River Project Meeting # 2 4.29.13

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This week we held a second great meeting on the developing River Project. Lynn R. from the Watershed Coalition of Ventura County was our guest partner and Mike Vollmert, our Director of Technology and fellow science and learning enthusiast were in attendance. Once again, I learned alot and it was a great and connected conversation.

The Watershed Coalition of Ventura County (WCVC) developed in 2002 and then grew again in 2006 and they connect people working on the Santa Clara, Ventura, and Calleguas watersheds.

Prop 50 and later prop 84 provided tax payer monies to work on our local water systems. The work is an Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) and they plan and do projects that affect: environment, recreation, flood protection, water supply, and water management.

We talked about a project, the natural flood plains project and also Army Core of Engineers work on feasibility studies.

I learned about two BIG ISSUES people are working on; Salt in the water and Invasive species of plants.

I learned that the Nature Conservancy has funded projects, as well as UCSB folks from the Marine Science institute to try to remove invasive plants such as arundo donax, a reed/plant from Spain that made its way here and has the habit of choking out other native plants and drinking too much water.

Mike Vollmert updated Lynn and I on a Rio project we have partnering with the US Fish and Wildlife group to restore some areas of our campuses to native plants. I look forward to that project moving forward.

I also learned that our local group was honored by the local American Public works chapter for its environmental projects. I learned that we have a great history of coming together here to solve problems and to see each others perspectives in order to find solutions that work for everyone and the community. 

I learned that or farmers in the area are voluntarily studying the salt in the water problem and that they have a long history of being good citizens of our community.

I look forward to starting some river walks and river talks and getting students and teachers engaged in learning about and from the river and all the many established networks of citizens and organizations that are deeply connected to the Santa Clara watershed…

I know that there is much more that I don’t know about the River than what I do know and I would guess this is true for many people so I hope the River Project can be a contribution our local schools make to not only educating our youth but also educating our community.

River Project Meeting # 1 4.26.13

On Friday, 4.26.13 we had our first meeting/talk with partners on our developing River project. It was great to meet and talk with Mike and Janis who are two local citizens who have been active in the community for years and who work on environmental issues related to water. I learned alot from the meeting. We also had local educator Linda B. at the meeting who I have worked with over the years as she has done great work in science education including work on the foxes of the channel islands.

Jeff Turner, our assistant superintendent was also in attendance and he revealed that he is exploring the Santa Clara river in the Fillmore area as well as doing a river restoration project with his family on property they have in Idaho.

We talked a little bit about the Freeman Diversion project in Saticoy.

I also learned that the Santa Clara River has carried vast amounts of minerals from the mountains to our plain making our farmlands some of the richest in the world. Good soils make good farms.

I learned a little about our underground water source, the Fox Canyon Aquifer.

I learned that local farmers use alot of the river water to grow our crops.

I learned that here in the Oxnard area we use about 50% river water/aquiferwater and 50% state water for our various uses

I talked about using the River project to allow and encourage our students to become learners, teachers, and stewards as they next generation of water managers.

I also learned that the Santa Clara River brings the sands to the sea and that this watershed system is part of the Santa Barbara Channel system.

No sand.. no surf.. so probably surfers have an interest in this system.

I learned that we have rich history of working well together, farmers, citizens, governments and this inspires me to see how we can do the same in our educational systems.

I learned that water law in California incorporates two major themes; 1st time use and best use. I love the law and how language and words help guide our human endeavors through a lens of justice and fairness.

I thank all who attended and I can’t wait until teachers and students get a chance to walk on the river and talk with these deeply committed and deeply interesting  people about the most amazing literal and metaphoric topic I can think of… that also happens to be the namesake of our school District;    Rio     the River.

The River Project

The River Project is a long term initiative engaging the Rio School Districtand multiple partners focused on collaborations among students, educators, and experts in a variety of fields to map, document, and come to know the River in our backyard (the District’s name sake) the Santa Clara River.

We envision an initiating process in which students, teachers, and experts take walking trips at local sites on the River and begin to map, document, video, and know the river in its many aspects including; environmental, scientific, historical, governmental, economic, social, cultural, and artistic.

The project has its seeds in developing discussions with the Nature Conservancy, the City of Oxnard, and a variety of other interested groups and individuals.

We see the river as a physical location, a metaphor, and fountain of educational opportunities for students, teachers and the community at large. Combining walks, talks, and video we imagine a mapping and digital documenting process that draws learners together of all ages to know the river from its mouth at the sea through its path in Ventura County.

We invite all interested partners to join us on this river journey. Please email us at mvollmert@rioschools.org

Visit http://therioriverproject.tumblr.com for more info!

Materials Colloquium coming May 29, 2013

Materials Colloquium links   

VCSTEAMN (Ventura County Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math Network)

Materials Science and Engineering

Materials Science… Chemistry for Life

Materials Science and Engineering

Strange Matter

Materials Classroom

Materials Videos, Games, Simulations and more

Top 100 Materials Scientists

Materials Science Fair Projects

Tensile Test Experiments

Virtual Museum of Minerals and Molecules

The Future of Materials Science

Materials and Technology

Common Molecules

Materials, Technology, and Sports

Smart Materials

Wild Materials

Materials and Art

Extraordinary Art from Ordinary Objects

Understanding Materials in Primary Art Teaching

VCSTEAMN Aims

Ventura County
Science Technology  ngineering Arts Mathematics
Network
                    VCSTEAMN Aims

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           The VCSTEAMN intends to do the following:

To develop partnerships and community among educators, scientists, technology specialists, artists, engineers, and mathematicians and those interested in these fields aimed at furthering educational opportunities and achievement for learners of all ages.

To host quarterly forums on STEAM topics.

To conduct educational workshops.

To foster and facilitate professional learning communities and mentorships.

To foster and facilitate collaborative projects.

To conduct research on STEAM related activities.

To foster and generate STEAM related funding and grants.

To connect STEAM related activities to the Common Core Standards and 21st Century Learning

To provide web- based access to STEAM related resources and communications.

VCSTEAMN Colloquium # 2…..Materials

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The Ventura County Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts,Mathematics Network (VCSTEAMN) is bringing our second Colloquium to our community of Educators.

Our first Symmetry Colloquium was great….

Our 2nd colloquium will be all about MATERIALS….

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and will be held on May 29, 2013…a Wednesday from 4:30 to 6:30 pm.

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Check out this great list of links that are developing..we hope to see you there….

Materials Colloquium links                                                                           4.23.2013

VCSTEAMN (Ventura County Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math Network)

Materials Science and Engineering

Materials Science… Chemistry for Life

Materials Science and Engineering

Strange Matter

Materials Classroom

Materials Videos, Games, Simulations and more

Top 100 Materials Scientists

Materials Science Fair Projects

Tensile Test Experiments

Virtual Museum of Minerals and Molecules

The Future of Materials Science

Materials and Technology

Common Molecules

Materials, Technology, and Sports

Smart Materials

Wild Materials

Materials and Art

Extraordinary Art from Ordinary Objects

Understanding Materials in Primary Art Teaching

Earth Day 2013

Today, April 22, 2013 is the official Earth Day.

The first Earth Day has its origins in nearby Santa Barbara. Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, inspired by the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California and other events of the late sixties, worked to  push environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson along with Pete McCloskey, Congressman, and Denis Hayes, national coordinator,  built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land.

As a result, on the 22nd of April, 20 million Americans put on events to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Earth Day 1970 led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

Here, in our neck of the woods, and in our school District, I encourage all our educators to be sure to honor this day and to integrate learning about the planet Earth (science, math, literature, reading, social studies, history…) into everyday lessons that extend far and beyond this one day of awareness. Along these lines, our developing River Project is intended to do just that.

Buckminster Fuller gave us all the most apt metaphor for understanding our place in time and space when he spoke of our planet as Spaceship Earth. It is clearly our charge as educators and stewards of the planet and next generation to keep environmental and whole systems ideas in mind as we interact with our youth; the next stewards of the planet.

21st Century Education

In keeping with our aim to provide a 21st Century Education for our students, the Rio School District recently became part of a world class network of forward thinking school Districts. The group is called Edleader21 and we are excited to join and contribute to the network and look forward to learning from our colleagues.

The Rio Indigenous Project

The Rio Indigenous Project

is a new collaboration, engaging the staff and partners of the Rio School District and the Mixteco community in a learning and development process with three basic aims;

these are the three legs of the stool;

Develop a website that enables learning centered on Mixteco culture, knowledge, life. 

Build enduring and productive relationships. 

Support actions, initiatives, policies and ways of doing and being that support the Mixteco and all indigenous communities.

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Rivers and Puddles

Since coming to the Rio School District in July 2012, I have been thinking about the “River” as a metaphor for a modern organization. This paper on Rivers and Puddles captures an important need for 21st Century organizations to be addressing Kaizen in ways of being and doing.

I thought it was pretty good.