If you’re a teacher looking for classroom supplements, or a home schooler looking for assistance with science and math, you’ll find these materials helpful and engaging. Written by a science teacher with 30 years of classroom experience, they incorporate effective pedagogical methods for multiple grade levels. Two are out of print, but I included them for reference since I intend to make them available as PDFs at some point in the near future.
astronomy, meteorology, and earth science, a weekly blog
Price: absolute zero
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How do we know Earth is round? Who named the constellations? What will I see in the sky tonight? Why are sunsets red? What causes dust devils? What was that ring around the Moon last night? What is a meteor shower? Answers to these and other intriguing questions are provided in Sky Lights. If it's in the sky, and you can see it, we'll cover it. Simple graphics, unique photos, and custom animations are included to help clarify concepts. Readers' questions are solicited, and no question will ever be rejected as "too simple" or "too obvious." If you ask, we'll answer. What do you want to know about the sky?
Availability: The last print run is disappearing fast, so contact me if interested.
This is a supplement for introductory physics courses. Part 1, Advanced Topics, covers areas often omitted from standard introductory texts, e.g., orbital mechanics, relativity, SETI, bio-energetics, and friction. Part 2, Worksheets, includes engaging real-world problems (with solutions) from kinematics, dynamics, kinetic theory, electricity, electromagnetism, and modern physics. Part 3, Appendix, contains just about every type of information a science student could need, plus copyright-free masters for cartesian, polar, semi-log, and log-log graph paper.
Easy Field Guide to the Southwestern Night Sky
Availability: Order it here.
Offered by American Traveler Press as part of their Easy Field Guide series, this handbook is the ideal companion for beginning observers. It includes sky maps for all seasons, and will teach you to recognize prominent stars and constellations. Works well for any location between latitudes 25° and 45° (north of the equator).
Availability: Out of print, but soon to be released as a free PDF.
Aptly named, this manual reviews the mathematics science students should already know: basic algebra, trigonometry, and vector analysis; proportions; statistics; and graphing methods. It also covers mathematical topics specific to science, such as units and conversions, scientific notation, significant figures, uncertainty, and the scientific calculator. Use it as an introductory unit or a supplement. Chapter Zero will allow you to focus on the science — not the math. Each of the units includes practice problems with solutions. The information-packed appendix includes copyright-free masters for cartesian, polar, semi-log, and log-log graph paper.
RB5X: Mission to Mars
DVD or PDF download
Availability: Contact me if interested.
Produced under contract for General Robotics Corporation of Lakewood, CO, this curriculum package includes exercises designed around their RB5X Intelligent Robot. Interdisciplinary problem-solving activities are given for all grade levels. Students will answer essay questions, complete crosswords, solve math and physics problems, write programs, and design hardware solutions related to teleoperation. Mission to Mars includes a separate teacher's manual with solutions. NOTE: This curriculum easily adapts to other robotics hardware and programming languages, since problem and solutions are presented as flowchart algorithms. Package includes both student and teacher versions, as well as HOW2RCL.pdf, a guide to the Tiny Basic programming language used by the RB5X.
DVD or download
Availability: Coming soon.
You can learn much about astronomy by studying the images from observatories and space probes. You can learn even more by studying animations and simulations of astronomical phenomena. This DVD provides 2D and 3D video clips covering a broad variety of of astronomical phenomena. All clips include both WMV and MP4 versions in high-quality 720x480 30 fps digital format. Topics covered include eclipses, orbits, the international date line, seasons, cosmic expansion, midnight sun, retrograde motion, occultations and transits, and much more.
The Physics Lab
DVD or download
Availability: Coming soon.
Design your own lab, build your own equipment, do real science experiments. This program is perfect for home schoolers who want a real science experience outside the confines of a formal school laboratory. It's also an excellent classroom resource, containing many projects suitable for advanced or extra credit projects and science fairs. Areas covered include measurement, kinematics, dynamics, waves, astronomy, energy, electricity, and optics.