PBL and STEAM Education: A Natural Fit

News from EDUTOPIA - 1 hour 15 min ago
Using project-based learning in science, technology, engineering, art, and math classes is a way to solve problems in real-world contexts.

A Powerful Way to End the School Year

News from EDUTOPIA - 4 hours 16 min ago
Year mapping allows students to see what they’ve learned in your class, and it’s a great resource for your incoming class.

Supporting Kids Through Times of Change

News from EDUTOPIA - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 15:24
Ten ways to help children cope with tough transitions in school—whether you’re their teacher or their parent.

A Solution for Student Disengagement

News from EDUTOPIA - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 15:04
Tap students’ leadership potential to help them form strong bonds with each other and with their school.

How Peer Pressure Undermines Success

News from EDUTOPIA - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 23:43
Will students pass up academic help based on how their friends feel? A new study suggests they will.

Travel Grants and Fellowships for Educators

News from EDUTOPIA - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 17:22
Money is available to help fund teachers’ professional trips. Here are some resources to help you find and apply for grants and fellowships.

Engaging With Contrary Evidence

News from EDUTOPIA - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 14:19
Crafting strong arguments requires students to truly grapple with evidence that doesn’t fit with their ideas.

Can Equity Be Taught?

News from EDUTOPIA - Fri, 05/19/2017 - 20:25
In a rapidly diversifying district with a largely white teaching force, how do you foster mutual trust and understanding? Send teachers to school.

Memorial Day in the Classroom: Resources for Teachers

News from EDUTOPIA - Fri, 05/19/2017 - 20:25
For teachers looking to incorporate Memorial Day into lessons, here are some of the best resources from around the internet.

Overcoming Obstacles to Critical Thinking

News from EDUTOPIA - Thu, 05/18/2017 - 20:00
The ability to think critically will benefit students throughout their lives. Here are a few tips on how to get started teaching it.

Paper About Plagiarism Contains Plagiarism

Research Scholarship - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 15:08
Regular readers will know that I have an interest in plagiarism. Today I discovered an amusing case of plagiarism in a paper about plagiarism. The paper is called The confounding factors leading to plagiarism in academic writing and some suggested remedies. It recently appeared in the Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association (JPMA) and it's written by two Saudi Arabia-based authors, Salman Yousuf Guraya and Shaista Salman Guraya. Here's an example of the plagiarism: a 2015 paper by...

Guraya SY, & Guraya SS. (2017) The confounding factors leading to plagiarism in academic writing and some suggested remedies: A systematic review. JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association, 67(5), 767-772. PMID: 28507368   The confounding factors leading to plagiarism in academic writing and some suggested remedies: A systematic review.


Free Is Good

News from EDUTOPIA - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 13:53
Open educational resources are free digital materials you can use with your students. Here are some ways to find them.

Carbon nanotubes, what are they good for?

Research Scholarship - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 04:20
Kylius Wilkins talks to Urs Frey and his paper that described his recent success manufacturing carbon nanotubes (CNTs)....

Seichepine, F., Rothe, J., Dudina, A., Hierlemann, A., & Frey, U. (2017) Dielectrophoresis-Assisted Integration of 1024 Carbon Nanotube Sensors into a CMOS Microsystem. Advanced Materials, 29(17), 1606852. DOI: 10.1002/adma.201606852  Dielectrophoresis-Assisted Integration of 1024 Carbon Nanotube Sensors into a CMOS Microsystem


Entering the Quiet Zone

News from EDUTOPIA - Tue, 05/16/2017 - 19:31
Giving students a dedicated spot in the classroom to collect themselves helps them learn to manage their emotions—a valuable life skill.

Bringing Poetry Outside

News from EDUTOPIA - Tue, 05/16/2017 - 13:24
See how one teacher encourages his school to join together and enjoy a spring day with poetry.

Fatal Attraction: Praying Mantises (A Guest Post)

Research Scholarship - Tue, 05/16/2017 - 10:15
By Britta Bibbo We all know the character: an incredibly beautiful woman that seduces the rough-and-tumble action hero, only for him to later find himself chained up over a lava pit with sharks in it! …Or something like that. A “femme fatal” is the idea of a beautiful woman who leads men to their demise. None are more perfect for this role than the female praying mantis. Praying mantis females practice the art of deception through sexual cannibalism. It’s exactly how it sounds: the male is attracted to the female and tries to make some babies, but instead ends up being devoured. Sexual cannibalism hardly seems like a good strategy for keeping the mantis population up, but some argue it’s merely females taking advantage of every scrap of food they can find… even if it’s a loving male. False garden mantis (Pseudomantis albofimbriata). Image by Donald Hobern from Wikimedia Commons.When male mantises encounter a female in the wild they only have one thing on the brain, while a female may be more interested in self-preservation. If she hasn’t encountered food for a few days she will be VERY hungry and not all that interested in mating; in many species of mantises it is known that female mantises will eat males, even while having sex! So how do female mantises attract males? For most insects, females are able to attract males with pheromones, chemicals released from an individual that affect other individuals of the same species. For instance, females can emit pheromones that will be telling of their age, reproductive status, and body condition. Males are able to detect pheromones from great distances and these pheromones play a role in allowing a male to determine how attractive a female could be. Before any sexy time can begin, females have to show that they are open to male advances. Showing a male you’ve never met before that you’re interested can be a difficult task- so females typically emit pheromones that are known as honest signals. These signals accurately convey female interest in mating, as well as her reproductive status, age, and body condition. Because the majority of females are being honest, males don’t have to think twice about their mate’s intentions. This is where female deception comes into play. If a female takes advantage of the lack of male wariness, she could end up with an easy meal. This deception by the females is what scientists know as the Femme Fatale hypothesis. This hypothesis explains that female mantises are naturally selected to deceive male mantises, and exploit them as food. This idea hasn’t had much backing evidence until Dr. Kate Barry of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia sought to test this hypothesis with the false garden mantis (Pseudomantis albofimbriata). After considering the test subjects and how the mantises communicate, Kate expected one of three possible outcomes: 1. There will be no pattern between female hunger and male attraction (if female false garden mantises are not femme fatales and false garden mantis pheromones do not communicate feeding-related information). 2. The well-fed females will attract the most males, while hungry females will attract the fewest males (if female false garden mantises are not femme fatales and females are always honest about their quality and willingness to mate). 3. The hungriest females will attract the most males, while well-fed females will still attract some males (if female false garden mantises are femme fatales and females are dishonest about their quality and willingness to mate when they are hungry). To test her expectations, Kate gathered juvenile mantises that were close to their adult forms to have many male and female mantises that have no previous mating experience. Once the mantises were adults, females were given different feeding regimens to have a range of hunger. Categories included Good (well-fed), Medium (slightly less fed), Poor (hungry), and Very Poor (very, very hungry). Adult mantises were housed in a circular cage that separated each female individually around the edge, while the males were kept in the center. Diagram of cage experiment was conducted in. Image by Britta Bibbo.To allow the males to smell the female pheromones, researchers separated males by special walls that the males could not see through, but could still detect the pheromones given off by a female. The number of males on a female’s side of the cage was used to measure how attractive her pheromones were to the males. The results of this study concluded that pheromones produced by the females that were very hungry were the most attractive to males. Through deception, the hungriest females are seen as sexier than well-fed, healthy females that are willing to mate! This result is surprising; normally females that are well-fed are seen as “sexier” because they have more nutrients available to them, making them more fertile. Hungry females have fewer nutrients available to them, making them less fertile, and therefore not as “sexy”. These hungry female mantises are advertising themselves as well-fed, fertile, and ready to rock when really, they’re not. Simply put, these results show that males are being catfished, and then consumed. Whether hungry females are actively trying to deceive males or if it’s just coincidental still needs to be looked into, but for now, be thankful for a partner who will see you as more than just a piece of meat! Literature Cited:Barry, K. (2014). Sexual deception in a cannibalistic mating system? Testing the Femme Fatale hypothesis Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282 (1800), 20141428-20141428 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1428...

Barry, K. (2014) Sexual deception in a cannibalistic mating system? Testing the Femme Fatale hypothesis. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282(1800), 20141428-20141428. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1428  Sexual deception in a cannibalistic mating system? Testing the Femme Fatale hypothesis


12 Inspiring STEM Books for Girls

News from EDUTOPIA - Tue, 05/16/2017 - 01:13
Science, technology, engineering, and math are more important than ever, so we’ve put together a list of books to encourage girls to persevere in these subjects.

Integrating Social and Emotional Competencies Into Academic Content

News from EDUTOPIA - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 15:51
Collaboration, problem solving, and social awareness are as necessary as literacy and math.

The Graduate Profile: A Focus on Outcomes

News from EDUTOPIA - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 19:09
These profiles help schools direct resources toward building student competencies. See how they work.

Students’ Best Tech Resource: The Teacher

News from EDUTOPIA - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 16:09
Three strategies to make sure your content—not your technology—is your students’ main focus.

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