Thursday, December 25, 2014

Warmest Wishes for Fantastic Festivities!

Whatever your festivities and traditions are around this solstice time of year, all of us at InsightSTEM hope that you are having good times with family and friends!

We are looking forward to a fantastic 2015, so look out for posts coming in the next few days as the new year approaches about our great plans for projects kicking off and running in the first part of the year.

Remember you can subscribe to this blog via email, use the quick and simple form below, or just click this link (please note: you will be sent a confirmation email, and you must confirm before you will receive any emails)

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Meanwhile, revel in this holiday season... and as always keep exploring and enjoying Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics with all around you!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

From London: Inspired to Explore Knowledge Worldwide

On Friday, I great day in London visiting the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and British Library -- remembering the roots of my own lifelong knowledge explorations on visits to London as a child (I grew up in central England). I still remember being fascinated by all the exhibits, in particular at the Natural History Museum with what I still think are the best dinosaurs anywhere in the world! It is fantastic to start thinking about how InsightSTEM can collaborate with these organizations, and make some of their great collections explorable around the world in novel ways.

Entrance the the Darwin Centre in the Natural History Museum, where visitors can see research scientists at work in the Museum's Huge Collection from around the world (JNS)
The most complete Stegosaurus fossil in the world, on display in the Earth Hall at the Natural History Museum in London (JNS)

A section of the Kings Library in the British Library 
The British Library is an awesome place to get inspired about the book projects that I am working on too. check back in the blog soon for details of the "Five Rules of Family Science" book that I am working on for release during next year. The book is aimed at families who want to explore science together -- but to go beyond just following some "cook book" style activities for the kids to doing some genuine investigation.

... I also picked up some postcards to start sending to our KinderSTEM classrooms -- so watch out for some upcoming posts sharing my travels through the world with STEM for young audiences!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Help cover our map!

Thanks to all of our startup campaign donors! Shown below is a map of where all of our donors came from as of December 14th, 2014... If you donated, you should be able to locate your donor badge on the map!

Can YOU help us cover more of the map before the end of the year!? (Either by contributing, or encouraging others to). Every donation is greatly appreciated, and appears on the map... send us a donation and then look for your badge on the next map release :)

Donors are indicated by the donation reward badge earned -- check out for more information on the campaign, how to donate, and the various reward levels.

Thanks for any support you can give!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Join Amazon Student and Support InsightSTEM

An easy way for students to become "Surveyor Level" Donors of InsightSTEM!

If you are a student, another way that you can help us out is by following our ref feral link and joining Amazon Student (which gets you many of the benefits of Amazon Prime for free!). If you let us know at that you used our link to sign up then we will send you out an InsightSTEM wrist band for becoming a "Surveyor" level contributor at no cost to you!!

Follow this Link to join now!!

Thanks for your support!


Sundays are a great day for some Laptop Lounging and sharing links around the web. We thought we would blog a bunch of our links firstly to make sure to have them listed in one place, and hopefully to help get the word spread around the web about our efforts!

Happy Share Links Sunday!

PS: If you are reading this on our blog page, then check out the buttons below to like and share this post!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Book of the Month (January 2015)

Each month we will recommend a book related to learning STEM topics through exploration, and we will host an online book discussion around the middle of the month -- we hope you can join us remotely with a glass of wine and a snack to discuss the book we have been reading. Please follow the provided links to order the book, as that allows us to generate a little extra revenue to support the programs of InsightSTEM at no extra cost to you!

Book for January 2015: Talking Their Way into Science
Karen Gallas (1995) Teachers College Press: New York, NY

Buy the Book -- Register for Discussion

This book is an excellent guide to classroom dialogs about scientific thought. While based on an early elementary classroom setting the messages in the book are relevant to science instructors at all levels (including parents working with their families, and educators in out-of-school settings). Anyone who wants to talk with people about science and explore their thinking will gain a lot from this book.

This has been one of my personal favorites for over a decade, and the messages have remained relevant over that whole time. Karen Gallas explains beautifully the "Science Talks" that regularly occur in her classrooms, including how to deal with questions that are just too hard. (I know well from my own experience that Kindergarten kids can ask seemingly innocent questions that are still on the unknown boundaries of science.)

One of the most enjoyable parts of the book are the actual classroom narratives that are threaded through the text revealing both the complex level of thinking that even these very young students are capable of -- and how extract that thinking through dialog, and then create learning moments fitting to their developing understandings.

Order Here:
Talking Their Way into Science: Hearing Children's Questions and Theories, Responding With Curricula (Language and Literacy Series (Teachers College ... in Contemporary Educational Thought)

Book-Club Discussion:
Register for the online discussion, to be held at 4pm PST/5pm MST/6pm CST/7pm EST on January 13, 2015

Friday, December 12, 2014

Borman Elementary: Exploring STEM from Kindergarten

Students at Borman dedicate their "be kind" mural (USAF)
An excellent afternoon yesterday at Borman Elementary School on the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. I (Jake) began to meet with the Kinder team's classes, and explore their classrooms in preparation for our planned partnership to help the children and teachers to learn science through active exploration leveraging their existing resources for maximum effectiveness.

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (USAF)
We are very excited to have the opportunity to work with the Kinder team at Borman and offer them continuing support -- which we then hope will result in strategies that can be spread across other kindergarten classrooms, not only in the US, but also providing resources that could be used by schools on US military bases worldwide.

Supporting STEM exploration in kindergarten is essential to develop learners who are investigative, creative, inquiring thinkers from the very start of their education -- sparking interests that can last the lifetime of their school experiences, and beyond.

(Support for this program is provided from the InsightSTEM general funds, contributions can be made at

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

K12 Astronomical Opportunities in Seattle this January

The semi-annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society will be held in Seattle, WA in January 2015 – and along with the meeting there are FREE events of interest for K12 teachers with an interested in engaging more with astronomy and astronomers!

1) A FREE K12 Educator Reception Sponsored by the Association for Astronomy Education and InsightSTEM will be held on Sunday, 4 January 2015 from 5-6:30pm. The reception is an opportunity for Astronomers and K12 Educators to meet and mingle in a relaxed social environment! Our K12 Educator Reception brings together Astronomy Research professionals, Astronomy Education professionals, and K12 Teachers to share the latest in research and education in astronomy. Please join us to reconnect with colleagues, and to form new partnerships and contacts. Drinks and light snacks are provided! For more information and to register please visit

2) A FREE Student Astronomy Outreach Event targeted towards middle and high school students.  We would like to invite local student groups, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program participants, home schoolers, etc. to the event on Tuesday, 6 January 2015 from 11:15am-2:00pm.  Students will have the opportunity to participate in hands-on demonstrations and talk with real scientists and engineers at the forefront of astronomy research. Student Groups can make reservations at

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Startup Campaign Contributions Pass 10%!

We are very pleased that our Startup Campaign contributions have now passed 10% of our goal thanks to 29 very generous donors! Each donation earns a badge (along with other rewards to show our thanks), and we made the graph below to show how the badges earned are stacking up so far, with our Navigators taking the clear lead...

You can check out the campaign at for more details, and to make a donation if you are able to support us.

Monday, December 8, 2014


Welcome to the Blog of InsightSTEM, Inc. We look forward to keeping you up to date on all of our projects and programs, and on the activities of our team members. Check back soon, or subscribe now, for new content and updates.