teaching

When my parents were young, summer made cities a scary place for young families.  My mother tells me children were often sent away from their homes to relatives in the country, if possible, and swimming pools were definitely off limits.  The disease they feared, poliomyelitis, and the havoc it wrecked were the stuff of nightmares.  Children could wake up with a headache and end up a few hours later, in an iron lung, struggling to breathe.

We've been fans of the Molecule of the Month series by David Goodsell, for many years. Not only is Dr. Goodsell a talented artist but he writes very clear descriptions of the ways molecules like proteins, RNA, and DNA work together and function inside a cell. To learn about proteins and their activities, I like to go directly to the Molecule of the Month page, where I can find a list of articles organized by molecule type and name.  Many of these articles can also be downloaded in a PDF format. A really nice of his articles is that he includes PDB IDs ... Read more
Jonathan Eisen (@phylogenomics) shared this wonderful Lady Gaga lab spoof on Twitter the other day. It rocks. And, it makes me wonder if my pals who've been thinking about getting students interested in careers by having scientists talk on camera might be going at this the wrong way. Sure, videos of scientists talking are totally fascinating (yawn..) and... Oh right, where was I? Well, here's the thing. If you want to get kids interested in something, you have to use something that interests them. Your strategy isn't going ... Read more
When I was a post-doc, I spent a few months seriously thinking about changing careers and teaching high school. I might have followed through on that plan, too, but I didn't know how to pay for it. Today, if you have a background in science, technology, math, or engineering, you can retrain to become a teacher and the National Science Foundation will help. The Robert Noyce scholarship program has funds to help ease that transition to the classroom. From the NSF web site:
The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program seeks to encourage talented science, technology, ... Read more
If you have a little time, the Dolan DNA Learning Center at Cold Spring Harbor will be presenting some really interesting workshops on neuroscience and genetics. The dates are: Nov. 5, 2009: Inside Cancer - workshop on teaching cancer; Raritan Valley Community College, Somerville, NJ Nov. 6, 2009: Genes To Cognition - workshop on teaching neuroscience; Raritan Valley Community College, Somerville, NJ Nov. 21, 2009: Inside Cancer - workshop on teaching cancer; Great Bay Community College, Portsmouth, NH Nov. 20, 2009: Genes To Cognition - workshop on teaching neuroscience; Great Bay ... Read more

A friend of mine; serial entrepreneur, and former president of Genetic Systems; Joe Ashley, told me once that starting a business is an unnatural act.

Now that I've done it, I agree. Even with my multiple back-up plans, possible grants, and part-time activities, my stomach still hurts and my mind is racing. My new company has "spun out" of another. Spinning out of control until you fall down from exhaustion. It's a great metaphor all right.

Sure, there's excitement and adventure. I love my new shiny business cards and my new shiny web site! It's fun ... Read more

My husband brought this fantastic book home from the ASHG* that I think many of you will find interesting. The book is: Making the Right Moves A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty, published in 2006 by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. You can download the book for free at the HHMI site and there's even a video of Tom Cech. In fact, this book has such great information, that if it weren't for the interesting discussions in the comment ... Read more
Teachertube looks and works much like YouTube, but you're much less likely to run across videos that Not Safe For the Classroom. All of these videos are made by students and teachers. According to the Dallas News, there are 54,000 videos on the site already and 800,00 visitors every day. I especially enjoyed watching Abbot and Costello doing math problems. ... Read more
It's funny but even though I work with data on a regular basis, I can't always predict the best way to manage data until I have my own data to manage. My classroom wiki site is no exception. Now, that I've been seriously using a wiki with my class, I've found that I should have set a few things up a bit differently. The biggest challenge has been making sure that the right people can do the right things - or who gets to see what and upload what where. Not knowing what methods would turn out to be useful, I originally set up my class wiki with a folder called "students," ... Read more
There's no question that the ability to work with information is one that will be required and valued for a long time to come. I think it's imperative for teachers to have students practice this skill whenever an opportunity comes about. The problem for many teachers is finding the time to identify good data sets. MRSA stands for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a serious problem for hospital patients. Six of out seven people who become infected with MRSA, get it from some kind of health-care facility. In 2007, the CDC issued a report claiming that 18,000 people die ... Read more

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