Education

NASA’s Chief Scientist Dr. Ellen Stofan Kicks Off The Nifty Fifty Program!

By Nifty Fifty Host Carol Bengle Gilbert Very often, even the host can’t helped but be inspired by the Nifty Fifty talks. Monday, I listened to Dr. Ellen Stofan, NASA’s chief scientist, address middle school students at the Nysmith School for the Gifted in Herndon, Virginia. The school decided to announce the science fair winners in conjunction with…

Whose DNA is that?

Dr. Christopher Mason (Weill Cornell Medical College, Manhatten, NY) decided to sequence DNA found in NY subway stations…468 of them to be precise. At each station, his research team collected DNA samples by swabbing the kiosks, turnstiles, benches, railings, trash cans as well as the subway cars. Along with finding abundant Pseudomonas bacteria (also found…

Rhett Allain has a list of 5 Things Every Human Should Know About Light, to tie in with the International Year of Light, and it’s a good list with lots of .gifs. Of course, there are some gaps, so let me offer some additional things that everyone ought to know about light: — Light Is…

Science Story: Not a Bath House

(When I launched the Advent Calendar of Science Stories series back in December, I had a few things in mind, but wasn’t sure I’d get through 24 days. In the end, I had more than enough material, and in fact didn’t end up using a few of my original ideas. So I’ll do a few…

This was a good week for “Chad bristles at side issues of massively reshared stories,” with the Vox and gender bias stories, and also this PBS piece urging parents to tell their kids science stories. That probably seems surprising, given what I do around here, but while I fully endorse the end of that piece,…

I’ve seen a lot of reshares of this report about the long-term effect of gender bias in elementary math, which comes from an NBER working paper about a study of Israeli schools. The usual presentation highlights one specific result, namely that on a math test graded by teachers who knew the names of the students,…

Passing rewarming saves energy

I came across a neat study published recently in the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology which examined how bats arouse from hibernation, a period during which their body temperature and metabolism are low. To minimize the high energetic costs of warming up during arousal, bats use solar radiation or take…

Vaccines, Deflategate, NASA, Scholarships & More: STEM in the News

In our recent STEM in the News blog, X-STEM Festival Speaker and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Dr. Anthony Fauci discusses the importance of childhood vaccinations and his frustration with the recent Disneyland measles outbreak,  Festival Nifty Fifty Speaker and Material Scientist Dr. Ainissa Ramirez breaks down the science of “Deflategate”, NASA holds…

On Intelligence and Talent

Probably the dumbest person I’ve ever met in my life was a housemate in grad school. I didn’t do my lab work on campus, so I wasn’t living in a neighborhood where cheap housing was rented to students, but in a place where folks were either genuinely poor, or in the market for very temporary…

Over at Scientific American’s Frontiers for Young Minds blog, they have a great post on what happens when you ask scientists to explain key elements of a different research field. It’s pretty funny, and rings very true, as SteelyKid asks me tons of science questions, very few of which have anything to do with atomic,…