The Science Teacher

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

Articles from Vol. 84, No. 3, March

All but One Bond Movie Featured Smoking
Smoking-related imagery is conspicuous by its absence from only one James Bond movie since 007 first graced cinema screens in 1962, finds a recent analysis. And while Bond himself has stubbed out his last cigarette--with no smoking after 2002--he continues...
Are Selfie-Takers Narcissists?
You do it. Your mom, dad, siblings, and friends probably do, too. World leaders and entertainers do it. But why? Master's students in communications, entrenched in a selfie-saturated social media culture, wondered: What motivates me and you--and...
Become a Solar Eclipse Outreach Agent
As the public becomes aware of the August 21 solar eclipse, science teachers and students can step up to explain the eclipse and help prepare communities to safely view it, becoming, in effect, "eclipse outreach agents." This work can happen both within...
Better Formative Assessment: Making Formative Assessment More Responsive to Student Needs
Formative assessment has been defined as the process "to recognize and respond to student learning to enhance that learning during the learning" (Bell and Cowie 2001, p. 536). Formative assessment helps teachers identify strengths and weaknesses in...
Brain-Computer Interface Helps "Locked-In" People
A brain-computer interface that can decipher the thoughts of people unable to communicate could revolutionize the lives of those living with complete locked-in syndrome, according to researchers. Counter to expectations, the participants in the study...
Call for Papers
The Science Teacher (TST) seeks manuscripts of approximately 2,000 words that describe new and creative ideas for the secondary science classroom. Manuscripts should provide practical activities related to the themes listed below. TST also encourages...
Career of the Month
Fire Protection Engineer [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Fire protection engineers help protect people from fire and explosion hazards by ensuring that buildings have adequate exits, that flammable substances are controlled, and that everyone operating...
Chasing Shadows: Discovering Planets around Distant Stars
The solar eclipse coming August 21 offers students the opportunity not only to explore the geometry of our solar system but also to learn about exoplanets transiting distant stars. Students can glimpse a great frontier of science: the search for other...
Chimpanzees Choose Genetic Opposites as Mates
Casual sex is common among chimpanzees. Our closest animal relatives mate with multiple partners. But when taking the plunge into parenthood, they're more selective. A study reveals that chimps are more likely to reproduce with mates whose genetic...
Commentary
Become a Solar Eclipse Outreach Agent As the public becomes aware of the August 21 solar eclipse, science teachers and students can step up to explain the eclipse and help prepare communities to safely view it, becoming, in effect, "eclipse outreach...
Editor's Corner
Standing in the Moon's Shadow This issue celebrates what is being called the "Great American Eclipse." On August 21, millions of people across the continental United States will be able to experience one of the most rare and wondrous of nature's...
Fire Protection Engineer
Fire protection engineers help protect people from fire and explosion hazards by ensuring that buildings have adequate exits, that flammable substances are controlled, and that everyone operating near such hazards takes necessary precautions. Nancy...
Focus on Physics
Teaching Physics as the Rules of Nature We all know that to enjoy a game, you must know the rules of the game. Likewise, to appreciate--and even comprehend--your environment, you must understand the rules of nature. Physics is the study of these...
Headline Science
Sparks on the Moon? [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] On the Moon, powerful solar storms can charge up the soil in frigid, permanently shadowed regions near the poles. This may produce "sparks" that melt the lunar soil, perhaps as much as meteoroid impacts,...
Help Students Become Global Collaborators
One day Jared was teaching about the boiling points of common liquids. The year was 1999, and students had to take his word for it when he said those points would vary slightly in the mountains of Nepal versus coastal Miami. Imagine if those students...
How Climate Change Affects Our Diet
Last year was the warmest year on record (see "On the web"). Consequences of a warmer world include melting glaciers, rising sea levels, droughts, flooding, heat waves, and extreme weather. But how does climate change affect our food? Time magazine...
Modeling the Eclipse: Using Various Models and Perspectives to Help Students Visualize the Solar Eclipse
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] This article describes a unit in which students investigate total solar eclipses, such as the one coming August 21, from several perspectives. It incorporates mathematical thinking and aligns with the Next Generation Science...
Musicians Have Faster Reactions
Could learning to play a musical instrument help the elderly react faster and stay alert? Quite likely, according to a new study. The study shows that musicians have faster reaction times to sensory stimuli than do non-musicians. And that has implications...
Painless Chemistry
Painless Chemistry By Loris Chen. $9.99. 258 pp. Barron's Educational Series. Hauppauge, NY. 2016. ISBN: 9781438007717. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The term "painless chemistry" seems an oxymoron for those who fear the subject. But this...
Puff Adders Lure Prey with Their Tongues
The puff adder (Bitis arietans) is one of Africa's deadliest snake species due to its deadly venom and its stealthy way of ambushing prey. Now researchers have learned of another strategy in its arsenal: The snake actively lures prey into striking...
Right to the Source
Torricelli's Barometer In 1644, Italian physicist Evan Torricelli described the world's first mercury barometer in a letter to his friend Michelangelo Ricci. Seventy-one years later (and 68 years after Torricelli died), an engraving of this barometer...
Science 2.0
Help Students Become Global Collaborators One day Jared was teaching about the boiling points of common liquids. The year was 1999, and students had to take his word for it when he said those points would vary slightly in the mountains of Nepal...
Sparks on the Moon?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] On the Moon, powerful solar storms can charge up the soil in frigid, permanently shadowed regions near the poles. This may produce "sparks" that melt the lunar soil, perhaps as much as meteoroid impacts, according to NASA-funded...
Standing in the Moon's Shadow
This issue celebrates what is being called the "Great American Eclipse." On August 21, millions of people across the continental United States will be able to experience one of the most rare and wondrous of nature's celestial events: a total eclipse...
Teaching Physics as the Rules of Nature
We all know that to enjoy a game, you must know the rules of the game. Likewise, to appreciate--and even comprehend--your environment, you must understand the rules of nature. Physics is the study of these rules, which show how everything in nature...
The Future of Energy: Having Students Compare the Effects of Different Energy Sources on the Environment
The energy sources we use to generate electricity are changing due to concerns about pollution and climate change, the rise of affordable renewable energy, and the current availability of low-cost natural gas. Because the infrastructure to supply energy...
The Green Room
How Climate Change Affects Our Diet Last year was the warmest year on record (see "On the web"). Consequences of a warmer world include melting glaciers, rising sea levels, droughts, flooding, heat waves, and extreme weather. But how does climate...
Torricelli's Barometer
In 1644, Italian physicist Evan Torricelli described the world's first mercury barometer in a letter to his friend Michelangelo Ricci. Seventy-one years later (and 68 years after Torricelli died), an engraving of this barometer appeared in a book entitled...
Total Eclipse: The Solar Eclipse This August Is an Ideal Opportunity to Practice Three-Dimensional Science Learning
This summer, on August 21, 500 million people across North America will experience one of the most beautiful astronomical phenomena: an eclipse of the Sun. It will be a "must teach" moment, when all students will want to know the "what, when, and why"...
Using the Schoolwide Enrichment Model with Technology
Using the Schoolwide Enrichment Model With Technology By Angela M. Housand, Brian C. Housand, Joseph S. Renzulli. $39.95. 291 pp. Prufrock Press. Austin, TX. 2016. ISBN: 9781618215932. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Back in the 1990s, my colleague...
What Ice Age Mammals Can Teach Us
The ghosts of Ice Age mammals can teach valuable, real-world lessons about what happens to an ecosystem when its most distinct species go extinct, according to a study. Yale University researcher Matt Davis studied the roles of some of the world's...
Write for the Science Teacher
Why YOU should publish The main purpose of NSTA's well-rounded publishing program is to allow our members to share ideas with thousands of other people who teach science. The content reflects the needs of its audience of classroom teachers, science...
Write for the Science Teacher
Why YOU should publish The main purpose of NSTA's well-rounded publishing program is to allow our members to share ideas with thousands of other people who teach science. The content reflects the needs of its audience of classroom teachers, science...
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