Critical ThinkingCultureInformal EducationPoliticsReligionScience

What Pramaoedya Ananta Toer Tried to Teach His Kids About Medicine and Critical Thinking

Pramaoedya Ananta Toer (1925-2006) was an award-winning Indonesian writer who was famous for the novels that he wrote during two long stints as a political prisoner. He was first jailed by the Dutch in 1947 for his anti-colonial activities, and then again by President Suharto for being a leftist from …

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EducationInformal EducationPrimary EducationSecondary Education

So You Want to Teach about Comets?

Last week, humanity took a huge leap forward in solar system exploration. If you’re a science teacher wanting to talk about comet science in your class, there are some great resources out there for doing that. First of all, if you can get your (gloved) hands on some dry ice, …

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EducationInformal EducationLesson PlansPrimary EducationScience

Lesson Plan: Ultraviolet Light

I’m getting ready to do a summer camp all about light in astronomy. I’m particularly focused on doing some experiments with the kids showcasing “invisible” light, or the ways in which we can use light we can’t see to learn about the Universe. One particular activity is pretty easy and …

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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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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 …

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Informal EducationPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Can you still enjoy museums?

So I think I am ruined for science museums forever. And this is terrible! I loved science centers and museums when I was a kid. I still do, really, for the most part. I thought becoming a scientist would ruin the experience for me, but it never did. First of …

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EducationInformal EducationPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Measuring our Impact

It’s more of a “pop quiz” when you don’t see it coming, right? Surprise! I’m a bit late having come in from a conference all about astronomy education, so I’m sure you don’t mind. There were many good discussions at the meeting of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in …

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Higher EducationInformal EducationPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Am I “normal”?

Yesterday, we were taking a break around the office and discussing the latest Star Trek movie. (NO spoilers, promise.) I did bring up my incredulity that J.J. Abrams would go to town on the lens flares with as much gusto after everyone had mocked that aspect about the last movie. …

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FeaturedHigher EducationInformal EducationPrimary EducationScienceSecondary Education

Science Education – An Endangered Species?

I can’t even begin to wrap my brain around the attacks on science and science education that have been dog-piling on since the sequester began. It is as if everyone has just lost it all at once. What’s going on? Phil Plait does a nice job of detailing the latest …

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Informal EducationPop QuizScienceTechnology

Pop Quiz: Reaching Disabled Audiences

Today I had the lovely opportunity to talk with two astronomy educators who have developed an astronomy kit for the visually impaired. Think about it, astronomy, a typically visual activity, for those who do not have sight. They’ve tried to recreate the experience of seeing the constellations and Moon as …

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