Ruxz_M-rbu5hJUPoenSULdy6Wzk The Science of My Life: 2012

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Funding for an Environmental Project

We have the opportunity to pursue another grant specifically for environmental projects in small communities in Idaho.  Thanks to the Idaho Environmental Educators Association for letting me know!

Youth Environmental Project Grant - Funds Available
Thanks to the generous support of US EPA, the Alaska Forum is offering a funding opportunity for youth (6th to 12th grade) to implement small projects in their communities. We have developed a detailed Request for Proposals which outlines the procedures and requirements for applying for funding up to $5,000. The program will support focused proposals from small communities (population of less than 5,000) across EPA Region 10 (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington) where youth seek involvement in environmental stewardship efforts. Proposals will be selected where youth are matched with a local environmental professional or teacher who will mentor youth as they address a specific problem in the community and work to solve it. Non-profit organizations, middle schools and high schools serving communities with a population of less than 5,000 are located in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington may submit proposals.
For more information, download the RFP at Deadline for submittals is November 15, 2012.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Science Classroom Makeover!

Complete a Shell Science Lab Challenge Application describing (in 3 pages or less) your philosophy of science teaching; the school's current limited laboratory facilities and resources and why they might be classified as "limited"; and an innovative use of limited laboratory equipment and resources you have implemented in your classroom. (See SSLC Application for complete details.)

Grants Available for After-school Programs : Education

This is a chance for local Magic Valley teachers to find out about funding options for their after-school programs.  With a little bit of extra work, teachers have the support to do some really great activities!

Grants Available for After-school Programs : Education

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Great Teacher Opportunity for PBL and AL

I am a fan of field trips, but adventure learning is even better because there is a higher expectation for student learning.  Here is a wonderful opportunity for teachers in the Magic Valley to work with a team at Craters of the Moon.

I wish I could participate, but I hope you do!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Biodiversity Art Contest - Deadline Extended

This came across my radar in my weekly NEON email from NASA.  NEON is an educators' resource tool that NASA coordinates and it is always full of great webinars and activity updates.  This art contest in for students in the 2-4 grades, so I will help my daughter do something this weekend in time for the Nov 5 deadline.

"The World's a Place of Living Things" Art Contest
Students in grades 2-4 are invited to explore biodiversity and create artwork reflecting on what they have learned. Click here for more information. Submissions are due by mail no later than November 5, 2012.

The world’s a place of living things,
From bees to frogs to birds with wings.
Some live in cold places, some swim in reefs,
And don’t forget some have many a leaf!
The world’s a place of living things,
With dots and stripes and lots of rings.
With all this variety we’d like to remind
Every species is one of a kind

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

GREAT Talk about Science and Play on TED!

This is great!  Enjoy!

Cell Day on November 2

I love the free resources available on the NIGMS website (part of the NIH), and I ordered another classroom set of Cell and Genetics booklets for my students today.  While I was on their site, I found a great event coming up in a few days.  They are hosting a Cell Day on Friday, November 2, and they have resources and activities planned for Middle and High School students.  Check it out!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

October is a great month for Science!

This week we have two of my favorite activities on deck.  On Tuesday, Dialogue for Kids will air their monthly episode and the theme is Sound.  Last May we had a great day at the Discovery Center in Boise, and one of the stations taught kids how to "hear" music in their heads.  Right now I am listening to one child read, another play the recorder, and a third practice the flute.  Since it is a Sunday night, I can also hear a football game on TV.  Imagine your world without sound.

On Thursday is the Great Idaho Shake-Out.  At 10:18 AM, you are invited to do an Earthquake Drill at school, work, or home.  I plan to hold a drill at my school, and since I am like a Principal, maybe I can get the teachers to cooperate.  We will see.  Register your group today and then get ready to drop, cover, and hold on!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I love MOSS!

Still on my teacher bucket list is to participate in a program at the McCall Outdoor Science School.   Those are some seriously cool people up there.    Congrats on the recognition by the Albertson Foundation.  I know you will use the $50,000 to help as many students and teachers in Idaho as possible!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Idaho STEM Pipeline

Yesterday I went to a meeting in Boise to hear summaries about the 2012 iSTEM Institutes.  They were very successful, and there were 370 teachers in Idaho that participated.  The amazing team at INL and BSU are ready for another successful year, and I am looking forward to participating again in summer 2013.  Teachers, the spots fill quickly, so be looking for announcements by February on the Dept of Ed website.

Another great resource that we all need to use is the website.  It will continue to improve as we share opportunities throughout the state.   And there is SO much going on!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hershey and Chase...Sept 20, 1952

60 years ago today...
I am always talking about DNA, and teachers everywhere usually start telling the story with the Hershey and Chase experiment. My favorite part of their story is that they used kitchen blenders to separate the pieces!  Martha Chase is still considered one of the pioneer women in science. 

On Sept 20, 1952, Alfred Hershey and Martha Chase published a report confirming DNA holds hereditary data. Their experiment used the T2 bacteriophage, which, like other viruses, is just a crystal of DNA and protein. It can reproduce when inside a bacterium such as E. coli. When the new T2 viruses are ready to leave the host E. coli cell (and go infect others), they burst the E. coli cell open, killing it (hence the name "bacteriophage"). Hershey and Chase were seeking an answer to the question, "Is it the viral DNA or viral protein coat (capsid) that is the viral genetic code material which gets injected into the E. coli?" Their results indicated that the viral DNA, not the protein, is its genetic code material.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Endeavor Shuttle Flight today

Another one of the Space Shuttles is flying across the country on the back of a 747.  After a stop in Houston, the Endeavor will arrive in California for permanent display in LA.  This is a very cool sight to see, but I am still sad to think the Space Shuttle Program is over.  It has lasted almost my whole life!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

INBRE Teacher Mini-Grant Opportunity

This is a great source of support and funds.  I have used them in the past for specific supply requests in my outreach efforts.  Please take advantage of this grant opportunity by the deadline at the first of November.

If this link does not work, please email me and I will send you the information directly!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Herrett Center Activities this week

I love the Herrett Center on the CSI campus in Twin Falls.  They have some fun activities lined up this week. 
Mingle in the Jungle (Tuesday, 6:00 pm)
This twice-monthly “Mingle in the Jungle” starts at 6 pm in the rainforest exhibit.  See and touch live reptiles from our Jungle Archaeology exhibit and beyond.  Mingle in the Jungle is a free family activity held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month.
International Observe the Moon Night (Saturday, 8:00pm to 10:00pm)
The Herrett Center for Arts and Science will take part in “International Observe The Moon Night” from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22. The observatory will have several telescopes set up at various magnifications for moon and sky viewing. Admission is free of charge.
New Planetarium Show:  “COSMIC COLORS: An Adventure Along the Spectrum!”
See the newest program at the Faulkner Planetarium, ‘Cosmic Colors: An Adventure Along the Spectrum’. We live in a colorful world. All around us we find vibrant greens, rich reds, cool blues, bright yellows and other colors. So what makes the sky blue? The plants green? What is responsible for color? Beyond the visible light we see are other wavelengths too, invisible to our eyes, but not inaccessible to us. Red, yellow, green, blue, purple, infrared, ultraviolet, x-ray; do all of these colors and wavelengths have unique personalities? Discover the nature of color and their personalities in this lively presentation.
The program, designed for all age groups, will illustrate what a colorful world we live in but how much we miss because we can’t see beyond what our eyes are equipped to detect. Discover the nature and origins of color in this lively presentation. Shows will be at 7 p.m. each Tuesday and Friday, and Saturday at 4 and 7 p.m. Other programs at the planetarium are ‘Lifestyles of the Stars’ at 2 p.m. Saturdays, ‘Lynyrd Skynyrd: Fly On Free Bird’ at 8:15 p.m. Fridays and ‘Led Zeppelin: Maximum Volume 1’ at 8:15 p.m. Saturdays.
Admission to the Faulkner Planetarium is $4.50 for adults, $3.50 for seniors, and $2.50 for students and children. Family specials are also available. For more information, call the Herrett Center for Arts and Science at the College of Southern Idaho at 732-6655 or go to

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Another Season of PBS Dialogue for Kids

Starting this week is another season of monthly shows about science on IPTV.  I really enjoy learning about the variety of topics that are presented, and I get a kick out of seeing friends from state agencies visit the show as Joan's guests.  The best part for me as an educator is that I can search the archives of previous seasons and get ideas and lesson plans from dozens of shows.

This month we will learn about Galaxies.  Tune in with your kids or DVR the show on Tuesday, Sept 18 at 2:00 PM.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Busy Fall Schedule of SCIENCE!

Well, I am back to blogging!  I hope you have missed me at least a little as I have adjusted to my new job with College of Southern Idaho.  I will be catching up this week so that families and teachers can be aware of all the great activities and resources available this time of year.

I am presenting at the Fall Conference of the Snake River Association for the Education of Young Children in October.   The focus of the conference is STEM, so I have some fun ideas for the day.  Follow the link to register if you are a preschool teacher, parent, or student.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Idaho Fish and Game Widlife Summit

This looks like a great opportunity for hunters and others who want to understand the wide variety of issues facing our wildlife managers throughout the state.  Please make an effort to participate wherever you call home!

When: August 24, 25 and 26, 2012.

Where: Riverside Hotel in Boise and at six concurrent satellite sites in Coeur d'Alene, Lewiston, Salmon, Twin Falls, Pocatello, and Idaho Falls. People may also participate online.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Creepy Crawly Day at the Herrett Center

All the reptiles and other critters at the Herrett Center for Arts and Science will be on display in the Herrett’s Rick Allen Community Room the afternoon of Saturday, Aug. 11 for the annual ‘Creepy Crawly Day.’
Herrett reptile specialist Nick Peterson and assistants will coordinate the free event from 1 to 5 p.m. by explaining how the creatures live, what they eat, where they are found in the world, and how they interact with their surroundings. In addition to the live reptiles that live at the Herrett Center, reptiles and other animals from other locations will be on display just for this event.
Families are encouraged to visit at no charge. The Herrett Center is located on the North College Road entrance to the College of Southern Idaho. For more information, call 732-6655 or log on to

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Geology of Southern Idaho CSI Course

I was studying our Fall courses today at the Mini-Cassia Center, and Tim's class really caught my eye.  This is my kind of class, and I am planning to take it.  This is a perfect class for teachers since it is once a week, after school, with no textbook.  Field trips are involved as well.  No brainer!!  Share this class with your colleagues and I will see you in the Geology classroom!

W 4:30 PM-6:50 PM8/27/2012 - 12/20/2012Mini Cassia Center, Mini Cassia Center, B11
Course Description
This course explores the geologic processes that have formed the unique and varied landscape of southern Idaho. The course will examine important events and/or topics related to the geologic development of southern Idaho such as the Yellowstone "hot spot", the 1983 Borah Peak earthquake, recent volcanism in the Snake River Plain, groundwater in southern Idaho, the Bonneville Flood, Ice Age glaciers, and landslides in the Snake River Canyon. The course will include required field trips to local areas of geologic interest.

Migrant Summer School Visits

I was happy to visit some great kids again this summer.  Last week I talked about moon geology with about 60 smart and excited kids.  I am including my favorite activity from that visit, although I think the students would vote on oreo moon phases. 

Today our topic was habitats.  The teaches reminded me that most of these students have never been to a zoo, and few have been farther than our city parks.  So we made lists of animals that they commonly see in their yards and talked about why those animals are there.  I was grateful that I could refer to Diego, Dora's cousin, because some of those wild animals were familiar to them. We brought out the food web cards and got everyone involved in that vocabulary.  Another good reminder to teachers involves the Pocatello Zoo.  They lend out their animal trunks to teachers, and those trunks are chuck full of hands-on activities, samples, hides and claws and posters and teaching materials.  Great resource!!!

Moon Flip Book:

Use a large Styrofoam ball, play ball or balloon for this moon model. Paint half of the selected model with black paint. Have the kids sit in a circle and place the ball in the middle, securing it so it doesn't move. Provide each child with a sheet of black construction paper and a piece of chalk. The students draw the moon as they see on the paper. Because the kids are sitting in different positions, the resulting pictures will look slightly different, resembling the phases of the moon. Stack the pictures in order. Staple them together to create a flip book that depicts the changing of the moon's phases

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Robots and Rockets at Science Camp

Another great connection we made at the TF Science Camp was with FIRST robotics!  The Herrett Center was hosting the Livewire Team from Pocatello for a workshop, and some of our campers went over to see their FRC robot and get a little storytime.  Later in the week, the Tesla FTC Team from  TF brought their robot for another demonstration.  It was great to see both programs, and we know there will be more teams in the future throughout the Magic Valley.  During the Burley Science Camp, we got to see the Declo High School Bottwired team and their robot.  All of these teams work so hard and learn a great deal about Gracious Professionalism, as well as Engineering!

And of course we made some cool rockets that we launched with super simple stomp rockets.  I will post the instructions this week so you can make these at way to enjoy the rest of summer! 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Science Camp Goes to the Observatory

I will share as many pictures as I can from Camp, and this blog entry will share our day with Chris Anderson, the very coolest astronomer at CSI!  I am also including some info about Dark Skies events at Pomerelle tomorrow and City of Rocks in August.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Science Camp Going Strong!!

We are 2 days in and having a great time!!  We have about 100 kids in Twin Falls and a great group in Gooding.  Here are a few highlights from Dr. Shropshire's visit today...the kids loved the stations.  The student union hasn't been that rowdy since Spring Term ended!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pomerelle Star Party Coming UP July 21

WEll, the STEM in Space camps in Twin Falls and Gooding are next week, and we have so many fun activities planned for kids K-7.   Following a great week of camp, we are happy to support the Pomerelle Star Party on Mt Harrison.  See you there!

Pomerelle Star Pary July 21 - Pomerelle's Annual Star Party will be July 21. Special telescopes will be set up for solar viewing from 3-5:30pm at the lodge. Kids can make and launch their own water bottle rockets. A night sky talk will be from 7:30-8:30pm in the lodge and star gazing goes from 8:30pm-12midnight. Ride the triple chair to the top of the mountain for great views of the night sky and telescope viewing. Chris Anderson (CSI Herrett Center) and Terry Wofford (Magic Valley Astronomical Society) will provide all the astronomical information and telescopes. Cost to ride the lift is $8 for ages 13+, $5 for ages 7-12 and children 6 and under are free when accompanied by a parent. Call 673.5599 for more information.     

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Robotics Workshop at CSI Herrett Center next week!

Just in case you are not attending the TF Science Camp...can't imagine that scenario, but it could happen, then this is also a GREAT activity and it supports some great kids!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Area Students Selected for Aerospace Program

Here is a look at what these awesome students have been doing in the ISAS Program.  This is such a great opportunity for high school juniors throughout the state.  We are so glad that one of our Declo High School boys chose to participate!  Go Charles!!

Area Students Selected for Aerospace Program

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Updated with Pictures: KMVT visit about the Family STEM Class in Burley: Food Science

Bring the whole family young and old for a fun and hands on night of FOOD SCIENCE! This is one night where mom and dad won’t tell you not to play with your food. This class will also contain a short introduction to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)and give you some suggestions on how to incorporate STEM concepts into your family’s routine and conversations.
Instructor: Bill Ebener
Fee: $9 per person including supplies

Monday, July 2, 2012

Stanley Fish Hatchery

Over the weekend, we visited our son who is working at a Scout Camp outside of Stanley.  What a beautiful place to be!  On the way home, we stopped at the Stanley Fish Hatchery...a place I have always wanted to visit.  The salmon are just weeks away from returning to Idaho streams.  Totally amazing!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Silver Creek Preserve Float Trip

Days like these need to be documented and shared!  Not that it matters on this blog, but I do have a NEW full-time job with CSI!  I am thrilled!  So today I was fortunate enough to travel to the Hailey Campus in the Sun Valley area for a department meeting.  After lunch, we headed to the Silver Creek Preserve, a Nature Conservancy property, and I got to kayak  and canoe with some wonderful people.  Great Day after a crazy week with iSTEM and training.  Can't wait to bring my family here.  A certain husband was jealous because this preserve is world famous for fly-fishing!  The fish were huge!  Enjoy your weekend!  Get out there!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

iSTEM at CSI in the news!

State Pushes for Better Science, Math Education

It has been a great week with our teachers.  Our strand was called the Chemistry of Green Energy.  We taught the processes of Science using the black box, then we did lots of chromatography experiments.  We hit a tour of the Environmental Technology Program with the brand new trailer, we did fermentation, distillation, and extracted biodiesel.  We had fun in a very nerdy kind of way.  Megan, Ross, and I love iSTEM and we think the teachers do too!  Register next year by March 1!!