Are we doing enough to protect honey bees? How might this environmental issue impact you? What do you think will happen if there are no more honey bees?
Since 2006, honey bees have been dying at an alarming rate. The event, called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has killed about one third of all honey bees within the US.
We depend on honey bees to pollinate crops that we eat every day—apples, cucumbers, blueberries, broccoli, onions, pumpkins, carrots, avocados, almonds, strawberries, soybeans, watermelon, and more. The bees’ services are estimated to be worth $20-30 billion in agricultural production annually in the US alone.
Researchers have found links to CCD with certain pesticides called neonicotinoids. Last month, nations within the European Union voted a two-year ban on neonicotinoids to protect honey bees.
The US Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency came out with a 72-page report on honey bee health determining that pesticides in combination with other factors—including parasitic mites, low genetic diversity in bees, and poor nutrition—are contributing to CCD. Neither organization recommends banning neonicotinoids as the EU has done, but would like beekeepers and growers to collaborate on best practices with use of pesticides.
The US organizations will update an action plan to include priorities in combating CCD over the next 5-10 years.
Multimedia as a tool can enhance and strengthen the impact of activities in the field and in the science classroom. PBS LearningMedia videos, audio and interactives engage students and can be used to effectively demonstrate science concepts as well as to reinforce media literacy technologies as part of a core science curriculum. Here are 7 reasons (with resource examples) to intergrate PBS LearningMedia into science curriculum.
1.Visually demonstrate scientific ideas and concepts
Cell Membrane: Just Passing ThroughThis interactive feature illustrates the movement of some materials through the cell membrane and describes the structures that make it possible.
Newton's Laws of MotionIn this video from KQED's QUEST, a scientist demonstrates how Newton's three laws of motion affect all movement in the universe.
"Geological Features of Yellowstone" A map created by science teachers in Acalanes Union High School District
Teachers are wild about maps. Students are wild about maps. From watching kindergarteners navigate the world to alternative high school students chomping at the bit to take a turn zooming around their neighborhoods and beyond, I have seen Google Maps take kids places.
Have you made your own maps in class? If so, what for? If not, can you think of some uses in the class?
This summer at ISTE (an international tech education conference held in San Diego), curious about the current craze over maps in the classroom and in order to check out my colleagues in action, I attended a session on making maps. I learned that making maps is easy and engaging and can even serve as an assessment tool.
What was the hardest part of learning to ride a bicycle? What would you change about how today's bicycles are designed? Share your thoughts and stories.
Learning to ride a bicycle is a strong memory from many of our childhoods. Bicycles have been around since the 1800s, although their design has changed from the earliest models. The Draisienne is one of the earliest two-wheeled machines. Made out of wood, it had two wheels of the same size mounted in a frame and handle bars to steer. There were no pedals, so people pushed themselves along with their feet.
The next model to come along was the Velocipede or Boneshaker in the 1860s. It was similar to the Draisienne, however it had pedals added to the front wheel. The wheels were still made of wood, and later metal. This bicycle earned its name "Boneshaker" from the movement riders received when pedaling over the cobblestone roads present during that time.
The California Academy of Sciences’ Science Action Clubs ignite the spark for science in middle school youth. These action-filled science clubs occur once per week during the school year in after-school programs at several of San Francisco Unified School District's Middle Schools. Both students and a select group of afterschool Activity Leaders join the Science Action Clubs for a chance to do real science and be part of a national, authentic science project.
The fun never stops in the Science Action Club: one week you may learn how to make edible bird nests, the next week you are using an iPad to report bird observations to Cornell University’s bird biologists, and the following week you are visiting the California Academy of Sciences on an afterschool field trip.
Would you consider eating insects? What if food resources were scarce?
Ask your friends or neighbors what they think about insects and you'll probably hear that they're gross or a nuisance or even scary. But tasty? Not a likely response. Eating insects is not something you see everyday in the Bay Area, or even the U.S., however in four out of five nations insects are a source of food and protein. There are 1.1 million known species of insects and 1,700 of these are eaten by cultures around the world.
Embrace them! Mobile devices are ubiquitous and they are here to stay. Instead of banning them from our schools’ classrooms, let’s give educators the support and resources necessary to adopt the notion that mobile devices can be effective learning tools for students.
Participants in this year’s QUEST Science Education Institute explored the idea of using cell phones and mobile devices as educational tools at a recent workshop. When asked about their view on the topic (through a text poll!), most responded that they are ready to embrace this technology, although there were some teachers that still have hesitations. All of their responses can be viewed below. The poll sparked a rich discussion on everything from concerns about inappropriate content to potential cost savings by schools and districts to high engagement by students.
We also took a look at how social media can be integrated into lessons with the use of cell phones. KQED Education’s Do Now activities employ Twitter as a way to engage students in sharing viewpoints on a timely topic. We investigated apps for mobile devices that allow students to record and edit images, video, and sound for use in media-making projects. Many cell phones these days take high-resolution images and video, making them ideal for capturing activities both in the classroom and out in the field. Check out SoundCloud* and DropVox for sound recording, the Garageband app for sound editing and the iMovie app for video editing. Files can be managed and shared with apps such as DropBox* and box.net*. All of these apps are available for Apple products; those with an asterisk are also available for Android.
And, for all you science teachers, science apps are numerous and can bring science alive with interactive features. Here is just a sampling of cool science apps:
There are a number of necessary skills that are essential to learning the process of making slideshows with audio. Like most multimedia productions, we can organize these skills into a common workflow or process which can be organized into three phases: pre-production, production, and post-production. We will review these phases and point you to some excellent resources that can be of great assistance.
The process begins with pre-production. During this time, the media producer develops the concept or idea. It should be time to brainstorm the purpose of the project, its message or argument, the intended audience, and perhaps the structure. It's always a good idea to research other multimedia projects that may inspire or influence the work. This worksheet (Media Planning Worksheet) is a great way to get started with a slideshow project. This worksheet can also help educators create a focused project assignment in thinking about what is required of students. In the classroom, it's a good idea to get students to use this worksheet and come up with a paragraph explanation or synopsis of their project along with perhaps an understanding of what they will need to record and what they will need to acquire from the internet or outside sources. Once the planning and understanding of the project concept is established, pre-production also includes developing storyboards (Storyboard Template), shot lists, and even a list of URLs of media resources like images and/or sounds. All of this work should culminate into a script where the media producer knows exactly what will be seen (visual material) vs. what will be heard (sound). If there is a voice-over narration that accompanies the project, then this is the time to write what that voice-over narration will be and to match images to the various parts of the narration. Here's a script template to use during this process. And here's an example of how the script looks from one of our QUEST slideshow scripts.
Once the script is complete, that marks the end of pre-production. The script is the blueprint for the project, but it does not mean that it cannot change. The media producer should allow flexibility during the process as some ideas do not seem to make sense or feasible once production begins or some ideas give way to better ideas.
During production, the media producers record or find all the necessary media assets for the project -- images and sounds. Some images may be found online, some may be shot by the media producer either in the past or for this specific project. Likewise with sound, there may be sounds that will be found online or recorded. For example, most likely the media producer will record the narration. That means this process includes any combination of the following: downloading online images, taking pictures, scanning images, downloading online sound effects or music, and recording voice-over narration.
Here's a great worksheet (Media Log for Slideshows) to use while finding media online. It helps the media producer log the assets that may be used in the project. Most importantly, it references or cites where images and sounds where found so that the sources can be included in the end credits as a list of citations. This is very important if you are using material that is copyrighted.
This worksheet (Slideshow Resources) lists a bunch of good resources and tips before beginning a project. It includes links to various tutorials for video editing software or sound recording applications, as well as tips for how to take good quality photos.
It is best to prepare a project folder on your computer's desktop. Inside the folder the media producer should have two other folders - one for images and the other for sounds and music. Here's a great video educast that explains the process of doing this for a Mac and using iMovie.
Part of production includes working with iMovie to record your voice-over narration. Here's are two great video educasts that presents a basic overview of iMovie and how to create/record audio narration. (Note: this is a playlist that hosts 2 videos).
Production ends once all of your images and sounds are imported into GarageBand and iTunes, and you have recorded your voice-over narration.
Post-production is the process of crafting and sequencing your images and sounds in iMovie or your video editing program of choice. This does not mean that you can't redo your voice-over narration or go out and record or collect more images. It is quite common to back to production once in post-production. It involves developing a rough cut which is like a rough draft of your project --This version may look as such: the media producer has put the images in a sequence - maybe not all the images, maybe not timed to the right rhythm or pacing, maybe no effects or transition or music. Eventually, the media producer works to finesse this project by adding or subtracting the length of each image in the sequence; adding effects to the images; adding transitions; adding titles; adding music; mixing the sound levels. Finally, once the project is finished, it is ready to be exported and published.
Here are a series of videos that explain how to do all of these techniques in iMovie. (Note: this is a playlist that hosts 5 videos)