Author Archives: Stephen
New from Leonardo DiCaprio and National Geographic, Before the Flood is a compelling and powerful climate change documentary. Where are we in the world right now with our understanding, challenges and potential solutions. What actions need to be taken right away?
The full movie
is was available initially for free on YouTube, and their action website hosts more resources for use in class or discussions. Click here for other platforms where you can view, rent or buy the movie.
Timely and provocative, here is Sam Harris on facts, values, morals and perceptions. Jump here for lesson ideas. Trigger alert (it’s Sam Harris): some raw issues discussed.
This year’s TOK Questions are a great crop (I think) for connecting the sciences as an area of knowledge with many current and historical knowledge issues. Here’s a wee poster I made on PiktoChart for the questions. Which do you lean towards and why?
I have been looking for something that can replace MS Word’s citation manager and work in a similar way to Zotero. Here’s a quick post on how to use the PaperPile add-on for managing references in GoogleDocs. Paperpile is free from the Chrome store, though I am using the upgraded version.
Working with Eco Club and thinking about the complexities of the interactions, causes, effects and issues we need to tackle, I am often reminded of this Lovelock quote, from a 2014 interview in the Guardian. Perhaps if we can get interdisciplinary teaching and learning right in our schools, we can help students make the connections they need to truly understand the deeper causes of the problems they might need to solve.
For a more detailed post on how we’re trying to tackle IDU’s, please see my blog.
In our current Grade 10 Environmental Science course, students have designed their own unit based on an area of interest and their subject choices for next year. This year’s class have broken into four groups: climate vs biodiversity, climate vs ocean and air currents, pollution & biomagnification, and invasive species vs biodiversity.
As part of the requirements for the unit, students must write a case study blog post, assessed using Criterion D: Reflecting on the Impact of Science, that explores an action taken related to their topic of choice. They were asked to look for some reliable sources, making the most of the blog format with suitable media and images. Successful blog posts teach the reader about the big ideas of their unit, through the lens of a specific case.
Here are some of their products:
- Kaiki’s Mercury in Fish
- Fred’s Artificial Photosynthesis, Turning over a new leaf for solutions to Climate Change
- Kikoy’s The Great Wall of Rivers
- Kayla’s Golden Mussels Should Be Feared As A Monster!
- Takeharu’s Oh no! The Bluegill Army is Attacking!
- Michelle’s The Bald Eagle throws DDT — an outrageous move.
- Doo Hyun asks how we can stop global warming?
- Natsuki’s “Bi Bi Fossil Fuel, Hello BioFuel”
- Juhaku’s Burmese Pythons costing citizens every year
- Mami’s MicroBeads
- Irma’s Plant a Tree; It’s Easy as One Two T(h)ree
This is very neat video from NASA, showing carbon dioxide changes over time, with annotations. See a breakdown here.
This weekend, i-Biology.net passed 4,000,000 page views and GB£5,000 (US$ 7,500) in donations to charity through the Biology4Good project!
Thank-you to all who have supported the site and especially to those who have shown their appreciation through helping me support a selection of my favourite charities. In a time of big changes for IB Biology (and in my own work), these donations provide the motivation to keep the site alive.
If you know me you’ll know I’m a keen surfer and have spent years in Indonesia (now in Japan). This TEDx Talk by Dr. Dave Jenkins is inspirational and informative, as he describes their work at SurfAid International (2007 NGO of the Year). He describes how we can harness doing what we love for the good of others, but also discusses the importance of community connection and authenticity in service projects and the danger of the ‘founder sydrome’.
Watch it – maybe use it for inspiration for your CAS projects – and share with those responsible for service in your school.
When you are developing service learning projects, you might consider using the Service Learning Cycle. Find out more about it here.