River Runner Simulation

Here’s a fun simulation for a Tuesday. Visit River Runner and then click anywhere on the map to place a single raindrop. The simulation then shows you where the raindrop ends up. Enjoy.

Talk Science: Resources for Empowering Conversations about Climate Change

Talk Climate is an ambitious set of resources designed to empower schools, homes, communities and workplaces to engage in productive conversations about our changing climate.

The core resources are divided into 5 age-based categories:

Each age-group page provides a detailed list of resources including videos, books, articles, and other organizations to connect with.

You will also find climate resources for education, environmental justice, faith and spirituality, healthcare, mental health and science.

Talk Climate a site you must add to your climate change bookmarks. Enjoy!

5 Fun Physics Phenomena

Just something fun from Veritasium today.

Video: There’s Hope in the Latest Climate Report

See the video below by SciShow titled There’s Hope in the Latest Climate Report.

Video: How We Fix the Climate

If you have spent any time with the release of the IPCC 6th Assessment Report on Climate Change there is a chance that you came away with a “doom and gloom” feeling about the future of our planet. In an effort to offset this, I plan to share some resources in the coming weeks that might help us feel inspired, empowered, hopeful, knowledgable and ready to tackle the climate-related problems in front of us.

Below is a video by Hank Green titled How We Fix the Climate. Enjoy.

Taking Stock of Science Standards Implementation Summit (Oct. 14-15)

The Board on Science Education for the National Academies is providing a 2-day event on October 14-15, 2021. The meeting is open to the public and you can attend in person or virtually. The focus will be on examining the current state of science standard implementation across the country and will also dig into possible next steps and ways to improve implementation efforts.

Click HERE for more information and to register for the event.

When you register you will be given choices for breakout sessions on each day.

October 14:

  • Early Elementary
  • Upper Elementary
  • Middle School
  • High School
  • Informal Education

October 15:

  • Preschool to Elementary Transition
  • Curriculum and Instructional Materials
  • Formative Assessment
  • Instructional Practices

Fred Hutch: Socially Relevant Biology Lessons

Fred Hutch has an excellent assortment of socially relevant secondary life science lessons on their Science Education Partnership page. You will find units on:

  • DNA Exonerations
  • Race, Racism, and Genetics
  • COVID 19 Testing and Inequalities
  • Elephant Conservation

In my work, I find that some folks need examples of what social justice learning might look like in relationship to science. These units provide thoughtfully constructed learning experiences from experts in life sciences.

Click the screenshot below (or HERE) to learn more about these units of instruction.

IPCC 6th Assessment Report on Climate Change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released their 6th assessment report on climate change. Click HERE to visit the homepage on the report. You will find a summary for policy makers, an interactive atlas, FAQs, regional reports, outreach materials and the full report. I think it’s past time that all of us as science educators and leaders build our understanding of climate change…even if it’s “not my content area”.

Veritasium: The Biggest Myth in Education

Back in the day (I’ve been writing this blog for well over a decade!) I used to post lots of Derek’s Veritasium videos. If you are new to Veritasium then you should watch the video below and also check out some of Derek’s older videos on science misconceptions.

The video below shows Derek tackling an idea in education that is clearly not well understood in the field. Enjoy!

Call to Action for Science Education: Building Opportunity for the Future

The National Academies Press recently released a new FREE science education publication titled Call to Action for Science Education: Building Opportunity for the Future. You can read the document HERE in your browser, download the PDF, or purchase a hardcopy.

I have not read the publication yet but the titles of the chapters are telling:

  • Why Better, More Equitable Science Education Should Be a National Priority
  • A Vision for Better, More Equitable Science Education
  • How Far Are We from This Vision for Students?
  • How Do We Get There?
  • Recommendations

This looks like a great summer read for anyone working in science (STEM) education.

Below is some text from the report:

To provide high-quality teaching and learning in science, our nation, states, and communities must reframe the way they think about students from kindergarten through college. Students do not learn best by passively soaking up bits of information and then regurgitating it through multiple-choice tests and other simple measures designed to assess factual knowledge. Rather, from the earliest ages, children and youth are actively working to make sense of the world. They are capable of asking questions, gathering data, evaluating evidence, and generating new insights, just as professional scientists do.

Currently, however, far too many students at all levels are learning science by reading about it in a textbook, sitting back and passively listening to lectures, and memorizing disconnected facts. These approaches leave many students bored and asking a question that is far too often uttered in American schools: “What does science have to do with my life?” Worse, too many students perceive science as inaccessible, as a discipline consigned to an elite few who are willing to persist in a system that uses antiquated instructional practices. Worse still, lacking role models, students of color may not consider science as a potential career. The end result is that our nation ends up retaining a few and weeding out many—a practice that results in substantial inequities and an American citizenry of science “haves” and science “have-nots” .

Call to Action for Science Education: Building Opportunity for the Future (2021, The National Academies Press)