Better late than never. . . .
Mamacita says: Anyone of any age who “hates science” never had a good science teacher. With a good science teacher, a child will explode with enthusiasm the minute he/she runs into the house, and will talk about what he/she saw and learned all through dinner. A good science teacher encourages students to get up and touch things and get messy. A good science teacher will make things explode and then allow the students to make things explode. A good science teacher laughs a lot, and knows how to play with science. A good science teacher understands that mixing some science with some magic equals AWESOMENESS! Good science teachers don’t use worksheets in place of action, and they don’t assign lots and lots of reading and fill-in-the-blanks and T/F. (All of this applies to ANY teacher, by the way.) Good science teachers help students create wonder and amazement, and show them how to explain it to someone else. (Remember, you don’t really understand something unless you can explain it to your mother. ~ Unknown.) (If your state standards forbid this, your state standards are not merely wrong; they are evil.) (If your administration forbids or even discourages this, your administration is evil, too.)
If you are a teacher whose students don’t absolutely LOVE your class, you’re not doing it right. Quite possibly, you’re not doing it at all. This is harsh, but I do not apologize. Get up off your keisters – both teacher and students – and stick your hands in it. It’s sad and bad enough that there are teachers who don’t throw a lot of laughter and excitement and hands-on into their classes; don’t YOU do it, either.
And do not lose sight of the fact that what we remember while laughing, we usually remember.
1. Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science. ~Edwin Powell Hubble
2. No one should approach the temple of science with the soul of a money changer. ~Thomas Browne
3. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate. ~Henry J. Tillman (I LOVE this one!)
4. Nature composes some of her loveliest poems for the microscope and the telescope. ~Theodore Roszak
5. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact. ~Mark Twain
6. The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!) but “That’s funny…” ~Isaac Asimov
7. Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination. ~John Dewey
8. Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
9. The great men of science are supreme artists. ~Martin H. Fischer
10. The capacity to blunder slightly is the real marvel of DNA. Without this special attribute, we would still be anaerobic bacteria and there would be no music. ~Lewis Thomas
11. The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he’s one who asks the right questions. ~Claude Lévi-Strauss
12. Most institutions demand unqualified faith; but the institution of science makes skepticism a virtue. ~Robert K. Merton
13. There are no physicists in the hottest parts of hell, because the existence of a ‘hottest part’ implies a temperature difference, and any marginally competent physicist would immediately use this to run a heat engine and make some other part of hell comfortably cool. This is obviously impossible. ~Richard Davisson
14. In a manner which matches the fortuity, if not the consequence, of Archimedes’ bath and Newton’s apple, the [3.6 million year old] fossil footprints were eventually noticed one evening in September 1976 by the paleontologist Andrew Hill, who fell while avoiding a ball of elephant dung hurled at him by the ecologist David Western. ~John Reader
15. The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking. ~Albert Einstein
16. I have had my results for a long time: but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them. ~Karl Friedrich Gauss
17. The way to do research is to attack the facts at the point of greatest astonishment. ~Celia Green
18. Every science begins as philosophy and ends as art. ~Will Durant
19. There is no national science just as there is no national multiplication table; what is national is no longer science. ~Anton Chekhov
20. In science it often happens that scientists say, “You know that’s a really good argument; my position is mistaken,” and then they actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn’t happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. ~Carl Sagan
21. The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. ~Eden Phillpotts
22. My mother made me a scientist without ever intending to. Every other Jewish mother in Brooklyn would ask her child after school, “So? Did you learn anything today?” But not my mother. “Izzy,” she would say, “did you ask a good question today?” That difference – asking good questions – made me become a scientist. ~Isidor Isaac Rabi
23. A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. ~Max Planck
24. The improver of natural science absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties: blind faith the one unpardonable sin. ~Thomas Henry Huxley
25. It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics and chemistry. ~H.L. Mencken
26. The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious – the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. ~Albert Einstein
27. The First Clarke Law states, ‘If an elderly but distinguished scientist says that something is possible he is almost certainly right, but if he says that it is impossible he is very probably wrong. ~Arthur C. Clarke
28. Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine. ~Arthur Eddington
29. It is the tension between creativity and skepticism that has produced the stunning and unexpected findings of science. ~Carl Sagan
30. I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reasons, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. ~Galileo Galilei
31. Science and art belong to the whole world, and before them vanish the barriers of nationality. ~Goethe
32. When people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together. ~Isaac Asimov
33. I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. ~Isaac Newton
34. There are sadistic scientists who hurry to hunt down errors instead of establishing the truth. ~Marie Curie
35. The religion that is afraid of science dishonors God and commits suicide. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
36. After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with color, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn’t it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it? This is how I answer when I am asked — as I am surprisingly often — why I bother to get up in the mornings. ~Richard Dawkins
37. The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them. ~Sir William Bragg
38. All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. ~Albert Einstein
39. It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious. ~Alfred North Whitehead
40. Science is a great game. It is inspiring and refreshing. The playing field is the universe itself. ~Isidor Isaac Rabi
41. There is no adequate defense, except stupidity, against the impact of a new idea. ~ Percy Williams Bridgman
42. In Science the credit goes to the man who convinces the world, not to the man to whom the idea first occurred. ~ Sir William Osler
43. If anybody says he can think about quantum problems without getting giddy, that only shows he has not understood the first thing about them. ~ Niels Henrik David Bohr
44. Innocence about Science is the worst crime today. ~ Sir Charles Percy Snow
45. To say that a man is made up of certain chemical elements is a satisfactory description only for those who intend to use him as a fertilizer. ~ Hermann Joseph Muller
46. When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it is tied to everything else in the universe. ~John Muir (This is what I try to show my students with everything we do in class.) (The Universe is the great “6 Degrees of Separation” demonstration.)
47. Science is not formal logic–it needs the free play of the mind in as great a degree as any other creative art. It is true that this is a gift which can hardly be taught, but its growth can be encouraged in those who already posses it. ~Max Born
48. There ain’t no rules around here! We’re trying to accomplish something! ~Thomas Alva Edison
49. I am sitting here 93 million miles from the sun on a rounded rock which is spinning at the rate of 1000 miles an hour… and my head pointing down into space with nothing between me and infinity but something called gravity which I can’t even understand, and which you can’t even buy any place so as to have some stored away for a gravityless day… ~Russell Baker
50. So, what can you learn by using humor in the classroom and out there in life? . . . you’ll learn that it’s possible to tap into a kid’s natural sense of humor and awaken an enthusiasm for discovery and learning. . .you’ll realize that a rocket ship COULD travel to the sun. . . if you believe it’s possible. By using the power of humor to create unforgettable learning experiences, you rekindle a childlike sense of wonder – in both children and adults. . . . ~Steve Spangler
Six Degrees of Separation? It’s what I do all day! I connect the dots from topic to topic, from person to person, from place to place. There is no such thing as something that isn’t connected to something else. NOTHING exists ONLY within the four walls of a classroom in a vaccuum. No man is an island, etc. etc. etc. Neither is anything else.
When your students ask you “Why do I have to learn this?” you’d better have a good answer for them. It’s a legitimate question. There ARE answers. If you don’t know them, why are you in charge of this classroom?
Use “Because some day you might be on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, and I’m counting on you sharing your winnings with me in thanks for the answers,” if you can’t think of any other reason.
Teachers have a tendency to keep all their discoveries and methods to themselves, when they ought to be sharing and coordinating and working WITH each other.
As for ISTEP Prep and Teaching Our Standards In Order. . . . . . .(scroll down)
Piss on them.
If enough people speak out, maybe we can change a lot of the absolute nonsense that’s being forced on our schools.
Learning is a lightning bolt, not a worksheet.
*Occasional exception made for those students who come to school only because the law requires it, and who exist only to disrupt and destroy.