October 1, 2012
As mentioned yesterday at our meeting, I did a "take a stand" line-up on the issue of pesticides like DDT being sprayed (should the ban be lifted)? Students were asked to form a line based on the strength of their opinion (with polar opposite opinions ending up at opposite sides of the room by the corresponding sign). Students then shared some of their opinions and insight about DDT and what was helping to form their opinion. Most of them talked about agricultural use of the pesticide and its impact on crop yields and the surrounding ecosystems. They then watched three short clips about malaria (link is here:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/rxforsurvival/series/diseases/malaria.html) with short discussion between each (i.e. is anything new to you here? Were you surprised by anything?) After watching all three clips, they were asked to reposition themselves on the opinion line and again, we discussed why they stood where they were. Many had moved. For homework, students were asked to write a half page reflection about the activity and the evolution (if any) of their opinion. It seemed well-received and the writing assignments were well done - full of original thought and commentary. Many of the students know that I bring social justice issues to the science classroom so they weren't surprised but a few who were new to my class seemed surprised that we would be discussing this in chemistry.


October 3, 2012
I introduced Larry's "framework" of S and T<-> S and E to my senior students because it was a logical next step from the malaria discussion. I asked them to use this as a lens for everything they read/hear/see re: science and technology. This fits well with how the class has been framed already but I really like how succinct the model is. We had a discussion about some examples of S and T influencing S and E (and vice versa; and both positive and negative).