March 29, 2006
Visit ExploreLearning at NSTA
Dr. Dave Shuster, Founder of ExploreLearning, will demonstrate howExploreLearning Gizmos make key science concepts easier to understand and build lasting knowledge through hands-on exploration.
Introduce a colleague to ExploreLearning during one of our 45 minute sessions at the Hilton Anaheim Hotel – Conference Room 3 and win a door prize.
Friday April 7, 2006 - 8am-5pm
Please RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org
Come see us at NSTA:
Hilton Anaheim Hotel - Conference Room 3
45 minute sessions will begin every hour on the hour.
Continental breakfast at 7:30am and lunch at 12 noon.
March 28, 2006
Solar Eclipse Reminder
Just a reminder, the total solar eclipse is on Wednesday, March 29! The eclipse will be visible from Eastern Brazil, Africa, and Central Asia, from 8:34 to 11:48 GMT (that's 3:34-6:68 EST). To see the eclipse, check out the Exploratorium eclipse page
And don't forget to check out the 3D Eclipse Gizmo to learn more about why an eclipse happens.
March 20, 2006
Vernal Equinox ahoy!
The vernal equinox occurs today (Monday) at 1:26 pm EST (6:26 pm GMT). This is considered to be a "day of balance" around the world — every location on Earth has approximately 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night on the equinox.
There are many interesting questions to explore around the equinox and seasons in general. For example:
- Why do seasons occur in the first place?
- What are the seasons like in different locations on Earth?
- What would the seasons be like if the Earth's axis were more tilted, or less tilted? (actual tilt is 23.5 degrees)
We have several Gizmos to help study these questions and more, including some Gizmos in 3D (very cool stuff):
- Seasons: Why Do We Have Them? (2-dimensional)
- Seasons: Earth, Moon, and Sun (3D)
- Seasons in 3D
- Seasons Around the World (3D)
So, if you're in the northern hemisphere... Happy Spring from ExploreLearning!
March 16, 2006
EL at MEC Conference in Arizona
I spent 4 days in Arizona this past weekend, attending the MEC Conference (Microcomputers in Education) in Tempe, AZ (just east of Phoenix). In addition to two sessions for interested teachers and administrators, I hung out with some of the fine folks at Apple. (As one of Apple's "Complementary Curriculum Products" vendors, we sometimes share booth space with them.)
Despite the crazy, un-Arizona-like weather, plenty of teachers and administrators made their way to the conference. It was fun to meet everyone, and have a chance to show off a few Gizmos. (In fact, I was pleasantly surprised how many elementary school teachers came by, and how many see the potential of Gizmos, even for their young students!)
Of course, you know what they say about all work and no play... I managed to work in two baseball games (a World Baseball Classic game, plus a Giants vs. Padres spring training game), and 9 holes of golf. Not bad for a work trip! I highly recommend Arizona in the spring!
March 14, 2006
Updated Shockwave Plug-inA new version of the Shockwave plug-in was released earlier today. We will test it over the next few days and let you know if it causes any problems with the Gizmos.
3.14 = pi = March 14For all those that enjoy math, today (March 14th) is National Pi Day. NPR ran a story this morning that mentioned the song called Pi by Kate Bush. Very entertaining.
March 13, 2006
Eclipses Are Coming
March is the month for eclipses in 2006, and two are coming soon.
Tomorrow night, March 14, there will be a penumbral lunar eclipse at moonrise, visible from the east coast to the midwest (the eclipse will be over before moonrise on the west coast). The effect will be very subtle, as the full moon will only be partially shaded by earth's penumbra. Look for the full moon to be slightly less vibrant than normal.
On March 29, a spectacular total solar eclipse will be visible across much of the Earth, although unfortunately not from North America. The moon's shadow will first hit Brazil, then move across the Atlantic into West Africa (Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria). The shadow will then cross the Sahara, pass through northern Egypt into the Mediterranean, and then move across Turkey, Kazakhstan, Russia, and finally Mongolia.
At ExploreLearning, we have also gotten into the eclipse spirit with two new eclipse-related Gizmos. To learn how eclipses happen and why they are so rare, check out 3D Eclipse. The Penumbra Effect Gizmo demonstrates how a partial shadow, or penumbra, is formed.
Happy eclipse hunting!
March 07, 2006
"Where were these online toys when I was teaching math and science!?"
Two more complimentary emails have rolled into the ExploreLearning recently that I want to pass along …
Shirley Owens, Coordinator for Instructional Technology for the Mission TX Consolidated Independent School District writes,
I love the Gizmos. During my 20 years as a classroom teacher, I taught computer science, all secondary mathematics courses and physics. At this point, I am teaching teachers to use technology in the classroom. One of the things I have been showing since TCEA is the wealth of material on your site … Where were these online toys when I was teaching math and science!? Guess that's what happens when a person started teaching BC (before calculators).
And Sandy Fliegelman has praise for our customer service department,
I am very much impressed by your speedy response - I wish there were more customer service teams that were as responsive and helpful as you have been!