Sunday, July 17, 2022
Sunday, April 24, 2022
LESSON PLAN / FINDING SCIENCE IN STORIES
STORY: Deputy Dan and the Bank Robbers by Joseph Rosenbloom,
Random House, New York, 1985
SUMMARY: Deputy Dan listens to the orders of Sheriff Digbee who likes to use popular expressions (figures of speech), which Dan follows literally rather than by the figurative meaning. This leads to some funny situations, which frustrate his boss. Despite this, will Deputy Dan end up being successful in capturing some bank robbers?
LEAD-IN: Ask: If I tell you to answer the door, would you go and talk to the door? Deputy Dan does. Let’s read and find out why.
READ STORY: Invite participation, such as having a student reading “No, no!” or Deputy Dan hopping to it, as his boss orders. Various scenes can be acted out.
PREDICTION: As the story proceeds, what do you predict will happen when Sheriff Digbee gives a new order to Deputy Dan? Keep in mind his common expressions such as hop over, step on it, keep an eye on something, check it out, keep it covered, etc. And keep in mind that Dan takes these instructions word for word (not as intended in the figurative sense).
· Re Prediction in story: Does the child begin to anticipate Dan’s actions?
· Did Dan use common sense to figure out who the robbers were?
(no – dirty crooks / and yes – Scrambled Eggs Gang) Did luck play a role?
· For discussion: Dan follows orders blindly -- without questioning if they make sense. Does this waste time? What can both Dan and Sheriff Digbee learn from this to prevent future confusion?
· Art. Draw a picture of your favorite scene.
TRANSITION: As the story comes to an end, remind them of the jumping that takes place in the story by frustrated Sheriff Digbee. Jumping takes a lot of energy, because where you want to go up, gravity pulls us down. You can remain indoors or go outdoors for these activities.
BRINGING IN SCIENCE:
· In the video we do jumping jacks, cartwheels, jump rope, long jump:
Other games you can do: hopscotch / jump up stairs / leapfrog, too.
· Jumping takes a lot of energy – where you want to go up, gravity pulls us down.
· Activities like jumping use a lot of oxygen. Remember to deep breathe.
· You will hear Bella point out (in the video) that it’s harder to jump on grass than on a smooth surface. This is due to more friction when the rope passes over the grass.
· Potential Energy (PE) and Kinetic Energy (KE) in Cartwheels or Long jump:
As someone is in position to jump, you can easily notice that the person is in the right position and place to use their energy – Potential energy.
As the person moves through the jump, this energy changes to the energy of motion – Kinetic energy.
· The long jump is a great way to bring in math. Measure the distances each child jumps, seeing if they do more than or less than before. Using a yardstick or tape measure, keep a record and calculate how they did. See if there is any difference between a standing start and a running start.
Sunday, February 27, 2022
SUBSTANCE ABUSE PREVENTION: PROACTIVE TRAINING
HOW TO SAY NO TO WHAT I CALL THE “DREAM-KILLERS”
Kathy Hogan, Quincy, Mass.
PROPOSAL: Teach kids how they can say no to drink and/or drugs with conviction and confidence. Drink and drugs can be dream-killers.
DRIVING We learn to drive by taking lessons to drive safely, studying rules of the road, and taking a driving test before being issued a license to drive a potentially dangerous vehicle. However, drink and drugs are dangerous, yet young people are not given the same kind of preparation.
PLAYING TEAM SPORTS Sports teams consist of offense and defense. Defensive players are trained to play defense. However, we do not train kids to play defense when it comes to dealing with this offense: an offense in which drink and/or drugs are offered.
RATIONALE: In childhood kids do things that excite them, that make them happy, or that they simply enjoy – yet drink or drugs are not part of this. Later on, when young people are invited to try drink or drugs, they’re often persuaded it will make them feel good. Remind kids they already know how to find pleasure in life in a natural way. Train them so they have something to draw upon – experience saying ‘no’ and a response in which they have conviction – when faced with persuasion. Other reasons to say no can be explored such as the undesirable prospect of being kicked off their sports team.
NOTE: How well this will work with children from abusive families, with mental health problems, or with parents who have substance abuse problems themselves is not clear. By itself this might not be a cure-all, but it is worth trying, if for no other reason than to keep the good times in the forefront of their minds. At its best, it could be the saving grace.
First: Brainstorm things that as a child you enjoy, excite you, make you happy, or just bring you contentment.
Second: Brainstorm things someone may say to you to get you to try a drink or drug.
Third: Keep in mind that you have had experiences that bring you pleasure, and brainstorm responses you can use to say no. Explore various reasons. Be aware that bullying reactions can follow as well as peer pressure; prepare the children for this, too.
Fourth: Role play in pairs, the first person acting as the person offering something, the second person as the one being offered something. Then take turns and reverse roles.
Fifth: Members of the whole group share with each other.
TO FOLLOW: Lesson Plans/Training Plans for each stage
Saturday, February 5, 2022
PROPOSAL FOR RE-USE OF
QUINCY’S EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER:
A THEME SCHOOL BASED ON
GATEWAY TO SCIENCE: SPORTS AND GAMES
Kathy Dullea Hogan
MY MESSAGE TO YOU, READER:
The plan proposed below is certainly something I want to see happen. However, equally important is to introduce this revolutionary idea to people, to you, to get conversations going, and to spur people to investigate and implement this approach on their own and with others.
Almost 25 years have passed since I began raising funds for the Father Maurice Dullea, S.J., Athletic Scholarship at Boston College in 1996. This is when I began to think about the connection between physics and sports. Since kids already like to play games and sports, it would be easy to incorporate physics (and geometry) into what they already know instinctively and physically. What is the link? The link is learning the name of the force involved! Language is the connection between the activity and the brain’s understanding of the principle. Arrange for kids to acquire basic physics this way, and they’ll start learning more on their own. Painlessly while having fun – and gaining confidence.
A retired teacher, I collect games, books, articles, and much more that promote this approach. Some I’ve used at the South Shore Science Festival since 2015 (at 180 Old Colony Avenue when the Quincy Center for Innovation was there). For example, string-can telephones are always a big hit while learning about vibration. I’ve also done volunteer work at QCAP, Kenny School in Dorchester, and Science Week at Saint Agatha School in Milton and incorporated this theme, often done through finding science in stories. It’s time to put it all into practice – a theme school.
Implementing this is the next step. Since reading that Quincy is to make changes vis a vis the Amelio Della Chiesa Early Childhood Center, this is what I would like to suggest. Integrate this theme school into one of the two options for the ECC – create a city-wide kindergarten center or relieve space shortage in elementary schools. Which one?
Kindergarten works as it’s a good age to start, and it would be city-wide.
Elementary works, too, because, ranging from kindergarten to grade 5, curriculum would get a chance to be developed further as kids get older.
I envision one room to be set aside as the “Gateway to Science,” which would be something like a library or a special type of gym.
It would have stations around the room with space in the middle for activities. The stations will have different science themes, with a card on how to carry out each activity.
Center of gravity/mass: Various games and challenges (see illustration below).
Torque: Hula hoops, jump ropes.
Measuring: Yard/meter stick, food scale, measuring cups, Newton apples, etc.
Light and color: Prism, CD (for light refraction in the grooves), glitter; paints, chalk.
Sound and music: String-can telephones, musical instruments.
Other themes and other equipment: Energy. Gravity. Collision. Inertia. Friction. Magnetism. Potential and kinetic energy. Golf equipment, soccer ball, football, magnets, Slinky.
Books: General reference books, children’s stories, leaflets that I’ve written, videos.
The next step is to write the curriculum.* Many subjects lend themselves to a cross-curriculum approach, e.g., reading, with activities to reinforce the science found in the story. Music class can be enhanced by a greater appreciation of vibrations. Public speaking can be eased into by a student showing and explaining the above trick he’s learned. Gateway to Science is the teacher’s friend!
Outside what is now the ECC, the playground can be adapted with names for the rides. For example, the slide could be called “Gravity Glide.” The xylophones might be called “Very Good Vibrations.” Additional information can be put on signs, such as explaining friction on the slide (quality of the ride depends on whether you’re wearing long pants or shorts, whether you or the slide is wet or dry, etc.).
Recommend: Collaborate with a college with an education and science major to strengthen this approach. Do a research project and write it up for a professional journal (preferably from the National Science Teaching Association). This school would be good for teachers in training to do observations and student teaching.
*To be developed next.
Finding science in stories is one of the strategies used in Gateway to Science, followed up with an activity to reinforce the science. Here The Rainbow Fish was read at the 2017 South Shore Science Festival by volunteers Denise Duncan and JoJo Foley. Bruno Barroso and Nandan Nair approved! Other times, Deputy Dan and the Bank Robbers offered lots of jumping activities, and Curious George at the Aquarium offered throwing activities to learn about energy v. gravity. Kathy Hogan photo
WHAT NEXT? MY GOAL:
This school can become a model, not only for other such schools but for camps and after-school programs. This approach can reach kids who may not have a good opinion of themselves academically, yet through their games and sports they really do get the physics and just need to be shown how much they do know. Our precious planet needs dedicated scientists who can help restore a healthier Earth. My ultimate goal is to develop:
C.A.M.P.S. (Center for the Advancement of Math and Physics through Sports)
C.A.M.P.S. will offer camps, of course, that offer physics in games and sports; professional development for teachers, coaches and parents; after-school programs, and more. C.A.M.P.S. will be a resource for training education majors to use this approach. C.A.M.P.S., too, will be a model for other such programs.
There is nothing like this anywhere, and it is needed, but I can’t do it on my own. Quincy can be the leader. What will you do to help make this happen?
Volunteer Bonnie Gorman introduces curious visitors to the unusual Galileo thermometer in a tall glass cylinder before turning their attention to the colorful Slinky and the physics lessons it holds. 2018 South Shore Science Festival. Kathy Hogan photo
Kathy Dullea Hogan was happy to discover her vocation to be teaching when she was 39, and so she went back to college in 1984 to get her degree in elementary and special education at Bridgewater State College. Kathy is the niece of Father Dullea (1896-1984), the inspiration for Gateway to Science: Sports and Games. She can be reached at email@example.com
Saturday, January 29, 2022
Fred Calef III, Quincy High School ‘87, Chief Cartographer for NASA’s Mars Project
“From Quincy, Mass. to Quincy, Mars!”
Dr. Fred Calef III holding a chunk of Quincy granite from his office at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. © Courtesy Photo
Headlining the virtual science festival (in Part 2):
Dr. Fred Calef
Ward 6 Councilor Bill Harris introduced Dr. Calef and read to him Mayor Koch’s proclamation of April 24 as Dr. Fred Calef III Day.
We learned, first and foremost, that as “Keeper of the Maps” Dr. Calef named two sites on the Gale Crater on Mars for his hometown: Quincy, Mars and Squantum, Mars! That’s where the Curiosity rover landed several years ago. It’s pretty obvious why he chose Quincy: that’s his hometown, and it has a rich history of granite quarrying. But why Squantum in particular? There is special rock there called Cambridge argillite and Roxbury conglomerate, or puddingstone. This stone is also found in northwest Africa where America and Africa were long ago connected in one landmass, called Pangaea.
We learned that humans one day could live on Mars, but only for 2 to 12 months, due to physical problems caused by reduced gravity. We learned about a wide range of occupations and skill sets needed in NASA’s various teams – in addition to the obvious scientists, engineers, astronauts, and IT people – such as artists, graphics designers, and writers. Kasha Patel, science writer for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, also runs DC Science Comedy and conducted the interview with Calef.
A past student at Lincoln-Hancock School, Sterling Middle School and Quincy High School, Dr. Calef became interested in rocks and earth science when his grandfather opened his eyes to the story that an ordinary rock can tell and from visits to a quarry near his home in southwest Quincy. The number of questions Calef was asked gave a good idea of the interest people have in the Mars program. South Shore kids in particular may want to investigate this further, inspired by someone local who has succeeded in this field.
National Anthem The science festival was officially opened in Part 2 with Sofia Marietta Hurley singing The Star-Spangled Banner – as she has for so many years as a young girl in the early days of the South Shore Science Festival. Sofia allowed this tradition to be continued in a science festival which was anything but traditional this year!
Science Fair Projects Four students from Saint Agatha School, Milton, presented their science fair projects with an Earth Day theme. Adriana Joassainte, grade 5, explored water pollution and its effect on the environment. She explained the difference between plastic pollution and chemical pollution. Jacob Gratch, grade 6, showed us how to desalinate water. Dermot White, grade 7, explained that we should know what soil is made of and described six types of soil. Chloe McGrath, grade 8, compared tap water plus different brands of bottled water and shared her findings on their water purity.
Tinker & Create concluded Part 2 with Doug Tepe, partner of Etay Armon. He demonstrated their 3D modeling program, inviting kids to sign up for SketchUp so they could follow along with him, and he showed them how to make an .stl file. They can then bring this on a thumb drive (memory stick) to some libraries for printing.
Going back to Part 1, the virtual festival got under way with Quincy Police Chief Paul Keenan.
Quincy Police Chief Paul Keenan hopes young people consider entering the scientific field as forensic technicians. They analyze DNA from crime scenes and use a database to compare it with others, similar to the way fingerprints are handled. Technological devices include police radios, body cams for the police officers, and video cameras. He gave an example of the ability of facial recognition technology to work well, even with a mask, when it was tested on himself!
Next was “Our Rainbow Earth: Light and Color – and Trees.” Collaborators were Kathy Hogan of Gateway to Science: Sports and Games; Mary Flowers, local artist; and Chia Ming Chen of E-Green. Waving to the audience was a lead-in to light waves. Ms. Flowers read Alan Baker’s White Rabbit’s Color Book about pigment-based color; when all such colors are mixed, it produces black. After Hogan made the Claim that mixing all the colors of light, on the other hand, produces white, Chen provided the Evidence with the E-Prism lamp, demonstrating part of the Scientific Method. A DVD or CD is a readily available way to learn about reflection and refraction (white light breaking into the colors of the rainbow, the color spectrum). It was explained how blue light wavelengths enter water and the water reflects these back to your eyes, which pass the information to the brain, which interprets the color as blue. It’s the same with plants and how they look green. However, plants absorb other color wavelengths, and the chlorophyll changes them to food – photosynthesis. An art activity was suggested to reinforce this.
That was the foundation for the next two presentations. Storyteller Judith Black’s stories provided a fine segue. She told a story that kids could participate in with I’m A Tree, We Are Kin, then gave them something to think about with Spider And The Palm-Nut Tree. Quincy Tree Alliance/Quincy Climate Action Network continued this with a reading of The Lorax, which is about saving trees, then took us to the Wakefield Arboretum in Milton to show us how to get a tree started. Syndie Cine, Maggie McKee, Fay Strigler and Joe Murphy collaborated on this. They and Judith Black are helping kids to be more aware of the importance of trees – and all plants, for that matter.
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss was read to teach the importance of caring for trees.
State Senator John Keenan addressed the viewers at the end of Part 1. He stressed the importance of science and technology in solving our climate issues. Massachusetts is a leader in science and technology, and among these firms is Moderna, whose Covid vaccine is helping to protect so many of us now. He cited the MBTA that two years ago was planning a new bus depot for diesel buses in Quincy but, after people made their views known, there are plans now for hybrid buses. Keenan thanked kids for their interest in STEM and urged them to keep it up, saying, “Our future is in your hands. Your future is in your hands.”
Quincy native Marsha Goodman-Wood of Marsha & the Positrons, Washington, D.C., brought her love for science and music to kids and their families. Her enthusiasm and inviting way comes through loud and clear and makes you want to dance and sing right along! Due to time constraints with a virtual festival, her performances needed to be split up, but now you can watch Marsha on her own separate video. It was such a great complement to the speakers’ topics:
· Fred Calef, Mars (Why Can’t You Dance On Jupiter?)
· Peter Doherty, viruses (Nobody Likes Viruses And Germs)
· Kathy, gravity in games (Gravity Vacation)
Marsha Goodman-Wood sings Gravity Vacation to complement Kathy Hogan’s call to help kids riding on playground slides to understand gravity. Photo, Marsha Goodman-Wood
Quincy Fire Chief
Joe Jackson opened Part 3.
Fire Chief Joe Jackson presented what is referred to in his field of work as turnout gear, his bunker coat, an item that most of us might overlook amid all the impressive equipment on a fire truck. However, every firefighter is protected by this coat because of how it is made. The outer shell of the coat contains the heat-resistant fiber Kevlar, with crisscross fibers which are cut-resistant. The middle layer is a moisture barrier. It is attached to the inner thermal layer which helps protect the firefighter from heat; called Glide fabric, it is smooth and makes the bunker coat easy to put on, saving time when responding to a call – when seconds count. Chief Jackson expressed his pleasure at being part of the science festival.
Manuel Barroso, co-chair, of Positive BCS asks, “Why do engineers and scientists have all the fun jobs?” He revealed the many interesting fields they can work in, such as working with drones, remote control toys, smart sport devices, bridges, energy-saving devices, and self-driving cars. He explained there are differences among artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and deep learning. Applied AI can be used in the fields of education, retail, robotics, automotive, and with Alexa. As an example of the Internet of Things (IoT), he introduced the Samsung SmartSuit for speed skaters; if the skater’s posture is a little off, the SmartSuit communicates with the coach who in turn sends a vibration to the skater’s wrist.
Barroso asks viewers, “What will you invent?”
Kathy Hogan of Gateway to Science: Sports and Games explained how kids can learn physics from the ground up – literally in the playground! She gave examples such as learning about gravity on the slide. She urged the establishment of C.A.M.P.S. – a Center for the Advancement of Math and Physics through Sports. She believes there is a lot of business potential for such a revolutionary approach, especially if professional sports organizations get involved.
Boston Scientific, represented by Raju Kavalla, Zaki Ahmed Syed and Helga Barroso, showed us how medical instruments improve the quality of life and save lives. We saw videos of special instruments used for removing gallstones, opening blocked arteries with balloon dilation, and stimulating the spinal cord to relieve chronic pain. Their STEM Club is open to employees’ kids. There are field trips to Boston Scientific for students in the Quincy Public Schools, and some workshop topics that are offered include smart cities, life and nature, the universe, and Legos.
Bobbie Carlton of Innovation Women and Mass. Innovation Nights. Bobbie Carlton concluded Part 3 with her message that STEM needs spokespersons – to add the A in STEAM. That’s the reason that several years ago she, along with other social media people, were invited to Florida by NASA to view the SpaceX-4 cargo resupply flight to the International Space Station and went on tours of the facilities there. Not an engineer or scientist herself but passionate about the need to communicate, she explained the different kinds of speaking, including a way that is available to members of an audience, and that is to ask questions. It’s one way to get started and gain confidence. She described different kinds of roles in this field such as entertainer, journalist, teacher, and marketing. Carlton started a new magazine since the pandemic began, Lioness, for female entrepreneurs.
Part 3 ended at the festival’s usual closing time – 3 p.m. However, Part 4 at 7:30 p.m. was added this year to accommodate the time in Australia.
Dr. Peter Doherty, Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, 1996.
Photo, Global Virus Network
Nobel Laureate Dr. Peter Doherty. Dr. Doherty of Melbourne, Australia was introduced by Dr. Edward Shapiro of Nobel Laureates’ School Visits. Co-Chair Barroso and Dr. Shapiro welcomed Dr. Doherty, an immunologist, whose work concerns viruses and vaccines.
What are the hit men of immunity? We learned: Killer T-cells! Produced in the Thymus gland (under the breastbone), they roam around inside the body to destroy cancer cells and viruses, such as the coronavirus. Listening to Dr. Doherty, it soon becomes clear there’s a relationship between our internal environment (our health) and our external environment (Earth’s health – plus ours). A few years ago there was a Nobel Laureate symposium on global sustainability.
Doherty explained that our defense comes in two forms: 1) Our central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, nerves), which perceives things with consciousness and memory. 2) Our immune system, which has no consciousness but has specific organs that produce an immune response.
What can we do? A variety of things, Doherty says. “By talking with friends and family and using social media we can all become social communicators” to help with the need for “an understanding of science in the broader community.” He says that political leaders need to listen to scientists and that it is urgent for us to replace fossil fuels with reusable energy. Because democracy is so precious, he urges us all to use our right to vote. Taking Vitamin D may help the immune system. To learn more, check out his books (you can get them at the library), his weekly essay Setting It Straight, and this interview at www.southshorescience.online (Part 4).
Trivia Time Finally, Barroso and Hogan also run Trivia Time on Zoom six times throughout the year, and some of your favorite presenters from South Shore Science Festival VII plan to participate.
To see the videos of this year’s festival, go to www.southshorescience.online (click “Recorded Live”).