Hi. I finished my second year of teaching at Talawanda High School. I currently teach 9th grade comprehensive science and junior/senior chemistry. My wife also teaches at THS and we are both looking forward to the 2011-12 school year. Our community passed a levy and the new high school will be completed for the beginning of that school year.


My wife and I were recently blessed with a daughter who is now two months old. What a transition!
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Flora



Below is a link to my district website - Talawanda City Schools.
Go Braves!


Here is an update from my superintendent about the new high school.

SAIL Cycle Lesson Plan
Here is a link to the Wiki page that contains a lesson plan on natural selection that Mark and I created.
Natural selection



BAD SCIENCE IN MOVIES

Star Wars IV - A New Hope


images.jpg In the scene that follows, Luke Skywalker is attempting to destroy the Death Star, the empire's newly developed base/weapon that is capable of blowing up entire planets. He is flying his spacecraft in proximity to the Death Star and must shoot two laser torpedoes into the exhaust system of the Death Star in order to destroy it. The misconception I wish to focus on is what happens after he makes a direct hit. First, we see an explosion, and then we hear the explosion. This is a common misconception found in space movies - that sound will travel through space. We obviously know that sound requires a medium in order to transmit its energy.

Link to youtube video of this scene from Star Wars IV

An appropriate probe that could be used either before or after this movie clip is called "Making Sound". It can be found in the book Uncovering Student Ideas in Science, vol. 1, pg. 43-47.


The Simpsons Movie


simpsons.jpgIn the scene that follows, Springfield is being surrounded by a glass dome because it has become so polluted. The purpose of the dome is to keep all the pollution inside. This leads to a misconception that pollution only occurs on ground level or in the air. It ignores a common transmitter of pollutants - groundwater.


I could not find any video clips that showed the scene I wanted to show. In the movie, there is a scene where helicopters fly over Springfield and drop a glass dome over the entire town. That's the scene I was thinking of using. If you can find a copy of the DVD you could use that scene.

An appropriate probe that could be used either before or after this movie clip is located on google docs. It consists of a map of a town. The students should write down all sources of pollution that they can identify and how they move. Then you can have the students discuss their ideas about how pollution is transmitted.

Loop Lake Map