SMART Bears: Smartphones and Media for Arkansas science Teachers at UCA Bears

American Institute of Physics: The Meggers Project Award: $4,6000

The ubiquitousness of the smartphone in both teacher and students’ lives cannot be denied in this day and age. These devices contain a suite of sensors that are quite familiar to the high school physics student and teacher: accelerometer, magnetic field sensor, light sensor,  pressure sensor, in addition to video and audio capabilities to name a few. There are also free apps for smartphones that can connect to these sensors for data collection and analysis. The physics education literature has exploded with submissions describing experiments utilizing the smartphone’s sensors. Students and teachers are literally walking around with a sophisticated data acquisition system in their pocket! What is missing to see the wider adoption of these tools into the High School physics classroom is direct professional development for teachers. This Meggers Project Award application seeks to bridge this gap with High School physics teachers in Arkansas initially and then branching out to a wider audience via professional development workshops at conferences and sharing the content developed by teachers on a dedicated website. 

List of Personnel:

Education Researchers:

Dr. William V. Slaton – Professor of Physics, College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics (UCA)

Dr. Umadevi Garimella – Director of the STEM Institute (UCA)

Dr. Deborah Dailey – Professor of Teaching and Learning, College of Education (UCA)

 

Unpacking ACT Aspire Math (Grades 3-10): July 10

Unpacking the ACT ASPIRE DAY! Grade 3-10 math educators will have an opportunity to come together to vertically align and unpack ACT Aspire skills for instructional strategies, depth of knowledge, and support deeper  engagement in justification and explanation, modeling, and integrating essential skills. Participants are encouraged to bring a sample classroom task from current instruction and access to ACT Aspire testing data.

Session Information 
  • Wednesday  July 10, 2019     8:30 am – 3:30 pm
  • Instructor: Jacob Sisson (Math Specialist UCA STEM)
  • Location: Old Main Building:  UCA STEM Institute Room #214
  • Address:  201 S. Donaghey Conway, AR 72035
  • Lunch Provided
  • Cost: $50.00. Please make checks available to UCA STEM Institute, and mail to 201 S. Donaghey Main #214 Conway, AR 72035. Purchase Orders accepted. For questions, please call UCA STEM Institute 501.450.3426
        Click Here to Register for Unpacking ACT Aspire Math Grades 3-10

 

Before, During, and After the Math Task PD (Grades 4-8): July 11

You have a task, but now what? By using the before, during, and after approach, teachers will have a structure for implementing tasks. Teachers will find connections among formative assessment, Effective Mathematics Teaching Practices, and Standards for Mathematical Practices. Resources for finding tasks will be shared.

 

Session Information 
  • Thursday July 11, 2019   8:30 am – 3:30 pm
  • Instructor: Veronica Hebard (ADE Mathematics Specialist)
  • Location: Old Main Building:  UCA STEM Institute Room #214
  • Address:  201 S. Donaghey Conway, AR 72035
  • Lunch Provided
  • Cost: $50.00. Please make checks available to UCA STEM Institute, and mail to 201 S. Donaghey Main #214 Conway, AR 72035. Purchase Orders accepted. For questions, please call UCA STEM Institute 501.450.3426
        Click Here to Register for Before, During, and After the Math Task

The Scream: What were those colorful, wavy clouds in Edvard Munch’s famous painting?

What inspired the iconic red-and-yellow sky in The Scream, the painting by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch that sold for a record $119.9 million in 2012? Some say it was a volcanic sunset after the 1883 Krakatau eruption. Others think the wavy sky shows a scream from nature.

But scientists at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, University of Oxford and University of London suggest that nacreous, or “mother of pearl,” clouds which can be seen in southern Norway inspired the dramatic scene in the painting. Their study is published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

“What’s screaming is the sky and the person in the painting is putting his or her hands over their ears so they can’t hear the scream,” said Alan Robock, study co-author and distinguished professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers-New Brunswick. “If you read what Munch wrote, the sky was screaming blood and fire.”

There are four known versions of The Scream: an 1893 tempera on cardboard; an 1893 crayon on cardboard; an 1895 pastel on cardboard that billionaire Leon Black bought for nearly $120 million at auction; and a tempera on hard cardboard thought to have been painted in 1910.

Iridescent light from below the horizon illuminates polar stratospheric clouds, also known as nacreous clouds. Robock said the sky colors and patterns in Munch’s paintings match sunset colors better when nacreous clouds are present versus other scenarios.

The study builds on a 2017 study that also proposed nacreous clouds. The new study provides a more detailed and scientific analysis of Munch’s paintings, focusing on photographs of volcanic sunsets and nacreous clouds and analyzing the color content and cloud patterns. If the new analysis is correct, Munch’s art is one of the earliest visual documentations of nacreous clouds, the study says.

Robock and others have previously proposed that a volcanic sunset inspired the painting, and he still thinks that’s possible.

“We don’t know if Munch painted exactly what he saw,” Robock said. “He could have been influenced by the Krakatau sunset and nacreous clouds and combined them.”

Story Source:

Materials provided by Rutgers University. Original written by Todd B. Bates. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Fred Prata, Alan Robock, Richard Hamblyn. The Sky in Edvard Munch’s The Scream. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 2018; 99 (7): 1377 DOI: 10.1175/BAMS-D-17-0144.1

Rutgers University. “The Scream: What were those colorful, wavy clouds in Edvard Munch’s famous painting? Scientists suggest ‘mother-of-pearl’ clouds inspired the Norwegian artist.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 July 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180723142808.htm>.

Amazing Azolla

A tiny fern — with each leaf the size of a gnat — may provide global impact for sinking atmospheric carbon dioxide, fixing nitrogen in agriculture and shooing pesky insects from crops. The fern’s full genome has been sequenced by a Cornell University and Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) scientist and his colleagues around the world, as reported in the journal Nature Plants.

Sources: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180711122335.htm

New study shows photosynthesis more efficient than believed

A new study suggests that photorespiration wastes little energy and instead enhances nitrate assimilation, the process that converts nitrate absorbed from the soil into protein. Photosynthesis is one of the most crucial life processes on Earth. It’s how plants get their food, using energy from sunlight to convert water and carbon dioxide from the air into sugars. But scientists have long believed that more than 30 percent of the energy produced during photosynthesis is wasted in a process called photorespiration. During photorespiration, Rubisco, the most prevalent protein on the planet, combines sugars with oxygen in the atmosphere instead of carbon dioxide. This was thought to waste energy and decrease sugar synthesis. Researchers have speculated that photorespiration persists because most plants have reached an evolutionary dead end. In the study, the researchers propose that something else is going on. Rubisco also associates with metals, either manganese or magnesium. When Rubisco associates with manganese, photorespiration proceeds along an alternative biochemical pathway, generates energy for nitrate assimilation and promotes protein synthesis. Nearly every recent test-tube study of Rubisco biochemistry, however, has been conducted in the presence of magnesium and absence of manganese, allowing only the less energy-efficient pathway for photorespiration.

Source: https://news.science360.gov/obj/story/73db7a7e-d29c-47af-93f7-d01527ce95e1/new-study-shows-photosynthesis-more-efficient-believed

ACTM Fall Conference

http://bit.ly/ACTM2018flyer

Increasing Engagement Through Effective Teaching and Learning: Representations and Fluency

Central Arkansas K-12 math educators participating in “Increasing Engagement Through Effective Teaching and Learning:Representations and Fluency ” PD.  On Tuesday, June 26 UCA STEM Institute partnered with Arch Ford Cooperative to support teachers in their work with Fraction Concepts and connect their instructional practices  to NCTM’s Principles to Actions Essential Teaching and Learning Practices. Team solving the classic sand problem: ¾ of the sand went through a sand timer in 18 minutes. If the rest of the sand goes through at the same rate, how long does it take all the sand to go through the sand timer?

Increasing Engagement Through Effective Teaching and Learning: Establishing Goals and Implementing Task

Central Arkansas K-12 math educators participating in “Increasing Engagement Through Effective Teaching and Learning: Establishing Goals and Implementing Task” PD.  On Monday, June 25, UCA STEM Institute partnered with Arch Ford Cooperative to support teachers in their work with Fraction Concepts and connect their instructional practices  to NCTM’s Principles to Actions Essential Teaching and Learning Practices. Great day working with this team!

Even brief maternal deprivation early in life alters adult brain function and cognition: Rat study

When a baby is taken from its mother for even a brief period early in life, this traumatic event significantly alters the future, adult function of the brain, according to a new animal model study from the School of Science at IUPUI. These changes in the brain are similar to disturbances in brain structure and function that are found in people at risk for neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia.

The study was conducted in the laboratory of associate professor of psychology Christopher Lapish. In the study, young rats were removed from their mothers for 24 hours when they were nine days old, which is a critical period of brain development. The resulting scans revealed that, unlike animals that were not separated from their mother during this crucial period, the separated rats exhibited significant behavioral, as well as biological and physiological, brain abnormalities in adulthood.

“Rat and human brains have similar structure and connectivity,” Lapish said. “Understanding what happens in the brain of a young rat that’s removed from its mother gives us important insight into how this type of early trauma — perhaps comparable to the incarceration of a human mother — affects the young human brain.

“The more we understand how the brain responds, the closer we come to being able to address and hopefully develop novel treatment strategies to reverse these neurological changes.”

“In this study, we found memory impairment, as well as less communication between brain regions, in the animals that had been removed from their mothers, among other neurological changes,” said study corresponding author Sarine Janetsian-Fritz, formerly a graduate student in the Lapish lab and now a postdoctoral fellow in neuropsychology at the Indiana University School of Medicine. “These are all clues to how a traumatic event early in life could increase a person’s risk of receiving a schizophrenia diagnosis in the future.”

The causes of schizophrenia and the delay in the appearance of symptoms of this lifelong disease remain a mystery.

“Children exposed to early-life stress or deprivation are at higher risk for mental illness and addictions later in life, including schizophrenia,” said study co-author Brian F. O’Donnell, professor of psychological and brain sciences at IU Bloomington. “We have identified enduring changes in the brain and behavior that result from one type of stress in a rodent. These types of brain changes might mediate the effects of adverse events on children. Thus, policies or interventions that mitigate stress to children could reduce vulnerability to emotional disorders in adulthood.”

Story Source:

Materials provided by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Science. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.