Quest@Home

Spark Curiosity & Learn Together

Welcome to Quest@Home!  Here you’ll find engaging activities, information and opportunities to explore science and technology in our lives during these challenging times. Our goal is to provide trusted resources to help you stay safe, make science-informed decisions and have ‘questing’ activities to enjoy together at home.   If you have questions, requests, or suggestions, please let us know!

July 29, 2020

NEW! This week’s links:

COVID-19 hospitalization rates in Alameda County

Wall Street Journal article on face mask effectiveness

Florida State University  Visualization of droplets through homemade masks

New “2035” study  The U.S. could reach 90 percent clean (carbon-free) electricity by 2035

Energy Facts Explained   Graphs showing primary energy consumption mapped to energy sources

Cal ISO  Real-time energy supply and demand data ​ 

Getting to Neutral   Ways California could reach the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2045

Bay Nature Institute   Science Center of the week:  Connecting to our natural world

Below are previously recommended resources for home activities, coronavirus information, ways to engage in science exploration from home, and more.

Learn at Home
NEW! Black Chemists You Should Know About   C&en: Inventors, educators, and unsung heroes changed lives through their work in chemistry – limited access to website (2/27)

The Virtual Purple Museum, part of the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose  Hands-on activities and fun learning opportunities for young children

Virtually Maker Faire   Engage kids with cool projects and activities. Maker Camp is free for everyone online. Many free projects & project kits for sale.

Tools2Thrive A website devoted to maintaining our mental health, coping with stress & creating healthy living routines

Museum of Science+Industry, Chicago  Explore a world class museum with a special section that focuses on learning at home.

Tuesday Tales Science stories for young children, provided by the Museum of Science & Industry, Chicago

Learning Resources at the National Air & Space Museum A large collection of K-12 material, including STEM 30, a 30 minute video podcast for middle school students

Lawrence Livermore National Lab Distance Learning – David Rakestraw’s high school physic’s curriculum using cell phone sensors

What Engineers Do When Quarantined – Check out this creative use of toilet paper and share with us your own version

Golden Gate Audubon Society – Local birding resources and locations as we enter the peak of the spring migration season

Enjoying Spring from Quarantine – Learn how to enjoy nature and birding during social distancing with a recent episode of Science Friday

KQED At-Home Learning – Learning resources for children and youth affected by school closures

Bring Science Home – Scientific American’s extensive educational activities page

Coronavirus Science Activities – Engaging ways to learn about viruses and human interactions from the Exploratorium

Talking to Children about the Coronavirus – Suggestions from the CDC (English and Spanish)

Handwashing – A short video demonstrating effects of improper handwashing from Science Buddies

Mystery Science – Free K-5 science lessons and activities by grade (English and Spanish)

Engage with Apps

NEW! SEEK by iNaturalist  This free smartphone app is designed for children and is used to identify wildlife, plants, and fungi using your phone’s camera.  Children can earn badges for observing different types of species and participating in challenges. Apple format or Android phones.

Earth Challenge 2020  Join a citizen’s science initiative to collect valuable data using an app on your phone.  The project focuses on air quality & plastics pollution.

Timelooper – Visit East Bay Regional Parks virtually

Phyphox – Access all the sensors on your smart phone to collect data and turn it into a mobile physics lab

eBird – Learn about birds in your backyard or find current birding hotspots with this comprehensive birding website and app, Sycamore Grove Park and Shadow Cliffs Regional Park

UCSF Eureka Research App – Help fight COVID-19 and contribute to research about the infection, use Study Key “COVID-19”

iNaturalist – Connect with scientists around the world to help identify plants and animals in your community

Google Science Journal – A science notebook and set of tools for conducting interesting experiments with your phone

Globe Observer – Join an international network of community scientists to learn about our environment and the changing climate

Original Content by Quest Scientists

New! Interview with FormFactor CEO Mike Slessor about his company’s response to COVID-19:  DOWNLOAD PDF

Ask a Scientist – Inviting all elementary students to submit challenging or puzzling science questions to Quest scientists

Requested – For this first episode, Caleb Cheung interviews Dr. David Rakestraw about his work responding to the COVID -19 pandemic at the Lawrence Livermore National Labs (LLNL) and his development of a high school physics course using cell phone sensors

Final Update May 11! The Coronavirus Pandemic: How is Alameda County Doing? – Tracking data for Alameda County and the surrounding area to provide our region with a local analysis of the progression of the pandemic, by Rick Stulen, Quest Director

Local Makers Helping Frontline COVID-19 Workers – Learn how Quest Advisory Board Member June Yu and her husband Brian McGinnis designed a DIY 3D printed face mask for health workers

Understanding the Math behind the COVID-19 Challenge – A deep dive into the mathematics behind the pandemic and analysis to make the data more meaningful, by Alan Burnham, Quest’s Founder and CFO

A Q&A with David Galas – Learn about the origins of the quick-turnaround test that is now in production for COVID-19

Learning About Coronavirus

NEW! Indirect effects of COVID on environment   ScienceDirect: Research studies show that despite the positive indirect effects on the environment, the new coronavirus has also generated negative indirect ones. (Apr 17, 2020)

NEW! A Pause in Pollution   Bay Area Monitor/League of Women Voters:  The effects of the massive shutdown in the Bay Area could offer us lessons of what is needed to sustain positive changes to our environment (June)

NEW! COVID on environment     National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationI investigation on the impact of reduced traffic, air travel, shipping.(May 6)

New York Times article  notes that the year really ended in March and that there is a need for making up for lost instruction time.

Centers for Disease Control identified guidelines for opening childcare centers, schools, and youth programs.

California Department of Public Health has also identified guidelines for opening schools.  Local school districts will use the recommendations to establish needed policies and procedures.

New York Times opinion piece that describes how virtual college classes might continue in the coming years.

Antibody Testing – Big Questions Remain   SF Chronicle – The technology needed for antibody testing is still largely unproven. a significant number of commercial tests were performing poorly (May 9)

COVID-19 Serology Surveillance Strategy  CDC: an overarching strategy for learning more about how many people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and how it is spreading through the U.S. population (May 17)

Can Antibody Test Results be Trusted  Discover: The tests are crucial to understanding the full scope of the COVID-19 pandemic. But right now, the results aren’t reliable. (May 22)

COVID-19 Projections Latest data on infection & tracing testing in California.  How much are hospital resources being used: ICU patients & ventilators

COVID Testing insights!  This Johns Hopkins University Initiative provides a clear understanding & the limitations of the two types of COVID-19 tests: viral and serology.

Group screening” for COVID Describes a new way to get more testing done by pooling diagnostic samples and using a little math, lets more people get tested with fewer assays

Contact Tracing Explained  A Time magazine article describes how public health workers will track COVID-19. Using insights gained from Ebola & other outbreaks, tracking can be an effective tool in stopping COVID-19’s spread.

Contact Tracing Explained  Describes how California will deploy up to 10,000 contact tracers across the state.

What is Quarantine Fatigue & what can you do about it – Are you getting tired of being house-bound…you’re not alone.

“Mobility Changes”  How are people moving around as country opens up?…a special report (pdf)

Bay Area progress towards opening up – How are Bay Area counties moving into Stage 2?

The Lockdowns worked…what’s next? – Exit strategies around the world.

Resilience Roadmap – Governor Newsom modified the state-wide order permitting counties to move into Stage 2

Bay Area Health Orders Remain in Effect – loosening restrictions

Contact Tracing 101 – How it works, who could get hired, and why it’s so critical in fighting coronavirus

Antibody Research – What antibody studies can tell you and more importantly, what they can’t

Interview with Paul Romer – Why the American Economy Can’t Reopen Without Widespread Coronavirus Testing

Why are viruses hard to kill? – Virologists explain why these tiny parasites are so tough to treat

Testing Major League Baseball employees – Stanford researchers test MLB employees for COVID-19 antibodies

Llamas and COVID-19 – Antibodies from llamas could help in fight against COVID-19

San Francisco Chronicle Coronavirus Tracker – Updated normalized data for the Bay Area and California

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation – Forecasting the COVID-19 containment strategy in the U.S. and each of the 50 states

Ex-astronaut José Hernández has NASA-approved tips – How to stay sane in isolation and communicate in a crowded environment, via NBC

How some cities ‘flattened the curve’ during the 1918 flu pandemic – Social distancing isn’t a new idea, it saved thousands of American lives during the last great pandemic, via National Geographic

Playing point on bad intel – Stanford basketball great Kate Starbird fights coronavirus misinformation as a University of Washington researcher, via East Bay Times

What immunity to Covid-19 might actually mean – How your body will try to save you from the new coronavirus, via Vox

Reusing and decontaminating N95 masks – how hospitals can decontaminate and reuse scarce N95 masks to fight COVID-19, via Stanford News

How the Bay Area Came to Lead the Nation into Shelter in Place – Listen to an interview with Dr. Sara Cody who is on the forefront of fighting the COVID-19 outbreak, via KQED

National Daily Health Survey – Help Stanford Medicine collect data to track and fight COVID-19

Worldometer – Extensive site on global COVID-19 data with normalized statistics for comparison between regions

California Hospital Data – Infections and hospitalization data by county for California, via CA Open Data

COVID Near You – Contribute and view publicly reported data across the country. Source: Harvard Medical School

Coronavirus facts, myths and information – Answers to common questions from the public. Source: CNN

Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially – Understanding exponential growth and why we need to flatten the curve. Source: Washington Post

How to Clean Your Home for Coronavirus – Cleaning advice and warnings about chemical reactions from an expert. Source: Vox

Featured Science Center

NEW! Center of Science and Industry – COSI Fun at-home science discovery and learning through videos and activities you can do at home

 International Space Station     Learning activities for students in grades 3 – 8 are available for download as well as other resources 

Oakland Zoo  Visit our local zoo virtually to learn about the animals and their stories via the zoo’s webpage and Facebook page

Museum of Science+Industry, Chicago  Explore a world class museum with a special section that focuses on learning at home.

National Air & Space Museum A vast collection of science related exhibits, including K-12 learning resources and STEM 30, a video podcast for middle school students.

Museum of Science – Visit one of the oldest science museums in the country located in Boston..

History of Science Museum – Learn about artifacts, stories, and the history behind how science has developed and evolved over time at this unique museum at the University of Oxford.

National Museum of Natural History – Explore a museum known for an extensive collection of past and present animals specimens from around the world

Exploratorium – Take a virtual tour and try out home versions of their exhibits (snacks)

California Academy of Sciences – Visit their Academy@Home page to see animal webcams, activities, live streams and more

Our Earth

NEW! Harmful algae blooms return to CA waterways    The Mendocino Voice: Toxic cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae, is popping up in many areas of California. June 29, 2020

Earth Challenge 2020  Join a citizen’s science initiative to collect valuable data using an app on your phone.  The project focuses on air quality & plastics pollution.

Timelooper – Visit East Bay Regional Parks virtually

Phyphox – Access all the sensors on your smart phone to collect data and turn it into a mobile physics lab

eBird – Learn about birds in your backyard or find current birding hotspots with this comprehensive birding website and app, Sycamore Grove Park and Shadow Cliffs Regional Park

UCSF Eureka Research App – Help fight COVID-19 and contribute to research about the infection, use Study Key “COVID-19”

iNaturalist – Connect with scientists around the world to help identify plants and animals in your community

Google Science Journal – A science notebook and set of tools for conducting interesting experiments with your phone

Globe Observer – Join an international network of community scientists to learn about our environment and the changing climate

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