PA SCIcon Live Event

DEN SCIcon live event was located at Propel Montour School in Pittsburgh. What an amazing day focused on the 3 S’s… Science, Sharing & Socializing!
The blustery cold winter weather didn’t keep our attendees from enjoying a day of fun with Discovery Education. Propel (and Joe) as always, were both so accommodating!

We had a great set-up to watch the Virtual conference, super give-aways, a trek in the snow for a geocaching adventure, and super break-out sessions. Check out our SCIcon wikispace!

The first session was Science Goes Digital with Jan and I. If you aren’t familiar with Jan Abernethy… you should be! She is an absolutely amazing fifth grade teacher of the Techno Tigers. Jan provides authentic learning experiences for her students and allows them to discover on their own. Her role as facilitator in the classroom gives her students room to grow and explore new ideas and concepts. Jan shared student created wikispaces which included topics such as H1N1, Animal Classification, and Simple Machines.

Discovery Science has many great resources that allow students to learn, explore, demonstrate and extend the topic taught. One of my favorite activities to do with my first graders is the explore component of Simple Machines in Discovery Science. It is a great interactive review. We also created a video using an editable Discovery Streaming clip on the types of Simple Machines.


The second session was Digital Storytelling with Bridget Belardi. Bridget is a librarian in the Mt. Lebanon school district. She exposes her students to sooo much technology… she simply amazes me each time I see what she’s done! Bridget integrates technology into all content areas and shares what she does with colleagues so that they can continue to engage the students in the classroom. She shared some great tools and provided examples of their use in the classroom. Be sure to check out her resource page here.

During our working lunch, attendees had the opportunity to continue watching the virtual session, network with other teachers, or be the first to find the DEN SCICON geocache.  Although it was very snowy, and extremely cold, the race was close, and each team raced back to accept one of the awesome Discovery prizes to be given away.


After lunch, we had the wonderful opportunity to learn about the many ways to connect classrooms through video resources.  A few of the collaborative resources included:    CAPspace, which is a social networking tool for educational videoconferencing, NASA DLN, which has numerous free connections on various science and math content areas, and Tokbox, which is a free chat and video messaging program with absolutely no download.  After discussing these resources, we actually conducted a videoconference with the National Science Center in Augusta, Georgia.  Rebecca from the NSC was great to connect with.  She discussed the programs she has to offer as well a showing us a few awesome experiments.  For those teachers who have never experienced a videoconference, it was a great way to show how easy these connections can be.



Ever heard the saying ” A picture is worth a thousand words?”  Well, if you are interacting with a Gigapan photo, you may have more than a thousand words.  Here is how a Gigapan camera works: First a digital camera is attached to the Epic, a small robotic mount that automates the picture taking process. Next, the hundreds or thousands of resulting images are downloaded to a computer and the GigaPan Stitcher software automatically combines them into a panorama. Then the site makes it easy to post GigaPan panoramas for sharing with a global community, and the GigaPan Viewer allows people to zoom in and out to explore the panoramas in detail.  For teachers who can think outside the box a little, there are so many ways to tie the Gigapan site in with project-based learning, classroom discussions, or exploration time.  If you search FOFS, (Fine Outreach For Science) you will be directed to pictures related to science. Many of the snapshots are actually posted by scientists in the field and contain powerful information related to the image.

Special thanks to the Carnegie Science Center and SMART Technologies for donations of additional prizes for our attendees.

All of the attendees had a great time at this event.  Thanks for a great day! Be sure to visit the wikispace.

Our attendees added their thoughts on the day to this Wallwisher… Feel free to add a thought by double clicking on the Wall! 🙂


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