The Science at Sea team spent all of today going over the final details for the coolest shore excursions. Our naturalist, John Scheerens, visited our offices today before heading to Alaska for the season. John gave our team a sneak preview of his Science at Sea Lecture Series, and I know that you’re going to love what he has to share. As John shared his great content, the rest of us brainstormed hands-on activities that you’ll be using in your classroom to make all of this great information come alive.
Our AAA Travel Coordinator, Gina MacDonald, gave us the good news that our Science at Sea adventure is nearly sold out. There are just six space available (and she has 10 e-mails from people who are interested in joining our group). If you still have not paid your deposit, your space will be up for grabs after Friday. If you have any questions, please contact Gina MacDonald right away by e-mailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Preparation for standardized testing has taken a lot of the fun out of the classroom, but good teachers will find a way to sneak the fun back in. REALLY good teachers will sneak the fun back in and teach some awesome lessons at the same time!
Science teachers frequently say, “I love all the activities you do, like being able to make slime, or make water float in a bottle, but of the 220 activities you taught us, only a handful were allowed in my school curriculum. There just isn’t enough time for science because it’s not on the big test!”
A colleague went to her principal and asked: “If it is not in school time, but in private time, do you mind if I teach science?”? The principal agreed.
On average, an elementary teacher spends about 15 minutes per child per year on his/her birthday, and each year that time grows shorter. That’s why “Cup Cakes for Science” was born. The kids were offered a choice between a traditional party or a science party where the birthday child gets to be helper. After one party, the class was hooked, and they even asked for science parties for their brothers and sisters too.
Children are starving for science. It is sad when a teacher has to find sneaky ways to put science back in the curriculum, but if it means trading cup cakes for science, then that is what a teacher has to do. This teacher with 23 children was able to provide those children with 23 additional learning experiences they have never had before and those experiences were unforgettable.
Plus, the Birthday Boy/Girl got to do all the really awesome stuff! And there were still cup cakes!
Just look at these pictures from Science in the Rockies last year and you’ll see why we don’t consider this your typical summer science workshop for teachers. Do not plan to attend Science in the Rockies 2008 if you are motivated by PowerPoint presentation, like quiet reading time from an outdated science text, hate to get your hands dirty, or have a fear of flying potatoes. One teacher described Science in the Rockies as the science methods class she never had but really needed!
Science in the Rockies 2008 is scheduled for July 9-11 in Denver at the Sheraton Denver West conference center. Registration is still open, but as of this morning there are fewer than two dozen spots available. Years ago, teachers who took this workshop called it a “science boot camp” – an intensive experience designed to inspire, motivate and move you into action… and the concept stuck. This boot camp is for K-5 teachers who need creative science integration strategies… who are tired of trying to “squeeze” science into their already packed teaching schedule… and who want to make science even more fun and meaningful in their classroom.
Join us in Denver in July for a truly one of a kind experience.
Robert Woodhead is always looking for a new challenge with his Casio EX-F1 camera. I found Robert’s first Mentos Geyser reaction on Gizmodo using just a roll of Mentos and a bottle Diet Coke. Watching the reaction at 1200 fps is truly amazing. Robert found a willing subject (the kid running from the exploding bottle) and sent us this video. Huge thanks!
If you haven’t seen the Mentos Slow Motion Video from the people at Perfetti Van Melle, watch it! At 2,000 frames per second, you can actually see the carbon dioxide bubbles forming on the nucleation sites.
If you couldn’t get enough of flying potatoes the first time, the nice people at the Ellen Show are rerunning the show that originally aired on April 15, 2008. The featured experiments include the Baby Diaper Secret, Fire Water and several versions of our potato guns (okay… call them “launchers”).