EducationPop QuizPrimary EducationSecondary Education

Pop Quiz: Science Olympiad

Last year, I was asked (rather last minute) to help with our regional Science Olympiad. This is an event where teams from junior high or high schools compete in various science, technology, and engineering tests and challenges, earning points and medals for their team. It’s like a track meet for …

READ MORE →
Pop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Engage All the Students!

I came across this great post at Cult of Pedagogy called, “A Mild Case of Fisheye.” Go read it, I’ll wait. Done? Okay good. Well, to sum it up (in case you kept reading here) the post describes a problem in which teachers think they’ve had a really good class …

READ MORE →
CultureEducationPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Are You Shutdown?

I wish I could talk about something other than the government shutdown in the United States, but I’m just too darn cranky to focus on much else. And no, we’re not getting into a political debate here. Let’s talk about specific effects on education and science. What does the federal …

READ MORE →
Higher EducationPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: You are not your students

One of the biggest “oh duh” lessons I had in working in higher ed was the realization that I am not typical. I’ve talked about this before, about how professors and instructors were probably the nerdy, top-of-the-class kids. It’s a challenge to put yourself in the mindset of a typical …

READ MORE →
EducationFeaturedHigher Education

“Massive Online… OOOOOOKS”

I’m about to embark on a new experience: teaching an online class. It’s a short course, really, just four sessions about my favorite topic ever (radio astronomy). It’s not for credit or associated with a university, kind of a “lifelong learning” experience for funsies type of thing.  I’m not even …

READ MORE →
Informal EducationPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: What are you reading?

I’m in the midst of the “Complete Sherlock Holmes.” I admit my rather recent obsession has been spurred on by the particularly entertaining adaptation starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. But this is only the next in a series of “why didn’t I read this sooner?” books, stories, and series …

READ MORE →
Pop Quiz

Pop Quiz: New Ways of Testing

I am still reeling from the amazing time that was Dragon*Con. Happily, I had a chance to talk to quite a few educators about general concepts in education, as well as share our CosmoQuest materials with them. Many science teachers are excited about the new direction being taken by the …

READ MORE →
Critical ThinkingPop QuizScience

Pop Quiz: Where do students get their science?

Science literacy is a tricky term. What do we mean by it? Do we expect the populace at large to know certain basic facts? Do we expect them to understand the process of science? How deeply into scientific knowledge must a layperson get before they are considered scientifically literate? These …

READ MORE →
MetaPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: School is in Session!

It’s the end of summer here in the Northern Hemisphere. Well, not in terms of the weather, and we’re a month yet out from the Autumn Equinox. But classes have started here at my university, and the halls are once again full of students. My current position doesn’t leave time …

READ MORE →
Pop QuizPrimary EducationSecondary Education

Pop Quiz: Playtime in Class!

I am very very very excited because we just this afternoon got delivery of a portable planetarium to our department. SQUEE! This means we can take a planetarium show TO a school or community center or somewhere on campus. We have instant (well after ~45 minutes of setup) entertainment for …

READ MORE →