Informal Science Education
Professional Learning Programs
The California Academy of Sciences is pleased to introduce professional learning programs for informal educators interested in exploring the theory and practice of education within free-choice settings. Our programs immerse educators in best practices for engaging the public with science and sustainability. Sessions take place at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. Snacks are provided.
~ Flyer ~ . ~ Application ~
Goals of the Programs
- Develop a common understanding: review current research in science and sustainability education
- Reflect: observe and evaluate your own teaching; and observe ways other educators teach
- Nurture a learning community: build a network of educators through shared experiences and collect resources for designing educational activities in informal environments
- Implement changes to practice: educators develop a new activity on a topic of your choosing- or tweak an existing one- which reflects what you’ve learned
Program 1: Learning, Reflections & Science
October 1 – November 19, 2014
Wednesdays from 4:30 – 7:30pm
This program is based on the Reflecting on Practice program developed by the Lawrence Hall of Science. Participants will explore research on learning and methods for engaging learners in scientific practices. Educators must be available for all of the Wednesday night sessions.
- How Learning Happens (Oct 1)
- Accessing Prior Knowledge (Oct 8)
- Learning Conversations (Oct 15)
- Observing and Discussing Practice (Oct 22)
- Nature and Practices of Science (Oct 29)
- Scientific Practices & the NGSS (Nov 5)
- Observing and Discussing Practice (Nov 12)
- Poster Session & Happy Hour (Nov 19)
Program 2: Conservation & Sustainability Education
January 14 – March 18, 2015
This program focuses on the process for creating programs and activities that support learners in engaging with environmentally friendly actions. Participants will engage in a rapid prototyping and iterative design process. Educators must be available for all six Wednesday night sessions from 4:30-7:30pm, and all three Friday night sessions from 5:00-9:00pm.
- Pedagogical Strategies (Weds, Jan 14)
- Using Audience Surveys (Weds, Jan 21)
- Using Findings to Inform Design (Weds, Jan 28)
- Creating Evaluation Instruments (Weds, Feb 4)
- Prototyping with SFUSD families (Fri, Feb 13)
- Reflect and Analyze Data (Weds, Feb 18)
- Prototyping with SFUSD families (Fri, Feb 27)
- Reflect and Compare Data (Weds, Mar 4)
- Prototyping with SFUSD families (Fri, Mar 13)
- Presentations & Happy Hour! (Weds, Mar 18)
Fees & Application Process
To apply for a spot in the program, please fill out the application here www.surveymonkey.com/s/ISEapp.
Applicants may select a single program, or choose to attend both. If you have questions, or want to know more, please contact Lindzy Bivings at email@example.com
- Individual Rate: $175 / program
- Team Rate (2 or more people from the same organization): $125 / program per person
- If these rates are outside of your ability to pay, please contact us for scholarship information
Want to spread the word? Download this flyer and distribute to your colleagues to encourage them to join your team!
Marine Science Institute
From Ship to Shore, All You Need to Know and More
Monday, September 15, 2014
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Join MSI for their fifth annual free special event for teachers!
- Enjoy a buffet dinner and wine on the shore of the Bay
- Receive a free MSI membership just for attending
- Hands-on activity ideas to take back to your classroom
- Win free MSI programs and other prizes
- Consult with MSI program staff on your science curriculum
- Learn how to use a Get-a-Grant toolbox
- Receive a discount when you and your colleagues book MSI Programs together!
RSVP on Facebook or email Hayley@sfbaymsi.org
KQED Do Now is a weekly activity for students to engage and respond to current issues using social media tools like Twitter.
And guess what? Do Now Science is a monthly activity in collaboration with us here at the California Academy of Sciences.
Every other Tuesday, youth within the Academy’s teen programs post a compelling topic, include background resources and media, and encourage discussion on Twitter.
The monthly content schedule is as follows:
Every Friday: Civic, Government & Politics
Every Tuesday: Rotation between Science and Arts/Popular Culture
KQED is looking for highly engaged teachers from around the country who are interested in trying some innovative pedagogical approaches to learning to become part of the online working group. Educators who join and participate throughout the Fall semester will receive a $150 stipend.
The deadline to apply is December 31, so apply today!
Want a free sneak peek at our Skulls exhibit to help plan your field trip this fall?
Skulls Exhibit Preview: For Teachers Grades 3-12
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
3:15 pm – 4:15 pm
If this timing doesn’t work for you, we also encourage drop-ins! We will have an agenda of sorts, but the event will be casual.
Academy Educators will take you on a live tour through the exhibit as we roam around with our handy wireless cart. Experience a wide view of the exhibit layout, check out close-ups of skull specimens, and learn which exhibit components are most interactive. We’ll have a special Q&A session with a docent to answer your pressing content questions, and educators will be on hand throughout to answer logistical questions to help plan your trip.
All you need is an internet connection, as you’ll access the event via your favorite web browser. Feel free to invite a buddy, or project it for a group of teachers! Exhibit content is most appropriate for grades 3-12, and our target audience is educators who plan to attend — or are considering planning — a field trip to the Academy this fall.
Simply complete this simple form, and we’ll email you a link to access the event on the day before. Be sure to register by 5pm on August 19th so we can save you a spot.
If you have a question, leave a comment below, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you a homeschool parent or coordinator?
Here is some of the information you might need to bring your students to the Academy this year
Event details for Homeschool Day on Thursday, September 18, 2014!
Registration will open online and over the phone at 8:00 AM on August 26, 2014.
Read our Registration Guide for all the details about the event and how to sign up.
If you are interested in a hand-on lab program, read all about the fall offerings in the Reserved Programs Guide
Receive event information directly to your email by signing up for our homeschool email list. Simply fill out this form.
Can’t make it this September?
Visit us at our spring event on Wednesday, February 4, 2015 or organize a group to visit the museum at any time of year! Homeschoolers qualify for our CA Youth Group discount program when you bring 10 or more homeschool students and their parents. For more information and to submit an application, visit our youth group website.