higher education

Teaching non-majors Light and Color (and making them love it)

August 18, 2011

I sacrificed my June and my sanity this summer to teach the non-majors Light and Color course (see below for course materials).  This was exactly the population I am interested in reaching with good science instruction — not the converted, science enthusiasts, but the often math-phobic rest of the population.  And I got my wish.  […]

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Beautiful data… visualizing science!

April 24, 2011

I have been absent for too long — this time for a good cause:  Vacation!  Geekgirl enjoyed California and Vegas and anything not involving a computer for over a week.  It is a good experience to have at least once a year.  And in return, dear reader, I give you a nice long post.  Thank […]

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Young Voices on Climate Change

April 11, 2011

Here’s a really cool project, getting young people involved in community action.  I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while.  Lynne Cherry (a well known children’s book author, has produced a series of short films about young people who are taking action about climate change.  Each story is a little different — a […]

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What we see isn’t always what’s happening (OR why demos don’t always work)

January 18, 2011

Consider this quote: “We don’t know what we see; we see what we know.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe I’ve often wished I’d gone into cognitive science — it’s just so interesting.  (Sciencegeekgirl factoid: My undergrad degree is in social psychology.)  Instead I earn my daily (gluten-free) bread by teaching physics and can throw only […]

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Grants and Cheap Materials for Teachers

October 25, 2010

I’ve been compiling this list for a little while.  Please feel free to add to it. First, you can always make stuff with string and duct tape, using sites like the Exploratorium Science Snacks. But, if you need money: Grants Donors Choose. This program connects potential donors to classrooms.  As a teacher, you indicate your […]

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How do I teach about climate change?

January 2, 2010

It seems to be in vogue to teach about climate change.  Thank god.  I mean, is there anything else more confusing nowadays?  Teaching students just to wade through the puddles of mud being slung across party lines is a message in media digestion in itself! Luckily there are many resources being developed to help educators […]

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Great blog on technology and teaching

November 9, 2009

I’ve been really enjoying a blog put out by the University of Colorado’s ASSETT (Arts and Sciences Support of Education through Technology) program.  They have frequent posts on technology that relates to higher education, and how it really impacts your classroom. For example, connecting with students by Facebook; considerations, or whether to mentor via FB […]

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Another example of a Preparation for Future Learning activity (density)

November 17, 2008

In my last post, I wrote at length about Dan Schwartz’s work about teaching students how to learn by having them create a solution to a problem before you give them the standard lecture about how to solve that kind of problem. I wanted to give you an example of this kind of “Preparation for […]

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Why students fail to transfer what they learn

November 17, 2008

We had a visit from Stanford education researcher Dan Schwartz last week, and what he told us about how people learn just rocked my world. I always enjoyed his work (and it was a real pleasure to tell him how much he’s influenced my thinking about education), and have blogged before about his A Time […]

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A college education for inmates?

November 16, 2008

One of the great travesties of this nation, I think, is the complete lack of logic in how we treat criminals. Our criminal justice system sucks people in and makes it very hard for them to reintegrate back into society. We stick them in jail, where they lose their connections to community and become enmeshed […]

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