Life Minus Oxygen?

 

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Congratulations to University of Cincinnati assistant professor of geology, Andrew Czaga and his team for finding fossils that reportedly existed prior to the existence of oxygen on this planet. For more information, you definitely want to check out Melanie Shefft’s piece in the new issue of UC Magazine.

Professor Czaga is quoted  in this piece, “These are the oldest reported sulfur bacteria to date.” At approximately 2.5 billion years old, these specimens taken from South Africa are large and spherically shaped.

This excellent, detailed article and brief video of a 3-d image of the bacteria would be of great interest to teachers of Geology and Biology.

Questions for Discussion

  1. What geologic era is this discovery from?
  2. How are these organisms described? What current organisms are similar to them?
  3. What was the name of the major supercontinent comprised of South Africa and Western Australia?
  4. When did the Great Oxidation Event occur?
  5. What was the Great Oxidation Event?
  6. Describe the process of “recycling”  as explained in the article.
  7. Looking at the graph, what do you think the “photic limit” means?
  8. What else does this inspire you to “dream, learn, do?”

Students Travel the World to Build Kiln

For a great post on a fully immersive educational experience, check out the Northern Michigan University School of Art and Design blog post on their recent internship experience-creating a kiln in Indonesia.

For three years, Professor Kakas researched the design of these kilns-this trip was the culmination of that intense research.

This post will be of interest to art teachers of course, but also World History or Geography teachers who want to explore cultural practices of Bali, Indonesia.

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Questions for Discussion

  1. How does a soda fired ceramic kiln work?
  2. How is this kiln utilized by the Balian people?
  3. Based on your reading of this text and seeing the photos, what are important cultural values of the Balian people?
  4. What was significant about the kiln built by the Northern Michigan University Students?
  5. How can this type of immersive experience be essential to students, researchers and the local community?
  6. What else does this inspire you to”dream, learn, do?”

Clean Water with Nanotech

 

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For a fascinating look at how nanotechnology can help save lives through ensuring people have access to clean water, read Pam Frost Gorder’s article on research at The Ohio State University.

This article highlights the research of Associate Professor Roberto Myers’ lab in materials science and engineering.  Myers, along with doctoral candidate Brelon May, created a light emitting diode on a piece of thin foil. The thinness of the foil allows it to be easily utilized and accessible in a wide variety of locations.

Myers lab developed this as a contrast to the conventional use of mercury based lamps which of course are toxic.

Educators teaching high level science courses as well as marketing and business courses might find this article useful.

Questions for Discussion

  1. What was the innovation that Myers and May developed?
  2. What is molecular beam nanotaxy and how was it essential for this work?
  3. What niche field are they developing?
  4. Describe the importance of “scalability” in marketing/product development?
  5. How does UV light sterilize?
  6. Using this product as a case study- How would you market it?
  7. What else does this inspire you to “dream, learn, do?”

Welcome!

We want to spark ideas and promote research literacy.

A Review for the Well-Read Learner.

You know that creativity and inspiration comes from reading well and reading widely.

Inspiration 

We connect readers to inspirational ideas and stories. “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”  William Butler Yeats.

All learning begins with curiosity.

Thanks for joining us on the journey!

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