EI LIVE K12: RSVP for Our June Sessions

Students will make their own glacier goo, take a virtual drone flight over the ocean, and much more in these live sessions taught by Earth Institute experts.

Cassie Xu
May 15, 2020
ship in ocean
The Marcus G. Langseth research vessel. Photo: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

May has been another exciting month for the Earth institute as we put out programming for our K12 students and educators. Thank you so much to the many wonderful students, educators, and parents who have tuned in for our sessions. It’s been great to hear from you about our programming and to see you engage and learn with us.

We’re now looking to June as we roll out final month of EI LIVE sessions for K12 audiences. Our upcoming June sessions are listed below, and we will follow the same format where we feature scientific experts across the Earth Institute in 60-minute sessions sharing their sustainability-related work through lectures, interactive activities, and/or demos.

We will continue to stream the sessions live to YouTube on Mondays and Wednesdays each week from 2:00-3:00pm EDT (with the exception of the session on June 17, which is at 9:00am EDT). Below is the schedule for sessions up until June 29. We will also be doing a few special sessions in July and August, so stay tuned for those!

All the sessions are free, but pre-registration is REQUIRED for each event. RSVP links are available below. We will send a YouTube link to all registered participants 30 minutes prior to the start of the programming.

A recommended age group is listed for each event. Where we are able to, we will share additional readings and resources with educators.

All the sessions will be recorded and hosted on the EI Live website for easy accessibility.

If you have any questions about these events, please contact Cassie Xu ([email protected]).

Crystal Mysteries: The Secret Lives of Snowflakes (Grades 5-8)

Monday, June 1, 2020 | 2:00 to 3:00pm EDT

Presenters: Ann Fridlind, Adjunct Research Scientist, Center for Climate Systems Research, Earth Institute, and Kyle Fitch, PhD Candidate, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Utah

Description: The shapes of a snowflakes can tell us a lot about how much we can expect the planet to warm or how much snow we can expect from an approaching snowstorm. Through a presentation and hands-on demonstration*, students will learn how ice particles are born in “cold” clouds, how they grow, and how they eventually fall out of clouds as snow. We will also discuss how these tiny, complicated snowflake shapes are tied to larger global climate and weather patterns.

RSVP here.

*To follow along at home, here’s what you’ll need:

4 sheets of paper, including this one.



Elmer’s glue (optional)

Small styrofoam balls (approximately 1 cm in diameter, optional)

Sea for Yourself: Exploring Sea Level Rise through the Polar Explorer (Grades 7-12)

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 | 2:00 to 3:00pm EDT

Presenters: Margie Turrin, Director of Educational Field Programs, and Laurel Zaima, Education Program Assistant, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Description: Data visualizations such as interactive maps help us to understand the drives and impacts of sea level changes, both locally and globally. Using the Polar Explorer web-based app (http://www.polar-explorer.org), join us on an investigation to understand sea level, why it changes, how it is changing in different parts of the world, and what are the impacts.

RSVP here.

Machine Learning for Snowflake Classification (Grades 9-12, and undergraduates)

Monday, June 8, 2020 | 2:00 to 3:00pm EDT

Presenter: Kyle Fitch, PhD Candidate, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Utah

Description: Machine learning is being used to make advances in just about every industry today. In this session, we will introduce you to the three components of machine learning and show you how they come together to automatically classify images of snowflakes. This introduction will include a description of up to four different machine learning algorithms, which are different ways of applying mathematical and statistical techniques to find the best solution.

RSVP here.

I LavA Good Volcano (Grades 2-5)

Wednesday, June 10, 2020 | 2:00 to 3:00pm EDT

Presenter: Janine Birnbaum, PhD Candidate, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University

Description: Students will learn key definitions and the processes that lead to volcanic eruptions. We will cover questions such as, what are the different types of volcanoes? What are the different kinds of volcanic eruptions? And what is the relationship between volcanoes and plate tectonics?

RSVP here.

Grassroots Peacebuilding in Colombia with Social Labs (Grades 10-12, and undergraduates)

Monday, June 15, 2020 | 2:00 to 3:00pm EDT

Presenter: Joan C. Lopez, Program Manager of the Youth, Peace and Security Program, Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity (AC4), Earth Institute

Description: In this session, we will learn some of the methods and practices of peacebuilding and social innovation by exploring our Social Lab experience with youth in Medellin, Colombia. We will see how a group of community members came together to transform the problem of youth violence in some of Medellin’s marginalized neighborhoods. We will explore how the science of peacebuilding is useful to identify deep-rooted social problems and how to transform them. Students will have the opportunity to share their concerns and ideas about the social problems around them, and collectively we will co-design possible solutions.

RSVP here.

Urban Sustainability in China (Grades 9-12)

Wednesday, June 17, 2020 | 9:00 to 10:00am EDT

Presenter: Dong Guo, Associate Director for the Research Program on Sustainability Policy and Management

Description: Join us for this morning lecture where Dr. Guo will discuss how cities in China have been implementing sustainability initiatives, and how cities in general can more effectively manage their sustainability with better measurement indicators. He will also discuss an innovative measurement system that help rank cities based on their sustainability performances.

RSVP here.

It Takes A Village: Citizen Science in Rural India (Grades 9-12)

Monday, June 22, 2020 | 2:00 to 3:00pm EDT

Presenters: Radhika Iyengar, Director of Education, Center for Sustainable Development, and Lex van Geen, Lamont Research Professor, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Description: The workshop will take a case study from India on fluoride detection in water and how citizen science efforts were utilized to contribute to scientific research. The case study will help students to understand the fluoride problem in a rural setting and will broadly discuss an example of how citizen science can be used on a large scale for important research purposes.

RSVP here.

Rivers of Ice with the Glacier Goo (Grades 5-8)

Wednesday, June 24, 2020 | 2:00 to 3:00pm EDT

Presenter: Laurel Zaima, Education and Outreach Assistant, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Description: In this demo, Laurel will help you explore how glaciers flow in your home kitchen! While they may look like solid blocks of ice up close, glaciers are so heavy that gravity causes the ice that makes up glaciers to ooze, like honey. Together, you’ll cook up some goo* and get a feeling for how glaciers actually move.

RSVP here.

*To make and experiment with your own glacier goo (which is not mandatory, but suggested), here’s what you’ll need:

Part 1:

1 20 oz cup

1 stirring stick

3/4 cup warm water

1 cup Elmers white glue

Part 2:

1 8 oz cup

1/2 cup warm water

1 stirring stick (for the 8 oz cup)

2 tsp. Borax powder

1 qt plastic zip lock bag

Climate Research with Flying Robots (Grades 6-12)

Monday, June 29, 2020 | 2:00 to 3:00pm EDT

Presenters: Christopher Zappa, Lamont Research Professor, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Description: In this session, Christopher Zappa will take participants on a virtual ride of discovery on an unmanned aerial vehicle from the Pacific Ocean near Fiji all the way to a coastal village in the Arctic. He will talk about the physics behind a warming ocean, his fieldwork, the data he collects and analyzes, and how his work is critical to understanding the impacts of a changing climate on the subsistence living of indigenous communities in Alaska.

RSVP here.