Teachers’ Lounge

Archive for May, 2011

Become an Academy Insider!

by michelle on May. 31st, 2011 No Comments

The Academy is very pleased to announce that the Academy Insider app for iPhone is available for free from the App Store!

I downloaded the app on Friday, grabbed some friends, and took it down to the museum floor (what else are you going to do at 4:30 on a Friday?). We had a ball and I think we were all very impressed. It must have taken a lot of hard work from a lot of people to put this together. There are so many features, but here are some of my favorites.

  • There are tons of pictures and they all look great.
  • There is a ‘Get Directions’ feature that is truly impressive. Tell it where you are, tell it where you want to go, and it will give you step-by-step instructions (similar to Google Maps) how to get there. The map will even act like a compass if you have that ability on your iPhone.
  • You can learn more about each of the exhibits. There is a tidbit of information, along with the ‘Get Directions’ feature I described above, and then a section where you can ‘Dive Deeper‘ with quizzes, videos, and images that help you learn more. I love the videos. The quizzes are fun too, because I’m nerdy like that.
  • There are currently 2 self-guided tours – one highlighting predators here at the museum, and the other highlighting the role of research here at the Academy and beyond. On June 15, there will also be a self-guided tour featuring the Academy’s snakes and lizards. You can even customize your own tour.
  • We have a lot going on here throughout the day, so there is a live daily programs feed to help you plan your time here.

I can’t recommend the app enough. Not only is it free, but it’s fun to peruse and you can learn a lot too. What is better than that?!

Learn more!
Download the app!

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

Snakes and Lizards: Summer of Slither

by michelle on May. 25th, 2011 No Comments

Is your school year over, but you’re not ready to stop surrounding yourself with colorful creatures?  Come to the Academy and visit our newest temporary exhibit, Snakes and Lizards: the Summer of Slither. From May 9 to September 5, 2011, this traveling exhibit from the American Museum of Natural History will be here in the Forum up on the 2nd floor of the Academy. Photo: © AMNH/D. Finnin

I’ve been on maternity leave, but one of the first things I did when I returned (besides wade through my emails) was take a peek. We’ve been talking about it for some time here at the Academy and I was excited to see it. It didn’t disappoint. Many of the exhibits are designed so that you can see the inhabitants from lots of angles (which also makes them easier to see when there are crowds). I was a big fan of the water monitor which was flicking its tongue while it walked through (you guessed it) the water.

There is tons of information about each animal as well. The space is divided up into three sections: those that see their way through the world, those that smell their way through the world, and those that slither their way through the world. In addition to the standard ‘where does it live, how big does it get, and what does it eat’, there is also information on each animals’ relationships among the other squamates (that’s fancy talk for snakes and lizards). Photo: © AMNH/D. Finnin

In case you’re inspired to bring your kids to the Academy next school year to see more snakes and lizards, we have a couple of scavenger hunts designed to highlight the squamates we have elsewhere in the Academy. One is a fun, more general hunt, and the other is more open and calls attention to the relationship between structure and function. Check them out!

If you can’t get to the Academy, but can’t get enough of snakes and lizards, we have an activity involving the lengths of different some specific snakes and lizards that help teach about measurement (and you’ll learn a little about how these amazing squamates move).

As an aside, a few months back I had occasion to meet some of the folks down in the Herpetology Department here at the Academy. They are indeed a bunch of colorful creatures! Check out more of what they do here!

Apply for a field trip for 2011-2012!

by megan on May. 12th, 2011 No Comments

The 2011-2012 field trip application is now available online!

Before you leave for summer break, why not book an Academy field trip for next year?

Our online application has now been updated for the 2011-2012 academic year, which runs from September 6, 2011, to June 8, 2012, excluding holidays and breaks.

Visit the Field Trips section to read next year’s guidelines, view program offerings, and submit an online application.

Propose visit dates and rank your preferred programs, and we’ll do the work to coordinate a field trip that best suits your needs.

While the application does not serve as a reservation itself, you’ll hear back from us within 6 weeks of submitting your request. Rest assured that we have lots of space for student groups!

To stay informed of the professional development opportunities for the 2011-2012 school year, check out our Workshops calendar, which has been updated to include three-part workshop series, citizen science workshops, and our ever popular Classroom Kit trainings.

You can register online for workshops beginning May 15, 2011. No application necessary — if there’s space, you’re in!