EduNews Winter 2002

The Exploratorium EduNews is sent out in an email text format four times a year to teachers, school librarians, school administrators, professional developers, and others involved in K-12 education. Each issue includes announcements about Exploratorium-produced Webcasts, print publications, new online resources, and updates about our initiatives in teaching and learning.

Please feel free to forward EduNews to your colleagues.

***BREAKING NEWS
California teachers will be happy to hear that, despite the current fiscal crisis, Governor Gray Davis has continued the funding for the Exploratorium's Regional Science Resource Center in his 2002-2003 budget at same level as last year. We look forward to working with the Legislature for their continued support.

Contents

1 - DISCOVER WHAT THE LEARNING STUDIO HAS TO OFFER
2 - INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION BUILDS ON SUCCESS OF "INFORMAL SCIENCE" CENTERS
3 - WELCOME PETER RICHARDS, SENIOR ARTIST
4 - ANTARCTICA: SCIENTIFIC JOURNEYS FROM MCMURDO TO THE POLE
5 - 2002 TEACHER INSTITUTE SUMMER INSTITUTE PROGRAM

1 - DISCOVER WHAT THE LEARNING STUDIO HAS TO OFFER
The Exploratorium Learning Studio <http://www.exploratorium.edu/ls/> supports the needs of educators by providing a wide variety of electronic, multimedia, and print-based learning resources, including:

-- Online catalog to nationally-circulating collection <http://library.exploratorium.edu/>

-- Guides to Web Information Sources <http://www.exploratorium.edu/ls/infosources/ResGuides.html>

-- Research assistance for reference questions and help in locating materials outside the collection
The Learning Studio's patrons include alumni of the Exploratorium's teacher development programs and Educator, Sustaining, and Associate Members of the Museum <http://www.exploratoriumstore.com/exmempag.html>

2 - INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION BUILDS ON SUCCESS OF "INFORMAL SCIENCE" CENTERS

Taking a cue from the public's enthusiastic response to "informal science centers" like science and natural history museums, zoos, and aquaria, educators in the United States and England are launching an ambitious collaboration to improve science teaching and learning. The Exploratorium, King's College, London, and the University of California, Santa Cruz, are teaming up to form the Center for Informal Learning and Schools (CILS), which will integrate the best of the "informal science learning" with the formal learning that takes place in schools. The project is being funded by a $10.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

During the past decade, the British and American public have embraced the proliferation of informal science centers in both countries, creating a need for educators trained in informal science instruction and prompting educators to examine the strategies that make such centers powerful learning venues. CILS aims to prepare leaders in informal science education, conduct research, support students pursuing advanced degrees in science education, and provide professional development opportunities for science museum staff. The Center, headquartered at the Exploratorium, will begin operation in summer 2002. As the CILS project develops, EduNews will provide updates about it. <http://www.exploratorium.edu/pr/cils.html>

3 - WELCOME PETER RICHARDS, SENIOR ARTIST
Peter Richards (prichard@exploratorium.edu), along with Frank Oppenheimer, started the Exploratorium's Artist-in-Residence Program which commissions artists to create works that addressed the intersection between art, science, and technology. Because of Peter's interest in phenomena, many of the artists who came to the Exploratorium created works that utilized natural forces. These include artworks such as the Sun Painting by Bob Miller, Vortex and The Aeolian Harp by Doug Hollis, and Meanderings by Michael Brown. Pieces, such as Recollections by Ed Tannenbaum, incorporate technology in their design.

With a background in art, Peter's personal work has been greatly influenced by his association with the Exploratorium. His work reflects his interest in public spaces: the way people behave in public places, natural phenomena, and particularly the dynamic natural elements that give a place its character and texture (water, wind, sun, shadows, and tides). Locally, his most notable work is the Wave Organ, which employs wave action and tide changes to create musical sounds in a series of pipes that extend down into the water.

In 1998, Peter took a three-year leave to help with the creation of a new artist community in Charlotte, North Carolina. Modeled after the Headlands Art Center in Marin County, California, among others, this community supports creativity and provides residencies for up to 24 artists a year. It is housed in a renovated Presbyterian Church and has machine, wood, and welding shops, a media and photo lab, many studios (including print and clay), and an exhibition space.
Peter is returning to the Exploratorium to serve as Senior Artist in the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). He will concentrate his efforts on incorporating artists, artmaking processes, and artistic sensibilities into our educator programs.

4 - ANTARCTICA: SCIENTIFIC JOURNEYS FROM MCMURDO TO THE POLE
In December 2001, the Exploratorium sent its own team to the highest, driest, coldest, windiest, and most empty place on earth--Antarctica. The Live@ Webcasts took the public on expeditions and field trips to laboratories throughout Antarctica, as they interviewed scientists, filmed underwater dives, climbed a volcano, witnessed a vast desert, and looked in on research facilities. The Antarctica Web site <http://www.exploratorium.edu/origins/antarctica> includes archives of the Live@ Webcasts, descriptions of current research projects, and Antarctica climate, geography, natural history, and explorations.

5 - 2002 TEACHER INSTITUTE SUMMER INSTITUTE PROGRAM
http://www.exploratorium.edu/imaging_station/
During the summer, the Teacher Institute brings middle and high school teachers together to work with each other and with staff physicists and biologists to learn more about science and mathematics teaching. On a typical day, participants interact with exhibits, do activities, build small versions of Exploratorium exhibits, and share teaching strategies. There are also opportunities to learn to use power tools for building things for the classroom. Each day consists of 3.5 hours of class and two hours of independent project or research time. Exploratorium resources such as the Learning Studio will be available for project research.

Participants are required to study at the Exploratorium for five-and-one-half hours each day, Monday through Friday, for four weeks. Each participant will be awarded a stipend of $1000 after completion. Three units of credit from San Francisco State University can be earned through the program. Registration and paying for credit takes place during the Institute. Applications will be available in February 2002. Check their program Web page: http://www.exploratorium.edu/ti/programs/index.html#summer_program



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