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. 7, October

1918 Flu Antibodies
Ninety years after the sweeping destruction of the 1918 flu pandemic, researchers at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt University have recovered antibodies to the virus--from elderly survivors of the original outbreak. In addition...
Air Pollution Danger Zone
One in three U.S. public schools are in the "air pollution danger zone," according to new research from the University of Cincinnati (UC). Researchers have found that more than 30% of American public schools are within 400 m, or a quarter mile, of...
Arsenic May Increase Diabetes Risk
Inorganic arsenic, commonly found in groundwater in certain areas, may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The study found that individuals with...
A Useful Laboratory Tool: Students Build and Test a Thermal Gradient to Conduct Meaningful Labs
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Many phenomena in nature are controlled by temperature. It is an important aspect of most species' niches, or their relational positions in their ecosystems. Living organisms' adaptations to their niches depend to some degree...
Calculators OK in Math
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Calculators are useful tools in elementary mathematics classes, if students already have some basic skills, new research has found. The findings shed light on the debate about whether and when calculators should be used in...
Caught in Their Tracks: Students Develop Research Projects in Wildlife Ecology
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Ask students why they like biology or environmental science, and you often hear responses that reflect their love of animals and the outdoors. In reality, biology and environmental science classes do teach about organisms...
Harvester Ant Castes
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Researchers studying whether nature or nurture determines an ant's status in the colony have found a surprising answer: both. Nature (i.e., the ant's genetic makeup) and nurture (e.g., what it eats) play a role in determining...
Health Wise
Q One of my students recently became a vegetarian. How is this different from being a vegan, and what can she do to continue getting the nutrients she needs? A Your student is one of a growing number of young people taking up meat-free diets these...
Infant Physical Therapist
From a sprained ankle to a brain injury to a total hip replacement, when something limits our ability to move or perform daily activities, life can be miserable. This is where physical therapists (PTs) step in. PTs help people--from the very young...
Laboratory Relocation
With the increasing importance of inquiry and hands-on science, rising enrollments, aging facilities, renovations, and new construction are happening at high schools nationwide. In most instances, this involves moving chemical inventories from one...
Let Us Now Praise Science Teachers
I am now going to tell you something that, if you are a science teacher, you already know: science teaching is a difficult job. You know this, but let me offer some reflections that you might want to share with a friend, family member, colleague, or...
Nano Legends: Engage. Educate. Entertain. (Teacher's Guide with CD-Rom)
Nano Legends: Engage. Educate. Entertain. (Teacher's Guide with CD-Rom) By CommGraphics Interactive $119.95. 192 pp. CommGraphics Interactive, Lincoln, NE. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Today's students have grown up in...
New Climate Record
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A stalagmite in a West Virginia cave has yielded the most detailed geological record to date on climate cycles in eastern North America over the past 7,000 years. The new study confirms that during periods when Earth received...
Novel Fungus Helps Beetles
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A little known fungus tucked away in the gut of Asian longhorned beetles helps the insect munch through the hardest of woods, according to a team of entomologists and biochemists at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State)....
Poor Sleep in Teens
Teenagers are notorious for having bad sleep habits. New research suggests that having trouble staying awake the next day might not be the only consequence they face. In the first study to look at the relationship between not getting enough sleep and...
Prepping Students for Authentic Science: Student Research Helps Scientists Discover the Function of Poorly Characterized Plant Genes
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] You can probably think of a time when your students conducted an experiment with a predictable outcome that yielded an unexpected result. When this happens, discussion often centers on, "What did we do wrong?" instead of "How...
Real-Time Ocean Data in the Classroom: Students Use the Internet to Conduct Ocean Research
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In this fast-paced world, students are using the internet to obtain information quicker than they can drive to the library. To apply students' savvy internet skills in the science classroom--as well as capture their interest...
Shedding Light on Misconceptions
This month's theme is classroom research--a great opportunity to discuss one of my favorite studies, which took place in a single classroom, examining a single teacher, and a single instructional unit. What could one possibly learn from a teacher teaching...
Southwestern Weather Changes
Human-driven changes in the westerly winds are bringing hotter and drier springs to the American southwest, according to new research from the University of Arizona (UA). Since the 1970s, the winter storm track in the western United States has been...
Start Kindergarten Later?
New research challenges a growing trend toward holding kids out of kindergarten until they are older, arguing that academic advantages are short-lived and come at the expense of delaying entry into the workforce and other costs. The findings show older...
Teaching the Anatomy of a Scientific Journal Article: Three Activities Engage Students in the Process of Science
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] An overarching goal of inquiry-based science education is to have every student experience the world as a scientist: wondering, asking questions, doing experiments, defending their ideas, and communicating their work (NRC...
The Apple Genomics Project
Genomics is the study of an organism's entire genome. Scientists study genomics to determine the molecular mechanisms of genes, their functions, and the complex interactions between genetic and environmental factors. Some genomic studies are comparative,...
The Quiet Skies Project: Students Collect, Analyze, and Monitor Data on Radio Frequency Interference
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The radio signals received from astronomical objects are extremely weak. Because of this, radio sources are easily shrouded by interference from devices such as satellites and cell phone towers. Radio astronomy is very susceptible...
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