Helping teachers show students the world.
May 2018: NAGT Award
I am honored to have been awarded the 2018 Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Award for the 7-State Eastern Section of NAGT (National Association of Geoscience Teachers.) Being a high school teacher is too often a thankless job, so it feels good to be recognized for my innovations and hard work. I'm looking forward to attending the NAGT Conference in Pennsylvania in June.
May 2018: Hawaii Eruption
There's been some crazy volcanic activity in Hawaii recently. I posted an interesting time lapse video of lava flowing across a road on the Plate Tectonics and Time Lapse pages.
UPDATE: May 20th. A good overview of current conditions from the CBC
May 2018: Very Cool Density of Gas Demo
A student turned me onto this - it's a density demo using a heavy gas (sulfur hexaflouride.) Other than being very cool looking, it can serve as a valuable jumping off point for teaching about floating, density, gases etc. It's on the Physical Science page or find it here. And there's a better one from Cal Poly Pomona here.
May 2018: Google Site
The Google suite can be a very useful tool for education. But it's only as good as the content being shared. I was resistant at first but I've found my Google site to be a great tool for my students this year. And it's very easy and fast to put together (and I don't use those words lightly in the realm of technology.) I think what I've built is a good example of how a Google site can benefit students. Here's a link to it.
April 2018: S and P Wave Shadow Zones
I've found that students really struggle with P and S wave shadow zones. I understand their difficulty - the diagrams typically used are visually confusing. To help students make sense of the diagrams, I pulled out 2 old globes and drew in how the shadow zones would look. Here's a video that teachers can use in class or for homework assignments. I also added it to the Plate Tectonics page.
March 2018: DIY Classroom Safety
I think the March 14th Gun Violence Walk-Out is definitely valuable. However, I wanted to do something that could help protect me and my students from a school shooter. So I got out some tools and made a simple device that could help secure the classroom door in the vent of an attack. Here's a video showing how it works and how to make one for yourself.
March 2018: Glacier Time Lapse
I just added two excellent time lapse videos that show glacial motion. One consists of clips from the documentary film Chasing Ice; the other is a one-year time lapse of the Jorge Montt Glacier in Chile. Both drew comments of "Oooh, cool..." from students, which is always a good sign. Find them on the Erosion or Time Lapse pages.
February 2018: Applied Physics Page
I am starting to build a page for Applied Physics, the other course I teach. This course is designed for high school seniors who don't have the math skills for a traditional Physics course. And let me tell you, teaching Physics while limiting the math is quite a challenge. So early on I decided to focus on physics in the real-world and conducting open-ended investigations/experiments. And with all modesty, I have to say that it's lead to some pretty cool experiments and activities. It's still very much a work-in-progress but check out the Applied Physics Page.
February 2018: Capillary Action Time Lapse
As I was setting up my Permeability Lab I quickly set up to film time lapse of the capillary tubes. It came out pretty good. Check it out here. I also included it on the Groundwater and Time Lapse pages.
And so it can be used to present NGSS phenomena, I have a version that is just the raw footage without commentary.
January 2018: Snow Day Example of Hardness - Metal Ice Scraper
Simple real-world example of hardness of materials as I use my metal ice-scraper on my icy car window. Video link. Also find it on the Rocks & Mineral page (bottom)
December 2017: How to Find Mineral Percent of Igneous Rocks Using the Igneous Rock Chart
I put this together as a reference for my students when they're working at home. Not exciting, but a usable resource for a basic earth science skill. Video link.
November 2017: Profile Practice
To accompany the popular How to Draw Topographic Profiles video I made last year, I came up with a way for students to practice drawing profiles on their own. Two practice maps, an answer key overlay and a step-by-step video are on the Profile Practice page for students to download.
November 2017: STANYS Conference
I knew presenting 4 different sessions here would be an incredible amount of preparation. And I was right. But I'm definitely glad I was able to present some of my ideas directly to other teachers. Thanks for all the positive feedback. More info on the Conferences page.
November 2017: AMTNYS Conference
It was encouraging to have such a receptive crowd of math teachers for my HW Videos presentation. Check out an overview of the HW video concept here.
November 2017: Physical Science Page is Up
This page will continue to grow and will probably be huge one day, since there are so many great videos out there. Check it out here.
October 2017: NJ Science Convention
Thank you New Jersey! It was great to have such enthusiastic crowds at both of my sessions. I made playlists that include all the clips I showed during each presentation. Here are the links to the playlists for HW Video and Using Self-Made Videos as Teaching Tool.
September 2017: Flying through a Hurricane
This shows how hurricane weather data is collected and the surprising calm of a flight right through a hurricane. Find it here.
September 2017: Hurricane Irma Time Lapse
This time lapse video, filmed from a satellite at 22,000 feet altitude, shows the movement of 3 hurricanes over 6 days. Pretty incredible. This is a great tool to teach so many aspects of weather. Check it out here.
August 2017: Hurricane Harvey
This video from the NY Times shows the difficult-to-fathom scale of the flooding with before and after video of the same location. For future reference, it's been added to the Weather page.
June 2017: NYS Regents Lab Practical Review
While I'm not really in this for the boring state-test stuff, I do believe in efficient and effective learning. And it's always been difficult for students to review for the hands-on lab practical part of the NYS regents exam. So I filmed 4 videos that review the basics. Video can never replace hands-on review of skills like these, but it's the next best thing for when students are not in the classroom. Check out the playlist.
May 2017: Using YouTube Videos in the Science Classroom
In order to promote the use of videos as a teaching tool, I compiled clips of some great science YouTube videos that can help teachers bring the real world into the classroom. This is just a small taste of some of the great videos that are out there. Check them out: YouTube in the Science Classroom
May 2017: 360 Video - Offshore Wind Turbine
I'm working on building Environmental Issues and Energy Resource pages, but they're both far from finished. For now check out this cool 360 degree video of the first offshore wind farm in the US from the NY Times. Be sure to click and drag on the image to take advantage of the 360 video technology. I love the interactive nature of it and how real it feels.
April 2017: Professional Development
I never really aspired to be a PD presenter. But in order to promote the use of video as a teaching tool - something I strongly believe in - I've started to present some PD sessions. I've done a string of them within my own district recently, and I just presented 3 different sessions at the Suffolk County (NY) STANYS Spring Conference. This has lead me to beef up the Trainings page. I've added a Video Video Best Practices page too.
April 2017: Resources for 20,000 Hertz Podcast
I put together a student direction sheet and quiz for the very cool Space episode of the sound-centric podcast 20,000 Hertz. Check it out at the bottom of the Astronomy page.
April 2017: Weathering Page is Up
It's not the most photogenic of topics, but there are some good videos up on this page. We're still looking for some good cave videos though so if you know of any send them our way. Link to the weathering page is here.
April 2017: VantaBlack
This material absorbs 99.965% of all light that hits it. Check out the Sci Show video on the Astronomy page.
March 2017: Stuff in Space added
This website shows all the man-made objects in orbit around Earth. Check it out on the Astronomy page.
March 2017: "Space" episode of 20,000 Hertz Podcast
The folks at the sound-centric podcast 20,000 Hertz tour our solar system asking the question, "What would it sound like on this planet?" Very cool idea that they execute quite well. Check it out at the bottom of the Astronomy page.
March 2017: Vertical Sorting/Graded Bedding
An internet post by another teacher got me rummaging through my scrap video pile. I ended up putting together this video of graded bedding demonstrations I filmed last year. Check it out here or on the Erosion page.
March 2017: Waterfalls
While working to build the Weathering page, I was unhappy with the videos I found on waterfall formation. So I put together a very basic one myself just to get the point across. While very simple, my students always like the animation. Link.
Feb 2017: Sand Lab
I've made semi-major revisions to this lab that greatly improve the overall student experience. I'm excited about how this mini-sand unit has grown - there are some really good activities and resources related to sand. I even made a "How to Do the Sand Lab with Your Class" video to help other teachers see how the lab works. Check it all out on the Sand Lab page.
Jan 2017: Bowen's Reaction Series
We just added three videos explaining Bowens R.S. to the Rocks & Minerals page.
Dec 2016: Rocks/Minerals Page Expanded
We've expanded this page to include over 50 videos, including 18 teaching videos from Professor Christian Shorey's (Colorado School of Mines) excellent Earth Explorations series. We've also added more quarrying/mining videos and broke them out into its own section.
Oct 2016: Groundwater / Water Resources page is up. Though groundwater may not seem to be the most photogenic of topics, we've collected links to some good water-related videos here, from A Billion Gallons a Day about NYC's water system, to slo-mo water drops to a really cool permeable pavement demo (!). We're still on the lookout for a really good video of one of those plexi-glass groundwater models though. Look for videos on dams to be added soon. Link to the page is here.
Oct 2016: Time Lapse page is up.
I love time lapse as a teaching tool. Our collection is a bit random for now, but there are some really good ones. Look for more to to be added as we move toward 2017. The time lapse page link is here.
Sep 2016: Mapping page is up and running. Maps as a topic doesn't really lend itself to good videos, but we found some videos that will enhance your class. The AR Sandbox is super cool. The Mapping page is here.
July 2016: Building a Time Lapse page.
Time lapse videos open up a whole world when teaching science. And there are some great ones out there. We've only just started building the page, but here's a taste: Alexis Coram's great Northern Lights TL video (click on photo below)
June 2016: Weather Video page is up
It's surprising how few good weather videos there are, especially for some of the nuts-and-bolts stuff we teach (such as fronts). So we're still searching, but the videos we have up now are good. Check them out here.
June 2016: More Sand stuff added
We've just added a recent NY Times article and a few additional videos (toward bottom of the page)
June 2016: Sand Lab
For years I've wanted to develop a lab where students take a close up look at sand. It snowballed a bit to include videos, articles and interactive stuff. I did it for the first time this year and was pleasantly surprised with how students took to it. The lab itself is very hands-on and more hands-on is always good. Check it out here.
June 2016: Earth-Sun-Moon page up and running
Includes 11 videos and 6 animations at this time. Lots of good tide and eclipse stuff. Check it out here.
the world is big,