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December 2009

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Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
Volume 53, Number 4 December 2009
CAST 2009:
Inside:
• Award Winners • Pictures Teacher-Submitted Articles
The Official Newsletter of the Science Teachers Association of Texas 1
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Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
About Us
We are STAT, the Science Teachers Association of Texas. STAT is committed to the enhancement of the teaching of science in Texas at all levels and in all science disciplines. For STAT Position Statements, go to: http://www.statweb.org/news/position.php STAT is: o A statewide organization of elementary, middle level, and high school teachers, college educators, supervisors of science, and others dedicated to maintaining the highest levels of science and education in our schools. o A chapter of the National Science Teachers Association o Visit the NSTA site STAT seeks to: o Serve as a unified voice for the science teachers of the state. o Keep science teachers and other members informed about current trends in science education. o Provide opportunities for members to examine techonology, curriculum, materials, and services. o Inform members of local, state and national meetings, conferences, seminars and workshops related to sciences. o Cooperate with other science oriented organizations and teacher associations in the promotion of teaching of science. History: STAT, Science Teachers Association of Texas, was formally organized in 1957 during the 4th Annual Conference for the Advancement of Science & Mathematics Teaching (CASMT). STAT membership is more than 6,000 strong!
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Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
Contacts Elected Officers ............................................4 Appointed Positions ....................................4 Affiliate Congress ........................................5 Regional Directors .......................................6 Texas State Board of Education..................7 President’s Message .........................................8 Calendar............................................................10 Regional Reports .............................................11 Affiliate News ..................................................15 CAST 2009 Retrospective...............................17 New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax?........21 Seven Senses that All Effective Teachers Have ..................................................22 Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”.........23
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Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
Appointed Positions STAT Office
Mailing Address: 5750 Balcones Dr., Ste 201 Austin, TX 78731 Phone: (512) 491-6685 Fax: (512) 873-7423
www.statweb.org stat@bizaustin.rr.com
Elected Officers
President: Patsy Magee
(409) 617-5054 pmagee@beaumont.k12.tx.us
Past President: Michael Baldwin
(956) 548-8246 lbaldwin@rgv.rr.com
President-Elect: Joel Palmer
(972) 882-7388 jpalmer59@gmail.com
Treasurer: Laurel Frank
(281) 232-2025 lfrank@magnoliaisd.org
Vice President: Ross Ann Hill
(806) 892-1900 rahill@idalouisd.net
Secretary: Karen Jo Matsler
(817) 483-7251 kjmatsler@gmail.com
Executive Director: Chuck Hempstead
(512) 491-6685 stat@bizaustin.rr.com
Texas Science Teacher Editor: Joel Palmer
(972) 882-7388 jpalmer@mesquiteisd.org
CAST Exhibits Manager & Advertising Manager: Frank Butcher
(281)424-1230 frank.butcher@comcast.net
STATellite Editor: Jon Rodriguez
(512) 491-6685 stat@bizaustin.rr.com
TEA Representative: Kenn Heydrick
(512) 463-1827 Kenn.Heydrick@tea.state.tx.us 4
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Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
Integrated Science Educators of Texas
chenry1@satx.rr.com
Associated Chemistry Teachers of Texas Rhonda Alexander
rhondaalex@gmail.com
ACT
Informal Science Education Association
kiki@corrywood.net
ISEA
Kiki Corry
ISET
Texas Association of Biology Teachers
hewittkaren@yahoo.com
TABT
Texas Association for Environmental Education
swall@gccisd.net
TAEE
Carole Henry
Karen Hewitt
Sally Wall
Texas Council of Elementary Science
mv12@bcm.edu
TCES
Texas Earth Science Teachers Association
dvalenti@houstonisd.org
TESTA
Texas Marine Educators Association
marolyn.smith@yahoo.com
TMEA
Michael Vu
Diann Valentine
Marolyn Smith
Texas Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers
Hugh_Henderson@birdville.k12.tx.us
TSAAPT
Texas Science Education Leadership Association
DrTTalley@comcast.net
TSELA
Hugh Henderson
Terry Talley
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Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
Georgeanna Adams-Molina 3332 Montgomery Rd. Huntsville, TX 77340 E-mail Donna Wise 1909 N. Longview Street Kilgore, TX 75662 E-mail Robert A. Soper 300 Hollywood Dr. Edinburg, TX 75839 E-mail Lola Grundy 15222 Reales Drive Corpus Christi, TX 78418 E-mail Catherine W. Porter 308 Welch Palacios, TX 77465 E-mail Mary Ingle 7145 W. Tidwell Road Houston, TX 77092-2096 E-mail Mike Hoke 1802 W Rein Orange, TX 77630 E-mail Roxanne Minix-Wilkins 1130 Skipwith St. Beaumont, TX 77705 E-mail
Region 6
Gary Mabry 2110 Marsalis St. Abilene, TX 79603 E-mail Jerita Taylor P.O. Box 390 Bronte, TX 76933 E-mail Bobbette Doerrie 13925 CR B Booker, TX 79005 E-mail Cathy Box P.O. Box 698 Tahoka, TX 79373 E-mail Martha Alexander 5006 Castleford Rd. Midland, TX 79705 E-mail James and Dusty Milson 252 Viking El Paso, TX 79912 E-mail Mary Poarch 1425 Wilshire Ave. San Antonio, TX 78209 E-mail Shari Hiltbrand 1330 Augusta #20 Houston, TX 77057 E-mail
Region 14
Region 7
Region 15
Region 1
Region 8
Region 16
Vacant
Tanys Gene James 1625 Rodgers Dr. Graham, TX 76450 E-mail Bill Neal 6231 Woodcrest Ln Dallas, TX 75214 E-mail Becky Yarbrough 3001 North Freeway Fort Worth, Tx 76106 E-mail Jeanine Wolf 3680 CR 269 Oglesby, TX 76561 E-mail Dr. Barbara ten Brink 1410 W. 29th Street Austin, TX 78703 E-mail
Region 2
Region 9
Region 17
Region 3
Region 10
Region 18
Region 4
Region 11
Region 19
Co-Region 5
Region 12
Region 20
Co-Region 5
Region 13
Region 21
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Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
Gail Lowe, Chair Lawrence A. Allen, Jr., Vice Chair Terri Leo, Secretary
SBOE District 1 - Rene Nuñez
1521 Upson Dr. El Paso, TX 79902 (915) 351-9923 (512) 936-4319 fax
William B. Travis Building 1701 North Congress Avenue Austin, Texas 78701-1494
SBOE District 9 - Don McLeroy
9277 Brookwater Cir. College Station, TX 77845 (979) 255-2538 (979) 846-1174 fax 22123 Skyridge Ln. Richmond, TX 77469 (512) 463-9007 (512) 936-4319 fax
SBOE District 2 - Mary Helen Berlanga
2727 Morgan Ave. Corpus Christi, TX 78405 (361) 881-1000 (361) 881-1028 fax 205 N Presa, Ste B 200 San Antonio, TX 78205 (210) 226-7106 (210) 226-7104 fax 4302 Grapevine Houston, TX 77045 (713) 433-4643 (713) 556-7243 fax
SBOE District 10 - Cynthia Nolan Dunbar
SBOE District 3- Rick Agosto
SBOE District 11 - Patricia Hardy
900 N. Elm Weatherford, TX 76086 (817) 598-2968 (817) 598-2833 fax
SBOE District 4 - Lawrence A. Allen, Jr.
SBOE District 12 - Geraldine Miller
1100 Providence Tower West Dallas, TX 75244 (972) 419-4000 (214) 552-8560 fax PO Box 763337 Dallas, TX 75376 (214) 333-9575 (214) 339-9242 fax
SBOE District 5- Ken Mercer
PO Box 781301 San Antonio, TX 78278 (512) 463-9007 (512) 936-7319 fax
SBOE District 13 - Mavis B. Knight
SBOE District 6 - Terri Leo
23516 Twin Oaks Dr. RR#5 Spring, TX 77389 (281) 257-0832 fax (call first) 2165 North St. Beaumont, TX 77701 (409) 835-3808
SBOE District 14 - Gail Lowe
SBOE District 7 - David Bradley
11 Chris Ave. Lampasas, TX 76550 (512) 556-6262 (512) 556-3278 fax PO Box 1979 Lubbock, TX 79408 (806) 744-3232 (806) 744-2211 fax
SBOE District 15 - Bob Craig
SBOE District 8 - Barbara Cargill
61 W. Wedgemere Cir. The Woodlands, TX 77381 (281) 465-8095
Need to find your representative? Search by zip code at:
http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us
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Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
A Message from President Magee
“Cruising the Currents of Science,” CAST 2009, is now a memory.
I hope you got something from CAST 2009 to help you “cruise” and carry your science classes forward. In spite of the unique setbacks the Galveston CAST Committee encountered – HURRICANE IKE – they delivered an outstanding CAST – including glorious weather! To see pictures of some of the fun, click here! Who would have thought that almost 6,000 Science Educators would invade Galveston Island at the same time? There was unbelievable science taking place all over Galveston Island! Workshops, field trips, short courses, exhibits, speakers, socials, and tons of science educators networking literally took over Galveston Island in an extraordinary beach setting. I spent most of my conference time running from one activity to the next and meeting lots of wonderful people. Science educators are truly the most exciting, interesting and fun group of people you can be with! I would like to thank everyone that helped make CAST 2009 possible and there were many! We could never have gotten this conference going without the hard work of Mike Baldwin (STAT Past-President) and his committee – in spite of Hurricane Ike! Thank you! There were many people working behind the scenes on committees to make the conference run smoothly. (No registration lines this year!) I thank each of you for giving your time! Each workshop, short course, field trip presenter, and speaker had a major impact on the success of this conference. Thank you! (In spite of 6,000 teachers trying to find a place to go!) All the vendors that exhibited the newest in science equipment and materials made the exhibit hall a great place to learn more about successful science. Thank you! Each of the STAT Affiliates had wonderful strands and luncheons to help science teachers receive up to date science content and pedagogy. Thank you! The Administrator strand presented important science in formation and was well attended by Administrators – learning how to better promote science in their own District. Thank you! There were so many to thank, that I can only say thank you to anyone that helped or stepped in to make the Galveston Conference happen. A special thank you to the CAST 2010 group that worked tirelessly to make the Galveston CAST work, while learning about what they will be expected to do next year – thank you!
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Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
Message from the President
Another special thank you to Chuck Hempstead and his team. They worked continuously before, during and will continue to work to finish the Galveston just in time to begin again on CAST 2010. Thank you! It would be impossible for STAT to have a quality conference without them. By now, you should have had the opportunity to reflect and express the things that need work for CAST 2010. An evaluation went out by STAT flash to all registered conference attendees by email. Please fill out the evaluation and return it as soon as possible. I have boxes (and boxes) of evaluations that were done at the conference. The CAST 2010 committee will be busy reading and working to make CAST 2010 in Houston a great conference for you while addressing those issues you have brought to our attention. At the conference, I was privileged to meet and hear some of the most interesting exciting science experts! Each of them brought a unique science piece to the conference. I enjoyed hearing each of them, but one left me with a thought that has lingered in my mind. I have heard Dr. Bernard Harris speak to students several times. His message for students is about motivation, which is timely and critical to our students. However, his message to teachers at CAST was probably more important. He asked the teachers in the room “How does a student get motivated if you as a teacher are not motivated?” His message made me think! I realized that if we want students to become scientists we must do something in our classes to motivate them and that motivation must come from us as their science teachers! Whatever message you took back, I hope it has resulted in a renewed enthusiasm and passion for your and your classes! Start planning now for next year! CAST 2010 (Houston) is coming! We hope to see you there! We are planning a great conference and know you will enjoy participating in “Science in the City!”
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Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
December 2009
NSTA Area Conference December 3 - 5, 2009 Phoenix, AZ
October 2010
Rio Grande Balley Science Conference October 9 - 10, 2010 Mercedes, TX NSTA Area Conference October 28 - 30. 2010 Kansas City, MO
November 2010
CAST 2010 November 11 - 13, 2010 Houston, TX NSTA Area Conference November 11 - 13, 2010 Baltimore, MD
January 2010
Region 10/11 Mini-CAST January 23, 2010 Colleyville, Texas
February 2010
Region 4 Mini-CAST February 20, 2010 Houston, Texas
March 2010
NSTA National Conference March 18 - 21, 2010 Philadelphia, PA
July 2010
TESTA Iceland Trip July 19 - 25, 2010 Iceland
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Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
Regional Reports
Region I
by Bob Soper, Region I Director The Rio Grande Valley Science Association held its 22nd Annual Conference on Friday and Saturday, October 9-10, at the South Texas ISD High Schools in Mercedes. Friday our featured speaker, Dr. David Dilcher, one of the foremost paleobotanists in the world, spoke to two different groups. Friday morning at 10 AM, Dr. Dilcher spoke to about 125 AP Biology students from Edinburg, PSJA, and South Texas ISD’s in the Biblioteca Los Americos auditorium of South Texas ISD. Friday evening at 7:30 PM Dr. Dilcher spoke to over 100 people from the community at large. Both of these events were/ are free of charge. Our goal, as again in this case, is to bring in internationally known speakers to the students and citizens of the Rio Grande Valley. Saturday saw about 400 teachers gather at the two high schools to attend the various workshops and view exhibits. The RGV SA Conference featured about 80 workshops and 50 exhibitors during the day. Mike Baldwin, who was then STAT President, gave the opening address in lieu of participation from TEA. The participants enjoyed a hot breakfast and a hot lunch to energize them during the day. Door prizes and CEU certificates were to be had at the end of the day. Dr. Dilcher gave two more talks during the day for teachers. The superintendent of South Texas ISD (Dr. Marla Guerra), Principals/ Asst. Principals from the two high schools, and students were involved in helping us put on another successful Conference. In the evening, those presentors and exhibitors remaining, along with RGV SA Board members and Dr. Dilcher, “retired” to Nuevo Progresso, Mexico, for a gala dinner at one of the local restaurants. As reported previously, the RGV SA sponsored a week-long summer science camp for elementary girls in June for about 25 young ladies. This month (December), the RGV SA will sponsor two one-day workshops by NASA for teachers of the Region I area. In January, Dr. Craig Wilson of TAMU, will present a one day workshop for the RGV SA. We will also be looking forward to choosing the Teacher of the Year in science for elementary, middle, and high school and the Administrator of the year. Each of these carries publicity plus a plaque and monetary award. Our website is attempting to be a unifying site for various science activities and groups in the Region I area. Science is alive and well the RGV of Texas in spite of the economy and the SBOE. Robert Soper 300 Hollywood Dr. Edinburg, Texas 78539-6118 956-381-0690
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Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
Regional Reports
Region IV
by Mary Ingle, Region IV Director The second annual Region 4 Science Conference will be held on February 20, 2010 at the William McKinney Conference Center at Region 4 from 8:00 am–3:30 pm. The conference theme is “Gaining Momentum in Science Literacy”. Sessions are available for all grades and science courses in elementary school, middle school, and high school. Presentation Themes:  Biology  Chemistry  Earth Science  Environmental Science  Life Science  Physics  General Science  Instructional Strategies  Science Process Skills  Science, Technology, Society  Special Populations in Science  Statewide Assessment
Registration fee is $80.00 (includes all conference materials) To register online, visit www.theansweris4.net, click on “Professional Development,” and enter Session ID number 430889.
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Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
Regional Reports
Region X & XI
by Becky Yarbrough
Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching Saturday, January 23, 2010
8:30 am - 3:45 pm (registration 8:00 am –8:30 am) Colleyville Heritage High School 5401 Heritage Avenue – Colleyville, Texas - 76034
This Regional Mini-CAST has become a tradition for metroplex elementary and secondary science educators. Educators from ESC Regions 10 & 11 and surrounding areas are invited to participate as presenters and/or attendees. This one day conference is designed to support the work of science educators by providing interaction with other educators, professional training, informative workshop sessions and an opportunity to see commercial products on exhibit. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. Lunch is provided with registration. Please comply with the deadlines and appropriate return addresses. No confirmation for registration will be sent. Local, high quality professional development – 6 hours CPE Opportunity for PDAS fulfillment Multiple sessions, varied topics Exhibits, door prizes include scholarships to help attend CAST in Houston 2010. Click here for a registration form Click here for an exhibitor form Questions? Contact Kevin Fisher @ Lewisville ISD, 469-948-8225 or fisherk@lisd.net
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Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
Remember the first time you fell in love with science?
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10/28/09 4:36 PM
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Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
Affiliate News
Texas Earth Science Teachers Association TESTA
by Diann Valentine WOW… what a fantastic 25th Anniversary the Texas Earth Science Teachers, TESTA, celebrated at CAST in Galveston this past November. We began this year by hosting paleontologist, Mike Everhart, talk of the making of the Sea Monsters as a featured lecture. We followed with a reception for Mike to answer questions and sign his books and DVD’s. We served punch and cake to over 100 guests that attended our celebration. We enjoyed meeting new members as well as visiting with our ”fossil” members. Thank you Mike for sharing your expertise and stories with us. This year we had several new presenters for TESTA. We would like to thank Davin Wallace, Dr. Stephanie Shipp and Dr. Jacklyn Allen for leading wonderful field trips. Other new workshop presenters included Jan Grout, Carol Waters and Nancy Fiegel. Dr. Alison Henning, Rice University, did double duty by presenting a short course as well as being our awesome guest speaker at the annual TESTA’s luncheon. Alumni workshop presenters included Youlanda Marshall and short course presenters Dr. Jill Bailer, Alexia Bienek and Dr. Debra Mullinax. Our share-a-thon had over 125 participants swing through to pick up teacher tried lessons for their classrooms. Those participating included Kathryn Barclay, Miranda Embrick, Greg Adragna, Katie Wagner, Gail Gant, Jan Grout, Nancy Fiegel, Tami Baker, Tom Killen, Dr. Jill Bailer, and me, Diann Valentine. Again, we want to thank these leaders of our science community for sharing with all of us their expertise and teaching wisdom! Our Rock Raffle was a huge success! The quality of our 225 specimens was the best over! We want to thank these new donors for their generous donations: Tami and Richard Baker, Piney Woods Gem and Mineral Society from Huntsville, TCU, Dr. Richard Hanson Chair, Dept of Geology, GIS in Schools, George Dailey program manager and the Lunar Planetary Institute. The Houston Gem and Mineral Society as always donates great specimens for this event. Continuous supports with great donations for door prizes to our luncheon include DynaNotes by Ellen Harris, Geoblocks by Jon Kountz, Forestry Suppliers, and McDonald Observatory. Please visit our website for links for all our wonderful sponsors.
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Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
Affiliate News
TESTA (cont’d.)
To continue our 25th celebration we are offering a spring conference “Texas – Underground!” It will be held April 9-11 in Sonora, Texas and features on Saturday 4 sessions entitled Underground Classroom, Orienteering, Hydrology and a tour of the Caverns. Sunday morning includes TEXAS Rocks! and optional trail caving and rappelling. Conference fee is $150 and includes activities, food and 2 nights hotel. Click here for a registration form. Also TESTA is offering again Iceland July 1925, 2009! We were lucky to have the renowned Ari….sign on again as our tour guide. He did an outstanding job for those of us that attended last year. It is a trip of a lifetime for geology lovers. Check our website for more information about both of these professional development opportunities.
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Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
Galveston, Texas
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Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
Thank You for Helping Make CAST 2009 Possible!
For more information on each sponsor, please click their logo.
CAST 2009 Sponsors
Want to be cool like these guys? You’re in luck, sponsorships are still available! To find out more, go to http://www.statweb.org/cast/sponsor.php 18
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Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
2009 STAT Award Winners
Rookie - Outstanding Science Teacher
Thomas Delgado
Laurel Ridge Campus University of Texas - University Charter School District
Congratulations to the
CAST 2009 Awards
Elementary School - Outstanding Science Teacher
Michelle Brown
Lloyd R. Ferguson Elementary School Clear Creek ISD
Middle School - Outstanding Science Teacher
MJ Tykoski
Cooper Junior High School Wylie Independent School District
High School - Outstanding Science Teacher
Cynthia Parish
Ozen High School Beaumont ISD
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Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
CAST 2009 Pictures
Click Here for the full gallery
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Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
By Frank Butcher
New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax?
This video is a thought provoking demonstration that can be a great teaching tool to reinforce a
couple of basic electrical concepts. Show the video to your students, and solicit their opinions about whether this is legitimate. You might even consider following it up with a lab activity in which the students try to replicate the event. Remind your students that the two requirements for a current to flow are (1) there must be a potential difference, and (2) there must be a conducting pathway (closed circuit). Probe with some questions: Is there anything going on in this event that would create a potential difference? Would two burning candles, operating exactly alike, have different electrical potentials? Hopefully, the thought that goes into answering questions like these will lead the students to realize that there cannot be a potential difference between the candles, and therefore no current can flow between them. To further expose the hoax, ask your students to trace out the circuit. Is the circuit closed? A fun activity like this makes me wish that I was still teaching physics. You can’t fool Mother Nature and the great thing about science in general and physics in particular is that if you understand Mother Nature’s rules, you can’t be fooled either. Thanks to Shane May, my ex-student and successor at Deer Park High School for bringing this video to my attention.
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Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
By Gale C. Stanford
Seven Senses That All Effective Teachers Have
The “how” does matter! Many of our students had the privilege of observing teachers of all grade come to us without ever having experienced their Nasco Science Division levels as they instruct their students. The ques- needs being met, let along someone placing their tion that always came to mind as STATellite Newsletter I observed was, needs before his or her own. Dec 2009 “Why are some teachers more effective than othThis school year let us remember that a loving ers?” After much pondering and STAT912 many more observations, it became quite clear to me that there attitude can change a student’s life. are seven “senses” that differentiate the effective from the non-effective teacher: a sense of love (caring), giving, understanding, responsibility, service, teaching, and inspiring. These qualities are not, and maybe cannot be, taught in a teacher preparation course, yet they are vital to the success of students, both academically and socially. Take “love” for example. Many of you may ask the question that Tina Turner asked, “What does love have to do with it?” There are several kinds of love, but only one that is essential to a teacher making a heart to heart connection with students and that is the kind of love that puts the needs of others before its own. It is that kind of love that most of us have for our families and close friends. This “unconditional” love has everything to do with how a student perceives the teacher, how the student perceives instruction, and how the student performs academically and behaviorally. Students want to know that their teachers care about them and have their best interest at heart. I conducted a survey of inner city middle and high school students and asked them to rate questions that focused on the student-teacher relationship. The number one concern for students was not what they were taught, but how they were taught.
As an educational consultant, I have
STAT912
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Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
By MJ Tykoski
Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
Kea at the Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) in biting cold temperatures looking at the most amazing sky I’ve ever seen. This trip was courtesy of a National Science Foundation grant to Dr. John Lacy of The University of Texas at Austin. Besides conducting his research, another purpose of this trip was to show K-12 teachers what observing runs are like at one of the world’s best observatories. As an eighth grade science teacher, I wanted to use this trip to make more concrete connections for my students between the electromagnetic spectrum and astronomy. Astronomy is usually one of the most engaging units I teach all year and with 2009 being the International Year of Astronomy I anticipate my astronomy unit being even bigger and better. When most students think of astronomy, pretty pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope often come to mind. However, one can’t make pretty “pictures” in the infrared because our eyes do not detect these wavelengths. Infrared astronomers look at spectra instead; patterns of lines at different wavelengths showing where infrared light is absorbed or emitted. I hoped to bring part of this experience back to my classroom by shadowing the astronomers at the IRTF.
While packing for my recent trip to Hawai’i,
I ran into a dilemma. I could get the long underwear and sweatshirts in my suitcase, but I was havUpon arrival on Mauna Kea, all observers ing trouble fitting the down-filled winter jacket. I finally used a vacuum-sealing bag, but instead of must stay at the dormitory Hale Pohaku for twenvacuuming the air out I rolled it up and sat on it. ty-four hours to acclimate to the high altitude. Hale Pohaku, which means “house of stone” in It fit pretty well in my suitcase after that. Hawai’ian, is at 9,200 feet, while the telescopes are Wait a minute, you think. Long under- located near Mauna Kea’s summit, which is 13,796 wear? Sweatshirts? Down-filled winter jackets? feet above sea level . The high elevation is perfect for ground-based infrared observing because it is And you were going to Hawai’i? above most of the water vapor in the atmosphere. If this doesn’t sound like a typical pack- Water vapor is an infrared astronomer’s biggest ing list for Hawai’i it’s because this was not your enemy because it absorbs infrared light. The drier typical Hawai’i trip. Instead of lounging on sunny the conditions, the happier the infrared astronobeaches watching surfers, I was on top of Mauna mer.
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Contents
Aiwaiwa Hawai’i - Fantastic Hawai’i” (cont’d.)
Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
As I entered the lobby of Hale Pohaku, I was greeted by the flags of all the countries that participate in at least one observatory on Mauna Kea. Although I knew there were multiple, separately owned and operated observatories near the summit, I wasn’t as aware of the level of international cooperation between many of them. More than a dozen flags are flown in the lobby of Hale Pohaku, including the flag of the state of Texas.
Dr. Lacy was waiting for us at the IRTF and quickly gave us a tour of the telescope and control room. The IRTF primary mirror is 3 meters across. Unlike most people’s mental picture of a telescope, there was no tube leading up from the mirror. Instead there was an open, latticework structure that supported a secondary mirror, and the rest was left open to allow for better air circulation through the dome. Attached to the IRTF was the Texas Echelon Cross Echelle SpectromAfter our acclimation period and just be- eter (TEXES) which was designed and built by fore sunset, my cohorts and I made our first trip to Dr. Lacy. The control room was simple, with one the summit area. Looking at the silhouette of the computer station for the telescope operator, and Keck observatory against a flaming sunset of red, three other stations for the observers. orange, and yellow was one of the most incredible sights I’ve ever seen. As I looked down on There were multiple projects going on, but the horizon, I realized what I first thought were the two I found most interesting were the observaocean waves were actually clouds below me! The tions of Saturn’s moon Titan and the galaxy NGC temperature was a chilling 34ºF, so I was very glad 5506. Both of these projects used the TEXES inI had squeezed the long underwear, sweatshirts, strument. Dr. Tommy Greathouse of the Southand down-filled winter coat into my suitcase. west Research Institute was observing the atmosphere of Titan. His research on the atmosphere
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Contents
Aiwaiwa Hawai’i - Fantastic Hawai’i” (cont’d.)
Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
of Saturn and its satellites has already helped support the Cassini and Huygens missions to Saturn and Titan. The observations of NGC 5506 were for Dr. Sara Beck of Tel Aviv University. She was not actually at the observatory, so Dr. Lacy was taking data for her. Dr. Beck’s work centers on trying to see what is going on in the center of NGC 5506. The center of the galaxy could contain black holes, stellar nurseries, or clouds of gas and dust. If you look at this area in optical wavelengths, you will just see a bright blur because gas and dust blocks those wavelengths that our eyes can see. Infrared wavelengths penetrate the gas and dust and allow us to see what is really going on in the center of the galaxy. Another highlight of the trip was the tour of the Gemini telescope given by Peter Michaud, the Director of Education and Outreach for Gemini North. The Gemini telescope is an 8-meter telescope that observes in both optical and infrared wavelengths. The name Gemini is from the twins Castor and Pollux in Greek mythology: The Gemini North telescope has a twin Gemini South Telescope in Cerro Pachón, Chile. Between these two telescopes, astronomers can see the entire night sky. It was obvious from learning that the 8- meter diameter Gemini mirror is coated with a mere two ounces of aluminum, to seeing the intricate wire harness designed to ensure none of the cords leading to the telescope get tangled up, that Gemini is a center of ingenuity. After a marvelous week on the Big Island of Hawai’i, I had to return to Earth in an almost literal sense. Descending from 13,000 feet to sea level was harder than the trip up in some ways. True, going up took my breath away in more ways than one, but it was especially hard to leave that spectacular mountain and all its wonders. I eagerly anticipate my astronomy unit this year even more than usual because of this experience and the new perspective I get to share with my students. I also look forward to explaining to my fellow teachers why I brought a winter coat to Hawai’i!
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Contents
Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
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Contents
Contacts President’s Message Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST New Electrical Phenomenon or Hoax? Seven Senses All Effective Teachers Have Aiwaiwa Hawai’i “Fantastic Hawai’i”
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