Search This Blog

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Case Study: Re-focus Schools to More Creativity

There is a really interesting article and news report on Effingham High School, which is in mid-Illinois, and how student creativity and global citizenry is a school-wide focus. This change in school culture has been evolving for the past decade or more, largely due to the efforts of my friend and fellow Varkey Teacher Ambassador (and top 10 finalist for the 2016 Global Teacher Prize) Joe Fatheree. Check it out - I am in agreement with this approach!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Big Data - Are you ready for it???

This is a really good article and video from Northwestern (a few friends in the video, who have been leading the charge on this for a number of years already!). Big data is already here, and for those of you who go into academia, you will be learning how to handle this and work with it in all types of research! Check it out!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

A new Chem-Phys video! How does it compare to the classic 'Chem-Phys is so hot'?!

Thanks for the following video: Ryan, Evan, and Kobi! Class of 2016!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Good introductions to Quantum Mechanics

The two video links below allow you to watch the development of early quantum theory, with names like Planck, Einstein, Rutherford and Bohr being presented. These are well done and hopefully shed some light on the subject!

Part 1:

Part 2:

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Some potions, fire, and bangs - science in Evanston!

Hello, class 1/2 at St. Michael's!! We are here in Evanston, Illinois, USA, and we have done some science experiments for you. Everything from flaming chemicals to slime to some small bangs...we hope you enjoy it, and as you learn more science you will begin to figure out how these work! Keep asking questions, which is what scientists have to do, and never stop being curious about how things work!

Monday, May 16, 2016

New technique for discovering dark, dwarf galaxies

At my alma mater, UIUC, researchers have discovered a dwarf galaxy some 4 billion light years away from earth, which emits little, if any, visible light, by using gravitational lensing of a even more distant galaxy that is 'behind' the dwarf galaxy. This technique, they think, will allow for more dwarf galaxy discoveries, and also allow astronomers to test dark matter models, which these galaxies should fall under since they are not in the visible part of the spectrum. dark matter is, of course, one of THE open questions in all of physics, and perhaps this new technique can shed some new light on the topic. (ouch, I know this pun is painful..I'm just not bright enough to come up with any others...)

Potions and going back in time to see how science started!!

This is a video put together in response to some questions from Gus at St. Michael's! It shows a bit about potions, and a little on two early scientists, Aristotle and Galileo. Galileo especially helped start modern science because of his use of observations and experiments. Prior to Galileo, Aristotle (from ancient Greece) had made use of philosophy to think about how the world works...this is not entirely how modern science works, but it began a way of thinking about Nature and how it works!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Thinking about Time and Time Machines...

Here are some thoughts from Shanti, Claire and Atticus, about time machines. Unfortunately, modern science don't think time travel is possible, but there is a neat way of thinking about seeing things in the past! Check out this video and see what we mean!

We hope all is great 'down under!'

Learning some science with Evanston seniors!

This goes out to all the kids in Mr. Williams's classes in Australia, from us in Evanston, Illinois, USA!! Thank you for your letters and questions. We have some fun science activities and experiments you might be able to try! From Nick, Harry, Nathan, and Mitchell!

Making video games with Scratch - for St. Michael's Primary!!

Hello, from Evanston, Illinois, USA! Murielle, a high school senior, liked the letters that asked about computers and games, so she wrote her own game using something called Scratch! Check out Murielle's game here. You can even see what her 'code' looks like...this is the program that makes the game work. Scratch is something that uses puzzle pieces to learn how to make programs, so it is something you can try! It is free and on the Internet, at

Some cool Science for St. Michael's 1/2 class!

G'day! From Evanston, Illinois, in the USA. We are in the twelfth grade and wanted to show you some cool science, some of which you might want to try! Thank you for sending the wonderful cards with your questions, especially Gus!
- From Nora, Emma, Julia and Christian (not your teacher!)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Richard and Logan's "Robot" to St. Michael's Primary School

Hello Inquiring Students,

Hopefully you all enjoyed the clip of the Logan Bot 3000. What we did today in class is very similar to what professionals do when they make robots that are told what to do by computers. Computers give robots and other machinery very specific directions in computer codes. Such codes come in many different languages as do the ones us humans use to speak. However coding languages do not have sentences, they look like this:

If anyone of you is interested in learning how to make robots like the ones in the videos below, I suggest you take computer science (CS) classes. In a CS class you will learn how to construct code in different languages the same way people make Legos and puzzles. Have fun with the rest of your education and never stop asking questions!

(Skip to 1:00 to see the human robot)