This past weekend I was working with some 5th-grade teachers on electricity and magnetism, and one of the great scientists that we invoke is Michael Faraday. The electricity you use on a daily basis that magically comes out of those outlets in your home is all a result of Faraday’s law of induction, the principle behind the generation of electrical energy from some kind of motion energy. (Around here, most of that comes from coal burning to boil some water and turn a turbine.) Beyond this, Faraday was known for his ability to understand and communicate science, and his tradition of bringing science demonstrations to the public was unrivaled. The Faraday Christmas Lectures that he initiated in 1826 became an annual tradition.
We’re lucky to have a new university president, Chuck Wight, who is continuing this lecture tradition, together with our Chemistry Department, here at Weber State. While this has been hosted at the University of Utah for many years when President Wight worked as a chemist and administrator there, the tradition is now brought here to our university. The CSME has no hand in this, but we’re confident that everyone should go. The event is hosted in Lind Lecture Hall 225/226 this coming Monday and Tuesday (December 16 and 17) evening, starting at 7:00 PM. Link here for more information. We hope to see you there!
You’re invited …
Center for Science and Math Education
Teacher Kit Open House
Monday, October 28th, at 4:00 PM
CSME Classroom, Lind Lecture 230, Weber State Ogden Campus
(Free parking available in W5 lot, directly east of Lind Lecture)
This Monday we are welcoming Ogden teachers who would like to peruse materials available for checkout to be used in their own classrooms. We will highlight the “toolboxes” created by the Natural History Museum of Utah and available for free checkout through the CSME. Come join us for this informal orientation, a chance to play with our kits, and time to give us feedback about your needs and future kits for us to develop.
RSVP (suggested by not required):
S4, also known as the “Science and Society Seminar Series” (but it’s more fun to say “S4″), was recently announced and is currently taking registrations. This series invites high school students to participate in a 6-week series of presentations from researchers in science, mathematics, and related fields.
This year we’ve created a program that highlights work done by Weber State faculty alongside their students, and in many cases the presentations are co-hosted by the student researchers. Topics range from molecules to microbes to astrophysics, all aimed specifically at motivated high schoolers. We’ve also limited registration to 30 participants so that there can be more interaction between participants and presenters. Our hope is that high school students can see just how close they are to making their own connections with scientists and doing this kind of research for themselves.
More information and registration is available on the S4 page. Students who attend 5 of the 6 presentations (starting on Wednesday, October 16, and continuing each Wednesday) will receive a certificate and a special science gift or book.
The CSME supports several courses and workshops for teachers, in addition to outreach to the community. Last week, we helped with a collection of family science activities, crafted by pre-service and inservice teachers in our Science Teaching Methods class. It was a nice combination of missions, using the outreach to provide an experience for our students. The evening was promoted by and hosted at the Weber County Public Library’s main branch. It was a delightful event, as you might be able to gather from some of the photos posted to our Flickr account.
Many, many years ago, the CSME had a teacher “hotline.” It was essentially a phone number — probably our main office number — that teachers could call with any question or request about science and math education. The deal was that we could then relay your request to someone else in an appropriate department. I still have a business card on our bulletin board in the CSME office that advertises this service.
We thought it would be a good idea to bring this back. Too often, a teacher has a question or an idea and just doesn’t know where to direct it. We’re offering the solution of having teachers (and other educators) sending a request to us and we’ll figure out what to do with it. Instead of the phone, though, we’re taking your queries through the form at this dedicated webpage:
As we get more questions, we’ll also better understand all the additional things that we should be offering. The simple act of making a request of any kind will give us data for what teachers in the region most need. We’ll continue to adapt both the form as we better understand what kinds of requests are coming in. (You’ll notice that we anticipated both a few reasonable kinds of requests, as well as some more unreasonable ones.)
Looking forward to hearing from you soon!