The Science Teacher

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

Articles from Vol. 80, No. 8, November

Career of the Month
Microscopist Microscopists are involved with the study of objects too small to be seen by the naked eye. Hari Shroff works at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, developing advanced light microscopes that can see smaller, faster-moving...
Career of the Month: November 2013, Based on Interviews with Professionals Using Science in the Workplace
Microscopist Microscopists are involved with the study of objects too small to be seen by the naked eye. Hari Shroff works at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, developing advanced light microscopes that can see smaller, faster-moving...
Headline Science: November 2013, Current News in Science Research
Jurassic Park DNA Premise Debunked The idea of re-creating dinosaurs by extracting DNA from insects in amber has fascinated the public since the first of the Jurassic Park films debuted in 1993. Claims of successful extraction of DNA from ambers...
Health Wise
Pushing Caffeine To Teens Considering the flood of caffeinated drinks marketed to youth, you might be surprised that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that teens avoid the stimulant. "Caffeine and other stimulant substances contained...
Health Wise: November 2013, Helping Students Make Healthy Choices
Pushing Caffeine To Teens Considering the flood of caffeinated drinks marketed to youth, you might be surprised that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that teens avoid the stimulant. "Caffeine and other stimulant substances contained...
Human Foot Not Unique after All
Research at the University of Liverpool has shown that the mechanisms of the human foot are not as unique as originally thought and have much more in common with the flexible feet of other great apes. Current understanding of the evolution of human...
Inexpensive Equipment for the Physics Classroom: How to Construct a Ramp and Five Labs That Make Use of It
Have you ever pushed a lawn mower or scooped snow? Have you ever used a hammer to pull a nail? Or a car jack to lift a car? I always asked such questions during the first week of physics class to get insight into my students' real-world experiences...
Inexpensive Equipment for the Physics Classroom: How to Construct a Ramp and Five Labs That Make Use of It
Have you ever pushed a lawn mower or scooped snow? Have you ever used a hammer to pull a nail? Or a car jack to lift a car? I always asked such questions during the first week of physics class to get insight into my students' real-world experiences...
Infection Renders Mice Fearless of Cats
The Toxoplasma parasite can be deadly, causing spontaneous abortion in pregnant women or killing immune-compromised patients, but it has even stranger effects in mice. Infected mice lose their fear of cats, which is good for both cats and the parasite,...
Jurassic Park DNA Premise Debunked
The idea of re-creating dinosaurs by extracting DNA from insects in amber has fascinated the public since the first of the Jurassic Park films debuted in 1993. Claims of successful extraction of DNA from ambers up to 130 million years old by various...
Legless Lizards Found Living on the Edge
California biologists have discovered four new species of reclusive legless lizards living in some of the most marginal habitats in the state: a vacant lot in downtown Bakersfield, among oil derricks in the lower San Joaquin Valley, on the margins...
Physics Instruction in the Era of the NGSS
Last month this column looked at the impact of the newly released Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) (Achieve 2013) on chemistry instruction, focusing on the first physical science standard, "Matter and Its Interactions" (HS-PS1). Since the theme...
Physics Instruction in the Era of the NGSS
Last month this column looked at the impact of the newly released Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) (Achieve 2013) on chemistry instruction, focusing on the first physical science standard, "Matter and Its Interactions" (HS-PS1). Since the theme...
Physics Portfolios: A Picture of Student Understanding
Traditionally, teachers assess students' physics understanding through lab activities, responses to open-ended word problems, and tests. But there's another way to measure student understanding, one in which students apply their learning to the world...
Physics Portfolios: A Picture of Student Understanding
Traditionally, teachers assess students' physics understanding through lab activities, responses to open-ended word problems, and tests. But there's another way to measure student understanding, one in which students apply their learning to the world...
Rethinking Failure: When Getting It Wrong Can Increase Students' Chances for Getting It Right
Which is better--telling high school students they are wrong or letting them figure it out for themselves? Research supports the latter. Constructing meaning trumps being presented with meaning. In other words, don't short-circuit students' struggles...
Rethinking Failure: When Getting It Wrong Can Increase Students' Chances for Getting It Right
Which is better--telling high school students they are wrong or letting them figure it out for themselves? Research supports the latter. Constructing meaning trumps being presented with meaning. In other words, don't short-circuit students' struggles...
Safer Science
Choose Biological Stains Carefully Biological stains like basic fuchsin, Congo red, and methyl blue have been used in high school science labs for decades to enhance the visibility of microscopic structures like organelles in plant and animal cells...
Safer Science: November 2013, Best Practices for Safety Issues in the Science Classroom and Laboratory
Choose Biological Stains Carefully Biological stains like basic fuchsin, Congo red, and methyl blue have been used in high school science labs for decades to enhance the visibility of microscopic structures like organelles in plant and animal cells...
Science 2.0
Gamify AP Biology Last month we introduced the basics of applying game mechanics to the classroom. This month, we interview Paul Andersen, a biology teacher at Bozeman High School and 2011 Montana Teacher of the Year. Andersen has produced hundreds...
Science 2.0: November 2013, Using Web Tools to Support Learning
Gamify AP Biology Last month we introduced the basics of applying game mechanics to the classroom. This month, we interview Paul Andersen, a biology teacher at Bozeman High School and 2011 Montana Teacher of the Year. Andersen has produced hundreds...
The Green Room
Why Care About Wetlands? A wetland is any land area where the surface soil is saturated at least part of every year. Wetlands are transitional zones between land and water characterized by unique flora and hydrology. Swamps, marshes, and bogs are...
The Green Room: November 2013, Making Your Teaching More Rnvironmentally Friendly
Why care about wetlands? A wetland is any land area where the surface soil is saturated at least part of every year. Wetlands are transitional zones between land and water characterized by unique flora and hydrology. Swamps, marshes, and bogs are...
The New Teacher's Toolbox
Finding Funding and Securing Swag You may be fortunate enough to work with a big budget and well-stocked science lab. For many new teachers, however, scrimping, saving, and spending one's own money on equipment and teaching tools are the norm. You...
The New Teacher's Toolbox: November 2013, Tips for Teachers Just Starting Out
Finding Funding and Securing Swag You may be fortunate enough to work with a big budget and well-stocked science lab. For many new teachers, however, scrimping, saving, and spending one's own money on equipment and teaching tools are the norm. You...
Toying Around: A Seemingly Simple Pull Toy Can Open Students' Eyes to the Nature of Science
Have you ever heard someone share a great activity for teaching the nature of science (NOS) and thought, "Are you kidding? I'm just trying to teach the science content and survive the year. I don't have time to teach how science is different from other...
Toying Around: A Seemingly Simple Pull Toy Can Open Students' Eyes to the Nature of Science
Have you ever heard someone share a great activity for teaching the nature of science (NOS) and thought, "Are you kidding? I'm just trying to teach the science content and survive the year. I don't have time to teach how science is different from other...
Try This Tops Idea!
millimeter beads ...adapted from PI IN THE SKY#45 by TOPS Learning Systems 1. Count the mm beads in this circle to find its radius (R), diameter (D), and circumference (C). How many D's fit around C? How many R's? 2. Argue that 180[degrees]...
Ubiquitous 3D Printers Will Lower Costs
It may seem like a stretch to envision a 3D printer in every home, but a Michigan Technological University researcher predicts that personal manufacturing, like personal computing before it, is about to enter the mainstream. "For the average American...
What Happens When You Flip a Switch? a Series of Hands-On Activities to Help Students Understand What Energy Is and How We Generate It
Energy is one of the most fundamental and unifying concepts in science. It's also identified in the Next Generation Science Standards as both a crosscutting concept and a disciplinary core idea in the physical sciences (Achieve Inc. 2013). But when...
What Happens When You Flip a Switch? A Series of Hands-On Activities to Help Students Understand What Energy Is and How We Generate It
Energy is one of the most fundamental and unifying concepts in science. It's also identified in the Next Generation Science Standards as both a crosscutting concept and a disciplinary core idea in the physical sciences (Achieve Inc. 2013). But when...
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