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Higher Education

A First Year as a Professor, in GIFs

A little over a year ago, I accepted a tenure track position at a small college in New England. I was… thrilled. I was really blown away by the school visit and it felt really… comfortable. I did my bachelors in physics at a small college in Pennsylvania, so I …

EducationFeminismHigher Education

Towards Better Sexual Assault Prevention Tips?

It is no secret that colleges and universities are paying more attention to sexual assault on their campuses. This school year, The Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act went into effect with a look towards better prevention and accountability for instances of campus sexual assault. The media and opinionated onlookers have …

Higher Education

What’s In A Number (Or Letter)?

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in my last two semesters of teaching (my first classroom experience after grad school.) I avoid grading. I look upon it with dread and procrastinate as much as possible. But isn’t that normal? Don’t most instructors hate to grade? I realized it most strongly at …

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, …


Shadowing a Student – Lessons Learned

I’m currently teaching at a university in the midwest where I’ve been a postdoc for over two years, but this is my first semester as an instructor. Though I’ve had experience teaching before, it was an upper level course with students self-selected for an interest in science. Or, I was …

EducationHigher EducationMoney

Student Loan Payments… into Retirement?

The cost of higher education is on everyone’s minds. The conversation tends to focus on young people who can incur massive amounts of debt in trying to keep up with the rising costs of a college degree. But a growing number of retirees, according to this Associated Press article posted on …

Higher EducationPrimary EducationScience

Inquiry First, Talk Later

The first week of classes are in the bag at my university where I’m currently teaching a class called “Foundations of Science: Physics, Earth Science, and Inquiry based Projects.” I’m teaching K-8 physics and earth science concepts primarily to education majors, but in a way that neither they nor I …

Critical ThinkingScience

A Schema for Science Literacy

For those who are fans of Blooms’s Taxonomy, you may like this schema for science literacy presented by Chris Impey at the 126th Meeting of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. This was included in a plenary session that touched on many, many aspects of science literacy and how it …


When Sexism is Subtle in Academia

We have a new journal club in our department where we cover lots of papers on topics about science and science education. We’re a pretty diverse group, and so I’m always learning and enjoying the discussions. Recently, we covered a paper called “Science faculty’s subtle gender biases favor male students” …

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 …