Thinking of Hawaii

The state of Hawaii is in the news everywhere these days.lava-magma-volcanic-eruption-glow-73830.jpeg

It was the second on my wish list to travel to as a teacher. I knew a lot about Hawaii because of its flowers. I love tropical flowers. But I was also interested in volcanology. Fortunately the Challenger Center Workshop presenters were awarded a workshop on the Big Island, right there in Volcanoes National Park.

 

The status and summary, updated. Updated news about Hawaii

Where is Hawaii?

What island are we talking about ?

What is happening? What do we know?

When I taught back in the day ,there was this movie, that we had to share with students that shared the last big eruption of the volcano. Here is a map to show which island and the location of the flow. The state of Hawaii is several islands and is still expanding. We did not have GIS or live photos like these.

If you have access to Science on a Sphere, you can easily learn

plate tec·ton·ics
noun
  1. a theory explaining the structure of the earth’s crust and many associated phenomena as resulting from the interaction of rigid lithospheric plates that move slowly over the underlying mantle.

This is a project in some schools , museums and public places that will teach you earth science. The ring of fire is what we use to tell about volcanology.

It is here.

In learning places like museums, schools and community centers you might be able to learn about plate tectonics with a hug globe on which images are projected.iuri

The tools that we have now to explore and learn about earth science are fantastic.

There is a laptop version. It is called Explorer

What is SOS Explorer?

Hilary

Hilary Peddicord uses SOSx in the single screen
mode at Casey Middle School in Boulder, CO

SOS Explorer (SOSx) is a flat screen version of the widely popular Science On a Sphere® (SOS). The revolutionary software takes SOS datasets, usually only seen on a 6-foot sphere in large museum spaces, and makes them more accessible. Animated images such as atmospheric storms, climate change, and ocean temperature can be shown in SOSx, which explains sometimes complex environmental processes in a way that is simultaneously intuitive and captivating.

NOAA uses SOSx as an instrument to highlight and disseminate cutting edge science to the world through visualizations that show information provided by satellites, ground observations and computer models.

Features Include:

  • Easy to use touchscreen interface for maximum interactivity
  • Over 140 datasets, including real-time datasets with descriptions
  • Educational videos linked to specific datasets for deeper inquiry
  • Tours that create a narrative through the datasets and help users make connections
  • Analysis tools to easily measure, probe, and plot data from the visualizations
  • Immersive, first person experiences: walk on the Moon, pilot a submarine, or take cover from a tornado
  • Stunning graphics in beautiful 4k resolution
  • Dual screen or single screen configuration options
  • SOSx Tour Builder that allows for the addition of new datasets and the creation of tours
  • Virtual Reality add-on
  • 360 degree video content
  • International language support
  • Compatibility with interactive projectors, screens, tables, and smartboards

GIS 1

Lots of people want to know how to make it Science, Technology. Engineering and Math. The lessons here are incredible for the Explorer program. You can learn using GIS from ESRI very well. The story maps are quite interesting and students could use the newspaper articles to create their own story maps. Here is an exercise for students to complete. In this exercise the student uses data to evaluate. This personalizes the experience. The students have to T H I N K and use data. I love this lesson.

When a volcano erupts, how much time do residents have to evacuate? That depends. Lava flows downhill and travels faster over steep ground. In the early 1990s, residents of Kalapana, a town in the southeastern Puna region, had days or even weeks to prepare for a lava flow that eventually covered the town. By contrast, a 1950 lava flow down the western flank of Mauna Loa reached the sea in about four hours. Although scientists monitor ground movement on the island continuously, there is no way to know how much advance notice residents living downhill of an eruption will receive.

In this lesson, you’ll begin to explore the relationships among lava flow zones, emergency shelters, and population. By the end, you’ll be ready to ask some questions that you’ll answer in the remaining lessons.

 

 

Explore the data and ask questions

When a volcano erupts, how much time do residents have to evacuate? That depends. Lava flows downhill and travels faster over steep ground. In the early 1990s, residents of Kalapana, a town in the southeastern Puna region, had days or even weeks to prepare for a lava flow that eventually covered the town. By contrast, a 1950 lava flow down the western flank of Mauna Loa reached the sea in about four hours. Although scientists monitor ground movement on the island continuously, there is no way to know how much advance notice residents living downhill of an eruption will receive.

Hawaiian folklore and art are interesting to link to the lessons.  So is thinking about walking through a lava tube. What is it? What should it be like inside? Why is it called a lava tube? How long are they, and where can they be found? Why does NASA use them for training?No automatic alt text available.

You can see my Volcano National Park Tour here. I will add  text to the pictures. Madam Pele has many stories . I don’t think I know them all. There is music and incredible dance.

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America’s Schools are Profoundly Unequal! A Whole lot of Education Information

 

15421006_10154621210371327_254228138370067503_nHave you seen?

The report on Unequal Schools from the Civil Rights Commission

“The federal government must take bold action to address inequitable funding in our nation’s public schools.”

So begins a list of recommendations released Thursday by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, an independent, bipartisan agency created by Congress in 1957 to investigate civil rights complaints. Thursday’s report comes after a lengthy investigation into how America’s schools are funded and why so many that serve poor and minority students aren’t getting the resources they say they need.

The 150-page report, titled “Public Education Funding Inequity: In An Era Of Increasing Concentration Of Poverty and Resegregation,” reads like a footnoted walking tour through the many ways America’s education system fails vulnerable students — beginning with neighborhood schools that remain deeply segregated and continuing into classrooms where too many students lack access to skilled teachers, rigorous courses and equitable school funding.

“This report excavates the enduring truism that American public schooling is, and has been, profoundly unequal in the opportunity delivered to students, the dollars spent to educate students, and the determinations of which students are educated together,” writes the commission’s chair, Catherine Lhamon.

History lesson

The first two-thirds of the commission’s report is essentially a history lesson on the decades-old fight over equitable school funding, so we’ll start there, too. The fight arguably began in 1954 with Brown v. Board of Education and the Supreme Court’s decision that “separate but equal” schools for black and white students were anything but equal.

In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson waded into the debate, arguing that the federal government should send money to school districts that serve low-income families. Congress agreed, creating Title I. In the 2014-15 school year, states received more than $14 billion in Title I money.

To this day, though, states are all over the map when it comes to how equitably they spend their own money in schools. The problem was baked into the system from the beginning, with local property taxes being an important driver of both school funding and of inequities in school funding.

“This is America,” writes Karen Narasaki, a member of the commission. “Every child deserves a quality education that does not depend on their ZIP code.”

To make that happen — many states now use state tax revenue to try to even out those local imbalances, some more effectively than others.

We are a  ‘Nation of Opportunity, and the present time points us toward the future.

There are groups that hope to change the way we learn by mentoring, by sharing, by participatory involvement at national, regional and local levels. School boards are often the passport to change. The National Science Foundation funds innovation and research.

Communities within groups like ISTE and CoSN help to drive change.They publish guides like

No Fear Coding

Computational Thinking Across the K-5 Curriculum

he people most affected by the inequality may not be a member or these groups trying to help them.

CoSN the Consortium for School Networking has action for members and reports such as this as well. AccessibilityToolkit.  

CoSn also publishes the Horizon Report on an annual basis.

NMC Horizon Report 

2017 Higher Education Edition

The NMC Horizon Report > 2017 Higher Education Edition is a collaborative effort between the NMC and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI). This 14th edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in education. Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six important developments in educational technology are placed directly in the context of their likely impact on the core missions of universities and colleges. The three key sections of this report constitute a reference and straightforward technology-planning guide for educators, higher education leaders, administrators, policymakers, and technologists. It is our hope that this research will help to inform the choices that institutions are making about technology to improve, support, or extend teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in higher education across the globe. All of the topics were selected by an expert panel that represented a range of backgrounds and perspectives. View the work that produced the report on the official project wiki.
CIRCL  takes us into the future using Cyberlearning.

New to Cyberlearning? Get started here.

New technologies change what and how people learn. Informed by learning science, cyberlearning is the use of new technology to create effective new learning experiences that were never possible or practical before. The cyberlearning movement advances learning of important content by:

  • Applying scientific insights about how people learn
  • Leveraging emerging technologies
  • Designing transformative learning activities
  • Engaging teachers and other practitioners
  • Measuring deeper learning outcomes
  • Emphasizing continuous improvement

 

I am a pioneer in technology and use these sites to keep up. What do you and your communities use?

                                              What about ACCESS?

While the nation continues to make progress in broadband deployment, many Americans still lack access to advanced, high-quality voice, data, graphics and video offerings, especially in rural areas and on Tribal lands, according to the 2016 Broadband Progress Report adopted by the Federal Communications Commission.

Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires the FCC to report annually on whether advanced telecommunications capability “is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion,” and to take “immediate action” if it is not.  Congress defined advanced telecommunications capability as “high-quality” capability that allow users to “originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video” services.

In the Report, the Commission determines that advanced telecommunications requires access to both fixed and mobile broadband services because more Americans use mobile services and devices to access the Internet for activities like navigation, communicating with family and friends and on social media, and receiving timely news updates away from home.  The Commission also retains the existing speed benchmark of 25 Mbps download/3 Mbps upload (25 Mbps/3 Mbps) for fixed services, but finds that the current record is insufficient to set an appropriate speed benchmark for mobile service.

While the Commission finds that it is reasonable to apply the same speed benchmarks to all fixed services, including fixed terrestrial and fixed satellite broadband service, the Commission continues to observe different technical capabilities and adoption patterns between fixed terrestrial and fixed satellite service.  Because no fixed satellite broadband service meets the 25 Mbps/3Mbps speed threshold as of the reporting period, the Report does not address the question of whether fixed satellite broadband services meeting this speed threshold would be considered to provide advanced telecommunications capability.

Significant progress in broadband deployment has been made, due in part to the Commission’s action to support broadband such as through its Universal Service programs. However, the Commission finds that these advances are not enough to ensure that advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a timely way.

Key findings include the following:

  • 10 percent of all Americans (34 million people) lack access to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps service.
  • 39 percent of rural Americans (23 million people) lack access to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps.
    • By contrast, only 4 percent of urban Americans lack access to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps broadband.
    • The availability of fixed terrestrial services in rural America continues to lag behind urban America at all speeds:  20 percent lack access even to service at 4 Mbps/1 Mbps, down only 1 percent from 2011, and 31 percent lack access to 10 Mbps/1 Mbps, down only 4 percent from 2011.
  • 41 percent of Americans living on Tribal lands (1.6 million people) lack access to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps broadband
    • 68 percent living in rural areas of Tribal lands (1.3 million people) lack access.
  • 66 percent of Americans living in U.S. territories (2.6 million people) lack access to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps broadband.
    • 98 percent of those living in rural territorial areas (1.1 million people) lack access.
  • Americans living in rural and urban areas adopt broadband at similar rates where 25 Mbps/ 3 Mbps service is available, 28 percent in rural areas and 30 percent in urban areas.
  • While an increasing number of schools have high-speed connections, approximately 41 percent of schools, representing 47 percent of the nation’s students, lack the connectivity to meet the Commission’s short-term goal of 100 Mbps per 1,000 students/staff.

This Report concludes that more work needs to be done by the private and public sectors to expand robust broadband to all Americans in a timely way.  The FCC will continue working to accelerate broadband deployment and to remove barriers to infrastructure investment, in part by direct subsidies, and in part by identifying and helping to reduce potential obstacles to deployment, competition, and adop

What about the use of the Internet in Rural Areas?

President Donald J. Trump signed on Monday two orders aimed at improving internet speeds in some of the country’s hardest-to-connect areas, a move he described as “the first step to expand access to broadband internet in rural America.”

The first executive order aims to make it easier for internet service providers to locate broadband infrastructure on federal land and buildings in rural parts of the country. The order notes that one of the consequences of slow, expensive internet service is that it hinders schools’ ability to “enrich student learning with digital tools.”

I found these items after a long search. Many of these articles are lost to parents, communities and interested advocates. The news is full of other things. Maybe these groups have to advocate for education as the press does not usually share important information, like the Horizon Report, and ISTE Standards.

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Parents and communities often have their own definition of what works in education and they may not be up to date on the reality of change within education. This report from the Civil Rights Commission probably is not seen by those without access to computers and technology.

An illustration picture shows projection of binary code on man holding aptop computer in Warsaw

An illustration picture shows a projection of binary code on a man holding a laptop computer, in an office in Warsaw June 24, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

What do you know about Schools and the use of technology?What you know might be gated by the school or community in which you live and learn.

This is a briefing that should be shared by schools, parents, communities and school boards. Education-Inequity.pdf.

internet-of-things

There are a lot of people who do not have a problem with screen time. They have little access to technology. A new group is looking to find a way to use CRA funding to help the communities most impacted by lack of connectivity.

There are a lot of people who have a screen or two, but who do not use the technology effectively.

Sometimes there are programs funded within a community by groups trying to erase the digital divide.  HUD has a program that is supposed to help make the change. Connect Home.  What might be a group within your community that is trying to solve the problem?

Connect Home is a public-private collaboration to narrow the digital divide for families with school-age children who live in HUD-assisted housing.

Connect Home creates a platform for community leaders, local governments, nonprofit organizations, and private industry to join together and produce locally-tailored solutions for narrowing the digital divide. Through these stakeholders’ specific commitments to provide free or low-cost broadband access, devices, and digital literacy training, Connect Home extends affordable access to low-income families, ensuring that high-speed Internet follows our children from their classrooms back to their homes.

                                     How Connected is Your Community?

Here is a map to check your connectivity.

How are You Connected? ACCESS MAP

TECHNOLOGY HELPS US TO UNDERSTAND THE WORLD

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STEM? There are free resources at Concord.org.

Groundbreaking and deeply digital learning
In recent months the use of technology has helped us to see disasters and to use big data to visualize.

This is an ESRI Story map of the recent weather event in the US.

Does your educational community take advantage of free resources, mentoring to schools and teachers in the ESRI Space?

What Can We Learn about the World using GIS?

There are free online mapping resources for schools.

Hurricane-Irma-1054595

The Accidental Science of Cooking, as a part of Curriculum

I started a conversation while tearing through little bags of stuff from a Blue Apron package. At the time, I did not realize this service to be all that important. I cook. I had no idea that this service was so important to many.A friend let me have the remains of a package that she did not want. I was amused. The great thing was that there were small amounts of spices and condiments. But let me tell a story about cooking in the classroom and sharing the “Accidental Science of Cooking”internationally.

In November of 2002, I wrote a blog, and was invited to a Kid Screen Initiative.In Europe food , sources and preparation are taken very seriously.

I am what I eat , International Seminar as a speaker in Regione ,Lombardia ( Brescia) Italy

The organizer was Eva Schwarswald, throught the office of schools in Lombardy.

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I shared classroom experiences, Smithsonian garden resources from ” Seeds of Change” and recipes from my grandmother’s herbal medicine history.

In the presentation I  used resources from cultural  history , information from the book ” Spoonbread and Strawberry Wine, and the Accidental Science of Cooking at the Exploratorium.

One of my interests is in collecting  cookbooks and spices from all over the world. I have cooked in most countries and visited Farmer’s Markets, and local wineries as a part of my travel. I have been seen bringing olive oil, saffron and various spices home from trips around the world.

                        Precious Cargo: How Foods From the Americas Changed The World

 

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It is and was a hot topic.  Children’s Film, Media and Nutrition Education.

This was what I blogged about. http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/

School experiences , that is sharing family recipes and making a classroom cookbook are one of the projects we did in a classroom. I learned that if I used a matrix of cultural markers that I could justify adding cooking to the curriculum. Study a country? How and what do they eat. Study a region, what do they grow? What is sold in markets? What do people eat as a part of their daily life.

l learned to do this from the Smithsonian. They sent in a speaker to my classroom during the Cherry Blossom events. The lady came, demonstrated a kimono, had them do art, and at the same time she was cooking. She had their attention. So I learned to add cultural things to my curriculum.

Parents helped me out.When we made bread, that was an all day initiative, but we needed an oven to finish off the loaves.

A parent, Julie Mangis,helped me. She also taught me to create an awesome Gingerbread House lesson.. a little architecture for your holiday.

During the Halloween time, we learned about Curcubita.One plant group with the most species used as human food is the Cucurbitaceae family. Within this family, the genus Cucurbita stands out as one of the most important. Five of its species Cucurbita argyrosperma Huber, C. ficifolia Bouché, C. moschata (Duchesne ex Lam.) Duchesne ex Poiret, C. maxima Duchesne ex Poiret, and C. pepo L.—have been domesticated in the New World and for thousands of years they have been cultivated or at least handled by American societies. We talked the Native American way of growing corn, beans and squash. We found out why peanuts are called ground nuts. We roasted peanuts and pumpkin seeds. We put a bite in the curriculum.

Have you ever heard of a Pineapplelarium? People in England learned to create a way to grow pineapples in their climate.

Rare, exotic and hard to grow, Pineapples were a symbol of great status and wealth in Victorian times. A pineapple on your dining table meant you were a person of discernment, style and affluence.

At the The Lost Gardens of Heligan  in England , they believe that we have the only working, manure-heated pineapple pit in Britain today. It was unearthed in 1991 and architectural and horticultural historians spent many months researching the history of its construction and technology. The first structure here was probably built in the eighteenth century.

In many places in the South, Pineapples and exotic fruits and magnolia leaves were used to decorate the Christmas doors. We still do this in Alexandria, Virginia ( in the old mansions) and in Williamsburg, VA.

 

Food is something we deal with every day.  If I were in a classroom today, we would do ESRI story mapping. Where did the food come from and what stops did it make in getting to you. You may recall the National Geographic Lesson on a Chocolate Bar.

We are what we eat! From our ancestors throwing raw meat onto the fire for the first time to teams of lab technicians perfecting the crunch of a potato chip, it is a way to put STEAM into STEM. Interest into history.

What I learned in Europe is that school lunches are serious business and that Europeans spent a lot more money on food. I am sure that they would not approve of Blue Apron,but lots of my friends say that it is how a lot of young people learn to cook.I had HomeEc and my mother’s coaching. At least it is a way to share secrets of cooking.
When I taught in a very poor school I provided food for those who were hungry, but that’s another story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEM..Many ways to learn. Many Choices..STEM, STEAM, After School Initiatives.. just do it.

I started after school science teaching when my brother was in grade school to amuse him and keep him learning.  We went to Catholic School so there was  essentially not much science.

I lived in Alexandria, Va . and  I would take him to the Smithsonian to learn things. There were all of the Smithsonian buildings and projects to learn about. It was not so easy as now, finding all kinds of things, programs and resources for him. No technology then except in the museum. But what was in the museum was like magic.

Family Outreach Days at AAAS Family Days - Teragrid Booth

Students explore visualizations of the oil spill.

After school then was anything he wanted to learn about. We built things and made things and constructed a boat inside a bottle.  We waded streams and raised animals and went on excursions to aquariums and zoos. Talk about maker. My dad was a Shop teacher, that is electrical, bricklaying, and woodworking shop. You know we made things!!! Lots of people did in the CTE space.

When I  became a teacher there was no much interest in science. In the schools I taught in reading and math were the main focus. In urban schools the joy of learning was over shadowed by drudgery.

Holidays and pull out classes wrecked the schedule so we did not get to teach much science, history or other subjects. I think science was reserved for the “elite” or that people did not think that anyone but boys should do science. I did not like basal readers and the booklets, and tablets and worksheets that went with them. I was a reader and I loved science. I remember being told that science was not fun.

I fled teaching and went to Europe. Teaching there I had choices to make and I could be innovative

Starting Hands On Science

Eventually ,I made my way to Arlington Schools. Innovation was being supported. CUSEEME was a project i did.It was technology at the National Science Foundation.

CUcollaboration

I began to take NASA classes and learn about space. The support was posters, professional development and mentoring. I found that children liked, .. well loved science. NASA was free, I just had to donate my time and interest. We called STEM then SMET.

AAAS had a class which I took that gave me all , or most of the resources to teach hands on science with and that was a very supportive way of letting teachers change the way science was taught. ( NOT reading out of a book).

Science and the new technologies were promoted by the Dept. of Education, Frank Withrow and Jenelle Leonard. I was an instant follower.

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Dr. Phoebe Knipling ,introduced the kids and I to the Outdoor Lab. I did not have much choice. It took a couple of lessons, a few courses and outdoor experiences before I felt accomplished. Parents and children were supportive. And there were places to take great field trips in our area.

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) is dedicated to providing high quality educational programs that incorporate SERC research with hands-on and inquiry-based learning. Their programs are led by SERC staff and highly-trained volunteers, and emphasize the practices of science – one of the major components of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). While our main activities focus on grades K-12, we also offer programs for organized groups and teacher professional development. At the time the field trip there was so exciting that I had as many parents as children going on the trip, and also liking the followup. Eat -a Crab Lab.

She was the supervisor, so I learned

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We took classes on birding, weeds and wildflowers and learned to explore areas in streams for living things. This was getting to be fun. It was school science but the learning, professional development and courses were in my after school space. The field trips were a part of the offering of the school. There were courses through the school systems offerings. CEU credits were offered and sometimes resource materials.

Classes spent the night at the Outdoor Lab.

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Moving along with Science.

The Smithsonian had resources for pixellation, and information on Mars that was a part of science education. Powers of Ten, that was a great exhibit at the Air and Space museum.  The Smithsonian had an exhibit on Living in Space, with plants, moon rocks, ideas to tell /share about living in space and information on the Astronauts.

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Marsville, Mars City Alpha , Hubble Institute initiatives, these were really not allowed in the curriculum space. There were ways to work it in. I taught it after school and in project based learning. In a school space, there was a county wide initiative on Wednesdays at the Career Center. We did not call it the Maker Movement. We called it Children’s Choice and we created a set of lessons that kids could sign up for. We also created a set of lessons that were on Saturday from 9:00 to 1:00.

Cooking, Animal Husbandry, Pets, Face painting, Computer Construction, Sewing 101 and Woodworking, Theater Arts, Coding. small projects like that. There was math. Teachers from the country volunteered their time to teach. We thought we replace the time that parents and grandparents used to give to students.

Our students learned cooking with a real chef. They cooked and made pizza which they ate and carried home. I don’t remember everything they made but they had projects like donut making, making cupcakes.

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We did astronomy and space science education and every project that came our way through NASA. There is this one…https://universe.nasa.gov/afterschool/

I like it that the kids, and parents innovate in the program. It is also true that they build a telescope. It is an awesome program. It was a STEAM project.

Here is a different math program.https://www.smartskies.nasa.gov/flyby/index.html

I liked the math in Fly By Math and here is a simulator.

Five Distance-Rate-Time Problems for Grades 5-9
FlyBy Math™ consists of five Air Traffic Control (ATC) Problems that address the safe separation of two planes.In each problem, students:

  • Conduct an experiment that simulates the airplane scenario.
  • Use guided paper-and-pencil activities to determine the number of seconds it takes each plane to travel a given distance along a jet route.

Student Materials
Each problem features:

  • a Student Workbook containing the experiment, paper-and-pencil calculations to support the experiment, and a student analysis of the experiment and calculations
  • optional pre- and post-tests
  • video clips to introduce students to the nation’s air traffic control system.

Teacher Materials

  • Each problem is accompanied by a Teacher Guide with a full set of answers and solutions, as well as suggestions for implementing the specific airspace scenario.
  • To learn more about FlyBy Math™, see the Educator Guide.

Extension

In addition to the FlyBy Math hands-on experiment and print workbooks, students can now run and solve each FlyBy Math problem electronically on the Math In PlaneView Simulator. The simulator uses the highest level of the 6 math approaches offered by FlyBy Math: graphing a system of linear equations. The simulator helps students connect the movement of planes and the associated linear equations and distance vs. time graphs. To access the simulator and the accompanying classroom materials, use the link on the FlyBy Math website.

 https://atcviztool.nasa.gov/

 

The Audubon Society, let me learn weather as it was taught then. We learned quadrat studies too.

There were grants to write within the county, the state and nationally, there was funding for Wednesday classes at the Career Center for students from all over the county.

We made up a list of interesting things for them to choose from. We imagined that back in the day grandmothers and uncles share with the kids.We met Cosmonauts, we met geographers, we did the Jason Projects,  Earthwatch , and the National Geographic inspired us. When the projects began they were not so expensive as they are now.

Now STEM is on everyone’s mind and is a big business. Teachers can compete with some programs, but there are schools that have not done but rudimentary participation in after school science.

Some communities give support to STEM in Boys and Girls Clubs. There are dedicated universities that deliver programs for 4H in a state.  https://4-h.org/parents/stem-agriculture/

I did a brief stint with the MadScience.org   

The MadScience is an afterschool initiative that is global. It is about an hour of performance science with a take home tool or toy. I enjoyed teaching it, but as an experienced teacher there was a penalty to pay for my experience so I was passed up because their lessons don’t require academics, they teach a set program and provide all of the resources. There is no magic in that program for being a seasoned educator,cheaper to hire people as contractors. I think it is a good, after school program.

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GIS, Geoliteracy, and ESRI..What are you waiting for?

This year the changes in climate, the storms and devastation have caused us all to take time to pay attention to weather, to where places are and to what a disaster map is in many places. You should have also learned how and why storms are tracked.

People all of a sudden were worrying and watching the weatherman or a climate mapping system for news about fires, floods, the hurricanes. ESRI provided story maps and data for all to see. Problem? Many students  in the US do not study or use resources that are available free for schools.

During the Hurricane emergencies we could use this map.  There were individual story maps that you could use during the hurricanes, to learn to read, see , big data define the hurricane.Hurricane Harvey  , Hurricane Irma, Hurricane-Irma-1054595

Hurricane Maria

http://gis.ruekert-mielke.com/2017/09/14/esri-story-map-of-hurricane-harvey/

There were also story maps of the fires.

You can learn using ESRI resources.

What is a disaster that is likely to happen in your area? What is the history of weather in your area? What actions should you be ready to take?

 

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There are lots of fabulous tools that we can use to learn about Earth Science. One of my favorite is Science on a Sphere. You can learn about it here. SOS  There are lots of locations where you can go and participate in an SOS program. There is also SOS Lite. That is a download that you can install on your computer. Here is the link. SOS Lite.

Climate Models?

What Is a Climate Model?

Global climate models (GCMs) use math – a  lot of math – to describe how the atmosphere, the oceans, the land, living thingsice, and energy from the Sunaffect each other and Earth’s climate. Thousands of climate researchers use global climate models to better understand how global changes such as increasing greenhouses gases or decreasing Arctic sea ice will affect the Earth. The models are used to look hundreds of years into the future, so that we can predict how our planet’s climate will likely change.

There are various types of climate models. Some focus on certain things that affect climate such as the atmosphere or the oceans. Models that look at few variables of the climate systemmay be simple enough to run on a personal computer. Other models take into account many factors of the atmospherebiospheregeospherehydrosphere, and cryosphere to model the entire Earth system. They take into account the interactions and feedbacks between these different parts of the planet. Earth is a complex place and so many of these models are very complex too. They include so many math calculations that they must be run on supercomputers, which can do the calculations quickly. All climate models must make some assumptions about how the Earth works, but in general, the more complex a model, the more factors it takes into account, and the fewer assumptions it makes. At the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), researchers work with complex models of the Earth’s climate system. Their Community Climate System Model is so complex that it requires about three trillion math calculations to simulate a single day on planet Earth. It can take thousands of hours for the supercomputer to run the model. The model output, typically many gigabytes large, is analyzed by researchers and compared with other model results and with observations and measurement data.

NESTA  Souce

There are currently several other complex global climate models that are used to predict future climatic change. The most robust models are compared by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) as they summarize predictions about future climate change.

There are tools that are used to predict weather and to define possibilities that are data models. There is a European Model, and a US Model which we learned from with all of the storms, and fires, in the last several months.

The European Climate Model

  • produces numerical weather forecasts and monitor the Earth-system;
  • carries out scientific and technical research to improve forecast skill;
  • maintains an archive of meteorological data.

To deliver this core mission, the Center provides:

  • twice-daily global numerical weather forecasts;
  • air quality analysis;
  • atmospheric composition monitoring;
  • climate monitoring;
  • ocean circulation analysis;
  • hydrological prediction.

They also provide advanced training to scientific staff in our Member and Co-operating States and assist the World Meteorological Organization with its programs. We make 25% of the supercomputing facilities available to Member States.

The US Climate Model is here.

https://www.climate.gov/teaching And you can look here

How reliable are computer models of the Earth’s climate?

Climate models are used to analyze past changes in the long-term averages and variations in temperature, precipitation, and other climate indicators, and to make projections of how these trends may change in the future. Today’s climate models do a good job at reproducing the broad features of the present climate and changes in climate, including the significant warming that has occurred over the last 50 years. Hence, climate models can be useful tools for measuring the changes in the factors that drive changes in climate, including heat-trapping gases, particulates from human and volcanic sources, and solar variability.

Scientists have amassed a vast body of knowledge regarding the physical world. However, unlike many areas of science, scientists who study the Earth’s climate cannot build a “control Earth” and conduct experiments on this Earth in a lab. To experiment with the Earth, scientists instead use this accumulated knowledge to build climate models, or “virtual Earths.” In studying climate change, these virtual Earths serve as an important way to integrate different kinds of knowledge of how the climate system works. These models can be used to test scientific understanding of the response of the Earth’s climate to past changes (such as the transition from the last glacial maximum to our current warm interglacial period) as well as to develop projections of future changes (such as the response of the Earth’s climate to human activities).

Climate models are based on mathematical and physical equations representing the fundamental laws of nature and the many processes that affect the Earth’s climate system. When the atmosphere, land, and ocean are divided up into small grid cells and these equations are applied to each grid cell, the models can capture the evolving patterns of atmospheric pressures, winds, temperatures, and precipitation. Over longer timeframes, these models simulate wind patterns, high and low pressure systems, and other weather characteristics that make up climate.

Some important physical processes are represented by approximate relationships because the processes are not fully understood, or they are at a scale that a model cannot directly represent. Examples include clouds, convection, and turbulent mixing of the atmosphere, for which important processes are much smaller than the resolution of current models. These approximations lead to uncertainties in model simulations of climate.

Climate models require enormous computing resources, especially to capture the geographical details of climate. Today’s most powerful supercomputers are enabling climate scientists to more thoroughly examine the effects of climate change in ways that were impossible just five years ago. Over the next decade, computer speeds are predicted to increase another 100 fold or more, permitting even more details of the climate system to be explored.

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ucar_model_inputResources for schools.

 

 

 

 

 

Digging in Dirt- The Pleasures of Archaeology

Now and Then

https://serc.si.edu/projects/archaeology-storymap/archaeology-storymap

I dig archaeology.  I used to think about it all the time.Teaching grades that explored ancient cultures and reading David McCauley’s books, and exploring cultures with students was exciting.

Pyramid , Through concise text and richly detailed black and white illustrations we come to know the philosophy of life and death in ancient Egypt.

I wanted to be an Egyptian archaeologist, and then I went to Egypt. Hot, hot, hot and then hot. There was fun in observing recent excavations and some new sharing of finding. A surprise to me was that the interior of tombs and structures was so beautiful and low.

I am tall so I had to bend down a lot to keep from striking my head.The blocks used to build the pyramid are almost as tall as me. The air was musty and a surprise was the inscriptions inside the walls of the tombs. Hard to photograph.

When you go to a site, there is the weather, the wind, and many steps to get to a viewing point. Egypt was difficult because the heat  made me thirsty too. But it was exciting to be there. I actually learned a lot more about Egyptian Archaeology in the British museum.

Following Catherwood, you would think that there were few sites in Central America. But the jungle uncovers various sites now and then. Archaeology there is interesting. The Mayan Sites are there to be climbed and excavated. The sites are usually on high ground as the communication was by fire and shell horns. On one site I could see all the way to Guatemala. Climbing was difficult. There were no safety bars and getting down from some of the Mayan sites was tricky. Sometimes I would only go halfway up . Under the temples there are royal seats and places to explore and sometimes a scorpion or interesting insects.

 

There are even more sites to examine and learn about.

 

 

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“Archaeology is the study of the ancient and recent human past through material remains. It is a subfield of anthropology, the study of all human culture. From million-year-old fossilized remains of our earliest human ancestors in Africa, to 20th century buildings in present-day New York City, archaeology analyzes the physical remains of the past in pursuit of a broad and comprehensive understanding of human culture.” Source

I actually participated in a dig in Deia, Mallorca , Spain through an Earthwatch Grant from the Wildcat Foundation. We know about the Beaker people who constructed Sun circles. The most prominent one is in England.

There is archaeology in your backyard. In Southern Maryland we investigated Saint Mary’s City. The Smithsonian Estuary Center, SERC has archaeology for Citizen Scientists too.

Of all the artifacts Native Americans of the Chesapeake left behind, the most abundant at SERC are oyster shell middens. Essentially early trash piles, middens are clusters of shells that Native Americans and some early settlers discarded after eating the meat inside. They can endure for millennia. SERC has 31 recorded oyster middens on its property, the oldest dating back to 1250 B.C.E.

There are many places to study Archaeology.

Here and There

These middens have led to some surprising discoveries about Native Americans’ past, and their environmental legacy today. It was once a common belief that Native Americans and the first settlers rarely ate blue crabs, because blue crab remains seldom turned up in archaeological sites. But after a more thorough investigation with scientists at the National Museum of Natural History, SERC scientists discovered blue crab remains were far more common in shell middens than previously thought. They also showed that blue crab remains are fragile and do not preserve very well, except for the tips of their claws.  The claw tips showed that not only did Native American catch and eat blue crabs in addition to oysters, but they caught substantially larger crabs than typically seen today. Furthermore, unlike most modern trash piles, oyster middens have positive environmental impacts still felt in the present. Soils with oyster middens beneath them contain more nutrients, and host a greater diversity of native flora, than soils without them.

Many questions remain: Why is there a 900-year gap in the ages of oyster middens around the Rhode River, spanning 800 B.C.E. to 150 C.E.? Did Native Americans only use the property as seasonal fishing and hunting grounds, or were there ever any permanent villages? Researchers continue to sift through the remains in search of answers.

Of all the artifacts Native Americans of the Chesapeake left behind, the most abundant at SERC are oyster shell middens. Essentially early trash piles, middens are clusters of shells that Native Americans and some early settlers discarded after eating the meat inside. They can endure for millennia. SERC has 31 recorded oyster middens on its property, the oldest dating back to 1250 B.C.E.

 

TEACHER FELLOWSHIPS

Earthwatch is looking for teachers who are passionate about teaching, excited about making a difference with their time and talents, and interested in conservation, environmental sustainability, and lifelong learning.

By engaging teachers, Earthwatch strives to inspire and build a future generation of leaders who value the environment and prioritize it in their everyday choices.

When teachers return from the field, they share their experiences with students, colleagues, family, and friends through stories, lessons, and community action. Fellows truly embody the Earthwatch mission and are critical to our success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kids in a Network Learning Science, Geography, GIS, Computational Thinking and all of that Jazz ..it worked!!

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Many people embrace what is called STEM at this time. There was SMET before there was STEM.

There was a time when science was pushed aside and people who dared to advocate it were not in the right political space. We suffered but continued the practice of good teaching.

We had our champions, and one of them was Dr. Robert Tinker of Concord.org who got great funding for a number of revolutionary programs and projects and many of them were for K -12.

His projects were much needed to change teaching and learning .

More alphabet soup.

You may ask what is TERC?

For more than fifty years, TERC  introduced millions of students throughout the United States to the exciting and rewarding worlds of math and science learning. Led by a group of experienced, forward-thinking math and science professionals, TERC is an independent, research-based organization dedicated to engaging and inspiring all students through stimulating curricula and programs designed to develop the knowledge and skills they need to ask questions, solve problems, and expand their opportunities.

 

What is really important is that there was extensive broadening engagement and the vision that TERC and Robert Tinker had was an immersive imagining of a future in which learners from diverse communities engaged in creative, rigorous, and reflective inquiry as an integral part of their lives—a future where teachers and students alike are members of vibrant communities where questioning, problem solving, and experimentation are commonplace.

This ideational scaffolding worked.

One of the projects was the NGS Kids Network , standards-based, online science curriculum that allowed students from around the world to investigate topics and share their findings.

Students explored real-world subjects by doing exactly what scientists do: conducting experiments, analyzing data, and sharing results with peers.

You will remember the climate march and the scientists march. With Bob Tinker we marched with our fingers and minds exploring real world science and the ideas are still being used and referenced.

There are pieces of this work that are still relevant. There was an extensive set of resources for teachers at each topic.

You can explore the Unit TRASH here.

You can explore the topic “What’s in Our Water?” here.

Here is the background for water. 

You can explore SOLAR ENERGY here. It has been updated.

HISTORY

A National Geographic Summer Institute was where Concord.org was introduced to me. I believe I met Dr. Tinker however, at the NSTA conference. or at the George Lucas Educational Foundation in a round table discussion.  There we learned about probes. The way we worked was revolutionary in science , and we true pioneers got some push back. We had Dr. Tinker as a resource and the information was free. The promise of the Internet for all has never happened , but if you could get on the Information Highway, well, Concord was there for you.

 

 

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If you ever taught a National Geographic Kidsnetwork Program and did it well ,you know that it changed the face of teaching and learning. Here is a research report that explains the way in which it worked.

The National Geographic Kids Network

REFERENCE: TERC. (1990). The National Geographic Kids Network: Year 4 Final Annual Report. Cambridge, MA: Author.

In conjunction with the National Geographic Society, TERC created The National Geographic Kids Network as a resource for improving elementary science and geography instruction in classrooms around the world. Since its inception in 1986, more than a quarter of a million students in over 7,500 classrooms had then used the network to collaborate on science and geography projects ranging from the study of solar energy to acid rain.( old data)

The primary goal of the National Geographic Kids Network was to promote science and discovery in elementary classrooms by combining hands-on science, geography, and computer technologies with telecommunications activities.

GIS 1The topics were the beginning of real science study for many students.


The National Geographic Kids Network includes seven 8-week curriculum units focusing on “increasing the time spent on inquiry-oriented, hands-on science instruction, strengthening science process and data analysis skills, raising public awareness of the value and feasibility of appropriate science instruction, and publishing and widely disseminating curricular materials that further these goals.” While students research, collect, analyze, and share data with their peers they also problem solve and collaborate with students at other schools. In addition, the network also features a scientist who works with students electronically to evaluate their data, make comments, and offer suggestions. The seven 8-week units include:

  • Hello!  This was a special introductory unit that let us learn how to use project based learning and collaborate with other classes.
  • Solar Energy
  • Acid Rain
  • What Are We Eating?
  • What’s in Our Water?
  • Too Much Trash?
  • Weather in Action

The beginning unit was very special.

Students and teachers and community collaborated and shared , giving information, history, geography and data about where they lived. They got mail. This was a personalized way  , it was a pre-social media of talking with and learning with students in other parts of the world.

How excited my students were to link with a school in Moscow, Russia, or to figure out what animals were pets in some places of the world that we considered pests.

 

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For those of us who used the units , the task of classroom management was quite different from that faced by teachers employing the traditional instructional methods of lecture, discussion, and seat work. Geography was a huge factor in the work. Sometimes there was application of the arts, and yes, there was purposeful reading and writing. The face of the working classroom was changed. Extensive resources were shared with teachers.

Students were involved in an inquiry process and reported back to a scientist who helped them analyze their data . There were geographical teams of students sharing information , and collecting data and sometimes telling their stories. I was a teacher of the Gifted, but I was able to use technology to transition into being a classroom teacher for all. Parents and community members were excited about meaningful  uses of technology.

With NGS Kidsnetwork, students spend the majority of their time working on their own or in small groups collecting and doing research.

Teachers often spend their time participating in projects as peers , with community interface of experts, parents helping with the data.

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