Science Mission Directorate

Source: Science Mission Directorate

Great resource for Teachers

Can the Selfie Generation Unplug and Get Into Parks?

A father and son raft down the Grand Canyon and hike in Joshua Tree, revealing the rewards that millennials can find in our most treasured places.

Source: Can the Selfie Generation Unplug and Get Into Parks?

It’s been a while since I’ve posted something. The start of school can be really busy for me. We are about month into to school now and there’s a lot to talk about. But for now I wanted to post this story because it is a great story to share with my students. I’m thinking about having them read the article, in honor of the 100 year birthday of National Parks Service. The story talks about our parks and future generations. We all know that the older generations value their national parks. They are the “gems” of this country. But what about the millennials and younger generations. Here is a quote from the article:

“ brass at the Park Service, said a big problem with children was nature deficit disorder, a term coined by writer Richard Louv in his 2005 book, Last Child in the Woods. He argued that certain behavioral problems may be a consequence of how little time young people spend outdoors. By contrast, kids who are not divorced from nature are less likely to get sick or stressed and are more adaptable, Louv claimed. Technology gets the blame.”

I know the article really talks about technology vs. nature. But I think once you experience the beauty of the parks, you eventually are caught up in it and technology becomes less important. And that is eventually what happens. Check out the videos they are really enlightening. If your a parks lover like I am then you will be inspired by this article. It shows a promising future for our parks.

The periodic table of education technology – Daily Genius

We had a crazy idea over the weekend here at Daily Genius. What if we organized all the top education technology tools into a simple graphic? Then we took it a step further by identifying some of the best ways to organize data into a single visual. What better way to do that than by […]

Source: The periodic table of education technology – Daily Genius

Really great tool for summarizing tech tools.

Here’s Where Species Will Flee Because of Global Warming | WIRED

Migrations in Motion predicts a new kind of migration—one forced by climate change.

Source: Here’s Where Species Will Flee Because of Global Warming | WIRED

A really good look at how species are going to try to survive the climate change. But we need to help with wildlife overpasses.  Great tool to show kids. Definitely neat how ecologists are using electronic circuit models to help with this.

Five Ethical Considerations For Using Virtual Reality with Children and Adolescents | MindShift | KQED News

As virtual reality headsets become more mainstream, researchers initiated “A Code of Ethical Conduct” because little is known about long term VR use, especially in children.

Source: Five Ethical Considerations For Using Virtual Reality with Children and Adolescents | MindShift | KQED News

I was thinking about using VR in one my afterschool and trying to create some lessons with VR. This is really a good article and how you have to precede with caution when using this. Similar to 3D when it was being developed, there were no guidelines. Now different safety guidelines are being developed.  VR still has to develop but it does need to be used with caution in the classroom if you are using it.

I just read an idea worth sharing from David Guerin @DavidGeurin on @Bamradionetwork – QuotED #edchat #quote

If learning is a top priority, then making learning exciting must be a top priority too.

Source: I just read an idea worth sharing from David Guerin @DavidGeurin on @Bamradionetwork – QuotED #edchat #quote

Students using standing desks to learn –

Source: Students using standing desks to learn –

Here is another article about standing desks. The article talks about some the recent research showing that standing is boosts engagement. My mission this year is to get this going in my class.

Planning the Best Curriculum Unit Ever | Edutopia

The good curriculum is in the details, so focus your teacher super powers on the granular aspects of planning ahead for the new school year.

Source: Planning the Best Curriculum Unit Ever | Edutopia

I do like the point this article makes about instruction being an “unnatural skill”.  Everything needs to have a plan behind it.  In all the years I have been teaching you can’t go into class without some form of a plan. The lesson outcomes will depend on how good that plan is. The article does a good job summarizing unit planning. The “Unit Plan” Document has some good pointers. Some you might do already but others might help enhance your units. As they say “try it you might like it”.

Project Atmosphere-Severe Weather Days

The Monday back we had another guest speaker- Bill Bunting Operations Branch Chief (Chief of Forecast Operations
Branch Storm Prediction Center)of the NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center. Mr. Bunting discussed his role at the Storm Predication Center and the center’s role in weather prediction. The Storm Prediction Center has about 700 people working in the center and typically four forecasters on shift all the time.  He went over the history of the weather service; it was established in 1870 by Congress with Army Signal Corps. An interesting fact, the word Tornado couldn’t be used for the first 30 years in the service. Amazing huh! After going over the history of Weather Service Mr. Bunting went over Tornadoes and the prediction center’s job. The three main challenges in Severe Weather Predication is accurate assessment of current state of the atmosphere, accurately reflecting atmospheric processes in numerical models and conveying forecast (and uncertainty) accurately. Pretty impressive challenges, but something they are trying to improve on. Mr. Bunting ended with going over different radar maps and tornado predictions. An interesting talk and great information.


After lunch Bob went over the Atmosphere and it’s basic structure. Once we finished that we had our “Best Practice” presentations. Everyone was to show one practice that worked for them in class. Some really good ideas were shared. Some were digital and others were activities used in class. For instance, one teacher shared an activity in which she had students name movies and songs with weather in their names. It was a fun activity and a great warmup to the topic. Other teachers showed off their digital resources such as Nearpod,  Plickers, and Showbie ( ipad app). This was an excellent way to collaborate and talk about what we do in class that works. I think this was one of the highlights of a workshop

Next day we continued with extreme weather, the Director of the National Hurricane Service Dr. Rick Knabb spoke to us about the Hurricane Center. He worked first for the Weather Channel and then became Director of the Center. The purpose of the center is to Advance Hurricane Forecasts, Warnings, and Resilience. His explanation and description of various components of Hurricanes and their forecasts were great. Every storm has its own characteristics and threats. But the one thing that was common in all Hurricanes was the storms surge which is deadly hazardous. “Storm surges are responsible for 49 % of deaths and rain (inland flooding) is responsible for 27% deaths. Not surprising Storm Surge doesn’t occur as frequently, flooding occurs more and is more deadly.” Amazing Statistics. He continued to talk about Hurricane Preparedness and the Hurricane Awareness Tour. The tour sounds really good for students and its suppose to be coming to Raleigh next may. Something I would love to take my students to. Part of this effort is the new hashtag they are using to promote preparedness for hurricanes


The whole effort is part of the National Weather Services Weather- Ready Nation. A great question asked by one of the participants was about “How do we change Hurricanes?” Dr. Knabb’s answer was “the reality is we can’t do it” or rather it would cost billions of dollars. Plus he believes most have too many environmental consequences or could make it worse. He believes we should improve practical reasons such as making better evacuation plans and better forecasts. Totally agree with him from what I have read about this topic. Great morning with him and tons of information. You can follow him on twitter @NHCDirector.

After lunch we had our usual weather briefing and then listened to Robert Rutledge, Head, Services Branch of the Space Weather Prediction Center. Why is space weather important? I think most who read this know why, infrastructure, grid, and satellites. Mr. Rutledge talked about how the Sun at any time could send out a Solar Flare or CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) that would affect the electric infrastructure and other items. The Space Weather Prediction Center hosts a ton of information about the various Sun events. Another website I have used in class for our Sun unit is the SOHO website.

After finishing the day we worked on our group projects that we would present the next day. The day ended on a quiet note. The next day we would start the last leg of the workshop.



Teaching Our Kids to Scratch Their Itch – A.J. JULIANI

“Let me ask you a question,” she said. “Ok,” I offered back, not too sure where this was headed. “This whole Genius Hour and 20% project thing…isn’t that how we should be teaching kids all the time? I mean, isn’t that what learning should look like in our classrooms 100% of the time, not just …

Source: Teaching Our Kids to Scratch Their Itch – A.J. JULIANI