Teachers’ Lounge

Archive for December, 2013

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!

Last Chance to See the 3D Astronomy Show!

by megan on Dec. 5th, 2013 No Comments


Book your trip by visiting www.calacademy.org/teachers/fieldtrips

Our new 3D astronomy show for high school classes, Our Evolving Solar System, will be on hiatus beginning in March of 2014. We urge you to take advantage of this last opportunity to experience our program designed especially in support of the astronomy curriculum for high schools!

This original, live presentation uses dynamic stereoscopic imagery to explore the life and death of stars and planets. We discuss the processes that lead some stars to explode as supernovae in a few million years, while other stars can live for a trillion years. What is the fate of our own star, the Sun? And how did it, and its system of planets, come to be?

AsteroidsTo answer that question, you’ll travel back in time over 4 billion years to witness the origins of our solar system.

Supercomputers were used to model in three dimensions the birth of the sun and planets in a gigantic spinning disk of dust and gas. The debris from which we formed had a profound effect on the early solar system, and the residue of that violent history remains, scattered between and beyond the planets – fellow travelers with us in our solar system’s passage through space and time.

Understanding the motions of these objects is a story that reaches back centuries, to the discoveries of Johannes Kepler and Isaac Newton.

In fact, the story of the evolution of stars and planets is still being pieced together, as we discover ever-more planetary systems around other stars. How will that change our understanding of the past – and the future – of our own solar system? Come with us and see!

Our Evolving Solar System is presented by our planetarium educators in the Forum Theater on Thursday mornings at 9:45 AM. Reservations are available for groups of up to 130 guests through February 2014.

Book your trip by visiting www.calacademy.org/teachers/fieldtrips