Enhanced Exit Tickets Increase Student Accountability

nsta-conference-2016The conference room was packed at 5pm on a Saturday afternoon as I prepared to give a public talk and workshop at the 2016 NSTA conference in Nashville, TN, on how I use enhanced exit tickets in my science classroom to increase student accountability. What surprised me most was how awake and engaged the participants were after a long week of conferencing. We reviewed what an effective exit ticket looks like, and we explored the kind of evidence it generates and how to use that information to be more responsive to student needs. Participants also created their own enhanced exit tickets to take back to their classrooms. I left energized and ready to share this amazing evidence-based teaching strategy with others.

example enhanced exit ticket

Kyoto Prize gala honors astrophysicist Michel Mayor for discovery of the first extrasolar planet

Michel-Mayor-kyoto-prize-gala-extrasolar-planetThe 2015 Kyoto Prize in basic sciences went to Michel Mayor, a Swiss astrophysicist credited with the first discovery of an extrasolar planet, 51 Pegasi b. I had the chance to talk with Dr. Mayor about his work at the Kyoto Prize gala held at UC San Diego in April 2016. One of the hardest tasks that I perform while talking to and interviewing scientists is parsing accents, which are often complex linguistic mixtures that result from globalized collaborations.

Dr. Mayor’s accent is very thick Swiss-French, and for a few minutes I was utterly baffled by his discussion of the “hockey” planet until he said “hadius”. Then I realized that he meant “radius”. This led me to realize that he was describing 51 Pegasi b as a “rocky” planet. Lucky for me, Dr. Adam Burgasser, an astrophysicist credited with discovering a class of stars called “T Dwarfs” was able to explain the discovery process in his easy-to-understand Buffalo, NY, accent. I made the mental corrections to Dr. Mayor’s comments before I embarrassed any of us.

NASW/CASW wins bid to host World Federation of Science Journalists in 2017

The sucsan francisco bid 2017cess of the first-ever cross-border science journalism conference (see previous post) proved a fertile seed for a larger collaboration between U.S. and Latin American journalists. The World Federation of Science Journalists announced that NASW/CASW won the bid to host the 10th annual conference in San Francisco in 2017. Congratulations to my collaborator Lynne Walker, Vice President of the Institute of the Americas at UC San Diego!

 

 

Launching Seasons of La Jolla Magazine

Seven-Caves-in-the-CliffsI recently joined the team at Seasons of La Jolla magazine as a freelance contributor. James Tully and Matthew Lyons publish the quarterly glossy. My first piece appears in the Winter 2014 edition entitled “Seven Caves in the Cliffs” and uncovers the history of La Jolla’s famous sea caves. What I enjoyed most about writing the piece was talking with historian and author Carol Olten of the La Jolla Historical Society–and of course–doing my research on site at the beach.

Robots write music and perform concerts

hatsune mike documentaryI spoke with  visual artist Tara Knight about what robots are doing in Japan, across cultural and digital divides, specifically  Hatsune Miku. She is Japan’s most popular teen vocaloid character. Knight recently toured the U.S., including appearances on late night television, talking about her interactive documentary of Hatsune Miku called “Mikumentary“.  Knight breaks with the traditional notion of artist and audience as separate from art.

Knight’s work with Hatsune Miku challenges the notion that adolescence is a life stage we outgrow. Miku reveals that digital technology, when applied to art and culture, allows  even the most socially fixed among us can regain access to many possible identities through creative expression. Her work also challenges what it means to be an artist.

For more details about how a robot can write and perform songs, read this account published by The Atlantic magazine.

 

 

Accessible Academic Writing

Hatsune Miku

Academic writing is usually a mess of jargon that confuses and excludes readers. As I progress through my Master of Science Education program at UC San Diego, I attempt to write my academic papers with the same clarity as my freelance magazine articles.

Do I pull it off?

You be the judge. Here is the link to the paper:

Adolescence 2.0: Cross-Cultural Look at Youth Through An Artist’s Eyes

 

How to make social media work for you

publicizing-your-scientific-researchI believe in helping scientists, engineers and other professionals authentically promote their core personal projects (e.g., the things we lose track of time while doing, would do for free, or experience with passion).

Traditionally, researchers and scientists make their work known to the world through publications in peer-reviewed journals and indirectly through writers (like me!) and magazines. However, in today’s work world technology has become an integral part of everyday life. It is possible to spread information quickly and directly with social media, which can potentially reach millions of people through direct engagement and community creation. Now researchers and scientists may connect their core personal projects directly with the public.

I lead an engaging workshop that helps professionals uncover and connect with their core projects, and then promote them authentically in the digital space in a way that is not exhausting and boosts career success. I give this workshop as a community service, and would love to talk about how I might help your group. If you like, ping me on Twitter @genevivebjorn to start a convo or click here to learn more about me.

Eat healthier with RecipesinSeason.org

recipesinseasonEating healthy has never been more confusing: eat less cholesterol but eat more good fat, eat more fiber but fewer carbs, eat more fruit and dairy but less sugar. Trying to make sense of it all can drive a person crazy!

That’s why I started RecipesinSeason.org. We focus on eating fruits, vegetables and staples that are fresh, in season and highly nutritious. We share hundreds of quick and easy recipes that you can try tonight.

If you’ve got a great recipe to share, join us as a contributor. The community behind cooking with seasonal foods keeps us sane and happy. Here’s to better health!

Teacher’s conference boosts career success

NSTA-conference-2013-san-antonio-texas

What initially looked overwhelming turned into three days of serious career-boosting.

I have been looking for ways to deepen my practice as a science communicator when I came across a startling figure: California’s demand for new Math and Science teachers in the next 10 years is expected to be over 33,000, according to CTA.org.

Let’s face it, people reading my work in The New York Times or Nature are already literate in science. It makes sense to focus my efforts where I might have more impact. So I have decided to become a high school biology teacher in addition to my work as a science journalist. Not exactly the typical path of progression for a reporter. But then again, my life has rarely gone to plan. [Read more…]

Poke goes East

pokefestival2013Fresh, raw ‘ahi tossed with sesame oil, toasted macadamia nuts, chili pepper and green onion—a pretty typical ingredient list for poke. But the inspiration—and the winning ingredient—was a simple squeeze of lime. The acid made the flavors of the dish really pop, earning chef James Harris from Orange County the top award at last year’s I Love Poke festival in San Diego. The festival returns this year to a sell out crowd savoring only sustainably-harvested fish….more in Hana Hou!