Tag Archives: education

Required Watching

Cosmos eye in the sky logo opening

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, let me once again mention the new Cosmos, Neil deGrasse Tyson and an amazing opportunity for free, entertaining education.

Three episodes have now aired, and are available to you, without commercials, online 24/7. Adults and children alike are experiencing the beautiful and fascinating presentation of science and humanity that is Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Happily, so much more is to come. Like, 10 more episodes to come.

I’ve enjoyed all of it immensely, even those times that I tried to watch late at night and ended up falling asleep. NDT has a very soothing voice… it’s like the universe’s best bedtime story. The visual, audio and content are just beyond words. This stuff is epic – and real.

Further, I feel I owe it to myself, my daughter and my society to participate in this happening. Although the subject matter is literally, in part, light years away, numerous aspects of it take place within our atmosphere, and within our bodies. The work that people like Tyson are doing enlivens the past, clarifies the present and, hopefully, guides our future. Maybe a grade-school viewer will be inspired to help us one day breathe cleaner air. Maybe a high school babysitter will share some of what she’s learned with wide-eyed charges. Maybe someone who’s never heard the real, undeniable facts of evolution will encounter a new, fuller kind of spiritual experience. Cosmos provides the opportunity, and we have the choice to seize it.

All you have to do is watch.

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Filed under Current Events, Science

She *Should* Be Blinding Us With Science, But…

historical female science figures drawingSome of my favorite women are graduate and post-doctoral level scientists and science educators.

Whether or not they know it, they are inspiring me to encourage my daughter to not only advance her education, but also investigate, question and hypothesize. If you’re reading this, science-smarty lady-friends, I thank you.

It’s no secret that women are under-represented in the areas of math and science. For my part, I did alright in both of them, though less so as I moved into later high school. I also happened to display an early aptitude for writing, and so was always encouraged in that direction.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve discovered an awe for the natural world. Instead of arty movies about poets, I choose dinosaur and astrophysics documentaries. This isn’t to say that I fully grasp them – far from it. But I can’t help but think a different pedagogical approach might have nudged me and some of my female peers to at least give science careers a try.

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Filed under Science