The Science Teacher

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

Articles from Vol. 77, No. 4, April-May

A Healthy Brain
University of California--Irvine neurobiologists are providing the first visual evidence that learning promotes brain health--and, therefore, that mental stimulation could limit the debilitating effects of aging on memory and the mind. Study results...
A Scientist: Using Science Symposiums in the Classroom
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The National Science Education Standards (NRC 1996) call for scientific literacy for all. To help students become scientifically literate, we must model for them the way that scientists communicate. We accomplish this by asking...
Educational Video Games
Games have grown up, and lots of grownups are paying attention. Some parents might still see video games as time wasters, but a growing number of people--from teachers to researchers to policy makers--are seeing great educational potential in these...
Failure of "Duty to Warn"
A student is injured while using a scalpel to dissect a flower in the science laboratory. The student's parents sue the school district, alleging negligence and failure to provide appropriate safety instruction and supervision. The school district...
Glacier Melt
The melting of glaciers is well documented, but when looking at the rate at which they have been retreating, a team of international researchers from Northern Arizona University steps back and says not so fast. Previous studies have largely overestimated...
Leaving Their Legacy: A Research Experience and Teaching Module to Maximize STEM Learning for Students
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in the United States has reached a defining moment in history. On November 23, 2009, the White House launched the "Educate to Innovate" campaign with three...
Minnow Malformations
A nanoparticle growing in popularity as a bactericidal agent has been shown to be toxic to fish, according to a Purdue University study. Tested on fathead minnows--an organism often used to test the effects of toxicity on aquatic life--nanosilver suspended...
Moon Simulations and Learning
Students can learn some science concepts from computer simulations just as well as they do from direct observation, new research suggests. A study from The Ohio State University found that people who used computer simulations to learn about Moon phases...
National Lab Day
This issue of The Science Teacher (TST) continues our tradition of devoting one issue each year to partnerships that connect students, teachers, and their communities. Science activities that take students outside school walls can combine the best...
Q My Students Have Their Headphones on All the Time! Could They Be at Risk for Permanent Hearing Loss? How Loud Is Too Loud?
A With today's portable music players, we can listen to our favorite tunes anytime, anywhere--and for longer than ever before. But with increased access may come an increased risk for noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Although most people listen...
Science on the Shipyard: Bridging the Gap between Industry and the Classroom
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] While some teachers enjoy their summer vacations by spending time with family, playing tennis, and sleeping in, over 200 science, mathematics, and technology teachers have participated in real-world industry experiences through...
STEMM Careers
Parental influence and access to mathematics courses are likely to guide students to careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or medicine (STEMM), according to research from Michigan State University (MSU). The findings of Jon Miller,...
Students for Sustainable Energy: Inspiring Students to Tackle Energy Projects in Their School and Community
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Sustainable energy is one of the most critical issues facing our planet today. As the world struggles with fluctuating oil prices and rising green energy initiatives, students need to know that they have the power to effect...
The Air Up There: A Series of Activities Designed to Teach Students about Local Air Quality
Students often question the relevance of science to their daily lives. In the past, I had tried to include one or two "relevant" activities in each unit of my environmental Earth science class, but this did not engage students as I had hoped. To address...
The Invasive Plant Species Education Guide: A Series of Lessons to Engage Students in Community Science Projects
Invasive plants can be defined as plants that are nonnative, grow aggressively, dominate ecosystems, and crowd out existing native plants (Clinton 1999). The invasion of nonnative plants has increasingly been recognized as one of the greatest threats...
The Lunar "Space Weather" Action Center
When we describe weather, we often think of the temperature, the speed and direction of the wind, air pressure, precipitation, and relative humidity. In talking about "weather," we are referring to the conditions in our atmosphere that change from...
The National Science Digital Library
The National Science Digital Library (NSDL)--a National Science Foundation--funded website--features tons of cool stuff for science teachers. On this site, users can find online teaching resources related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics...
Tsunami Researcher
When the Indian Ocean tsunami struck Sumatra in 2004, nations around the world were shocked to learn that tsunamis, though rare, are a major threat to people and their property. Tsunami researchers investigate these natural disasters in an attempt...
Underdogs and Motivation
Members of a group or team will work harder when they are competing against a group with lower status than when pitted against a more highly ranked group, according to a new study. The results run contrary to the common belief that underdogs have more...
Wiki, Wiki!
In 1995, Ward Cunningham unveiled a web-based platform to help computer programmers quickly and easily share ideas. Cunningham called his platform the Wiki-WikiWeb--wiki is Hawaiian for "quick." The WikiWikiWeb allowed users to modify a web page without...
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