Steve puts out a regular email where he describes an experiment you can do or a demo. These are usually flamboyant, attention-getting, and the kind your kids will upload videos of you doing. You can also find on his website a list of many of these favorites, along with videos and hints about how to do it and what can go wrong. He is an educator by heart and this is an A+ list to get on.
Up front though, Steve is a businessman and he sells two things – science equipment and himself. Both are quality products and he is not going to twist your arm for a sale – in fact he is the first to tell you that there are cheaper alternatives to some (not all!) of the products he offers. He genuinely wants you to bring these experiences into you classroom and wants to help you do that. But he will cheerfully sell you the materials, too.
Sign up for his mailing list on the link on the right-hand side of his website http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/
We are fortunate here in Oklahoma to have the number of museums we have. There are five (!) that concentrate on teaching Science Inquiry to children. Better yet, they work together even though they are are totally separate entities. Aahh, Oklahoma, where folks of all kinds still stick together for the common good. I digress.
The list is put out on a regular basis by the museum consortium and it will keep you posted on activities in these five museums as well as around and pertaining to them. If you are at all within a bus-ride of any of them you should consider joining the list. It is an auto-sign up tab off of this page: http://www.sciencemuseumok.com/omn/static/educators/inquiry_workshops.php
The five museums are:
Science Museum Oklahoma, Oklahoma City
Leonardo’s Discovery Warehouse, Enid
Museum of the Great Plains, Lawton
Tulsa Air and Space Museum, Tulsa
and the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum, Seminole.
You can access any of these from the Oklahoma Museum Network website at http://www.sciencemuseumok.com/omn/
Finally, the whole concept of Inquiry-based children’s museums began with the Exploratorium in San Francisco. If you ever get a chance to visit think of it as the “Patriarch” of science museums. They have a huge online resource collection of inquiry-based teaching ideas and materials too. Go ahead – spend the afternoon there right now, right from your desk! http://www.exploratorium.edu/
If anyone wears the crown for science educator’s lists in Oklahoma it is Andrea; naturally hers come first on this blog. She works for Oklahoma Mesonet in Norman and originally pushed just Mesonet information to science teachers. This quickly built up and now she regularly filters and sends out all kinds of information about activities, grants and opportunities. Read her notes and your summers will always be full! To my knowledge there is not an auto-subscribe, just send her a request to be place on her science educator’s lists at firstname.lastname@example.org
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People often ask “How did you know about that?” One way to keep up with grants, trips and opportunities, as well as quick little things like classroom openers and activities is by subscribing to selected email lists. These are some of my favorites; please feel free to add your comments or better yet, your favorite email lists!
Naturally it is a good idea to use a special email just for these lists, for example “Dottiesclass@yippee.com”. I like to take it a step further and sign up for a series of email addresses, like “Dottiesclass12@yippee.com, Dottiesclass13@yippee.com, Dottiesclass14@yippee.com” . . . You get the idea. Each email address in the series has a special purpose and each can be easily killed if it causes a problem.