Archives – 2021-2022 – List of Meetings


Sat, May 7, 2022 – Minerals & Mining in CO – WMMI

5.7.22 PALS HUB Flyer: WMMI

Part Day [8 am – 12 pm ] 0.25 sem hrs or 3.75 contact hours – In-Person @ Western Museum of Mining and Industry

Title:  Minerals and Mining in Colorado

Presenters: Lauren Knight, Education Coordinator, WMMI

Location: Western Museum of Mining and Industry

225 Northgate Rd, Colorado Springs 80921

Description:   Following a tour of the museum and extensive grounds, teachers will participate in  two of the WMMI’s In Reach programs, available both at the museum and to check out.  We will experience both the Birdseed Mining activity, working in teams to decide how best to strike it rich, keeping in mind the need for reclamation and the Mineral Identification activity, practicing the tests needed to identify mineral samples.  

Thurs, April 21, 2022 – Our Planet Earth – Little Shop of Physics

4.21 April PALS Flyer

Part Day [4 pm – 8 pm ] 0.25 sem hrs or 3.75 contact hours – In-Person @ Vista Ridge High School

Presenters: Cherie Bornhorst and Staff – Little Shop of Physics

If you are looking to study a planet, you needn’t go far—there is one under your feet. In this workshop, we’ll do a series of investigations and activities to explore and understand the cycles of light and dark, energy and matter, air and water, that—literally—give life to our planet, and how the existence of life in turn affects the evolution of the planet. As with all Little Shop of Physics workshops, this one will be active—come prepared to take measurements, discuss your findings, and share your insights.

Wed, April 6, 2022 – Science of Organ & Tissue Donation & Transplantation

Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Science
Part Day [4 pm – 6 pm ] 2 contact hours – Virtual

4.6 April PALS Flyer

Presenters: Anne Gaspers & Susan Gimarc, Donor Alliance

Location: VIRTUAL via ZOOM
Description: Donor Alliance offers workshops for both students and teachers.  This short session will be an introduction of the science behind organ and tissue donation and transplantation.  In this workshop teachers will: learn about the importance of teaching about organ and tissue donation and explain the programs Donor Alliance can bring to schools.

Sat, Mar 12, 2022 – Dynamic DNA

Full Day [8 am – 4 pm ] 0.5 sem hrs / 7.5 contact hours – In Person

3.12 March PALS Flyer

Presenters: Terrie Watts, Science Teacher, Discovery Canyon Campus, Megan Caraway, Science
Teacher, Vista Ridge High School, Jane Wilson, Science Teacher, Falcon Homeschool

Location: Discovery Canyon Campus
Description: All organisms have it. It contains all of the information necessary to build and maintain
an organism. It can help solve crimes. It can link us to our ancestors. What is it? DNA –
of course! In this workshop, you will engage in activities focusing on DNA. You will
perform PCR and gel electrophoresis to learn the importance of these techniques to our
understanding of this amazingly dynamic molecule. You will also participate in a variety
of engaging genetic- based activities that you can easily implement in your life science

Sat, Feb 19, 2022 – Exploring the Science of Exercise and Sports @ USOPM

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

2.19.22 Pals Flyer

Presenters: Robin Walters, Science (Anatomy & Physiology, AP Biology, Biology) at Sand Creek High School

United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum Staff

Join us at the United States Olympic & Paralympic Museum (USOPM) to explore the science of exercise and the science behind the Olympics and Paralympics. Our morning will start with a powerful Anatomy & Physiology lab experience that will allow you to ask a scientific question, collect and analyze your data, and answer your scientific question. The experience will provide an implementable application of phenomenon-based teaching and the use of 3D learning. Then you will be given some resources to frame your exploration of the USOPM using a “science” lens. You will have about 90 minutes to explore the museum before meeting up to debrief your findings, possibly win a fabulous door prize, and complete your evaluation. Light breakfast items will be available at the start of the day. Parking options will be shared in an email, but do expect to have to pay for parking. The cost of the museum and light break and door prizes is covered by PALS through funding by Jim Mikkelson himself, the Mikkelson Foundation, and the USAFA STEM Outreach Program. Participation is limited for this event. Priority will be given to current classroom secondary science teachers as needed. Do register at your earliest convenience AND be sure to cancel if you need to with as much advanced notice as possible. 

Sat, Jan 22, 2022 – Chem of Medicines and Drugs @ USAFA Chem Dept

Full Day [8:00 am – 4:00 pm] 0.5 sem hrs / 7.5 contact hours

2.22 PALS Flyer


Now more than ever, the Chemistry of Medicine and Drugs is a fascinating study.  You will learn about materials in medicines, the chemistry of vaping, and the drug approval process. You will participate in experiments that can be used in your classrooms and experiments in a research-style environment using advanced equipment to identify and synthesize drugs.

Presenters: Dr. Gary Balaich, Professor of Chemistry, USAFA

Dr. Ron Furstenau, Retired Professor of Chemistry, USAFA

Dr. Abby Jennings, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, USAFA 

Dr Doris Kimbrough, Professor of Chemistry, UCDenver

Agenda for “Chemistry of Medicines and Drugs”

Saturday, 22 January 2022

0800 Participants gather on the south steps of the Cadet Field House

0815                Participants escorted to Chemistry Conference Room (2N189)

0845-0915       Introductions, refreshments, admin items in Chemistry Conference Room

0915-1015       Presentation:  “Chemical Functional Groups, Drug Synthesis and Analysis”

                                                   Dr Gary Balaich

1015-1030       Break, Chemistry Conference Room (2N189)

1030-1230       Laboratory Experiments

            1030-1130 Gp A:  Identifying Drugs by Instrumental Analysis (Dr Balaich)

                                    Gp B:  Thin Layer Chromatography to ID Drugs (Dr Jennings)

                                    Gp C:  Synthesis of Aspirin and Methyl Salicylate (Dr Furstenau)

            1130-1230   Gp A:  Thin Layer Chromatography to ID Drugs (Dr Jennings)

                                    Gp B:  Synthesis of Aspirin and Methyl Salicylate (Dr Furstenau)

                                    Gp C:  Identifying Drugs by Instrumental Analysis (Dr Balaich)

Identifying Drugs by Instrumental Analysis”:  Different techniques will then be used to analyze drugs, including high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GCMS).

            “Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) to ID Drugs”:  TLC is a powerful, but simple technique which can be used to separate and identify over-the-counter drug mixtures and to identify unknowns, applicable to a wide variety of middle and high school classes.

            “Synthesis of Aspirin and Methyl Salicylate”:  This is a straightforward lab allowing participants to make their own aspirin and methyl salicylate (oil of wintergreen; Ben Gay).

1230-1330       Working Lunch Break in Lecture Hall

                        Presentation:  “Chemistry of Vaping”; Dr Doris Kimbrough

Dr Kimbrough will discuss the chemistry behind vaping and the hazards associated with vaping.

1330-1430       Laboratory Experiments

                        Group A:  Synthesis of Aspirin and Methyl Salicylate (Dr Furstenau)

                        Group B:  Identifying Drugs by Instrumental Analysis (Dr Balaich)

                        Group C:  Thin Layer Chromatograph to ID Drugs (Dr Jennings)

1430-1530       Presentation:  “COVID Therapeutics”; Dr Barry Hicks

Dr Hicks will discuss mRNA vaccine technology and the immune response.  Time permitting, he will also cover monoclonal antibody treatment (Regeneron) and debunk treatments like hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin.

1530-1600       Final wrap-up of the day’s events (2N189)

1600                Depart chemistry area for Cadet Field House


Wed, Dec 8, 2021 – Anchored Inquiry Learning

Dec 8,  2021 Half Day (4 pm – 8 pm)

12.8 Flyer

Title:  Anchored Inquiry Learning: Designing Meaningful Instruction to Explore Complex Phenomena and Problems

Presenters: Cindy Gay, Science Educator, BSCS 

Location:      BSCS

Description:  Come explore how the BSCS Anchored Inquiry Learning (AIL) instructional model moves beyond the 5E instructional model to support effective teaching and learning around the Colorado Science Standards. See how AIL creates a coherent science content storyline that makes student thinking visible and equitably motivates ALL students to engage with significant, real-world phenomena and problems. Anchored Inquiry Learning (AIL) can be used in all grade levels; in this workshop, a high school biology example will be used to illustrate this instructional model.

Sat, Nov 13, 2022 – Experience Caving

Sat., Nov. 13 Part Day (8 am – 3 pm)

11.13 Flyer

Title:  Experience Caving – CaveSim, Cave Lessons and the Cave of the Winds 

Presenters: Dave Jackson, CaveSim Inventor and Engineer

Cave of the Winds Staff

Location: Cheyenne Mountain Junior High School and Cave of the Winds

Description:   For the Morning:      CaveSim:  From physics, to chemistry, to biology, CaveSim programs teach a wide variety of science lessons, all centered around the theme of cave exploration. Come join us to experience our mobile cave system, and see how we teach students to love science by allowing them to feel the joy of exploration.  We’ll show you how we teach bat biology, epidemiology, and statistics using bat games, and how we use our 12′ vertical caving tower to teach forces, friction, pulleys, and other physics concepts.  You’ll gain a better understanding of how CaveSim programs can integrate with your curriculum, and you’ll come away with activities that you can do in your own classroom.

For the Afternoon:      Travel by car to the Cave of the Winds where you will participate in ONE of the following tours: 

●    Caving 101 – “Take An Exciting Cave Trek! Explore the wild, undeveloped depths of the Manitou Grand Caverns on the 2 – 2.5-hour guided tour that involves an assortment of crawling, climbing, and walking through wet and muddy passages of various sizes. On this tour, you will crawl / climb / walk for nearly a mile while learning basic spelunking skills and the history as well as geology of the cave. This tour is not recommended for guests who have back or knee trouble. Please wear clothing you won’t mind getting dirty and possibly ruined by the mud in the cave. Each participant needs to bring a flashlight or headlamp, a change of clothes, and an extra pair of shoes. Knee pads and/or a pair of gloves may be helpful. There will be no other source of light in the portion of the cave you will be exploring.

●    Discovery Tour! – Explore the electrically lit portion of the Cave of the Winds on a 45 – 60 minute guided walking tour which includes 15 rooms, a 1/2 mile of concrete walkways, and 196 stairs. On this tour you will learn about the history and geology of the cave while being shown some of its most beautiful formations. The cave is consistently 54 degrees fahrenheit, so a light sweater or jacket may be necessary. Wear comfortable clothing, such as a long sleeve shirt and pants, and good walking shoes.

Agenda:  8:00 Introductions & PALS Administrivia

8:15 Overview of CaveSim and Cave Activities

  • CaveSim – Explore over 60 feet of artificial cave filled with beautiful formations, sensors and computer scoring, science lessons
  • Bat Biology
  • Chemistry of Carbide Lamps
  • Physics of Vertical Caving from 12 feet in the air

8:30 Rotation through CaveSim and Cave Activities

11:30 Wrap Up, Evaluations, and Door Prizes

12:45   Meet at Cave of the Winds for one of the two optional tours

  Discover Tour (45 min – 1 hour) OR Caving 101 Tour (2 – 2.5 hours).  

You must pre-register for these tours when you RSVP for this workshop.

Wed, Oct 27, 2021 – What Can I do with a Physics Degree? – Virtual

27 Flyer – Physics Degree / Careers

Wed, Oct. 27 2 hours VIRTUAL (4 pm – 6 pm)

Title: What Can I do with a Physics degree?- Get students excited about Science   

by Exploring Careers

Presenters: Katy Snider, Science Teacher, Discovery Canyon Campus (DCC)

Location: VIRTUAL (PALS Zoom)

Description:   Ever had students ask “Why do I need to know this?” We will use an inquiry – based approach to have students investigate careers in science. Students will explore their preconceptions of scientists and learn of the diversity in both the people and careers in science. In this 2 hour virtual session, we will be analyzing data to support conclusions using scientific practices.

Sat, Oct 9, 2021 – Fire – A Burning Issue

10.9 Flyer: Fire – A Burning Issue

Sat, Oct 9 Full Day (8 am – 4 pm)

Title:  Fire – A Burning Issue 

Presenters: Rose Banzhaf, Project Learning Tree Coordinator

DeLene Hoffner, Project Learning Tree Coordinator

Location                    School in the Woods

Description:   Being in Colorado, we have all experienced living with the threat of and aftermath of wildfires. In this workshop we will explore the nature of wildfire through investigations and engage in activities focusing on the basics of fire ecology as it impacts our lives in Colorado. You will participate in activities from the secondary-level Focus on Forests book as well as activities from the Fireworks and FireBox resources. Topics and activities covered include:  Fire behavior, firefighting technologies, living with fire, viewpoints on wildfires, The Black Forest fire, and the impact fires have on soils.


8:30 amRegistration, coffee, Fire Bingo 
8:40  Welcome, Overview of the Agenda, Workshop Goals, CSM credit forms, CEEP presentation
9:00  Introductions, Rose, Delene, Jon, Megan, Dave Root(CSFS), Brenda Wasielewski(DFPC)
9:15 PLT Activity 76 Tree Cookies (p327) &PLT Activity 27 Every Tree for Itself (p117) (with fire tokens included)
9:40History, Mission, Goals and Methods of PLT
9:50  Comfort Break
10:00Brenda – Firefighters demo techniques/technology
11:00  PLT Activity 81: Living With Fire (p350) part c – Fire Tag
11:20FireBox Activity 6: Trumping the Fire Triangle – (same as PLT 81 – Living with Fire – Part a)
11:40  PLT HS Focus on Forest Activity 5: Nature of Fire (p87) part C – wildfire safety assessment)
12:00 PLT Activity 19: Viewpoints on the Line (p89) using fire related quiries
12:15 Lunch at the Movies: Two Sides of Fire & discussion
1:00Learn about the Black Forest Fire with Dave Root
2:30Fire Behavior 3-D Triangle Widget &FireWorks Activity 3-4: Fire Triangle in the Wildlands (matchstick forest)
3:00 Other Resources – website, FireBox & FireWorks
3:10 Participant presentations???
4:20evaluations and PD Certificates .
4:30Thanks for coming – Have fun sharing with your students – optional tour of School in the Woods

Sat, Sept 25, 2022 – Pikes Peak Implementation Institute – Next Steps

Title:  PPII – Implementing and Assessing the NEW Colorado Science Standards

Presenters: Tim Blesse, Teacher Programs Consultant,Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Others TBD – Other contributors include CDE, CAST, and EleSTEMary

Location: USAFA – Doolittle Hall

Description:   AM Session: Developing & Using Modeling to Unravel Phenomena (Science & Engineering Practice #2):  Models can open up new worlds for allowing students to reflect their understanding of phenomena, especially for second language learners. They can also serve as great jumping off points for deepening student thinking and for motivating communication.  But learning to use them in new ways takes time.  In this workshop, you will have the opportunity to participate in a series of activities that demonstrate some rich new ways that students can engage in the science and engineering practice of modeling.

Join with peers, as you look at the vertical progression of this practice and how you can better implement it into your classes. Explore how it relates to the other science and engineering practices.

PM Session: Using Math & Computational Thinking to Unravel Phenomena (Science & Engineering Practice #5):   Get your students excited about using math and mathematical models to make predictions and find answers for their questions about investigable phenomena. Learn how to implement an evidence-based gradual release model that makes this workable for both you and your students. In this interactive workshop you will experience what this looks like as a learner and have time to reflect on and apply what you need to do as a teacher to make the magic happen. Join with peers, as you look at the vertical progression of this practice and how you can better implement it into your classes.

Other AM and PM Sessions will be included and are soon to be determined.

Wed, Sept 8, 2021 – Classroom Tool – Thinglink – VIRTUAL

9.8.2021 Flyer: ThingLink Virtual Hub Meeting

Wed, Sept 8 2 hours VIRTUAL (4 pm – 6 pm)

Title:  Classroom Tool: Thinglink

Presenter: Terrie Watts, Science Teacher, Discovery Canyon Campus (HS)

Location: VIRTUAL (PALS Zoom)

Description:   Thinglink is an education platform where you can create interactive lessons by augmenting images and videos  with additional information and links.  In this workshop, a local high school teacher will demonstrate how they use this type of lesson in their classroom and then you will have time to create a lesson of your own and share with others.

Sat, Aug 28, 2021 – Diversity of Life at CMSP

Full Day [8:00 am – 4:00 pm] 0.5 sem hrs / 7.5 contact hours

8.28 PALS Flyer

Registration Limited* to 30 participants

Presenters: Colorado Parks and Wildlife Staff

Location: Cheyenne Mountain State Park

Description:   Cheyenne Mountain State Park is a place where one can go on an adventure full of learning. 

In this workshop, participants will explore a variety of flora and fauna interactions in different life

Agenda:     7:45 Participants arrive at park, sign in with PALS coordinators, explore door prizes 

zones of the park. Participants will also investigate the science behind archery.

8:00 Opening information (Introduction to PALS, credit info, Park info)

8:30 Diversity IceBreaker

9:00 Archery/Life Zone Hike (1 hr 15 minutes each, 15 minute break between)

12:00 Working lunch = Science (Physics) of Archery

12:45 Project Wild: Quick Frozen Critters, Prairie Dog Edition

1:15 Prairie Dog Presentation and Observations (spotting scopes/binoculars)

2:15 Project Wild Activities – Busy Bee, Adaptation Artistry (create pollinator)

3:30 Evals, door prizes, wrap up