Ozone: An Inquiry into Air Quality

Atlanta leads the nation today in air quality—that is to say that it’s ozone forecast for today exceeds all other cities in the nation.  As shown in the AirNow map below, most of the Eastern part of the nation is in the moderate to USG ozone levels.  Moderate AQI (Air quality index) is 51 – 100. […]

Liberalism and science education’s role

I am writing this from 34000 feet in a Delta jet using the airlines free access to it’s wifi. I am also reading a book, The Science of Liberty by Timothy Ferris. The book is the story of how science and the rise of liberal democracies are linked. Science emerged poking holes in authoritarian and […]

Liberalism and science education's role

I am writing this from 34000 feet in a Delta jet using the airlines free access to it’s wifi. I am also reading a book, The Science of Liberty by Timothy Ferris. The book is the story of how science and the rise of liberal democracies are linked. Science emerged poking holes in authoritarian and […]

Why Do We Teach Science, Anyway? The Democratic Argument

There are at least two interpretations that emerge when we explore why we teach science from the democratic argument.   The first interpretation is that we should be teaching science to help students become informed citizens in an increasingly technocratic and scientific world, and provide them with the tools to intelligently discuss, vote on, and […]

Climate Change: How the New Congress Will Help the Earth Get Hotter

When the new Congress convenes in January, 2011, it will get hotter in the House & Senate with an influx of Representatives and Senators (all Republicans) who continue the conspiracy that global warming is a hoax, and that humans are not contributing to the warming of the Earth.  This group of elected officials (especially in […]

Art of Teaching Science linked on the NatGeo Great Migrations Blog Carnival

The Great Migrations Blog Carnival: Part II Minjae Ormes, of National Geographic Channel, sent me this text that announces further the NatGeo’s Great Migrations program that premiered last week.  As Minjae notes, a group of science bloggers wrote about the program on their blogs.  The Art of Teaching Science was among this group.  Here is […]

Coming Storms: Not the Ones Related to Global Warming

Yesterday’s post, Got Science?, was initiated after I received an email from the Union of Concerned Scientist requesting that I take a pop quiz on global warming, and to request a sticker that says on it “Got Science?” The recent elections will mean that there will be changes in the Chairmanships of all of the […]

Got Science? Take a global warming quiz to find out.

I received an email from the Union of Concerned Scientists today inviting me to get a free sticker “Got Science?” if I would take a pop quiz on global warming.  The quiz asks you to decide whether a series of statements are “False: Not Science” or “True: Got Science!”  After I took the quiz, and […]

Great Migrations

I received an email from Minjae Ormes, of the National Geographic Channel announcing a programming event, Great Migrations, which began on November 7, and will continue with 6 additional programs. Following the migrations of many animals, the program also includes multimedia sites, and videos. Here are two video clips from the first program, which was […]

The Dinosaur Footprints Puzzle: Is it pedagogy or paleontology?

In the last post I reviewed the article “Tracking the Footprints Puzzle: The Problematic persistence of science-as-process in teaching the nature and culture of science by Charles Ault and Jeff Dodick which was published in the recent issue of the journal Science Education. I also reflected on my own experience in teaching and writing with […]

The Dinosaur Footprint Puzzle: A Content or Process Approach?

“Tracking the Footprints Puzzle: The problematic persistence of science-as-process in teaching the nature and culture of science” by Charles R. Ault, Jr. and Jeff Dodick, which was published this month in the journal Science Education, is the research basis for this post.  The article was especially interesting for me since I have used the Footprint […]

Water on the Moon

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 […]

Geology of Chile

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 […]

Drilling Through Igneous Rock to Rescue the 33 Miners

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 […]

How Geology Aided in the Survival and Rescue of the Chilean Miners

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 […]

The Legacy of Katrina

This weekend is the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans, and much of the Gulf Coast region.  Perhaps the best way to start this post is to watch this video which I embeded from the nola.com Hurricane Katrina page.  The video is a sunrise service (February 9, 2007) amongst residents of New […]

What are students to make of the number of extreme weather events?

In my last post on this blog, I discussed how Native science can inform about global climate change.  Some might say this is a stretch.  I do not.  In the Native science view of the environment, human communities are an integral part of ecological systems.  This is a fundamental concept of environmental science.  In this […]

Native Science and Global Climate Change

I wrote to a friend of mine who lives in Moscow, Russia to find out how he was doing with the extreme heat and fires that are creating the worst air pollution event in Moscow’s history.  He told me that he has been able to escape the heat by going to his daughter’s flat and […]

Views of the Rockies

Here a few photos and a clickable map of the Rocky Mountain National Park.

August in the Rockies

Why Scientific Perceptions Persist Even with Facts & Teaching

There was a very interesting study completed at the University of Michigan entitled When Corrections Fail: The persistence of political misperceptions by researchers Brendan Nyhan, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, and Jason Reifler, Department of Political Science, Georgia State University.  This study, although in the realm of political behavior, has strong implications for […]

Why Scientific Perceptions Persist Even with Facts & Teaching

There was a very interesting study completed at the University of Michigan entitled When Corrections Fail: The persistence of political misperceptions by researchers Brendan Nyhan, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, and Jason Reifler, Department of Political Science, Georgia State University.  This study, although in the realm of political behavior, has strong implications for […]

Independence Days

Happy July 4th, an important day for us all, and my favorite holiday. There are serious problems all around us, but today perhaps we can reflect on the importance of the American day of Independence.  The notion of independence is an underlying principle of science and education, and it is perhaps the central reason that […]

Ecology Projects

I recently received an announcement of an ecology program from John Kamman whose organization sponsors field science and cultural exchange projects.  The organization is Ecology Project International and has projects and programs in Montana, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Galapagos.  Their website describes many opportunities for students and teachers in the field of ecology and environmental […]

From England

I’ve been in England for the past two weeks, and will be writing a few posts about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill reporting on the views of this catastrophe from the U.K.

Daddy, Did you plug the hole yet?

As we all know, President Obama told the story that his daughter knocked on the bathroom door while he was shaving, and asked him, “Have you plugged the hole yet, Daddy?” As science teachers we are reminded that this question is the kind of question our youth asks about important issues that face us today. […]

BP Gulf Oil Spill Images

The latest word on effort to plug the BP offshore oil well using the “Top Kill” procedure is that the effort is continuing, but the company has not determined whether it is working, or that it won’t work. According to a report in the New York Times, BP will continue with the procedure. The report […]

The BP Oil Spill Compared to Previous Spills

As I write this post, BP has begun their “top kill” maneuver to stop the flow of oil by plugging the well with mud. This technique has not been used at such great depths, and we’ll have to wait perhaps for a couple of days to find out the result of this approach to stopping […]

How Much Oil is Spilling into the Gulf?

There is enormous frustration setting in as the BP Gulf oil spill continues into its second month devastating vast areas of the American gulf coast. To this date, we do not know how much oil is spilling into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The original estimate (established by BP) was 5,000 barrels per […]

The Importance of Geology in Science Teaching

Since January, we have experienced a number of geological events that have caused havoc and misery to many people around the Earth.  On January 12, Haiti was rocked with a magnitude 7 earthquake causing the destruction of the many cities and towns including the capital, Port-au-Prince.  Then, on February 27, a magnitude 8.8 earthquake occurred […]

The BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

As of today, no one really knows how much oil has leaked into the Gulf of Mexico threatening the entire Gulf Coast Region, and possibly Florida  and the East Coast. NOAA is using an estimate of 210,000 gallons of oil per day (5,000 barrels), but in a closed door meeting with members of Congress, BP […]

Earthday and the Global Thinking Project

In 1987 I met Sergey Tolstikov, who at the time was the lead English teacher at Moscow Experimental Gymnasium 710.  Sergey, along with many of his colleagues at School 710, and other schools in Moscow, St. Petersburg (Leningrad at the time), Pushchino, Yasoslav, and Chelyabinsk teamed up with American teachers to create the Global Thinking […]

Iceland’s Volcanic Activity

Eyjafjallajokull, the volcano in Iceland that has been erupting and causing havoc for thousands of people around the world, is one of about 200 volcanoes that are located in Iceland.  Iceland is the world’s most active volcanic area, and the country is located at the interface of two tectonic plates that are moving away from […]

Iceland's Volcanic Activity

Eyjafjallajokull, the volcano in Iceland that has been erupting and causing havoc for thousands of people around the world, is one of about 200 volcanoes that are located in Iceland.  Iceland is the world’s most active volcanic area, and the country is located at the interface of two tectonic plates that are moving away from […]

March 11 Chile Earthquakes

Several earthquakes occurred in Chile today (March 11), and according to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quakes were “aftershocks” associated with the 8.8 Chile earthquake of February 27.  According to the USGS analysis, the earthquakes occurred in the region of aftershocks of the major earthquake.  Here is the USGS early analysis of today’s earthquakes: The […]

Advantages & Disadvantages of Plate Tectonics Theory & the Theory of Gravity

It might not make sense to some to discuss the advantages & disadvantages of the scientific theories of plate tectonics & gravity, but politicians in Kentucky, Louisiana, Texas, and South Dakota might consider it an important pedagogical strategy. Here is how legislators in Kentucky put it in an Act relating to science education and intellectual […]

Advantages & Disadvantages of Plate Tectonics Theory & the Theory of Gravity

It might not make sense to some to discuss the advantages & disadvantages of the scientific theories of plate tectonics & gravity, but politicians in Kentucky, Louisiana, Texas, and South Dakota might consider it an important pedagogical strategy. Here is how legislators in Kentucky put it in an Act relating to science education and intellectual […]

Aftershocks & Historic Record of Earthquakes in Chile

The February 27, 8.8 earthquake offshore Maule, Chile occurred at the boundary between the Nazca and the South American Plates.  According to reports from the USGS, coastal Chile has been the location of vary large earthquakes for centuries.  There has been a written record of earthquakes in Chile since the 16th Century.  In 1735, when […]

Aftershocks & Historic Record of Earthquakes in Chile

The February 27, 8.8 earthquake offshore Maule, Chile occurred at the boundary between the Nazca and the South American Plates.  According to reports from the USGS, coastal Chile has been the location of vary large earthquakes for centuries.  There has been a written record of earthquakes in Chile since the 16th Century.  In 1735, when […]

Global Warming: It's Only a Theory & Balanced Treatment in South Dakota Science Classrooms

Yesterday, I reported that the South Dakota state legislature moved a bill along that calls for a balanced teaching of global warming, “especially since global warming is a scientific theory and not a proven fact,” to quote HR1009.  This notion of using “theory” in science as not being viable, or as having not gone through […]

Global Warming: It’s Only a Theory & Balanced Treatment in South Dakota Science Classrooms

Yesterday, I reported that the South Dakota state legislature moved a bill along that calls for a balanced teaching of global warming, “especially since global warming is a scientific theory and not a proven fact,” to quote HR1009.  This notion of using “theory” in science as not being viable, or as having not gone through […]

Snow in Atlanta, South Dakota Wants Balanced Treatment for the Teaching of Global Warming: Go Figure

Yes, it did snow today in Atlanta, and indeed all around the southeastern region of the USA. It normally does not snow in March in Atlanta. This year has been the year snow, especially in the eastern part of the USA. Some pundants, and especially one US Senator have used this year’s snowfalls to support […]

From Earthquakes to Tsunami in Images

The 8.8 magnitude earthquake was the largest of many earthquakes that occur along the coast of Chile between the Nazca and South American tectonic plates.  As you can see on the map here, earthquakes regularly happen here, and around the rim of the Pacific (the Rim of Fire).  The 8.8 magnitude quake was a deep […]

Magnitude 8.8 Chile Earthquake

In the book The Art of Teaching Science, Chile is one the countries featured in an exploration of science education around the world.  The article was written by Claudia Rose, Director of the International Baccalaureate Program at the International School Nido de Aguilas in Santiago.  As of this writing, I was unable to access any […]

Adventures in Geology: Darwin & Fossils

Last year was the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his book On the Origin of Species.  One of the activities I was involved in was work with a group of middle school students to explore some of the ideas shown in the Wordle that I […]

Adventures in Geology: Darwin & Fossils

Last year was the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his book On the Origin of Species.  One of the activities I was involved in was work with a group of middle school students to explore some of the ideas shown in the Wordle that I […]

Global Weirding: Opportunity to Teach Climate Change

Thomas Friedman, writing in the New York Times entitled today’s post Global Weirding is Here.  Friedman prefers to use the term “global weirding” instead of global warming because the result of global warming is very “weird” weather.  He puts it this way: The weather gets weird. The hots are expected to get hotter, the wets […]

Snow Day in the USA

According to one report, 49 of the 50 U.S. states reported snow on the ground today. Only Hawaii had no snow. Here in the Atlanta area, the massive storm that left Dallas under nearly a foot of snow (a record), the snow started falling around 1 P.M., and had been reduced to flurries by 8:00 […]

NASA's Role in Inspiring Teachers and Youth

NASA, created by Congress and President Eisenhower on October 1, 1958, has played an important role in the hearts and minds teachers and their students. Although originally created as a national defense strategy, NASA’s space exploration missions have effectively inspired generations of people, not only in the U.S., but around the world. I wanted to […]

NASA’s Role in Inspiring Teachers and Youth

NASA, created by Congress and President Eisenhower on October 1, 1958, has played an important role in the hearts and minds teachers and their students. Although originally created as a national defense strategy, NASA’s space exploration missions have effectively inspired generations of people, not only in the U.S., but around the world. I wanted to […]

Darwin Day: February 12

On Michael Barton’s blog, The Dispersal of Darwin, there is a post informing us of a movement by the American Humanist Association to get the President to officially name February 12 as Darwin Day.  You can link here to read about the International Darwin Day Foundation, and indeed you can sign a petition urging the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Aftershocks of the Haiti Earthquake: Are they Earthquakes?

Today, Haiti experienced a rather large 6.1 aftershock that was located 56 km from Port-Au-Prince.  Aftershocks are earthquakes.  In Haiti, there have been more than 40 aftershocks ranging from 3.0 to 5.9 as seen in the map here.  Today’s aftershock was the largest one since the 7.0 earthquake last Tuesday.  The relief efforts are underway, […]

Global Response to the Earthquake in Haiti

It has nearly been a week since the devastating 7.0 earthquake struck Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, and the surrounding cities and towns of this Caribbean country. The disaster is one of the worst in the Western Hemisphere, and our hearts go out to the suffering that is being experienced by so many people in this country. The […]

The Severity of the Haitian Earthquake

The earthquake that occurred near Port-Au-Prince, Haiti on January 12, 2010 was one of the worst ever natural disasters.  Aid is pouring into the Haitian capital, and aid organizations, and governments from around the world are descending on this Caribbean country.  Our hearts go out to the people in Haiti, and we only hope that […]

Impact and Cause of the Haiti Earthquake

The earthquake that occurred on January 12, 2010 near the city of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti has overwhelmed the country, and there is now an enormous relief effort underway in this Caribbean Country.  One of the most important things that we can do is to become involved in the welfare of the children and adults that have […]

Hacked Emails, Global Heating and Science Education

I just returned from England, which of course became the center of climate controversy after hundreds of e-mails were stolen from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University. As we all know by now, these private emails (but what is private in the world of the Internet), contained statements by Professor Phil Jones, head […]

From Darwin's Darkest Hour to the Greatest Show on Earth

One of the Weblogs that I frequently read is Michael Barton’s The Dispersal of Darwin.  You will find all things Darwin on his site.  In a recent post, Michael reviewed a new PBS film about Charles Darwin and his wife Emma entitled Darwin’s Darkest Hour, which you can see on-line.  I saw the film last […]

From Darwin’s Darkest Hour to the Greatest Show on Earth

One of the Weblogs that I frequently read is Michael Barton’s The Dispersal of Darwin.  You will find all things Darwin on his site.  In a recent post, Michael reviewed a new PBS film about Charles Darwin and his wife Emma entitled Darwin’s Darkest Hour, which you can see on-line.  I saw the film last […]

Will "Common Tests" Answer the Question: What knowledge is of most worth?

There was an article in the recent issue of Education Week entitled Experts to Weigh in on Common Tests.  They will have their chance to speak to U.S. Department of Education in Atlanta, Boston and Denver. A bit of background.  Forty-eight of the 50 states have agreed to work together to develop “common academic standards”  […]

Will “Common Tests” Answer the Question: What knowledge is of most worth?

There was an article in the recent issue of Education Week entitled Experts to Weigh in on Common Tests.  They will have their chance to speak to U.S. Department of Education in Atlanta, Boston and Denver. A bit of background.  Forty-eight of the 50 states have agreed to work together to develop “common academic standards”  […]

Would it be shameful not to reform health care?

It would be shameful if we do nothing to fix the health care system in the USA, so says Dr. Joseph W. Stubbs who is president of the American College of Physicians and an internist in Albany.  You can read his editorial which was published in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution yesterday.  He argues from his position […]

Using Case Studies to Help Students Investigate Health Care Issues

There were two articles that I read today that contribute to how science teachers might use case studies (sometimes based on articles in the press or magazines, or actual cases written for students and teachers). The cases and/or artices could to create a context relevant to student dialogue, discussion & inquiry. The first article was […]

Health Care in the US: An S-T-S Issue for the Science Classroom?

Health care has emerged as one of the most contentious issues of the day in the USA. The contention is not new. This PBS time line covering the past 100 years identifies points of contention and progress in the government’s attempt to deal with health care on a national level. A more informative time line […]

Images from NASA for Science Teaching

I received note from Jake Johnson, outreach coordinator, the Internet Archive Outreach, NASA images asking to mention a resource for teaching at the NASA Images website. I think you will find this site a powerful aid for teaching. Here are some examples:

Creation: A New Film About Charles Darwin

Earlier this week, I had a pingback  from Michael Barton’s very interesting website entitled The Dispersal of Darwin.  On his site I read about Michael’s recent trip to Cambridge, England, and on one of his posts from England he mentioned a new film that is coming out in September about Charles Darwin. The new film […]

Thinking Big: Stephen Hawking’s Universe and Science Teaching

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post entitled Some Ways to Interest Students in Science, and one method I suggested was to help students “think big.”   Helping our students ask “big” questions, as Carl Sagan did, was the principle described here: Where did our universe come from?  How big is the Universe? and so […]

Thinking Big: Stephen Hawking's Universe and Science Teaching

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post entitled Some Ways to Interest Students in Science, and one method I suggested was to help students “think big.”   Helping our students ask “big” questions, as Carl Sagan did, was the principle described here: Where did our universe come from?  How big is the Universe? and so […]

Drain the Ocean: A Program Exploring Hidden Landscapes

I received an email note from Minjae Ormes, Digital PR + Film Consultant at National Geographic announcing Drain the Ocean, a TV program that explores the terrain and creatures beneath the ocean.  Using scientific research and CGI, NG “drains the ocean” to reveal a landscape largely unknown to us. The program airs Sunday, August 9 […]

That Historic Day When We Landed on the Moon & How an Australian Dish Saved the Day

Forty years ago, Neil Armstrong’s historic “one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind” comment as he stepped from the LEM onto the moon’s surface was watched by more than 600 million people (one fifth of mankind at the time).  Humankind almost didn’t see this historic event. Here is the unbelievable footage, recently […]

That Historic Day When We Landed on the Moon & How an Australian Dish Saved the Day

Forty years ago, Neil Armstrong’s historic “one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind” comment as he stepped from the LEM onto the moon’s surface was watched by more than 600 million people (one fifth of mankind at the time).  Humankind almost didn’t see this historic event. Here is the unbelievable footage, recently […]

Things to Love & Hate about the American Clean Energy Act (H.R. 2454)

The American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act that passed the House (H.R. 2454) on June 26 is not only a huge document (1,428 pages), but is a huge step forward for not only the U.S., but the world in trying to come to terms with the fact that humans are inducing climate change at […]

Things to Love & Hate about the American Clean Energy Act (H.R. 2454)

The American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act that passed the House (H.R. 2454) on June 26 is not only a huge document (1,428 pages), but is a huge step forward for not only the U.S., but the world in trying to come to terms with the fact that humans are inducing climate change at […]

Inspiring Your Students to Understand Climate-Change & Our Energy Future

Perhaps the most important role of a teacher is to inspire students to value their intellectual and emotional abilities and to understand how they can use science to “improve the lives of those they have touched and the differences they have made” (quote from Dr. Steven Chu’s commencement speach at Caltech).  It isn’t enough to […]