critical thinking

Fact checking GMOs


This is not an article about the pros and cons of genetically modified organisms. I am not arguing for them or against them. Instead, the goal of this article is to help you learn some of the basic science involved, to make it easier for you to fact check articles on this topic.

Who Evolved on First?


Bud Abbott and Lou Costello

While I was writing this post, I heard that Bill Nye and Ken Ham are planning to have a debate about evolution and creation. While it could be an interesting conversation, I suspect that it will suffer from the same communication problems that afflict most of these debates.

Snow Rollers

I recently presented a session on teaching electricity at the Utah Science Teachers Association Conference. On my way home, I did quite a bit of photography of the snowy landscape, but one roadside slope caught my eye. Driving past, I saw something that I had only seen in books, and a few recent weather articles. Snow rollers! They are usually quite rare, and of the hundreds of snowy road cuts that I passed on the drive home, this was the only one that had them.

Changing How We Look at Changing

I love it when teachers ask questions! I alway enjoy a good science question because they make me really think about the subject to be sure I give the right answer, but when a teacher asks a question, I feel obligated to give an answer (if I can) that will let them explain the subject to their students. Recently, I have been talking with a teacher friend, about chemical and physical changes, and the more we talked, the more I thought the rest of you might find this useful.

Boomerangs

This week's experiment comes from conversation I had with some talented science educators. We got into a discussion that ranged from gyroscopes to bicycles. The conversation led us into talking about boomerangs, so of course we had to make some paper ones to play with. The dynamics are a bit different with the paper ones, but they are still lots of fun.

Big Numbers

This time we will take a look at some big numbers. In the study of science, you will run into all sorts of very large numbers, and it can get to be overwhelming.

Bernoulli in the Shower?

This experiment came as an accidental discovery while working on a different experiment idea. I was playing with ideas for showing how inertia helps remove water from your clothes in the spin cycle of the washing machine. In the process, I saw something interesting, and made a wrong guess about the cause. That led to even more interesting discoveries. There are times when it is more fun to be wrong, because it lets you learn new things.

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