Teachers’ Lounge

Archive for October, 2010

Teacher Membership Now Available!

by michelle on Oct. 28th, 2010 No Comments

At long last, the Academy is proud to introduce a new membership level just for teachers!  At $79, the Teacher Membership is more affordable than the Individual Membership plan, yet bestows all of the same privileges.  Teacher memberships are for pre-K to 12th grade classroom teachers in California.

A Teacher Membership package includes these benefits:

Membership!* Free unlimited daily admission for you and one guest, each time you visit with them
* Personalized member card
* Members only entrance
* Members-only hours
* FREE admission to Pritzker Members’ Lectures
* Discounts on lectures and special programming
* Discounts on NightLife
* Discount on select tours
* Special pricing for Penguins + Pajamas
* 10% discount at the Academy Stores
* 15% discount on dinner at The Moss Room
* 10% discount on SharpShooter photos
* Subscription to the Academy’s enews
* Subscription to the Educator Bulletin Board
* Reserved member passes for planetarium shows
* Naturalist Center borrowing privileges
* Invitation to FREE educator events

Because of the special nature of this offer, teachers must provide proof of active teaching status, and mail or fax the completed Membership Application to our Membership department.

Memberships are valid for one year from date of purchase. Memberships are not transferable or refundable. A representative can help you transfer your current membership over to the new Teacher Membership level. While you will not receive a refund, you will be eligible for the additional benefits of Teacher Membership.

For questions regarding Teacher Memberships, please contact the Membership Department at 800.794.7576 or membership@calacademy.org.

Contest for Non-Science Teachers: Win $2,000!

by megan on Oct. 23rd, 2010 No Comments

Calling all SFUSD middle and high school teachers that do not teach science!

The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) is hosting the 2010-2011 Environmental Education Contest, the primary purpose being “to encourage environmental education outside of science classrooms and to create environmentally literate adults.”

Remember that even though you may not officially teach science, the state of California is soon to launch its curriculum designed part of the Education and Environment Initiative. This K-12th grade curriculum is comprised of 85 units teaching select Science and History-Social Science academic standards in an integrated fashion.


Teachers are encouraged to incorporate environmental topics into their everyday lessons in any subject but science. The concepts should be worked into and supportive of regular class content. In-class lessons, speakers, films, on-line research, and any other means of teaching or obtaining information are all encouraged. Connecting your lesson to a field trip, hands-on learning opportunity, or stewardship project is also a great idea.


You can find a list of curriculum links in the “Green Schools” section of the SFUSD sustainability website. But feel free to be creative as you seek exciting ways to integrate environmental education into your regular lessons. Mix and match ideas to come up with something powerful and unique.

The winning teacher will receive $2,000 and the runner-up will get $1000.

Proposals are due January 15, 2011, so apply today by completing the proposal form and emailing it to Nik Kaestner, SFUSD Director of Sustainability.

Visit contest website >>

Census of Marine Life

by michelle on Oct. 20th, 2010 No Comments

A Decade of Discovery

For the past decade, 2,700 scientists from 80 countries have been collaborating to establish the first Census of Marine Life.

Teams of scientists explored the different zones of the ocean, including coral reefs, the open ocean, mid-ocean ridges, bents and seeps, and the poles. They found new species and learned more about ones we already know about by tagging, imaging, collecting, and observing. The result: we now know more about the oceans than ever before and we have a baseline with which we can study what happens to the oceans in the future.

The Census of Marine Life website is a wealth of knowledge.  There you can discover all of the benefits of a study of this magnitude.  There are some excellent short videos and beautiful images.  Links to their results and publications include both scientific publications and popular books. Collaboration with National Geographic has yielded 2 stunning maps: “Diversity, Distribution, and Abundance”, and “Past, Present, and Future”.

The Census has not only involved scientists, but others as well.  Check out how marine life has inspired artists.  There is even a music video!  You can use the site in many ways: gather information to supplement an existing lesson, as a springboard to discuss scientific discovery and the role of technology, use it to create a sense of wonder about the world.  Enjoy the site and get inspired by all that is out there, and all that has yet to be discovered.

These two wonderful images are from two artists working with the Census.

Top image: An image from scientist Steven Haddock. Check out the The Bioluminescence Web Page and Jellywatch where you can learn more about similar fascinating organisms!
Bottom image: A piece from Fairbanks artist Susan Farnham’s exhibit based on the findings of the Arctic Ocean Diversity project.

Eco-Literacy Resources for English Language Learners

by megan on Oct. 18th, 2010 No Comments

Looking for high school level lesson plans and video clips that explore topics such as shopping sustainably, green buildings, climate change, and plastic pollution?

Then check out the Eco-Literacy Resources for English Language Learners offered through our partners over at KQED Quest.

Appropriate for high school or post-secondary ELL classrooms, these curricula resources have been developed in collaboration with ESL educators from colleges around the Bay Area.

Inspired by the Green Building Revolution media clip produce by Quest, Instructor Cora Chen’s classroom from the City College of San Francisco visited the California Academy of Sciences last March to experience eco-literacy concepts in a place-based context.

Visit their assignment website to view student-created films, photos, and writing samples!

If you are a teacher of upper elementary or middle school, I encourage you to attend a teacher workshop from our very own Sustainability Series:

Green Buildings & the Living Roof (grades 2-8)
» Thursday, November 13, 2010, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm

Organic, Local, and Delicious (grades 2-8)
» Saturday, March 12, 2011, 8:30 am – 1:30 pm

Waste Worries (grades 2-8)
» Thursday, March 24, 2011, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Energy in Changing World (grades 2-8)
» Saturday, April 9, 2011, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm

Student Art Contest runs through November 30

by megan on Oct. 1st, 2010 No Comments

The Academy is a proud partner of the 2010 Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest, which encourages young people ages 18 and under to celebrate biodiversity in their own ‘backyard’.

The Get to Know Contest invites youth to go outdoors – or to a local zoo or aquarium – and to use these experiences with nature to inspire creative art, writing, and photography.

Inspire your students to head outside — or to the Academy — to express their experience with the natural world through art!

Winners receive wild prizes, including the opportunity to attend a weeklong Get to Know Art & Nature Camp at a National Park in Canada. The contest is open to all US residents of age 18 or younger.

Winners are selected from each of the following categories:

* Kindergarten to Grade 4
* Grades 5 to 7
* Grades 8 to 10
* Grades 11 to 12

Entries can be in the form of:

* Art
* Writing
* Digital Photography
* Video

The Contest launches October 1 and runs until November 30.
Go to www.gettoknow.ca for more information!