I’VE MOVED!!!

Due to circumstance that were ENTIRELY under my control I have moved my blog onto my own server.  You can now access my updated blog at:

http://www.eequalsmcq.com/blog/

Sorry for the confusion.  Like I said a couple of months ago, I’m still learning!

Come on over to my new site.  I think you’ll like some of the new stuff I can do with my own server.  See ya!

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Homemade avatars – Voki

Let’s face it, science is rooted in communication.  If scientists could not work together to share their ideas or discoveries, the fields of science would slow down to a crawl.  But how do we encourage young scientists to share their knowledge and discoveries with the world and still provide a safe internet environment?  I give you… Voki.

Voki  www.voki.com  is a free service that allows you to create your own talking voice character.  These animated characters or “avatars” enable people to express themselves on the web with a voice but as a talking character.  You can customize your Voki to look like you or take on the identity of lots of other types of characters–animals, monsters, anime etc.  You can even have your Voki speak with your own voice by adding your voice with a microphone, upload, or by phone.

Click on this link to check out a simple avatar I created for this blog post:

http://www.voki.com/php/viewmessage/?chsm=14bd9b1099342ee7e1061c4d446bc27e&mId=400764

What can you do with Voki?  Check out a number of cool uses here:

http://www.squidoo.com/voki

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Wordle

Wordle (www.wordle.net

I ran across this cool little program while attempting to make a “word wall” of vocabulary words for my students.  The easy nature of the program and endless possibilities for changing the colors, words, etc. kept it on my radar.  Best of all, it fits within my price range… FREE!

Below is a picture I made from Chapter 29 of the Classic Science:  Life Science textbook (http://eequalsmcq.com/LS%20Student29.pdf)

 

The larger the word, the more frequently you see it within the text that is provided.  Cool, huh? 

Have fun with this fun way of incorporating a word wall within your studies of science.  Feel free to send me some of the pics you create!  I would love to place them on my site!

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STEM CELLS? IN DEER?!?!

STEM and DeerIt’s deer season now in the state of Missouri and a lot of my friends are out in the fields, looking to fill their freezer for the year.  Me?  I usually don’t chase too many deer throughout the season (I’m too busy fishing for trout!)

Here’s the cool part…  Every year deer lose their antlers and every year they regenerate a new pair.  The really cool things is this:   Not only do they replace their lost antlers, they are replaced with an additional point every year!  How do they “remember” how many antlers to grow every year?  We don’t really know!  But there are a lot of scientists out there who are trying to find out.

What we DO know is that a deer’s antlers are grown from a disk of stem cells that regenerate these new antlers every year.

Check out the following link for an outstanding (and brief) video on the role of stem cells in deer:

http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/stemcells/deer_antlers.html

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Here we go

okfinallyI’ve never been accused of being at a loss for words.  So let’s try out a blog.  Besides, twelve LabNotes a year is CLEARLY not enough communication for me.  Here’s a rundown of a few new (and ongoing) things I have for you:

LabNotes and the Archive

LabNotes are a monthly newsletter that I send out to a few of my friends out there.  In the past, I have been able to send these out from my own server.  Unfortunately, “the man” did not like me sending out a few thousand emails every month.  So, I had to change the format a bit and send them through a new server.  Hence, the facelift that all of you noticed in the October LabNotes.  Change is always scary, but I think this new format is going to work out just fine!  In fact, I’ve received so many requests for past issues recently, I’ve created an archive for you to explore.  Check out the archive and if you like what you see, register to receive your own copy.  I promise no SPAM whatsoever!

Suggestion Box

For those of you who have been following me for the past few years, I want to thank you for all your suggestions.  I could not do this without you.  To make things a little easier, I have created a suggestion box for you to send me a message about anything you like, dislike, or want to see from me.

Classic Science Labs (aka – Life Science Online Course)

Science Pioneers, a non-profit informal science organization in the Kansas City area, has asked me to create  an online course for homeschool families and public school educators based on the free Classic Science: Life Science curriculum I am offering.  It is entitled, “eLab: A 6-Week Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything” and begins in January.  You can find out more about this course on their website here.  

Classic Science Testimonials

Again, thank all of you who have helped to spread the word about the Classic Science curriculum.  I had no idea that so many people out there would find be talking about little o’ me.  I have placed a few of the blogs and personal emails I have received in the past couple of years about the curriculum.  If you are uncertain about whether or not the Classic Science curriculum is right for you, check out what people all over the world are saying in the testimonials!

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