Dynamic changes are occurring at unprecedented rates in our information-rich, highly visual, and interconnected "flat" world necessitating quick, adaptive, and inventive (not "standardized") thinking. Creative thinking is superseded by "standardized" thinking, which is easier to assess, but no longer in demand in the "Innovation Age." Most American 8th grade students know how to multiply 9 X 5, but the vast majority does not know when to do so. The overarching goal of education should be to teach students to think and problem solve (including problems that do not exist yet). Innovative thinking is often eliminated or neutralized in schools by standardized thinking, although creativity turns out to be three times stronger than IQ as a predictor or lifetime success and accomplishment. Nothing is more important to our collective future than teaching flexibility in thinking, finding multiple answers, visualization, and inventive thinking.
In studying Earth’s carbon cycle—the exchange of carbon between the planet’s land, atmosphere, and oceans—scientists are trying to understand the role played by huge tropical rainforests such as the Amazon River basin. In particular, they want to determine how long an ecosystem stores atmospheric carbon dioxide in its plants, soils, and rivers. Karis McFarlane is an environmental scientist who has been using radiocarbons to study and better understand this cycle since 1999. She will discuss the ways radiocarbon is used to study carbon cycling in ecosystems and why it's unique and important for climate change. She will focus on the importance of understanding how much and for how long carbon is sequestered in soil and the role it plays in the carbon cycle. This session is a must for all environmental science educators.
The deep sea: Earth’s final frontier. Delve into the great blue deep with Rich Mooi as he discusses his deep sea research in the Bahamas, Antarctica, and the coast of the Pacific Northwest. Learn first-hand about the findings and discoveries from the California Academy of Sciences’ recent biodiversity expedition to the Philippines.
This talk will explore the idea of practices which are a major feature of the NRC Framework for Science Education published in 2011. It will explain why there has been a shift to the notion of practices from teaching science through inquiry, what it means for teaching science in the classroom and discuss what the change signifies. In particular, it will argue that this should not be seen as a revolution but rather an evolution and an improvement for the teaching of science.
Designed with them in mind, this lecture will be sure to please all earth science teachers. California's landscape, resources, and hazards all have resulted from the action of plate tectonic processes over millions of years. Discover how earthquakes, landslides, and volcanic hazards are a direct result of recent plate motions and their effects on California's land surface. The history of North America's Pacific margin beginning about 650 million years ago, with the separation of ancient North America from Antarctica, Australia, and eastern Asia to open the Pacific Ocean basin, to today will be presented. What happened millions of years ago and how that has had major implications for California and the United States in recent history will be explored. You will earn how Earth's movements have played a role in the financing of the Civil War, the opening of the Sea of Cortez, and the development of California's spectacular coastline and the California Water Project.
This is your opportunity to get a glimpse into the past! Uwe Bergmann uses modern technology to reveal the secrets of the past. His research activities focus on the development and application of novel x-ray spectroscopic techniques. Recently, he used a special imaging technique, x-ray fluorescence imaging, to reveal hidden writings in the 10th century Archimedes Palimpsest. He also led an x-ray scanning experiment on Archaeopteryx, a 150-million-year old "dinobird" fossil, which revealed previously unseen elements of the animal's original chemistry.
This presentation will introduce a research-based approach (developed, in part, with NSF funding) in which teachers use scaffolding and modeling to help elementary students learn how to think, speak, and write as scientists do. The focus of instruction in this approach is not literacy but science, which determines the forms of communication that students learn. Through student notebook entries and a video of a classroom in which a teacher is implementing the approach, the session will present strategies that conference participants can use immediately in their own classrooms.
Many hundreds of planets have recently been discovered around other stars, and the new Kepler mission in space is promising hundreds more. However, many of these planets are completely different from any we have known in our solar system and are revealing a universe of new planet possibilities. We will discuss the clever methods astronomers are using to discover planets beyond the solar system, the strange and unexpected kinds of planets they are finding, and what this means for the possibility of science students on other worlds.
The Exploratorium seeks to inspire learners by showing them how science is interesting, relevant and fun. Participants begin by experiencing the real phenomena of science. Encountering science phenomena naturally leads to questions created by each individual. When people ask their own questions, they truly want to know the answer. We then provide resources where they can do the work necessary to understand the science phenomena. In this presentation we will provide participants with simple materials, then give them sparse instructions, and turn them loose to explore. In this way we will model our way of doing active science learning. Turning the participants loose to explore and report on what they see means that a class will not progress according to a rigid plan. As a teacher you have to know how to deal with the resulting flow of ideas, it is like being a jazz performer in education, you have to be a superb musician/educator and go with the flow, all the while keeping track of where you want to take your audience. In the end, we’ll connect our explorations to the Next Generation Science Standards which emphasize the practices of doing science, as well as the cross-cutting themes, and content standards.
Designed for science teachers and inquisitive minds, this lecture will discuss the elements and molecules involved in the chemistry of life. This lecture will present the structures of common chemicals beyond those typically found in science textbooks and describe how minor changes in chemical structures can dramatically change the chemical and physical properties of a molecular structure. Learn how chemists are molecular architects who design and build molecules for materials, medicines, and energy. Using several recent case studies from the news, this lecture will also discuss the way that chemistry and changes in molecular structure connect to business, technology, and daily life. You will discover the following: What do bullet-proof Kevlar and polyester have in common? What do sunscreen, tonic water, and salmon have in common? How does understanding molecular structure and oxidation chemistry prevent the recall of a popular toy (and prevent children from being exposed to a dangerous chemical known as GHB)? How much Prozac is in the drinking water? Finally, this lecture will also include several examples of projects where art and writing have been combined with science for unique and fun teaching and learning experiences. This lecture will change the way you (and your students) look at the world around you!