Teaching polar science – The Boy Who Found the Light

October 19, 2009

Our latest podcast in the Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears webzine has been posted.  This is a bimonthly webzine for elementary educators, to integrate polar science into their teaching.   This month’s webzine is on arctic peoples, and the podcast features a story on how light disappears and reappears in the arctic each year, that you […]

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Physics Toys Tuesday: Colored shadows

May 27, 2009

I’m not actually committing to posting a physics toy every Tuesday, but I’ll start small. One of my favorite places to watch people back at the Exploratorium was the colored shadows exhibit.  This one’s always a winner. Images from This is an example of color addition.  Remember this from grade school? I only remember […]

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Pretty traces of light!

February 1, 2009

Welcome to the first post at the new blog location!  Now that my webhome is established I can start posting more regularly.  Geek on! 😎 Sebastien Martin of the Exploratorium has been working with what you can do with light traces — basically, tracing out the motion of something through space using light (say, by […]

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Infrared heat camera (sciencegeekgirl on YouTube)

February 1, 2009

OK, I’ve been posting everybody else’s YouTube videos, so what about METube? After all, it’s all about me. Here is my YouTube debut, talking about infrared light as part of a full-length webcast on climate change. This was totally fun, I left Paul D. back at the webcast studio and ran off-stage, across the museum […]

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Scotch tape is crazy stuff

December 11, 2008

Yeah, yeah, I know, this is old news, but I finally got around to reading the articles about the fact that Scotch tape emits x-rays. I’ve known for a while that when you stick scotch tape to something and then peel it off, the scotch tape gets charged (negatively for those who care). This is […]

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How to see that light is a wave

October 17, 2008

It can be hard to change your view of things. I was just talking about this with a friend last night — we get used to a certain model of the world in science, and it’s rather revolutionary to see the world in a different way. If you see something that doesn’t fit your view […]

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How to tell if glasses are nearsighted or farsighted

August 21, 2008

A neat observation from one of the staff physicists at the Exploratorium: Here is a little game to play with farsighted and nearsighted glasses. Ask all your students who wear glasses to put them on and stand up. Walk up to each of them, look into their eyes and you will be able to tell […]

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Some fine questions about the nature of light

August 9, 2008

A teacher on a teachers’ listserv asked some fine questions about the nature of light. Here are her questions, and my answers. 1) If light is energy that is emitted by accelerating electric charges – often electrons in atoms – how do teachers explain the fact that light moves through a vacuum? [[Post edited 6/15/10, […]

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Light walk

July 18, 2008

This photo was posted by a teacher who took her own light walk… Notice how all the light patches on the ground are round. That’s because the spaces in the leaves in the trees — though they’re not round — act like pinholes. The round spots are images of the sun. This is true — […]

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The antislit

July 3, 2008

Sorry for the long delay in posting (not that it matters — I see my stats — most of you are off reading my old posts about how water goes around drains or whether polar bear fur is fiber optic). I’ve been on vacation back in my old haunts in the SF Bay Area, and […]

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Through the looking glass

September 5, 2007

I’ve posted a new episode of my podcast, Science Teaching Tips Episode: 14 – Through the Looking Glass How big does a mirror have to be for you to see yourself in it? Exploratorium senior staff scientist Thomas Humphrey describes an activity you can use in your classroom to investigate simple optics.

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Bob Miller’s Light Walk

May 30, 2007

What is light? If you’re like me, you’ve been trained to say “photons,” or, “electromagnetic radiation.” Well, there’s a guy who’s been working with the Exploratorium for several decades who can make you see light in a whole different way. For a detailed “light walk,” you can go to the Light Walk on the Exploratorium […]

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Infrared camera

April 30, 2007

What’s infrared? It’s a type of light too “low” for us to see… Some sounds are too low for us to hear because our ears only pick up a certain range of pitches (determined by the frequency of sound waves), infrared light is a color with a frequency too low for our eyes to see. […]

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Mouth camera

April 26, 2007

Talk about an image being worth a thousand words. Today I saw a photo that was taken through someone’s mouth! He clenched a pinhole camera between his back teeth, photographic film and all. He then kept his mouth open long enough to expose the film. The picture is framed by teeth on all sides, and […]

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