May 12, 2010
News about renewable energy is everywhere. I’ve talked about it before in posts like Teaching Hybrid Technology. But the amount of focus and fervor devoted to this has grown. There were over 17500 articles referring to renewable energy in the last 24 hours alone (according to Google News). This is due to new technology, upcoming legislation as well as man-made disasters. The public’s consciousness of renewable energy is on the rise. And one of the ways people are expressing this is by buying and driving hybrid vehicles.
Hybrid engines combine electric and combustion to power the car, rather than just combustion. This means they are more environmentally friendly. Because at low speeds the electric engine is powering the car, they save on the consumption of fossil fuels. This has the benefit in term of carbon emissions. When the gas is not being used, the fumes are not being released into the environment. Their reliability and low emissions rate (not to mention higher gas mileage) mean that they are more popular than ever.
These hybrid vehicles are being used, and so they will need to be maintained. Hybrid engines have some different features than typical gas engines, as discussed above. Want to see what they look like? Check out our Hybrid Cut-Away Engine. This engine has been specifically cut to provide automotive technology instructors and students with the best view of the workings. (It is color coded to show the flow of liquids.) Here are a few sneak peaks (with more available on nadascientific.com):
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.
April 29, 2010
NADA Scientific accepts all major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, Discover), PayPal (online only) as well as official purchase orders.
You can place your order:
April 20, 2010
This Thursday, April 22, 2010, is Earth Day. Earth Day is ‘a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s environment.’ NADA Scientific is proud to present 4 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day:
1. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” It is a succinct summary of what everyone should be doing everyday, not just on Earth Day. This year, highlight the ideas behind this by reusing plastic bottles to make a Tornado Tube.
2. Celebrate Earth Day by exploring it. Go for a hike or long bike ride. If you live in an urban area, take a walk in the park. Want something to do on your hike? Check out some fun activities to do in The Big Book of Nature Projects
3. Everyone still has to eat, even on Earth Day. For a fun activity that also saves on electricity, make a meal in a Solar Oven. Look around the web and you will find many creative recipes for foods ranging from sweet to savory. (Note, if you plan to make this your main meal, plan ahead. While solar ovens do not use electricity or fuel to cook, they do take time.)
4. Learn, or teach, a lesson in renewable energy. From Biomass to Wind, alternatives to fossil fuels are becoming more and more viable as energy sources. Race a hydrogen powered car or build a wind turbine to explore the technology of the future.
I hope you enjoy some of these activities, and feel free to comment with any other suggestions for Earth Day. But remember, these activities can be done any day to celebrate our amazing Earth.
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?