Category Archives: chemistry

Study Science at Yale.. for FREE!

Open Yale Courses is an open source provider of free and open access to a variety of introductory courses at Yale University. Science selections include:

  • Astronomy
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Science
  • Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

The course provides a syllabus, audio and or video of lectures, link to books used, downloads, and some even provide access to online study groups.

I can imagine these being useful to advanced science learners and even as a source of review or professional development for secondary science teachers.

The content is also available through iTunes and YouTube. See an introduction to Physics 200 below:

BLOSSOMS: Free STEM Lessons from MIT

BLOSSOMS (Blended Learning Open Source Science Or Math Studies) is a library of math and science video courseware from MIT. Currently there are over 50 FREE video-based lessons for high school students. Each 50 minute lesson includes video components, a teacher guide, and handouts for students.

Check out the Free Fall lesson on physics concepts HERE and embedded below.

For a more informative overview of BLOSSOMS read a blog post from the JOURNAL here.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Dance your PhD

After posting John Bohannon’s TED talk I did some looking into Dance Your PhD and found this winning submission from 2010 by Maureen McKeague, a chemistry Ph.D. student at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada… enjoy.

Journal of Emerging Investigators

Journal of Emerging Investigators is an online research journal designed by Harvard graduate students to provide a platform for middle school and high school students to share original scientific research.  Students learn about the review and submission process while also getting feedback from real Ph.D. students. The top submissions will be published online.

Currently, the journal is just getting started.. so there are no published articles.. but submissions are being accepted. Click HERE to learn more about this great idea and to think about how you can get involved. Click HERE to learn about JEI and staff.

Resources for Digging into A Framework for K-12 Science Education

If you have taken the time to read the entire Framework for K-12 Science Education.. then you should be congratulated. However, there are probably many science education stakeholders who would like a Cliff Notes version or a process for digging into the massive document.

Luckily, the brilliant and talented Kim Klinke at the Center for Inquiry Science has created a set of tools that are EXCELLENT for making sense of the document. These tools would be perfect for a session of professional development, working with science education stakeholders, or even for your own independent study of the Framework.

The materials include:

– A Cheat Sheet that provides a clear and concise overview of the framework plus some reflection/planning space Framework Summary

– Physical Science Overview Physical Science Index

– Life Science Overview Life Science Index

– Earth/Space Overview Earth and Space Science Index

– An exploratory activity for digging into 3 themes in the framework document.. could be used for a jigsaw activity Exploratory Activity

– You will probably want a copy of the framework document as well.


Oxygen: the Video

I originally mentioned Oxygen about 2 years ago. I stumbled on it again recently and figured it is worth another post. This clip is funny, well-made, and engaging. I think it would be interesting to have students identify parts of the video that seem scientifically accurate and parts that may represent common misconceptions about matter.

Brightstorm: Math and Science Videos

Much like the Khan Academy videos (but shorter), provides lecture-style video clips of science topics  being explained at a whiteboard. Science is categorized into: biology, physics, and chemistry. Suitable for high school use.

I would also recommend checking out some clips from Veritasium and comparing them to Brightstorm. How could clips from these two very different providers be used together to support student learning of BIG IDEAS in science?

I can imagine videos such as these being used in instructionally powerful and less powerful ways. I would love to hear how you would (or have) used such lecture-based instructional videos.

Vodpod videos no longer available.
photosynthesis, posted with vodpod

Picturing to Learn

Picturing to Learn is a database of hand-drawn visuals by college science students prompted to explain a science concept to a high school student. These visual creations are a powerful way for revealing student understanding.

The following text is from the Picturing to Learn site:

The Picturing to Learn program was founded on the following core premises:

  • drawings made by science students for the purpose of teaching others reveal misconceptions
  • those drawings provide teachers with direct feedback on what students are and are not “getting,” to help promote more effective teaching
  • the process of creating a drawing to teach others has the potential to deepen students’ understanding of scientific concepts

You can register for FREE which gives you access to over 3000 examples of student thinking on topics such as Particle in a Box, Brownian Motion, and Cell Generation & Membrane Potential.

AAAS Science Assessment Beta- Items for Assessing Misconceptions

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) through their initiative Project 2061 have produced a bank of 600 test items that assess science understanding and misconceptions. The items have gone through years of research and development and target the following:

  • concepts in Earth/Space, physical science, life science, and nature of science
  • students in middle and high school
  • scientifically correct ideas as well as misconceptions

In order to access the item bank you need to register by providing an email and password. Once you are logged in you will find a well-organized set of items with loads of student data. Each domain of science contains several topics: for example, in Life Science you will find Cells, Evolution, Human Body Systems, etc. Within the topics the items are organized around key ideas and sub-ideas within the topic.

This is a valuable resource for any science curriculum director, science assessment specialist, science instructional coach, science educator, science professional development provider, etc looking for vetted science assessment items that test more than science minutiae.

HERE is an article from Education Week that describes the AAAS tool.

Understanding the Brain: What Drugs Can Tell Us

Webinar on the Brain and Drugs for high school science teachers provided by NIH and NSTA- March 24, 2011 6:30-8 pm EST

Check out information from NSTA here and from NIH here.

Registration is FREE!

Title: Understanding the Brain: What Drugs Can Tell Us
Date: March 24, 2011
Time: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Presenter: Rochelle D. Schwartz-Bloom, Ph.D.

You may also be interested in the NIH curriculum supplement The Brain: Understanding Neurobiology Through the Study of Addiction – available for free upon request.