Steve Spangler Science

OK, I admit that I am a total science geek. Kid science though. Guess that explains the whole stint as a 4th grade science teacher :P So, I was beyond geeked when I found out that one of my twitter pals @colosciencemom worked for Steve Spangler Science. I was even more geeked when Steve and Susan asked me to come in and talk homeschool science with them last week.

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I tried to play it cool but come on, the offices are so freakin’ fun I was like a kid in a candy shop. I mean where else can you go to work, get paid to blow things up, mail mannequin body parts to people for fun and decorate your space like this?
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Steve is known as a “teacher’s teacher” and we had a very interesting conversation about teaching homeschool parents to be “cluster leaders”. Building off the theory that by teaching teachers and parents HOW TO TEACH science we are able to give our kids a much better experience, we brainstormed how best to reach out into the homeschool world. Steve had a great point that sometimes we do these really great little science tricks with the kids but they don’t really walk away with the lesson of how to use the scientific method- how to be curious about their world, test their hypothesis, learn that failing and retrying is not only OK but sometimes preferred.

Steve gave me some awesome experiments to do with the boys. We just did Jelly Marbles and Water Cubes and really worked through the scientific method with them. I will be posting that soon along with lots more in my homeschool science section.

One of the things I really like about Steve Spangler is that he truly loves what he does and is passionate about reaching the next generation of scientists.   His teacher training classes look amazing and are pretty break even for them. Apparently you leave with so many take home items. But I wonder even at a break even price, would YOU go to a one day bootcamp for around $200? I probably would, but am I in the minority here? What do you think? and did you know that you can sign up to get an email for the experiment of the week which USUALLY is stuff that you have in the house? Pretty cool, free way to get some fun science in your week.

Steve also asked me about the money we get from the state for homeschooling. I know that Nevada did not give any funds directly to parents and I am pretty sure that Colorado does not either (PLEASE correct me if I am wrong and tell me how to get it). Does your state? If they do, what do you spend it on?

I really want to know what you think so lets get the dialogue rolling!

Advanced Living Systems Lab/Cruise at Dana Point Ocean Institute

Explore the relationship between biotic and abiotic components of the marine ecosystem. This lab includes a fish dissection, water chemistry, aquarium science, and a study of the oceanic food chain. Aboard the R/V Sea Explorer students examine benthic and pelagic habitats by deploying oceanographic sampling equipment to collect a variety of marine specimens.

November 3rd 2008 – Advanced Living Systems Lab/Cruise
at Dana Point Ocean Institute

$50/person (includes drinks and snacks, bring lunch)

I am now able to open the ASFT registration to any interested persons (6th grade and above) who would like to join us onboard the R/V Sea Explorer. The “class” will be run at a high school science level, but adults and younger students (6th grade and above) may rotate thru the various activities at their own level/speed/interest. I only have a few openings, so please respond asap if you are interested. :)

For more information, please contact: Luv2hsmy3@yahoo.com

Operation: Resilient Planet

Last year I shared a little about the Jason Project and what an amazing, free resource this is to homeschoolers. So, I am very excited to pass on the information they sent me about their new free ecology curriculum.

Here is a little blurb about it but if you want to read more and register for free than hop on over to the Jason Project website and get started:

Operation: Resilient Planet takes students to Earth’s critical ecosystems to investigate nature’s strategies for regeneration, learn ecosystem management, and understand their responsibility for protecting our ecological future.

Research invasive species in Lake Michigan, snorkel with vibrant marine life in the Gulf of Mexico, examine the health of Chesapeake Bay, study near-pristine ecosystems in the Pacific Ocean, and help protect whales’ habitats in Massachusetts Bay.