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Sept 11: ILAR 60th Anniversary Celebration

The National Academies’ Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR) cordially invites you to a 60th Anniversary Celebration Symposium on September 11, 2013 from 1pm - 5pm in the Lecture Room at the National Academy of Sciences, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW in Washington, DC.
 
Dr. Patricia Brown, Director, Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare at the National Institutes of Health will take a look back at ILAR’s achievements.  Then, a panel of speakers from APHIS/USDA, FDA, the National Science Foundation, and GlaxoSmithKline will discuss the continuing role of animals in research.  Attendees are invited to a reception immediately following the Symposium. 
 
Register by September 10, 2013.

‘Engineer Girl’ Website Brings Attention to Opportunities for Girls and Women

Engineering has enabled humans to make incredible advances in medicine, agriculture, electronics, architecture, and much more. The “Engineer Girl” website from the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) provides a portal for girls and women to learn about opportunities to pursue a career in this exciting field.
 
Visitors to the website can read fun facts about engineering, watch interviews with engineers, and find contests, clubs, and scholarship opportunities. There are also fun interactive elements that allow you to “Ask an Engineer” and “Try on a Career.”
 
Frequently-updated articles highlight amazing engineering feats and research. This week’s article, “Sharks Take a Bite out of Disease,” shows how nature—in this case, sharkskin—is inspiring a revolution in bacterial control and sanitation.
 
Check out the website—and be sure to spread the word to the girls in your life!

Scientist-Vetted Teacher Resources from the National Academies

Did you know the National Academies has an amazing collection of ready-to-use resources for the classroom? Challenge your students to interact with issues like climate change, evolution, energy, conservation and more. Videos, booklets, and interactive experiences bring the latest research into your classroom—and it’s all vetted by our expert scientists. Explore Resources for Teachers at the National Academies.
 
The Koshland Science Museum has developed interactive webquests that take students on “virtual field trips” to explore our changing climate, infectious diseases, energy efficiency, and genetic disease. Or take advantage of our free museum field trips for Washington, D.C.-area schools.

Back to School: What the Science of Learning Can Tell Us about Education

What does research reveal about how people learn and which educational methods and policies are most effective? Expert committees from the National Academies have examined and synthesized the evidence on a broad range of educational topics to provide valuable input into often-controversial debates about educational methods and policy.
 
The newly-released Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States (2013) identifies the science all K-12 students should know.
 
Find many more reports and ongoing activities related to education at the Education Website of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education.
 
Watch a series of 3-minute videos on the science of education:

The Koshland Science Museum has many teacher resources for use in the classroom at the middle school, high school, and college levels. We also welcome groups of 12-100 for our customized museum field trips – now free for school groups from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area!

Free Field Trips Available for Middle and High School Groups

The Koshland Science Museum is a great place for students to see how science can solve real-world problems. Starting in September 2013, we are pleased to offer free school field trips again. A limited number of free facilitator led tours are also available. To qualify for this free offer, field trips must be organized by middle schools and high schools in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
 
Free facilitator-led tours are limited in quantity and offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so act fast to offer your students this unparalleled educational experience! Logistics and registration.
 
Interact with the Issues
During a visit to the Koshland Science Museum, your students will see a whole new side of science. We go beyond the “who/what/where” and challenge students to think about why scientists investigate our world and how science informs the decisions we make as individuals and as a society.
 
From climate change to the human brain, students will see how small changes can make a big difference and consider how to make their choices count.
 
Customize Your Tour
Our facilitated tour provides an in-depth, personalized 2-hour learning experience for 12-36 participants. Using the Jigsaw method, your group will divide into smaller groups and collaborate to become “experts” on different parts of the exhibit, then exchange information during small-group and whole-class discussions.
 
Facilitated tours focus on one of two exhibits:

  • Life Lab: This exhibit focuses on the human brain and body. Explore the science of learning and memory, find out why we age and see how the brain changes over time, and get behind the wheel of our driving simulator to experience first-hand the effects of distracted driving. Students can even try their hand at designing a high school lunch menu that conforms to national dietary recommendations. 
  • Earth Lab: In this exhibit visitors explore our changing climate. See how scientists investigate climate change and delve into its causes and effects. Then “play policymaker” to consider the energy-sector tradeoffs required to meet CO2 emissions goals.

Self-guided tours are available for 12-100 participants. Students explore the Life Lab, Earth Lab, and a collection of mind-bending games, videos, and interactive experiences at their own pace.
 
Is this Right for Me?
Our exhibits are designed to be informative and engaging for middle schoolers, high schoolers, college students, and adults. Because our museum is affiliated with the National Academy of Sciences, you can be sure the science presented in our exhibits is accurate and frequently updated with the latest developments.
 
Washington, DC-area middle and high school groups can take advantage of free self-guided or facilitated group tours starting in September 2013. Free facilitated group tours are limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Learn more.
 
For other groups, admission rates are $7 for adults and $4 for students and active military. Chaperones, teachers, and tour operators receive one free admission per every 10 visitors. The facilitated visit option costs $200, in addition to regular admission. Learn more.

Global Warming Webquest

Our global warming webquest takes you on an interactive, web-based journey to learn how small changes can make a big difference for the environment. Play the role of an expert who has been called into action by the United Nations to examine the causes and potential impacts of global warming. Conduct research in our interactive online exhibit Earth Lab, explore how people around the world are responding to climate change, and develop your own policy recommendations.
 
This webquest is tailored to high school and undergraduate students. It can be used in the classroom or independently.

We’re Open on Labor Day

The Koshland Science Museum is open on Monday, September 2, for Labor Day. Celebrate the end of summer and get your brain in gear for back-to-school. Whether you plan to eat at the school cafeteria or bring your own meals, get the facts on nutrition in the interactive exhibit, Food for Thought. See how small choices can make a big difference. Museum hours are 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. 

New IOM Report Explores Role of Public in Disaster Planning

While average citizens may lack the expertise to comment on technical issues related to emergencies, they are very capable of deliberating on the values underlying public policy decisions. A new workshop summary from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) considers the role of public engagement in the process of disaster planning and decision making.
 
Public engagement can help inform members of the community, increase legitimacy and acceptance of disaster plans, and reveal public misunderstandings, biases, and areas of disagreement. By including community members and stakeholders in planning discussions, policy makers can address issues affecting a diverse range of citizens and help to create more realistic and sustainable disaster plans.
 
The report summarizes a workshop aimed at providing practitioners with guidance and key principles of public engagement that was hosted by the IOM Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events in March 2013. The workshop built on recommendations and guidance from the 2012 IOM report, Crisis Standards of Care: A Systems Framework for Catastrophic Disaster Response.

Paper Considers ‘the Sciences of Science Communication’

A new article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) introduces areas of research that inform efforts to communicate about science. The paper stems from the May 2012 Sackler Colloquium on “The Science of Science Communication.” A follow-up colloquium, “The Science of Science Communication II,” will be hosted by the National Academy of Sciences September 23-25, 2013.
 
Both colloquia seek to advance a national dialogue about the continuing challenges facing scientists, professional communicators, and the interested public as they seek to exchange information about science.

New Insights on Sugar and the Brain

Past research has shown that eating sugar can improve self-control. But a new study suggests that association may be all in your head.
 
In the study, which was published in this week’s issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), people who believe willpower is limited and easily depleted performed more poorly in a self-control task if they did not drink a sugary beverage beforehand. On the other hand, people who do not see willpower as a limited resource performed equally well whether or not they drank the sugary beverage.
 
The finding may suggest that people could be trained to use willpower more effectively, according to lead study author Carol Dweck at Stanford University.
 
Learn more about brain science in the Koshland Science Museum’s online Life Lab exhibit, which explores the science of learning and memory and the impacts of our dietary choices.
 
The Koshland Science Museum also offers hands-on activities on weekends from 12-4 p.m. In one of our most popular activities, visitors are challenged to guess the amount of sugar contained in an assortment of common beverages. The answers may surprise you—no matter what you believe about the nature of willpower!

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