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Young Astronomers Do Real Science

Published on May 21, 2015, by

Students and amateur astronomers in small western U.S. communities help scientists measure Kuiper Belt objects out beyond Neptune. Cal Poly’s John Keller is involved. He comments in the video saying, “These students are part of a program doing authentic science.” The program is called RECON: Research and Education Collaborative Occultation Network.




Spare Parts (the movie)

Published on May 11, 2015, by

What do you get when you blend “October Sky,” “Stand and Deliver,” and a few other inspiring movies together?

Spare Parts!

Four Hispanic high school students form a robotics club. With no experience, 800 bucks, used car parts, and a dream, this rag-tag team goes up against the country’s reigning robotics champion, MIT.



PG&E Grants Support Family Science Nights and Bakersfield Class trip to Camp KEEP

Published on May 8, 2015, by

Congratulations to CCSTEM, SLOCoE and Cal Poly’s College of Science & Mathematics in receiving $10K from PG&E to support Family Science Nights in our elementary schools. It is wonderful that children and their families get to experience enhanced hands-on STEM education this way. The more that parents get to be involved in their children’s education the better, very powerful, helping strengthen family bonds, family memories and showing parents what fun science can be for their children.

Below is pictured PG&E Diablo Canyon Vice President Jim Welsch presenting the grant, and visiting with Seth and a STEM-energized student.

An elementary school near Bakersfield, Alicante Avenue School, has also received $10K from PG&E, for their first-ever attendance at Camp KEEP in Cambria.  They are excited students, some of whom have never had a camping experience.  This is powerful stuff for young minds!  What fun! Currents article.




Citizen Astronomy: From the Sierras to the Sky! Science After Dark, 5/13

Published on April 29, 2015, by

Science After Dark
May 13, 2015 at 6:30pm
Luis Wine Bar, 1021 Higuera Street, SLO (must be over age 21)
$5 cover

Cal Poly physics professor, John Keller, PhD, will share research being conducted to measure Kuiper Belt Objects (KBO’s), something relatively new in planetary science. KBO’s are large, icy bodies that orbit the sun in the outer space region beyond the orbit of Neptune. Thousands of these celestial bodies formed about 4.5 billion years ago, about the same time as the solar system. Keller and his research team received a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to fund telescopes and training in 40 communities along the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Range, as well as along the Colorado River to cover the entire west coast of the United States.

The collaborative effort will assist researchers by measuring the size of KBO’s, as well as provide learning opportunities for students in the participating communities. Cal Poly student assistants are included, but the majority of research participants will be high school students. Per Keller, “This project is an innovative and exciting opportunity for students and community members from across the Western U.S. to directly contribute to our understanding of the Kuiper Belt.”

Complete press release


Super STEM Saturday, May 2nd

Published on April 1, 2015, by

NGSS in Action!

Where: Cal Poly SLO – Baker Center, Building 180
When: May 2, 2015, 8:30am – 3:30pm
Who: Current & Future K-12 Teachers & Administrators

4/21/15 Update: SOLD OUT

The Day:
– Welcome, coffee, and orientation.
– Morning and afternoon breakout session.
– Implementing NGSS for different grade spans.
– Engineering and Technology classroom applications.
– Keynote panel on Engaging Students Beyond the Classroom.
– Free Lunch! (Who said there was no such thing?)
– $50 Honorarium for K-12 Teachers