Interactive ebooks for kids | JOIDES Resolution – Ocean Drilling Research Vessel

Source: Interactive ebooks for kids | JOIDES Resolution – Ocean Drilling Research Vessel


For those of you who are elementary school teachers this looks pretty good. And its ibook and pdf.

NASA’s New Horizons Yields Wealth of Discovery | NASA

This definitely looks like some great information if you teaching volcanoes in class. I’m always talking about Olympus Mons on Mars. Now I can talk about these cryovolcanoes.

From possible ice volcanoes to twirling moons, NASA’s New Horizons science team is discussing more than 50 exciting discoveries about Pluto at this week’s 47th Annual Meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences in National Harbor, Maryland.

Source: NASA’s New Horizons Yields Wealth of Discovery | NASA

Why Return to the Columbia Hills? | The Planetary Society

This is an awesome blog entry written by one of students at Cardinal Gibbons High School. Alex’s passion for Space Exploration is amazing. Due to Alex’s passion we have formed a Space Exploration Club at school. The club recently Skyped with Dr. Ming. It was a great opportunity for our students.

Real Martian Explorers…just what does it take?” This interactive presentation will engage your students as they interact with Doug Ming, a NASA scientist within NASA Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (NASA ARES) at the NASA Johnson Space Center. Doug will talk about the exploration of Mars, the Martian Movie, and what it might take to enable humans to live and work on Mars as real Martian explorers.

Where should NASA’s next Mars rover, the Mars 2020 sample caching mission, land? One site under consideration is Spirit’s old stomping ground, the Columbia Hills.

Source: Why Return to the Columbia Hills? | The Planetary Society

An Awesome Teaching Moment

After about 3 months of school I have come to find that I have already experienced a great teaching moment. Or maybe a great teaching strategy? Or how about the the Good for this year?  Yep I think it already happened.  Every year I end with the good, the bad and the ugly. Well the good has happened. Or so I think.

I gave my students an extra credit assignment. Oh I know some teachers don’t believe in extra credit or anything that would even resemble this type of assignment. Well I do and my reason for doing this assignment is whole other argument. Anyway, I gave students the opportunity to go see the movie “The Martian”.  Since I teach High School, all my students are older than 13 years and can see the movie. But be warned it is PG-13, and has some language in it. I made sure my students knew this and spoke to their parents before attending the movie. It worked out because a good number of my parents went with their children.

After seeing the movie, students had an assignment to complete. They were required to complete the assignment and hand in their tickets with parents signature. The assignment included the questions below:

Describe 3 scenes in which science plays a major role in helping the character Mark Watney survive on the planet

Give two scenes that the science is questionable . Make sure you explain your answer

What was your opinion of the movie? Would you now read this book? Did this movie stir any interest in Mars or Space Exploration?

The last question was the one I was surprised and impressed with. First, I think it was a win win situation as they say. Most students went with their parents and it was family night out. Good way to get parents involved. Second students were very impressed with the movie and really enjoyed it. One said “I was surprised I liked the movie so much when it had so much science in it”.  I couldn’t help but smile at that. Other’s said they would like to find out more about Mars and Space exploration. But the greatest take away from this, they all agreed they wanted to read the book now. For a high schooler to say they are interested in the Science and then to want to read a book, I would say the assignment was an success. When I surveyed the students about a project for next semester, I asked if they would read a book, answer resounding YES! If I do make this a project I would choose “Rocket Boys” by Homer Hickman  or “The Martian”. But I will admit I’m still working on my Genius Hour Project.

The Martian movie I think did its job. Kudos to NASA, Andrew Weir and others for peeking the interest of my students. I know that when some get to high school they lose that “excitement” about science. This has sparked some excitement in my students and now we are participating in  a webnair with NASA about Mars. Also, I became moderator of Space Explorers Club and I have had students asking me about Space Camp. Yep, a definite Win Win!

An Easy Yet Powerful Method for Differentiating Instruction

Source: An Easy Yet Powerful Method for Differentiating Instruction Great idea for class thanks for sharing Pernille Ripp

What The Martian Teaches Us About Scientific Literacy

Source: What The Martian Teaches Us About Scientific Literacy

Geologists are the Stars of New Videos on Natural Disasters


This series sounds really interesting, haven’t viewed it yet.

Originally posted on Speaking of Geoscience:

A new video series on the science behind natural disasters was recently released by the National Science Foundation, the Weather Channel and NBCUniversal News Group.

The series spotlights NSF-funded geoscientists studying volcanoes, hurricanes and flashfloods, among other, often catastrophic, natural events to help explain how to mitigate disasters’ human and economic cost. The National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Geosciences (NSF-GEO) partnered with NBC Learn, the educational division of NBC News, and the Weather Channel to produce the 10-part series released on September 29.

Logo for the video series. Credit: NSF, NBC Learn, and the Weather Channel. Logo for the video series. Credit: NSF, NBC Learn, and the Weather Channel.

The series, titled “When Nature Strikes, Science of Natural Hazards” is among various recent promotions of Earth Science, including Earth Science Week, which began October 11, and Representative Mike Honda’s Earth Science resolution.

“Our nation has become increasingly vulnerable to natural disasters,” Roger Wakimoto, Assistant Director of NSF-GEO, said in a statement

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Monday Weather Topic in Greater Depth

This is great little piece of information I obtained from my recent weather course. I am currently taking the DataStreme Class through the American Meteorological Society. I will be updating my blog in the next couple of weeks and will talk about the course.

Today is the observed Columbus Day, a Federal holiday, when the nation honors Christopher Columbus, the 15th century Italian mariner who is often identified as the “discoverer of the New World”. In reality, Europeans had reached the North American shores several centuries earlier. The Norse Vikings, led by such legendary explorers as Leif Ericksson, had explored and established settlements in North America in what is now Labrador during the early 11th century. Unfortunately, these settlements and those in Greenland were abandoned by the end of the 14th Century when favorable weather conditions deteriorated with the onset of a several centuries long “Little Ice Age” that plunged much of the northern hemisphere into an exceptionally cold interval that saw expansion of sea ice. In late September 1492, Christopher Columbus with his fleet of three sailing vessels was propelled westward by the prevailing trade winds that are found in the subtropics. His voyage to San Salvador in the Caribbean from the Canary Islands was on the order of 36 days. Nearly calm wind conditions on several occasions slowed his trip. However, he did not encounter any hurricanes that would have been disastrous. By commencing his journey in mid September at the beginning of the later half of the North Atlantic hurricane season, the region where a majority of hurricanes form shifts westward to the western Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico from near the Cape Verde Islands, a frequent site of early season hurricane formation. To take advantage of the prevailing westerly winds that mark the midlatitudes, Columbus took a more northern route on his return voyage to Spain. However, on this return voyage in February 1493, Columbus was overtaken by a storm system with a cold front west of the Azores. He was able to ride out the storm that included thunderstorms with lightning. On his fourth and final expedition to the Caribbean in 1502, Columbus used his seafaring skills when confronted by a hurricane near Hispaniola. While Santo Domingo was damaged and at least 20 Spanish ships with over 500 sailors were lost in the hurricane, Columbus remained safely anchored in an island cove.

REFERENCE Hughes, P., 1976: American weather stories. Environmental Data Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Washington DC. 114 pp.

Source: Monday Weather Topic in Greater Depth from DataStreme Course.

Planning for Engagement: 6 Strategies for the Year | Edutopia

Planning for Engagement: 6 Strategies for the Year | Edutopia. This is part of the Student Engagement series. I really like some of the tips. The “Authentic Learning” is a really good one, I think this one is easy in Science. I do want to improve on “Presentation and Performance”.  I do a good deal of whiteboarding so this might fit. Now to improve on it.

Some of My Favorite Historical Fiction Books Right Now

Some of My Favorite Historical Fiction Books Right Now. Thanks to Pernille Ripp, there are some good suggestions.


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