GEMS 2010 – Share your knowledge!

DSC_0087Girls Exploring Math and Science (GEMS) 2010 is looking for Girl Scouts (4th-12th graders) to host the activity booths and we are now accepting applications! GEMS 2010 is going to be held on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010, at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Girl Scout booths will be placed throughout the Museum exhibit halls so that visitors can learn all about the wonders of science, technology, engineering and mathematics!

HMNS has been hosting GEMS since 2006 alongside the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council and we have seen many really incredible booths put together by Girl Scouts! From probability games and circuit testing to optical illusions and magical mobius strips - girls can really get creative with the topics they choose to share with the crowds at the GEMS event. A really fun part of being a GEMS booth host is participating in the booth host set up event and Overnight the night before GEMS, then everyone wakes up on Saturday morning ready to roll!DSC_0167

So – how can my Girl Scout troop apply to be a booth host- you ask?

It’s easy…

1)BRAINSTORM: Come up with several ideas of math and science topics that seem intriguing to your group.

2) KNOW THE GUIDELINES: Download the information packet for Girl Scouts interested in hosting a GEMS booth from the HMNS website and review all of the parameters for hosting a booth. Think about the space limitations, participant requirements, etc.

3) SELECT A TOPIC: Pick which topic from your brainstorming session that will best suit the GEMS guidelines and complete the booth description part of the application — be creative!

4) APPLY! Applications are due by 5pm on Nov. 20, 2009 – that’s only a few weeks away so don’t delay!

Be sure to contact us if your group is interested in hosting a Girl Scout booth! Stay tuned for more information on how to join us on the day of GEMS as a visitor and visit all of the fun booths!

Texas Wins Big: NEED State Program of the Year

NEED – the National Energy Education Development Project – is an organization that teaches people how to teach about energy. Even though the concept of energy education might sound simple at first – too many people think that if they teach about one energy source, they’re teaching about energy in general.

In the NEED Primary Science of Energy curriculum, they discuss petroleum, coal, solar energy, uranium, biomass, hydropower, wind energy, geothermal energy, propane, natural gas and light.

Texas was selected as NEED’s State Program of the Year because of the diverse and dedicated partners providing energy education opportunities to students, teacher, and families in Texas.

HMNS, along with other Texas partners, was recognized at the 29th Annual Youth Awards for Energy Achievement for the Museum’s commitment to NEED and the programs in Texas, as well as our commitment to energy education in general.

Niagara Falls Hydro Plant
Hydropower
Creative Commons License photo credit: gobanshee1

But it’s not just about giving the teachers facts and figures. The fastest way for teachers to get students excited is to get the teachers excited -  and NEED activities do just that.

Before receiving the award, we completed a test run of their new hydropower curriculum. I spent a few hours with elementary school teachers and kids, putting together a water-powered wheel that would lift paperclips.  The exciting part was watching the kids come up with ideas and innovations to make the water-powered wheels run more efficiently and do more work.

To learn more about energy education, check out our previous entries in the blog’s Energy category.