Tag Archives: astronomy

Thursday Science News Update

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted here, due in large part to a hectic work week as I still settle into the new school year. In words from my 12-year-old son describing the start of his year, “When you get hit by a train, it’s not the caboose that kills you.” I’m sure he got that from a book somewhere, but I don’t which one.

Today is just a quick update on some of the news stories I’ve been following this week, a few of which I’ve tweeted out @bradleymkremer.

“The history of life on Earth is a history of extinction.” These are the words that summarized Discovery’s article asking “How Advanced Are We Earthlings?” It examines the interaction of how civilizations need time to develop and evolve, much like living organisms.

We haven’t seen any Ebola here in Tanzania, but this is a story I’ve been following with some interest for the past few weeks. I’ve had a bad feeling for a while now that this outbreak seems to be bubbling and simmering long enough that it will elude containment efforts, and it seems that there are a number of public health officials who feel the same way. Here’s the story from National Geographic.

A paper was just published in Nature Communications (subscription required, or pay-per-read), outlining how some researchers have developed bacteria to synthesize propane, essentially creating the possibility of renewable petroleum product. It sounds like a paradox, but is worth investigating further.

So that’s my news summary of the day. I’ll try to get back with some more video resources in my next post.

Happy learning!

More Cool Science Resources

It’s Monday morning, which generally means I’m still waiting for that second cup of coffee to kick in, but today I have reason to be a little more awake than usual.

My colleague and partner in the battle against ignorance, Matt Erdosy, passed along the following website at the end of last school year, and I’ve only just begun to explore it. “The Big History Project” may not sound like a science resource, but the site labels itself as “A journey through 13.8 billion years of history,” and it includes all the major events in the history of the Universe. So it’s not like a History Channel history or a Mr Price’s European history class kind of history. It’s literally a history of everything. I’ve just started to scratch the surface of what’s in this site, but as I learn more about it, we will explore more of it in class, particularly in my 8th grade astronomy lessons.

I’ve also included a couple more science-y YouTube channels to today’s post, since students seem to respond so well to them. First up today is the very well-regarded Minute Physics. Minute Physics, as you might guess, includes a lot of physical science lessons broken into one-minute videos. It’s like Short-Attention-Span Theatre for science class! According to the channel creators, “Simply put: cool physics and other sweet science.”

The next channel I’ll share is Crash Course. Many of my students are already familiar with the Green borthers’ great series on YouTube. Crash Course doesn’t cover only science. There are 8 separate courses available on the channel, but of course in my classes we focus on the science end of things. Quick-hitting, entertaining, and loaded with resources such as external links, additional footage and explanations, as well as quizzes corresponding to the videos, this channel is well worth bookmarking.

Happy exploring!

Link

Curiosity Water Discovery on Mars

Image credit: NASA/JPL-CalTech

Image credit: NASA/JPL-CalTech

Mars has always fascinated humans, and continues to do so. Here’s a little tidbit about our red neighbor, courtesy of NASA and the BBC:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24287207