Archive for environmental science

Online labs and activities for environmental science

Posted in environmental science with tags , , , , , , on June 11, 2010 by airtightnoodle

If you teach environmental science or APES (Advanced Placement Environmental Science) you may want to check out the following link:

NROC Environmental Science

The site is designed to be an online APES class and claims to cover all of the material the College Board dictates must be covered for APES.  I haven’t looked through the entire site myself, so I can’t speak for that assertion.  However, there are some neat online labs where students have to change inputs and then assess what happens, and so on.  Check it out.

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Take down that evolution poster!

Posted in Education, Evolution with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2008 by airtightnoodle

I have an evolution poster in my classroom.  I teach both biology and AP Environmental Science, and it is part of the curriculum for both classes.  Recently on a science teacher message board, I inquired about activities for teaching evolution, after noticing a few students in class commenting on the poster. 

To my surprise and dismay, I had one teacher reply along the lines of the following:

I do not teach evolution in class as there are too many pit-falls.  I talk about DNA/RNA/proteins and mutations, and that’s where we stop.  The students are sometimes disappointed because they wanted to discuss or even argue about evolution.  If I were you, I’d take that poster down.

There are so many things I believe are wrong with this.  Where to begin…

First of all, I don’t know where this person teaches, or exactly which courses this person teaches, but teaching evolution is indeed a standard that must be taught in many classes, and as far as I know, in every state.  Chances are good that this person is completely ignoring something they are required to teach.

Secondly, I find it sad that science teachers are scared to deal with the issue.  Whether one is scared of the students, the parents, other teachers, or whatever, evolution is a huge part of biology and science in general, and should be taught.  We’re doing a disservice in preparing our students for the future by skipping such a central, unifying concept in science. 

Third, even if this teacher happens to be one that does not agree with evolutionary theory, I still contend what I stated in point 2 above–by not teaching the theory, you’re doing an educational disservice to your students.  After I teach evolutionary theory, if a student still disagrees with it, then at least I’ve taught them what the theory REALLY teaches, and perhaps they’ll be better equipped to argue with it, if they so choose.

Arg.  I’ll end this post feeling frustrated, but at least a little less so now that I’ve vented about it.

*Update: AAAAAANNNNDDDD the frustration comes roaring back.  I actually just got a message from another member explaining to me the nature of the controversy.  All I can do is stare with my jaw open at the screen.  Seriously, are there so many people out there that do not understand why some students don’t “believe” in evolution that this person feels the need to explain the issue???  Well, at least they followed it up with some actual suggestions, rather than just saying, “Don’t teach it”.

Carl Sagan on preserving the pale blue dot

Posted in environmental science with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2008 by airtightnoodle

A nicely done You Tube presentation of Carl Sagan speaking about the earth.

Hydrogen economy on the way?

Posted in environmental science with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2008 by airtightnoodle
Water

Water

Scientific American recently reported on some breakthroughs in developing hydrogen fuel cells.  As many people are aware, hydrogen can be used as an alternative fuel and has been researched for years, but so far it has not proven to be cost-effective. 

Due to some recent breakthroughs in research, hydrogen power may be closer than we think.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Evolution is good

Posted in Evolution with tags , , , , , , , on July 5, 2008 by airtightnoodle

Quote of the day…saw this while reading the AP Environmental Science list serv.

…And God saw that it was good, and evolution continued.