Women in Science and Mathematics
Recent comments by Harvard University President Lawrence H. Summers, regarding women and mathematics have spurred numerous articles and responses. The first article from Yahoo News (1) gives an overview of the event, his comments, and some reactions. The comment most at issue is whether or not innate sex differences might leave women less capable of succeeding at the most advanced mathematics. The second website (2) offers Summers apology and clarifies his comments. The third article (3), alth
NASA Tech Briefs: Engineering Solutions for Design and Manufacturing
NASA Tech Briefs is a monthly magazine that summarizes technologies developed through NASA research and their commercial applications. Free of charge, the magazine's Web site has much of the information that is published in print, while also offering an easy-to-navigate interface. The Tech Brief Library is an archive that dates back four years in twelve different categories, ranging from mechanics to software. The Technical Support Packages have even more detailed information in downloadable Ado
Daily Lesson Plan: Brain Brands
Why do those holiday cookies and candies -- placed conveniently at child height at the cash register -- get you drooling and entice you to fill your cart with unintended purchases? It might be neuromarketing at work. In this thought-provoking activity, created by Georgia Scurletis and Briget Anderson and offered through the _New York Times_ LearningNetwork, students (grades 6 - 12) are challenged to think about how branding and marketing may influence their taste more than their taste buds thems
An Atlas of Cyberspaces
"CyberGeography is the study of the spatial nature of computer communications networks, particularly the Internet, the World-Wide Web and other electronic 'places' that exist behind our computer screens, popularly referred to as cyberspace." The Atlas of Cyberspaces highlights many efforts from around the world to visualize this type of information. Some of the features have links to download software tools, like an experimental browser that portrays Web sites as three dimensional buildings (the
Designing against Disaster
Civil and structural engineers face a challenging task when designing buildings and other infrastructure. They have to account for a multitude of safety issues related to fire, floods, and natural disasters. That challenge is twofold with the additional risk of terrorism, because blast protection could be a major concern for high-profile structures.California's Golden Gate Bridge is in the process of being retrofitted for enhanced seismic stability. Details of the project and status reports can
Your sense of taste
This brief illustrated resource about the sense of taste is part of a feature that explores how humans experience flavor. The five taste qualities--including umami--are mentioned. The resource also corrects the misconception that humans can only taste certain food qualities at specific regions of the tongue. A set of connected, labeled diagrams of the tongue, taste buds, the brain, and facts about taste are noted in a sidebar. One fact compares the average number of taste buds in humans, chicken
The Smallest Page on the Web
Students examine ciliates, diatoms, bacteria, crustaceans and other microscopic organisms that inhabit freshwater ponds. The site provides exceptional images and basic information about the organism's anatomy and development. There are also links to sites about the ocean's microscopic organisms and magazine articles about these oragnisms.
A classroom activity (also called 1000 Lockers) aligned to the NCTM and California Standards, to be explored through the use of manipulatives and a ClarisWorks spreadsheet. Students then look for patterns and write the answer algebraically. The problem: imagine you are at a school that still has student lockers. There are 1000 lockers, all shut and unlocked, and 1000 students. Suppose the first student goes along the row and opens every other locker. The second student then goes along and shuts
Ready, Set, Escape
During this project, students will be asked to design a device that will measure out a time period of exactly 3 minutes. They will be asked to brainstorm ideas using the different materials provided. Students will observe and explain the effects of conservation of energy.
Etymologies of Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry
What are the origins and roots of the words geometry, algebra, and trigonometry?
Kekule's Dream and Bunsen's Burner
Connecting science to students? lives has always been a major goal of teachers. Most introductory chemistry or physical science textbooks contain small paragraphs and sidebars about notable scientists or historical events, but these short snippets of information often do not seem relevant to students' lives. A free, online resource?Using the History of Science in the Chemistry Classroom?helps teachers incorporate the history of science in chemistry and physical science classrooms.
Energy on a Roller Coaster
This activity utilizes hands on learning with the conservation of energy and the interaction of friction. Students will use a roller coaster track and collect position data. The students will then calculate velocity, and energy data. After the lab, students will relate the conversion of potential and kinetic energy to the conversion of energy used in a hybrid car.
Swim to and from the Sea!
Students are introduced to the basic biology behind Pacific salmon migration and the many engineered Columbia River dam structures that aid in their passage through the river’s hydroelectric dams. Students apply what they learn about the salmon life cycle as they think of devices and modifications that might be implemented at dams to aid in the natural cycle of fish migration, and as they make (hypothetical) Splash Engineering presentations about their proposed fish mitigation solutions for Bi
Sea to Sky
In this lesson, students learn about major landforms (e.g., mountains, rivers, plains, valleys, canyons and plateaus) and how they occur on the Earth’s surface. They learn about the civil and geotechnical engineering applications of geology and landforms, including the design of transportation systems, mining, mapping and measuring natural hazards.
Get Your Motor Running
Students investigate motors and electromagnets as they construct their own simple electric motors using batteries, magnets, paper clips and wire.
Heat It Up!
Through a teacher demonstration using water, heat and food coloring, students see how convection moves the energy of the Sun from its core outwards. Students learn about the three different modes of heat transfer (convection, conduction, radiation) and how they are related to the Sun and life on our planet.
The Visual Spectrum
In this activity, students make simple spectroscopes (prisms) to look at different light sources. The spectroscopes allow students to see differing spectral distributions of different light sources.
DNA: The Human Body Recipe
As a class, students work through an example showing how DNA provides the “recipe” for making our body proteins. They see how the pattern of nucleotide bases (adenine, thymine, guanine, cytosine) forms the double helix ladder shape of DNA, and serves as the code for the steps required to make genes. They also learn some ways that engineers and scientists are applying their understanding of DNA in our world.
Students extend their knowledge of the skeletal system to biomedical engineering design, specifically the concept of artificial limbs. Students relate the skeleton as a structural system, focusing on the leg as structural necessity. They learn about the design considerations involved in the creation of artificial limbs, including materials and sensors.