Thursday, January 29, 2009

Building Observation Skills

Watch this clip, then, write about what you see.

What did you write? Share with others.

Did you write about the animals?
Did you write about the plants?
Did you write about the earth and water, and sky?
What did you see?

Watch the video again and see if you see more this time. Don't forget animals need plants. Plants re-cycle the oxygen we need to breathe. Was the water clean? What did you see the second time?

Reflect on your observation skills. Did they change from the first viewing to the second?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Anser fabalis, "The Bean Goose," "Гуменник ," "oie des moissons," (A Case Study in What Information can be found on the internet)

[Under development]
People at the Asian Association for Biology Education Conference mentioned in the previous post were watching birds...They were watching the Bean Goose (Anser fabalis), among watching other exciting organisms, doing science activities, and meeting with other biology educators. So, I thought we could look and see how just an idea, like the Bean Goose, can lead to some internet research. Wiki provides a starting point for many students, so let's look at that and then go beyond., or,

There's a picture and quite a bit of information, but, what else can you find? How do you look? Think of the search as a treasure hunt. Try some searches yourself.

Ooooh! You tube the goose:
Thank you for posting this, I'd like to give you credit but can't read your language (but, some of our readers can, so I'll quote the information found at the url):
marcinro January 13, 2007
Gęś zbożowa (Bean Goose) i dwie młode gęsi biał...Gęś zbożowa (Bean Goose) i dwie młode gęsi białoczelne (White-fronted Goose) widziane w Gdańsku. Category: Pets & Animals Tags: Anser fabalis albifrons gęś zbożowa białoczelna gęsi Bean Goose White-fronted Saatgans Blässgans Gänse

Bird Life fact sheet:

Discover Life:

ITIS (more data) with links to experts, Alan Peterson and Richard Banks:

Then, Ah ha...Tree of Life...Pictures

Encyclopedia of Life (to which you can contribute...):

A peaceful photo:

A free stock photo:

Now, let's get technical...Step up the level (Just like playing video games, moving to the higher and higher levels is a game in itself (for young and old scientists alike).) Let's try the refereed journal articles. Can you find something in them? Here are some links to articles. Are these articles, "refereed?"

Here's one...Oh, Bean Goose and, Hmmmmm! The journal is not, "Plant blind:"
The Bean Goose and Winter Wheat: (Using:> Bean Goose and Winter Wheat Here's the information:
How to Cite or Link Using DOI (Opens New Window)

Copyright © 1995 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.

Effect of bean geese (Anser fabalis) grazing on winter wheat during migration stopover in southern Sweden

Elenore Wallina and Per Milbergb, Corresponding Author Contact Information

a Agricultural Society of Östergötland, Box 275, S-581 02, Linköping, Sweden

b Department of Crop Production Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7043, S-750 07, Uppsala, Sweden

Accepted 21 December 1994. ;
Available online 5 April 2000.
Another journal article is on Bean Goose tongues: (See below for title, author, and citation.) Here's the information:

Anat Rec. 1997 Feb;247(2):149-63.Click here to read Links

Ultrastructural study of the keratinization of the dorsal epithelium of the tongue of Middendorff's bean goose, Anser fabalis middendorffii (Anseres, Antidae).

Department of Histology, Nippon Dental University School of Dentistry at Niigata, Japan

Now, what about public policy? Do we need global cooperation to help the Bean Goose? What do you think?

Policies? See if you can come up with some policies. Perhaps this article will help you form some opinions. Policies are based on opinions based on facts known at the time the public policy is to be decided:

Post your, "treasures," in, "Comments," below.

More You-tube Goose (This time from Sweden):
Thank you. :-)
Hyemalis505 October 27, 2007 There are 20 000 bean geese that rest every year at lake östen, skövde, sweden. Thes are some, filmed 27 okt 2007 Category: Pets & Animals Tags: bean goose lake östen sweden birds
Thank you.Source information:
Channel Icon

iiukolov Anser albifrons, Белолобый гусь Anser fabalis, ...
Anser albifrons, Белолобый гусь, Anser fabalis, Гуменник. Category: Pets & Animals
Tags: anser goose



International Biology Education Information

Dear Dr. J [... and readers...],
You can see the documentary [photographs] of
AABE 22 in the bottom of the following webpages.

AABE (Asian Association for Biology Education)

(The 22nd Biennial Conference of
Asian Association for Biology Education)
Period: November 21-24, 2008.
Place: ANA Gate Tower Hotel, Osaka, Japan
Joint support:SBSEJ(The Society of Biological
Sciences Education of Japan)
Photo of ANA Gate Tower Hotel and A Ferric Wheel
Photo of All participants of AABE 22
Photographs of AABE 22 (an eve.)
Photographs of AABE 22 (The first day)
Photographs of AABE 22 (The second day)

Please enjoy memorial photos of AABE 22.

Sincerely yours,
Mitsuo Saitoh
The Society of Practical Education in Biology

Saitoh Institute for Biology Education

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Keeping our Rivers and Wetland Woods

Science and politics overlap. History and the future are linked to the present through the overlap. For some, this overlap is the link needed to foster interest in science. Globally, rivers and wetland woods need attention. What can you do to help keep this global resource environmentally sound and sustainable? Plenty. Each of us can find at least one task we can accomplish toward the goal of sustainability.

The Hudson 1903

Maybe your role is getting involved in zoning. Maybe you are the one to save one wetland woods, to un-tile one children's ballpark so homes don't flood (Does the park have to be dry every day? Perhaps reading on a rainy day is better than flooding homes, for example). Maybe you can help save the Hudson River, or the Potomac, or the Yellow River, or the Wallkill? Maybe you can save the river nearest you!

Maybe you'll just save habitat, water, and, food for mushrooms or plants or animals (including people).

Perhaps you'll read a Beatrix Potter book to school children, or talk to them about Silent Spring. Maybe you'll share photographs from, "before the malls." You might take a child fishing or for a walk in the woods.

Maybe you'll be the one to change environmental impact studies so they include studying the natural environment (in addition to things like traffic patterns).

You might just be the one to create a documentary that changes the environment for the better because it reaches the hearts of so many people.

Perhaps just adding a comment here will inspire someone else, or, share just the needed tidbit of information.

Everyone can do something toward a sustainable Earth. Reflecting on our rivers and wetland woods and our roles in preserving them, and on the politics involved in preserving them, benefits everyone. I'll post a few items which might start such a reflection. Please feel free to add more by e-mailing them to me or adding them in the comments (by clicking, "Comments," below the post).


The National Trust

Beatrix Potter Resources

Rachel Carson (Silent Spring) Resources

Build our future (Our Stolen Future)

(c)2009 J S Shipman

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Eratosthenes and Prime Numbers: A Comment on Science and Math Education

[Under development]

Writing in the garden...

I am writing in the garden. To write as one should of a garden one must write not outside it or merely somewhere near it, but in the garden.
Frances Hodgson Burnett
as cited by :, accessed January 21, 2009.

Compare this quote to the idea of studying science only in books versus in the laboratory and in the field. You can use a Venn diagram a chart or an essay.

Science and World Leaders...

Once I went to a AAAS lecture where a Republican, or I should say, "formerly Republican," speaker looked at data in the United States on presidencies and science spending. Following his analysis of data, he became a Democrat. (If I locate the source of the talk, I will add it. But it was after 1971 and before 2002.) It could be very useful for global citizens to periodically do such an analysis in their own nations.

With the inauguration of President Obama yesterday there was much excitement. But one of the exciting ideas concerned science. It is especially great news that a nation will use the scientific knowledge-base and thinkers to assist in developing public policy. It is wonderful that there will be interest in scientific research again.

Any world leader has a huge task, but especially now, when there are financial issues and wars, and global warming, among other challenges, having a leader that respects science and understands the need for it is a critical component of success.

I do think that basic science knowledge is needed by all citizens, but, especially by world leaders.

I wish the new President well as he joins other world leaders in alleviating problems and building peace and prosperity.

Additional reading:

(c) 2009 J S Shipman

Students often think to themselves, "Simple machines, again!"

"Simple machines," appears to be a topic that is covered again and again in science curricula. Students have often been heard to complain about studying the same thing year after year. Repetition with added depth is one way to enhance learning, but, how can students stay interested if they, "shut down," after they hear the topic and think it is already something they know about?

One way to engage the students in additional learning is to quickly state that the class will be learning more about the topic and then gradually bridge students to current uses for the topic through interesting stories about the topic.

I remember becoming interested in simple machines on finding out that by using them, my uncle was able to move a whole house by himself with his horse. Can you think what simple machines would allow one to do that?

Another way to use repetition to build depth of knowledge on a topic is to add a touch of history. Some students like history, or perceive that history enhances science. An example of using historical treasures to enhance student learning on simple machines, for example, could be to include Archimedes' screw when studying the screw. Do you remember how hard it was to think of the screw as a simple machine when you were 7 or 8 years old? It didn't seem to do any work. A look at provides a link to some early references on the screw, for older students that are learning more than primary students did about simple machines. If your students are studying Latin, the link also provides links to Latin sources. Language, too, can help some students with science knowledge acquisition.

But, science is not all about antiquity. We are not studying a, "dead science." Science is very much alive. How are simple machines used today? One way is in robotics: Can you find other ways?

Additional sources
  1. A brief biography of Archimedes---
  2. Longer biographies of Archimedes (But, still brief...)---
    1. or
    2. or
    3. or
    4. or
    5. or
    6. or
  3. Definition (with links) -Archimedes' screw
  4. Simple Machines in 1990 research paper

(c) 2009 J S Shipman

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Toxicology and herbals and phamaceuticals and laws...

[Under development]... link to chemicals

Here are some ideas as to why one might want to stay on top of what is happening with chemicals. These are quoted from among several others at, "Our Stolen Future."

Sunday, January 18, 2009

On, "Shrinking Brains and HRT"

If the linked news article for the day is science related, I try to add the link so that it can be found by clicking on other days than the day it appeared.

"Brain volume was 2.37 cubic centimetres lower in the frontal lobe and 0.10 cubic centimetres lower in the hippocampus. "

Using science in the news in the classroom helps students relate science to every day life. It motivates some to an interest or career in science.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Invention Commonalities

[Under development]

I thought it would be a good idea to discuss inventions and how we get them. So, as I sat thinking about inventing I looked up, "Wheel of Invention," and came across the following pages (on an exhibit from a few years ago) which you still may find interesting:

What commonalities exist among inventors? Do you think there is a special way that they think?
Compare and contrast your ideas with those found at: or at

What do you think about this invention? How would you rate it? What about this one? Can you compare and contrast the two inventions? Do you think the inventors had any similar traits? What do you think was similar? Different?

An opinion presented on eHow says inventing is easy. Do you agree or disagree? Why/why not?

Do you think more children or more adults would think inventing is easy? Support your opinion.

The US Patent Office link is here. There is more information at the link about inventing.

Inventor Resources

Are you an inventor? Are science and math helpful to the invention process? If you met an inventor, what would you like to know?

Wikipedia Links on Engineering Design Process

Other resources:

MIT Open Courseware-Design Process

David Lilja on Engineering Process (Teaching ideas)

Richard M. Felder

Prototypes in Design Process

Prototypes and Usability

Teaching about Design Process-Slide Set:


Thursday, January 15, 2009


Here is a link to an editorial on chaos:

[Post under development...I will add comments on chaos and the editorial later. Feel free to read the editorial itself now, however...]

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy and Scientific New Year, 2009!

Greetings. I hope you are enjoying the winter season and are all set for an adventurous year in science. Please remember that you can use the "search" bar on the top left of the blog to search for games or music or any topic of interest to you. If you don't find what you are looking for, please leave a comment in any comment section on the blog.

Dr. J