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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Science Contest for Science Dreamers (and what makes a good principal)

From the NY Times:

YouTube and Lenovo, the computer manufacturer, announced on Monday a science contest called SpaceLab for students around the world ages 14 to 18, and it is not quite like any other science contest. 

For one, the students, who can enter individually or in teams of up to three, do not actually have to perform any experiments. Instead, they will make videos to pitch ideas for experiments that could be conducted in the zero-gravity environs of the space station. 


The two winning entries will be built and flown there, and astronauts will conduct a demonstration that will be broadcast to classrooms via YouTube. 

Experiment proposals can cover science questions in biology or physics. Restrictions include no dangerous animals, no explosions and nothing sharp.  


A popular vote among YouTube visitors will provide one-quarter of the final score. Also judging the finalists will be a panel of experts including Stephen W. Hawking, the physicist and cosmologist. 

I love this idea because it is not just for students who can create experiments but those who can dream them up.

Like what?

Earlier this year, 27 student experiments, out of 1,027 proposals, flew on the last two space shuttle flights.

Those experiments were small — each about the size of a test tube — but meaningful. One, from seventh graders in Portland, Ore., tested the growth of protein crystals in microgravity, while another, from 10th graders in Omaha, was titled, “Honey as a Preservative on Long Duration Space Flights.” 

“These students are being given the opportunity to do real research in orbit,” Dr. Goldstein said. “It’s not something cute.” 

I also found this article about a principal and her attributes, a good one.  It's a checklist for a good principal.

1 comment:

dan dempsey said...

Excellent find Melissa .. thx.
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A good principal protects her teachers from the nonsense.

I want my people to feel I have their backs,” she said.

Last year, the city’s Education Department put into effect its 32-variable equation that looks like a chemical configuration for rocket fuel but is actually a formula concocted to rate teachers based on student test scores.

It was degrading for teachers, and Ms. Getz has signaled she is not a believer.

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A lot more protection from NONSENSE is needed in Seattle.... and not just for the teachers.