Perhaps one of the most important roles that science teachers play, apart from helping their students become excited about and learn science, is being a mentor to an apprentice or beginning teacher. My own experience in the mentoring process was as a beginning teacher at Weston High School where I was mentored by Irv Marsden, physics teacher and department head. Although there was not a formal mentoring process at Weston High, Irv took me under his wing, and created an environment of support and encouragement, and shared his knowledge of science teaching in a way that was open and humanistic.… Read more
Over the past month, I’ve written several posts about the film Waiting for Superman, and wanted to return to it today, and point you to the Bridging Differences Weblog by Diane Ravitch and Deborah Meier, and their criticism not only of this film, but how the forces behind the film, and the standards and test culture have resorted to the demonization of public schools, and misleading the public about the “success” of charter schools.
Here is how Diane Ravitch begin her recent post entitled Demonizing Public Education:
I reviewed “Waiting for ‘Superman’” for The New York Review of Books.
NASA scientists, of Project LCROSS, have reported that there is water in one of the moon’s craters, and that there is more water in this crater than there is in the Sahara Desert. The water, in the form of ice crystals, makes up about 5 – 8% of the crater’s mixture. According to NASA, 8 wheelbarrows of soil could yield 10 to 13 gallons of water.
This was an unexpected result, as many have thought that the moon was barren of water.… Read more
Science at the White House. This is not a contradiction in terms. This is not an oxymoron. For the first time, the President of the United States brought to the White House award winning science projects, much like bringing the championship football or baseball team to take pictures with the President. Yet, this event was much different. The winning science fair projects were set up in the State Dining room, and the President, as well all of the invited guests spent more than hour perusing the science projects, and in the case of the President, talking with the students about their projects.… Read more
Chile is a very long but narrow country located in one of the most active tectonic regions of the earth. As seen in the map below, Chile is close to or part of four tectonic plates: the Antarctic Plate, the Nazca Plate, the Scotia Plate and the South American Plate. The eastern edge of the Nazca Plate is a convergent boundary in which crustal rock is moving under the South American Plate and the Andes Mountains, forming the Peru-Chile Trench.… Read more
On August 5, 2010, the San Jose Copper and Gold mine near Copiapó, Chile collapsed trapping 33 miners 2200 feet beneath the surface. The San Jose mine has been operating for nearly 100 years, and the mining for copper and gold is located in a granite type of rock diorite. Diorite has about the same structural properties as granite but, perhaps because of its darker colour and more limited supply, is rarely used as an ornamental and building material.… Read more
All of the 33 Chilean miners, trapped for more than two months 2,200 feet below the surface, have been brought up to the surface using the ingenious capsule, designed by NASA and built by the Chilean navy. The capsule traveled up & down a shaft that was 26″ wide. When we saw the first miner step out of the capsule and onto the surface of Earth, nearly a 1/2 mile above the cavern where the miners were trapped, we all witnessed a wondrous moment.… Read more