Region 5: South Bay

Serving Monterey, San Benito, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz Counties

Amity's Photo
Amity Sandage
Santa Cruz County Office of Education
400 Encinal
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Welcome Back to CREEC Region 5!

This page highlights upcoming opportunities and news for Region 5. A searchable directory of resources and an online calendar are in development and will be coming soon.

Click on the links below to go directly to the named section on this page or the website.
Local Grants and Contests
Statewide Grants and Contests
Professional Development Workshops
Local Conferences and Events
Resource Highlights

Local Grants and Contests

E-STEM Grant (
Application deadline: February 22
The UL Innovative Education Award invests in environmental and STEM education, sustainable communities, and youth empowerment by offering recognition grants to increase the impact of existing innovative non-profit programs that use the Environment as a pathway to STEM Learning (E-STEM).

Better Together STEM Scholarships and Classroom Grants
Application information available at
PG&E awards teachers grants for projects about the environment, energy and technology. Also, this year PG&E is awarding $5,000 scholarships – renewable up to 4 years – to students pursuing STEM studies in California schools. In addition, PG&E is providing hands-on experience in the energy industry by offering opportunities for paid summer internships to all winners.

Calendar Art Contest: Why We Love Clean Air
Submission Deadline: March 17
Monterey Bay Air Resources District is accepting 1st through 8th grade student artwork for their 2018 calendar. See flyer for details.

Driscoll’s Community Grants
Grants support solutions, often through education programs, that build vibrant communities with a new level of understanding, partnerships, economic growth, and innovation between agriculture and the communities that make the work possible – from farm workers out in the field to farmers and families.

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Professional Development Workshops

Now through March 13: Open Registration for Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Summer Teacher Professional Development Programs
Monterey Bay Aquarium offers excellent teacher workshops. Sessions fill up fast! See descriptions and register at:

February 16-17: Translating NGSS into Instruction–Developing & Using Models (
Location: Santa Cruz County Office of Education, Santa Cruz
What will teaching and learning look like when the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are being translated into practice? How can we help students develop and use models to explain natural phenomena? The purpose of this workshop is to support K-12 teachers in increasing their understanding of Scientific and Engineering Practice 2: Developing and Using Models and applying this understanding to their classroom practice. Free for K-12 Santa Cruz County teachers. Teacher from out of county, please inquire about space available.

February 24 Application Deadline: NOAA Teacher at Sea Program (
Love the Ocean? Want to work closely with Ocean Scientists for a week on a research ship? Apply for a local Teacher at Sea Expedition! Not just for Science Teachers! Program runs July 17-30.

February 26: Life at the Seashore Teacher Workshop (
Location Seymour Discovery Center at Long Marine Lab, UCSC
The Seymour Center invites 1st grade teachers to dive into Life at the Seashore, an NGSS-designed science unit developed by Lawrence Hall of Science’s MARE Program. Register by 2/15.

March 4 or April 1: Hiking Leadership Training (
Location: Rancho Canada del oro Open Space, Morgan Hill
Learn how to plan, organize and lead fun and safe hikes with youth.

March 9: Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI) Curriculum Workshop  (
Location: Pajaro Valley Unified School District, Watsonville
Open to all neighboring school districts, this workshop will engage 6-12th grade teachers with lessons from Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI), a free K-12 environment-based curriculum with units for teaching Science and History-Social Science as well as supporting materials for CCSS ELA.

March 25: Water Education Workshop for K-12 Teachers (
Location: Santa Cruz County Office of Education, Santa Cruz
Register now! Classroom ready curricula to support NGSS, CCSS ELA, and History-Social Science. Workshop participants will receive a full training in both Project WET (Watershed Education for Teachers) and the EEI (Education and the Environment Initiative) Curriculum. Explore the three dimensions of NGSS in a 5 E instructional model and take home lessons that combine Science, History-Social Studies and English Language Arts components.

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Local Conferences and Events

February 17-20: Residential Outdoor Environmental Education (ROEE) Conference (

Location: Walden West Outdoor School, Saratoga
Outdoor School managers and leaders will gather to discuss leadership, education theory and important trends in Residential Outdoor School.

February 25: Youth for the Environment and Sustainability (YES) Conference
Location: San Francisco
The YES Conference is a FUN, free-of-charge, annual event that brings together middle- and high-school students from the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma) to discuss solutions to the climate change crisis. The conference aims to raise awareness of how our transportation choices affect our families, our communities, our air and our planet. More importantly, the conference provides a youth-friendly and youth-driven space where students from all walks of life feel energized by each other and empowered to tackle current issues head on.

March 4: Monterey Bay Area STEM Conference (
Location: UCSC, Santa Cruz
This is an excellent, small scale conference with quality sessions led by experienced educators. Save the date! More information coming to the Monterey Bay Area Math and Science Project Spring Conference website.

April 21-22: Santa Clara County 2nd Annual STEAM Symposium
Location: Santa Clara County Office of Education, San Jose
Save the dates and see flyer for details.

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Resource Highlights

EnvironteersNEW! Provides one portal for easy access to the many rewarding environmental volunteer opportunities in Santa Cruz County as well as events and local environmental news and interviews.

Stanford Citizen Science Program – NEW! Be a Citizen Scientist! Help Stanford scientists study water quality on the beach in Santa Cruz or Pacifica. No experience necessary (must be 18 or above).

Castro Adobe Field TripsNEW! A visit to the Castro Adobe in Watsonville immerses students in our community’s story from the heyday of the vaquero to the aftermath of the Loma Prieta earthquake.

ChangeScale Environmental Education Research Bulletins – These research bulletins synthesize and summarize recently reported research from journals focused on issues pertaining to environmental educators.

SERC (Science Education Resource Center) – San Jose State’s lending library of science resources (equipment, live animals, kits, videos) is free to pre- and in-service teachers.

Teach Outside with Bay Area Wilderness Training – Get out of the classroom and into nature! – Bay Area Science Festival, Discovery Days and a year round calendar.

Wonderfest – Wonderful and inspiring science events.

Shape of Life – Shape of Life is a series of FREE short classroom videos that beautifully illustrate the evolution of the animal kingdom on planet earth. Based upon an original PBS Series, Shape of Life is especially designed for students and teachers who want a first-hand account of how animals adapt and thrive.

NAAEE Driving Excellence in EE – Guidelines for excellence and best practices in environmental education.

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