Category Archives: Video

Why the Full Moon is Better in the Winter

Minute Physics has a video that provides a clear explanation for Why the Full Moon is Better in the Winter. This clip could be used with students by asking them about their initial explanations for why the full moon might be “better” in the winter. Students could share ideas and then watch the video as a source of evidence to modify their explanations.

Veritasium: What’s in a Candle Flame?

With the winter holiday season quickly approaching you will probably be using (or at least observing) lots of candles… but what exactly is a candle flame?

See another great video from Derek Muller of Veritasium investigating- What’s in a Candle Flame?

Three Great Science Discoveries of 2013

Thanks to Hank Green of SciShow for creating loads of great science content. Here is a short clip of Hank describing 3 pretty incredible scientific discoveries from 2013. And if you don’t follow SciShow… you probably should.

Why Don’t Woodpeckers Get Concussions?

Here is an interesting blog post Using Football Science to Tackle STEM Education by Ainissa Ramirez that incorporates football and science. Seems like a good opportunity for students to engage in science and engineering practices (Asking Questions and Engaging in Argument come to mind)  while also learning about forces and living systems. Check out the video embedded below.

Engaging Girls in Engineering and Labeling the Engineering they Already Do

As the father of a three and a half year old girl, I am constantly immersed in the toys and media that are marketed to young girls. Even though I’m aware of the limiting and inequitable messages promoted by these products they still pervade my household. My daughter loves princesses and ponies.. so I love princesses and ponies. We play with these toys together and we both enjoy this type of play. So are princesses and ponies a bad thing? Should I stop this type of play?

Recently the following video (see below) from Goldiebox has gone viral. I think this is a powerful video that promotes more equitable products and opportunities for girls. But I hope that we don’t lose focus of the bigger problems. I don’t think that toys alone are the problem. I don’t think that a Barbie doll, a pony, or a barrage of pink and purple will “cause” a girl to avoid engineering (or other STEM fields). I think that our own expectations of girls as parents, teachers, friends, etc are a larger factor. The way that we talk (or don’t talk) with girls about everyday science, engineering, and solving problems is critical. We also need to move beyond “construction” as the only type of engineering. Not every girl (or every  boy) wants to build stuff. And perhaps most importantly, I think we need to be better at finding and labeling the everyday engineering that girls might be doing in their own play and helping them to see how this relates to STEM fields.

So here is my attempt to label and call out some of the emerging engineering practices that my daughter might be engaging in.

  • She loves to build with Legos and design “forts”.  These are the “construction” types of engineering practices that she engages in.
  • She creates new “technologies” with paper, glue, and markers.
  • She uses tools for multiple purposes and repurposes tools to use in new ways.
  • She identifies problems in fictional scenarios and authentic settings
  • She develops solutions to authentic problems by collaborating with her imaginary, real, and toy friends.
  • She optimizes habitats for the frogs and other critters she likes to capture and observe
  • She engages with digital simulations (iPad apps) to design and optimize solutions to problems
  • She communicates her solutions using words, pictures, song, and movement

I hope that I’m able to keep the problem-solver in her motivated and engaged. I hope that she will be able to play with princesses and ponies and also be a tenacious and creative problem-solver. I look forward to seeing what kinds of products Goldibox and others will develop to help me to do this.

Zydeco: Science on the Go

Screen Shot 2013-11-10 at 7.21.29 PMZydeco (Science on the Go) is a project involving The University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History. Zydeco is an app that supports students and teachers in constructing evidence-based explanations during in and out of school science learning opportunities. The app is currently available for Apple products and can be used web-based through a browser.

Zydeco allows students to collect evidence through pictures and video and then to label and tag the information. Zydeco also provides an excellent framework for supporting students in making claims using their collected evidence.

This is an incredible app worthy of any science teachers time to check out.

Click HERE to visit the Zydeco site and learn more.

What is a Harvest Moon? NASA Video

A brief, clear, and well-designed video that explains a Harvest Moon. PS we have a Harvest Moon coming up soon. Enjoy.

See embedded video below or click HERE.