NSTA Conference – Awards and Whale Bones

From left to right: Curt Gabrielson, Director of the Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop; Gustavo Hernandez, Assistant Director of the Watsonville ESW; Dan Sudran, Director of the Mission Science Workshop.

The CSW Network was invited to participate in the Informal Science Share-A-Thon at the National Science Teacher’s Association (NSTA) annual national conference in San Francisco on Friday, March 11th, along with many other distinguished providers of informal and out-of-school science education.  We took the opportunity to make connections with other organizations and to inspire teachers with our dazzling displays of hands-on science projects.  The largest single rib and vertebrae from the blue whale that washed up in Pescadero in October, 2010, were featured at our table, along with comparative spine puzzles from a range of other mammals.  Teachers and conference attendees were able to build some of our best optics and flying projects, including a simple rubber-band launched helicopter and a zoetrope made out of a plastic cup.

Additional CSW Network involvement in the NSTA conference came through Manuel Hernandez, Site Director of the Fresno Community Science program and Informal Science Specialist with the City of Fresno, who was selected to receive NSTA’s Distinguished Informal Science Education Award.  Manuel started the first Community Science Workshop in Fresno, contributing to a NSF-funded project that extended community science centers from California across the nation. He received the award at the formal NSTA  Awards Gala on Friday evening.  Congratulations, Manuel!