The Best Math+Science Professional Development

I have the good fortune to be attending the first of three annual sessions at the Goddard Space Center for the Pennsylvania statewide Math + Science Partnership grant. The goal is to provide teachers with phenomenal professional development. At Goddard, they’ll receive superior content instruction in one of the world’s leading learning facilities. Later in the summer, they’ll receive a weeklong intensive training on pedagogy and integration of web 2.0 tools. The work will continue through the school year with workshops, courses, and meetings held across the state. For their troubles, teachers will be compensated for their time and receive classroom materials. Ultimately, the true beneficiaries will be students across Pennsylvania who will reap the rewards of improved instruction and access to STEM resources.

And now for a little scientific humor on a Friday afternoon …

Baguette Dropped from Bird’s Beak Shuts Down the Large Hadron Collider (Really)

The Large Hadron Collider, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, just cannot catch a break. First, a coolant leak destroyed some of the magnets that guide the energy beam. Then LHC officials postponed the restart of the machine to add additional safety features. Now, a bird dropping a piece of bread on a section of the accelerator has, according to the Register, shut down the whole operation.

Read the rest of the article here, if only to catch all the Star Wars and Monty Python references in the comments section.

Encyclopedia of Life


This is one of the most ambitious and exciting projects I’ve seen … the Encyclopedia of Life is setting out to gather all information about life on our planet. Rather a daunting task – but so exciting! In fact, on their official launch date (yesterday) so many people clicked in that their servers couldn’t handle it. Good problem to have because I feel confident that they’ll be up and running again soon. Imagine the possibilities when students can get accurate information and possibly contribute what they have learned?

Ultimately, the Encyclopedia will serve as an online reference source and database for every one of the 1.8 million species that are named and known on this planet, as well as all those later discovered and described. Encyclopedia of Life will be used as both a teaching and a learning tool, helping scientists, educators, students, and the community at large gain a better understanding of this planet and all who inhabit it.