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23 February 2013

Fiery Looping Rain on the Sun

This video is new from NASA

Published on Feb 20, 2013
"Eruptive events on the sun can be wildly different. Some come just with a solar flare, some with an additional ejection of solar material called a coronal mass ejection (CME), and some with complex moving structures in association with changes in magnetic field lines that loop up into the sun's atmosphere, the corona.

On July 19, 2012, an eruption occurred on the sun that produced all three. A moderately powerful solar flare exploded on the sun's lower right hand limb, sending out light and radiation. Next came a CME, which shot off to the right out into space. And then, the sun treated viewers to one of its dazzling magnetic displays -- a phenomenon known as coronal rain.

Over the course of the next day, hot plasma in the corona cooled and condensed along strong magnetic fields in the region. Magnetic fields, themselves, are invisible, but the charged plasma is forced to move along the lines, showing up brightly in the extreme ultraviolet wavelength of 304 Angstroms, which highlights material at a temperature of about 50,000 Kelvin. This plasma acts as a tracer, helping scientists watch the dance of magnetic fields on the sun, outlining the fields as it slowly falls back to the solar surface.

The footage in this video was collected by the Solar Dynamics Observatory's AIA instrument. SDO collected one frame every 12 seconds, and the movie plays at 30 frames per second, so each second in this video corresponds to 6 minutes of real time. The video covers 12:30 a.m. EDT to 10:00 p.m. EDT on July 19, 2012.
Music: "Thunderbolt" by Lars Leonhard, courtesy of artist.

This video is public domain and can be downloaded at:http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11168"
Coincidentally, I found this video at Wonderpolis:

SOLAR STORMS from Aaron Pickering on Vimeo.
"Story I did with National Solar Observatory about the Sun. Several observations are taken right in Southern Arizona. The sun is currently heading into an active part of it's cycle and when that happens solar storms are more likely. These could effect us on Earth."


All this Sun information reminded me of one of my favorite They Might Be Giants songs:

19 February 2013

PYP Exhibition Guidelines

These are the main points of the PYP Exhibition Guidelines document as analyzed and synthesized by Sonya Wild on 7 December 2011
It's almost time for Mr. Harris' class at ISOCS to begin thinking about their Exhibition.  I'm sharing this Prezi by Sony Wild as a way to get our imaginations working, and also because it's an excellent example of how to use Prezi well.

If you are unfamiliar with the site, Prezi is a sort of non-linear, navigable presentation tool. There are very interesting possibilities in it's power of zoom and retreat, pathways or random selection of topics, inclusion of image, text, video and hyperlinks.

There are many tutorials for how to use Prezi.  Start with Prezi's own Learn page 

by Sonya Wild on 7 December 2011

If you're thinking of using a Prezi to tell your story, I strongly suggest you browse through the Prezi YouTube Channel, for basic information about how to use the tool, for examples of well-built Prezi's, and for a closer look at how to use the tools effectively.  A good Prezi can be so much more than twisting-turning PowerPoint or Keynote slides!

18 February 2013

Across Three Continents: A Tale of Tumblr, Copyright, and Excellent Posters

Craig Roland, he of the brilliant art education blog Art Junction, and teacher at the University of Florida, posted this video on the Art 2.0 Ning:

Tracking back the links and quotes, I came to this page on the School Library Journal, with a commentary about this video written by  Kathy Ishizuka
"Copyright law is complex enough—throw in an instance of international remixing by young nerdfighters, and you have a real mess. But in the hands of author John Green, it’s the basis for a pretty cool video. 

In the three-minute clip..., Green recounts his attempt to discern the provenance of a poster (pictured) based on characters from his novel The Fault in Our Stars, revealing the complexities of copyright in the digital age along the way."

This is the poster Green talks about in the video:
from http://www.thedigitalshift.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/John_Green_poster242.jpg

13 February 2013

Changing Materials

Mr. Harris' Class 4,5 has been looking at changing materials.  Here are some websites and videos which they will find useful as they inquire into the nature of change, and the concept of material.

The Periodic Table of Videos 

The Periodic Table of Videos is "Your ultimate channel for all things chemistry. A video about each element on the periodic table. And we upload new videos every week about science news, interesting molecules and other stuff from the world of chemistry."  It is produced by the University of Nottingham, in the UK.

This is their latest video:

and this is the playlist for all the elements in order:

The Royal Institution 

The Christmas Lectures at the Royal Institution are famous for bringing science to the public in an entertaining, understandable, visible way.

"The Ri is an independent charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. We're about discovery, innovation, inspiration and imagination. You can explore over 200 years of history-making science in our Faraday Museum as well as engage with the latest research, ideas and debates in our public science events." (Read more on the RI webpage)

The 2012 Lectures were titled The Modern AlchemistThe videos can't be embedded here - so I stronly urge you to click on the link to Lecture Three: Earth - The Philosopher's Stone, and watch them on the RI website.  Other videos from the series dealing with Materials are on this page.

"By understanding the properties of materials, such as the silicon present in computers, or the rare earth magnets generating our electricity in wind turbines, we are entering a new era of chemistry in which we can engineer electrons in new configurations for future technologies. We can now put together the unique cluster of protons, neutrons and electrons that form each of the 80 elements in exciting new ways. If the ancient alchemists were alive today they'd be dazzled by the wonders created by the Modern Alchemist." (link)

UPDATE 15 Feb 2013: See this page at Pad Gadget for a list of "iPad apps that teach the periodic table to a number of age ranges. Whether a student is learning about the periodic table for the first time or is on her way to becoming a dedicated student of chemistry, these apps will help her learn about the difference between Hydrogen and Ununoctium, and every element in between."

04 February 2013

Folding Space-Time

Another brilliant video from Vihart which will bend (fold?) you mind...

Published on Feb 3, 2013

I needed some help to understand this a little better, so I went searching on the web...

First, I investigated Möbius Strips:
"The Möbius strip or Möbius band (UK /ˈmɜrbiəs/ or US /ˈmbiəs/German: [ˈmøːbi̯ʊs]), also Mobius or Moebius, is a surface with only one side and only oneboundary component. The Möbius strip has the mathematical property of being non-orientable. It can be realized as a ruled surface. It was discovered independently by the German mathematicians August Ferdinand Möbius and Johann Benedict Listing in 1858.[1][2][3]" Read much more on the Wikipedia page.

Wolfram Alpha describes Möbius Strips like this:
"The Möbius strip, also called the twisted cylinder (Henle 1994, p. 110), is a one-sided nonorientable surface obtained by cutting a closed band into a single strip, giving one of the two ends thus produced a half twist, and then reattaching the two ends (right figure; Gray 1997, pp. 322-323). The strip bearing his name was invented by Möbius in 1858, although it was independently discovered by Listing, who published it, while Möbius did not (Derbyshire 2004, p. 381). Like the cylinder, it is not a true surface, but rather a surface with boundary (Henle 1994, p. 110).
"The Möbius strip has Euler characteristic (Dodson and Parker 1997, p. 125).
According to Madachy (1979), the B. F. Goodrich Company patented a conveyor belt in the form of a Möbius strip which lasts twice as long as conventional belts. M. C. Escher was fond of portraying Möbius strips, and they appear in his woodcuts "Möbius Strip I" and "Möbius Strip II (Red Ants)" (Bool et al. 1982, p. 324; Forty 2003, Plate 70)."

Next, I had to look at space-time.  Space-time is "the four-dimensional coordinate system (3 dimensions
of space and 1 of time) in which physical events are located." (link) This NASA video explains more.

Uploaded on May 12, 2011

After this, I couldn't help thinking about palindromes (words or phrases that read the same in both directions).  Some examples:
Too bad – I hid a boot
Some men interpret nine memos
Lisa Bonet ate no basil

I was wondering if the music in the VIhart video would be a tonal palindrome.  In music, for example, Béla Bartók (5th String Quartet), Alban Berg (Act 3 of Lulu), Guillaume de Machaut, Paul Hindemith (Ludus tonalis), Igor Stravinsky (The Owl and the Pussy Cat) and Anton Webern (2nd movement, Opus 21 Symphony) incorporated palindromes in their compositions.

I leave you with Guillaume de Machaut's "Ma fin est mon commencement" (can you hear the palindrome?):

02 February 2013

Mercator Puzzle

In this morning's Geography Education, I found an intriguing online puzzle, Mercator Puzzle! Like many geography puzzles online, in this one the player uses mouse (or finger) to pick up the red outline of a country, and move it around the map till it fits into its space.  But this puzzle is a little special - as the country is moved North or South, it enlarges or shrinks, as it would in a Mercator Projection map.  Tricky!

You start with this
Screen shot of  Mercator Puzzle!

and should end with this
Screen shot of  Mercator Puzzle!
after a good deal of zooming in and out, navigating around the world, and experimenting with the enlarge and shrink possibilities.  This game doesn't just test your knowledge of country outlines - it helps you understand the Mercator Projection in a hands-on fashion.  It will probably hone your detective skills, too: Is that straight line boarder a man made line?  What continent(s) did that happen to in history?  Is that wiggly line a river, or a coast?  Is this country really big, or is it a tiny island?

Good luck, and have fun!

(Click on the map screenshots to see them full size)

Other more traditional online geography games:

For the iPad:
Your World

PadGadget: Top paid apps to teach kids world geography

For Android tablets:

01 February 2013

Digital Survey for Ten and Eleven Year Olds

A few weeks ago I asked my web-friends to help a class in another school with research for their unit of inquiry into digital media.  I Tweeted the request, and several people re-Tweeted it. The class had so many responses that they closed the survey at 250, so that they could deal with the data!  Thank you to all of you reading this who helped provide their data.

Their teacher, Mrs. Gerling, shared some of the process:
"(The students) learned about using a filter to select specific information in the columns and how to write formulas to count data. We made graphs, discussed, analysed and pasted into Prezi. They also learned that poorly worded questions don’t give you any information at all, and that the computer is very specific when dealing with information, and when someone spells Switzerland without a capital, it doesn’t get counted. So we had to fix up a lot of spelling, and even used a pencil and paper tally to count the on-line games..."

The results have been analysed, and have peen presented in this Prezi by the students.

 This is the transcript of the Prezi:
Digital Survey for Ten and Eleven Year Olds
"We created a survey with 10 questions using Google docs survey. The questions were for 10 and 11 year old children. We wanted to find out how they used digital media. We put the survey on-line and people responded.
We had people from 22 countries who answered our survey.  Nearly all students who answered our survey have an email account.  We used the first 250 responses to form our statistics: 124 Males 126 Females. 
There are 30 students who spend more than 3 hours per day on-line. 
There were 55 yes responses and 190 no responses. 
We asked students which digital devices they used and owned: computer or laptop,  iPad or tablet,  mp3 or iPod,  cellphone, gaming device, digital camera. 
What is your favourite on-line game? 

  • 61 different games were listed 
  • 96 respondents replied "None" 
  • Most popular games: Minecraft- 27, Friv-11, Fifa 13-10.

Possible problems with our data: 

  • We can not be sure that all respondents were 10 or 11.
  • We do not know if people answered more than once. 
  • We do not know if respondents answered honestly"

Factorization Diagrams

Do you like number?  Pattern?  Dance?  Motion? Math? Animation? Unusual websites?

Visit this website: http://www.datapointed.net/visualizations/math/factorization/animated-diagrams/ (embedded below)

This blog post describes how the animation  came to be created (don't miss this link, mentioned at the beginning of the post, where the coding behind the animation is explained).  Click through to the web page, so that you can watch the animation in a larger version.

Thanks to Math Thinking for the links.