science

Puppet by Lexy Ho-Tai made of various fabrics (turquoise, pink, magenta, yellow) sticking its tongue out, a fuschia cloth background is behind it.

Meet the Artist, Make Some Art

with Lexy Ho-Tai
Online
Thursday, January 28, 2021
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Enter the lottery here.
Deadline: Tuesday, January 19.

Artist Lexy Ho-Tai believes art is a radical act of resistance and that play is a powerful source of artistic inspiration. In this hour-long special event, you’ll learn about Lexy’s art, visit her studio, and then make some joyful, radical art of your own, using everyday materials. 

Lexy Ho-Tai is a multi-disciplinary artist and educator based in Queens, NY. Her practice explores world-building, accessibility, craft, and play. She disrupts the elitist tendencies of the art world by working in non-traditional art spaces, repurposing discarded materials, collaborating across disciplines, and engaging with diverse audiences. She has a BFA in Fashion Design from Parsons School for Design, and residencies have included Flux Factory, ARoS Museum, Everglades National Park, Museum of Arts and Design, and The Watermill Center.

A.I. Explained

with Lawrence Carin
Online
Friday, January 29, 2021 • Friday, February 5, 2021 • Friday, February 12, 2021
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Applications and nominations no longer being accepted.

Artificial intelligence has been studied for decades, but recently it has made significant progress. Advances in analyzing images and processing language are making an impact in many aspects of life, and that impact is likely to accelerate in the coming years. In this class, using almost no math or statistics, the intuition behind A.I., as well as A.I.’s implications for the future, will be presented in a way that anyone can understand. 

This is a three-session master class. In the first two sessions, teachers learn from the master. In the third, participants have a rare and valuable opportunity to exchange ideas with other brilliant teachers. Participants are assigned a small amount of homework to prepare for each session.

Lawrence Carin is a professor of electrical and computer engineering and Vice Provost for Research at Duke University. He researches machine learning, artificial intelligence, and applied statistics, and publishes widely, with over 450 peer-reviewed publications. Professor Carin is a Fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers and co-founder of Signal Innovations Group and of Infinia ML. 

Headshot of Linda Elkins-Tanton

Rocks, Water & Life on Other Planets

with Lindy Elkins-Tanton
Online
Monday, January 25, 2021 • Monday, February 1, 2021
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Applications and nominations are no longer being accepted.

New research shows that most stars in our sky have planets orbiting them, and rocky planets everywhere have a good chance of forming with water oceans, and of being habitable, at least for a while. In this master class, we will track water through the process of building planets, and touch on several mysteries along the way. How do the dust grains surrounding a young star accrete into rocky bodies that can form planets? How do planetary formation processes make rocky, icy, and gas planets? Where did the Earth’s water come from?

This is a two-session master class. In the first session, teachers learn from the master. In the second, participants have a rare and valuable opportunity to exchange ideas with other brilliant teachers. Participants are assigned a small amount of homework to prepare for each session.

Lindy Elkins-Tanton is Principal Investigator of the NASA Psyche mission, managing director of the Interplanetary Initiative at Arizona State University, and co-founder of Beagle Learning. She was Astor Fellow at the University of Oxford and has served on the Planetary Decadal Survey Mars panel and the Mars 2020 Rover Science Definition Team. A recipient of the Explorers Club Lowell Thomas prize and The Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship. In 2018 she was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Asteroid (8252) Elkins-Tanton is named for her.

Jane Goodall by Vincent Calmell
Photo by Vincent Calmel

Jane Goodall in Conversation with Teachers

with Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & U.N. Messenger of Peace
Online
Saturday, October 24, 2020
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Registration for this event is closed.

We invite Fellows of The Academy for Teachers to join Dr. Jane Goodall in a discussion of her work as a scientist and a teacher. 

Few people have changed the world as much as Jane Goodall. Her pioneering work with primates and their conservation has revolutionized our understanding of wild animals and how to protect them. She has also played a major role in bringing women into scientific professions. In this conversation, we will highlight her tireless work as an educator, which has been central to her success. 

In July 1960, Jane Goodall began her landmark study of chimpanzee behavior in what is now Tanzania. Her work at Gombe Stream would become the foundation of future primatological research and redefine the relationship between humans and animals. In 1977, she established the Jane Goodall Institute, which continues the Gombe research and is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. The Institute is widely recognized for innovative, community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa, and Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, the global environmental and humanitarian youth program. 

Dr. Goodall founded Roots & Shoots with a group of Tanzanian students in 1991. Today, Roots & Shoots is active in more than 60 countries, and since its inception has greatly impacted participants of all ages in over 100 countries. 

For the past 30 years, Dr. Goodall has been speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees, other environmental crises, and her reasons for hope that humankind will solve the problems it has imposed on the earth. 

Dr. Goodall’s honors include the French Legion of Honor, the Medal of Tanzania, and Japan’s prestigious Kyoto Prize. In 2002, Dr. Goodall was appointed to serve as a United Nations Messenger of Peace and in 2003, she was named a Dame of the British Empire. 

Fantastic Fungi film poster. Two mushrooms grow out of the ground. A snail sits atop the smaller one. Text on Image: "Fantastic Fungi" A film by Louie Schwartzberg "Imagine an organism that feeds you, heals you, reveals nature's mysteries, and could help save the planet...today."

Fantastic Fungi
Exclusive Screening
Q&A to follow with executive producers Marcina Hale & Stephen Apkon

Online
Monday, October 26, 2020
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Registration is closed.

Fantastic Fungi is a mind-bending and thrillingly visual film. With commentary from mycologist Paul Stamets and best-selling authors Michael Pollan, Eugenia Bone, and Andrew Weil, this film shows how fungi can play a role in solving an impressive array of medical, environmental, and psychological challenges. Education resources will be made available.

Stephen Apkon is an award-winning director, filmmaker, and social entrepreneur. He is the founder and former executive director of the Jacob Burns Film Center and directed and produced the film Disturbing the Peace. He was also the producer of Presenting Princess Shaw, I’m Carolyn Parker, Enlistment Days, Fantastic Fungi, and Planetary. He is the author of The Age of the Image: Redefining Literacy in a World of Screens, with a foreword by Martin Scorsese.

Marcina Hale holds degrees in psychotherapy and media and is trained in psychedelic therapy, She is a producer of several films including Planetary, Disturbing the Peace, and Fantastic Fungi. Her TEDx talk “Who Wants Out?” encapsulates the core of her work.  

Black and white photo of Dr. Max Liborion in front of a microscope

Anti-Colonial Science

with Dr. Max Liboiron
Online
Monday, January 11, 2021 • Tuesday, January 12, 2021
5 p.m. – 6:15 p.m

Applications & nominations are now closed.

Anticolonial science questions and transforms underlying assumptions in Western science that stem from imperialism and mastery. Such assumptions are present throughout STEM, from the study of water cycles, to sample gathering, to data entry, and beyond. In this master class, we’ll identify colonial premises and explore how science can be practiced in a manner that foregrounds good land relations, humility, and gratitude.

This is a two-session master class. In the first session, teachers learn from the master. In the second, participants have a rare and valuable opportunity to exchange ideas with other brilliant teachers. Participants are assigned a small amount of homework to prepare for each session.

Dr. Max Liboiron is associate professor of geography at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She directs the Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research, which develops feminist and anti-colonial methodologies to study marine plastic pollution. Dr. Liboiron has played leading roles in the establishment of the field of Discard Studies (the social study of waste and wasting), the Global Open Science Hardware movement, and is a figure in Indigenous science and technology studies and justice-oriented science.

Virus Evolution

with Paul Turner
Online
Thursday, December 10, • Thursday, December 17, 2020
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Applications & nominations are closed.

The current pandemic emphasizes the fact that viruses are always evolving and the importance of understanding how they are driven to emerge in new host species (such as humans). This class will explore virus evolution and the benefits of developing non-harmful viruses for use in disease therapy and other applications.

This is a two-session master class. In the first session, teachers learn from the master. In the second, participants have a rare and valuable opportunity to exchange ideas with other brilliant teachers. Participants are assigned a small amount of homework to prepare for each session.

Paul E. Turner, the Rachel Carson Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University, examines how viruses evolutionarily adapt to overcome new challenges. His laboratory uses an interdisciplinary approach to investigate these processes, employing techniques from microbiology, population genetics, genomics, molecular biology, and mathematical modeling. He was a member of the United States delegation at the joint USA-Russia Workshop on Infectious Disease held in Novosibirsk, Russia.

Inner Life of Animals

with Carl Safina
Online
Tuesday, October 13, 2020 •
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Applications & nominations no longer being accepted.

What goes on in the other minds that share our planet? What do animals think and feel? It’s helpful to remember that humans are animals, and while we cannot see a mind, we can examine brains, consider evolution, and witness the working of minds in the logic of behaviors. Many other animals have cultures, bodies of knowledge learned from parents and elders and passed along over generations. Culture is a form of inheritance that is not genetic. But it has major implications for evolution and for conservation of life on Earth.

Carl Safina is the inaugural holder of the Carl Safina Endowed Research Chair for Nature and Humanity at Stony Brook University.  His work has been recognized with MacArthur, Pew, and Guggenheim Fellowships, and his writing has won Orion, Lannan, and National Academies literary awards as well as the John Burroughs, James Beard, and George Rabb medals. He is founding president of the not-for-profit Safina Center. Safina hosted the 10-part PBS series Saving the Ocean with Carl Safina. His books include Beyond Words, Song for the Blue Ocean, and The Eye of the Albatross. His next book, Becoming Wild: How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace, will be published in April 2020.

Einstein and Relativity

with Brian Greene
Online
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 •
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Applications & nominations are no longer being accepted.

Einstein’s scientific breakthroughs revolutionized our conception of the universe. In this class, which presumes no background in the subject, we will explore visually how his insights transformed our understanding of space and time.

Brian Greene is a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University, where he also serves as the director of Columbia’s Center for Theoretical Physics. His most recent book, Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe, was published in February 2020.

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