Lorna Sheridan: Education Roundup, Jan. 5

Cal Academy of Sciences: The California Academy of Sciences has introduced new Science@Home activity packs. Designed for kids ages 4-11, these free, do-it-yourself guided lessons are filled with videos, crafts and experiments around themes like butterflies, reefs and penguins. Explore and download at

CSU deadline extended: Some CSU campuses, including Sonoma State, have again extended their application deadline. The new deadline is Jan. 15. The typical application deadline is Dec. 15. The California State University system, serving nearly half a million students, has announced a plan for all 23 of its campuses to reopen next fall after more than a year of virtual instruction.

Change is coming: Google has announced it will begin accepting Google Learning Certificates in place of college degrees. The certificate will be viewed by the company as the equivalent of a four-year degree for similar roles and the company predicts it will cost around $300. The courses will give successful students the skills they need to enter into high-paying career fields with growth potential, focusing on subjects such as data analytics, project management and user experience design to be taught by Google employees, according to the company. Read more at

Scholarships: PG&E is accepting scholarship applications for college-bound high schoolers, as well as current college and continuing education students. More than 120 awards totaling nearly $300,000 are available, ranging from $1,000 to $6,000 for exemplary scholastic achievement and community leadership. The deadline is Feb. 12, 2021.

Science fun: The North Bay Science Discovery Day is going virtual on March 13, 2021. The previously in-person festival at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds will transition to one day of virtual free “events.” Youth are invited to pre-register starting in February. The event is hosted by University of California Cooperative Extension and Buck Institute for Research on Aging and partnered with the Bay Area Science Festival.

Press Democrat Community Fund: A new foundation will provide $2,500 scholarships for future generations of reporters, photojournalists, editors and digital content producers. Scholarships will be available for students from Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake and Napa counties who plan to study journalism at Santa Rosa Junior College and Sonoma State University. (For more information or to apply, go to In addition to receiving financial aid, students will be offered workplace internships and mentoring from professional journalists at the Sonoma Index-Tribune and its sister publications.

Trivia: Looking for some winter break fun? The Sonoma County Office of Education created a Sonoma County Trivia Adventure for families to enjoy. Choose your grade span (TK-3, 4-8, 9-12) and start your adventure. The scavenger hunt can be found on the Action Bound app or at

Survey: Sonoma Valley Unified parents are asked to complete an online form indicating if they plan to send their children back to school for the hybrid model, when it is safe to do so, or if they would like their child to remain in distance learning for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. A third option to consider is the independent study program Valley Home Academy, although spaces in this program are limited. Families are being asked to complete this form by Friday, Jan. 8.

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Contact Lorna at

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