• Academy Educator sharing a speciman with students virtually!
    Academy Educator sharing a speciman
  • Distance Learning in the classroom
    Distance Learning in the classroom
  • Penguin Adaptations Virtual Program in the classroom
    Penguins Virtual Program in the classroom
  • Academy Educator delivering a rainforest Virtual Program
    Academy Educator delivering a rainforest Virtual Program
  • Special Live Event: Chat with a Scientists
    Special Live Event: Chat with an Academy scientist
  • Special Live Event: Chat with Canopy Meg
    Special Live Event: Chat with Canopy Meg

At the Academy, we take feedback seriously. Below we've shared some of the feedback—both positive and constructive—that we received in 2015 all over the country.

Virtual Programs Quotes from Post-Program Surveys

Penguin programs:

  • My students were eager to experience this field trip as we have never tried this before. My students were amazed that a person in California could share their penguins with us in New York in real time! The presentation inspired us to continue learning more about penguins.


  • My students' favorite parts were to see the actual penguins they were studying and have their questions answered.


  • All in all it was a good program but maybe not as engaging as I'd hoped. Also it's hard to manage the technology with kinder students. I REALLY found it helpful that the presenter was bilingual though as I only speak Spanish in front of my students.


  • My students' favorite part  was acting like a penguin.


Sharks, Rays and their Lagoons program:

  • Please - keep doing these. They are great! The pacing, the materials, the tech support - it's amazing! Thank you!! It makes all the difference to teachers in rural schools.


  • Few students in rural Alaska have ever been to an aquarium or had the opportunity to view sharks/rays in person. This allowed the students to view them virtually while driving the instruction through their own questions.


  • It was nice to see students engaged in critical thinking about how to form a scientific question.


  • We study the nature of scientific inquiry and experimental design in fourth grade. This was directly linked to those concepts.


  • My students' favorite part was when the black-tipped sharks cruised by the webcam at close range.


Rainforest programs:

  • My students benefited from the reinforcement of life cycle knowledge. It was great that they were learning more about someplace they had visited in Kindergarten.It was a perfect connection. We have first grade books about a frog in the rainforest, which also reinforced literacy and previous knowledge. For children learning English, this has been especially valuable.


  • We will be studying rainforest in one month and this was a great introduction to the unit. We like how interactive the program is, so to allow students instant feedback to there thoughts and wonders.


  • Students really enjoyed seeing the live camera recordings. They even used some great vocabulary words like nectar, a word we don't say often. They remembered how the snakes twisted their prey and how the fish shot water up in the air to get its flies. They also learned to look at beaks closer (something I didn't focus on, but the program did) which was great. They made the connection that the different beaks helped each bird survive and do things differently.

Special Live Events Quotes from Post-Program Surveys

Skulls! Halloween Edition:

  • I am always looking for free resources. My curriculum is seriously out of date, so I often have to find online resources or spend my own money on science materials. I'm grateful that Cal Academy offers different programs and resources that are aligned to Next Gen standards and are available at low or no cost. Please keep providing these experiences for students. The Skulls presentation was more than I ever could have done in the classroom and fit in perfectly with what we have been learning (animal habitats, adaptations, food chains).


  • We've been studying ecosystems, so it was very relevant. Plus we're a hunting/subsistence community in Alaska, so skulls are something they see on a regular basis.


  • We did not speak directly with staff, but had questions asked and answered over the chat. The students could read the answers that Academy staff had typed, but I also read the responses your staff gave.


  • It was great to have a combination of a live presentation, videos, pictures, and interactive questions about the topic. It kept students engaged and helped me teach my class about something in a more affordable way than an actual field trip.


Planets in the Night Sky:

  • Learning about the solar system is part of the science standards for 5th grade. This program helped me to address 5th grade content in an interesting and engaging way. The scientist-presenter had demeanor that was great for talking to this particular grade level. We have never participated in a Distance Learning program before, so we were not sure what to expect. We would definitely try it again!


  • The students were really fascinated by the actual photographs of the planets, including their surfaces. They were amazed to discover all the interesting things about the moons of Saturn, and that humans have sent spacecraft to visit all of the planets.


  • After the program, my students shared how much they enjoyed the presentation. Many of them mentioned they would have liked more Q&A time with Bing. Some students mentioned that some of the information and explanations could have been put into more "kid" or "student language." They also really liked that they could see other students participating at the same time.


Chat with an Academy Scientists:

  • Our second grade students recently studied the rain forest in both their reading and writing curriculum. Hearing from a real scientist was incredibly helpful for them to gain more understanding about the rain forest above and beyond reading informational texts.


  • I teach High School Marine Science. This program brought the science of marine mammals to life for my students and motivated them to learn more. Today, we all met as a group and shared our notes, ideas and inferences. All of the students expressed a desire to attend more of these chat sessions and have expressed interest in careers in studying marine mammals.

Where has Distance Learning connected?

Distance Learning connections map.

See the different schools Distance Learning has connected with since our inaugural semester in Fall 2014.

Can you find a school near you? What year did they virtually visit the Academy?




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Student Education Sponsors

We Thank Our Donors

Student Education programs and activities are generously supported by the Hearst Endowed Fund for Science Education; Barbara and Gerson Bakar; E. Richard Jones Foundation; and Wendy W. Kwok.