Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Flowering Plants with Enclosed Seeds: Angiosperms

Structure and Function

One question arises on the wind pollination... Did it get confused with seed dispersal? See the films below for more ideas.

पत्तियां-फूल संयंत्रों के साथ संलग्न बीज: angiosperms ढांचे और कार्य

Science Literacy depends on Equal Literacy for All

"One of the most important aspects required in participatory government is literacy and not just the literacy of the men, but the women as well. A literate woman will have literate sons and daughters, whereas a literate man might not be as concerned with this. In traditional societies, men often specifically bar women from school precisely because they want no interference with their control over them." Read more.
Source: http://www.register-pajaronian.com/v2_news_articles.php?heading=0&page=77&story_id=8004. Date accessed: November 24, 2009.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education--Thank you, World Leaders,

In a story by Chloe Albanesius you'll find, "President Obama on Monday unveiled a campaign intended to promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education among children – an effort that includes about $260 million in financial support from companies like Time Warner Cable, Discovery Communications, Sony, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation"
Source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2356254,00.asp
Accessed November 22, 2009.

Thank you, President Obama.

All other World leaders encouraging, "STEM," are thanked, too.

Readers, please submit what your leaders are doing regarding science literacy and science education (e-mail me and I will post your message).

Dr. J

Monday, November 23, 2009

Engineering: Women and Girls



"Engineering, like many rewarding careers, requires a college degree. To make the most of your future, you'll need a well-rounded education that includes lots of math and science, along with communications, history, literature, and the arts."

Source: http://www.engineergirl.org/?id=9393. Accessed Nov. 22, 2009.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Make a Plant Video---Enter this contest: Chlorofilms

Deadline: 10 January 2010;
Enter early---> by 16 Dec 2009 for a
chance to win an iPod Touch

What is Chlorofilms? A competition for new videos illustrating the remarkable aspects of plant life. Get details at: http://www.chlorofilms.org/

Actor and psychiatrist Mohan Agashe commented: "...cinema could be used for education, as it combined the audio-visual media. It had a mass reach when compared to literacy through the written word." Source: http://beta.thehindu.com/sci-tech/article53224.ece?homepage=true. Accessed Nov. 21, 2009.

We're ready for your entry!!!


Rules and Prize Information:

Access to theses in Japanese and French

http://tel.archives-ouvertes.fr/ is the link for
version française rss feed
Le serveur TEL (thèses-en-ligne)

Portal to the Colorado State Library --- One place to find journal srticles


Science leading to Literacy

Here are two quotes from an article on literacy that show what character-based learning is and how science books influenced one student and changed his life.:

Character based learning is learning in which students are improving their reasoning skills, increasing their knowledge, and enlarging their moral understanding-all at the same time. Source: http://www.literacynews.com/2009/11/one-step-beyond-literacy/. Accessed November 21, 2009.

[...] Ben Carson, a boy who discovered a new interest. You can read Ben’s story in a book titled[,] Gifted Hands. It is a book about a boy who in his early years of schooling mostly received D’s and F’s on his report card, but when once his interest was fired, went on to become a prominent neurosurgeon. The person who turned his life around was his mother. She believed he could do much better so she turned off the TV set and told him that he could only watch two TV programs a week and that he had to read at least two books a week. He was obedient, if not happy with the rule, but soon found he had an interest in science books. This interest became the basis for his rise from an F student to an A student, and eventually made it possible for him to become one of the foremost surgeon’s in his field. For Ben, what began with little curiosity about a science book led to an eminent career as a brain surgeon.
Source: http://www.literacynews.com/2009/11/one-step-beyond-literacy/. Accessed November 21, 2009.

Notice that in the paragraph on Ben Carson, it was a parent that turned his life around. The role of parents in education is critical and sometimes doesn't get enough attention (at least not in the newspaper stories that seem to blame teachers when students do poorly...). Parents are encouraged to use their judgement in encouraging their children to learn science.

To read more from the above referenced article, click here.

Using Wiki to find National Parks-Searching as Part of Science Literacy

Finding information is a part of literacy. In science literacy, we have searched for journal articles before, but, today I did a search for myself that I turned into the blog post. I learned from doing this search and thought you would enjoy my journey, perhaps finding a new path for your own searches.

Searching for Kabarega National Park on Google came up with a map, but, not much information. There was a link to Wiki, however, so I took it. Still, I didn't come up with much. So in Wiki, I went to request information and was directed to a page to choose a topic. The closest was, "biology." Under, "biology," I selected, "conservation."

There, I found, "National Parks by Country."

I continued my search for Ugandan parks, and I will post what I found. You can look, however, for parks in the country of your interest.

One of the links mentions the Uganda Wildlife Authority, which controls the parks and its website (http://www.uwa.or.ug/)provides additional information.

Clicking on the National Parks of Uganda, however, I did not locate, "Kabarega National Park." So, it is possible for me to go back in to Wiki and ask for someone knowing about that park to post an article. Of course, people may also submit comments or send an e-mail to post an article here, too.

Now, you can try to find some national parks. Pick a geographic location of interest to you. Select a country here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Conservation_by_country. Then, try finding a list of national parks in that country. I'll go through what I found for another country, then, let you check out some on your own. Adults may post their or their children's experiences with this exercise.

In Bolivia, for example, we find the following:
Have fun with this exercise, plan travels, or find e-mail friends or pen friends or penpals. Learn about natural science in the region and share information on your country's natural science.

Post script: Another reference on national parks that I came across during my search today is ParksWatch an organization that fosters biological diversity through park systems. You might like to check out what this group does.

Dr. J

What is Economic Botany?

"What is Economic Botany?"

"Simply put, Economic Botany is the interaction of people with plants. The word is based on two Greek roots ethnos (race: people: cultural group) and botanikos (of herbs) and can mean the plant lore of a race or people as well as the study of that lore." Source: http://botany.org/planttalkingpoints/economic_botany.php. Accessed 23 November 09. Read more.

If you are interested in a children's (ages 5-10) economic botany lesson plan and book for students, let me know via e-mail or the call me button below.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Science in the News: Down Syndrome Research

"Drugs that target the noradrenaline system have already been developed for depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

"The researchers say their work suggests they might also help people with Down's syndrome."

Researchers include:
Dr Ahmad Salehi, lead researcher
Dr Melanie Manning

Read more here:

Scotland uses Data to Enhance Science Literacy

"In the recent Trends in International Maths and Science Survey report, Scotland fared far worse in science than many western nations – at P5 level, only 51 per cent of pupils had teachers who considered themselves very well prepared to teach science. Prof Paterson said: 'This [consideration] is especially important because, with Curriculum for Excellence, they are being expected to lead the development of the curriculum.'" Read more...
Source: Fiona MacLeod. http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/latestnews/Scottish-classrooms-to-face-new.5845662.jp. Accessed: 11-21-09.

But, wait... Some things are well done:

It is following current research trends and is so modern to use data to inform teaching. Scotland is headed in a very positive direction by using survey results to steer their teacher training. We can expect to see Scotland moving ahead in, "Maths and Sciences," very soon. Congratulations, teachers. I invite you to join this International cite , together with teachers from all over the world. We can all improve our science literacy through better science and math teacher training. Thank you for leading the way using data.

Friday, November 20, 2009

BOTANY 2010 - Providence, Rhode Island July 31 - August 4

BOTANY 2010 -
People interested in plants, Researchers-
Come to Providence!
-Providence, Rhode Island July 31 - August 4

There will be a joint meeting with the:
  • American Bryological & Lichenological Society (ABLS),
  • American Fern Society (AFS),
  • American Society of Plant Taxonomists (ASPT), and
  • Botanical Society of America (BSA).
Go to botany.org for information.
  • Special rates for teachers.
  • Sign up for free HOT Skills (higher order thinking skills) Workshop with, "Dr. J"

Building Science Vocabulary

International Appeal. Join in! Anyone who loves plants, take a look and join!!! Botany without Borders from BSA: See botany.org for more detail

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Louisville Science Center Discussions on Health Care

You are invited to use your
science literacy skills every day.

Here, the Louisville community is using
science literacy skills to inform
public policy making:

Scientific Proofs: Local Perspectives on
Health Care Reform

Thursday, November 19, 6 to 8 p.m.

  • First in a series of after-hours, informal dialogue around
    timely science topics.
  • On health care aims
  • Offers a variety of perspectives on national health care
  • Deepens the understanding of the issues as they relate
    to use
  • Guided by audience questions
  • Facilitated by Dr. Adewale Troutman
    Science Center Board Member and Director of Public
    Health for Louisville Metro Government.

Science Literacy a Priority in Jamaica, West Indies.

"'Each kid's programme is set out for them and they cannot pass that level unless they master it,' he said, noting that 30 students have already reached the appropriate grade level, which shows the success of the programme...[...]...[Peralto]... told the Sunday Observer that he has written to the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) requesting that some of its courses be taught at the Annotto Bay High school." Tarn Peralto.
Source: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/html/20091114T180000-0500_163784_OBS
; Accessed 15 Nov 2009.

Teacher Training on, "Green," Jobs


Green Jobs for 4-states future

Updated: Nov 12, 2009 04:59 PM By ELIZABETH MATTHEWS

"A conference focused on green technology is turning teachers into
students. The annual Four State Regional Technology Conference
is beginning at Pittsburg State University and runs through Friday.
The two day event educates teachers on the latest in sustainability
and how to teach green initiatives." Read more.

Source: http://www.koamtv.com/global/story.asp?s=11495041&ClientType=Printable; Accessed 15 November 2009.

Even more information is found here:


http://www.pittstate.edu/dotAsset/141647.pdf (Program)

Environmental Conflict Resolution Programs

Morris K. Udall Morris K. Udall Foundation

"The Udall Foundation was the fourth American educational foundation established by the United States Congress."

For your information, the other federal foundations include:

These foundations grant college scholarships and fellowships and conduct the Native American Congressional Internship program each summer in Washington, DC.

Source: http://www.ecr.gov/; Accessed 15 November 2009.

Women's Leadership Scholarships and Other Resources

Are you a science leader and a woman? Do you want to lead the way to environmental solutions? Here are 2 quotes from Women Leadership Scholarship (WLS) and a link to Women's Leadership Scholarship's portal (click here) and to other resources. There are even more resources, some for both men and women, at the WLS site.

First quote;

The following information on scholarships, trainings and educational programs is designed to be a helpful resource to prospective applicants. The listing of these resources is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement in whole or in part from the WLS or the Channel Foundation. In addition, neither the WLS nor the Channel Foundation is responsible for the accuracy of the information provided on these links.

Resources for Individuals from the Global South
Resources for Women only
Resources for American Indian/Native Americans
Resources for Foreigners Studying in the U.S.
Resources for Foreigners Studying in the UK
Resources for U.S. Citizens and Residents
Resources for Human Rights Scholarships & Fellowships
Resources for Public Health Scholarships & Fellowships
Resources for Human Rights Education & Training
Miscellaneous Scholarship & Fellowship resources

Second quote:

Scholarships-The WLS Selection Committee awards four to eight scholarships per year, up to US$25,000 per academic year for a maximum of two years. The awards help the recipients meet the costs of tuition, fees, books, educational supplies, housing, maintenance, and travel to and from the home country and the educational institution. WLS awards are paid directly to the institution in a student's account. For foreign women intending to study at U.S. universities, WLS funding for expenses other than tuition and books is subject to a 14% U.S. tax.

Source: http://www.nativeleaders.org/links.html; Accessed 15 November 2009.

Eggs and Engaging Students in Sciences like Physics and Biology and Chemistry...

Here's a quote from a physics link on the, "Science of Boiling an Egg."

This document is an introduction to of some of the science relevant to preparing boiled eggs. It has evolved from a letter published in the Last Word section of New Scientist magazine (04-April-98) which answered a question by Chris Finn, who asked 'Does anybody have a formula to calculate the boiling time for a soft-boiled egg, given its weight and initial temperature?'.

Source: http://newton.ex.ac.uk/teaching/CDHW/egg/
; Accessed 15 Nov 2009.

Additional reading at:

Philanthropists fight Global Warming

http://www.climateactionproject.com/docs/Design_to_Win_8_01_07.pdf is a link to guidelines for philanthropists desiring to fight global warming.

There are ideas in the document found at the link that you might incorporate into grant proposals, as these are points that philanthropists have been guided to f und.

Here's a link to a foundation sponsoring research awards in neuroscience.


Lights, Camera, Action Potential: Neuroscience for Kids! (Portal)


The above link includes links to games and other sites. For example, here is a word search link included on it:


You can also get to more topics here:

Ion Channels and Resting Potential in Neurons: A Tutorial

Review how ion channels are responsible for a voltage difference across the cell membrane or plasmalemma:.

Create a tool for studying the ideas presented in this tutorial. You can choose a method that you think will help you best retain the information (Different students might choose different methods.) Some ideas are:
  • Create a song
  • Do a drawing
  • Write a memory aid, a mnemonic device
  • Create a game
  • Choreograph a dance about voltage difference across cell membranes
  • Write an essay where you explain in your own words the concept of resting potentials in neurons
  • Create a tabbed booklet where each page is a bit longer than the previous page. Use each page to explain a different concept about resting potential. Label each tab to describe the step.
Think about how you learn:
In the tutorial, there was a step-through method and an animation. Did you use both methods? If not, try the one you didn't use. Now think about which method of tutorial helped you learn more. Why did you choose one method over the other? How can that help you learn other topics?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mitochondrial Membrane Potential

The mitochondrial respiratory chain produces energy which is stored as an electrochemical gradient which consists of a transmembrane electrical potential, negative inside of about 180-200 mV, and a proton gradient of about 1 unit; this energy is then able to drive the synthesis of ATP, a crucial molecule for a consistent variety of intracellular processes.

Source: http://www.cyto.purdue.edu/flowcyt/research/cytotech/apopto/data/cossar1/cossariz.htm, Accessed 11-14-09.

Science Literacy News

Here's a quote and a reference to a news story on science literacy. What do you think about the ideas presented?

There is no doubt that American education should be training more scientists and engineers and should be teaching scientific literacy to everyone else.

Source: http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://www.newsweek.com/id/222791&ct=ga&cd=X0yanNX7biU&usg=AFQjCNH0a1Jcm22kenOtMe3-Avx3WWDxPA


Action Potential Animation, Membrane Potential Animation


Cell Membrane Potential

Here's a link to some equipment for mesuring membrane potential:

Membrane potential assay kit

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Turmeric and Curry versus Cancer and Alzheimer's..Building Science Literacy Skills

Curcumin (found in turmeric and curry) attacked [...] cancer cells using an alternative cell signaling system (not, "apoptopsis," in other words).

Curcumin may help stimulate immune system cells in the Alzheimer's disease.

These ideas are from the following article:
accessed 05 November 09.

The article is a story about science. Can you find original sources for the research?

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Curcuma longa is the genus and species name of the plant from which we get the spice turmeric that is used in curry.

International Net

Internet becomes more international. Here's a brief quote (emphasis, mine...) and a link to more:
One Twitterer, Idir66, chose to note that, in some key ways, the Internet is still struggling after all these years to become a truly international phenomenon, pointing out that it's finally[...]
'opening up its address protocol to non-Latin scripts.'
That's right, the Internet Corporate for Assigned Names and Numbers agreed this week to let countries apply for Internet addresses that are entirely in their native languages. It's about time that the Internet truly belongs to the whole world, not just the Indo-European-speaking portion of it. More

Fun and Learning: Google Games---Seeking Top Performers for work...relating that to science and math education.

Here is a story about Google Games, a day of engineering- and math-heavy challenges. This particular story, by Wade Rousch, is about challenges that took place in 2008. It is about a recruiting method that can be adapted to science and math education. It is about the joy of learning. It is about being surrounded by others who want to learn and who learn recreationally.

Read the article here, then, think about what you can carry away from it to apply to science education situations.

Math team, chess teams, science fairs, bridge-building competitions and other venues blending learning and fun may foreshadow this type of recruiting. Do you feel joy from participants at these events? Do you feel joy from students in your science and math classes? Are your top students challenged? Are all students challenged at appropriate levels?

Do you remember finishing all the math exercises and science problems in the text books within the first two weeks of school because they were fun to do, and then being bored in class? Today, as a student, one can go to the internet and use Google (or other search engine) and find math and science challenges (For example, the MIT courses in the left hand column of this blog...). Neither work, nor, education, should hold people back from reaching their full potential, and being happy. Maybe we need a "Google Games," open to the whole public...pre-K through age 160+. Hmmm!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Refereed journal article reading is an important part of science literacy. Case in point: Allergies, Asthma and Schools... Here's a book to read.

Refereed journal article reading is an important part of science literacy. Case in point: Allergies, Asthma and Schools... Here's a book to read.
Want one parent's viewpoint on reading journal articles, which concurrently explains basic biology and genetic engineering? Try reading The Unhealthy Truth: How our Food is making us Sick and What We can do about It, by Robyn O'Brien [and] Rachel Kranz (Broadway Books (Random House), New York. 2009).

What started out as one mother's quest to better her child's chance of survival, is contributing to safety for all children, while explaining science every parent, every person, needs to know. Believe me, when you want to save your child (and also happen to save our children), the journal articles no longer seem difficult. If you are not convinced that reading the peer-reviewed journal articles, the refereed articles, isn't an important science literacy skill to which young people to at least be exposed, and adults should learn, then, read this book. You will learn things to help your own health and survival...and, you will likely gain the desire to read refereed journals on topics where you have a need to know.

Examples of topics where you might have a need to know: the effects of the medicines your parents are getting, why haldol is still prescribed in the USA while the government advises third world countries not to use it unless no other drug is available, what medicines (routinely given to seniors) mimic Alzheimer's, how melatonin re-sets sleeping patterns (jet lag, shift workers, seniors in nursing homes), what medicines given to seniors make them unable to swallow (resulting in feeding tubes), about thoraxic outlet syndrome and swimmers, among other need-to-know topics.

I'd read a few journal articles to save a loved parent from a "mimic dying" state or keep my child safe while eating or playing sports. I'd read journal articles to save my child's life or lengthen mine.

O'Brien's book will convince you about the importance of evaluating sources as a part of science literacy. I recommend this book for adults, who may or may not choose to share all or part of it with their child(ren).

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Women in Science: Sister Patricia Shaffer, Chemist, Leader, Legend

I personally met Sister Patricia Shaffer and assure you she does encourage women in science. I often think of how much she helped me. Here is a quote written about her and a link to more information.

Pat Shaffer Patricia Shaffer, RSCJ, was inducted into the San Diego County Women's Hall of Fame on March 24, 2007, as an 'Improver of Women's Lives." She was cited as "a research chemist, university professor, nun, and member of the scientific associations who since the 1950s has encouraged children to study science. From the classroom to Tijunana orphanages to migrant worker children, her contributions are legendary.'

Here is her biography as it appears on the website of the San Diego Women's History Museum and Educational Center, one of event's sponsors:

'Sister Patricia Shaffer, Ph.D. has spent her career helping women in San Diego County. She has encouraged women to study science as a research chemist, university professor, nun, and member of scientific associations...'

Source: http://www.rscj.org/news/province/ rscjscientist _inducted_into_hall_of _fame.html. ( Includes a photo) Accessed 11-01-09.

Another photo, click here: http://lh3.ggpht.com/_dVoi2Td0OkA/Rg2NT_s2yzI/AAAAAAAAAD0/1ezNkNVBl_Y/s640/283%20WHF%20Induction2007.JPG

Faculty biography USD http://www.sandiego.edu/cas/chemistry/faculty/biography.php?ID=689

I will post some of her journal articles shortly. ---under development---

Thank you, Sister Patricia Shaffer, for being a great role model!!!

Link to JAVA Applet on Brownian Motion


Botany lead to some of Einstein's ideas...The Value of Pure Science.

I like Einstein. He lets me encourage those with difficulty reading (Science Literacy), in addition to all his other accomplishments. Also, Einstein, as do other scientists, rests on the shoulders of scientists before him.

Pure science is important to advancing our knowledge and therefore to great strides in civilization. In a poor economy, we sometimes forget that. Often, people become about survival, about money now. Let's get back to Einstein.

A quote, with the emphasis placed by me, showing how botany played a role in Einstein's work follows :

In his doctoral dissertation, submitted to the University of Zurich in 1905, Einstein developed a statistical molecular theory of liquids. Then, in a separate paper, he applied the molecular theory of heat to liquids in obtaining an explanation of what had been, unknown to Einstein, a decades-old puzzle. Observing microscopic bits of plant pollen suspended in still water, English botanist Robert Brown had noticed in 1828 that even tinier particles mixed in with the pollen exhibited an incessant, irregular "swarming" motion — since called "Brownian motion." Although atoms and molecules were still open to objection in 1905, Einstein predicted that the random motions of molecules in a liquid impacting on larger suspended particles would result in irregular, random motions of the particles, which could be directly observed under a microscope. The predicted motion corresponded precisely with the puzzling Brownian motion! From this motion Einstein accurately determined the dimensions of the hypothetical molecules.3
Source http://www.aip.org/history/einstein/essay-brownian.htm. Accessed November 1, 2009.

We can remind ourselves, then, that studying a basic science, like botany---which links nature, chemistry, ecology, environmental studies, physics, agriculture, horticulture, and medicine---studying basic science leads to important advances, like Einstein's, and basic science should not be dropped when the economy is bad.

Ask, why have medical schools stopped requiring botany just as herbal medicine is gaining popularity? Why are we dropping the basic science? Why don't politicians know more about the environment and the plants and other organisms in it? Do they need more basic science? Does your town have a botanist to contribute to their environmental impact studies...or do they study only things like traffic... (also important, mind you...but, don't leave the environment, including plants, out of the environmental impact study). Formulate your own opinion on including more basic science in your curricula. Act on your ideas.

(c) J S Shipman 2009
All posts are copyrighted. See notice at bottom of web page.

Internet Safety in the Classroom and at Home

I encourage use of computers in all science classrooms. Therefore, I also want to encourage internet safety. Thus, here is a link to an article on internet safety.


I will add others and encourage readers to do the same through the comment box or via e-mail and I will add information at this post.

Fundsnet Portal


Here is a link to grants and funding for education. You may perhaps find funding for your innovative science education and science literacy ideas.