Science Teacher Tim Stephenson, 2018 recipient of the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence, brings you discussions and interviews on all kinds of scientific concepts. It is ideal listening for anyone interested in learning more, from students to adults. And since Tim is an Astronomy Teacher, there will be a lot of space talk!
Nutrition, Exercise and Education with Katie Muller
Katie is a wholistic nutritionist and a personal trainer. Her approach to wellness does not mean eliminating entire food groups or spending hours on the tread mill. She trains her clients to lead balanced lives, to eat whole foods and to exercise because they love to, not because of guilt.
I like Katie's approach and I wondered what her thoughts were on how proper nutrition and movement affects performance in school. So I asked her to talk about these things as they relate to students in school.
Katie has evidence to suggest that students coming out of school are not equipped with the knowledge to lead them to a healthy and energized life. Many of her clients are unaware of what good eating habits are or how to exercise in a gym or on their own (other than some cardio). I tried to get her to talk about some recent research on epigenetics as it relates to nutrition and I loved her answer, which was don't over-complicate things.
In school, do we over-complicate things because we think that makes for good education? Or do we omit things that we shouldn't because we as teachers don't have a good grasp of it? Whatever the case may be, a brain won't work well in an unhealthy body.
Connect with Katie
Listen to her podcast Strong and Beautiful on Apple Podcasts and Spotify
An Economic Analysis of Covid Lockdown
Dr. Doug Allen is an economist at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC. He has done an extensive analysis of the research from around the world on the policy of lockdown during the pandemic. His conclusions are startling.
It may seem obvious that the benefit of lockdown is the prevention of death due to the virus. The cost may be felt in the economy, but it will be short-lived. Except neither of the those things are true, particularly on the cost side of the ledger. In this podcast, one of my longer episodes, Dr. Allen will highlight some costs that many will not have considered and that seems to include our political leaders.
Some may find this episode controversial, others may find it enlightening. However, it is important that in the world of education, we are willing to question, discuss and analyze based on facts. Sometimes this seems empirical, calculated and perhaps cold. But decisions like the ones we have lived with since March of 2020 can't be based on emotion and our society only advances when we listen, learn, think and grow.
Doug mentions a website and some other papers linked here:
Contact Dr. Allen:
A Lesson for World Ocean Week
Back in the summer of 2018, I was kayaking in Johnstone Strait on the north coast of Vancouver Island. Being passionate about education and the oceans, I took the chance to teach my fellow kayakers about the plight of the oceans.
I edited it and am using it for this week's podcast. This is World Ocean Week and I'd like anyone with the opportunity to teach, to use some of what you might learn here about the oceans and share with your students. This is critical information and as teachers, we have to be willing to inform and share what we learn in order to have a positive impact on the future.
I hope what you hear in this episode will help you teach your student about this critical topic...the health of our oceans.
Calculating the Power of the Sun
One of my goals for this podcast is to give teachers some material that they can use in their classroom. This episode will teach you how to run an experiment where your students can calculate the power of the Sun. It's a simple procedure but with huge and fascinating results.
You will definitely want a pad of paper and you may need to hit the pause button a time or two. But once you have it worked out, this will become one of your favourite experiments to do with your science class. Also, it can be adapted to any level or grade.
Have fun and go measure the Sun!
International Women's Day with Britt Buirs
This is a recording I did in the spring of 2020. I chose to replay it because Britt Buirs is one of my favourite scientists who deserves a spotlight on International Women's Day. Reality is she deserves the spotlight any day: a former student of mine, Britt went on to study at the University of Victoria and now lives and works in Ucluelet, BC where she is doing research into micro plastic pollution.
This is a great episode for young girls to listen to and be inspired to study the sciences just like Britt. Equally, it's a great episode for teachers to gain current and relevant science knowledge on a topic that is crucial to the future health of our oceans.
Connect with Britt on Instagram: @britt_buirs
Find her products on www.etsy.com/ca/shop/theoceangypsea
An Experiment with Music and Learning
In this episode, I attempt to demonstrate the relationship between music and learning by teaching a lesson while switching up the background music. The challenge for the listener is to determine the effect these music styles had on your ability to focus, listen and learn from the "lesson".
This topic has been an interest of mine for years, going back to when my wife and I used music to help our own kids learn their school lessons. That was in the days of the Mozart effect.
Since then there has been a lot of research done and there is truly a connection between music and learning. I give some examples and even sing on old song that I still remember the lyrics to!
Also featured is music by Koresma. I got permission to use this music because I find it puts me in a mood where I'm relaxed and open to learning. I wonder if others may feel the same way.
Find Koresma on Apple Music and Spotify and on the website:
Brilliant lesson about the sun
This morning as I’m out walking I took in this podcast episode calculating hour of the sun. I was impressed by the simplicity of the equipment needed to be able to determine how much energy the sun is putting out. Kim did a fantastic job of laying it out clearly and slowly and having many side channel lessons come out of getting at this one concept. If you teach middle or secondary science I highly encourage you to listen to his podcast.
Five stars for our star and Tim message.
Lots of great learning opportunities!