2020-2021 – Archives of Sem 2 Hub Meetings

Wed., Feb. 10 – LabXChange – VIRTUAL – 4 – 6pm.

PALS Info Sheet for February, 2021

Incorporating Free LabXChange Resources Into Your Remote/Hybrid Learning

(Geared toward 9-12 grade Biology, Chemistry, Biomed Pathway Teachers)

Presenters: Tim Blesse, Teacher Program Coordinator, Denver Museum Nature & Science; Jessica Silverman, Content Collaborations Manager, LabXchange; Meg John, Vice President, Colorado Bio Science Institute

Looking for some free field-tested biology and chemistry teaching on-line resources?  The free LabXChange learning pathways from Harvard can be used “as is”, or you can incorporate them into your existing lesson storylines. The free videos, simulations, virtual labs, and organizational tools have been proven to increase two things we find challenging in these remote and hybrid learning environments : student engagement and agency. Get ahead of the curve with this nationally recognized, research-based, inquiry teaching approach. Experience LabXChange’s resources in a workshop led by a former high school teacher and national trainer. 

This LabXchange teacher training is hosted for free by the Colorado BioScience Institute, 501(c)3, due to a generous donation from the Amgen Foundation, which seeks to advance excellence in science education to inspire the next generation of innovators. 

Wed., Feb. 24 – Virtual Teaching Tools – VIRTUAL 4-6 pm

PALS Info Sheet for February, 2021

Virtual Teaching Tools – Getting students actively engaged in your online classroom and beyond!

Presenter(s) : Robin Walters (SCHS), Megan Caraway(VRHS), Mary Mulikin (VRHS), Sahvannah Mease (VRHS)

Imagine if you could engage every student in your class, every day. What if you could instantly see who’s confused and who’s ready for more?  Wondering if there are ways to get your students to be more engaged and interact with content while e-learning? Join us as local teachers share with you 3 simple Google teaching tools that engage and involve students.

  • Create and use Interactive Google Slides (Robin)
  • Explore Pear Deck and Google Slides (Megan)
  • Learn how to use Google Forms to create “Escape Classrooms” via “Digital Breakouts” (Mary and  Sahvannah)

Wed., Mar. 10 – PhET &/or Wed., Mar. 31 – HEART

Wednesday, March 10th – Incorporating PhET in Your Science Classroom – VIRTUAL 4 – 6 pm

PALS Info Sheet for March, 2021

Incorporating PhET in Your Science Classroom

Presenter(s): Kathy Perkins, CU Boulder Physics Department and and Mychal Elhoffer, Mesa Ridge HS

Join us to learn how you can use PhET simulations to improve student learning in your science classroom.  In the workshop you will be able to experience several simulations, learn about new PhET programs, and learn best practices for using the simulations with your students, whether they are in person or virtual.  The workshop will include an overview of PhET logistics and specific content suggestions from Mychal Elhoffer, a local teacher. 

Wednesday, March 31st – Using HEART Force – VIRTUAL 4 – 6 pm

PALS Info Sheet for March, 2021

Using the Hazards Education Awareness and Resilience Task Force (HEART Force) Curriculum in your Science Classroom


Katya Schloesser, Education and Outreach Associate at CIRES (Cooperative Institute for Research In Environmental Sciences)

Natural hazards are a part of our lives. Explore the Hazards Education Awareness and Resilience Task (HEART) Force curriculum to  teach your students about floods, wildfires and droughts. Learn how your students can use area resources to become better educated on how their community responds to these hazards. The goal of the HEART Force is to engage students and teachers to take proactive steps in preparing for potential hazards that are becoming more frequent due to climate change. During the workshop, participants will get an overview of the free curriculum, walk through a hazards lesson and hear from a scientist in the field.  HEART Force is part of the education and outreach department of CIRES at CU Boulder.

Thurs, April 8 – Physics in the Natural World – Virtual – 4 – 6 pm

PALS Info Sheet for April, 2021

Physics in the Natural World

Presenters: Brian Jones & Sheila Ferguson – Little Shop of Physics

In this session we’ll use physics as a tool to explain and explore the amazing natural world. As with all Little Shop of Physics workshops, it will be active—even though we’ll be doing this virtually. We’ll spend our time making measurements and observations, sharing ideas and hypotheses, and then we’ll connect all of this back to the living world. Along the way, we’ll show you some superpowers that you possess. You have a rudimentary sense like that of a honeybee. And you, too, size up animals by their growls, whether you realize it or not!

Sat., Apr 17 – Hippos @ CMZ – In Person – 8:30 – 12:30 pm

NOTE: This was a repeat of the Nov 7th Hub Meeting. We did not have enough room in Nov to accomodate all of the interested teachers, so a second date was set – April 17th.

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! 

Wed, April 21st – Classroom Crime Scenes – VIRTUAL – 4 – 6 pm

PALS Info Sheet for April, 2021

Classroom Crime Scenes

Presenter(s):  Terrie Watts, Discovery Canyon High School & Megan Caraway, Vista Ridge High School

Do you want to get your students engaged and thinking critically?  Crime scenes are the way to go!  In this workshop, participants will learn how to set up crime scenes in your own classroom or schools from two local high school forensic teachers who actually do this ! Creating a local crime scene will enable  for their students to collect evidence, analyze it  and draw conclusions to solve a crime.

Sat., May 1 – Challenger Learning Center – IN PERSON

Flyer – PALS Hub – May 1 – Challenger Learning Center

Sat., May 1 Part Day [8:30 am – 12:30 pm] 0.25 sem hrs / 3.75 contact hours

Title:  Operation Montserrat at the Challenger Learning Center

Presenters: Ron Bush, Vice President of Education, Challenger Learning Center; Robert Fredell, CEO, Challenger Learning Center

Description:    Following a tour of the newly built learning center, participants will be able to experience a presentation in the new Mikkelson Planetarium and learn how to bring the portable planetarium to an individual school site.  Teachers will then participate in a shortened e-mission, breaking into teams to evaluate and respond to a global emergency simulation, thus gaining insight into the programs available through the Challenger Learning Center.


8:30 – 8:45   Welcome and Introductions

8:45 – 9:15   Simulator tour and overview of Challenger programs

9:15 – 9:40   Mikkelson Planetarium Show

9:40 – 9:50     Break

9:50 – 12:15 Operation Montserrat e-mission

12:15 -12:30 Questions, wrap-up, and giveaways