Author Archives: Paul G. Hewitt

Focus on Physics: How E = mc2 Helps Us Understand Nuclear Fission and Fusion






Nuclear physics has an undeserved reputation for being tough for students. This article may reduce this “toughness” by showing how Einstein’s familiar equation E = mc2 relates to the reductions in mass and enormous releases of energy that occur in the processes of nuclear fission and fusion. We focus not on the mass of an […]

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Health Wise: Keeping Track of Sugar






Students should consume no more than 25 g (6 tsp.) of added sugar per day, recommends the American Heart Association (AHA 2016). “Added sugars contribute to a diet that is energy dense but nutrient poor, and increase risk of developing obesity, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity-related cancers, and dental [cavities],” the recommendation says (AHA 2016). The […]

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Science 2.0: Developing the Knowledge Constructor






Our past two columns focused on the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Empowered Learner standard and Digital Citizen standard, respectively. This month, we discuss the ISTE’s Knowledge Constructor standard. When students become a Knowledge Constructor, they should be able to synthesize science information from a variety of resources into a representation of their […]

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Health Wise: Too Many Teens Have High Cholesterol






About one in five U.S. kids and teens ages 6 to 19 has abnormal cholesterol levels, according to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS 2015). And among the 16-to-19 age group, the number rises to more than one in four. “[This] is concerning because high cholesterol levels are a major factor contributing to heart […]

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The Green Room: Losing Sight of Our Stars






Making Your Teaching More Environmentally Friendly The more people there are, the more lights we use. The more lights we use to illuminate our buildings and streets, the brighter the Earth becomes at night. Author David Owen discussed the increase in this light pollution over the past 50 years in a 2007 New Yorker article. […]

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Focus on Physics: The Moon Is Falling!






Sometimes it seems like everything is in free fall—the stock market, the value of your home, even your outlook for progress in the world. And now you learn this disturbing fact: The Moon is falling! And falling directly toward Earth! But you needn’t be alarmed, because it’s been falling like this for billions of years. […]

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Science 2.0: When Students Become Digital Citizens






Modern science learning requires the use of digital tools and a shift in teaching philosophy and pedagogy. The backbone to this shift rests in a skill that we’ve not yet addressed: digital citizenship. Last month, we wrote about the International Society for Technology in Education’s (ISTE) Empowered Learner standard (www.iste.org/standards). This month, we discuss the […]

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Health Wise: If Students Injure Their Heads






In a recent anonymous online survey, KidsHealth.org (KH 2015) asked parents and coaches what they should do if a child takes a hit to the head on a playing field. The correct answer—according to numerous health associations and laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia—is that the child should immediately stop playing […]

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Focus on Physics: Skateboard Physics






As with all sports, skateboarding involves a lot of intriguing physics. I’ve marveled at the maneuvers of skilled skateboarder Alex Hewitt (my grandson). When traveling along a horizontal surface, Alex crouches and then springs upward with his skateboard to continue horizontal motion along a nearly half-meter-high elevated surface (above). He could easily do the same […]

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Science 2.0: Students as Empowered Learners






In the September issue of The Science Teacher, we wrote about the new standards for digital skills established by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Now, let’s look at how the standards can be applied to science content. This month, we discuss the Empowered Learner standard, which requires that “students leverage technology to […]

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