The Science Teacher

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

Articles from Vol. 75, No. 2, February

AMS Weather Workshop
The American Meteorological Society (AMS) is offering a summer workshop for K-12 teachers and supervisors at the National Weather Service Training Center in Kansas City, Missouri, from July 20-August 1, 2008. Teachers who are members of groups underrepresented...
A Return to Nature
I am surrounded by technology. Bemused visitors compare my tiny home office to the control deck of the Starship Enterprise, and it's not hard to see why: three computers, four video monitors, high-speed internet, two telephones, two external hard drives,...
Ask the Experts
Q How did the Cartesian diver (devil) get its name? Richard Frazier Department of Curriculum and Instruction University of Central Missouri A The common answer is that the diver (or devil) was named after Rene Descartes, a 17th-century...
Back to the Future? Reconsidering the Role of 19th-Century Nature-Study in 21st-Century Science Teaching
Last summer, my family and I traveled to the northernmost point of Dinosaur National Monument in northwest Colorado, where the Green River enters the park by cutting through the majestic rock-forming towers called the Gates of Lodore. We and a dozen...
Correlation and Causality
We are awash in data! Every week brings stories about scientific studies--especially those related to personal health. The news also brings stories about unscientific work that seems scientific, lending a veneer of importance to the work. Being scientifically...
Ecological Field Studies: Through Field Studies, Students Learn Scientific Process and Ecological Content
Field studies are an excellent way for students to learn ecological concepts and practice doing science. This article presents an approach for the secondary science classroom that permits students to ask and answer their own questions, a prerequisite...
Gel Changes Color on Demand
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have created a new structured gel that can rapidly change color in response to a variety of stimuli, including temperature, pressure, salt concentration, and humidity (see image, p. 22). The new...
InspireData: The Foremost Tool to Visualize, Investigate and Understand Data
InspireData: The Foremost Tool to Visualize, Investigate and Understand Data By Inspiration Software $69. Kit. Inspiration Software, Portland, OR. 2006. ISBN: 1933238712. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] For any teacher who has spent...
It's All about Choice: Encouraging Inquiry through Investigating Animal Environmental Preferences
The push to engage students in inquiry activities with open outcomes and a high level of student choice has been a feature of science instruction for some time (AAAS 1989; NRC 1996). However, it is often difficult to teach specific science concepts...
It's a Zoo out There! Students Conduct Content-Rich Scientific Inquiry Using Authentic Ethological Methods
Zoos can provide exciting educational opportunities for students to learn about a wide range of science subject matter. Zoos and similar nonschool sites have the added advantage of getting students out of school and into another environment, demonstrating...
Knowing without Seeing
During the early 1900s, scientists such as J.J. Thompson and Ernest Rutherford were faced with a very difficult challenge: to develop an accurate mental picture (or model) of the atom--an object much too small to be directly observed. The efforts of...
Life-Saving Greens?
A diet rich in leafy vegetables may minimize tissue damage caused by heart attacks, according to researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. Their findings suggest that the chemical nitrite--found in many vegetables...
Musical Acoustics Scientist
When we think of sound, several things come to mind, from irritating noises to our favorite songs. Musical acoustics is the scientific study of sound as it relates to music. Some musical acousticians research how instruments work and how they can be...
Organic Matter to Hydrogen Fuel
Hydrogen as an everyday, environmentally friendly fuel source may be closer than we think, according to Penn State researchers. "The energy focus is currently on ethanol as a fuel, but economical ethanol from cellulose is 10 years down the road,"...
Place-Based Investigations and Authentic Inquiry: Hands-On Activities Are Elevated to a Meaningful Level That Fosters Student Engagement and Purposeful Learning
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Although many science students perform hands-on activities as inquiry exercises, such activities sometimes remain disconnected in the student's mind and fail to nurture a deeper understanding of methods of science and the...
SC3 = Formula for Chemical Management!
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] When laboratory chemicals are mismanaged, accidents can happen and people can get hurt--sometimes severely. Unfortunately, when accidents do happen, the knee-jerk reaction on the part of some school administrators includes...
Show That: A Better Framework for Problem Solving
In a student's mind, the goal of problem solving is finding a correct numerical answer--one that matches an answer at the back of the book, or one that will be verified when corrected papers are returned (and when students have moved on to newer material)....
The 1988 Fires in Yellowstone: Charting Conservation in America
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1988 fires at Yellowstone, still one of the largest wildfire events in the history of the United States, the Yellowstone Park Foundation has commissioned a poster--The 1988 Fires in Yellowstone--which accompanies...
Ultrasound of Earth's Crust
Research by a team of U.S. and Japanese geoscientists may help explain why part of the seafloor near the southwest coast of Japan generates such devastating tsunamis, such as the 1944 Tonankai event, which killed at least 1,200 people. The findings...
Under the Mistletoe: Guided Inquiry through Collaborative Research in the Life Science Classroom
Ask your students about mistletoe and they might tell you about its use as a holiday decoration, or the custom that two people who meet under a hanging of mistletoe are obliged to kiss. We developed "Under the Mistletoe" to capitalize on student curiosity...
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