Author Archives: Ben Smith and Jared Mader

Enhancing Google Sheets for the Classroom

Among the most commonly used tools in the science classroom are those that allow students to collect and manipulate data, including Microsoft Excel, Graphical Analysis, and Google Sheets. This month, we focus on one of the benefits of Google Sheets that sets it apart from similar tools: the add-ons. If you’re new to add-ons, first […]

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Health Wise: Be Prepared for Opioid Overdoses

In light of the national opioid epidemic, schools need to be prepared in case a student overdoses. Consider: In 2016, 4.8% of high school seniors reported using opioids for nonmedical reasons (NIDA 2017c). From 2002 to 2015, annual opioid-related deaths grew 2.8-fold to 33,091, says the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA 2017a). More than […]

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Commentary: Reasoning Versus Post-truth

The Oxford Dictionaries word of the year for 2016 was post-truth, defined as “denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Science is not immune to appeals to emotion and belief rather than fact. To help us challenge the drift toward post-truth, the […]

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Focus on Physics: Eight Tips for New (and not so new) Teachers

Being a teacher can be a wonderful experience. Making it so is greatly aided by qualities that you can acquire. Needless to say, you must know your subject and be able to explain it well. Beyond that are traits and practices that make the difference between loving teaching and enduring teaching. Have the right attitude […]

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Health Wise: Getting Their Names Right

By definition, one’s own name is the most personal of all words. When a teacher mispronounces a student’s name, the experience can be painful and even harmful to the student’s emotional and educational well-being. Mispronounced names can add to the difficulties that English-language learners experience in classrooms, according to an Education Week article (Mitchell 2016). […]

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Science 2.0: Align Your Curriculum With the ISTE Standards

Our previous seven columns have been devoted to integrating the International Society for Technology in Education’s (ISTE) standards into the science classroom. Yet, knowing which activities align with the standards and determining where they fit within the curriculum can be challenging. This month, we provide some scaffolding to help teachers align the ISTE standards to the example […]

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Focus on Physics: The Delightful Catenary Curve

When teaching how tension and compression relate to geometrical structures such as bridges, arches, and domes, I show a picture of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris (Figure 1A), completed in the 14th century. I point out the elaborate buttresses that keep the walls from pushing outward while supporting its weight. Architects of the day […]

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Commentary: Going Beyond the Textbook

It has been said that science began “whenever and wherever [people] tried to solve the innumerable problems of life” (Sarton 1952). The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States 2013) call for the pursuit of scientific literacy for all through science instruction. This includes acknowledging the contributions to science of those whose communities have been […]

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The Green Room: How Border Walls Affect Wildlife

The proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border would significantly affect wildlife (see “On the web”). Most animals cannot get past walls that are hundreds of miles long and many meters tall. Some species along parts of the border where a wall already exists, such as jaguars and ocelots, suffer from dwindling populations and difficulty finding […]

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The Science Teacher: Call for Papers

The Science Teacher (TST) seeks manuscripts of approximately 2,000 words that describe new and creative ideas for the secondary science classroom. Manuscripts should provide practical activities related to the themes listed below. TST also encourages manuscripts outside of the listed themes. For help, see our author guidelines and annotated sample manuscript. Forensics: Solving Mysteries Through Science SUBMISSION […]

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