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Posts

April 18, 2014

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6:33 PM | What are the next generation’s science standards?
Science literacy in the United States is substandard, and the reasons are far too numerous to list in a single blog post. Experts in the field of education concluded that one of the factors was our lack of up to date national science standards. The last time that national science standards were developed and recommended in the U.S. was 1996. Because adoption of the standards was not compulsory, each state developed its own set leading to large discrepancies in the quality of science education […]
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12:30 PM | Before They Were Scientists: Barry Brook
 I recently sat down with Dr. Barry Brook, a leading environmental scientist from Australia, to talk about his middle school years. Learn about how living next to a giant astronomical observatory and frequent visits to a natural history museum as a kid set Barry up for a successful career in science. He also shares some interesting insights about what he’d do with a superpower… Lea: So, we’re thinking back to middle school. Barry: I’ll just think about my two boys […]
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9:00 AM | Another way to look at the university research budget sand castle problem
Yesterday we noted that a clear awareness of a crunch-time for university based science and graduate training is 'in the air'.  This is the result of an oversupply of doctoral graduates and a shrinking level of research funding.  It's leaving young people and even some older ones high and dry.  It's associated also with the loss of societal support for higher education as a general societal gain--legislators are backing away from providing funds to state universities.  One […]

April 17, 2014

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10:46 PM | Meet Elsie MacGill, a legend in aircraft design and production...
Meet Elsie MacGill, a legend in aircraft design and production and the first female aircraft designer in the world. In 1938 she became Chief Aeronautical Engineer at Canadian Car and Foundry where she led the production and redesign of several planes including the Hawker Hurricane – the plane responsible for the most British victories in WWII. Most of the employees in the factory were women and by the wars end they had produced 1,400 aircraft, a massive feat. Elsie had forged new […]
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12:24 PM | The biggest problem on the planet
A couple months ago the National Science Foundation released some surprising stats about what Americans do (and don’t) know. One in four of us, apparently, believes that the sun revolves around the Earth. That made me cry a little on the inside when I first read it. But in a lecture on science, society, and education on Tuesday, […]

April 16, 2014

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4:35 PM | What use are PhD’s? What future do they have?
 A picture attached to a tweet I received from Where will a biology PhD take you? Probably not academia: <8% of new PhDs will get tenure. via @jameswilsdon http://t.co/wtkafMWOWZ— Mo Costandi (@mocost) April 15, 2014 @mocost (and others) is profoundly … Continue reading →
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12:17 PM | Uncertain Dots, Episode 12
The last couple of days have been ridiculously hectic, but Rhett and I did manage to record another episode of Uncertain Dots, our twelfth: This time out, we talk about labs, undergrad research, kids doing chores, weather, student course evaluations, and I didn’t really rant about superheroes. Relevant to the weather thing, I offer the…
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10:34 AM | Crusading for invertebrates: effective outreach in schools
Imagine going into schools with live insects and spiders: it becomes about controlling the excitement, dispelling fear and culturing curiosity. This is what Minibeast Mayhem does every day! Sally-Ann Spence is known in the Twitterverse as “Minibeast Mayhem”, an educational outreach program for schools in the UK. I have been incredibly impressed with her program, and based on what I read and see on Twitter, she is an extremely gifted and successful crusader for invertebrates. Whether […]

April 15, 2014

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2:30 PM | The case of the vanishing honeybees In the past decade, the US...
The case of the vanishing honeybees In the past decade, the US honeybee population has been decreasing at an alarming and unprecedented rate. While this is obviously bad news for honeypots everywhere, bees also help feed us in a bigger way — by pollinating our nation’s crops. Emma Bryce investigates potential causes for this widespread colony collapse disorder. View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/the-case-of-the-vanishing-honeybees-emma-bryce Lesson by Emma Bryce, animation […]
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1:18 PM | My CV – if anyone’s interested!
I decided to put my CV on my ‘About Me‘ page just in case. Some of you might want to know a little bit more about my education background and work experience and so I thought I would share it. To view my CV click here. Please get in touch if you have any questions […]
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12:00 PM | Explainer Spotlight - Maria Cortes Working at the New York Hall...
Explainer Spotlight - Maria Cortes Working at the New York Hall of Science has changed Maria’s life. She has always been a fan of science, and working here has helped her improve her communication skills. via Explainer TV. Tumblr: http://explainers.nysci.org Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nysciexplainers Twitter: http://twitter.com/nysciexplainers
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9:00 AM | STEMing the tide, part III: A (new) 'modest proposal'
We have been writing about the push in this country to strengthen the STEM subjects in education, science, technology, engineering and math, because of their financial, career, and material role in society. This is being done explicitly because when money is tight, subjects like the arts, humanities, and social sciences don't pay direct benefits.  This can be seen as inexcusably crass, but in a tight job market and culture increasingly embedded in things technological, with weakening […]
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7:35 AM | Book review: Understanding Evolution
I posted this on Panda’s Thumb, but I thought I would repeat it here. I occasionally get books for review unsolicited, and many of them are not worth noticing. However, Kostas Kampourakis’ Understanding Evolution is a wonderful resource for students of all … Continue reading →
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1:00 AM | Wanna get dirty with me? From star stuff to microscopic fluff to...
Wanna get dirty with me? From star stuff to microscopic fluff to skin cells that slough while you’re in the buff, the universe of dust is curious enough to turn your mind into a cream puff. May this week’s episode spread like dust on the wind. Enjoy this video? Subscribe to It’s Okay To be Smart on YouTube!

April 14, 2014

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6:53 PM | Black magic fears in Maldives results in vigilante tree removal
Old beliefs die hard in Maldives. Masked men break into school to cut down cursed ‘Jinn tree’ | Minivan News. Last night group of masked men broke into Thakandhoo School in Haa Alif atoll after threatening the security guard with a knife in order to cut down what they claimed was a ‘Jinn Tree’ with evil spirits.… Source: Doubtful News
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2:00 PM | Grammar’s great divide: The Oxford comma If you read...
Grammar’s great divide: The Oxford comma If you read “Bob, a DJ and a clown” on a guest list, are three people coming to the party, or only one? That depends on whether you’re for or against the Oxford comma — perhaps the most hotly contested punctuation mark of all time. When do we use one? Can it really be optional, or is there a universal rule? TED-Ed explores both sides of this comma conundrum. View full lesson: […]
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1:52 PM | Prizes for Young Scientists: Mold Growth and an App Predicting Seizures
Congratulations to this year’s winners of the Junior and Senior NIMBioS Prizes for Research at the Interface of Mathematics and Biology, presented annually at the Southern Appalachian Science Engineering Fair, held at the Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville. This year’s Junior … Continue reading →
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1:00 PM | Judging science fairs: 10/10 Privilege, 0/10 Ability
Every year, I make a point of rounding up students in my department and encouraging them to volunteer one evening judging our local science fair. This year, the fair was held at the start of April, and featured over 200 …The post Judging science fairs: 10/10 Privilege, 0/10 Ability appeared first on Sci-Ed.
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1:00 AM | Learning Space №51: Global Astronomy Month What are your plans...
Learning Space №51: Global Astronomy Month What are your plans for Global Astronomy Month? We’ll be discussing this world-wide celebration with Mike Simmons from Astronomers Without Borders.http://astronomerswithoutborders.org/http://astronomerswithoutborders.org/global-astronomy-month-2014.html Duration: 01:15:11 via Astrosphere Vids.

April 13, 2014

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7:45 PM | Realization
A Monday morning last week, a sunny day and a walk in the park. Even if the weather was nice, my day did not start very nice. I was a little upset about a discussion I had with an old … Continue reading →
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5:00 PM | Skepchick Sundaylies: Computer Gamer, Silent Spring, and Doodling Dongs
Categories: Meta StuffTags: aspergersbook reviewbulliescarl saganCommon Corecomputer scienceCrazy StoneDemon-Haunted WorldeducationEscepticagame designGogrounded parentsinternet memesMad Art LabRachel Carsonschool of doubtScienceSciFri Science Clubsilent springsocial justicesocial mediaSunday FunniesTeen SkepchickwavesWorld Homeopathy DaySunday Funnies: Adventures of Not-All-Man! (via Please Listen to Me); Girl Pants (via Sociological Images and Dumbing of Age) Teen Skepchick Science Sunday: Go […]

April 12, 2014

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4:34 AM | Ask Ethan #32: Are our students doomed to an inferior education? (Synopsis)
“Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children.”  -Dan Quayle It wasn’t that long ago that I myself was a student, and of course over the past decade-and-a-half I’ve been very heavily involved in education — both formally and informally — at a huge variety of levels. And over time, education methods…
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1:00 AM | Learning Space №50: NASA Wavelength Dr Nicole Gugliucci first...
Learning Space №50: NASA Wavelength Dr Nicole Gugliucci first demonstrates a Star Finder “Cootie Catcher” with constellations on it. This week we’re teaming up with Morgan Woroner (@NASAWavelength) to show you all of the educational resources that NASA Wavelength has to offer. Duration: 01:07:07 via Astrosphere Vids.
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12:15 AM | The Science behind Architecture
Architecture, in various forms, dates back to early man. But it wasn’t until the late Renaissance period that modern architecture that we know today came about; when engineers, artists and architects separated and formal architecture training began in the 19th [...]testThe post The Science behind Architecture appeared first on Australian Science.

April 11, 2014

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10:00 PM | Are We Doing Too Much Homework? Homework can be a pain during...
Are We Doing Too Much Homework? Homework can be a pain during your teenage years. Some teachers give too much, and others give too little. Laci and Trace did some research of their own to find out if doing homework actually helps the learning process. via DNews Channel.
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3:33 PM | Green Light: Mr D.
This is the fifth installment of my autobiographical series on my experiences with hearing loss. You can view earlier posts: Prologue; Chapter 1: Seeing Sounds; Chapter 2: Fearless Leader; Chapter 3: The Black Box. Posts appear every other Friday.  Sometime when I was six or … Continue reading →
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3:22 PM | Before They Were Scientists: Julia Stevens
Julia Stevens has traveled to more countries than she has states in the US. Before she was a globe-trotting scientist, Julia was a middle school student in St. Louis, MO, and Dallas, TX, where she played on both the volleyball and basketball teams. Middle school was the time when Julia learned to be fiercely independent and to try to not care what everyone else thought of her. Learn about her life before she was a scientist… Lea: Do any memorable classroom moments stand out from middle […]
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2:00 PM | A-rhythm-etic. The math behind the beats Ready to dance in your...
A-rhythm-etic. The math behind the beats Ready to dance in your seat? Drummer Clayton Cameron breaks down different genres of music—from R&B to Latin to pop—by their beats. A talk that proves hip hop and jazz aren’t cooler than math—they simply rely on it. View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/a-rhythm-etic-the-math-behind-the-beats-clayton-cameron Talk by Clayton Cameron. via TED Education.
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12:23 PM | Away from home: Collaboration in a global organisation
The ‘Away from home‘ blogging series features Indian postdocs working in foreign labs recounting their experience of working there, the triumphs and challenges, the cultural differences and what they miss about India. They also offer useful tips for their Indian postdocs headed abroad. You can join in the online conversation using the #postdochat hashtag.  Read more
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12:23 PM | Away from home: Collaboration in a global organisation
The ‘Away from home‘ blogging series features Indian postdocs working in foreign labs recounting their experience of working there, the triumphs and challenges, the cultural differences and what they miss about India. They also offer useful tips for their Indian postdocs headed abroad. You can join in the online conversation using the #postdochat hashtag.  Read more
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