Last week we did a field trip to KQED a public TV and radio station in San Francisco.  It was a fun tour with an excellent guide and it was FREE!  IMG_2894

Today was our last Big History class and since we had a couple of students who just came back from international trips we were treated to slideshows of Europe (Greece, Italy, Paris, London!) and Peru (Machu Pichu!).  If you’re interested, the student who was in Europe has a blog at

The last unit in the Big History Project is about the future and since NASA had their announcement a few weeks ago about the huge number of exoplanets they’re finding with the Kepler satelite I decided to do yet another activity from the Universe at Your Fingertips DVD, Sending a Message into the Unknown.  We talked about the Voyager Spacecraft and how scientists put some information about Earth on the ship so if somebody finds it they can learn about us.  The activity has the students search through magazines to find 10 pictures they would include in a message to the unknown. No words allowed since whoever (whatever?) finds the message won’t know English (or any other Earth language).  They seemed to have fun with it.  IMG_2974.jpg

One student made 2 collages out of his different pictures, which came out pretty cool – posted below. I asked each kid to show me their 10 pictures and interpreted them as if I was an alien and only had their 10 images to go.  From one collection, I thought Mickey and Minnie mouse were the representative race and they seemed to really like food, so I asked the student to add a picture of people and perhaps a building/structure.  Some were mostly people, so I would ask for them to add a nature/animal shot or a map, photo from space of earth, etc.  This was a nice relaxed activity for the last class.


Over the summer I’l be preparing for Chemistry (a high school and a middle school class) in the fall and teaching a few summer science classes – short 1 day or 3 day classes on different topics, including some foresenic science kits (Lyle and Louise Mysteries) that I haven’t used yet.