Ruxz_M-rbu5hJUPoenSULdy6Wzk The Science of My Life: November 2013

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Magic of the Nutcracker

Ballet Conservatory Performs the Nutcracker This Holiday Season

When the music begins, we imagine ourselves arriving at one of the most famous Christmas parties that has ever been held in the world.  The traditions that surround the Nutcracker Ballet, with music written by Russian composer Peter Tchaikovsky, developed soon after the Ballet was first performed in 1892.  It is the most widely performed Ballet in the world.  Dancers from the Ballet Conservatory Studio, directed by Katriina Beck of Burley, will again be performing in an all-children’s cast of the Nutcracker on November 22nd and 23rd at the King Fine Arts Center.
This famous story emphasizes the enchantment of the season found in our homes during Christmas.  For these local dancers, the magic occurs as they transform from party guests, to mice, to snow fairies.  The fun continues as siblings, cousins, and even a willing dad dance side by side while proud grandparents watch in the audience.  The fairy tale love story is evident between the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Cavalier, who in reality are engaged to be married in just a few weeks.   These are the magical elements that we enjoy when we support local productions and dedicated members of our community who work tirelessly to make the season memorable for all of us. 
Miss Katriina has been teaching ballet for 25 years, and she believes that all dancers should have the opportunity to feel and hear the magic of the Nutcracker Ballet.   “When they hear this special music throughout their lives, I want them to envision sugar plums dancing in their heads.”  She is grateful that she can continue the tradition that has existed in her family for 40 years.  This year, Katriina has her sister by her side.  Miss Sarah has been a wonderful assistant!
 This program is a holiday tradition for ballet schools throughout the world, but this special version was created by Katriina and Sarah’s mother years ago and it features youth in all of the roles.  Her studio currently has 60 students, with an additional cast of 20 young men sharing the stage with these beautiful young women.  Please join these special youth as they dance as mice, soldiers, flutes, flowers, buffoons, cookies, snowflakes, and more. 
General admission tickets are available from any of the dancers or by calling 430-3260.   Reserved seating is also available. Ticket prices include $10 for general,  $12 for reserved, and $14 for VIP Reserved.  Prices will increase at the door so get your tickets now.  The Friday night performance begins at 7:30 PM, with a Saturday matinee performance at 2:00 PM.   The performances will be at the King Fine Arts Center.  We invite you to begin your Holiday Season with us at the Ballet!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Harmony Boxes for Idaho Science

I saw a version of these boxes a few years ago when I traveled to UI for a FIRST robotics competition.  We took the kids from Declo to Ed's lab and it was a great opportunity to be at ground zero for future projects.  I know my friend Angela from BHS is using this tool to teach ecology.  We have such cool connections in Idaho!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Home Schoolers Visit CSI for Science

Yesterday I had fun with a great group of students of all ages.  I was asked to present to some home-schooled kids, and I was so glad they asked me to visit with them for awhile.  Secretly, I wish I could do what some families have made the decision to do...educate their children in a way that best fits their children's needs.  The friends that have sacrificed and fought for their children in this way are such heroes to me.  Anyway, I did my Fun with Fluids show, and made a mess.

We covered cohesion, air pressure, buoyancy, mixtures, density, and change.  My favorites still have to be the bouncing egg, the poppers, the lava lamp, and of course, Oobleck.  I emphasize with each activity that science is not magic, and there are reasons why water especially is the coolest molecule out there.   As kids get older, they are taught higher level concepts, but my goal is explain the foundational science to the youngest among us so they can understand the tougher concepts later. 

I look forward to meeting with them again.  So much to cover!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Declo STEM Day

I am finally ready to post pictures and thoughts from our STEM Day for 5th graders.  A few weeks ago, we gathered an army of parents to host a day full of great classes.  I am so grateful for the presenters and chaperones and a supportive staff that made the day so worthwhile.   Power dads Joey and Jon presented for Idaho Power, we made bridges with an engineer, and glow in the dark slime was our chemistry class.  I brought microscopes for the kids to see their cheek cells, and an audiologist talked about hearing science.  The kids loved the robotics demonstration from the Declo FLL team members.  This day was supported by the Idaho Farm Bureau Womens' Committee and materials were sent from  Thanks to all!!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

ISTA State Convention

In my heart, I am a science teacher.  I love to extract DNA, make squishy circuits, dissect owl pellets, type blood, separate pigments in plants, and do anything else that explores the world through the scientific process.   But I am not a traditional teacher.  So why did I go to the State conference?  When I realized how productive the day was, I just had to share my experience with the ISTA Committee. Professionally, I wanted to support and connect with my colleagues from ISU, ISGC, ISTA, and PLT.  I have had the privilege of teaching a Science Methods class this semester for ISU, and it has been a great experience to work with Dr. Wendy Ruchti.  We had a few minutes to catch up after her session.  I connected with Michele Youngquist from PLT, and we made a plan for the ISU students I teach to go through a workshop.  They LOVED the activities and resources that we covered the next week in class.  I attended a Rock session with Judy Walling, got a great set of rocks, and sent her cocqina rock the next week because she mentioned in class that she would love that particular sample of sedimentary rock to show others.  Well, I had some so now she does too!  I attended the session about NASA, and even though Tony and other federal representatives had to miss the Conference, the other presenters didn’t skip a beat.  I came back with calendars for my teaching friends so they also know how cool the ISGC Program is.  I met Chris from Boise, since I like to read his articles, and we decided to swap stories about Science Methods since he teaches the same class for BSU.  I also came right home and made the wood blocks for students and teachers and passed those out like candy!  I got to see Erin Johnson from Aberdeen, and she said she wants to teach at my CSI Science Camp next summer.  We met several years ago at iSTEM when she was in my strand.  She also told me about RAFT kits, and those have been cool to explore.  Jo Dodds found me and asked about replacement parts for the "black boxes" I build for iSTEM.  Well, those are still on the way to her but she will get them!   At lunch, I sat with a table of teachers and we exchanged favorite websites.   I grabbed a Geological map for my friend’s Earth Science classroom.  I shared information about the CSI Girls and STEM Day with teachers from my area.   I came back very excited about the people we have in place throughout the state as we move forward.  I don’t have a K12 classroom, but I advocate for science education on a daily basis.  I am so grateful for the State Conference and the people that volunteer to make it successful.  Thanks for a great day!!!