Ten-Minute Field Trips
by Helen Ross Russell. Published by
National Science Teachers Association.
$16.95 + $4.25 s/h. 1-800-722-6782.
This collection of activities, ideas, and examples urges teachers to explore the environments around their
schools, whether urban, suburban, or rural. In addition to more than 200 short, close-to-home field trips,
the author provides introductions that support an understanding of what might be seen during the students'
explorations. The book is divided into topic sections-Plants, Animals, Interdependence of Living Things,
Physical Science, Earth Science, and Ecology-and includes a special cross-referenced list of field trips
for hard-topped school grounds. The preface, "Saying 'I Don't Know,'" sets the tone for teachers who will
join their students in discovering the world outside their classrooms.
Exploratorium Teacher Institutes
The Exploratorium is an interactive science museum founded in 1969 by Frank Oppenheimer, noted physicist and
educator. The center, located in the heart of San Francisco, presents hundreds of interactive exhibits and a
variety of programs for children and adults. Every summer the Exploratorium offers 300 science teachers,
grades 6Ð12, the opportunity to take part in a summer experience called the Teacher Institute. These intensive,
two-, three-, and four-week programs provide a mix of content-based discussions, classroom experiments, and
teaching strategies based on the Exploratorium's exhibits. Applications for admission to the summer 1997
Institutes are being accepted until April 1997. For those teachers accepted, tuition will be borne
by the Exploratorium. For more information, take a look at the Exploratorium
Web page www.exploratorium.edu or contact Exploratorium Teacher
Institute, 3601 Lyon St., San Francisco, CA 94123. Phone: 415-561-0313
You can use materials created by these institutes if you get copies of the four-volume Exploratorium
Science Snackbook Series, a collection of more than 100 teacher-created versions of
Exploratorium exhibits. The books provide instructions for classroom-based constructions (balancing a
ball on a stream of air, building a light-scatter box) that illustrate such concepts as magnetism,
polarization, and refraction.
- The Cheshire Cat and Other Eye-Popping Experiments on How We See the World
- The Cool Hot Rod and Other Electrifying Experiments on Energy and Matter
- The Magic Wand and Other Bright Experiments on Light and Color
- The Spinning Blackboard and Other Dynamic Experiments on Force and Motion
Published by John Wiley and Sons, the books are available for $10.95 each plus shipping from the Exploratorium
Mail Order Dept., 3601 Lyon Street, San Francisco, CA 94123 (415-561-0393) or from the publisher.
Also of interest to classroom teachers is The Exploratorium Guide to Scale and Structure; Activities for
the Elementary Classroom. The activities are starting points for exploring the physics and mathematics
of structure as well as the effects of scale on
structure. The book sells for $29.50 and is available from Heinemann publishers, 361 Hanover Street, Portsmouth,
NH 03801-3912 (1-800-541-2086). It can also be ordered from the Exploratorium Mail Order Department.
For the past four and a half years this program, with the support of the National Science Foundation and the
Department of Energy, has enabled high school students to request their own observations from professional
observatories. The students download images to their classroom computers and use powerful HOU software to
visualize and analyze their data. Until recently the project has forwarded all requests to the Leuschner
Observatory at the University of California Berkeley astronomy department. New collaborations between
observatories in Hawaii, Illinois, California, Washington, Sweden, and Australia will provide a network of
automated telescopes that can respond based on such conditions as geography, weather conditions, scheduling,
and equipment characteristics.Exciting results can occur when students are given access to this powerful
equipment, as witnessed when two high school students requested observations of the Whirlpool Galaxy as part
of their lesson on spiral galaxies. Their observation captured the first light of SN1994I, a supernova. Their
names will appear as co-authors on a photometry paper about SN1994I.
For more information about this project, write: Hands-On Universe, MS 50-232 Lawrence Berkeley Lab One Cyclotron
Road, Berkeley, CA 94720.
The Web page address is:http://www.handsonuniverse.org/