The Science Teacher

The monthly magazine of the National Science Teachers Association. Articles cover innovations in science and science teaching methods.

Articles from Vol. 78, No. 8, November

Arctic Sea Ice
Relatively accurate predictions for the amount of Arctic sea ice in a given summer can be made by assessing conditions the previous autumn, new University of Washington (UW)-led research shows. Current conditions form an important starting point...
Birds' Sense of Smell
Birds may have a more highly developed sense of smell than researchers previously thought, contend scholars who have found that penguins may use smell to determine whether they are related to a potential mate. The research by the University of Chicago...
Career of the Month: Based on Interviews with Professionals Using Science in the Workplace
Mechanical Engineer Mechanical engineering has influenced virtually every modern product, process, and service in some way--from air conditioning and lightbulbs to airplanes and the first mission to the Moon. Nate Ball loves being a mechanical engineer...
Environmental Research Projects
I see more and more students entering high school with an interest in studying environmental science and solving environmental problems. Why not fuel that passion by suggesting some research projects with an environmental science focus? These can range...
Epic Treks
Epic Treks By Betty Hagglund $19.99. 64 pp. Kingfisher Books, New York. 2011. ISBN: 9780753466681. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Epic Treks describes a group of explorers who risked their lives venturing into the unknown on four continents. Readers...
Fair Science
"We need to teach our kids that it's not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair." --President Barack Obama, 2011 State of the Union With this statement, the president emphasized the...
Fruits and Soft Drinks in the Lab
All high school chemistry students learn about acids, bases, and neutralization reactions. Typically, students learn that the combination of an acid and a base yields a salt and water. And in the standard accompanying laboratory (lab), students might...
Green Time
A study of more than 400 children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has found a link between the children's routine play settings and the severity of their symptoms, researchers report. Children who regularly play in...
H1N1 in African Animals
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) life scientists and their colleagues have discovered the first evidence of the H1N1 virus in animals in Africa. In one village in northern Cameroon, a staggering 89% of the pigs studied had been exposed...
New Planets
Since the online citizen-science project "Planet Hunters" launched in December 2011, 40,000 global web users have been helping professional astronomers analyze the light from 150,000 stars in the hopes of discovering Earth-like planets orbiting them....
Nitrate Levels
Changes in the ratio of nitrate to phosphorus, caused by atmospheric and riverine pollutants, in the oceans off the coasts of Korea and Japan may influence marine ecology and the makeup of marine plants, according to researchers from Korea and the...
Novel Nanoscale Light Source
Not long after the development of the first laser in 1960, scientists discovered that shining a beam through certain crystals produced light of a different color--more specifically, it produced light of exactly twice the frequency of the original....
Rise of the Allergens
Asthma and allergies are spreading at alarming rates (AAAAI 2011). School nurses annually report an ever-growing number of students with food allergies (FAAN 2011). Unfortunately, high school science laboratories can spread allergens, creating a problem...
Students Inspiring Students: An Online Tool for Science Fair Participants
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] One goal of 21st-century education is to develop mature citizens who can identify issues, solve problems, and communicate solutions. What better way for students to learn these skills than by participating in a science and...
The Art of Scientific Ideas: Teaching and Learning Strategies That Promote Creative Problem Finding
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] "The formulation of a problem is often more important than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill- To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle,...
The Beauty of Bell Ringers
Consider the following scenario: The school bell rings. The teacher directs students to take their seats, shouting over a number of conversations. A student leaves to use the restroom, and another strolls in late. A student who was absent yesterday...
The Judge's Perspective: The Secrets to a Successful Science Fair
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Whether students are competing in science fairs at the high school, local, district, regional, state, or international level, their success is dependent on the judges' interpretation of their work. In this article, we present...
The Science Fair: A New Look at an Old Tradition: Observations, Reflections, and Recommendations from Our Guest Editor
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] As a science teacher educator and former science teacher, I've long known that the science fair should be part of my professional experience, but I hadn't given it much thought until recently. The school where I taught didn't...
Tiny Tweezers
Engineers at Harvard University have created a device that may make it easier to isolate and study tiny particles such as viruses. Their plasmonic nanotweezers, revealed in the journal Nature Communications, use light from a laser to trap nanoscale...
Upgrade Your Science Fair
Google made a big splash this year with its inaugural science fair (see "On the web"). Students worldwide can participate in this fair by sharing the results of their research projects on the internet. If your school has a science fair, now might be...
Using Inquiry to Break the Language Barrier: English Language Learners and Science Fairs
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The more than five million English language learners (ELLs) in the United States represent over 10% of students enrolled in public schools--and this number is growing rapidly. From 1997 to 2007, growth of ELL enrollment exceeded...
What Students Really Think about Doing Research
There are many types of inquiry activities out there: Demonstrations, guided or scaffolded inquiry labs, open- or free-inquiry labs, and problem-based or project-based learning activities are all staples in science education (Trowbridge and Bybee 1996)....