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(Gen) Kids' Science: Cool Science for Curious Kids

 
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adedios
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 8:40 am    Post subject: (Gen) Kids' Science: Cool Science for Curious Kids Reply with quote






The Howard Hughes Medical Institute
invites curious kids to explore biology...
on screen, off screen, and in between.


From the Howard Hughes Medical Institute:

"The goal of this project is simple: to help your child appreciate science.

We looked at some of the best science projects from some of the best museums in the country. Then we adapted them for the Web. Some of these activities are entirely electronic. Your child will do everything on screen. Others require you to go to your kitchen or backyard. They are designed for students in kindergarten through second or third grade.

In either case, the object is to make science fun, practical, and realistic.

Here are some suggestions for using these projects to best advantage:


    Use a question as a way to start a conversation—don't just answer it directly. For example, if your child asks, "Why does a tree 'bleed' when you cut its branch?" you could just answer, "That's the sap." But it's more powerful to start a discussion by relating the question to something the child may already know: For example: "Well, just like your body has blood, trees have sap. What exactly does your blood do, anyway?"

    Make a pattern of observing nature and science in your own life. Keep a notebook in the car or backpack for recording interesting findings.

    Record your observations in creative ways. "How about making a scrapbook for all these different leaf shapes?" "Maybe we should capture this on videotape so we can compare it to what we'll see next time."

    Help children relate new things to what they already know. "Look — this insect has two sets of wings. Have you ever seen another insect with two sets of wings?"

    Look for surprises — things that break the rules. "Why does a feather 'float' even though it's heavier than air?"

    Keep things light. Put less emphasis on "true facts" and more on the scientific process of looking around, posing questions, and looking around some more."


The Lessons



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adedios
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Science Fair Circuit
Emily Sohn

Oct. 18, 2006

For some kids, entering science fairs is like eating cookies. It's hard to stop at just one.
The research is interesting, these students say. The competitions are exciting, and you can win prizes. Best of all, joining the science fair circuit is a great way to make friends.

"I like meeting kids who are also passionate about science," says Peter Borden, now an 11th grader at Seacrest School in Naples, Fla.

For the full article:

http://www.sciencenewsforkids......ature1.asp
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adedios
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 11:29 am    Post subject: Ghosts and Vampires' Myths Reply with quote

University of Central Florida
23 October 2006

UCF professor drives scientific stake into the heart of ghost, vampire myths

Laws of physics, math debunk Hollywood portrayals of ghosts, vampires
As the weather cools and Halloween approaches, chilling creaks in the stairs, bloodcurdling screams from the attic and other paranormal activity become more believable -- but not to UCF physics professor Costas Efthimiou.

The laws of physics and math debunk popular myths about ghosts and vampires, according to a paper published by Efthimiou and Sohang Gandhi, a UCF graduate now studying at Cornell University.

Using Isaac Newton's Laws of Motion, Efthimiou demonstrates that ghosts would not be able to walk and pass through walls. Basic math disproves the legend of humans turning into vampires after they are bitten, Efthimiou explains, because the entire human population in 1600 would have been wiped out in less than three years.

"These popular myths make for a lot of Halloween fun and great movies with special effects, but they just don't hold up to the strict tests of science," Efthimiou said.

In movies such as "Ghost," starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, ghosts often walk like humans, pass through walls and pick up objects. But that portrayal cannot be accurate, Efthimiou says. For ghosts to have the ability to walk like humans, they would need to put a force upon the floor, which would exert an equal and opposite force in return. But ghosts' ability to pass through walls and have humans walk right through them demonstrates that they cannot apply any force.

Movies such as "Blade," featuring Wesley Snipes, suggest that vampires feed on human blood and that once a human has been bitten, he or she turns into a vampire and begins feeding on other humans. To disprove the existence of vampires, Efthimiou relied on a basic math principle known as geometric progression.

Efthimiou supposed that the first vampire arrived Jan. 1, 1600, when the human population was 536,870,911. Assuming that the vampire fed once a month and the victim turned into a vampire, there would be two vampires and 536,870,910 humans on Feb. 1. There would be four vampires on March 1 and eight on April 1. If this trend continued, all of the original humans would become vampires within two and a half years and the vampires' food source would disappear.

Efthimiou did not take into consideration mortality rates, which would have increased the speed at which the human population would have been vanquished. And even factoring in a birth rate would not change the outcome.

"In the long run, humans cannot survive under these conditions, even if our population were doubling each month," Efthimiou said. "And doubling is clearly way beyond the human capacity of reproduction."

Efthimiou also provides a practical explanation for "voodoo zombiefication," which suggests that zombies "come about by a voodoo hex being placed by a sorcerer on one of his enemies." He reviewed the case of a Haitian adolescent who was pronounced dead by a local doctor after a week of dramatic convulsions.

After the boy was buried, he returned in an incoherent state, and Haitians pronounced that a sorcerer had raised him from the dead in the state of a zombie.

Science, however, has a less-supernatural explanation. A highly-toxic substance called tetrodotoxin is found in a breed of puffer fish native to Haitian waters. Contact with this substance generally results in a rapid death. However, in some cases, the right dose of the toxin will result in a state that mimics death and slows vital signs to a level that is unable to be measured. Eventually, the victim snaps out of the death-like coma and returns to his or her regular condition.

Scientific analysis has shown that oxygen deprivation is consistent with the boy's brain damage and his incoherent state.

"It would seem that zombiefication is nothing more than a skillful act of poisoning," Efthimiou said.

###
The full paper can be viewed at www.arxiv.org/abs/physics/0608059.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:07 pm    Post subject: Powerpoint presentations for elementary schools Reply with quote

Powerpoint Presentations for Elementary Schools


http://www.graves.k12.ky.us/po.....lementary/

Environmental Science PowerPoints

http://step.nn.k12.va.us/scien.....ci_ppt.htm

Physical Science PowerPoints

http://www.stpeterschools.org/.....points.htm

Science and Nature Poems

http://www.firstscience.com/site/poems.asp
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 5:13 pm    Post subject: NIH Educational Resources for Kids Reply with quote

The Chemistry of Health: -- NIH Pub. No. 00-4121, printed 2000, 66 pages

This science education booklet describes how basic chemistry and biochemistry research can spur a better understanding of human health. The booklet highlights the research of a number of chemists and includes questions at the end of each chapter.

http://publications.nigms.nih.gov/chemhealth/

Curiosity Creates Cures: The Value and Impact of Basic Research: -- NIH Pub. No. 04-5493, printed 2004, 6 pages

This pamphlet discusses the importance of basic biomedical research, explaining the economic payoffs of untargeted research and its role in leading to new medicines, technologies, and scientific tools. It mentions the importance of scientific collaboration and the use of model organisms, then lists recent Nobel laureates in basic biomedical research.

http://publications.nigms.nih.gov/curiosity/

Genes & Populations: -- NIH Pub. No. 05-5021, printed 2005, 8 pages

This educational brochure explains in question-and-answer format why genetics researchers sometimes study identified populations to find links between genes and diseases. (Also available in Spanish, "Genes y Poblaciones.")

http://publications.nigms.nih.gov/genepop/

Inside the Cell: -- NIH Pub. No. 05-1051, revised 2005, 80 pages

This educational booklet about cell biology speaks directly to readers by vividly describing the processes occurring within their bodies. It also shrinks readers down to 0.5 micrometers so they can explore the cell and its organelles close-up. The booklet features cutting-edge cell biology research and techniques. It includes review questions at the end of each chapter and a glossary.

http://publications.nigms.nih.gov/insidethecell/

The New Genetics: -- NIH Pub. No. 07-662, revised 2006, 90 pages

This educational booklet explains how genes affect your health. The New Genetics describes the basics of how DNA and RNA work. The booklet also explains how studies of evolution drive medical research, how genes influence health and disease, and how computer science is advancing genetics in the 21st century.

http://publications.nigms.nih.gov/thenewgenetics/

The Structures of Life: -- NIH Pub. No. 01-2778, printed 2001, 60 pages

This booklet explains how structural biology provides insight into health and disease and is useful in developing new medications. The booklet features "Student Snapshots" designed to inspire young people to consider careers in biomedical research. It also includes review questions at the end of each chapter.

http://publications.nigms.nih.gov/structlife/

Additional Resources for elementary schools

http://science.education.nih.g.....ary+School
http://science.education.nih.g.....ry+School/

Additional Resources for middle schools

http://science.education.nih.g.....le+School/
http://science.education.nih.g.....le+School/

Additional Resources for high schools

http://science.education.nih.g.....gh+School/
http://science.education.nih.g.....gh+School/

Multimedia

http://science.education.nih.g.....Multimedia
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:55 am    Post subject: Turning the tables in chemistry Reply with quote

Brandeis University
8 June 2007

Turning the tables in chemistry

Brandeis University revamping science education to attract more diverse students
Waltham, MA—What do glowing veggies have to do with a career in science" It just so happens that electrified pickles swimming in metal ions are one example of the type of undergraduate chemistry class demonstration that helps make a future in science a bright possibility, rather than a total turn-off, for many students.

In a commentary in this month’s Nature Chemical Biology, Brandeis University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Professor Irving Epstein outlines a gathering storm clouding the future of U.S. science and prescribes a series of strategies to help avert a looming national crisis. Epstein says the continued success of U.S. science is seriously threatened by the fact that increasing numbers of undergraduates, particularly the disadvantaged, are writing off a career in science.

Why? Many students find introductory science, and chemistry in particular, both difficult and dull the way it is conventionally taught at the college level, discouraging many potential scientists before they ever have the chance to get hooked on science.

“Anyone who teaches an introductory science course at one of this country’s elite universities is familiar with the sea of white faces he or she encounters, and the tendency of that ocean to whiten even more as the semester progresses and as one moves up the ladder of courses,” writes Epstein, who last year won $1 million from HHMI to revamp introductory chemistry at Brandeis with an eye to luring—and retaining—more students in science, particularly disadvantaged ones.

“We need to ask ourselves why science is unattractive to so many students, particularly (but by no means exclusively), to underrepresented minority students,” writes Epstein. He believes that conventional science teaching and passive learning are primary culprits, because they rely too heavily on lecturing as well as unrelated and unexciting laboratory experiments.

Epstein proposes a variety of strategies aimed at capturing the imaginations of potential scientists, all of which maximize interaction among undergraduates, teachers, material, yes, even dill pickles, and contemporary technology, such as video games. The overall goal, says Epstein, is to bring the thrill of discovery and learning back into the science classroom.

But beyond that, Epstein’s HHMI project involves recruiting and retaining disadvantaged students in collaboration with the Posse Foundation, an organization that selects and trains “posses” of inner-city students to succeed in college. The students are chosen for their academic and leadership abilities. Epstein’s plan is to create a “science posse” at Brandeis each year that will build on the existing Posse program’s strengths but add features tailored specifically to science, such as a two-week pre-Brandeis “boot camp,” paid lab jobs, and academic support.

“If we can succeed in making chemistry more appealing to students by reawakening their instinctive curiosity about the world, and attract and retain more disadvantaged students in chemistry, the impact will be felt well beyond a single discipline, a single university, and a single nation,” says Epstein.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 7:13 am    Post subject: On the Trail of America's Next Top Scientists Reply with quote

On the Trail of America's Next Top Scientists
Emily Sohn

Nov. 14, 2007

In a lab at the University of Maryland in College Park last month, flames leaped and swirled in front of five middle school students.
To create the fire tornado, the students first set fire to a piece of alcohol-soaked gauze in a dish. Then, they spun the platform that the dish sat on. Immediately, a twirling flame shot 2 feet into the air.

For a few minutes, all anyone could say was, "Whoa!"

Playing with fire isn't an ordinary school activity, but this wasn't an ordinary school day. The students belonged to one of eight teams of young scientists selected from all over the United States. Over 2 days, each team had to solve six 90-minute challenges as part of the 2007 Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge (DCYSC).

For the full article:

http://www.sciencenewsforkids......ature1.asp
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