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5 Science T-Shirts For The New Year

Check out these new duds for the new year…

Thank God For Science

Thank God for science and thank God for science teachers!


Amorphia Apparel

I Believe in Science

The tree sprouts from the dot in the letter i, which represents the idea of common descent. Arrows and leaves signify continuing evolution and growth, and the simple statement “I believe in science”.


The Tree of Life/I Believe In Science Shop

About this Site

Hello, welcome to ScienceBoom.com ScienceBoom is a website dedicated to improving science education. ScienceBoom is here to help science educators and students by demonstrating concepts and hands-on activities you can use in your classrooms. ScienceBoom also offers teaching tips to help keep you on your game. Authors Michael Doig is a science teacher, web developer, […]

Popular Posts

    School Year Highlights and Year End Wrap Up

    Another school year down and another summer to look forward to. 2010 was busy and very productive. I want to take a moment to update you on all of the wonderful things that happened.

    Harper Collins Video

    Last year, I was contacted by Harper Collins in the UK and they asked if they could include an edited copy of my chemical weathering video on a video resource disc that was going to be included with one of their science textbooks. They came across the video while browsing Youtube.

    Of course, I said yes!
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    Amazing Stripped Iceburg Photographs

    From Snopes:
    These striking pictures of icebergs with multi-colored stripes or banding were taken by a Norwegian sailor named Oyvind Tangen while he was aboard a research ship about 1,700 miles south of Cape Town, South Africa.

    As the London Times reported of the processes that created the striations displayed in these unusual candy-striped icebergs:

    Keith Makinson, of the British Antarctic Survey, said that icebergs that seemed to show stripes were quite common in southern waters, but it was the first time that he

    had seen brown stripes. They are believed to be created when ice crystals form under the water and, in a process described as “inverted snow”, rise to stick to the bottom of the ice shelf. As the ice crystals form a new layer at the bottom of the ice shelf, which later fragments to float away as icebergs, tiny particles of organic matter are trapped.

    Parts of dead marine creatures such as krill form much of the trapped material and have the effect of creating coloured stripes, mainly blues and greens, in icebergs. Dr Makinson said that the brown stripes in this example were likely to have been formed from sediment washing underneath the ice shelf.

    Photographs of similarly-patterned icebergs can be viewed at the web site of the Australian Antarctic Division.







    ScienceBoom Episode #5 – Barometric Pressure and Temperature

    Barometric pressure is responsible for much of our weather. In this episode, I travel to Hawaii so we can explore the relationship between barometric pressure and temperature.

    Host: Michael Doig
    Duration: 4:11


    Can of Compressed AIr – Can be purchased at any office supply store for around $6.

    Raytek MT4 Mini Infrared Thermometer – The ability to take the temperature of just about anything without touching it is amazing, not to mention entertaining. I took a reading of my desklamp and found out the bulb was 212?F, Wow!

    Casio Men’s Pathfinder Triple Sensor Altimeter/Barometer/ Digital Compass Watch – For the money, this watch is a steal. Barometer, compass and thermometer all in one place. Great for hiking or scientific exploration. The manual is really dense, but operating the watch was relatively easy. My biggest problem was with the temperature, it was constantly bouncing around.

    Barometric Pressure Fast Facts

    • A column of air one square inch in cross-section, measured from sea level to the top of the atmosphere, would weigh approximately 14.7 lbs per square inch or 1013.25 mb.
    • An increase in elevation results in a decrease in barometeric pressure.
    • As pressure decreases, temperature also decreases.

    Special thanks to Mike Ogasawara and David Doig.

    Upcoming Opportunities for Teachers

    Earth Science Week 2009 Photography Contest

    Grab your digital camera and go shoot some pictures this weekend. The photography contest is titled “How Climate Shapes My World.”. Snap the winning picture and win $300.

    AGI is sponsoring a photography contest to celebrate Earth Science Week 2009. The photography theme for this year is: “How Climate Shapes My World.”

    Deadline: October 16, 2009
    Photography Contest Entry Form.

    NOAA Teacher at Sea

    If you like science and the sea, you’ll be in heaven with the NOAA Teacher at Sea program. Spend a week or more at sea helping scientist with their research and gain a greater understanding of maritime work and studies. Use your experience to educate and inspire your students.

    The mission of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Teacher at Sea (TAS) program is to give teachers a clearer insight into our ocean planet, a greater understanding of maritime work and studies, and to increase their level of environmental literacy by fostering an interdisciplinary research experience. The program provides a unique environment for learning and teaching by sending kindergarten through college-level teachers to sea aboard NOAA research and survey ships to work under the tutelage of scientists and crew.

    Deadline: December 31, 2009
    NOAA Teacher at Sea Application.

    Fulbright Classroom Teacher Exchange

    Do you dream of teaching in a foreign land, but don’t want to quit your job, sell your things and move out of your place? Check out the Fulbright Classroom Teacher Exchange. Fulfill your wanderlust without sacrificing your career.

    The Fulbright Classroom Teacher Exchange Program provides opportunities for teachers to participate in direct exchanges of positions with colleagues from other countries for a semester or academic year. By living and working in the cultures of their host countries, Fulbright teachers gain an understanding and appreciation of the similarities and differences in national cultures and education systems. Fulbright teachers enrich their schools and communities with a new awareness of other cultures and of events occurring in different parts of the world, providing students and citizens with new perspectives about the world in which they live.

    Deadline: October 15, 2009
    Fulbright Classroom Teacher Exchange Application.

    ScienceBoom on Facebook

    ScienceBoom is now on Facebook. Become a fan and get the latest science teacher updates in your Facebook news feed.

    3 Equinox Activities for September 22, 2009

    Today, Tuesday September 22, 2009 is the autumnal equinox. The equinox is the half way point between the summer and winter solstice and marks the first day of fall. The equinox is a great excuse to get outside with your students and take advantage of the sun before the weather gets too cold for outdoor activities. First, a few quick things everyone should know about the equinox:


    1) Each place on earth will receive an equal length of daylight (sort of).
    2) The sun will be directly overhead an observer at the equator (0 latitude).
    3) On the equinoxes, the sun will rise exactly east and set exactly west.
    4) The length of daylight will begin to get shorter after the autumnal equinox and longer after the vernal equinox due to earth’s tilt (23.5 degrees). This statement only applies to the northern hemisphere.

    Here is a tool to determine exactly when the equinox will occur for your location.
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    The Anatomy of a Do Now

    student thinking

    Starting your lesson with a Do Now is good practice. It sets the tone for the class, gets students settled in (because they have to do it now), and ideally makes them think. A Do Now is a question or quote that either reviews or introduces a topic to students. But what constitutes a good Do Now?

    Let’s take a look at 5 different types of Do Nows.


    This is probably the most common type of Do Now. After a topic is taught, a question that assesses the previous lesson is used as a Do Now. Review Do Nows allow the teacher to determine if students understand a topic before continuing. However, it can become the only type of Do Now question used and students will grow tired of them.

    For example after studying the water cycle, the following question is given:
    Continue Reading

    Web 2.0 Professional Development Notes & Slides

    I want to thank everyone for participating in the Using Web 2.0 tools and Technology Media Tools to Enhance Instruction Professional Development. I learned a lot and enjoyed working with you all.

    Below you will find a .zip file with all of the PowerPoint slides, handouts and video tutorials inside. You will need to use a tool such as winzip to unzip the files. All of the handouts are Adobe .pdf files and the presentations are saved as .ppt files. The archive a little large, but should download in a few minutes.

    If you have any questions please leave a comment below or ask a question in the ScienceBoom Forums.

    Download Slides and Notes (50.47 MB)

    Upcoming Science Events – Week of 10/06/2008

    Robotic Music with Heart

    If there was ever a type of musical expression that needed to be combined with robots, it’s beatboxing. At their October performance, you’ll see human beatbox Adam Matta laying down beats for the ‘bots of LEMUR, as well as Ethan Ham and his instrument that replicates vocal input with slide whistles. Completing the lineup is Shawn Trail, mannin’ up on the mallets with a Lobi-inspired style. Also on hand are Christopher McDonald and Gertrude, his machine that “uses a multicolor LED to draw dramatic color images captured by long exposure photography.”

    Date: Thursday October 9
    Time: 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM
    Place: Place: LEMUR, 461 3rd Ave. bet. 9th and 10th St., Brooklyn
    Price: Price: $5

    Nightlife at the AMNH

    Start your weekend off right at the smartest party in town, hosted by the American Museum of Natural History. At the Rose Center for Earth and Space, you’ll be able to drink and dance under dynamic visuals accompanied by the explosive beats of live bands and DJs. This month’s party features Mattie Safer of The Rapture and DJ Mehdi, a French hip-hop and electronic producer known for bridging the gap between these two dance music genres. For the price of the ticket, you get entrance to the party, a complimentary screening of the Space Show Cosmic Collisions, and a free pass to the Museum for future use.

    Date: Friday October 10
    Time: 9:00 PM – 1:00 AM
    Place: American Museum of Natural History, 81st St. between Columbus Ave. and Central Park W.
    Price: $20

    Science Smashes Urban Legends

    Alligators in the sewers? Mob victims buried under Yankee Stadium? New Yorkers love urban legends, and, as it turns out, so do scientists, albeit slightly less morbid ones. Find out the real truth about whether or not glass is a liquid by joining Columbia University’s monthly Cafe Science meeting. Physical chemist Laura J. Kaufman’s speech, “Is Glass a Liquid? The Science Behind the Urban Legend,” addresses the liquid and solid characteristics of glass and how materials of this type can be used in applications as diverse as oil delivery and cryopreservation.

    Date: Monday October 13
    Time: 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
    Place: Picnic Café, 2665 Broadway, between 101st St. and 102nd St.
    Price: $10, includes one drink
    Continue Reading

    New Images of Mercury Taken by Spacecraft


    When Mariner 10 flew past Mercury three times in 1974 and 1975, the probe imaged less than half the planet. In January, during MESSENGER’s first flyby, its cameras returned images of about 20 percent of the planet’s surface missed by Mariner 10. Yesterday, at 4:40 am EDT, MESSENGER successfully completed its second flyby of Mercury, and its cameras captured more than 1,200 high-resolution and color images of the planet – unveiling another 30 percent of Mercury’s surface that had never before been seen by spacecraft.

    The spectacular image shown here is one of the first to be returned and shows a WAC image of the departing planet taken about 90 minutes after the spacecraft’s closest approach to Mercury. The bright crater just south of the center of the image is Kuiper, identified on images from the Mariner 10 mission in the 1970s. For most of the terrain east of Kuiper, toward the limb (edge) of the planet, the departing images are the first spacecraft views of that portion of Mercury’s surface. A striking characteristic of this newly imaged area is the large pattern of rays that extend from the northern region of Mercury to regions south of Kuiper. This extensive ray system appears to emanate from a relatively young crater newly imaged by MESSENGER, providing a view of the planet distinctly unique from that obtained during MESSENGER’s first flyby. This young, extensively rayed crater, along with the prominent rayed crater to the southeast of Kuiper, near the limb of the planet, were both seen in Earth-based radar images of Mercury but not previously imaged by spacecraft.

    Visit NASA’s MESSENGER site for more images.