Welcome

In response to recent cries from the #scichat Twitter community, I have started an Earth & Space Science blog.  I am teaching Earth & Space Science for the first time but have taught mathematics and physics in the past.  I have yet to determine what to put here, but I hope to learn from my blogosphere progenitors as I try to improve and incorporate Modeling Earth Science ideas into my practice.

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3 responses to “Welcome

  1. Welcome. And subscribed.

  2. Oh and to actually be helpful, I’d definitely like to see how you approach teaching Earth/Space. I need to teach a small (like a month) unit on the Solar System and it’s easily the hardest part of my year.

  3. As far as the entire subject goes, I’m taking an historical/anthropic approach that asks how humans originally dealt with the natural world (shying away from the purely biological questions). An initial unit will focus on the Rhythms of the Skies, so observing the celestial motions around us. My only hesitation in doing this first is that it gets dark so late. The idea is to try to pin down a model of the solar system and to use it to explain both familiar and unfamiliar phenomena. There are many questions to ask: What shape is the Earth? (Watch a video of a ship disappearing over the horizon.) What does the sun do? (Track it over the day using clear plastic hemispheres and pooling data from multiple classes.) How does the moon change? (Watch it over a week’s time and sketch it in an observation log.) How do the stars move? (Draw the circumpolar stars at a few different times one night.) How do the planets move? (Pick one, such as Jupiter–depending on the time of year–and have students measure the angular separation from known stars to triangulate its position.) How does the Earth move? (Foucault pendulum?)

    These are not typical “school” experiments because some may require a week to complete. The emphasis is observation and representation as a means to model-build. Try to develop submodels of the solar system based on these experiments (the hard part). Try some lab practica to apply the models. These are the basics, but of course there is room for enrichment with modern-day topics like exoplanets or solar contributions to climate change. Anyway, those are my current ideas but I’m still working on putting things together.

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