volcano activity
EducationScience

The Power of Scientists and Teachers Combined

In my job, I’ve recently started working directly with school teachers to bring them new science curricula or activities for their classrooms. I generally like this approach, the “teach the teachers” mentality, which allows you to expand your reach, even if secondhand, over a wider audience. After all, one-off outreach …

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Flu virus plush toy
Pop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Did you get your flu shot?

I was going to be really lame and ask about your New Year resolutions, but frankly I’m not sure if those are even a good idea. The last thing I need is intermittent pressure to improve on things that I probably should be working on all year long already. Instead, …

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Change dish
Higher EducationPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Get ALL The Grants

I spent the other day in two very enlightening grant-writing workshops at my university. I went along with my fellow faculty members to pick up some tips and tricks to finding grant money, federal and private. Since I’m in my first postdoc, this is the time when I’m starting to …

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Stress ball
Pop Quiz

Pop Quiz: How do you stay organized?

It’s the end of the semester. My brain is dead. My office is in the middle of a move and there is stuff EVERYWHERE. My brain is just as scattered as my office and I just don’t know what to do! And I’m not even teaching a class at the …

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Growth of science and engineering Ph.Ds and new faculty positions, by Schillebeeckx et al. in Nature.
Higher EducationPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Is There a Doctor in the House?

In my field of astronomy, and all across academia, graduate students are fretting about post-Ph.D job opportunities. It’s become clear that finding a tenure-track position in the sciences is far less likely than it was in the “good old days.” The American Astronomical Society does some tracking and reports on …

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Pop Quiz

Pop Quiz: GIRLS!

If you haven’t already seen this adorable ad where three little girls make a Rube-Goldberg machine out of their girly toys, you should take a moment to check it out. It was released by GoldiBlox, a company selling toys aimed at getting young girls to construct and build with the …

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Pop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Job Season

It’s job application season in academia again. My first time through this, two years ago, was harrowing to say the least, especially since I was also trying to finish my dissertation. Things worked out for me as I got a postdoc position working with Dr. Pamela Gay, one of the …

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Comet in your hand
FeaturedLesson PlansScience

Lesson Plans: Make a Comet

I love hands-on science demos. One of my favorites is the “Make your own comet” that I often do for public events with kids, adults, anyone! I perfected my comet making skills while I was a part of Dark Skies, Bright Kids in Virginia, and I’ll share the not-so-secret recipe …

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Pop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Billions and Billions of Cheers

November 9th is Carl Sagan Day, when self-described space geeks and science enthusiasts celebrate the contributions to science and science communication made by Dr. Carl Sagan during his lifetime. Many people cite his award-winning series “Cosmos” as being a formative experience in their early years. Unfortunately, I didn’t come across …

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EducationInformal EducationPop Quiz

“You Don’t Look Like a Teacher”

Last night, I was doing an event called “Teen Science Cafe,” where high school students can come to an event, get some food, hear from a scientist speaker, and do some cool science activities. Somewhere between prepping my talk, re-styling my newly-pink hair after it got rained on, unrolling a …

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