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Steve Spangler - Hands-on Science
Posted: 01 October 2010 08:10 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Steve Spangler is a science educator, inventor, and an Emmy Award winning TV personality. He is the author of Fizz Factor: 50 Amazing Experiments With Soda Pop, Secret Science: 25 Science Experiments Your Teacher Doesn’t Know About and his latest title Naked Eggs And Flying Potatoes.

Steve’s inquiry-based learning approaches to science education are highly successful. With his innovative “hands-on” approach to teaching he is the “fun science guy” who shoots potatoes, makes toilet paper fly and mixes batches of slime; but he is best known for his erupting soda geyser experiment.

Behind all of this fun is a very serious mission: to improve science literacy for both children, and adults.

In this episode with Karen Stollznow, Steve tackles the “science is boring” stereotype, and explains how science education can be exciting, accessible and fun. Steve talks about using the Internet for effective science education, citing his famous viral video, the “Mentos and Diet Coke geyser experiment” that has had millions of views and inspired thousands of imitations.

Steve not only teaches students, but he also teaches teachers. He talks about becoming a great science teacher by creating unforgettable learning experiences. With Steve’s interactive methods, science has suddenly gone from “Don’t try this at home!” to “Try this for yourself and see how it works!”

In closing, Steve discusses the state of science literacy today, and tells us what we can do to nurture scientific curiosity, build critical thinking skills and instill healthy skepticism.

http://www.pointofinquiry.org/steve_spangler_hands-on_science/

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Posted: 02 October 2010 09:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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One thing that continually amuses me is that when a host asks a skeptic if “things are improving”, they will often say that they are, although they don’t have any data to support that.  Jeez, eat your own dog food, people.  The only proper response is “I don’t know, there is no data.”

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Posted: 03 October 2010 02:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Taylor - 02 October 2010 09:43 AM

One thing that continually amuses me is that when a host asks a skeptic if “things are improving”, they will often say that they are, although they don’t have any data to support that.  Jeez, eat your own dog food, people.  The only proper response is “I don’t know, there is no data.”

Normally, when a host asks this question, they are asking for an opinion. You don’t need hard data for an opinion. It’s like asking how someone is feeling today. Should no one answer this question without a doctor’s report?

It is my opinion that skeptics should not start speaking and responding like Spock or C3-PO. This would have been a boring interview without the wonderful human element of opinion…

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Posted: 03 October 2010 04:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Baxter - 03 October 2010 02:15 PM

You don’t need hard data for an opinion

Well, yes you do, particularly when you’re trying to teach people about science.  The trouble with science training in general is that people often aren’t able to apply what they learn in real life, and this guest demonstrated the difficulty behind that, missing a wonderful opportunity to teach by example.  The “too boring” criticism is often used as a justification to teach bad science and I don’t buy it….a good teacher should be able to make truth interesting.

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Posted: 03 October 2010 04:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Taylor - 03 October 2010 04:29 PM
Baxter - 03 October 2010 02:15 PM

You don’t need hard data for an opinion

Well, yes you do, particularly when you’re trying to teach people about science.  The trouble with science training in general is that people often aren’t able to apply what they learn in real life, and this guest demonstrated the difficulty behind that, missing a wonderful opportunity to teach by example.  The “too boring” criticism is often used as a justification to teach bad science and I don’t buy it….a good teacher should be able to make truth interesting.

I don’t think answering a question about whether things seem to be getting better or not is “teaching science”,  it is answering a broad question in an interview. With all of the things wrong with the state of belief and skepticism today, this is what you have to pick on?

You aren’t quite getting what I am saying, are you? I wasn’t using the “too boring” criticism as justification to teach bad science but I will say that you are using my quotes to push non-sequitors.

Steve Spangler is the epitome of a good teacher. He DOES make the truth interesting and exciting for whoever might be his student. No excuses needed. Where did this guest demonstrate difficulty in applying what he learned in real life? He didn’t answer a question with an answer that satisfied you?

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Posted: 03 October 2010 04:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Baxter - 03 October 2010 04:47 PM

I don’t think answering a question about whether things seem to be getting better or not is “teaching science”,

It absolutely is….science is method, not just a bunch of facts.  Teaching people how to arrive at truth is arguably the most important thing about teaching science.

He didn’t answer a question with an answer that satisfied you?

No, he answered it unscientifically.

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Posted: 03 October 2010 05:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Taylor - 03 October 2010 04:57 PM
Baxter - 03 October 2010 04:47 PM

I don’t think answering a question about whether things seem to be getting better or not is “teaching science”,

It absolutely is….science is method, not just a bunch of facts.  Teaching people how to arrive at truth is arguably the most important thing about teaching science.

He didn’t answer a question with an answer that satisfied you?

No, he answered it unscientifically.

Once again, it was OPINION. Opinion is not science, it is OPINION. Wow. How do you feel, Taylor? I want studies with dates and figures when you answer. Some skeptics are so hard nosed that it is no wonder that the impression the rest of the world has of skeptics is one of “impossible to communicate with.” Therefore, I am finished trying to make a point with you. Call it “giving up”, or that you “won” the argument, or think that you convinced me. You won’t scientifically ever know for sure and I don’t want your opinion…

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Posted: 03 October 2010 05:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Baxter - 03 October 2010 05:06 PM

Once again, it was OPINION. Opinion is not science, it is OPINION.

That’s a meaningless defense.  Every conclusion we offer is OPINION, but we still need to justify that opinion with evidence.  This is what science should teach us.

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Posted: 04 October 2010 08:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Taylor - 03 October 2010 05:13 PM
Baxter - 03 October 2010 05:06 PM

Once again, it was OPINION. Opinion is not science, it is OPINION.

That’s a meaningless defense.  Every conclusion we offer is OPINION, but we still need to justify that opinion with evidence.  This is what science should teach us.

And this is a meaningless argument. You seem to like to find something small and pointless and then pump it up to large proportions to make yourself seem like a really smart crusader.

Of course the things you say are right…to a point. I think those with wisdom can differentiate between the two. You seem to live in a world of black and white and that is simply not the same world most of us live in. Most of the time, opinion needs to be opinion, hypothesis need to be hypothesis, theories need to be theories, and when any of them are solidly backed up by repeatable science, they become fact. Facts are NOT opinions and opinions never need to be justified. Opinions are personal and often wrong but it is our right to have them. Opinions of others give us perspectives we often never thought of ourselves. If all of your opinions are backed by facts and figures, you’ve just shown yourself to have zero creativity.

The bottom line is that Steve Spangler is out there working his butt off for the greater good of science in a creative and successful way. Uri Gellar is out there still pushing his woo. Which would you rather pick on? I’m sorry that we are all not as perfect as you, Taylor. We are human and he was just answering questions off the cuff in an interview. Why don’t you look at the good he does rather than moan about how imperfectly he answered a question to your satisfaction?

I’m sure that there are plenty of things that we agree on or we wouldn’t even be here so keep in mind that I’m not looking for enemies. I just have an opinion that you aren’t seeing the forest for the trees. I wonder if your whole vacation would be ruined if you had a fly in your soup during one of the meals…

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Posted: 06 October 2010 06:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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When you see belief, truth and opinion being the basis of an on going argument, one can only conclude that folk are really airing their views.

To form an opinion about something, data and interpretation are required. A view is just a great start to a good argument never meant to be very fulfilling.  TV interviewers make a living asking for views. Especially when interviewing each other.


Great interview!


Are things getting better?  Yep. Undoubtedly. The data based on the effect of ever improving technology suggest that more of the world is better fed, better cared, safer and more reliably educated. As science improves the world grows up, albeit slowly.

Are things getting better in science education? Undubitably! but only for those who want to maintain their right to an education. Abrogating science to religious education will make those undertaking such programs unavailable for any pure biology strands and have a very skewed view of cosmology,  their own creation myths and who just really is their deity.

I don’t care about truths, they are just a little bit subjective.

I dare you to revert to a USA or UK based on horse carriages and hocus pocus alt med.  We’ve lost the horses.  The down side is we need lawn mowers.

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Posted: 09 October 2010 11:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Henk van der Gaast - 06 October 2010 06:57 PM

Are things getting better?  Yep. Undoubtedly. The data based on the effect of ever improving technology suggest that more of the world is better fed, better cared, safer and more reliably educated. As science improves the world grows up, albeit slowly.

we must be watching different news outlets… or is it old reruns you are remembering?

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Posted: 09 October 2010 11:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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sorry you use pen and paper for this forum…

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Posted: 10 October 2010 12:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Henk van der Gaast - 09 October 2010 11:52 PM

sorry you use pen and paper for this forum…

gott im himmel, noch ein spinner!

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Posted: 10 October 2010 12:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 09 October 2010 11:50 PM
Henk van der Gaast - 06 October 2010 06:57 PM

Are things getting better?  Yep. Undoubtedly. The data based on the effect of ever improving technology suggest that more of the world is better fed, better cared, safer and more reliably educated. As science improves the world grows up, albeit slowly.

we must be watching different news outlets… or is it old reruns you are remembering?

He is saying THE WORLD not the United States.

You can’t trust info sources in the US to provide accurate data about THE WORLD.  LOL

Just because things get better for 1,000,000 people in India doesn’t mean they don’t get worse for 300,000 in Africa.  So maybe whether or not things are getting better or worse is a statistical delusion.

psik

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Posted: 10 October 2010 12:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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You started trolling sport, I can play and probly better at it as well.


go on, go on, go on Ted…

I’ll append for the second.

I can’t help it that the general citizen in the west is fairly ignorant of the fact that there is power, transport, medicine and communications world wide. I will also state that the usa is probably ignorant that there is an expectation and hope for many more countries to have additional power, transport, medicine and communications world wide.

It all depends on general education.

It all depends on technology.  It doesnt depend on art or religion.

[ Edited: 10 October 2010 12:23 AM by Henk van der Gaast ]
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Posted: 28 October 2010 05:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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A well-chosen, well-conducted, and very informative interview, Ms. S.
But that’s no surprise at this point.
Be forewarned, if I ever meet you, I may ask you to marry me.

Also, I’m very happy to know about Mr. Spangler and can’t wait to ask my elementary school teacher friend if she knows of him and his work.  I’m sure she’ll cheer his work and his views about teaching, just as I did while riding my bicycle down a trail listening to the podcast.

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Brad

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