Day 7- Waiting for Supplies

We’ve been editing laboratories for our Near Space components without the materials; we’re still waiting on the shipment to come in.  It gets tedious editing laboratories all day long, so today I learned a few different skills.  The first of which will come in handy for when we take video of all of the laboratories: video editing.

We are going to be making videos of all of the laboratories, so I taught myself basic video editing skills in iMovie and Adobe Premiere Pro 5.5.  It was interesting to learn these skills, as I’m planning on recording a weekly recap of my classroom next year, and posting it online so students may access it from anywhere to review topics discussed in class.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful; we edited laboratories.  They are taking a lot more time than we had anticipated, but there is little yet to do as we’re still waiting on our supplies to come in.

Day 6- Lab revision, being a good presenter

Today’s commute started out much better than the day before, 52 minutes door to door, which is probably my best time so far.  It’s crazy how sometimes the trains arrive much earlier, and sometimes they arrive much later.  My trip usually averages to about 63 minutes door to door. 

We started out revising labs again.  Fjodor is still working on the first lab, which I had thought was completed.  There’s always revision to be done, but I’d really like to get the laboratories all edited so that we can then do a test run and then revise them more based on the labs.

I’m doing a ton of review of physics, as I haven’t covered this material since my Physics 131/132 classes with Heath Hatch at UMass Amherst.  I really enjoyed circuits though, so it’s fun to play around with satellite parts and the such.

We had a Brown Bag lunch with the other RETs, in which Mike Ruane gave a presentation on how to give good presentations.  Mike talked about all kinds of aspects to think about, from PowerPoint themes to scientific posters, and eventually publishing research.  I’ve thought about some of this before,  but there were some new aspects to me.

In the afternoon, we went back to editing labs, and then Mike came and visited us.  We talked more about our project, heard what the other groups were doing, and talked about timing.  We should be all set, and we’re busy this summer, but it’s not impossible.

I then went to the Prudential center with Alex Schwartz (who’s looking for a teaching job…please hire him, he’s a great teacher) and caught up.  Man, I love living in the city.

Day 4- Teacher Pedagogy First Week

Today, we’ve started out the day by starting the first of our teacher pedagogy settings.  It reminds me of the technology class that I took in graduate school with Ruth-Ellen Verock-O’laughlin.  We spent the morning talking about different types of technology tools, and demonstrating how we use technology in each of our classrooms.  It was awesome to learn about some tools that I have never heard of, including Turn It In plagiarism checker, Socrative Student Response System (which is sort of like Poll Everywhere that I use), and Glogster, an online poster making website.

There are guiding questions that we have now as we try to finish up this session blogging about different responsibilities.  I didn’t realize we only have to do a blog post a week, but I’ll keep posting daily so the entire experience is well document.

The first question is to describe my process of assimilation into the laboratory.  I have had a fantastic week getting to know Fjodor, my lab partner, as well as Jonah and Pete, the undergraduates that work in the lab.  It’s also been great working with Project Manager Nate to go over the entire program.

The next question about the environment of the laboratory.  I like to think that our laboratory is very laid back, but in a productive way.  We have been receiving our equipment, so it’s always fun to see new cardboard boxes appear on our desk every day.  Really, I’m having a fantastic time.

I am working (as you know) with BUSAT to develop a series of laboratories for middle and high school students, incorporating science and technology with engineering.  My partner is Fjodor, who works at Somerville High School.  We’re working with a bunch of Undergraduate and Graduate students to accomplish our ultimate goal of testing equipment with a balloon launch from Mt. Greylock.

The essence of our research is how to teach students about near space experiences.  One facet is teaching the students about near space through a variety of labs, and the second facet is making meaningful labs that can be used for a variety of settings.

We haven’t really run into many challenges during week 1.  I had expected that it would be difficult to jump into the program, but Fjodor and I have been doing a fantastic job, and we’re ahead of the timeline that we had established at the beginning of the program. 

We’re planning on heading to lunch, and continuing work this afternoon on finishing up two projects- hacking our cameras with CHDK, so that they will take pictures every 30 seconds, and finishing up our supply inventory so we can place the order. 

Tonight I go back to Western Massachusetts- it’ll be nice to get out of the city for a break, as much as I love it here!