On October 19, we had a fabulous day at the National Academies. We began with an overview of the National Academies which include the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council. That National Academy of Sciences was founded in 1863 and their role is to provide advice on science to the nation. Many of their reports are requested and funded by the government, but they are totally independent of the government in their findings. One of the first tasks of the NAS was to work out how to keep the iron-clad ships used in the Civil War from messing up compass bearings.
The rest of the day was spent hearing from the various divisions of the National Academies about what they do and what resources they have that are useful for teachers. There was a ton of stuff out there that I had no idea was there. For instance the Division of Earth and Life Sciences has a whole page devoted to resources for teachers with great information on a wide variety of topics.
After hearing about the different divisions, we visited the Koshland Science Museum, which is a small, but nicely done science museum which is part of the National Academies Keck Center. After that it was back over to the bookstore at the NAS, where we got a 25% off discount and I got my very own Albert Einstein Action Figure. He is very cute with hair you can play with and a piece of chalk in his hand.