Thermometer Blues

A former colleague tells this story. While undertaking her BSc she was doing an independent study for one of her courses. Her project dealt with sleep deprivation. One aspect of it had her waking up every hour during the night and taking her temperature. She purchased a thermometer and started her data collection. After the… Continue reading Thermometer Blues

What is a Virus, Anyway?

There’s a school story to follow but first allow me to put on my teacher’s hat. The term Virus appears frequently in the media. So what is a virus? Basically, a virus is a parasite, but what makes it unique is that it cannot survive outside of a host. The world of science has identified… Continue reading What is a Virus, Anyway?

A Fish Tale

Mike, Dan and I were classmates at UNB when we were doing our science degrees. Mike and Dan were roommates in residence. Mike had goldfish. I forget the circumstances (appendicitis perhaps?) but Mike had to be hospitalized for several days. Dan agreed to look after his fish. A group of fellows in the residence came… Continue reading A Fish Tale

Raise Your Right Hand

Joe Thompson (ref: post October 21, 2015), one of the most loved and respected supervisors at the District Office, was visiting our school. I chatted with him between classes and invited him to stop by my classroom. He said that he would do so after his meeting. My next class was Chemistry 11. I told… Continue reading Raise Your Right Hand

Question What’s Right

This was a common interaction I would have with my students early in the school year: Looking at a student’s work, “Why did you write a 2 by the chlorine?”, pointing to CuCl2. “It’s wrong?” “No, I didn’t say it was wrong. I’m simply asking why you chose to write a 2 there. Tell me… Continue reading Question What’s Right

A Simple Request

Recently, I had a conversation with Gerry. We first taught together thirty years ago. He has been retired for twenty-four years. He is doing well. I was reminded of a staff meeting we had in 1989. Gerry was getting close to retirement. During these meetings he would sit quietly and stare at the papers in… Continue reading A Simple Request

A Dangerous Substance

The following is a warning I often gave to my chemistry students. “Class, in this week’s activity we are going to be using a substance that, if inhaled, could kill you. I am being completely serious. “Hundreds of Canadians die each year by inhaling this particular compound and I don’t want it to happen in… Continue reading A Dangerous Substance

This Little Light of Mine – Part III

……….. continued from last post It was three years later. I was presenting a physics-based lesson to a grade 5 class in another school. I don’t recall why I had an actual candle, perhaps the activity was about light, but at one point I pulled it out of my box of materials. We were sitting… Continue reading This Little Light of Mine – Part III

This Little Light of Mine – Part II

When my children were young I started taking interest in elementary school science. I was curious to know how the subject was taught and what topics were covered. As my knowledge grew, I developed a number of science presentations suitable for grades 2-5. For several years the superintendent granted me a number of release days… Continue reading This Little Light of Mine – Part II

This Little Light of Mine – Part I

As a science teacher it was important to me that my students understood the concept of thinking scientifically. If nothing else, I wanted them to understand that to be scientific one simply needed to make sufficient observations before forming a conclusion. If we all approached life in this manner then we would be well on… Continue reading This Little Light of Mine – Part I