September 2015

RAFT believes the best way to spark the love of learning for the next generation of thinkers, innovators, problem-solvers and creators is through hands-on learning. As a nonprofit organization founded in 1994, RAFT leverages community donations and volunteer support to serve 11,000 educators each year who teach nearly 900,000 students.


What's in Store?

RAFT San Jose is closed today through Thursday, October 1st for RAFT's Annual Fundraising Dinner. RAFT Redwood City will be open normal hours.

Don't be scared, be prepared!

In honor of Earthquake Safety Month, earthquake kits are back and are only $40. Only one per member while supplies last. earthpicgoogle Kit includes: Tube tent, Emergency Candles, 4 Ponchos with hoods, 4 Emergency Blankets, Nylon cord, Solar powered flashlight/radio, Mini first aid kit, Duct tape, 4 packs of tissues, 4 light sticks, 1 Swiss Army knife, 4 masks, 1 whistle, Water purification tablets, 1 pair of gloves, Waterproof matches, Gas valve wrench,

Earthquake Safety Activity Kits

Brace Yourself, Design A House, Motorized Shake Table and Shake Table are all great kits to use while teaching about earthquakes. redd Free this Week!
Red and black storage containers are free this week at both RAFT San Jose and Redwood City! IMG_3350 BTSA Program Offer
Spread the word to your colleagues that new BTSA educators can take advantage of half-off RAFT membership, just $20 per year during their participation in BTSA. BTSA participants can visit either of the RAFT Bay Area locations to see what's available and become a member. Simply advise the membership team that you are in the BTSA program.

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News and Events

Great California Shake Out!

Date: October 3

Location: RAFT San Jose

Millions of people worldwide will practice how to  Drop, Cover, and Hold On at 10:15am. on October 15th during Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills, which began in California in 2008.

In preparation, RAFT San Jose will hold our Great California Shake Out on October 3rd! We’ll be featuring three activity kits that will help get your family and students in the spirit of earthquake safety: Brace Yourself, Design a House, and Motorized Shake Table. Cintas Corporation will be on-site to feature information from their First Aid & Safety Division. And earthquake kits will be on sale to help you prepare!

Participating is a great way for your students or family to be prepared to survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes- wherever you live, work, or travel. So come over to RAFT San Jose and have a shakin’ good time! Workshops

codeSeema Khan, RAFT Instructional Technology Educator and a official trainer is providing no cost, one-day workshops for elementary school teachers interested in teaching computer science.

What’s in a workshop?
In-person instruction from an experienced computer science facilitator, including an intro to computer science, pedagogy, overview of the online curriculum, teacher dashboard, and strategies for teaching “unplugged” classroom activities.
There is no charge for these workshops. You’ll also receive a printed curriculum guide and a Certificate of Completion.

Sign up now to start teaching life-changing skills! Please click the link provided with each session date to register.

September 26: Code Studio Workshop (at RAFT San Jose)

October 24: Code Studio Workshop (at RAFT San Jose)

For questions and comments, please contact Seema Khan at

Khan Academy STEM Challenge 

Deadline: October 7

The Breakthrough Junior Challenge invites you to share your passion for math and science with the world! Submit a 10-minute video that illustrates a challenging concept or theory of mathematics, life sciences, or physics in an engaging, illuminating, and creative way.

You can explain an age-old theory or concept or a more recent breakthrough discovery, including one made by a Breakthrough Laureate or perhaps even by you! The winner will receive a $250,000 post-secondary scholarship!

Register here.



was last modified: September 8th, 2015 by admin

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Hands-On Activities

Motorized Shake Table

Build a simple structure on the shake table, start the motor, and watch the action! Will your building design survive the “earthquake”?

View activity here.

Grades Covered:  2 through 12
Subjects Covered: Physical Science, Earth/Space Science

Curriculum topics: 

Physical Science, Earth/Space Science

Curriculum topics: Earthquakes, plate tectonics, richter scale, structures, vibration, circuits

Visit the RAFT Online Store, create your RAFT Online Store account and receive lower member pricing on all kits ordered online.

was last modified: September 8th, 2015 by admin

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Professional Development

We have an exciting selection of new workshops being offered with a great group of returning instructors. Our workshops are designed to enrich educational programs by facilitating the practice of hands-on teaching across the curriculum. All RAFT workshops offer you the opportunity to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from San Jose State University.


Saturday, October 3rdPhoto Collage: Join Earl Heinrichs in exploring creative, humorous art projects by adding a twist to ordinary photos. Anyone can be successful from kindergarten to college. The humor can be very subtle or blatant. Much of the art is dependent on what images are found in magazine searches. We will be using mainly photos from my collection to save time.

Saturday, October 10th5E Lesson Planning for All Subjects: The 5E format is regaining its force and easily supports Common Core and even the new science standards (NGSS). Engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate are the core actions that bring all students into and through your lessons and units. Plus, using 5E can save you lots of planning time.

Register for workshops at

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was last modified: September 8th, 2015 by admin