By Debra Shapiro
Visit Monterey Bay (California) Aquarium’s live Sea Otter Cam to excite young learners (grades preK–2) about studying otters, then extend learning with an interactive Otter Spotter course. The course presents narrated videos of sea otters’ behaviors and habitat, along with interactive activities for students to model otter movements. Students can sway with the otters in their kelp forest habitat and move like an otter (e.g., groom, sleep, crack a clam on their chest, share food with pups, and so on). Other student activities include making a sea otter puppet, coloring pages about sea otters’ favorite foods, and using a sea otter behavior checklist to track observed otter behaviors (e.g., diving, eating, rolling, resting) during the course videos.
Electric Crystals: Exploring How Crystal Symmetry Can Power Everyday Life
Crystals aren't magic, but they are amazing! In this student-driven, lecture-free lesson, students in grades 7–12 will do card sorts, build hands-on models, solve engineering design puzzles, and more. The driving questions are these: What are crystals and how do they form? How is molecular microstructure connected to functionality and properties we can easily observe? The whole experience is connected through a comic and supporting videos. The lesson is aligned to high school and middle school NGSS 3-D standards.
Summer Institute for Climate Change Education
This summer institute held by nonprofit Climate Generation will connect you to other educators and climate change education leaders across North America. During July 17–18 and one regional cohort day on July 19, 20, or 21, you’ll explore climate change education best practices, activities, lesson plans, and tools. Workshops will feature content to deepen attendees’ climate literacy, as well as teaching strategies and resources they can use to create more interdisciplinary climate change education experiences for their audiences. Scholarships, graduate credit, and 20 hours of continuing education credits are available.
Earth Educators Rendezvous
Taking place during July 10–14 in Pasadena, California, the Rendezvous brings together researchers and practitioners working in all aspects of undergraduate Earth education, including college faculty, graduate students, and K–12 teachers from all disciplines who are interested in improving their teaching about Earth. Hosted by the Division of Natural Sciences at Pasadena City College and the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences at California Institute of Technology, the program is appropriate for everyone from the instructor attending their first Earth education-themed meeting, to experienced STEM education researchers, to administrators who want to better support students in their programs. Participants can learn about new teaching approaches, discover opportunities to get involved in research programs, prepare for an academic career, or discuss how to approach teaching and learning challenges in their classroom. Register by June 30.
Out of Eden Walk: Updates From China
Join National Geographic Explorer and journalist Paul Salopek on May 24 at 10 a.m. Eastern Time for a special Explorer Classroom session. During this interactive event, Salopek will share a live geographical update from his recent journey through China. He is currently walking the pathways of the first humans who migrated out of Africa for a decade-long storytelling project called the Out of Eden Walk. Along the way, he is covering major stories—from climate change to technological innovation, from mass migration to cultural survival—by giving voice to the people who inhabit them every day. Advance registration is required.
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