Connect Issues information
- January/February, 2005
- Vol.18 Num.3, Back issues available
- Focus: On Time!
- Time, which is a major factor in the school day, is also essential in almost all scientific investigation. Time presents many math challenges from computing geological eras to measuring parts of a second. It has presented all kinds of technological challenges, both in history and today.
However, when we looked for concepts of time in Standards and curricula, we found them embedded in other topics, almost hidden away. Some of the expectations that relate to the teaching of clock hours are remarkably low: A group of New England states working on common testing note that second graders should know about hours and intervals of fifteen minutes. By fourth grade, they say, children should know about five minute intervals. Yet fourth graders can carry out all sorts of record keeping in science down to seconds and can easily explain a time of 4:22:54 if they have been working with timing tasks.
In this issue, we asked teachers to write about their students' work with concepts of time as a topic in itself and as a tool.
- March/April, 2005
- Vol.18 Num.4, Back issues available
- Focus: Science Kits in the Classroom
- The idea of kits that are organized around curriculum and that can deliver hands-on resources to classrooms is hardly new. Nor are kits restricted to science and math. Some social studies kits were in use fifty years ago, as were kits that provided additional materials for specific topics in literature. But modern kits, focused around standards and current theories of learning, can provide strong links to curriculum goals in unit or topic formats that can be valuable to students and teachers alike.
Many good math kits exist but they are often tied to publishers texts and are hard to consider as self-contained units. There are also technology kits, such as the superb LEGO® Technics kits. All of these have value. This issue of Connect centers on science kits serving K8 classrooms.
As you will see, many of the new, commercial kits are discussed in these articles, but you will also find adaptations of kits to fit specific circumstances, the use of portions of kits and inventions of new kits. José Rios' article (Situating Science Using Kits) helps us to place science kits in the broader context of science education.
- May/June, 2005
- Vol.18 Num.5, Back issues available
- Focus: Light and Color
- Sir Isaac Newton is known for his study of refraction by using a prism to create a spectrum of light and then another prism to re-combine the spectrum into a beam of "white" light. Today we can use equipment from flashlights to light boxes and lasers to study aspects of light and color right in the classrooms.But how do we do it and make it valuable, age appropriate and exciting?
Connect explores this question with the help of teachers, artists, technicians and scientists. Through their ideas we see many avenues for the study and use of light and color that are accessible in the classroom and that advance students' scientific understanding and inquiry.
In addition, this issue looks at varied interpretations and uses of primary colors and additive and subtractive color. To help your students with a study of light and color and to continue the work explored by Newton, please read on!
- September/October, 2005
- Vol.19 Num.1, Back issues available
- Focus: Communication
- A small child adds antennae on a careful drawing of a silk moth; two friends negotiate whether to use cards or dice to move a marker along a game board; middle school students present and defend their findings about toxins to a community of teachers, scientists and peers; a web page erupts from the nimble HTML commands of a lone designer. All of these examples show the importance and variety of communication in the context of learning math, science and technology. In this issue we see relationships formed, connections made, and the media employed that fulfill the Standards in math and science in rich and meaningful ways.
- November/December, 2005
- Vol.19 Num.2, Back issues available
- Focus: Adaptation
- Adaptations, or changes that affect a species, an individual or a specific organ, whether they occur over millennia or only seconds, are a core topic in elementary science. In our interview with Eric Rhomberg, he argues for a greater focus on the deeper importance of adaptation studies, kindergarten through twelfth grade. Roy Warner describes a long-term study of the adaptations found in plant and animal species on a river island.
Other stories in this issue look at students studying whooping crane migration, role-playing as an avenue to science learning, and the impact of studying adaptation through fieldwork in urban settings. Bob Coulters examination of the rationale behind scientific theories offers a helpful perspective in consideration of science education, evolution and intelligent design.
Writers in this issue of Connect highlight student work in science with implications for mathematics and technology as well. Some of the investigations are short-term, but the questions they raise stretch far into the future.