Continuing Change - Update

For the last two years, the district I worked for has been tirelessly working toward curriculum changes that would better line up with the new state science standards. Michigan hasn’t officially adopted NGSS, instead adopting the Michigan Science Standards (based on NGSS). The Michigan Science Standards (MSS) has a lot of similarities with NGSS in terms of how we would teach the content.

The Chemistry of Outer Space

A variety of activities performed at a science camp that relate to the chemistry of the solar system are reported. These activities could prove useful in the chemistry curriculum or in planning for National Chemistry Week in 2018, the theme of which is Chemistry is Out of This World!

The Chemistry of Weight Loss

If you want to lose weight, you have to burn calories. Anyone who has gone on a diet knows this. But when someone loses weight, have you ever wondered where the lost mass goes?


What is Reasoning?

I attended a professional development session on the NGSS earlier this week by Brett Moulding and Nicole Paulson based on the book they wrote with Rodger Bybee, A Vision and Plan for Science Teaching and Learning. The authors propose the “gathering-reasoning-communicating” (GRC) structure as a simplified way of thinking about the Science and Engineering Practices. Reasoning is the keystone of the GRC structure and the primary thing we want science students to be doing. “Gathering” provides the raw materials for reasoning and “communicating” helps us know that reasoning has taken place.

Tribute to Alex Johnstone

I am sad to relay that Alex Johnstone died just before Christmas at age 89. I have written a short tribute to him because although I never knew him, he helped me make sense of why most of the time we fail, and that when we succeed... it is a triumphal moment!