Raptor Center, UC Davis

This field course has been cancelled due to low enrollment. Please follow the links below for information regarding these amazing facilities.

The California Raptor Center (CRC) is an educational and research facility dedicated to the rehabilitation of injured and orphaned birds of prey (raptors). Our museum and our permanent collection of living, nonreleasable raptors are open to public view on weekdays and Saturdays.

We take in 300-350 sick, injured, and orphaned raptors each year, successfully returning about 60% to the wild. We also provide hands-on training in the care and management of birds of prey to those interested in rehabilitation, and offer educational programs to schools, ecological and environmental organizations, and the university community.

The California Raptor Center is authorized by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. It is a unique facility in the state because of its affiliation with UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, which supports the medical needs of these special birds and offers a broad spectrum of care, from advanced imaging capabilities to surgical expertise.


Previous Conferences

Upcoming Conferences

  • 2022 Conference
    October 14-16, 2022
    Palm Springs, CA

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