Friday, July 31, 2015

Sensational Books for Maker Education!

Recently, a friend asked about books people like that promote the maker movement in the classroom. Many of these recommended books on my list include wonderful activities that will certainly get your students thinking about engineering and creating! It took a few days for me to compile this list, and I am confident there are choices on here many will most certainly like, even those that are not familiar from the get-go.

All of these links direct you to, where you can preview the books and read reviews. These books are listed in no particular order (I apologize for not categorizing). A lot of these books are applicable for science teachers as well with many practical and awesome engineering challenges and experiments.
Needless to say, students will be inspired by these books! Have a phenomenal time reading and exploring!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

I Learn So Much About Teaching by Visiting Museums and Aquariums

I am obsessed with visiting museums every time I travel, and this month, I got to visit the one place I have strongly desired to visit for years-- The Exploratorium in San Francisco, California. I also got to visit the Walt Disney Family Museum, California Academy of Sciences, Tech Museum of Innovation, Intel Museum, Cable Car Museum, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

What is the draw about visiting museums and aquariums? I think the greatest thing about them is that learning is authentic; walking through the "rainforest" at the California Academy of Sciences is much more memorable than simply reading a book about it. Also, visiting the Cable Car Museum was absolutely phenomenal because no where else can you see how San Francisco's cable car system operates. From all the experiences I was able to have at these places, I am able to bring back a great deal of information for my students through my photographs, videos, and some of the items I purchased.

My photos below are a great testament. Photographs can serve as wonderful discussion starters. One thing I always make sure to do is capture plenty of photos and video footage. I try to find parts of each place that relate to standards I teach in the classroom (or will enhance concepts I teach, like the brainstorming process).

* I am not affiliated with any of these museums. 

Monterey Bay Aquarium:

The Exploratorium:

Walt Disney Family Museum:

Tech Museum of Innovation:

Intel Museum:

California Academy of Sciences: 

Cable Car Museum:

There are many museums that have a strong Internet presence as well, from wonderful Twitter accounts to offering virtual tours and tremendous resources for educators. Here are a few of my favorites:

The Exploratorium in San Francisco, California:
Twitter: @exploratorium and @tinkeringstudio 
Weblog: The Tinkering Studio
Other: Exploratorium Education

Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Illinois:
Twitter: @msichicago
Other: Education Website, Online Science

American Museum of Natural History in New York, New York:
Twitter: @AMNH
Weblog: Museum Weblog
Other: Ology for Students
Purchase: Guide for Kids

The Smithsonian Museums in Washington, D.C.:
Twitter: @smithsonian, @airandspace, @smithsonianedu, @nmnh, @smithsoniannmai, @amhistorymuseum
Other: Panoramic Tour of National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Education, Smithsonian Students

More for your students from museums: