Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Lawrence M. Krause Physicist and Philosopher

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the implications of having a corporate business person such as  Donald Trump as president, and while I have despised Trump's reality tv show and his arrogant mannerisms, I simply don't care enough about him or the politics to let myself be angered or saddened by his presidency. That is not to say I don't stand for equal rights and human decency, it's just that somehow, somewhere I still believe that life will go on, things will be ok and the people who want to make a difference in other people's lives by contributing positively to the world will always find a way to do so.

This morning while researching the TPP on Pinterest because a dry political issue doesnt have to be in black and white anymore, it's now displayed as a colorful concise infographic, the TPP a trade agreement that I was opposed to last year, that was passed by B. Obama's at the end of his term, that D. Trump repealed this week as one of his first orders of business. I have to say I'm extremely happy that this trade agreement was repealed and I won't hold my breath that D. Trump really has individual freedom in mind when drafting any new international plans, however change is afoot in the White House whether we agree or disagree.

Ugh then I saw that Trump passed the Keystone XL and Dakota pipelines and of course I was saddened to think that humans would again inevitably make mistakes that will contribute to the demise of our home and of course the living beings that inhabit it.

What does the physicist Lawrence Krauss have to do with all of this?

Just look at his quotes, the man obviously has it down, he can see everything with a wide angle lense.

It is my opinion that our mental health is more important than all of the critiquing, judging, outcasting, and debating people and their views. All the protesting for equal rights and against dehumization of females is not going to change Trump or his supporters because the protests are asserting an obvious set of rights and its sad that people stillhave to protest women and minority rights.

Lawrence Krauss had me spotting where I was at mentally, just thinking about the bigger picture. My place in the universe, the nature of things, and the fact that I'm not obligated to care about petty things, none of us are.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Aquaponic Systems Take Root in the Philadelphia School District: Sayre High School

Urban farming is not a new idea to some, but to many young, up and coming Philly kids, it is not in their vocabulary, what is….Papi stores, bags of chips and fruit flavored soda. Not what you would find on a list of super foods. How did an aquaponics curriculum get started in a public school in West Philadelphia? Well….

A drug bust, an administration with big ideas and little time, a few teachers with lofty goals, a Dow Chemical Company Community Grant and some really determined students. This article that explains how this idea got started in one principals head: Aquaponic Farming Takes Root in Urban Food Desert 

In the end twenty-five of my students were able to build, maintain and study aquaponics systems in an inner city public school on the West side of Philadelphia. Using ten gallon aquarians containing black and silver striped cichlids, plastic trays and some tubing, students learned how to build a system that could grow basic plants like lettuce and basil.

As they studied plant growth, fish anatomy, physiology and behavior, beneficial bacteria and the ecosystem that harbored these lifeforms, they learned that plants depend on animals, plants also depend on bacteria and of course vice-versa. This is something most inner-city students do not get the opportunity to realize let alone study first hand.

In the classroom next store students studied larger sized cichlids-Tilapia, a fish that most people know is farm-raised and used as a food source for humans and other animals.

I was very proud of my students and I know they were very proud of me. I applied for the grant, wrote the proposal, did the legwork to find the supplies, and finally it all came together.

My main hopes were that some or all of my students would walk away with a greater appreciation for biology, the study of life, and that maybe some of them would go on to study this science in college.

- Love one proud teacher