December 12, 2013
Thinking about potassium, we’re sure.
Starting in 1807, Sir Humphry Davy used electrolysis to discover a myriad of elements. He used this process to uncover what we now take for granted as potassium, sodium, barium, calcium, chlorine, and magnesium among others.
The process Davy’s used has largely remained unchanged and can be followed by you and your students using the following Electrolysis Apparatus Unit (N99-B-2637-040) found at NADA Scientific.
The electrolysis apparatus is used to demonstrate experiments in electrical charge/discharge and energy conversion. It features a main unit made of AS resin with fixed stainless steel electrodes, graduated test tubes (2), and a resin test tube holder. The compact design makes these units stackable for neat and easy storage.
If you’re looking for a suitable power source, it can also be purchased with the GENECON12 as a set to create the entire lab experience of separating water into its component gases.
Come check out NADA Scientific sell hundreds of educational items ranging from small toys to heavy duty equipment. For over 25 years, we have supplied a range of products to meet the demands of the dynamic educational environment. Our family of catalogs includes Science Education, Automotive Education, HD Instruments, Genecon, Nakamura, Science Gifts, and the Savings Center.
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June 4, 2010
This month is going to be the month to see the planets. It depends when a person is able to look at the sky, to determine what planet they will be able to see. I am looking forward to observing: Venus before sunrise or sunset; Saturn in the late evening sky, and lets not forget Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Uranus.
May 4, 2010
Teachers enlighten and brighten us.
Today marks the occasion of an important holiday for science teachers: International Star Wars Day. The epic battles with the incongruous noise in space, the wisdom of Yoda, the painful lesson in over-hyped expectations that was ‘The Phantom Menace’ … all these and more have been inspirational for science teachers throughout the decades since the release of ‘A New Hope.’
What, you thought I was going to talk about National Teacher Appreciation Day? Actually, I am. Because what I am talking about is inspiration: for teachers, from teachers, and to teachers.
We appreciate and celebrate teachers not just because of the things they teach, but because of the ways they inspire us to think about the world in a new way. Whether it is to explore renewable energy, look at light in new ways or to embrace our inner geek, inspiration is what teachers give us.
So in turn let us give them our appreciation, not just this day or week, but as often as we are inspired. Feel free to discuss the teachers who inspired you in the comments.
January 28, 2010
Today Science announced the first of 12 winners in websites that provide tools, information for and promotion of science education. This prize, which will be announced each month, is called SPORE, or The Science Prize for Online Resources in Education.
The first winner selected was The University of Utah Genetic Science Learning Center websites, one of these websites is for students. It provides virtual labs, informative graphics and detailed explanations, all in a lick user-friendly design. In addition, they also have a site specifically designed for science teachers. There you will find supplemental materials as well as print-and-go lesson plans.
Another great resource I would recommend is this online database of the 100 best free online science documentaries. With listings broken down into discipline, this is a fantastic way to find a supplement to your lessons.
What about you? What are your favorite science resources on the web?
December 21, 2009
With the multitude of media available now, how do people concentrate on one task? A recent Scientific American article “Portrait of a Multitasking Mind” discussed people who consistently accessed two or more forms of media at a time. While these people are often sought after for job positions, a study from Stanford University found that multitaskers actually have more problems switching quickly between two tasks than other people.
But how do people actually manage to select what to pay attention to? The Kavli Institute for Systems Nueroscience and Centre for the Biology of Memory have been working towards understanding that. By measuring the brain waves of rats and listened to the transmissions. The gamma waves, a subset of brainwaves, proved interesting. They work as a radio system in the brain, imparting information. The hippocampus is able to tune into one of the frequencies, which then tune the others out. This allows the brain to focus on one thing.
Sources: Science Daily, Scientific American
December 18, 2009
Engaging students in science is a frequent topic in this blog, mostly because it is one educators struggle with often. Previously I wrote about integrating music into a science class and using multimedia in automotive education. Today I am going to talk about a visual medium: comics. More specifically, comics related to science. Comics combine text and images to tell a story.
I am not referring to teaching the (inaccuracies) of super heroes, (though that method is also recommended). No, I am talking about comics written explicitly about real life science. These can range from single panel informational images intended as a teaching aide to comics based on the lives of comics, current or historical. Utilizing them in the classroom can be as simple as hanging a print on a classroom wall to generate organic discussion. For more information on science comics check out Science comics as tools for science education and communication: a brief, exploratory study from the Journal of Science Communication.
So what are your favorite science comics?
October 29, 2009
According to a new study, the number of native-born Americans studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) has stayed level over the past 30 years. These findings appear to be at odds with the public calls from the government and policy groups for more Americans to study science and engineering.
The paper was written by researchers at Rutgers University and Georgetown University. They conducted a longitudinal study, following students studying STEM through high school, college and into the workforce. They were looking for three things: the retention rate (how many students stayed in a STEM field), how this rate compared to previous generations, and the quality of the students who stayed with STEM studied.
What they found was a drop not in the overall numbers, but a drop in the final aspect, the quality. There was a sharp decline in the number of the highest performing students who continued to study STEM and join the workforce in an STEM related field. This decline began in the late 1990s.
This occurs because of the depressing wages in STEM fields, turning potential scientists and technology innovators into business people and office workers.
So is the public cry for more scientists beneficial? More scientists could cause a glut in the supply while driving down the quality.
Or instead, should we be more encouraging to those students who love science, and make sure there are more jobs available to them for wages commiserate with their importance.