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The Bad News: We lost the soccer game. The Good News?

20 Jul

The left winger for my Sunday soccer team is a physicist!

Introducing Matthew F, Professor of Physics.

We had a brief conversation (after our crushing 2-0 loss to Dubliner Pub FC) about Quarks, String Theory, Unified Field Theory, and why most of the things we now know about physics have been around since 1915. Then a brief discussion about how stronger telescopes and advances in technology lead to greater certainty/uncertainty about the nature of the universe. The CERN Hadron collider in Switzerland has led to confirmation of the Higgs Boson particle.


Supporting Lessons:

1. What is the smallest piece of something? Atoms, Quarks, and Elements

2. Is Pluto a planet or a rock? why? introduction to classifying heavenly bodies

3. Parallel Universes. What if we lived on flat surface?

4. Time line of the heavans: How long have we known about the 9 planets?

5. How technology leads to discovery which leads to new technologies:

from galileo’s first telescope (designed by someone else) to the Hubble telescope and he Hadron collider, how has new technology led to greater certainty of our universe. Also,sometimes experiments clearly DISPROVE our theories. Example: the experiment with the “luminous ether” that proved it did not exist.


Vanishing Rainforests

23 Jun


Grades: 6 through 8

Time: 50-60 minutes, if measurements are given, 120 minutes if students do the


Materials: Tape measures; rainforest segment from the video Spaceship Earth: Our

Global Environment

Relevant Subjects: Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies

Math Standards: Numbers and Operations, Geometry and Measurement

Find more at :


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