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Archive for the ‘Academy Research’ Category

Biodiversity E-Course now on Khan Academy!

by megan on Feb. 3rd, 2014 No Comments

The California Academy of Sciences has partnered with leading global learning platform Khan Academy to make an engaging new digital learning course entitled Biodiversity available for free to anyone worldwide.
Biodiversity Course Landing Page
Drawing on the deep knowledge and expertise of the California Academy of Sciences’ scientists, educators, and video production team, this new seven-part course explains biodiversity and its importance throughout the world. The first two tutorials are now available online at https://www.khanacademy.org/partner-content/CAS-biodiversity, and five additional tutorials will be launched over the coming year.

Designed for a wide variety of audiences, including high school students, teachers, families, policy makers, and anyone interested in learning more about the diversity of life, each tutorial in the new Biodiversity course includes video lessons, articles, and quizzes, as well as activities that encourage students to explore the natural world.

“In addition to creating quizzes, activities, articles, and glossaries of scientific terms, we have also compiled selected references that include links to the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards,” says Dr. Meg Burke, Director of Teacher and Youth Education at the California Academy of Sciences. “In doing so, we hope teachers will find this course of interest and use.”
Biodiversity Course Questions
Dr. Rich Mooi, Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the California Academy of Sciences, is both the voice and artist behind each video in the course. A skilled scientific illustrator whose detailed drawings of sea urchins and other echinoderms grace dozens of scientific papers, Mooi can also sketch anything from a butterfly to a map of Antarctica in two seconds flat. Brought to life through clever animation and commentary, his sketches outline the what, where, when, and why-does-it-matter of biodiversity on our planet.

“We chose biodiversity as the focus of this Khan Academy course because biodiversity is all around us,” says Mooi. “It’s crucial to the quality of our lives and the lives of all other living organisms, but we still have a lot to learn about all the players and their roles in this pageantry of life. And it’s increasingly important for people to understand that we are losing biodiversity at a rate never before seen, driven by human actions resulting in habitat loss and extinction.”

Start the free Biodiversity course now!

Integrating Art and Science: An Institute for Teachers

by michelle on May. 27th, 2011 4 Comments

Apply to participate in this exciting professional development opportunity!

Integrating Art and Science WorkshopIntegrating Art and Science: An Institute for Teachers – An Online/Onsite Course – A Unique collaboration between
the Academy, the de Young,
The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
and the American Museum of Natural History!
K-8 teachers are invited to apply!
July 25-August 5, 2011

Our Focus: Participants will go on an “expedition” in the sense of exploring a new environment or a new idea and apply 21st Century Skills across art and science institutions.

  • This course will focus on 21st Century Skills (such as observation, investigation, and creative problem solving) as a means to authentically integrate art and science. What are the “parallel processes” between artists and scientists? Explore specific examples across institutions such as art and science collections, exhibits, and galleries.
  • Gain an appreciation and understanding for object-based learning, in both the museum and classroom settings.
  • Learn how you can access and utilize museums and online museum resources in Golden Gate Park and Central Park in New York City!
  • Develop a collection of ideas and resources on a chosen theme integrating art and science.

The first two days will be spent at the Academy and the de Young in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Following the onsite days, we will connect online with the cohort of teachers on the East Coast participating in the same course with the MET and AMNH! Learn from your colleagues across the country and collaborate locally to share your experiences and ideas.

Onsite workshops a the California Academy of Sciences and the de Young:
July 25 and 26, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Asynchronous interactive online activities:
Monday, July 25 – Friday, August 5

Morpho butterflyLive webinar (web seminar) sessions:

Wednesday, July 27 12noon ET or 3pm ET

Friday, July 29 12Noon ET or 3pm ET

Monday, August 1 12Noon ET or 3pm ET

Wednesday, August 3 12Noon ET or 3pm ET

Friday, August 5 12Noon ET or 3pm ET

Week of November 14, 2011
“Virtual Class Reunion” webinar to share any lessons and ideas.

How to apply:

  • Complete this form and mail it in. Application deadline is July 18, 2011.
  • Find a partner! Pairs or groups of teachers are encouraged but not required.
  • Send in a check for $150 to the de Young (see address on application form).

Questions? Contact hcarmena@calacademy.org

Explore birds and citizen science…at NSTA!

by megan on Jan. 11th, 2011 No Comments

2011 NSTA Conference LogoGreat news! Academy educators will be partnering with our friends over at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to deliver a half-day short course at the 2011 NSTA national conference.

NSTA National Conference
March 10–13, 2011
San Francisco, CA

To receive earlybird registration rates, visit the conference website by the Friday, January 14!

More than 1,400 presentations and workshops have been scheduled, covering a wide range of scientific disciplines and targeting audiences from preschool to college.

After entering contact information and registering for the conference itself, you’ll have the opportunity to select short courses, social events, and field trips — such as the short course hosted here at the Academy.

Short Course
“Exploring Birds and Citizen Science at the California Academy of Sciences!”

DATE & TIME: Friday, March 11, 8:00 AM – 12:30 PM
LOCATION: California Academy of Sciences

Ruby-crowned Kinglet, courtesy of DarhawkHow can you use your school yard for citizen science and inquiry? Join staff us for an indoor and outdoor adventure that will arm you with tools to conduct citizen science counts and guide your students through all aspects of designing and conducting their own science investigations—from carefully observing birds to asking intriguing questions, from collecting and analyzing relevant data to sharing their results with peers. Participants will test their new skills firsthand with an outdoor eBird citizen science count. Take home a BirdSleuth: Most Wanted Birds curriculum kit—lessons and supplies that will jump-start participation by your class! Learn more about BirdSleuth

NSTA will provide transportation to and from the Academy of Sciences. Course Cost: $96 (advance) or $101 (onsite). Purchase tickets when you register online or on the San Francisco Advance Registration Form.

PRESENTERS: Jennifer Fee (Cornell Lab of Ornithology: Ithaca, NY); Helena Carmena and Megan Schufreider (California Academy of Sciences: San Francisco, CA)

Psst…a little birdie told us that staff are arranging a behind-the-scenes tour of the ornithology collections at the Academy, in addition to a search for bird specimens within the museum exhibits!

Fullerton Student Grant for Entomologists

by megan on Dec. 1st, 2009 No Comments

Do you know a teenager or college student with a passion for insects?
Then you should read more about the Fullerton Student Grant, which funds one-year memberships in the Pacific Coast Entomological Society (PCES) for students who have an interest in entomology, arachnology, and related terrestrial arthropods.
(Think: beetles, butterflies, spiders, ticks, flies, millipedes…)

Scarab Beetle

Scarab beetle, Chrysina gloriosa

© California Academy of Sciences
H. Vannoy Davis, 2005

Who can apply for the grant?
This grant is intended for students from high school through graduate level who have never been members of PCES.

How can I apply?
Submit an application for membership from the website, www.pcentsoc.org. Just be sure to indicate that you want to be considered for the Fullerton Student Grant. Please submit proof of full-time school attendance, either a photocopy of your current student card or a letter from your professor or teacher on institutional letterhead. If you are home schooled, please have your parent/teacher write the letter.

Is this a new society?
Not at all! PCES was organized back in 1901. Entomologists need a place to get together to talk. The last meeting was held in Sacramento on November 20, when Frederique Lavoipierre of Sonoma State University spoke about “A World of Insects: Strategies for Effective Entomology Outreach.”

How often do the members of PCES meet? Where do they get together?
The Pacific Coast Entomological Society holds about nine meetings a year, rotating between the California Academy of Sciences, University of California at Berkeley, University of California at Davis, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Sacramento. Meetings are held monthly during the academic year (September through May), usually on the third Friday of each month. Meetings start at 8:00 pm, although members often get together at 6:00 pm for a pre-meeting dinner at a nearby restaurant.

I have more questions…
Leave us a comment below. Or, go ahead and send an email to Vincent F. Lee. In addition to working here in the Entomology Department at the California Academy Academy of Sciences, Vince acts as Managing Secretary for the Pacific Coast Entomological Society. He is quite excited to hear from teachers and students interested in learning more!

Calling all bookworms!

by megan on Nov. 20th, 2009 No Comments

Did you know that the Naturalist Center at the Academy hosts a book club for adults? Known as Bookworms, this monthly book group focuses on science-themed books hand-picked by our librarians and the group. Expand your knowledge of a science topic, engage in dialogue, and perhaps meet an author or two!

Did we mention that the book club is free? This book group meets after the museum closes, so you’ll have time to commute after school. Academy staff just need to know to expect you, so you can be escorted to the meeting room from the business entrance off Middle Drive. To reserve a place, pick up a “ticket” on the online calendar or call 800-794-7576.

Here’s the line-up for the next few months. Purchase a used copy from Amazon, or place a hold on the book at the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL).


BOOKWORMS, Tuesday, December 15 at 6:30 pm

Evidence of Evolution

Topic: Evolution at the Academy

Evidence of Evolution by Susan Middleton and Mary Ellen Hannibal

Something special for our book club meeting this month! Join the authors for a group discussion of their new book about evolution which uses specimens from the Academy’s research collections to illustrate evolutionary development in plants and animals.

SFPL . Amazon


BOOKWORMS, Tuesday, January 19 at 6:30 pm

The Age of Wonder

Topic: Science in the Late 18th Century

The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes

Join a dedicated group of readers for a discussion of this winner of the 2009 Royal Society Prize for Science Books. Come prepared with your thoughts about this book about scientists such as Joseph Banks, Humphrey Davy and William Herschel “who changed our understanding of the world forever.”

SFPL . Amazon


BOOKWORMS, Tuesday, February 16 at 6:30 pm

Collector of Lost Souls

Topic: Medical Detectives in New Guinea

The Collectors of Lost Souls: Turning Kuru Scientists into Whitemen by Warwick Anderson

Join us for what promises to be a lively discussion about this compelling story of scientific research in the 20th century. Kuru, a rare brain disease affecting people in the central highlands of New Guinea came to the attention of scientists in the 1950’s who were puzzled by its origins. This led to the new field of medical investigation where the scientists learned from the natives and vice versa.

SFPL . Amazon