Friday, March 4, 2011
I will not be able to march tomorrow since I am giving the talk. So, if you want to march, I can send you a link to the video after it is posted on-line.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Morgridge Center Associate Director Randy Wallar stated, "At a time when concerns about our children's science aptitude is at an all time high, the Morgridge Center grant will help the UW Department of Biochemistry expand their unique science education program. We are pleased this will provide leadership opportunities for UW students to participate, while addressing critical educational needs in our local community."
The unique program introduces students and adults to the biology, chemistry, and structure of matter by exploring phenomena and materials with length scales from microns to millimeters. To get a sense of these sizes, the human hair is approximately 100 microns in length, and crystals are often measured in millimeters.
The Microexplorers program will develop activities to introduce and reinforce concepts of the physical sciences, including the study of metals, crystals, liquid crystals, micro- and nanostructured materials and plants. Activities will be tailored to different age groups to address their unique level of scientific understanding. The experience will teach children how scientists think and how observations and hypotheses can be tested using experiments.
Douglas Weibel, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and lead on the project stated, "There is an exciting world waiting to be discovered by inquisitive minds using low-cost digital microscopes as a platform for discovery-based learning. Many children and adults do not understand basic concepts in biology, chemistry and physics. These principles are easy to understand when a hands-on activity reinforces a concept. The microscope is a great tool to do this."
In collaboration with the Center for Biology Education and the Materials Research Science and
Thanks to the generosity of John and Tashia Morgridge, the
The campus and community impact of the
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Reminder that we will do lab tours and a couple of investigations on Monday the 19th. We are scheduled to return at 4:00.
The extra lesson has been scheduled for Tuesday the 20th usual time from 2:30-4:00.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
I also saw one of my heroes, Bill Nye the Science guy. I kept missing him at the conference, but ran into him at a restaurant. My good friend Evelyn took our picture and Bill Nye was nice and posed.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
MicroExplorers has been awarded a large grant that will support an after-school science club at Aldo Leopold Elementary School in Madison, WI. The awards reception will take place at the National Science Teachers Association annual conference in Philadelphia in March of 2010.
This award will allow Leopold students the opportunity to expand the afterschool science clubs started in the 2009-10 school year.
For more information about the Toyota Tapestry Grants, please visit their website.
Thank you for supporting science education!
The students last week started looking at super hydrophobic surfaces. We continued our investigations on levels of scale. Students categorized leaves based on their properties. On the macro scale kids sorted leaves based on color, texture, shape. After categorizing the leaves using the microscopes, they came up with some really amazing ways of categorizing the leaves. One group came up an interesting response I had not heard before. They grouped together leaves that all had a similar micro-structure that looked like a human tongue. Another group put all of the leaves together that seems to shine under magnification, or as one of the students said, “It looks like there are diamonds.” Finally, the students used water on the leaves to see if they had the nano-structures that would make its surface super hydrophobic. The first time I submerged a nasturtium leaf, the students gave a couple of wows. Then they were able to test the leaf surfaces of the leaves they had been using to test for super hydrophobicity. The poster by at NISE-Net is a great representation of scale. I also was able to share SEM images of the nasturtium leaf. The students were able to “see” what was happening on the nano scale.
Then, to represent through a model, I used a glove that is usually used to wash cars, to represent the nano sized “hairs.” Bubbles were used as a model of the water droplet, showing that because of the “hairs,” the water is not able to impregnate the surface of the leaf.
Dr. Neil Shirtcliffe from Nottingham Trent University used another model to demonstrate this using a bed of nails and a balloon. So, I tried it out with the students. I may need to modify my design a bit, but I think the students really liked it when we put the balloon on a single nail and got a nice loud pop.
This week’s investigation is about iridescence in nature and how light interacts with various surface structures.