Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thank You Note

I received a thank you note today from an After-school teacher. She's been using our links page to teach her students basic physics. Withe her students, she found a page about simple machines in cars, & asked me to add it to our Links page. So I did.

Thanks, Kristen McNally. You made my day.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Keynote Speaker

We have a keynote speaker for this year's Faraday Event: Amber Stokes. She is a Graduate Student in the Utah State University Biology Department in Dr. Brodie's lab.

She says:

    Our lab researches Tetrodotoxin, which is a neurotoxin found in newts (type of salamander) and most famously in puffer fish. Garter snakes in certain locations have evolved resistance to this toxin and there is a predator-prey arms race between the two species. I could present this research (which goes back 20 years). I work on novel predation on newts as well as a species of flatworm that produces this toxin as well. With novel predation, we observed otters eating newts, which ended up having really low levels of the toxin.

    I feel that the research done in our lab is really ecologically relevant, and easy to condense for an 8-12 year old. I would love to get some audience participation throughout the presentation to really get the kids involved and thinking. Also, I would be able/willing to bring some animals for them to see/hold. I would likely be able to bring garter snakes, newts, and possibly other amphibians/snakes if you thought that would be appropriate.

For more information about the Faraday Event, go to

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cache Valley Non-Profits Conference

This morning I went to a conference put on by the Cache Interagency Council, a networking group for all the non-profit organizations in the valley. There was breakfast & snacks & lunch & plenty of opportunities for networking in between the three presentations. Here are my notes:

Doug Stephenson introduced the speakers

Social Media


    Fact, Fair, Full, Faith

Get SHDC Youtube channel. Talk to Chrysostoms about filming. Google+, Pintrest

Keep a Twitter tab open. FB group, too. set events up in group

find out about putting lessons on Kahn

blog post every week (I really need to work on this, but here's a start)

Social Media Club of Cache Valley 2nd Tues 6:30 pm. For November it's at the Bear River Health Department

Write a social media policy. Mining for Gold: Grant Basics
United Way of Northern Utah in Ogden - Nikki Lovel 2955 Harrison Blvd Zeda Haws Community Center 801-399-5584

Follow THEIR process

Finding a Grant
-Foundation Center for federal funding

build a relationship w/ corporations
report back, pictures, et.

Boiler Plate Resources -Local & state demographics & date (Census) point-in-time data
-Risk & Protective Factor information, usually collected at the state level by Mental Health or Substance Abuse
-Kids Count (Voices of UT)
- Education informatin: reading, math, science scores, drop out rates, free & reduced lunch, school violence data, students/adults needing HS completion, etc.
-can get data off of Uited Way

-Needs to be developed to present to collaborators prior to writing the grant
-Needs to describe the program/project in a compelling way
-Briefley describes the need & what will be done to address that need
-1 page: need, solution, outcomes

- only ask a portion of total funding needs from each, list all collaborators & exactly what you're getting from each.

Advisory Board for continuous improvement (BoD can serve that function)

How was the need identified?
Where were statistics optained?

-learn to write by reading

    find out how to sign up to read & score grants
    go to dept website - look for "Reviewers Needed"

-Every rejection is an opportunity - always ask for feedback

Program Design
-tie need to activity. tie the activity to measuring the difference made to the need.
-Enhance or Expand - do not ask for funds for positions that already exist
-Get Spelling & Grammer right!

Have someone else proofread!

Research the funder as well as the need, write to audience

Emotional Engagement
Smart leaders know things - Brilliant leaders question what they know
Break the status quo
Engage in a worthy project
Ask "How good could this be" not just "best practices"

Embrace new challenges
create an experience like no other
do what other organizations don't


emotional engagement fr employees & clients is most critical for success

    30% emotionally engaged
    54% not engaged
    16% Actively disengaged

Versatility = Change

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Public Stellarium Presentation

Today @5pm, in the Logan Library Bonneville Room

Hope to see you there! Check the calendar regularly for more Public Stellarium Presentations over the next few months. If you don't live in Logan, & would like one in your town, e-mail me. Or if you think another day and/or time than Tuesdays at 5pm would work best, also e-mail me.