Climate Change

May 29, 2008

Lately we have seen more and more in the news and on television about the effects and causes of global warming.  The EPA Climate Change Kids Site is a wonderful resource for students who have questsions about climate change, the greenhouse effect, and how we can make a difference.  The site also provides games, links, climate animations, and resources for teachers!

What are some ways that we can set a good example for our students in terms of recycling and reducing the effects of global warming?

Robots + Us

May 27, 2008

Be sure to check out the Rochester Museum and Science Center’s new Robots + Us exhibit!  RMSC visitors will be able to experiment with robots and see how they learn.  Build walking machines, try to trick a face-recognition machine, help your robot make its way through a maze using light sensors, investigate locomotion, meet David from the movie AI, and much more!

The Robots + Us exhibit will be at the RMSC from May 23-September 1, 2008!  Check out the RMSC website for more information and to see what other great exhibits are available.

Rochester Area Excellence in STEM Teaching Award Winners

May 22, 2008

The Rochester Area Colleges’ Center for Excellence in Math and Science is pleased to announce the first of five Rochester Area Excellence in STEM Teaching Award winners. The award is designed to recognize excellence and innovation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teaching, and to create a forum for collaboration and sharing of activities, instructional strategies, and best practices.

Who was the first winner?  Click here to find out!


We Need You!

May 21, 2008

RAC-CEMS is calling for presenters for the 2008 Collaboration Event Poster Sessions on October 1st and 2nd.  The goal of the Collaboration Event is to continue to create a “community of educators” in the Rochester region with educators involved math, science and technology education at all levels — from kindergarten through college.  We are looking for individuals who would like to share innovations in teaching with peers in these informal presentation and discussion sessions.  Answer questions, exchange ideas, and network with fellow educators!

Not exactly sure about how to create a poster?  We have compiled suggestions from numerous resources about what posters should look like and include.  Click here to check it out!

Here is a quick video to show you samples of what posters might look like:

Or, here is another video about how to make a poster for a poster session.

If you are interested in sharing one of your STEM activities or other best practices with other teachers in the Rochester area, visit the 2008 Collaboration Event website or submit a proposal!


May 19, 2008

Do you have an art or music project in mind for your classroom, but need help with the funding due to program cuts?  Airborne, Inc. is providing teachers with a year-round grant opportunity, the Airborne Teacher Trust Fund, to assist with those projects.  Judges will select recipients each quarter from the pool of applicants.  According to Airborne, “Programs are evaluated based on need, projected impact to students, educational program elements and, of course, the teacher’s desire and passion to succeed,” and grants ranging from $200-$10,000 will be awarded.

Submit your application for the next round by July 31!

Are Textbooks Useless?

May 18, 2008

Teacher Magazine recently published the article Technology-Rich Classrooms Render Textbooks Useless, that exemplifies a classroom in Kansas that has completely replaced textbooks with technology.  In this class, lessons are taught through the use of various multimedia resources, which “are more interactive and, teachers say, more engaging.”

Through a grant from the Kansas Department of Education, this technology-rich classroom is equipped with a SMARTBoard, digital cameras, scanners, and a wireless laptops for each student.  Rather than having a physical math, science, social studies, and English textbook, students can instead access their schoolwork from educational websites and use the internet to do research for various projects.

According to several students in the class, they prefer this method of learning since it is new, exciting, more hands-on, and since “you sometimes go to new places on the Internet.”  The teachers in this class also state that they have had fewer behavior problems since the students are so engaged in the material.

What would the pros and cons of such a classroom be in your school?  Would students benefit from being so surrounded by technology, or would they lose out by never using physical books?  What type of training would you need to be able to put this classroom ideal into practice?

Mathematical Moments

May 14, 2008

Mathematical Moments, created by the American Mathematical Society, is a wonderful resources for teachers that “promotes appreciation and understanding of the role mathematics plays in science, nature, technology, and human culture.”  On this website, you will find a series of pdf’s, often which are accompanied by podcasts, that show how math can be found our everyday lives.  Learn about the dynamics of a soccer ball kick, find out how close we are to achieving invisibility, learn how to solve sudoku puzzles, and much more!

Share your favorite activities below!  What are some other ways that we as teachers can make math exciting and tie it to students’ interests?

National Science Foundation Classroom Resources

May 12, 2008

Check out Classroom Resources, a diverse collection of lessons and web resources for classroom teachers, their students, and students’ families. Materials are arranged by subject area to help you quickly find resources in your interest area, and then use them to create lesson plans or at-home activities. Most of these resources come from the National Science Digital Library, an online collection of resources for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.

Visit the Classroom Resourcespage on the RACCEMS website to find links of resources broken up by research area, or visit the NSDL website directly!  Share your favorite resources below!

Neuroscience for Kids

May 9, 2008

Want to learn more about the nervous system, or looking for ways to make a science unit more interactive?  Check out Neuroscience for Kids!  This site provides experiments, activities, and games about the brain, keeps you up to date with neuroscience in the news, and has a Q&A page answering many of your neuroscience questions!

Check out the resource, and share your thoughts below!

Go Take a Hike!

May 7, 2008

As the weather starts to get sunnier and warmer (knock on wood!), check out the Cumming Nature Center down in Naples, NY!  The Nature Center provides guided walking tours every Saturday and Sunday at 11am and 2pm, or you can explore the 6 miles of walking trails through the woods and wetlands at your own leisure!

What are some of your favorite spring activites in the Rochester Area?  Share them below!