June 23, 2019 Filed in: Articles
Carolyn Sealfon, PhD, teacher at University of Toronto Department of Physics and researcher at the Ronin Institute
Nancy Watt, President, Nancy Watt Communications
We would all like to build classroom communities where our students flourish. We would like our students to develop their curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, persistence and resourcefulness. As science educators, what can we learn from the arts?
In improvisational theatre (“improv”), an “ensemble” is a group of people that work together cohesively and support each other to co-create a performance, recognizing and building upon each other’s individuality and contributions. For social learners, participation in an ensemble can foster our best learning. Can we create ensembles in our classrooms? Read More...
June 08, 2019 Filed in: Articles
Roberta Tevlin, Editor OAPT Newsletter, Teacher at Danforth CTI
We need to incorporate more diverse examples of scientists in our courses. Sara Cormier (Physics Instructor at McMaster University) and I are trying to develop resources that will help teachers to do this. (If you would like to be a part of this — please send me an email!)
I started to compile a data base of good examples when I found myself completely distracted by the work of Rosalind Franklin. Her work on the X-ray crystallography of DNA fits perfectly into a lesson about the interference of light! As well as showcasing an important female scientist, an examination of her work can deepen students’ understanding of interference patterns and it highlights a very important connection between biology, chemistry and physics. I found a couple of short videos and a really simple, cheap demo that shows why the interference pattern formed by DNA provides clear evidence of its helical structure! Read More...
June 02, 2019 Filed in: Articles
Vjera Miović, Teacher at Silverthorn CI, OAPT Newsletter Volunteer
Imagine a test (and yes, it’s for marks!) during which everyone gets to see everyone else’s work, students can change, correct and update their product for a better mark, they consult each other and talk freely, and they even google information they need to solve a problem. What would you think of this assessment method if it was a physics class, or a math class? Wouldn’t that be considered cheating? And yet, my grade 9 tech students get evaluated exclusively this way. Read More...
May 26, 2019 Filed in: Articles
Philip Freeman, teacher at Richmond Secondary School (Richmond BC), Executive member BCAPT
Black holes are big news these days. Unfortunately a significant number of statements in the press are not only mistaken but wrong in ways that obscure the truly interesting and important things we know about black holes. This article hopes to clarify a number of points about what black holes are and are not. Read More...
May 16, 2019 Filed in: Articles
Brian Lim, Teacher Rosedale Heights School of the Arts, Toronto
“In the beginning…”
So starts one of the most famous and influential stories in Western civilization. Neil Degrasse Tyson continues the narrative this way:“...sometime between 12 and 16 billion years ago, all the space and all the matter and all the energy of the known universe was contained in a volume less than one-trillionth the size of the point of a pin. Conditions were so hot, the basic forces of nature that collectively describe the universe were unified. For reasons unknown, this sub-pin-pint-size cosmos began to expand…”
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