Science, Education, and Science Education

classroom applications

Archive for the ‘Technology in Education’ Category

March 28th, 2014 by Luann

One More Request, Mr. Gates and Mr. Duncan

I want this:

Library of Congress

Library of Congress, via Wikimedia Commons

Okay, maybe not this particular library. I want access to my Ball State University Library account; the account that went away a year or so after I was awarded my EdD.

These accounts cost money. All the while I was a student, I paid $50 per semester for this access. It was heaven. I could read almost anything anyone wrote about science, education, or science education, whenever I wanted. After I moved across the country while writing my dissertation, I could still use this access.  I loved this privilege.  My students and colleagues benefitted from my learning. But now, access is gone. It’s expensive; I understand that. Certainly, Mr. Gates, there must be a way for you to fund this.  Mr. Duncan, your pledge to support quality teaching and learning at this conference in March certainly includes supporting educators as we search for and share best practices.

I can get this, from Ball State;  this, from The Ohio State University, and this, from Wright State University. The best any can do is access to ONSITE services. I now live 2400 miles away from these universities. In the digital age, this shouldn’t be an issue.

What might you be willing to do to support this request? How could you work together with universities to allow teaching alumni to access their resources?

March 22nd, 2014 by Luann


I’ve been pretty amused by the mania to turn our science and math curricula into “STEM.”

My path to the science classroom was unconventional. I took my Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from The Ohio State University straight to a chemistry lab. I used atomic absorption spectroscopy, gas chromatography, and Kjeldahl digestions to analyze everything from the protein content in alfalfa to pesticide residues in soil. I had to be creative. I had to invent things. I had to mess things up, to do things that didn’t work, and then I had to make them work. Then, I ran the quality control department in a food production facility (human, this time.) If someone had gotten sick or died from consuming our product, I would have been responsible. I got pretty good at creative troubleshooting. I left that job when our first son was born. A bit bored, I joined up with 3 other scientists and a salesman to start a company. We collected soil and crop samples from dairy and hog farmers, analyzed the samples for nutrients, and then manufactured custom fertilizer for the soils and nutritional supplements for the animals based on the feeds they grew. I remained a partner until our last child was ready for preschool. I was at work until about 4 hours before his birth. I returned to work with baby in tow when he was 5 days old. But I digress. And, by the way, was any of this STEM?

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December 12th, 2013 by Luann

Candy 2013: A First Adventure into PBL

For years, my chemistry classes have made candy right before winter break. In years past, we spent a day investigating solutions, then I handed out a recipe and we made the candy. This year, with the blessings of  grant from NBPTS to investigate project based learning, I began to learn how to integrate content into a project. I’m working on using more true PBL instead of simply asking students to do projects. In addition to the integration of academic content into making candy, students blogged about their learning and their work. Some students worked in Evernote and when they finished, posted their work using is now a paid app, and the features available for free may change before we use it again. Commenting must be done through Disqus, yet another sign-up and sign-in, so most students opted not to use it. I’m not going to lie – getting kids set up on Blogger through their school Google apps accounts was a challenge, and I’m on the hunt for something better. Next year, I will consider WordPress unless I find something better in the meantime.

Sophia C.
Shawna D.
Marcus D.
Hap F.
Makayla G.
Robert H.
Kearsten H.
Isabel K.
Tallan K.
Victor L.
Alex P-C.
Charlette Q.
Annika R.
Devin R.
Joscelynne S.
Emily T.
Sierra Y.
Ryanne B.
Jacob B.
Bronwyn B.
Donovan B.
Grace B.
Calliope B.
Dylan C.
Micheal E.
Klarissa E.
Marcus G
Alexis G.
Luke H.
Cuyler H.
Morgan J.
Jade L.
Kyle L.
Jason M.
Andrew M.
Ivette M.
Camile R.
Alisha S.
Jessica S.
Benjamin U.
Matthew W.
Maria E.
Devon E.
Lindsay G.
Gage H.
Sandra V-J.
Robert M.
Sasha P.
Shane R.
Martha G.
Luis S.
Makenna S.
Chantel S.
Esmerelda T-C.
Madison Z.
Jessica M.
Haley W.
Brad A.
Kayla B.
Skyler C.
Rachel C.
McKenna C.
Kylee D.
Ashyton F.
Colin G.
Jessica J.
Taylor L.
Rosa N.
Tori W.
Tyler P.
Jose P.
Chase P.
Deanna R.
Eduardo R.
Owen S.
Paige S.
Colin S.
Kylie T.
Keeghan V.
Joseph Watson!!!
Eugene W.
February 14th, 2013 by Luann

Creativity and Science, Part 1

I’m leaving tomorrow to attend Learning and the Brain’s Educating for Creative Minds conference.

I’ve been creative before.  Several of my quilts were chosen for an exhibit at an art museum


in Ohio. I’ve been creative in my classroom for years. It takes a great deal of creativity to keep teenagers engaged as they learn an abstract subject such as chemistry. I’ve created lessons, labs, projects, presentations, lab stations, grant proposals, graphics, models, rubrics, assessments, and a few bazillion things I’ve already forgotten about. Oh, and a dissertation, the production of which is fundamental to my question: What does it mean to be creative in science?

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June 30th, 2012 by Luann

Becoming an Accomplished Teacher

This post was inspired by a Twitter conversation with @GetUpStandUp2 and @kiwigirl58 in which I learned that Randi Weingarten,

John Dewey in 1902

John Dewey in 1902

president of the American Federation of Teachers, stated in an interview with Walter Isaccson, (described here in the Atlantic) that teachers should have to pass a bar exam. This bar exam would not be merely a test,but would also have a “clinical component.”  The discussion, which eventually included a few remarks from Randi, focused on how we might improve teacher quality. Then, @Nancy Flanagan of Teacher in a Strange Land inspired me to actually blog again. (If you’re not following these people, you should be.) Here are my thoughts, as one who’s been developed professionally in a number of ways, on becoming an accomplished teacher. Stay with me here……

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May 24th, 2012 by Luann

Scavenging For Science

Many years ago, I needed something engaging for AP Chemistry students once their exam was over.  I found a scavenger hunt, hard copy as this was the olden days, handed out by the late Dr. Cliff Schrader at a conference.  I’m forever grateful to Cliff for so many things he gave out freely to anyone who asked.  Among so many other things, he taught me to share.

I reworked the list a little to reflect some things my students knew or in which they had shown interest.  The first few years, the kids worked in groups and competed to see which group could collect the most items the most quickly.

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April 14th, 2012 by Luann

Will I “Flip” my Classroom?

Truth is, I already did. Years ago.

About 2 years into my career, I figured out that if students arrived in class already knowing something about the day’s learning, they took away a deeper, more satisfying, understanding. We were able to use class time differently, in ways that helped us learn more authentically.

I did not need standardized tests, value-added evaluations, or clever new names for the method to figure this out, by the way.

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March 19th, 2012 by Luann

Buh-bye, Calendar

This post has little to do with science, or education.  It has everything to do with organizing my work, my students, and my life.

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March 11th, 2012 by Luann

Adoption, 2012 style

I’ve worked in 5 districts in 23 years.  Our current adoption will be my 4th experience. The availability of electronic delivery and open source materials have added interesting options to our decision-making. First, I present lists and links to content, including sources for inquiry and engineering design resources. I’ve saved my thoughts on devices until the end.

Please comment including any other resources you’d consider if you were us.  Also, please comment on individual resources if you have experience or thoughts that might help us make a decision.  This list does not include all of the traditional hard-copy textbooks and support materials we’ve been sent.  I don’t want this post to take a year to read.

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October 10th, 2011 by Luann

Writing and the Lab Report

Oregon requires students to complete an inquiry work sample (here’s the one we will use this year) at some time during high school.  Our classes function on an inquiry basis at some level almost daily.  I’ve played with many strategies to help students write about their work in a manner that facilitates their learning while documenting their work in a manner that survives the scrutiny of a scientific peer review.

Most recently, I’ve incorporated the work began with Linda Christensen (from Lewis and Clark) and the Oregon Writing Project. Freshmen begin keeping all lab and inquiry work in a bound theme book, AKA fondly as “my lab book.” My vision for the appearance of student lab books has morphed over the years.  Some things change very little, though, because good science is good science and good science writing is good science writing. At my current school, I’m blessed with like-minded colleagues who have helped me refine my vision as it is shared in this post. Here’s our current plan…..

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