Simple Changes in Current Practices May Save Our Schools

Marc PrenskyBy Marc Prensky

Here’s an idea to get at least something positive out of the Gulf oil spill. What if volunteers (or BP, under presidential order) collected samples of the tar balls on the beaches, sealed them in plastic bags, and then shipped them to every school in America for all students to analyze in their science classes. We could even throw in some oil-covered sand and feathers for good measure.

Doing this would involve every school kid (and science teacher) firsthand in the problem. They would see and smell, for themselves, just what the spill is actually producing, rather than just hearing about it on TV. Their awareness, as citizens and scientists, would be greatly enhanced. Continue reading

Opportunities to Learn from Oil Spills

Retort by Harry Keller with a distilling retort on the left

What can we learn from the Gulf oil spill? How will technology play a role in that learning?

The first thing we know is that the Internet has made possible the 24-hour spill camera deep in the Gulf that’s providing a live feed of oil gushing out into the ocean waters. While I’m sure that BP would rather not have this output of visual information, they cannot avoid it in the current political climate. Continue reading