Teachers’ Lounge

Archive for the ‘Tools & Technology’ Category

Connect to Classroom virtual programs launch this fall!

by rochelle on Apr. 25th, 2014 1 Comment

Connect to Classrooms Dr. Blackburn shows frog specimens
Can’t bring your students on an Academy field trip next year? Too far away to rent a kit? Or just want to add excitement to your science curriculum?

 
With just a computer, internet, projector, and speakers you can bring Academy collections and experts into your classroom starting this September 2014.

 
Learn about the adaptions of penguins, get a close-up view of specimens from our collection, practice asking questions like Academy scientists, and engage in conversations with Academy experts.

 
More information will be available late this summer, so keep your eyes open! Until then, if you have any questions email us at connect2classrooms@calacademy.org.

 
 
Check out a sample screen shot from just one of our programs:

Connect to Classrooms Shark program

Big Picture Competition: Kids and youth can enter!

by megan on Feb. 12th, 2014 No Comments

Big Picture Photography Competition

The Academy’s BigPicture: Natural World Photography Competition encourages photographers from around the world to contribute their work to the competition that will both celebrate and illustrate the rich diversity of life on Earth and inspire action to protect and conserve it.

Chaired by award-winning photographer Suzi Eszterhas, this competition welcomes professional-level, high-caliber nature, wildlife and conservation images and is open to all photographers.

In fact, there are age divisions for kids aged 5-11 and youth aged 12-17!

Enter Your Images into the Big Picture Photography Competition by March 31, 2014, for your chance to win the Grand Prize of $5000 cash along with $2000 in Calumet photography gear!

Winning photos will be featured in an exhibit on the Academy’s museum public floor from August 1 – November 2, 2014.

For more details, visit http://bigpicturecompetition.org

Evaluation project seeks 6th & 7th grade teachers – stipend available

by megan on Feb. 11th, 2014 No Comments

SRI International is seeking science teachers to become part of a research study testing SimCityEDU game-based leaning and assessment tools for middle school science classrooms, with its associated curriculum based on the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core ELA Standards.

Students are asked to solve real-world problems using systems thinking skills such as how to balance the output of pollution in a city against the need for power to run businesses and create jobs.

The researchers are seeking up to 10 middle school science teachers of 6th and 7th graders to:

  • Participate in professional development to learn how to play the games and use individual student data to assess their students’ acumen with selected Next Generation Science Standards and ELA Common Core Standards.
  • Use the SimCityEDU curriculum package (including game activities, embedded assessments, and non-technology enhanced classroom activities) for 9 science class periods with their students.
  • Participate in two structured interviews with researchers to provide feedback about the teacher and student experience using the game-based curriculum package and the formative assessment feedback.
  • Gather parent consent.
  • Administer a brief survey to all participating students about their experience playing SimCityEDU and using the curriculum materials.
  • Allow researchers to observe the game-play and related instructional activities as they are implemented in your classroom for at least four science periods.

Who: Middle School Science Teachers from the Bay Area and their students (grades 6th and 7th)

What: Students must have one-to-one access to computers with consistent online availability in the school during science class. Also, district administration must approve of participation and parent consent will be required.

When: This Spring – preferably before end of April, 2014 but timing is flexible

Stipend: Teachers receive an honorarium of $1200 to take part in this research study!

Interested? Please contact Amy Hafter (amy.hafter@sri.com / 650.859.4566) as soon as possible. SRI can only accommodate 10 teachers in this first implementation study!

**Note: This study is not run by the California Academy of Sciences, so please direct all inquiries to Amy Hafter, listed above.***

KQED Do Now: Science!

by megan on Dec. 17th, 2013 No Comments

Elephant Ivory: KQED Do NowKQED 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 second Tuesday of the month, youth from the Spotlight team within the Academy’s Careers in Science Intern Program 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
2nd Tuesday: Science – posted by Academy youth!
4th Tuesday: Arts & Popular Culture


For example, here’s the latest Do Now Science:

Dec 11, 2013 How Worried Should We Be About Space Junk?

Space JunkRecently China successfully launched their first moon rover, Chang’e-3, into orbit. Unfortunately later that day pieces from the launch rocket fell off and destroyed the homes of two citizens. Although nobody was harmed, the falling spacecraft still worried many people.

Do Now
Weigh the value of launching satellites, rovers, spacecraft and other items into space for our benefit against the risks and dangers of increasing the amount of space debris. Which is more important? Should we be worried about limiting space junk?


Do Now can help focus students at the start of a class period. Most activities are six to eight minutes in length. They can completed without teacher assistance and can be used to introduce ideas connected to the rest of the lesson.

There is a great tutorial on the KQED Do Now site that will help you implement this in your classroom.

Oh, and here’s some of the most recent science topics.

Nov 15, 2013 Will Crushing Ivory Reduce Elephant Poaching?
Oct 9, 2013 Should We Bring Species Back to Life?
Sept 11, 2013 How Should We Manage Forest Fires?


What’s more?

KQED is looking for a few good teachers to join their online working group! Educators who join and participate throughout the Spring semester will receive a $150 stipend.

The deadline to apply is December 22, so apply today!

Technical assistance for afterschool programs

by megan on Sep. 13th, 2013 No Comments

Expanded Learning Collaborative

Do you work in an afterschool or summer program in San Francisco?

Then get connected to the Expanded Learning Collaborative’s Technical Assistance Project and:

  • Receive individualized coaching for your program
  • Attend workshops
  • Look for, and post jobs or other resources online
  • Have lunch and network with your peers!

Interested in learning more?

Visit www.sfelc.org to sign up, join the mailing list, and get started!

The purpose of the Expanded Learning Collaborative Technical Assistance Project (ELC TAP) is to improve the quality of out of school time programs across San Francisco by increasing the awareness and use of common tools, encouraging peer learning and creating coherence in approaches to quality programming. This project is made possible through the support of the San Francisco Unified School District; the SF Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families; and the Silver Giving Foundation.