Contact Victor Williamson with your questions about simulator based experiential education programs for your school.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Few Comparisons of Teaching Now and Then. Space and Science News. The Imaginarium

Hello Troops,
     Another first for this old warhorse of a teacher comes tomorrow.  For the first time in nearly 24 years I'll be taking a sixth grade class on a field trip.  I've come full circle.  My last field trip, in the spring of 1990, was to Hogle Zoo and Hansen Planetarium.  My first field trip back in the trenches will be to Clark Planetarium, the successor to Hansen Planetarium.
     Today's teachers have it both easier and harder than they did when I started teaching.  Computers and technology have made the job easier.  Information is at our fingertips.  With a few keystrokes, I can find a worksheet or lesson plan on nearly every subject imaginable.  Recording keeping and tracking student progress is much easier.
     Teachers have it harder because of the government's heavy handed emphasis on nationalized standards testing.  The freedom teachers once had to modify their curriculum as needed is gone.  Now we've no choice but to structure everything we say and do around the state core requirements.           Teaching is becoming assembly line work. The child rolls down the conveyer belt where teachers stand ready to bolt and screw knowledge into them, while all the time hoping the stern and stout quality control woman at the end of the line stamps them 'educated' and releases them into the world.
     I enjoy working at a charter school.  Charter schools have more freedom to chart their own course so its like I'm still able to take the best from both worlds.  Our sixth graders get their math and science just like any district school, but in addition to the basics, they get a full hour of science and social students every day all year long.  They get one hour of a foreign language every day.  It is a good, well rounded education that doesn't sacrifice the arts and humanities on the alter of high stakes tests.
    I believe charter schools play an important part in Utah's educational smorgasbord.  They give parents and students a choice, and having choices is the essence of democracy and capitalism.

Mr. Williamson

A long time Space Center volunteer created a video for a contest sponsored by EFtours to get people to China for free next year.  It is based on the concept of 'if I had unlimited money to start up a business, what would I make and why would it be important to me.  She did a great job.  I asked her if I could share the video with you.  

The Fastest Train in the World

Japan currently has the fastest train in the world.

Elon Musk may dream of a Hyperloop future where we zip through pneumatic tubes from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 35 minutes. But it's still just a dream.
Across the Pacific, they're getting things done.
Japan Rail is rolling out a brand-new train that can hit 311 miles per hour. It's called the JR Tokai L0 Series Shinkansen, and as it's magnetically levitated, it hovers above the track for smooth, frictionless travel in any weather.  Read More

Do Miniature Wormholes make Quantum Entanglement Possible?

I know this sounds complicated, but give it a read.  The mystery of quantum entanglement must be solved.  It could help open the door to nearly instantanious transportation anywhere in the universe.

From Quarks to Quasars
Quantum entanglement (also known as “spooky action at a distance”) is one of the most bizarre things we see happening with particle interactions on a microscale. Instead of acting as one solitary particle, certain pairs act as one – always knowing what the other is doing (and changing based on the characteristics of its partner) – despite being located vast distances apart. Obviously, this is problematic. Relativity says that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. Yet, that’s exactly what entangled particles are doing – passing along information at speeds far exceeding light-speed travel – the universal speed limit. We shouldn’t rush to make adjustments to general relativity though, as one hypothesis has been put forth that combines quantum entanglement with a darling (yet highly theoretical) concept – Einstein-Rosen bridges (commonly known as wormholes).  Read More

Science Summary of The Week

➤ Natural Gears:
➤ Reversing Aged Cells:
➤ Artificial Eggs:
➤ Artificial Memories:
➤ Thinnest Glass:
➤ Voyager Spacecraft:
➤ Mars Trip:
➤ Super Bacterium:
➤ Hand Control Genes:
➤ Meteorite Molecules:

Voyager I reaches Interstellar Space, and What it Hears Will Amaze You

Watch this video and listen to the eerie sounds of space...

Thanks to NASA's far-flung Voyager 1 spacecraft, now exploring the final frontier beyond our solar system, humanity can tune into the sounds of interstellar space.
Scientists announced today (Sept. 12) that Voyager 1 left the solar system in August 2012 after 35 years of spaceflight, making it the first craft ever to reach interstellar space. No other manmade object has ever travelled so far away from its home planet.
To mark the occasion, NASA unveiled the first Voyager 1 recording of the sound of interstellar space, offering the probe's strange, otherwordly take on its new frontier. The sounds are produced by the vibration of dense plasma, or ionized gas; they were captured by the probe's plasma wave instrument, NASA officials wrote in a video description. [Voyager 1's Journey to Interstellar Space: A Photo Tour]    Read More

The Imaginarium
The Ordinary, skewed toward Extraordinary

A science teacher's birthday cake

Not a good place for that particular advertisement

A Pacman skelaton

Look what grandma found

1 comment:

Bryan Frandsen said...

The sound at the end of the voyager video sounds like it should be in The Legend of Zelda.