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Target’s Field Trip Grants: Apply August-September

by megan on Aug. 1st, 2014 3 Comments

Target logo

Have you taken advantage of Target’s Field Trip Grants?

Target stores award Field Trip Grants to K-12 schools nationwide, and each grant is valued up to $700.

Applications are accepted between August 1 – September 30, 2014, so apply today, whether you are planning a trip in the fall or the spring!

Of course, we highly recommend the fall, seeing as the Academy’s Skulls exhibit closes on November 30, 2014. Then again, you can certainly use your Field Trip Grant to visit any local cultural institution!

Want More Science at School?

by megan on Apr. 28th, 2014 No Comments

Edventuremore In-Class Programs

Edventure More, the organization voted “Best Educational Support Program” by BayAreParent Magazine five years running, offers a variety of School Year Programs to meet your school’s needs.

Designed in partnership with top Bay Area museums like the California Academy of Sciences, they offer hands-on:

In Class Science Programs
Invite hands-on science learning into your classroom. Programs are aligned with state standards and actively engage students in the learning process. A limited number of 2014-15 school year can be reserved now. Visit their website, call 415.282.MORE (6673) or email outreach@edventuremore.org to learn more and reserve your 2014-15 In Class Program now.

After School Science & Technology Programs
Edventure More’s After School Programs are kid-friendly, build 21st Century Life Skills and are fully customizable to your school calendar. Visit their website to learn more, forward this link to your After School Program Coordinator so they can book a 2014-15 program or email outreach@edventuremore.org with the name of the Coordinator at your school.

Educator Exhibit Guides

by megan on Mar. 1st, 2014 No Comments

In the Academy’s effort to help teachers link our museum to their curriculum, we have been rolling out guides to our exhibits. With these Educator Exhibit Guides, you can:

  • Plan an Academy field trip around a specific exhibit.
  • Learn about an exhibit’s themes and key concepts to guide your students’ experience.
  • Discover Academy-written classroom and field trip activities related to the exhibit.
  • Find out about the Academy’s scientific research happening behind-the-scenes.

While this is an ongoing effort, we already have guides for 5 of our exhibits. Check them out:

NEW! Philippine Coral Reef
Philippine Coral Reef Diver 
Explore a broad range of aquatic life — from sharks and rays to corals and clams — found in the coral reefs and mangrove lagoons of the Philippine Islands in one of the deepest coral exhibits in the world.
Philippine Coral Reef (preK-2)
Philippine Coral Reef (3-5)
Philippine Coral Reef (6-12)

Water Planet
Moon Jellies in Water Planet 
Water is life. Discover how water shapes life on Earth and the adaptations animals have for living in and out of water. Explore a variety of animals that live in water and their unique features for survival.
Water Planet (preK-2)
Water Planet (3-5)
Water Planet (6-12)

California Coast
CA Coast Tank 
The mix of sunshine, wind, water and geology has created one of the world’s richest temperate marine communities right here in California. Discover why our coast is special and protected.
California Coast (preK-2)
California Coast (3-5)
California Coast (6-12)

African Hall
Zebras in African Hall  
Journey across the African continent to explore the diverse biomes and meet some of the animals that live there. Learn about human evolution and our migration out of Africa.
African Hall (preK-2)
African Hall (3-5)
African Hall (6-12)

Earthquake entry sphere 
Earthquakes provide dramatic evidence that we live on a dynamic planet. Learn how earth processes shape Earth’s surface, affect the evolution and distribution of life on our planet, and directly
impact people’s lives.
Earthquake Exhibit (6-12)
Earthquake Planetarium Show (6-12)

More to come soon!

Photo Credits
Moon Jelly photo by nigham
Zebras in African Hall by Chris Picon
Coral Reef Diver by Will Love

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.***

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!