2013 California Science Education Conference Evening Events
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Palm Springs VillageFest - Thursday, October 24, 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Arriving the night before the conference starts? Join thousands of visitors and locals in beautiful downtown Palm Springs on Thursday evening for the valley's finest event. Every Thursday evening, downtown Palm Springs transforms into a bustling venue with a diverse array of artists, artisans, entertainers, and purveyors of fresh fruits and veggies, flowers, jewelry, snacks, and sweets. Add all that to the great shops, restaurants, clubs, and entertainment venues located along world famous Palm Canyon Drive, and the result is one of Southern California's most popular weekly events: VillageFest!

Dynamic Demonstrations with Flinn Scientific - Friday, October 25, 2013, 6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

Seeing is believing! Flinn Scientific presents a variety of easy to perform and exciting chemistry and physical science demonstrations. Come see Flinn’s new demonstrations and some of your old favorites-all guaranteed to make your science classroom come alive. Handouts provided for all demonstrations. No ticket required, the event is open to all attendees and is limited only by the capacity of the room. Sponsored by Flinn Scientific.

STEM Pool Party and Engineering Challenge - Friday, October 25, 2013, 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Palm Springs is all about hanging by the pool! Join CSTA for a fun evening of music, networking, and more around the largest swimming pool in Palm Springs! The Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel pool deck features cabanas, fire pits, and a heated swimming pool. CSTA and the UCR Bourns College of Engineering/MESA program will add a twist to the standard pool party scene with engineering challenges! Register your team for the cardboard boat challenge (teams of 2 to 4) and race across the swimming pool, try to build a stomp rocket that will clear the pool, or just kick back and enjoy the music of Tim Griffin. Tim Griffin is a former educator and music artist specializing writing and performing science and educational songs. To get a sneak preview of his music visit www.TimGriffinMusic.com. Be sure to buy your ticket, only $10, for this fun and new event. No need to find a place to have dinner in town before the event, your $10 ticket entitles you to $10 worth of food and drinks from the hotel BBQ and bar at the event to help fill your belly and fuel the conversations. The BBQ and bar will feature drinks, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, and salads.

Saturday Night Stargazing Party – Both Indoors and Out! - Saturday October 24, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Join us for a beautiful evening under the starry desert skies! Head outdoors to see the stars for yourself through high-powered telescopes and binoculars provided by the Astronomical Society of the Desert. When you’ve finished stargazing, you can head back indoors to explore a STARLAB Portable Planetarium, where you’ll see the night sky devoid of any light pollution. You can also learn how to make your own inflatable planetarium for your classroom, presented by Maureen Allen of the Orange County Department of Education. The finished project is large enough to seat 35-40 children and costs less than $35 to make! This event is included with your registration. CSTA requests that you RSVP with your registration.

Just Added to the Stargazing Party:

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Invasion of the Cognitive Scientists - into Astronomy

Stephanie J. Slater, Ph.D., Research Professor Capital College Department of Engineering and Executive Director of CAPER Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research

Given the innately captivating nature of astronomy – alien planet landscapes, exploding stars, black holes hidden within galaxies, and speeding space probes – teachers are often surprised at how challenging it is to convert astronomy from a lecture-dominated descriptive class to a scientific inquiry-oriented one as called for in the NGSS. Fortunately, recent advances in cognitive science offer new pathways for teaching astronomy through inquiry. Dr. Slater will illustrate how a scaffolding approach dramatically enhances students’ ability to do scientific inquiry in astronomy and improve their as their conceptual understanding of science.