Earth Science - Mrs. Barnett Dreyfuss Coloring Plates Activity (pdf) Natural Disasters Unit in class materials & Labs:Folding Fault Models (pdf)Earthquake Model (pdf) and the accompanying questions (pdf)Earthquake & Volcano Plotting (pdf or google doc)Gelatin Volcano Lab (pdf or google doc)Volcano Sizes Activity (pdf or google doc)Viscosity Lab (pdf or google doc)Natural Disasters Research Project (pdf or google doc)Types of Volcanoes Lab (pdf or google doc)Mapping Earthquakes & Volcanoes (pdf or google doc) Natural Disasters Homework Packet - due March 18th, 2013Guided Reading: Plate Tectonics (pdf or google doc)What Should You Do? Links:College of Geology in Chile (en Espanol)
How do pain relievers work? - George Zaidan All those different brands, varieties, and strengths filling the shelves at the drugstore can give anyone a headache! While there may be a hundred different colored boxes and bottles on the shelf, Alice (of Go Ask Alice fame) explains the four basic types of non-prescription pain-relievers. One of the most strangest types of pain comes from hitting your “funny bone.” Mentalfloss writes that the "funny bone" is neither funny (when you whack it on the edge of a piece of furniture), nor a bone (whether you whack it or not). What happens when you can’t feel pain?
The Nature of Science (NOS) There is a growing recognition among teachers that we need to teach the "Nature of Science" (NOS). Ideally, this should begin in the primary grades and extend all the way through university. Teaching about the nature of science should not be restricted to students who major in science. Every student should learn about the nature of science. This is not controversial. One of the most important issues is the "Demarcation Problem." I've written extensively about this controversy. John Wilkins discusses the "Demarcation Problem"Territorial demarcation and the meaning of scienceScience Doesn't Have All the Answers but Does It Have All the Questions? That's not what I want to talk about today. The pedagogical literature generally ignores the demarcation problem and focuses on how to teach the nature of science (NOS) to students in traditional science classes. Description of science Science is an attempt to explain natural phenomena. Tentativeness Theory-laden (subjectivity)
Diagnosing a zombie: Brain and body - Tim Verstynen & Bradley Voytek DISCLAIMER: Although we sometimes compare certain symptoms in zombies to real neurological patient populations, we are in no way implying that patients with these other disorders are in some way “part zombie”. Neurological disorders have provided critical insights into how the brain gives rise to behavior and we bring them up for the sake of illustration only. Their reference in this context is in no way meant to diminish the devastating impact that neurological diseases can have on patients and their caregivers. In order to understand how studies on patients, brain regions, and behavior all link together, check out BrainScanr ( a meta-analytic program designed to show relationships between brain systems and behavior. For more information on the syndromes described in the video, including how to help, please check out the following support societies: Parkinson’s Disease Foundation: The National Ataxia Foundation:
Earth & Space Science Essential Science for Teachers Exploring topics that range from soil to the solar system, Essential Science for Teachers: Earth and Space Science provides participants the opportunity to increase their science content knowledge and develop new understandings of how this content connects to K - 6 classrooms. The Geologic Timeline "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" is an age-old question. But, what about things that happened long before there were chickens OR eggs? For Further Information When you see the following icon in the video, click at left for "A Closer Look" This course is composed of eight sessions, each with a one-hour video program addressing a topic area in Earth and Space science that emphasizes the science content that is likely to be part of any elementary school science curriculum. Posing the question "What is Earth’s structure and its place in the universe?"
Diagnosing a zombie: Brain and behavior - Tim Verstynen & Bradley Voytek DISCLAIMER: Although we sometimes compare certain symptoms in zombies to real neurological patient populations, we are in no way implying that patients with these other disorders are in some way “part zombie”. Neurological disorders have provided critical insights into how the brain gives rise to behavior and we bring them up for the sake of illustration only. Their reference in this context is in no way meant to diminish the devastating impact that neurological diseases can have on patients and their caregivers. To see what brain areas are associated with different behaviors and cognitive states from functional MRI (fMRI) studies, check out the NeuroSynth website created by Tal Yarkoni ( and the Cognitive Atlas by Russ Poldrack ( For more information on patient HM and his tremendous contributions to our understanding of how the brain remembers, please check out these stories. NPR:
Classroom 2.0 Top 10 Brain Myths" At one time in history, decapitation was one of the preferred methods of execution, in part thanks to the guillotine. Although many countries that execute criminals have dispatched with the method, it's still performed by certain governments, terrorists and others. There's nothing more final than the severing of one's head. The guillotine came about because of the desire for a quick, relatively humane death. But how quick is it? If your head were cut off, would you still be able to see or otherwise move it, even for just a few seconds? This concept perhaps first appeared during the French Revolution, the very time period in which the guillotine was created. Another often-told tale of demonstrated consciousness following beheading dates to 1905. These stories seem to give credence to the idea that it's possible for someone to remain conscious, even for just a few seconds, after being beheaded. If your head stays on your shoulders, though, it can still be damaged beyond repair.
Encyclopedia of Earth 12 talks on understanding the brain Read Montague is interested in the human dopamine system — or, as he puts it in this illuminating talk from TEDGlobal 2012, that which makes us “chase sex, food and salt” and therefore survive. Specifically, Montague and his team at the Roanoke Brain Study are interested in how dopamine and valuation systems work when two human beings interact with each other. Twenty years ago, studying a topic like this was all but impossible because scientists relied on worms and rodents for insight into the brain. But today, in addition to animal research, neurobiologists have at their disposal functional MRI (fMRI), which allows them to make “microscopic blood flow movies” and map the activity of human brains in action. “We have a behavioral superpower in our brain and it at least in part involves dopamine,” says Montague in this talk. “We can deny any instinct we have for survival for an idea. To hear much more about Montague’s work, watch this talk.
Survival Exercise Scenarios - Description of a Group Dynamics Team Building Exercise Overview - Group Survival Scenario Exercise A classic group communication and decision making exercise, with many variations. Works for a wide variety of ages and purposes, indoors or outdoors. Scenario Type 1: Choose Survival Equipment Your plane crashed...your group needs to choose the 12 most useful items to survive... Choose / rank equipment items in terms of their relative survival value: Participants choose/rank the items individually Discuss choices/rankings in small group and come to a group consensus Score answers against "expert" opinion Possible scenarios: Lost at sea or island survival (shipwreck) Desert (plane crash) Space or Moon Scenario Type 2: People Survival Scenario (Who will be saved?) A nuclear bomb has been dropped...a radiation-free shelter is available, but can only take 6 people; choose who will survive... Choose / rank people in terms of who will get to live or die in situations with limited survival resources: Variations
The Mind Project: Curriculum AI, Robotics & Computational Models This module provides an introduction to artificial neural nets with a working network that can solve X-OR problem. Chain codes are a kind of computer program that can be used to represent the shape of objects. Seven hands-on activities show how to write simple chain codes and explain their application to computer vision. The physics-based simulator, Breve, is used to introduce complex adaptive systems with a special focus on the optimization strategy known as simulated annealing . Computers play a central role in artificial intelligence, robotics, and in modeling various capabilities of minds/brains. Neurons form elaborate information processing networks. Larry Learner is an artificial intelligence program that plays the game "Last One Loses." McCulloch and Pitts developed a mathematical model of a biological neuron. Iris 1.2 robotic arm, software, and curriculum. The computer processing in virtually all robots is digital. Anthropology Foundational Issues
Host a Family STEM Night | Groovy Lab in a Box Family game nights are popular. But, have you ever thought about changing your family game night to a Family STEM Night? There are plenty of activities that require participants to think like an engineer or a scientist to identify and solve problems. Check out these five family fun STEM activities you can do at home. Build a Card Tower Each family member, or family team, will design and construct a tower on a flat surface like a table or a floor, using only index cards, masking tape and scissors. Stacking Cups Another fabulous team-based STEM activity for any age is cup stacking with rubber bands. Sock Walk Have each family member grab a sock and place it over one shoe. Paper in Flight Your STEMists will love this activity. DIY Jenga Adrianne Meldrum, private tutor and author of The Tutor House blog , uses Jenga, a classic game of physical and mental skill, to teach her students in a unique way. Your Family STEM Night can be as simple or elaborate as you make it.