It’s Time for Science Episode 9: Extended Learning Opportunities

It’s Time for Science Episode 9: Extended Learning Opportunities

This month on It’s Time for Science, it’s time for extended learning! Host Tom Racine talks with Dr. Bryan Méndez about the upcoming solar eclipse and curriculum specialist Erica Beck Spencer about getting kids outside.

Episode Summary

Tom talks with Dr. Méndez about what an eclipse actually is, including what to expect from a total solar eclipse, how to look at the eclipse safely, and how to engage your students with this amazing celestial event.

A Reminder on Eclipse Safety

As Dr. Méndez points out, while it is technically safe to look directly at the eclipse during the “brief and spectacular period known as totality,” this only applies to those folks who will be in the path of the total eclipse and then ONLY for the small amount of time during the totality.

For more on eclipse safety, check out our latest FOSS Insights article. For information on where and how to view an upcoming eclipse, visit NASA’s website at the link below.

2024 Solar Eclipse Information

Ms. Beck Spencer discusses how going outside can benefit students’ mental health, how starved they often are for outside time, some of her favorite activities (and how to successfully manage them), and connecting inside learning with outside learning. She also discusses connecting to local experiences, including local resources designed to help educators get kids outside.

Episode Guests

Dr. Bryan Méndez

Dr. Bryan Méndez is an astronomer at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the Planetarium Director at the Lawrence Hall of Science, creates educational programming for NASA missions at the Space Sciences Laboratory, and teaches classes for the Astronomy Department.

Also Read : 6 DIY Valentines Decor Ideas

Dr. Méndez is a family man who loves to spend time with his wife and twin boys, a sci-fi/fantasy fan with particular obsessions for Star Wars and Star Trek, a saxophonist, and an amateur filmmaker. He is multicultural, of Mexican and European heritage, and strives to foster diverse perspectives in his work.

Follow Dr. Méndez on Instagram and Threads and the Lawrence Hall of Science on Facebook, Instagram, and X.

Erica Beck Spencer

Erica Beck Spencer is a curriculum specialist with the Full Option Science System (FOSS®) and spearheaded the Taking FOSS Outdoors initiative. In addition to her development work, she has collaborated with over 50 districts and tens of thousands of educators on implementing the FOSS program. She has worked with thousands of formal and nonformal teachers about teaching outside. She has served on the board of directors for the Maine Environmental Education Association, Rippleffect, and will be stepping up as the board president for the Maine Math and Science Alliance. Before working for FOSS, she taught in urban schools in Cambridge, Boston, and Portland, Maine.

It’s Time for Science! To get in touch with us, whether to offer some feedback, ideas for future episodes or reviews, or just to say hi, send us a message at [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you!

Look for School Specialty and FOSS on X and FacebookIt’s Time for Science is produced by School Specialty® and the Full Option Science System (FOSS®) at the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley.

Originally published in