Thursday, February 28, 2008

Science in Australia and the Seychelles

New Visitors to this site are from Australia and the Seychelles. Welcome.

Here's a reference to some research in these places.

Seychelles Science: The Owl...Otus insularis
Bird Conservation International (2004), 14: 123-137 Cambridge University Press. Copyright © BirdLife International 2004. doi:doi:10.1017/S0959270904000140. Published online by Cambridge University Press 03Jun2004 Link to this abstract

The breeding biology of the Critically Endangered Seychelles Scops-owl Otus insularis: consequences for conservation and management
a1 The Nature Conservancy, Caves Village Building 5 Suite 2, West Bay Street, P. O. Box CB 11398, Nassau, Bahamas. E-mail:
a2 Nature Seychelles, P. O. Box 1310, Victoria, Mahe, Republic of Seychelles. Email:

We have many readers interested in birds. This article is about an owl from the Seychelles. Can you find the Seychelles on a map?

What are your ideas about conservation and management of endangered species?

What species are endangered in your area?

Check out the bird game and other bird links previously posted:

Australian Science: Ocean Portal

Australia is a leader in ocean conservation. The link above goes to a portal or electronic doorway to this research.

Australia's oceans hold 4,000 fish types of 22,000 known worldwide. They are home to the largest area of coral reefs and 30 of the world's 58 seagrass species." Is some information discussed at the site. Click on the link and check it out.

Find Australia on the map.

What do you already know about Australia?

Have you been to the ocean?

Do you know what, "seagrass," is?

Write about biology in Australia.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Effect of Technology on Society: What do you think about what this speaker is saying?

Phytochemistry...and, sophistication of species
Industrial agriculture?
Shenandoah Valley...
Performing ecological services for each other
Cheap electric fencing, cows, egg mobile-houses 350 chickens, cow paddies, maggots are food, for the chickens, spreading the manure out...The grass then grows like crazy, and the cycle is repeated.
root-shoot ratio

Check this out: International Botany News!!!

The website: is now online
(some bits and pieces are still under development, but, most of this great website is up and running now).

Thursday, February 14, 2008

If Virginia Woolf had written on Science...

Post under development. Check back in a few days.
If Virginia Woolf had written on Science...
A Lab of her Own
But, you may say, we asked you to speak about women and science—what, has that got to do with a laboratory of one’s own? I will try to explain. When you asked me to speak about women and science I sat down on the banks of a river and began to wonder what the words meant. They might mean simply a few remarks about Marie Curie; a few more about Rachel Carson; a tribute to the Barbara McClintock and a sketch of the now-gone corn fields under the snow-filled parking lot; some witticisms if possible about Miss Beatrix Potter; a respectful allusion to Flopsy, Mopsy and Peter Rabbit; a reference to Rosalind Franklin and one would be done. But at second sight the words seemed not so simple. The title women and science might mean, and you may have meant it to mean, women and what they are like, or it might mean women and the lab reports that they write; or it might mean women and the science that they do and what is written about them, or it might mean that somehow all three are inextricably mixed together and you want me to consider them in that light. But when I began to consider the subject in this last way, which seemed the most interesting, I soon saw that it had one fatal drawback. I should never be able to come to a conclusion.....


Well, you get the idea. The words in red are substituted for Virginia Woolf's words on women and fiction.
feel free to post
comments below.
Also, check out the Creative Commons License below:

Thanks to

A room of one's own


Virginia Woolf


This web edition published by eBooks@Adelaide.

Rendered into HTML by Steve Thomas.

Last updated Wed Mar 15 06:48:08 2006.

Creative Commons Licence
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You are free: to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work, and to make derivative works under the following conditions: you must attribute the work in the manner specified by the licensor; you may not use this work for commercial purposes; if you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. Any of these conditions can be waived if you get permission from the licensor. Your fair use and other rights are in no way affected by the above.

For offline reading, the complete set of pages is available for download from

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A MARC21 Catalogue record for this edition can be downloaded from

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Thank you for respecting the license.

Added 9-20-2008:
Woolf, Virginia (Stephen)

Recent Visitor Map Link

Click here.

Bats in the News

Bats in the News!!!! Click this link

Post under development. Check back in a few days for this post. Meanwhile look at some of the other posts. Thanks.

How do you use your science knowledge?

Applying knowledge is a higher order thinking skill.

Do you use your science knowledge to better the world?

Do you help eradicate noxious weeds? Invasive species?

Do you mentor youth?

Do you vote wisely?

Do you educate others?

Do you wash you hands frequently?

Do you eat, sleep, rest, play and in other ways live a healthy lifestyle?

Do you shop thinking about the environment?

Do you make choices that contribute to world peace?

What do you do?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Cornstarch and Water Mixture

Water molecules go in between the starch molecules....
Vocabulary: colloid(s); suspension(s); solution(s); matter; molecules

Spangler does the "walk" across a cornstarch mixture tub on Ellen!
(Ellen Degeneres, February 13, 2008)

He tries to talk Ellen into it, but, a member of the audience does it instead...Ashley from LA.

Advice: Go fast. If not, you sink. (Spangler shows how!)

Ashley goes back and forth... She has fun and doesn't sink.

It's a lot of cornstarch!

So, what is the science?

Other "Cornstarch Science"



More Non-Newtonian Fluid Information:



A related journal article:
Relate this "Cornstarch Science" to the Science Standards---
Lesson Plan:

"Cornstarch Science" teaches about nanotechnology!!!
Note: Some of the videos have spelling errors. Did you catch them? Try to catch errors by proof reading whenever you do any work.

Asking Questions and Pursuing Answers

Keys to learning in science,as in all academic disciplines involves asking questions and seeking answers. In science, students can explore scientific phenomena via investigation and experimentation build essential scientific skills such as observing, measuring, replicating experiments, manipulating equipment, collecting data, organizing and reporting it.

When students choose what phenomenon to study or what investigations to conduct, and what experiments to do, with guidance from the teacher, they are more likely to remember the desired content. In addition, they are using critical thinking skills to formulate the questions. In this way, too, needs of students of various levels and backgrounds can best be accommodated.

Science is not so much studying history of science, rather, it is using historical scientific knowledge to build new knowledge. If students do this from their own starting points, the most overall growth can occur. Instead of gifted waiting and waiting for others and those less talented struggling and struggling while the middle group feels content or waits or struggles, each child can be in his or her own optimum learning environment.

(c) 2008 J. S. Shipman

Science Standards

Each state has science standards to which students and parents, among others, can link. The standards can provide a guided study tool to the student interested in self-learning or in "passing state exams."

Let's look at some. (Post under development)

Science standards by state:

How does your state measure up to the national standards?

Other countries may have similar sets of standards. Feel free to post links in the comments (by clicking under "comments" below.

(c)1996-2008 J. S. Shipman

Writing? Science research might be important to your story.

Here's an article with some ideas about the research underlying writing. Try writing a story that requires some science research.

Here's a post on "storytelling" and teaching science. It might be useful as you write your own sciencebased story.,content=124

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Pie Day, Oh, Pi Day.... Pi Day's coming!

Are you ready for Pi Day? ...Haven't heard of it? What?

pi = 3.14159265.....

Pi day is a day to celebrate pi and to encourage students in learning math. Now, math is important to scientists, among others, so I encourage you to get involved in Pi Day. When? March 14th of course (3/14).

Here's the official Pi Day site:

Post under development.
Check back later.

Alchemy, revisited

Alchemy is a pseudoscience that contributed to the development of the science of chemistry. Alchemy talks about creating gold. A newspaper article in the New York Times talks about making other metals look like gold by pitting their surfaces. Similarly, gold can be made to look black. Can you see an application for this science which falls into the realm of surface chemistry? Well, jewelry manufactures are very excited about it. Can you speculate as to why?

Write an essay comparing and contrasting alchemy and chemistry. Then, discuss ideas you find in the newspaper article telling what you think about them. Be sure to cite ideas from the paper. But, also include your opinions about the article and whether you think it is alchemy or chemistry.

Suggest a product you think would be made from the "new" gold. Then, summarize your essay and make a conclusion. Draw pictures if you like. A parent, guardian or teacher can post your essay in the comments, or post a link to it. Have fun writing!

The Science of Groundhogs...

Groundhog day is celebrated in the United States on February 2nd each year. The myth that goes with it is that if the groundhog comes out and sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather. "In the United States the tradition derives from a Scottish poem:
As the light grows longer
The cold grows stronger
If Candlemas be fair and bright
Winter will have another flight
If Candlemas be cloud and snow
Winter will be gone and not come again
A farmer should on Candlemas day
Have half his corn and half his hay
On Candlemas day if thorns hang a drop
You can be sure of a good pea crop"

(Source: Accessed February 2, 2008)
But what about the science of groundhogs? Here's a link from the Universityof Michigan Museum of Zoology. You can learn about classification, Marmots, see pictures and learn other names for ground hogs. One starts with, "W." One starts with, "M." You can learn about diet and distribution of groudhogs and about their habits. If you go outside, you might see a groundhog today. You can observe it and make your own prediction about winter.

Do groundhogs have importance? You bet they do!
nathis/mammals/woodchuck/ is another site about groundhogs and offers a different perspective and some drawings. You might try doing some of your own drawings from your own observations. Or, in todays digital age, you might take some digital pictures. If you are in the United States, you might share your findings with a pen-pal (pen-friend) or e-mail pal overseas.

A third link on groundhogs is from the Smithsonian Institution, gives another name for a groundhog: "whistle pig." Can you whistle like a groundhog? What happens if a groundhog whistles and you whistle back?

Did you know a groundhog is a vegetarian? Perhaps you can eat a vegetarian meal today as part of your traditions of groundhog day. You can discuss vegetarian diets and also talk about groundhogs. Enjoy the day. It may snow tomorrow! (Of course, you can enjoy snow, too, but, it is nice to think about spring!)

(c)2008 J. S. Shipman.