7/15/08


My terrible time at the CASA 2008 Summer Institute at UMass Amherst [the h is silent]
This is a recollection of the torturous time I spent as a participant in the CASA 2008 Summer Institute.

CASA, Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere, offered a content institute/graduate level course designed to enable 6th-12th grade science teachers to deepen their knowledge of concepts and develop hands-on classroom activities.

My odyssey began when Dr. Sandra Cruz Pol from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez called to inform me that I had been one of the 4 teachers chosen to participate in the Summer Institute 2008. Imagine my fear to realize that I’d be flying to Amherst, a place I’ve never been before! But, as any good sport, I packed my bags and headed to the airport. As I waited for my flight number to be called, I met the three other selected teachers and we “kinda” bonded, so now, because of this CASA thingy, I met my first three new acquaintances. [Oh yeah, I bonded with a bunch of teachers!] That means I’ll have to send out, receive and read lots of extra emails! What are these CASA people thinking?


See us bonding in Boston


The week at UMass was outrageous!

During the workshops, Sandra, spoke about how Global Warming is the result of what we put out into the atmosphere. Sure, blame it on us! Now, it’s our fault! Of course, she provided us with ways to help prevent global warming, but now, she has me going all around the house unplugging electrical devices to avoid the “phantom loads”, telling my husband that this year we’ll be traveling together to our jobs in one car to reduce the CO2 emissions, thinking about the bags I’ll have to take along with me when I buy my groceries so that I’ll avoid the trash I throw into the environment. I don’t need this extra strain in my life! And now, when I finally had decided to teach an organic chemistry course, I’m thinking of shifting my plan to offer an environmental chemistry course. What’s with the mind grasping? Talk about shift happening…whoosh!


Dr. Kevin Kloesel (be afraid… be very afraid)

All I’ll say about Kevin is that he’s a Meteorology professor at the University of Oklahoma; anything else would deprive me of all of my blog space. [Just Google his name and you’ll see what I’m talking about.]

Our time with him was frightening. In one of his activities we were forced to handle a gun, point at unsuspecting drivers and get a reaction… and boy, did we get some amazing reactions! [Well, it was a gun... a radar gun!] We confirmed that the speed of the vehicle will appear to decrease as the angle gets larger, finally going to zero 0 when the vehicle is at 90 degrees (perpendicular to the radar). In another demonstration, a teacher was actually so scared that she got under a table so that Kevin wouldn’t continue to torture her about making a bad prediction. Hey, but what really got to me worried were the facts about the clouds and the wind. So much weight over my head! Did you know that clouds are basically like floating elephants in the sky? Me neither! [I’m sure it’s an understatement of the fact… it’s like hundreds or maybe thousands of elephants in the sky!] This guy, Kevin Kloesel, made me look at clouds in a whole different way! On my way home, I had to explain this to a woman who sat besides me. She wanted to know the reason for the “bumpy” sensation as we flew through a cloudy sky. Shocker! [The truth is that I had a ball with the bumps! Nevertheless, I was the only cheery person in the plane.] (LOL) FYI, that LOL element you use to shorthand “laughing out loud” … That’s Math! The FYI is too!

Omnia El Hakim and Chris Emery took us to the edge!

Think! Think! All they wanted was to make us think! Chris wanted us to seek out for “Big Ideas” provided by the contents so we’d use them in our classrooms. He even wanted us to share them! Well, here’s a Big Idea… Leave me alone! All he managed to do was to make me anxious! I had to align the contents of the workshops with the science standards. He practically made me re-examine them! Do I have time for this? I don’t think so!

Omnia bothered us with her “Proposal Ideas”. She actually made us “Think Big”. Well she couldn’t get that from me. To get back at her; I thought small! Ha! The proposal idea we came up with was about nanotechnology! Touché!

If this isn’t assessment then, I don’t know what assessment is!

The worst is yet to come. Her name is Paula L. Sturdevant Rees but I’ll blog about her later. I still have to download and upload evidence.

XOXO 2 U

3 comments:

Sandra said...

Interesante evaluación de un evento! Hasta me hiciste gloogear por el señor ese del radar jajaja.
Otra cosa, que interesante el video de ustedes comiendo! Se ve que la pasaron súper jajaja (es para seguir con tu línea).
Bueno continúa escribiendo tu aventura que quiero leer más.
Un abrazo, mi hermana!

Condorito said...

Hasta ahora, sólo me han dado ganas de ser una participante de ese increible taller. Qué podré hacer para que me escojan a mi también?
Espero que pronto se publique más sobre la aventura!...felicidades por haber sido escogida para algo tan gratificante!!!

Es envidiada,

Maria Schwarz

Eileen said...

¡Muy pronto escribiré más sobre mi aventura en Boston!