Education

Beyond Benign

Environmental studies can be included in any science curriculum.  Whether you are looking for lessons to incorporate ideas related to "green chemistry" or you are looking to use safer methods and materials in the laboratory, you will find many great resources at this site.  There are new labs and also replacement labs for some of those familar activities that we shouldn't be doing anymore.   Th

SCARY Halloween fun!

The ACS Chem Clubs Web site offers an assortment of ideas to spice up your lesson plans near Halloween.  There are many recommended demonstrations including using a Jack-O-Lantern with different color flames or smoke coming out of it.  There are activities for dressing up like elements and testing candy just to mention a couple. 

Using MOOCs to Create a Flipped Classroom

Universities, community colleges, and high schools can use MOOCs to create an environment to enhance student learning.  Last fall a professor at San Jose State used recorded MOOC lectures in an introductory electrical engineering course to create a flipped classroom.  Students passed at a much higher rate than usual—91%, compared with 59% and 55% in two other, more traditional sections of the s

The Half-Life of Facts: Why Everything We Know has an Expiration Date

Samuel Arbesman, a mathematician and network scientist, uses the idea a half-life as an analogy for the changes in human knowledge that science brings. He discusses both the changing rate at which new science is done and the speed at which old results are replaced by newer ones. The analogy is far from perfect, but it emphasizes some critically important aspects of the processes of science.

Public Defender: Diane Ravitch Takes on a Movement

The respected education reformer Diane Ravitch, previously one of the major architects and proponents of No Child Left Behind, has not only taken a new tack, but reversed course. With her 2011 book, she became a leading voice critical of the Obama-Duncan version, Race to the Top. This essay by David Denby describes her evolution.

Energy for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines

In an attempt to get at least a little discussion of science policy into the Obama-McCain campaign of 2008, Richard Muller wrote "Physics for Future Presidents" and offered a popular course at UC Berkeley with the same title. While nearly all of the issues he raised were ignored by the campaigns and during the subsequent four years, he has returned with a book focused just on energy science and related issues.