Family Science

Archive for June, 2012

Celebrating our Oceans

by rockprogram on Jun. 7th, 2012 No Comments

seaturtleDid you know the ocean is home to 90% of the world’s living creatures? The ocean is such an immense place full of biodiversity. It not only supplies a home to these underwater beauties where life exists, but also supplies many of us with food. Unfortunatley, human activity is affecting our oceans today. Overfishing and the ways we catch our seafood is not only harming our seafood population, but also other ocean life called bycatch such as sea turtles and sharks. Check out our Banishing Bycatch activity to learn why this is happening and the fishing practices we can do to prevent it.

Here at the Academy, we want to help you understand what sustainable fishing means and help you select ocean-friendly seafood. Try the Academy Seafood Market and Fishery activity. Learn why some fishing ways are better than others. See how how your seafood selection ranks. Carry your handy dandy Seafood WATCH pocket guide the next time you’re out buying seafood. Eating fish is generally healthy and quite delicious. SeaWeb, a non-profit organization, has a program called KidSafe that encourages parents to help expand their children’s diets with a variety of seafood options that aren’t only environmentally friendly, but also low in contaminants.

June 8th is World Oceans Day, with this year’s theme, Youth: the Next Wave for Change. What better way than to reach out to our youth to help inspire them for the future of our oceans. Play ocean themed puzzles and games at the Naturalist Center. Explore all weekend long with Early Explorers in the Cove for our youngest visitors and create what you think a healthy ocean looks like at their Explore It! Table. Let’s celebrate and save the health of our oceans today by taking action.

Eating sustainable seafood is one way we can help the future of our oceans. Our behaviors and our simple every day routines too can either affect or help our oceans. The way we get to and from work or school can help limit the impact we have on climate change, which also affects our oceans. What other actions may we take? We can all begin by taking SeaWeb’s Ocean Pledge to help our oceans and its wildlife.

June is Shaking Up to be Fun!

by rockprogram on Jun. 1st, 2012 No Comments

Shake House at the AcademyWhen the rumbling started as I stood on our new earthquake simulator, my first thought was “Oh, this is stronger than I’d imagined.” If your children are 4 years or older, you can bring them to our new exhibit to experience what a stronger earthquake could feel like. My second thought, when the shaking stopped was, “I need to better prepare my home and my family.” So this month’s post is all about earthquakes and how to prepare now, to help your family to survive and recover from our next damaging earthquake.

Bay Area fault lines at the AcademyHere at the Academy, we want to help you to better prepare for an earthquake. Part of our new exhibit, Earthquake: Life on a Dynamic Planet, includes hands on activities such as a demo which lets you smell “gas” smell, lets you turn off the gas for a home, find out where hidden sources of water are, and shake a reinforced and unreinforced house. We also have a new program daily at 11am in the Piazza, Earthquakes Demystified. Your family will learn about myths and misconceptions about earthquakes.

Taking simple steps to prepare will let you get back to normal faster after an earthquake. Involving your children in the preparation and planning helps them to learn what to expect and means the whole family understands what to do. There are some terrific webpages, written specifically for children, to help you to start a conversation and deepen their understanding. The US Geological Survey (USGS) has a great website for you to explore as a family, there’s even an ABC story with a guide for parents. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has information appropriate for children who can read, and addresses tsunamis as well as earthquakes. For Bay Area information, the Association of Bay Area Governments website has a page appropriate for 4th graders and beyond. Check out our at-home activity, which allows you and your children to build your very own seismograph and learn how scientists measure earthquake intensity. Once you’ve created your seismograph, you can then think ahead while discussing objects and places that are hazards during an earthquake and learn ways to prepare for an earthquake with our Earthquake Preparedness activity.

You can also read books about earthquakes together, to learn more about why earthquakes happen and what you can do to prepare. A couple that are available at the San Francisco Public Library are: Earthquakes : the science behind seismic shocks and tsunamis and Earthquake!.

Heading outdoors, why not explore the San Andreas fault in person? The USGS has an online guidebook with a selection of bay area field trips where you can find evidence of the San Andreas fault that plays such an important part in our history. Pick one to visit with your family for a fun and informative day out.

Our quarterly free Sunday is happening this month, mark June 3rd on your calendars, if you’d like to come to visit us for free.


Junio se menea para ser divertido!

Cuando el retumbo comenzó cuando estuve de pie en nuestro nuevo simulador de terremoto, mi primer pensamiento era ‘Ah, esto es más fuerte que yo había imaginado.’ Si sus hijos son 4 años de edad o mayor, puede llevarlos a nuestra nueva exposición a experimentar como un fuerte terremoto podría sentirse. Mi segunda reflexión, cuando el temblor paró, “necesito preparar mejor mi casa y mi familia.” Entonces el puesto de este mes es todo sobre terremotos, cómo preparar ahora, y ayudar a su familia a sobrevivir y reponerse de nuestro siguiente terremoto perjudicial.

Aquí en la Academia, queremos ayudarle a prepararse mejor para un terremoto. Por lo tanto, parte de nuestra nueva exposicion, Earthquake: Life on a Dynamic Planet, que incluye actividades prácticas como una demostración que le deja oler el olor ‘de gas’, le permite apagar el gas para una casa, averiguar donde las fuentes escondidas del agua están, y sacudir una casa reforzada y otra no reforzada. Tambien tenemos un programa diario en el Piazza a las 11am Earthquakes Demystified (este programa solo es ofrecido en inglés). Su familia aprenderá sobre mitos y conceptos erróneos acerca de terremotos.

Pasos simples para preparar le permitirá volver a la normalidad más rápido después de un terremoto. Con la participación de los niños en la preparación y planificación les ayuda a aprender qué esperar y significa que toda la familia entiende lo qué hay qué hacer. Hay algunas páginas en el internet buenísimas, escritas específicamente para los niños y les ayudaran a iniciar una conversación y profundizar su comprensión. El US Geological Survey (USGS), tiene un sitio de web para que usted explore como una familia, hay hasta una historia de ABC con una guía para los padres. El Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) tiene información adecuada para los niños que pueden leer y aborda los tsunamis, así como los terremotos. Para obtener información del área de la bahía, el sitio de web de la Asociación de gobiernos del área de la Bahía tiene una página apropiada para 4o grado y niños mayores. Nuestra actividad en el hogar, le permite a usted y a sus hijos a construir su propio sismógrafo y aprender cómo los científicos miden la intensidad de terremotos.

También puede leer libros sobre terremotos juntos para aprender más acerca de por qué ocurren los terremotos. Algunos libros que están disponible en la biblioteca pública de San Francisco son: Nuestra tierra violenta y Terremotos y Volcanes

Hacia afuera, ¿por qué no explorar la falla de San Andrés en persona? El USGS tiene una guía en línea en inglés con una selección de excurciones en la lárea de la bahía donde se puede encontrar evidencia de la falla de San Andrés que juega un papel importante en nuestra historia. Escoja una para visitar con su familia para un viaje de un día divertido e informativo.

Nuestro domingo gratuito está sucediendo este mes, marca el 3 de junio en sus calendarios, si desea venir a visitarnos gratis.