Author Archives: Michael E. Bratsis

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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Science 2.0: Communicating Science Creatively

We’ve been covering the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards in every issue since September. This month, we examine the final standard, called Creative Communicator, which requires students to communicate effectively and creatively express themselves (ISTE 2016). The science curriculum provides opportunities for students to express their understanding of concepts. Science involves more […]

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Career of the Month: Fire Protection Engineer

Fire protection engineers help protect people from fire and explosion hazards by ensuring that buildings have adequate exits, that flammable substances are controlled, and that everyone operating near such hazards takes necessary precautions. Nancy Pearce is a fire protection engineer for the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA). Work overview. Many fire engineers work behind the […]

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The Green Room: How Climate Change Affects Our Diet

Last year was the warmest year on record. Consequences of a warmer world include melting glaciers, rising sea levels, droughts, flooding, heat waves, and extreme weather. But how does climate change affect our food? Time magazine describes a “climate-change diet” that may force us to give up some popular foods made scarce by warmer temperatures […]

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Focus on Physics: Teaching Physics as the Rules of Nature

We all know that to enjoy a game, you must know the rules of the game. Likewise, to appreciate—and even comprehend—your environment, you must understand the rules of nature. Physics is the study of these rules, which show how everything in nature is beautifully interconnected. Physics taught as the rules of nature can be among […]

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