Science Byte

Zachary Community School District

January and February 2016

monthly message

Hi teachers! 2015 was an exciting year for science! Here are just a few highlights as we look back. New elements were added to the periodic table. We gathered even more evidence on the problem of plastics polluting our world's oceans. After nearly ten years of travel, New Horizons gave us an unprecedented look at our dwarf planet, Pluto. Scientists made tremendous breakthroughs in gene editing with amazing promise for everything from combatting malaria through gene manipulation in mosquitos to using gene "scissors" to put a patient's cancer into remission. 2016 has started off with excitement as well- on February 11, it was announced that for the first time, gravitational waves have been detected! As we are moving forward to 2016, remember that the work that you do each day to inspire and engage scientific thinkers is so important and so very needed. Keep up the great work, and don't forget how infectious your own love of learning and discovery can be!

Gravitational Waves Detected with the help of Livingston, Louisiana's LIGO!

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Two Black Holes Merge Into One
LIGO: The First Observation of Gravitational Waves
LIGO detects gravitational waves -- Press Conference

BREC Nature Hike with Outdoor Adventure

Saturday, Feb. 13th, 9am

17819 Frenchtown Road

Central, LA

The Outdoor Adventure team is partnering with Conservation to offer a hike through nature with a naturalist. Enjoy the outdoors and learn something new about your favorite hiking or trail running spot.

Frenchtown Road Conservation Area
Feb. 13
9 - 11 a.m.
Ages: 6 & older (or able to complete a 3 mile hike without stroller)
$3 per person / Registration required at

BREC Birds and Beyond Adventure

Saturday, March 5th, 7:30am

Lake Martin-Cypress Island Preserve

BREC Conservation and Outdoor Adventure are joining forces to offer you a great birding adventure! Join BREC naturalists and local bird experts on a journey to see all that our local waterways have to offer. You will get the full safari experience by kayak on Lake Martin, one of Louisiana’s premier birding hotspots. Birds will be the focus, but no creature is off limits as we explore the food chain that supports local bird communities. Participants are expected to have basic paddling skills. This event is weather dependent and registration is limited to kayak availability.

Lake Martin-Cypress Island Preserve
March 5
7:30 a.m.-noon
Ages: 13 & older (Must be able to complete a three-mile paddle by kayak)
$25 per person, $20 if participants provide their own transportation.
Registration required at

Rockin' At the Swamp

Saturday, March 19th, 9am-4pm

10503 North Oak Hills Parkway

Baton Rouge, LA

Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center

Join us to explore the exciting world of rocks, minerals, gemstones and fossils. Add to your rock collection or find some unique gift items at our Rockhound Market. Try your skill scaling our rock climbing wall. Learn to identify different rocks and minerals and make your own take-home identification card on our Treasure Trail. Experience the excitement of the gold rush while hunting for iron pyrite in our Gold Mine. Make a Pet Rock or paint your own Rock Python or Stone Turtle in our craft corner. Explore ancient life forms in the Fossil Quarry. This is one rockin’ day of fun highlighting geology and earth science. Registration is not required.

Adults: $5 / Children (Ages: 2-17): $4 / Children (Ages: 2 & younger): Free / Pass members: $2

National Science Teachers' Association Annual National Conference

Thursday, March 31st, 7am to Sunday, April 3rd, 12pm

201 5th Avenue South

Nashville, TN


Saturday, April 2nd, 9am-9pm

13900 South Harrell's Ferry Road

Baton Rouge, LA

Grab your field guides and boots and join BREC naturalists and local scientists as we document the diversity of life, or “biodiversity,” at Forest Community Park! In the morning, teams of experts and citizen scientists will search on land and water to find and identify as many species as humanly possible. From 9-11 a.m., we will host special activities for kids and families to learn more about biodiversity through hands on sampling, live animal encounters and more! From 7:30- 9 p.m., we will be “blacklighting” for moths and other nocturnal animals. Want to help document species as an expert or citizen scientist? Email to get involved in the 2016 Bioblitz!

Forest Community Park
April 2
9-11 a.m. & 7:30-9 p.m.
For more information, contact

Other Dates to Remember

NSTA National Conference: 3/31/16-4/3/16

Proposal Deadline for NSTA 2017 National Conference: 4/15/16

Resources Worth a Look

NSTA Upcoming Competitions, Events, and Programs

NSTA's Freebies for Science Teachers