Category Archives: high school

Washington Post- Special Supplement on STEM Education

Screen Shot 2013-05-23 at 9.27.19 AMThe Washington Post recently included an insert on STEM Education. This supplement could be a useful addition for use in high school STEM courses and/or in professional development activities with teachers and administrators.

The STEM Education insert includes:

  • a feature on Mayim Bialik
  • careers in IT
  • Robotics
  • much more

Crash Course: Biology

Screen Shot 2013-01-02 at 7.16.49 PMWould you (or your students) appreciate an online overview of biology created by the funny and talented Hank Green? Then check out Hank’s 40-part Crash Course in Biology. Each lesson consists of a short (10-15 minute) YouTube video. The entire course is 7 hours but can easily be searched and used by specific biology content. See That’s Why Carbon is a Tramp: Crash Course Biology #1 embedded below. This would be most useful for high school students or college students looking for a review or refresher of life science concepts.

By the way, Hank also has a Crash Course in Ecology.

Practices of Science & Engineering- Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

This month the various NSTA journals will be sharing an excellent article by Philip Bell (et al) titled- Exploring the Science Framework: Engaging learners in scientific practices related to obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.

This article provides some much needed clarity on the 8th practice of science and engineering- obtaining, evaluating, and communication information. You will find examples of what this practice looks like when engaged in by students in pre-K, grade 5, middle school, and high school life science. This article could be very useful for any teacher seeking depth of understanding of the new practices or district administrators, professional development providers and informal science providers who support teachers. Click HERE to download the article. This article could also be used to make some connections with Common Core State Standards in English/Language Arts.

Veritasium: Trees Are Freakin’ Awesome

The latest video from Derick Muller at Veritasium tackles the explanation behind a tree’s ability to transport water to incredible heights. How are trees able to do this? The answer is complex and surprising. Enjoy this well-produced and engaging clip embedded below or click HERE.

Einstein Archives Online

Einstein Archives Online provides digitized manuscripts of thousands (eventually 80,000) of Albert Einstein’s scientific and non-scientific writings. An extensive collection and resource of primary documents for anyone researching the life of one of our most important thinkers and scientists. Enjoy!

Science in the Classroom

Science in the Classroom from AAAS collects a variety of annotated research papers and provides teaching materials to help students better understand the structure and purpose of scientific papers. You can currently find one chemistry article and two biology articles- I’m assuming more resources will be coming soon.

Seems like an excellent resource for high school science teachers- these also provide nice resources for the Common Core State Standards focus on research and complex text.

What is Systems Biology?

A few weeks ago I was leading some middle school science professional development on Systems Thinking. We were focusing on the Systems EALR of the WA Science Learning Standards and the Systems Handbook I assembled. During the session, a teacher was very concerned about this approach and expressed that “this (systems thinking) is not what real scientists and researchers do”. The statement caught me off guard a bit.. as I tend to think that a systems approach is a core part of what most scientists and engineers do.

The video embedded below, What is Systems Biology?, shows Dr. Nitin Baliga from the Institute for Systems Biology, in Seattle, discussing the importance of a systems approach in biology.

This clip could be a useful addition to your instruction on systems in high school biology or for use in a workshop or meeting on systems thinking. Any high school life science teachers should also visit the Baliga Lab Systems Education Site.

Twilight of the Lecture: Harvard Magazine

The current Harvard Magazine has an article about physics professor, Eric Mazur, and his move from lecture-based college instruction to more student-centered, active student learning. Click HERE to read the article.

If you are not familiar with Dr. Mazur’s story, this is a good entry point that contains some useful links to video and other resources. I think that the idea that college science instructors are looking to improve their instructional methods is important for middle school and high school science teachers to consider. In secondary science instruction, we may hold the science lecture hall as the “ultimate” standard in science teaching and learning.. when there may not be much evidence that this traditional model yields lasting conceptual student understanding of science ideas. We may find some strategies from Dr. Mazur’s work that we could try with our own students.

Veritasium: Another Video on Temperature Misconceptions

Veritasium just posted another video (Misconceptions about Temperature) of interviews that uncover misconceptions about temperature of different objects/materials. This could be a perfect companion piece to a previous Veritasium clip on temperature (see a previous post HERE).

These clips could be used to uncover your middle school or high school students’ ideas about temperature, heat transfer, and properties of materials before, during, or after instruction.

Science Talk Report Card- Benchfly

First of all, if you teach science then you should really visit Benchfly. If you work in a lab or are a graduate student in any lab science, then I’m sure you already know about Benchfly 🙂

Benchfly is a FREE video platform for sharing video tips, protocols, etc on common lab science practices. The Benchfly Blog is beautifully eclectic and while it contains some references to mature topics- it paints a compelling picture of the nature of science. The most recent blog post features The Scientific Talk Report Card. See image below.  Might be cool to show high school students that even real lab scientists seek feedback on their presentations.

For an example of a Video Protocol, see Pouring an Agarose Gel.