It is quite different from last week's as our team is growing rapidly and we are working on developing an organic way of collaborating - that doesn't shackle a team-member, but also lets me know who is working on what.
Also, we went to Monterey over the weekend (so the travel numbers are up!) to start our partnership with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Hopkins Marine Station graduate students. We will be conducting a Family Science Course with the families at Pajaro Middle School in March - April.
I have the highest respect for informal science education institutions for the following reasons:
- They have to be good otherwise they wont survive in the wild! Unlike public school teachers, informal science educators have to be amazing otherwise the public just wont come back. In my limited experience (that doesn't stop me from making generalizations) informal science educators far outperform the public school teachers in the ways they engage with the audience and make science exciting and inspiring. Check it out for yourself here in a video of Jeff Chambers (from the Monterey Bay Aquarium) teaching about marine habitats.
- I love the exploratory, free-wheeling, inquiry-based approach to informal science. I believe that is how you will get a child to be inspired to be a scientist, to strive hard, to be self-motivated and to reach for the stars - by showing them how science unlocks amazing wonders in the world, by showing them the wonderful rewards of being curious.
- Informal science institutions like the Exploratorium, Lawrence Hall of Science, Monterey Bay Aquarium have masterpieces of art and science that draw people in! In addition they use all the tricks of advertising, performance, theater, teaching and communication that keep the attention of the visitor.