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 suggested that BP used a “Junk Shot” last night which “involves pumping odds and ends like plastic cubes, knotted rope, and golf balls into the blowout preventer, the five-story safety device atop the well.” The “Top Kill” procedure continues at this time, and will continue until the spill is plugged following which cement will be used to seal it, or the procedure will be stopped, and BP will move on to its next procedure, which is in place.… Read more

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 this debacle.

As I’ve read the wrenching stories, and seen the awful scenes of oil in the water, and oil reaching the beaches and marshes, I’ve also wondered about previous oil spills, and what precedence there is for this calamity.… Read more

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 day. Keep in mind that there are 42 gallons in a barrel, so this initial estimate means that 210,000 gallons of oil were spilling into the ocean.… Read more

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 off the coast of the Maule region of Chile, causing enormous damage to property and life.  In late March, Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted for the first time in 200 years, and volcanologists predict that the activity could last for months.  … Read more

Should science teaching be political? A Humanistic Question

Yesterday, I wrote about how science teacher education needs to embrace a humanistic perspective, and work with teachers at their highest level.  Today there is a dismissive language that runs across the political spectrum condemning public schools, and teachers.  This is fairly well documented in Diane Ravitch’s recent book, The Death and Life or the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education.  Throughout my writing on this blog I have advocated a humanistic perspective, and the need to embrace  a humanistic view in teaching and learning.  … Read more

Humanizing Science Teacher Education

Last week this question appeared on the NARST (National Association for Research in Science Teaching) Discussion List:

Can anyone suggest a resource (or resources) that addresses the problem of how to engage resistant in-service science teachers to experiment with more reform oriented instructional practices? Ideally there would be practical suggestions for instructional coaches (or other school or district supervisors) on how to deal with science teachers who are unwilling or uninterested in trying some new instructional approaches.

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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 administrators said that the amount could be as high as 60,000 barrels per day, ten times NOAA’s estimate.

PBS created this widget that we can use to estimate the spillage of oil into the Gulf.  … Read more

Billions and Billions, and I am not talking about stars!

I am talking about dollars, and how billionaires are influencing (science) education policy from the K-12 level to the U.S. Department of Education, and this is being done in an environment where the billionaires are demanding accountability from the recipients of its money, but do so without having to be held to any standards or accountability themselves.

In her book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, Diane Ravitch explores how testing and choice are undermining education.  … Read more

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 Project, a hands-across the global environmental science and education program.  Over the years we supported exchanges of secondary school students and their teachers, researchers from the Russian Academy of Education, Georgia State University, & Agnes Scott College.  … Read more

Education in the Age of Technology

I tuned into a lecture yesterday presented by Allan Collins which was hosted by The Learning Sciences Group at Penn State, and organized by Penn State Professor Richard Duschl.  The title of the talk was Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology, and is title of Collins’ book, co-authored with Richard Halverson.  The lecture is long, but you can scroll through the slides which accompany the video, and listen to various parts of the talk, and still get the main idea of his ideas about the future of education.… Read more