It has been a busy summer or the Oklahoma Museum Network.  In less than two months, OMN staff have facilitated five amazing teacher training workshops!

In conjunction with the Oklahoma State Department of Commence, OMN presented in a landmark teacher training institute, Easy Being Green.  Partners in June’s EBG endeavor included University of Oklahoma’s K20 Center, Francis Tuttle CareerTech, and OSU-IT in Okmulgee.  Participating teachers learned about the science fundamentals of alternative energy, visited alternative energy sites, and developed innovative cross-curricular lesson plans based on new knowledge.

The Oklahoma Museum Network just wrapped up two summer workshops for the Oklahoma State Department of Education.  Our teachers came from all over the state, from Wyandotte to Coweta!  Thank you for coming out for three full days of inquiry.

And in a professional development double-header, last weekend OMN hosted NASA’s Basics of Rocketry workshop.  Fred, our wonderful NASA educator, facilitated two sessions in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.  Teachers learned the principles of rocket flight and constructed their own model rocket.  And with special precautions, participants deployed the rockets; many flew several hundred feet!

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From Steve Spangler to biofuel basics, OMN provides exciting, hands-on professional development experiences to teachers year round.  Make sure to sign up for our educators’ listserv on our website to learn the very latest in training opportunities near you!  If you or your district is interested in comprehensive and immersive teacher training, call 405.602.3685 for more information!


The Oklahoma Museum Network has had a busy spring!  While wrapping up the Science Matters Mobile Museum’s third year of visiting schools, we are preparing for an even busier summer.  In June, OMN is working in conjunction with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Francis Tuttle CareerTech, OSU IT in Okmulgee, and OU’s K20 to host a summer teaching academy, Easy Being Green. This academy will educate teachers about Oklahoma’s emergence in the Green economy as well as reinforce a basic understanding of alternative energies.  There was so much demand for the workshop that the limited spaces available filled in less than an hour of opening!

OMN will also continue its relationship with the Oklahoma State Department of Education, providing two workshops in July.  Both workshops, entitled Introduction to Inquiry, will cover the basic elements of using inquiry in the classroom.  These workshops have also already filled.

And lastly, OMN will host The Basics of Rocketry at Science Museum Oklahoma on July 22nd.  This workshop is offered by NASA and is open to all educators.  Call 405.602.3760 to enroll today!

Thanks again to all the teachers who contributed feedback about the Steve Spangler workshop.  Your emails and photos were greatly appreciated.  Keep in touch!

On Saturday, April 9th, Steve Spangler held a fabulous workshop for classroom, museum, and nonprofit educators all over the region–nearly 200 people attended from Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas! Spangler entreated the crowd to comical stories about life as a science teacher, amazing theatrics, and hands-on activities in which everyone could participate.

Some teachers were to excited about the workshop, they sent us photos and video of the event!

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Robin Tyrrell from Sadler Arts Academy wrote:

I ABSOLUTELY LOVED the workshop! …  Thank you SOOO much for such a tremendous, inspiring, learning experience!  I am so excited to be able to give  my children these wonderful learning experiences that I KNOW will inspire them to inquire more, ask questions, and become excited about science!  (I know this, because I AM!) Thank you to The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation for your generosity and Oklahoma Museum Network for your planning and organization of the Steve Spangler Workshop!

Connie from Eliot Elementary found new applications for working with Jelly Crystals:

…I went and bought the water jelly crystals at Wal-mart.  Used the color tablets and colored ten different containers.  I put the crystals with dinosaur animals (dinosaurs is our unit theme) in our sensory table.  The kids were so excited to play there during center time…

Check out this Youtube video of a live demonstration:

Shelly from Oklahoma City Public Schools wrote us over the weekend:

I just wanted to let you know that this workshop was one of the best I had been to in quite some time. It was nice to see someone conduct a hands-on approach to a workshop where we as participants were able to be a part. I would recommend this workshop to everyone and have told all my coworkers about it so far and am going to share with them some of the many things Steve taught me.

Keep ’em coming, teachers!  We will be posting your thoughts and media for the rest of the month!

Here’s a quick update from the road, dear readers.  Our home offices (Science Matters HQ) intercepted a transmission from one of our awesome EPSCoR schools, Watonga Middle School.  Our biofuel brethren there fashioned the largest thank you card we have ever seen!

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Adios for now,

Dr. Cy

My dear cohorts,

This spring, the Science Matters Mobile Museum has been touring Oklahoma’s schools full throttle.  Teachers are eager to give their students an opportunity for hands-on learning before testing season is in full swing.  Last week alone, the Mobile Museum hosted over 300 students!  Network Educators John and Adrienne stayed and ate spaghetti in beautiful McAlester, Oklahoma, the self-proclaimed “home of cowboys and Italians”.

Howdy from Vanoss, OK!

Here’s to a spring of hands-on discovery learning!

Dr. Cy N. Tist

February and March have been busy months for the Oklahoma Museum Network!  In addition to a brisk Mobile Museum schedule, the Network has held two teacher workshops; one took place in Lawton, the other in Oklahoma City.  The professional development workshops, funded by Walmart stores,  explored the power of inquiry learning.  Teachers were able to engage in hands-on activities that they could use in their classroom to sharpen their students’ process skills.

Both workshops also included auditing pre-service teachers from Cameron University and the University of Central Oklahoma.  The students’ attendance helped keep things lively and offered a new perspective on inquiry and hands-on learning in the classroom.  We are excited to equip the next generation of teachers with a solid understanding on inquiry!

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February has been a busy month for the scheming folks at the Oklahoma Museum Network!  We have installed two exhibits thus far at our partners in Enid and Tulsa.  Leonardo’s Discovery Warehouse is now home to AirPlay, a fabulous group of exhibits that demonstrate the power of air.  Visitors can harness the invisible properties of the atmosphere to create a huge vacuum cleaner, solve mazes, and even shoot flutter discs with balls of air!  Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium boasts Memory, an exhibit from the Exploratorium that explores the nature and physiology behind our memories through art, video, and hands-on play.  Both exhibits are immersive and interactive and are ideal for all ages.  Check out the museums’ websites for visiting information.

Though the museum life seems glamorous, we do have to get down and dirty during exhibit assembly.  OMN staff, partners, and a few brave friends helped construct the exhibits.  Thanks for your assistance!  Here is a quick behind-the-scenes look at the installation process in Enid and Tulsa during the last two weeks:

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Two more exhibitions, SPEED and Tinkering, are slated to open later this month in Lawton and Seminole.  Stay tuned to learn more about fantastic new hands-on learning opportunities coming to your community!

Dr. Cy N. Tist

Hola, amigos!

I hope all my readers have remained warm during the recent slew of blizzards!  In trying to prevent hypothermia, I have remained buried under pine shavings in my lab rat’s nest.  (We in the Rattus norvegicus family know how to stay cozy!) But I digress…

Not only do I and my nefarious entourage of educators plan hands-on exhibits and power the Science Matters Mobile Museum, but we also design totally rad professional development for teachers and museums!  In the past, we have worked with the Oklahoma State Department of Education, A+ Schools, Oklahoma EPSCoR, Walmart stores, and the Oklahoma Science Teachers Association to provide hands-on, inquiry-based education workshops.  My minions help teachers spiral new information into existing curricula or programming, all while addressing Oklahoma PASS standards and other needs.  (We often have the opportunity to blow things up too…but you’ll have to inquire Sherry Marshall, our ringleader extraordinaire, about that.)  According to exit surveys, previous participants agree: our workshops are fun, fast-paced, and totally relevant to current content standards.

If you are interested in learning about upcoming workshops or would like the Oklahoma Museum Network to design PD especially for your district or museum, subscribe to our blog and you’ll become part of our Education Superstar Taskforce (or teacher email listerv, if you prefer the more traditional, more vanilla name)!

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I hope to see you at our next education workshop!


Dr. Cy N. Tist

Name: Kim Jones

Occupation: Deputy Director/Curator at Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium

Random Fact: Kim once fell off of a two-story building and lived to tell about it.  He doesn’t recommend that anyone else try it!

Look over there!

Hello there!  I was the first employee at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium (TASM).  Some say that makes me the oldest employee but actually I am just the longest tenured employee.  I have worked at the museum since 1996.  As a curator I am in charge of researching, designing and constructing the exhibits in the museum.  I am also in charge of the collection of the museum, which includes everything from real airplanes to thousands of vintage aviation photographs, many of which are autographed by such famous people as Amelia Earhart, Will Rogers and Wiley Post!  One of the best parts of my job is that I get to meet some really cool and famous people like Oklahoma astronauts, Thomas Stafford, John Herrington, William Pogue and Owen Garriott.  As a result of my work at TASM I have been afforded the opportunity to write books and magazine and newspaper articles about aviation and aerospace history in Oklahoma.  I also get to interview many people who have actually lived aviation history in Oklahoma and to share their stories with the thousands of people that visit TASM each year.  My hobbies include sculpting historical miniatures, acting, bird-watching, collecting U.S. Cavalry uniforms and equipment and working on my home and landscaping.

Maintenance of the Science Matters Mobile Museum can often be a big undertaking.  In addition to the ten exhibits aboard, the truck is powered by an enormous Mercedes-Benz engine and sports a generator that produces enough electricity for 15 houses!  Needless to say, sometimes John and Adrienne have to use a little elbow grease to keep the vehicle in top shape.

However, sometimes things go wrong…

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Sorry John!


Dr. Cy N. Tist

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