Monthly Archives: December 2003

Chemistry (and Christmas??)

Ms. Frizzle has written a really clever song about hydrogen to be sung to the tune of a popular Christmas carol. Here is an excerpt of the song:

Hydrogen (Sing to the tune of “Jingle Bells”)

Hydrogen, hydrogen
Atomic number one
Oh what a bang it is to be the fuel inside the sun
Hydrogen, hydrogen
atomic number one
Oh what a bang it is to be the fuel inside the sun

To see the complete lyrics, check out Ms. Frizzle’s Web site.

National Survey Reveals Continuing Decline in Science and Engineering Doctoral Degrees

The NSF has issued a press release summarizing the results of a nationwide survey on the number of doctoral degrees granted in science and engineering in 2002:

ARLINGTON, Va. – Same story, different year, some might say of new data from the National Science Foundation (NSF) that shows almost across-the-board reductions in the numbers of doctoral science and engineering (S&E) degrees earned in 2002. The 24,500 degrees nationwide represent the lowest number since 1993.

A nationwide survey reports the number of research doctoral degrees in all fields earned by students attending U.S. universities declined by 2 percent last year, dipping under 40,000, which marks the first time in nine years doctorates fell below that threshold. Overall, 413 universities across the United States and Puerto Rico awarded 39,955 doctorates.

The new data are reported in the 2002 Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED), an annual census of research doctorate recipients conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago under a contract with NSF’s Division of Science Resources Statistics (SRS). The full report is available at:

To read this press release in its entirety, click here.


The Society for Amateur Scientists is working to develop a “national program that will teach science, self-esteem, and community service to America’s young people.” The LABRats program is described as a scout-like program that will teach science and reasoning skills, rather than camping, etc.

From the LABRats Web site: “LABRats will be open to all young men and women, grades 6 through 12. Every young person who goes through the LABRats program will receive a broad-ranging inquiry-based introduction to all of the major fields of science. Each member who stays the course will advance through a series of ranks. To do so, each member will have to demonstrate an ever-increasing level of competence in basic science skills, as well as show an increasing awareness of how science serves humanity. Along with the core studies, the members will be able to tailor the program to their own interest by earning elective science badges in whatever field intrigues them. What

Connecting Classrooms Over the Internet

I found an article on the Education World Web site about using the internet to connect classrooms across the country and across the world:

“Projects can use the Internet as “more than just as a large library!” It’s easy for teachers to integrate science and math projects on the Internet! The Center for Improved Engineering and Science Education (CIESE) provides teachers with the necessary classroom tools for five different projects and for several real-time projects that connect students worldwide.”

One of the CIESE projects described in this article is Square of Life, which I posted about a few days ago.

Square of Life

Square of Life: Studies in Local and Global Environments is a collaborative project in which students investigate their local environment and share their data over the internet with other students from around the country and the world. Each group of students involved in the project will:

  • Identify living and non-living things in their school yards.
  • Share their findings with other participating classes.
  • Compare and contrast their data with data collected by other groups.
  • Summarize their findings in a final report or presentation.
  • Although Square of Life is recommended for elementary school students, anyone who is interested may participate in the program. The Fall 2003 session has just ended, but keep an eye on the Project Information page if you are interested in registering your classroom for the Spring 2004 session.