The Danger in Using a Test Score as a Measure of Student Achievement

A Wordle display of science concepts forming the typical high school science curriculum in any country in the world

It doesn’t matter whether you are high school student or teacher in Madrid,  Manila, Marietta, Manchester, Moscow, Mumbai, or Montevideo, the chances are that you will study or teach the same concepts in the high school science curriculum.  The science concepts that I have shown using  “Wordle” (Wordle a neat program for generating ‘word clouds’ from text) may not include all the concepts that you teach, but it reflects the richness of the content of high school science.… Read more

How Knowledge of Geology will be Important in Rebuilding Haiti

According to reports from Haiti, the relief effort is in full swing, and although search and rescue efforts were officially stopped, in truth,  they are still happening, and of course this is a hopeful event for the people in Haiti.  According to Christiane Amanpour, the U.N. is beginning to work toward the clearing away of debris by hiring Haitians, and also is encouraging as many people as possible to travel to other parts of the country to be with family and friends, away from the center of the earthquake damaged Port-Au-Prince.  … Read more

Humanitarian Assistance for Haiti

The United Nations initiated a “flash appeal” for assistance after the devastation earthquake in Haiti.  As the map below shows, the earthquake intensity, based on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale (a measure of the violence of earth motion).  Here is a map from USAID which shows the earthquake intensity from the epicenter out to surrounding areas of the country.  The fact that such extreme, violent, and severe intensity was experienced by so many people has resulted in the worst disaster in the Western Hemisphere in recorded history.… Read more

Assessment of the Haiti Earthquake and Aftershocks

The aftershocks that have rocked the region near the 7.0 earthquake of January 12 in Haiti will continue for months, if not years, according to a report by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).  It is important to understand the nature of the seismic activity in this region as this knowledge will be significant in the near-term relief efforts, but perhaps more importantly, in the long term rebuilding of the infrastructure of the country near Port-Au-Prince, and the many surrounding communities.… Read more

Haiti Relief Effort: Global Resources & Agencies

The Haiti relief effort is in full operation, with the United Nations, individual relief organizations, the U.S. government including the U.S. military and eight additional departments and agencies within the government, and humanitarian aid, and resources from countries around the world.  The earthquake caused widespread damage, and ruined the infrastructure of the country.  The head of the International Monetary Fund has called for a “Marshall-like Plan” to help rebuild the country, and help establish a viable infrastructure and economy.  … Read more