Ruxz_M-rbu5hJUPoenSULdy6Wzk The Science of My Life: August 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Smokejumper Experience at West Yellowstone

On our next visit to Island Park, West Yellowstone, and YNP (hopefully this weekend!) we are going to check out this activity.  It is a free 2 hour program for kids to learn about smokejumpers, fire ecology, and Yellowstone.  I have attached a link to their website.  Our youngest 2 kids will also finish their Junior Ranger activities by going to a Ranger talk in the Park.  So I have my fingers crossed that we can get there soon!

Get outside this weekend!   Don and his scout troop just hiked up Cache Peak last Saturday and the views were amazing!  I will post a picture soon.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Girl's Night Out at the Herrett Center...FUN!

Girls Night Out!
Friday, September 23, 2011
Starting time: 7:00 PM
Finishing at 8:00 A.M. Saturday 9/24/2011
This overnight adventure for girls grades 3 through 6 features three one-hour, hands-on sessions in art, the archaeology of food, and astronomy. Girls and
leaders alike will enjoy each of these entertaining and educational activities. Any female is welcome. Workshop applicable toward Girl Scout badge requirements.

Later in the evening, view a planetarium show also featuring a live tour of the stars and constellations of the nighttime sky. Then settle in for a night of "camping" among the Herrett Center’s museum exhibits.
Each girl must be accompanied by a female
adult leader, with no more than
8 girls/group.
Cost: $25/ girl

Advance Registration Required! First come,
First Served!...No walk
-in registrations accepted!
Deadline: 9/16/2011
The Herrett Center reserves the right to cancel the event (with full refund)
if below minimum numbers of registrants.

Send check with registration to: CSI Herrett Center
Attn: Darcy
P.O. Box 1238
Twin Falls, ID, 83303

Monday, August 29, 2011

Science Buddies Blog

Science Buddies Blog

A little shout-out to Philo T Farnsworth, since his birthday was a couple of weeks ago. He was born in Utah, but it was an IDAHO TEACHER from Rigby HS that mentored him when he moved there with his family at the age of 12.  He took correspondence courses from the U of U, and was a total genius.  He hoped his invention of the television would be a teaching tool for the world. 

I appreciate what Amy says at the end of her blog..."what will your students invent, test, question, or discover this year?"

Amazing picture of NYC sunset after the storm

This is worth linking to...sometimes we get a rainbow and sometimes we get this kind of show!!!

<a href="" title="Tonight&amp;#039;s remarkable post-hurricane sunset in #NYC. #Irene on Twitpic"><img src="" width="150" height="150" alt="Tonight&amp;#039;s remarkable post-hurricane sunset in #NYC. #Irene on Twitpic"></a>

An important field continues to be meteorology, so if this kind of crazy weather excites you, then check out those programs!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

New Semester of Science!

I have just returned from a Black Box delivery run to Eastern Idaho.  Teachers from the 2011 iSTEM Conference at CSI now have a great tool to teach the Scientific Method.  Another teacher from the 2010 iSTEM meetings is using the student build models for the second year.  Her students loved the acitivity and she is excited to bring it back.  Of course I started my semester this week with the Black Box Experiment, and one of my students has emailed me a picture of the box he built at home to test his ideas.  This reinforces the idea to me that students of all ages are curious about how things work, and they appreciate the opportunity to figure things out without looking up the answers that may exist online!  To all the teachers I worked with this summer, HAVE A GREAT YEAR!  You are so valuable to our communities!  I will continue to share resources and activities with you.  I am gonna love my CSI classes, and I can't wait to get into my kids' classrooms.  So here we GO!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Travel scholarships for Science Teachers~NSTA Regional Conferences

WOW!  I am warning you...I am turning in my own amazing application for this opportunity.  But I had to share this with local science teachers.  The deadline for this scholarship application is Friday, September 2!  The Seattle Regional Conference is December 8-10, so make plans to attend!  Good luck!

Back-to-School Special

Need a ride to the Hartford, New Orleans, or Seattle NSTA Area Conference on Science Education?
Teachers can apply for a Travel Scholarship, made possible by Southwest Airlines, to any one of the 2011 NSTA Area Conferences on Science Education:
Hartford, October 27-29
New Orleans, November 10-12
Seattle, December 8-10
A total of 27 round-trip airline tickets will be awarded to science educators attending the 2011 NSTA area conferences (nine to each conference).
Southwest.comTo register to win, write a 150-word essay on what science content, teaching strategy, technique, or topic you are most interested in learning about at the conference and why. Along with your essay, include your name, which 2011 NSTA Area Conference you wish to attend, NSTA member status (member/nonmember), school, address, e-mail, and phone number.
E-mail your entry to
The deadline is 5 pm on Friday, September 2, 2011. Travel Scholarship recipients will be notified on Friday, September 16, 2011.
This opportunity is available thanks to the generosity of Southwest Airlines!

Last Chance for the BODIES exhibit in Idaho Falls

There are 2 weeks left before this really cool exhibit leaves the Museum of Idaho.  Get there with your kids, especially your high school kids!  Have a great last week of summer!  CSI starts today, so enjoy it for me!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pomerelle Star Party Friday, August 27th

I really hope we make it this year.  I am posting this a week early so that you can make plans also!

Pomerelle's Star Party August 27 - The annual Star Party at Pomerelle Mountain Resort will be on August 27. Special solar telescopes will be set up from 3-5:30pm and kids can make & launch their own water bottle rockets. Night sky talk will be held from 7:30-8:30pm focusing on "Idaho's Summer Skies". Then from 8:30-Midnight, ride the triple chair to the top of the mountain to view the stars through telescopes. This will be a fun opportunity for the whole family. Telescopes and astronomical info is being provided by the CSI Herrett Center and the Magic Valley Astronomical Society. Cost to ride the chairlift is $8 (ages 13+) and $5 (ages 7-12). Children must be under parental supervision at all times. This is a mountain experience, temperatures are considerably cooler. Please dress warmly, wear shoes and bring a jacket. Please fit all flashlights with a red filter to protect night vision. For more information call 673.5599.  

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

If you are trying to choose a major...this list of STEM Careers is pretty convincing!!

My son got an email this morning from a college prep website.  It included some good advice for High School kids planning for college.  But this list about Best and Worst salaries for careers is very interesting to me as a Science Educator.  Look through the list to find a future career that is cool and a great return on your college investment.  Yes, I know that many careers are rewarding, but most of the rewards are NOT monetary!  Sad, but true!   So check out any engineering field if you love math and science!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

CSI Education courses for teachers and parents...anyone need to recertify??

Dr. Dave Makings in the Education Department has several interesting classes available for Fall 2011.  One is Educ 215 Educational Teachnology.  I know I need this class!  Here is the information on the other one, called Issues in Education.  (Ed 199B - 3 credits)  Our system will only impove if we get parents, teachers, and administrators at the same table!

College of Southern Idaho
EDUC 199B  Issues in Education 
3 credits
Dr. Dave Makings  732 6866

The class is offered online.  However, we could develop a hybrid course if 12 or more local folks want to set up a few Face 2 Face meetings.  This course is primarily a participation based course.  This is a chance to share your ideas and frustrations, and maybe even vent a little.  Below is a list of the issues on tap for this semester.  Remember, we can add to or substitute other issues based on participant wishes.

This class is open to, and will be of interest to parents, patrons as well as teachers.

Education funding:  Contents include a brief background or history, some solutions or alternatives, how is this interacting with some of the other issues (choice, technology etc.) and extracurricular activities; pay to participate or offer even more in order to attract additional students. 

STEM: What is it and how to teach it:  This is a short introduction to and overview of a 3 credit course by the same name as well as the concepts of STEM.  Discussion to include guest presentations by other CSI faculty involved in some of the various STEM related activities.

Role of community college specifically CSI:  Pre service as well as in service teachers, professional development, dual credit, offering college courses in the high schools, field experience students, working with alternative certification agencies.  What can CSI do for you?

The looming teacher shortage?:  Attracting people into teacher education programs.  The colleges of teacher education are blamed for not attracting the best and brightest.  What, if anything, can we do?  Alternative certification; Teach for America, ABCTE etc.  The role and impact of the “Boomers”; they can’t afford to retire, teaching pays poorly but hey, in the right circumstances it could be fun and the schedule is nice.

Sustainability:  Given all these factors and the synergistic relationship between technology and social changes what may “education” or teaching look like in the future and what should we be teaching?  Another part of sustainability; what should we be teaching what kinds of jobs will be out there for the graduates of K-16

Teachable moments
During the semester “big news” items or significant local issues will come up.  We will incorporate a couple of these into the class. 

If you have any questions or want to set up a F2F section please contact me.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

"Science is Rock and Roll" ABC Show tomorrow night!

I just heard about this program on Radio Disney.  Sunday night on ABC, is hosting a science show about FIRST and robotics and STEM.  Looks like it will be really cool to watch, and I know several schools/parents that are trying to get the Lego League going in our area.  Enjoy!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Moments with Dr. Jane Goodall

I had three separate opportunities to meet one of my heroes...Dr. Goodall.  At 14, my mom drove me to one of her speeches in Dallas and we went to a private reception so that I could meet her.  I never could have imagined that I would see her again just 3 years later when she came to dedicate our Ecology Center at GHS.  My teacher and mentor, Sherri Steward, was very influenced by Dr. Goodall and we were beyond thrilled when her travel plans allowed a visit to our school.  That began a partnership that allowed Sherri to travel to Africa to see the Jane Goodall Institute in action in Tanzania, and our school adopted a school there that led to the next visit by Dr. Goodall.  I traveled to TX for a special fundraiser and speech in 1992.  So the moral of this memory for me is that heroes are meant to be met, and when that happens, it is an honor to share their story and their purpose wherever our lives lead us.  Idaho is pretty far away from Africa and England and even Texas, but Dr. Goodall's message to mankind is as relevant here as anywhere else in the world.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Trip down Memory Trail

I had the opportunity to visit my High School here in Texas this week.  My goal was to meet the Science Department Chair and Ecology Center Director, Deanna Showalter, so I could visit my old stomping grounds behind the school.  Once upon a time, in 1988-89, my Science teacher and mentor, Sherri Steward, decided we needed an Ecology Center.  Hundreds of hours and several poison ivy outbreaks later, we dedicated the center with the help of Dr. Jane Goodall in April 1989.  Since then (22 years!???) the center has grown and continues to provide an area for environmental education at GHS.  So I was very excited to take my kids to see how the center was doing.  Thanks to Deanna for all her work, since taking over the Center after Sherri's retirement.  I am grateful for passionate teachers everywhere who do all the extraordinary things that provide lifelong lessons for their students.

Small mammal habitat with the resident possum

I can still remember the hours we took to dig out the pond...wonderful volunteers still help with maintanence and expansion.

Oldest "Mustang Grapevine" in the area

Monday, August 8, 2011

More Pictures from Twin Falls

Each day we focused on different examples of cells.  Most of the kids were familiar with plant and animal cells, so we had fun painting and making play dough models of those.  But on other days, we talked about cell phones and sound waves, or jail cells and crime scene science, or solar panel cells and batteries.  This meant every day was something different for us to explore and experiment with.  If your child had a great time at camp this year, tell us!  If not, tell us why!  We want this experience to be awesome every year.   Enjoy the pictures and the rest of your summer.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Twin Falls Science Camp Pictures

Here is the first look at some of our campers.  What a fun time we have had at CAMP!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Gooding Science Camp Pictures

I had a good time with kids from the "Northside"!  Here are a few pictures from camp.

Building Play-doh cells

Eating smores made in their solar ovens

These kids had a great idea.  They taped all their phones together to see how far they could hear the messages being sent.

Checking out their fingerprints under the dissecting scope.  We were talking about crime scene evidence...later we used a UV light to check for evidence.  Lila found some bright yellow stuff on her arm (vet medicine from helping her dad last night...)  that only showed up under the light.  It was so cool!

Science Camp 2011 in Gooding...after a few went home

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

KMVT Evening News Segment

Here are some of our cute campers from Twin Falls.  We did a scavenger hunt then brought in their collections to explore with dissecting microscopes.  Other classes are making cheek cell samples and extracting DNA and chromatography and doing all kinds of cool things!  I have such a great staff!  Thanks to my CSI friends and colleagues and the local teaches who are working so hard to make sure the kids are having a great time!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Twin Falls and Gooding Science Camps are HERE!

We had a great first day in TF, and I look forward to a fun week with my super staff of teachers and CSI instructors.  Bill started off the day with his hydrogen balloon explosion, and then we explored all kinds of cells.  We have about 60 kids participating in TF, and a few more in Gooding.  I will post pictures of our campers soon.

Another fun tip I learned about is happening at Toytown in TF.  Starting tomorrow and each Tuesday this month, they are hosting a free event from 3-5 PM.  This week is Science Day, and families can try out cool experiments.  They will also have a Water and Geyser Day, a Robot Day, a Paper Airplane Day, and R/C Car Races.  Go check it out any Tuesday afternoon this month!