Ruxz_M-rbu5hJUPoenSULdy6Wzk The Science of My Life: July 2014

Monday, July 28, 2014

Migrant Summer School Visit

I love the opportunities I have to spend time with students in the summer.   One of my favorite visits is with the kids at the Migrant Summer School program.  The teachers are so good with the kids, and the kids love to learn in an informal setting. 

This past week we talked about how to do science outside outside.  We played my favorite I Spy game where students hide a picture of an animal in plain sight, and I have to find it.  We talk about camouflage and survival adaptations.    Then we made paper helicopters and talked about how nature has invented the coolest maple seed samaras!

We learned about animals in their neighborhoods and school yards.  I love using the animal and plant card sets, and soon those sets will be available to teachers to buy from the CSI bookstore.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

CSI Star Party with the Magic Valley Astronomical Society

We had a great time last night at Pomerelle Ski Resort looking through some awesome telescopes.  The Star Talk by Chris Anderson was so interesting, and he prepped us for some cool sights.  My favorites of the night were the views of Saturn and it's moon, Titan.  But at exactly 9:34 PM, Chris directed our attention to the Vega star, and he said we would see a bright flash of light lasting no longer than 4 seconds.  Because a satellite was moving a solar panel at that moment to reflect the sun, we would see an "Iridium Flare".  On cue, it was in the night sky.  The volunteers from the Magic Valley Astronomical Society worked so hard to make the event successful.  We live in a great place.  If you missed this one, the City of Rocks Star Party in August should be even better.

  • City of Rocks Star Party 
o    August 22, 2014 and August 23, 2:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Join us for our 7th annual City of Rocks Star Party.  Solar viewing at the Smoky Mtn. Campground, Castle Rocks State Park, 2:00 to 6:00 PM.  Dark sky telescope viewing, Ranch House, 9:00 PM to midnight or later.  Park entry fees apply.

Co-sponsored by the Magic Valley Astronomical Society

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Defying Gravity at the CSI Ropes Course

This is becoming a favorite place for me to visit.  The CSI Ropes course is one of the largest in the West, and the elements are great fun and scary to boot.  With professional and supportive staff, I always now that I will be challenged in an effective way.   Here are a few pictures from my visit last week with the Mini-Cassia Chamber Leadership class.

Pep talk from Christa.  I'm not buying it!

Taking a leap of faith!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

21st Century Grant Teaching Day

The summer science fun continues as I spent some time with teachers and students in Twin Falls.  They have partnered with CSI to coordinate a summer school program full of STEM activities!    My topic for the day was FOOD so we focused on food chains, webs, energy transfers in an ecosystem, and my favorite...dissecting owl pellets!  The students were amazed to find so many bones in each pellet, and they better understood the role that predators play in the environment.  Thanks to a great team of CSI faculty that provided 2 weeks worth of science for these great kids!  Partnerships with K12 schools benefit kids of all ages and I am grateful to be involved. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer is a time for SCIENCE unplugged!!

I have been involved with some great activities with local kids this past week.  CSI Science Camp teachers hosted the Food, Fit, and Fun in the Park program for 130 kids and their parents in Burley.  The theme for the summer reading program is Fizz, Boom, Read, and we focused on Science and the Arts.  Our stations included da Vinci and his flying machine, colors, and the water cycle.  I appreciate the teachers and other sponsors like the 4H clubs and library volunteers.  It was a great day!

We made paper helicopters under a maple tree.  The samaras were great examples of perfectly adapted flyers in nature!  And they make great mustaches!