• Mechanical gears found in living creature

    Teachable Moment: This is a great example of inadvertent biomimicry... we didn't even know that insects had already evolved a gear system long before we did! Scientists in the United Kingdom have discovered an insect that uses a gear mechanism to jump.  They hypothesize that the mechanical advantage from the gear system enables them to jump quickly with References:      Popular Mechanics web site  http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/environment/the-first-gear-discovered-in-nature-1591643 ...

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    by Diego Fonstad
    Monday, 16 September 2013
  • Laminar Flow

    Teachable Moment: Great science experiments are indistinguishable from magic and this little video is a wonderful example using viscocity to demonstrate laminar flow. As explained on the web site: http://panda.unm.edu/flash/viscosity.phtml The Reynolds number R is the dimensionless combination:               R= ρνR η in which ρ is the density, ν the speed of the fluid, R the size of the flow, and η the viscosity. When R ≤ 1, friction dominates inertia and the fluid flows ...

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    by Diego Fonstad
    Saturday, 13 October 2012
  • Periodic table of Periodic Tables

      Teachable moment:  just because the basic periodic table format designed by Mendeleev is the most commonly taught format, it doesn't mean it works for everyone, this image explores and illustrates the various ways people have tried to organize the elements.   Reference: http://www.keaggy.com/periodictable/  ...

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    by Diego Fonstad
    Wednesday, 10 October 2012
  • Global Resources Stock Check

    Teachable Moment: Most of us have a very narrow understanding of which resources we use are non-renewable.  This highly informative graphic illustrates the range of non-renewable resources and helps initiate a discussion about prioirities. Reference: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20120618-global-resources-stock-check ...

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    by Diego Fonstad
    Sunday, 30 September 2012
  • Birth Certificate of America?

    Teachable Moment: This >500 year old image raises the age old question of credit in discovery: what does it mean to be the first person to document what others know.  The high resolution image can also be printed and cut out as a lesson in how to project a sphere onto a flat surface. In 1507, German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller made the first known maps naming America.  In 2007 Germany gifted one of the known versions of this map to the Libray of Congress calling it the "Birth Certificate ...

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    by Diego Fonstad
    Wednesday, 04 July 2012
  • How much water is there on earth?

    Teachable Moment: This stunning image from the USGS illustrates shows both the relative scarcity of water on our planet and challenges our thinking of volume.  We all know that the earth is almost 97% covered with water, but how many of us realized how thin a layer that represented and what that was relative to the land mass?  Follow the link to a larger image and the underyling math. Reference: http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/2010/gallery/global-water-volume.html ...

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    by Diego Fonstad
    Tuesday, 19 June 2012
  • NASA's OVATION Auroral Forecast

    Teachable Moment: The next time you hear about the sun unleashing a solar flare, solar wind a.k.a. a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) check out this nifty web site to see if you'll have an aurora in your area.  Oh, and if you want to hear about future events, send an email to SPACALRT-subscribe@mailman.rice.edu  From the NASA Web Site: "OVATION: An empirical model of the intensity of the aurora. The model uses solar wind conditions and the IMF at the L1 point as inputs. The Display: Shows the inte ...

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    by Diego Fonstad
    Sunday, 17 June 2012
  • Interactive exploration of human microbiome

    Teachable Moment: Scientists are only now beginning to understand the extent of the importance of the microbiome in our lives.  New research suggests that the bugs in our stomach can even impact our mood. This interactive graphic is a great road map of where the microbiom exists in our bodies. According to Scientific American: "The body contains 10 times more bacteria, fungi and other micro-organisms than human cells. Most of these species are harmless—although they can still cause illness if t ...

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    by Diego Fonstad
    Saturday, 16 June 2012
  • NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)

    Teachable Moment: With new telescopes like Kepler and Hubble capturing stunning images of objects innumerable light years away, it is surprising to realize how little we knew about our closest neightbor: The Moon.  NASA's LOA using the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) has captured stunning images of the moon and significantly enhanced our understanding of it's surface.   ...

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    by Diego Fonstad
    Saturday, 16 June 2012
  • Measuring the Universe

    Teachable Moment: This brilliant little video made by the Royal Observatory in Greenwich covers the concepts of parallax, doppler and red-shift and shows how they are all used together to measure the universe.       ...

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    by Diego Fonstad
    Thursday, 14 June 2012
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"You've got to see this!"- Images and videos that synthesize ideas

  • insectgearmov
    Teachable Moment: This is a great example of inadvertent biomimicry... we didn't even know that insects had already evolved a gear system long befor
  • laminar flow
    Teachable Moment: Great science experiments are indistinguishable from magic and this little video is a wonderful example using viscocity to demonstra
  • periodic table of periodic talbes
      Teachable moment:  just because the basic periodic table format designed by Mendeleev is the most commonly taught format, it doesn't mean it works

"Now I get it!"-Stories that work