There are a ton of exceedingly odd collegiate classes floating around out there. I, for one, taught a class about the wonders of Harry Potter at my school before I even got my BA. Long story. Now Edinburgh University is joining the fine tradition of off-beat classes, and they’re doing it online and for free.
Watch Mr. Wizard, a science education program that ran during the 50s and 60s, purported to teach children about the “science behind ordinary things.” But, if you’re like me and you’ve never saw the program, this fan cut video might lead you to believe it was just a show about an old guy being, well, kind of a dick to children. Then again, maybe I wouldn’t have given up on organic chemistry in college if Mr. Wizard had been there to correct my every move.
Well this is an interesting new thing. It’s a video called “Let’s Talk About Evolution,” that features a wide range of female scientists, doctors and researchers. Produced by Matt Shipman, David Wescott, Jamie Vernon, Kevin Zelnio and Andrea Kuszewski, the video allows “scientists to explain, in their own words, the importance of evolution to science — and the related importance of teaching evolution in schools,” according to TheSCOPEteam’s YouTube page. “Our goal is to convey the fact that evolution is an amazing, uplifting discovery that has served as the genesis of countless advances in many fields of science. We also wanted to highlight female role models in the science community.”
Some very intelligent, thought-provoking things are said but the group is still asking for further entries to add to the series. “Keep it positive: focus on the importance and wonder of evolution, and not on divisive name-callin,” they wrote. And if you’re interested in seeing what each of these women had to say un-edited, you can watch their full submission on TheSCOPEteam’s YouTube channel.
I’ve been worried about science. I don’t mean in the usual zombie plague or Skynet sort of way. I’ve been worried about science in the real world, which is honestly much scarier. The current US political climate doesn’t do much to make me feel confident about the future of research and exploration. I also read the same articles that you probably do, about how girls still need encouragement that they can do math and science at all, or how women scientists are ever-struggling for the recognition they deserve. It makes me nervous. I may not work in a lab, but I’m a huge science junkie, and I hope to raise a few little geeks of my own one day. I found myself in need of some reassurance that the next generation might yet turn out to be as science-loving as the rest of us.
I could have been a good writer and done some “research,” but instead I took the easy way out and defaulted to nepotism. I called my mom.
Less than a month before its release, Marvel has released its variant cover for Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1, drawn by Sara Pichelli and featuring the new man behind the mask, Miles Morales! After the jump, a look inside Miles’ origin story, including speculation about a possible anti-union agenda (that is probably nothing to worry about).
Show of hands: how many of you read (or even wrote) comics during class as a kid because social studies was putting you to sleep? What if you actually got to read comics in class, for class? Comics publisher Bluewater Productionshas plans to incorporate education into their offerings with the goal of helping students who don’t have the easiest time reading. Well-known for its titles FAME and INFAMOUS, depicting stories behind, well, the famous and infamous, Bluewater seeks to expand such offerings into educational plans (free of charge) that will turn previously dry stories about history, current events, and public figures into graphic novels and comics that will appeal to kids. Will some flashy art and good storytelling keep kids’ attention? It might be a start, but that’s only part of the interactive program.
Former United State Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor — the first woman on the bench — is disappointed and concerned that schools no longer put an emphasis on kids’ knowledge of how their own country works. So, she’s been working on an initiative to re-introduce civics in a way that will make kids want to learn it: by turning it into video games. And now, we get to write about the next great iconic video game hero, Chuck Freepress, constitutional lawyer and warrior for the First Amendment! And this game is only part of O’Connor’s ongoing initiative to bring technology and education together. This is the coolest thing to happen to school ever.
Here’s a “chicken or egg” question: Women who haven’t pursued higher education are shown to have more children starting at a younger age, while women who do have less starting at an older age. But is choosing higher education linked with choosing to have less children (a la Idiocracy, sort of) — or are women who have children while young unable to complete their education? A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is saying that having children early prevents women around the world from going back to school, that it’s not necessarily a case of women deciding against college in favor of starting families.