Galaxy Zoologists Wanted!

Here's a project in need of (part-time) volunteers.  Classifying galaxies.  Yep, you too can become a galactic zoologist!  You can find a short teaser on the Astronomy Picture of the Day web site (APOD Oct 26, 2009) with more details at the official Galaxy Zoo web site.  Makes a good family game with older kids, too.  How would you classify that galaxy?

Inquiry Based Science Lessons

Another generic resource, also from the NSTA elementary mailing list.  The issue of using inquiry in science lessons is a big deal and also came up a recent School Leadership Team meeting.  Inquiry does, of course, get used, but it's always a tough item since it is easy to get "off script" when using a lesson plan that allows student-driven inquiry.  At the same time, it's hard to really teach science without it.  The issue in NYC, and probably many other places, is that since the city has instituted standardized science testing, the test is naturally content based. 

Science Resources for Teachers

Today I am at jury duty here in King's County.  That means, for now anyway, that I'm waiting for my name to be called while the machinations of justice do their thing somewhere else in the building.  But the court system has moved into the modern age, at least in some ways, like providing free wifi here in the jury assembly room.  So I can catch up on a little reading from the National Science Teachers Assocation (NSTA) elementary level mailing list.

Historical Videos of Nuclear Tests

The national Nuclear Security Administration's Nevad Site Office has made available a number of historically important videos for nuclear tests from the 1940s through the 1960s.  Apart from our common morbid fascination with things that go boom, you can always think of splicing these in as special effects for your next July 4th videos....

Videos at

Oobleck - It's not just for Dr. Seuss Anymore

Oobleck is actually more than just a made-up name for the stuff in the Dr. Seuss book, it's the name now applied to a whole class of fluids which display what is called "shear thickening." 

"Recent" Planetary Collision around nearby Star

Recent, is of course, relative to the timescale involved.  In the case of planetary collisions and their aftermath, that can be a very long time, like, tens of millions of years.  So while very interesting, this isn't a train wreck (or planetary wreck) in progress, but the aftermath of one that is still settling.

Exploring the Moon Educator Guide

Okay, this is not just for you, but so I won't forget about it.  NASA has put together a guide for learning about the moon.  Looking for something to occupy your kids (ahem, that applies whether you are a teacher or a parent), then this might be interesting.

White House Star Party

Somehow this didn't hit any of the news feeds I link to, but the International Dark Sky Association is hosting a star party/star gazing session for middle school students on October 7.  The press release can be found here:  Time to update those feeds....
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