Ruxz_M-rbu5hJUPoenSULdy6Wzk The Science of My Life: July 2015

Friday, July 31, 2015

Science Camp Physics

The great team of teachers celebrated the last day of Science Camp with a Physics show with Dr. Shropshire and his ISU students.  The kids had a blast!  Stomp rockets helped.  It's been another great year for CSI Science Camp.  

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Another great visit with Migrant Summer School students

Friday was a fun day with the young kids at Cassia's migrant summer program.  Since the students were younger, and their English language skills are still developing, we focused on the basics of the scientific process.  Their questions were great, and then we did some activities to strengthen their observation skills.   During their micro scavenger hunt, we searched outside for different colors, textures, and items that they brought in to classify.  Finally, we used the animal cards to talk about living and nonliving things, and food chains and webs.

The teachers are so great with these kids, and I am grateful that we have dedicated professionals willing to spend time with students throughout the summer months.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Pomerelle Star Party and Christ's Indian Paintbrush

We decided to make this date night and we weren't disappointed!   Chris Anderson from the CSI Herrett Center gave a great presentation on astronomy and celestial events!   While the sun was setting,  we could see clear shots of the crescent moon and Venus.  Then Don and I decided to drive up to the summit of Mt. Harrison and see the wildflowers in bloom.  Christ's Indian Paintbrush (rhymes with mist) is only found on 200 acres on this mountain.   It is beautiful!   Now back to Pommy to gaze at more stars!  So glad we came!
Saturn really has rings,  a dragon's tail is found between the Big and Little Dippers, the Garnet star is the most red star we can see with our naked eyes, and light years are mind blowing!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Geology tour at ISU

During my visit to ISU this week I was reminded that there are opportunities everywhere to learn something new about Idaho science.   Outside most of the buildings on the ISU campus, there are big rocks displayed.  Each rock comes from a different county in Idaho, which makes them a geography lesson as well as a geology lesson.  
As I stood next to one of the displays, one of my former CSI colleagues came out of his new office and asked me about them.   He had no idea this geology walking tour existed!   Someday I'll stay long enough on campus to find all the county rocks.    Look around. ..what evidence do you see of Idaho STEM in action?

Thursday, July 9, 2015

What is the Idaho State Grant Consortium?

Today I was able to attend the Affiliate meeting for ISGC.  Basically, each state has a direct connection to NASA and they work to connect amazing resources with students, teachers, and researchers throughout the state.  Our Idaho Space Grant is managed by great people at UI.    They work with affiliate partners including BSU, ISU, NNU, College of Idaho, and CSI, as well as Discovery Center of Idaho, EIEC, IASE, and other groups who provide support and trainings.

Please check their website at  There are funding opportunities for all ages, and great resources for teachers.  

A dedicated team from CSI was awarded a NASA ORBIT grant for two years.  Part of their project includes semester long workshops for HS juniors and Seniors and CSI students.  The Spring program was a great success, and applications are now being accepted for Fall semester.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Wildflowers in bloom

We just celebrated another 4th of July weekend in Island Park.  As the kids get older,  I know that traditions and schedules will begin to conflict with life.   So I try to enjoy these beautiful days.   Driving up Sawtelle mountain,  we found entire meadows covered in wildflowers.   When the kids were little we took pictures of them in the same meadows.   We did the same today, but they were each trying to capture the images on their own phones and cameras so they make their own memories.   Fun to watch.   I hope this place with moose and osprey and flowers and geysers will always be an important part of their lives.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Science of Fireworks

On a chemistry faculty's door at CSI is the quote,  "What in the world isn't chemistry? "   I haven't come up with an answer yet.   Happy 4th of July! 🎆🎇⛺

Friday, July 3, 2015

Science Camp Teachers are AWESOME!

The teachers that volunteer each year bring individual talents and strengths to the group.  I have some who are able to come back every year, and their experience improves camp each time.  They receive a full day of content training, in this case it was focused on using Arts in deliberate ways to teach STEM subjects.  They spend 4 long days with the camp kids and stay positive and flexible.  Then I ask them to come back and teach more than a hundred more kids at a community park activity.  They are awesome!  They do receive PD credit and other benefits, but I know their time and energy are taken so that many local kids can have a great experience!! 




Thursday, July 2, 2015

CSI Science Camp Partnerships

This post will highlight the great partners that come out of the woodwork to help these kids have a positive experience.   We actually ran out of time this year to use all the volunteers in Burley, but we hope to get them involved in the Twin Falls camp later this summer. 

We had visits from the Burley Fire Department, ISU and Dr. Shropshire, Lynn Manning with his candy cannon, and Dale Dayley who taught us about fiber optics.  During the teacher training, we had Rob Mayer teach us about phonograph construction, John McClusky teach us about medical illustration, and Bettina Throckmorton helped us find our artistic side. 

I am so grateful we have talented and willing people in Mini-Cassia!

Burley Fire Department came for our favorite activity...Save Mr. Egg!
Dale Dayley presents to teachers and students about Fiber Optics

John McClusky presents on his work as a medical illustrator
Rob Mayer teachers about how to build a working phonogrpah with school supplies~!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

CSI Science Camp 2015 - Full STEAM Ahead

Every year I think Science Camp can't get any better, and then it does!  According to one young student when he was asked, "What is your favorite part of Science Camp?", he said, :Ever-thing!"  Another fun comment came from my 6 year old nephew.  After 2 days at Junior Science Camp, he told his mom he wanted to be a chemical engineer.  You are WELCOME!

Our theme this year allowed us to spend more time on the creative process that is so critical in the STEM subjects.  On day 1, I saw the teachers taking that element and just making some amazing things happen.  In all the years that I have been doing film canister poppers, I never thought to add a little washable paint and launch them on paper.  The exploding art was awesome!

The kids have their favorites, like solar ovens and lava lamps.  So I am glad we choose to do some activities more than one year.  But the new activities were so fun to watch!  We used the brick lab and magnetos to build structures, then we put those designs and structures on solar paper to see the impressions left after some time.  Their 3D designs became 2D pieces of art.

I will post a few days in a row just to capture some of the best shots.  Thanks to CSI Community Education, Cassia and Minidoka School district teachers, the Burley Fire Department, Dale Dayley, and Dr. Steve Shropshire of ISU.  The laser show at the end was the perfect way to end a great week!!