Skip to main content

Excited About Science


Nick Williams, employee at Lawrence Livermore National Lab and avid science educator, is a new RAFT member who just took 1,300 of our hands-on activity kits to rural Alaska. We enjoyed learning about how Nick and his team helped hundreds of students get excited about science.
________________________________________________________________________________


This fall, I took 1,300 RAFT kits on a trip to promote learning science at schools in the remote Alaskan villages of Kivalina and Kiana. Kivalina is a coastal village situated atop two square miles at the southern tip of a narrow, eight-mile long barrier reed separating the Chukchi Sea from the Kivalina River. It has a population of approximately 375, with about 150 in their school, Pre-K through 12th grade. Kiana is inland and sits on a bluff overlooking the confluence of the Kobuk and Squirrel Rivers in northwestern Alaska, about 30 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Approximately 350 people live in Kiana, with about 120 kids in their school Pre-K through 12th grade.

The kits I took for assembly were:
  • Electronic Breadboard and Hovercraft for students grades 8-12
  • Hovercraft, Rollback Can, and Colors of Light for students grades 4-7
  • Colors of Light, Simple Stethoscope, and Tongue Depressor Harmonicas for Pre-K-3
I also left duplicates of these kits and a few additional ones for teachers to use as they see fit: Garden of Magnets, Puff Rockets, and Glove-a-Phones. The response from the kids and teachers was amazing. Everyone liked the kits and having us there to present the kits to the kids.

The experiences I have had with students and putting these kits together has been amazing. A very wise parent of an Alaskan student told me that their children, because they are still involved with subsistence living, need to see, to touch, to do, so they can learn the ways of Northern Alaska living. Your kits allow us to do the same thing with learning basic science principles as the objective.
 
Nick Williams, employee at Lawrence Livermore National Lab and avid science educator

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Are you ready for Pi?

Time to get ready fer Pi Day at RAFT me hearties!  Set yer compasses an’ sails fer FREE Pi Day activities on March 8thbetween 3:30 to 5:30 on th’ main poop deck (aye-aye in th’ “Kit Area”) at SJ RAFT!
RAFT’s very own notorious wench, Jeanne Lazzarini (RAFT Math Master Educator), prepared a boatload of Pi Day activities to share with yer classes fer Pi Day (celebrated on March 14th every year)! Pi, (also written as π; th’ ratio of th’ circumference of a circle to its diameter) be an irrational number that goes on forever without any repeating digits, starting with 3.14159… π is illustriously celebrated over land an’ high seas March 14th (get it? On 3.14…!).    Discover great “make-an’-take” Pi day activities that prepare ye fer real Pi day!  Here’s a RAFT idea sheet fer Pi Day you can use now: Pi Day Pin. Make sure X marks th’ spot on ye calendars this March 8th, or walk th’ plank me scallywags!   Shiver me timbers an’ yo-ho-ho!  ‘Tis a RAFTy life fer me, Bucko!!!  Arrrgggghhhhh!

CUSD Shares Possible STEAM Projects by Grade

Twelve STEAM Innovation Leaders from the Campbell Unified School District (CUSD) came to RAFT earlier this month to create new motivational activities for the start of the school year!  They met in grade-level teams with our RAFT Education staff to generate new ideas using RAFT materials that will motivate, challenge, and inspire their students. Each team was given a RAFT Makerspace-in-a-Box containing a wide variety of upcycled materials. They were asked to create a Design Challenge that directed students to solve the instructor’s challenge with the materials from the box. The Design Challenges addressed an engineering standard appropriate for each grade level and could include standards from other subjects. Here are some of their exciting back-to-school ideas:
************************************************************************************* Grades TK – 2 Engineering Standard: K-2-ETS1-1:  Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to chan…

Use the Winter Olympics to engage your students

The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics are right around the corner!
This worldwide event offers excellent opportunities to use the Olympics to inspire your students to learn about many mathematical concepts such as slope. How can the Olympics help students understand slope? Think of ski slopes! Ask students to watch the Olympics this year on TV and to look for sports that use steep paths (e.g., snowboarding, downhill skiing, alpine skiing, bobsleighing, etc.)! Back in class, have students recreate replica “ski slopes” using sections of white foam board. Place one end of a foam board against a wall with the opposite end touching the floor at an angle so that it forms the hypotenuse of a right triangle (the right angle is between the wall and the floor). Refer to the vertical distance (“rise”) from the floor to where the top edge of the board touches the wall as the y-intercept. Refer to the horizontal distance (“run”) starting at the wall and to the bottom of the board farthest away from t…