May 28, 2009
by: Tami O’Connor
Although Robert Fulton is usually remembered as the inventor of the steamboat, it was actually John Fitch who built the first successful steamboat in 1787. Unfortunately, John Fitch ran into financial difficulties which opened the door for Robert Fulton to design and test the Clermont, which was the first commercially successful steamboat, in 1807. Since that time, there have been many improvements on the initial design, but the science behind the steamboat engine is fascinating.
Educational Innovations carries Putt Putt Steam Boats that are wonderful reproduction toys, which can be used to teach many scientific principles. The science behind how they work is rather complex and often disputed. Read the rest of this entry »
1 Comment | College level, Elementary level, experiments, High School level, Middle School level, Physics | Tagged: phenomenon based learning, steamboats, STEM, thermodynamics | Permalink
Posted by Tami O'Connor
May 8, 2009
by: John Fedors
As infants become aware of their surroundings, fingers, toes, toys, pacifiers and other objects that can be handled, always end up in their mouths. It’s no wonder that parents become first fascinated, then concerned, and eventually oblivious for it seems almost everything ends up being “tasted”.
Alertness, curiosity, and fascination inspire investigation, which begins at an early age. Teachers encourage this direction and take advantage of it. Repetition of this experience should be reinforced and developed to become habitual. Children come to recognize, “It Makes Sense” .
Did you wash your hands? How many times have we heard this? How many times do we “forget”? This simple, though important task, must be difficult to instill, for so many fail to perform it.
We are continually reminded during our early lives and even as adults, that hand-washing must be difficult or of low priority, because we so often forget. It would seem that demonstrating the effectiveness of using soap and water should be encouraged!
The use of Glo Germ powder may help to develop this habit.
When I mention this to teachers, most are aware of its uses, but many are not. Some teachers are aware because the school nurse or health teacher has demonstrated it in their class, then it is forgotten. Teachers have multiple opportunities to demonstrate and reinforce this awareness.
Glo-Germ is a nontoxic product, which simulates a microorganism. This product is not easily visible but fluoresces when exposed to UV light. It is used in hospitals, fast food chains, and schools to demonstrate the effectiveness of hand washing.
Suggested Uses or Demonstrations for Glo Germ powder:
Read the rest of this entry »
1 Comment | Biology, Elementary level, experiments, High School level, Middle School level | Tagged: disease transmission, forensic science, germs, hand-washing, microorganisms, phenomenon based learning | Permalink
Posted by Tami O'Connor