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Budding Scientist

Budding Scientist

Everything you always wanted to know about raising science-literate kids

Why Math Teachers Feel Poorly Prepared

When William Schmidt, an expert on math education at Michigan State University, moved his family from East Lansing to Charlottesville, Virginia for a year’s research leave, his work took a personal turn.

July 13, 2012 — Anna Kuchment

Here a Henge, There a Henge: Astronomy Fun on a Street Near You

Manhattanhenge, by EffingBoring via Flickr Invited Guest Post by Evelyn Lamb (@evelynjlamb) Later today the setting sun will align with Manhattan's street grid to produce a striking phenomenon dubbed "Manhattanhenge." Taking its name from the more famous Stonehenge in England, where the sun rises over the prominent Heel Stone on the summer solstice, Manhattanhenge happens twice a year, once about three weeks before the summer solstice (May 29th and 30th this year) and once about three weeks after (this Wednesday and Thursday).Neil DeGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium at the city's American Museum of Natural History, is credited with "discovering" the phenomenon, which has grown in popularity since he published a photo of the setting sun from a vantage point looking west down 34th Street about a decade ago.

July 10, 2012 — Anna Kuchment

Teens Engineer a Way to Help Swazi Farmers

The 14-year-old winners of the Google Science Fair's Science in Action Award, sponsored by Scientific American, discuss their project: a way for subsistence farmers to grow crops in larger quantities using hydroponics instead of soil

June 6, 2012 — Anna Kuchment

The Transit of Venus: Viewing Tips from an Astronomer

My family is gearing up for a big weekend of science in New York City. First, there's the annual World Science Festival, which this year is bringing free activities like bug hunting, weather forecasting and marine ecology research to Brooklyn Bridge Park among many other locations.

June 1, 2012 — Anna Kuchment

School Turns Engineering Faculty into Superheroes

The George Washington University engineering school's Pinhas Ben-Tzvi as RobotronMan A recent survey by Intel found that only 28 percent of teenagers had ever considered becoming engineers and that only 5 percent associated engineering with the word "cool." That's not terribly surprising given that engineering ranks in the bottom half of professions with which teens are familiar, falling below teacher, doctor, nurse, police officer, chef, lawyer, musician, professional athlete, scientist, and computer programmer.

May 18, 2012 — Anna Kuchment

Earth Day Science for Kids: How Rain Drops Form

 Two graduate students from the City University of New York's NOAA-CREST program showed me this simple experiment, above, for young kids. The three of us volunteered at an Earth Day fair at a New York City elementary school on Friday, and kids were mesmerized by it.It illustrates the concepts of accretion -- when the tiny droplets of water that form clouds bump into each other and combine to form larger drops -- and cohesion, the attraction that water molecules have for each other.

April 22, 2012 — Anna Kuchment

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