2020-2021 – Archives of Sem 1 Hub Meetings

Sat., Aug. 22 – Biodiversity Of Mueller State ParkFull Day [8:00 am – 4:00 pm] 0.5 sem hrs / 7.5 contact hours

Click here for the 8.22.2020 PALS Flyer – Biodiversity at Mueller State Park

Registration Limited* to 15 participants

Title:  Biodiversity of Mueller State Park

Presenters: Linda Groat, Program Coordinator, Mueller State Park & Tracy Predmore, Southeast Region Education Coordinator, Colorado Parks and Wildlife,  & April Estep, Wildlife Biologist, Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Description:   Participants will explore the biodiversity of the many life zones of Mueller State Park and learn how to use the iNaturalist app.  They will observe and identify macroinvertebrates, learn about bats and their biology and behavior, and study the watersheds of Colorado

Agenda:     8:15  Arrive, registration, restrooms, name tags, notebooks

8:30 – 9:05 Welcome; Announcements ; Overview of the Day, Introductions of hub coordinators, presenters and participants – Auditorium 

9:05 – 9:15 Resources available from Colorado Parks and Wildlife 

(Linda Groat, Program Coordinator, Mueller State Park and Tracy Predmore, 

Southeast Region Education Coordinator, Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

9:15 – 10:30 Activity: Observing Relationships within an Ecosystem using the Biodiversity Poster sets (small groups) (Linda Groat and Tracy Predmore, )

10:30 – 11:00 Introduction to iNaturalist

11:00 – 11:45 Explore three habitats (insects, plants, birds/mammals)

11:45 – 12:15  Share Out (working lunch)

12:15 – 1:15  Bats (April Estep)

1:30 – 2:30 Pond Study at Dragonfly Loop – a 1000 foot walking tour of a wildlife pond habitat – focus on aquatic insects  (Linda Groat and Tracy Predmore)

2:45 – 3:45 The Shape of Colorado – Understanding the Watershed

3:45  Door Prizes, Evaluations

4:00 Depart


For this workshop you will experience three different virtual sessions offered by CaveSim. With direction from Dave, PALS is preparing a set of lab materials that you will pick up BEFORE the workshop to be used during the workshop. You may also pick up additional materials AFTER the workshop. 

Due to current COVID-19 best practices the size of this particular hub meeting is limited to 15 participants. 

Because PALS mission is focused on current secondary science teachers, these teachers will receive priority when signing up for this workshop. When you register for this hub meeting, you will be asked to state your current status as a science teacher. Options include:

  • Current Secondary Science Teacher (MS or HS) with science classes assigned for the coming school year
  • Current Elementary Science Teacher with science class(es) assigned for the coming school year
  • Secondary Science Teacher – Unemployed? Retired? Subbing? – not currently employed and/or assigned to teach science classes
  • Other Teacher – Unemployed? Retired? Subbing? – not currently employed and/or assigned to teach science classes

About 1 week  in advance of the workshop, you will receive an email asking you to confirm your participation.  If you do not respond in the affirmative, you will be removed from the list and your spot will be given to the next eligible teacher on the waiting list. 

Wed., Sept. 9 – Going Viral

Click here for the 9.9020 PALS Flyer – Going Viral:

[NOTE: This workshop has gone VIRTUAL ! Confirmed participants will receive a link via email closer to the actual meeting. Participants must sign up in advance and must confirm their participation. There is a limit of 25 participants for this virtual workshop.]

Part Day [4:00 am – 8:00 pm] 0.25 sem hrs / 3.75 contact hours

Title:  Going Viral – Coronavirus Lessons you can share with YOUR students !

Presenters: Lt. Col. Tracy Clinton, Associate Professor of Chemistry, USAFA; Jane Wilson, Part-time STEM and science teacher; Sandy Smith, Part-time science teacher

Description:    The current coronavirus pandemic has impacted each and all of us in many ways. Join us to learn a bit more about this virus and to explore some coronavirus lessons that you can use with your students this school year. Hear from Lt.Col.Tracy Clinton, an associate professor of chemistry at the USAFA  who has recently completed her PHD studying the Ebola virus. Learn how her research is informing current research on the COVID-19 virus. Then, you will participate in an illuminating hands-on investigation that simulates how disease is spread. Experience how this investigation can be utilized to incorporate a phenomena-based lesson into your classroom. Finally, you will learn about other phenomena-based activities you can use with your students. You will receive materials that you can take back and use in your classroom the next day.


4:00 Login and Norms for PALS Zoom Meeting & Open Discussion on Coronavirus 

4:20 Administrivia

4:30 Speaker – Virus Research 

5:30 Break (get yourself a light/quick dinner/snack)

5:55 Initial door prizes – 5

6:00 DYO Investigation – How do viruses spread and how can we minimize 

transmission? What is the most effective way to reduce the spread of viruses?

7:15 Break – Announce evaluation

7:25 Door Prizes – 5

7:30 Other Coronavirus lessons to share…

7:45 Evaluations & Teacher Materials & Door Prizes

Sat, Sept. 26 – Corral Bluffs

Click here for the 9.26.2020 PALS Flyer – Corral Bluffs

Part Day [8:00 am – 2:00 pm] 0.25 sem hrs / 5 contact hours

Title:  The Discovery of the Rise of the Mammals at Corral Bluffs

Presenter: Sharon Milito, retired  teacher, DMNS volunteer, member of Corral Bluffs Rise of the Mammals Discovery

Description:   Corral Bluffs Open Space – in our very own backyard – is the site of a ‘paleontological trifecta’ that holds a major discovery of how life came back after an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs. Corral Bluffs combines animal fossils with historical climate indicators and precise dating to tell the story of the ‘rise of the mammals’. Located just 10 minutes east of Colorado Springs, this unique area is only accessible by guided hikes that feature the geology, botany and zoology of the area. Join PALS on a custom hike led by a member of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science scientific team. You’ll get to see where the different mammal skulls were found at Corral Bluffs and participate in a variety of fossil activities that you could use in your classroom.


8:00 Meet at Space Village Loaf’n’Jug – Sign In, Last minute prep (bathroom, 

check for long pants, close-toed shoes, waiver)

8:15 Safety Briefing 

8:30 Depart for Corral Bluffs

8:45 Introductions & Administrivia  – PALS / Corral Bluffs Alliance / Sharon

9:00 What is a Fossil? Activity 

9:15 Hike in Corral Bluffs Open Space – Includes multiple stops where different fossils were discovered as well as discussions and a lunch stop. 

12:15 Fossil Sort Activity

12:30 Evaluations and door prizes

1:00 Depart for Space Village Loaf’n’Jug

Sat., Oct. 10 – Teenage Brain

This PALS Hub meeting will be VIRTUAL ! We have cancelled the originally scheduled afternoon portion and may provide it during second semester.

10.10.2020 PALS Flyer – Brain Matters

Sat., Oct. 10 Part Day [8:00 am – 12:00 noon]

 0.25 sem hrs / 3.75 contact hours

Title:  Brain Matters: How Stress Impacts the Teenage Brain

Presenters: Tim Blesse (Teacher Programs Coordinator,  Denver Museum of Nature and Science)

Description:    Uncertainty and lack of predictability can stimulate the biological mechanisms of stress. In this workshop, you will have the opportunity to take a practical look at the science of stress from the perspectives of neuroscience and behavior. How do we benefit from stress and get harmed by it? How can we and our teenage students regulate stress in a way that promotes health and learning? You will have the opportunity to learn from the research of experts and interact with peers in a meaningful way.  

Wed, Oct. 28 – Brave New Worlds of Learning

Part Day [4:00 am – 8:00 pm] 0.25 sem hrs / 3.75 contact hours

Title: Brave New Worlds in Learning: Approaching our profession in new ways using best practices in remote & hybrid Learning

Presenter: Tim Blesse – Teacher Programs Coordinator, Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Description:    How do we ​continue to capitalize on the huge benefits of social constructivist learning approaches when the element of physical proximity is not available? Recent events have catapulted members of our profession into a new period of learning that is both exciting and daunting. In this engaging workshop plan to:  

  • Explore the Question How do we know what works in Distance Learning? 
    • Use Case Studies to determine what is needed for effective Distance Learning
  • Examine different Models of Hybrid Learning &  Choose the Model that works best for you
  • Learn from from the successes & failures of some real classroom teachers about: 
    • Technology – What role does it play in distance learning 
      • Reframe thinking about how we use technology to meet learning goals 
      • Discuss Tools to Fit the Task 
    • Working Memory – What is it and Why is it especially important in distance learning. 
    • Building Agency & Community so that students feel connected and persist when working independently.
    • Planning – An Introduction to the SOAP Model for planning distance learning lessons

Sat., Nov 7 – Hippos @ CMZ

Part Day [8:30 am – 12:30 pm] 0.25 sem hrs / 3.75 contact hours

Title:  From the Nile to the Colorado – Hippos and Water Conservation

Presenter: Stacey Graham, Director of EdVenture Programs, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Educator

Description:   Coloradans and hippos have something in common. We need water, and sometimes it is in short supply for both of us. Join the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo team in exploring all things hippo, including natural history, conservation, adaptations. You will get to meet the zoo’s resident hippos: Zambezi, Kasai, and the newly arrived Biko! We will also be diving into water conservation in both Africa and here in Colorado, and how you and your students can be better water stewards for the planet


8:30 Arrive at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Check in at the front by the elevation sign (left of the front gate)

8:45 Introductions and discuss goals of the day

9:00 Water Use Activity: How much water do you think is used? 

9:45 Quick Activity: Calculate Your Water Footprint. How does it compare? 


10:00 Meet an animal ambassador. Learn how Cheyenne Mountain Zoo connects people to animals through storytelling and hands on animal experiences. 

10:30 Water’s Edge Africa Tour: Explore the new space, see hippos, penguins, and more!  TBD: Meet a hippo keeper!

11:15 Create a Water Filter: How to turn “dirty” water into “clean” water.

12:00 Q&A and Wrap Up; Evaluations and Door Prizes

12:30 Free to explore the zoo on your own! 

Sat., Dec. 5 – Exploring the Science of Caves with CaveSim Virtual Lessons

12.5.2020 PALS Flyer – Physical Science of Caving

Sat., Dec. 5  Part Day [8:00 am – 12:00 noon VIRTUAL] 0.25 sem hrs / 3.75 contact hours

Title:  Exploring the science of caving with CaveSim – Virtual CaveSim Lessons

Presenters: AM = Dave Jackson, CaveSim Inventor and Engineer

Description:   From physics, to engineering, to chemistry – CaveSim programs (many now available virtually) teach a wide variety of science lessons, all centered around the theme of cave exploration. Come join us to see how we are reaching out to students to love science by allowing them to feel the joy of exploration.  We’ll show you how we teach the physical science of vertical caving, the physics and engineering of a waterproof phone, and the chemistry of carbide lamps in the virtual world.  You will get to complete several investigations at home with materials you will pick up in advance. You’ll gain a better understanding of how CaveSim virtual programs can integrate with your curriculum, and you’ll come away with activities that you can do in your own classroom. Dave may also share how he is adapting CaveSim itself to address COVID-19 pandemic concerns!

More Information: 

Exploring Caves Goes Virtual ! 

Join Dave Jackson, inventor of CaveSim (https://www.cavesim.com), for a VIRTUAL exploration of some of the science behind caving. (We still plan to offer a part-day workshop with Dave that will involve the actual CaveSim itself and the accompanying equipment – like the 12’ vertical caving tower. That workshop will include more information about the geology and biology of caves.)

  • In the Physical Science of Vertical Caving (Activity 1) you will experience the power of friction generated by moving rope and see demos involving the use of rope-ascent and rappel devices on a 12’ vertical caving tower. You’ll also get to see the role pulley systems play in vertical caving. 
  • In a Maker Lab: Sparks, Light, and Ripples (Activity 2) you will explore a variety of simple electronic components (batteries, capacitors, resistors, LEDs, and a waterproof speaker) and learn how they are used in the waterproof military phones that are used during underground rescue operations. You’ll even get to create your own cup phone !
  • In Carbide Chemistry (Activity 3), you’ll get to explore chemical reactions with simple household powders and an acid. This is in preparation for a more complex acid base reaction that is used to power an older, traditional miner’s lamp – the reaction of calcium carbide with water. 

This workshop is being restructured to run virtually, with a potential rescheduling of the in-person CaveSim and Cave of the Winds Tour sometime next Spring or Fall 2021. More details will be posted later.