A new plan to include climate change and evolution in science class is due this month, but it’s up to states to adopt
Baking soda volcanoes just aren’t cutting it anymore. American public school students in science classes of the near-future should be taught that human activity is leading to global warming by the end of eighth grade, that DNA supports the theory of evolution by the end of high school, and that human beings can engineer cleaner energy sources and more abundant food and water supplies, according to a new national education plan for kindergarten through high school, due to be released by the end of March.
The plan, called Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), is being finalized right now by a crack team of 41 experts from around the country, made up of science teachers, school officials and even a researcher at the DuPont chemical company. It’s completely voluntary and up to each state’s of board of education to adopt the final plan, and 26 states have been helping craft it over the past two years.
Scientists investigate that which already is; engineers create that which has never been.
Consider what just happened…
Last night, I watched a live feed from a command center in Pasadena, California, piped through the Internet 1800 miles to me in St. Louis, Missouri. I heard telemetry and ‘heart-beat’ confirmation tones from a 2.5 billion dollar Mini Cooper sized science lab (the largest ever for a mission) launched 253 days ago, from 353 million miles away, above the surface of another planet. That science lab hit the Martian atmosphere at 13,200 miles per hour. It burned through the atmosphere, and expended a 15 foot diameter heat shield (the largest ever for a mission) that had withstood temperatures of 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit (hot enough to melt every metal you can think of). It rode down on a 51 foot diameter parachute (the largest ever for a mission) designed to withstand speeds of 1450 miles per hour (there was no backup chute). Then the chute was abandoned, and the craft went into free fall for a few seconds. A rocket pack was activated to allow the car sized object to hover over the surface, while a skycrane lowered the entire thing gently to the rocky soil. It landed within a 12 mile by 4 mile ellipse, or around 38 square miles (the size of Barcelona, Spain*), within planetary spitting distance of a 3.5 mile high mountain.
All with zero command input from any human being watching, running on less computing power than the phone in your pocket.
*So take a sheet of paper, fold it in half longways. Now walk about 5,600 miles away. Now hit it with a bullet the width of a strand of DNA (~4 nanometers). That’s what it’s like to land the rover in such a small area from such a long distance.
I know this is a little late to the game but this is the best description of the Curiosity Rover success that I have read.
The Future is ours
Filmmaker Michael Marantz has just released The Future is Ours, a rousing two-minute tribute to the people and companies pushing humanity forward. Full screen, HD, headphones if you’ve got ‘em. Fair warning: this will, at a minimum, give you chills — but don’t be surprised if you feel your eyes start to well up.
[via] [by Michael Marantz]
Its only 2 minutes long but this video will make you want to change the world.