Archive | Technology RSS feed for this section

I Love Science

23 Feb

Teaching science at the high school level has given me a whole new perspective on the importance of marketing the importance of science literacy and education to students. Besides teaching physics content, I try to share as many interesting science related topics in our current events. I think what science needs is a better marketing campaign. Too many young people think that math and science are too hard to pursue as a career. I continually try to do my best to reverse this idea within my classroom.

I am completely obsessed with quantum physics. The complexity and beauty of special relativity, superstring theory and quantum physics fascinate me and continually blow my mind. Here is Columbia theoretical physicists Brian Greene promoting the awesomeness of science on the Colbert Report!!

The following video is Mayim Bialik who plays Amy Farrah Fowler on the Big Bang Theory talking about the importance and beauty of science. My favorite part of this video is at the 3:40 mark where she talks about a science career versus an acting career. Here exact words are:

“I had professors when I was an undergraduate that said, ‘why are you here if you could have the world of acting, why wouldn’t you take it?’ Being a scientist is a exciting, creating and interesting as being an artist.”

This quote immediately reminded me of when my students ask me “Ms. Chabebe why are you here teaching instead of  working at NASA?” My answer is always the same, I love teaching and I feel that it is the best career for me to use my passion and love for math and science. Teaching has been as creative and interesting of a career as it was to design spaceship parts!

#iteachSTEM

3 Feb

I have been so fortunate to take part in the recent Teach for America S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) initiatives by sharing my story about having an engineering background and becoming a teacher.

Check out more about this initiative and my take on it (by scrolling all the way down!) here http://www.teachforamerica.org/iteachstem

Also, I had the opportunity to share a little bit about why I think mentoring is important. Read more here or check out my video!

  • For STEM news and updates, follow@TFA_STEM on Twitter.
  • To see what’s going on in our STEM classrooms, follow @TFA_STEM and #IteachSTEM on Instagram.

Girls in STEM

12 Nov

I was fortunate enough to attend the SHPE (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers) Conference in Indianapolis last week representing Teach for America. My goal was to stress the lack of talented women, and mainly Hispanic women, that I have encountered in my education and career as an engineer and now as a teacher.

In addition to the conference, an article was published in the Huffington Post about my story and my reasons to switch from an engineering career to a teaching career.

Read the entire article by clicking the image below:

Girls in STEM Article

 

Resurrected!!!!!

20 Oct

Holy moly, I can’t believe it. I got my blog back!!!! Long story short, I forgot to pay my domain bill and lost it, couldn’t buy it back right away due to some technicality where it had to be available for purchase elsewhere for 45 days, waited it out and now here we are! So lets get to the updates!!

Before the end of the summer I went to a whole bunch of weddings including being a bridesmaid in my friend Amy’s wedding!

Amy's Wedding!!!

Amy’s Wedding!!!

Kristen, Amy, me and Steph

Kristen, Amy, me and Steph

 

Caroline and Paul's Wedding!

Caroline and Paul’s Wedding!

Wedding Shenanigans

Wedding Shenanigans

 

Me with the giants: Ben, Amy me and Kristen

Me with the giants: Ben, Amy me and Kristen

After all the wedding shenanigan fun, I had to say good bye to the summer and hello to a new school year. I was terrified to say the least of having to do it all over again. What if I do worse than last year? What if the kids aren’t as wonderful? What if grad school is more exhausting? What if I can’t get used to my new classroom? What if……..

Well, despite all my worries, things are moving along and going well so far. My schedule is pretty hectic since I teach 3 classes in a row at the end of the day, I have grad school 3 nights a week and I still spend a lot of time planning. The kids are wonderful and my students from last year still visit so I’ve felt very lucky. We were recently tasked with having to plaster our bulletin boards with student work and an obnoxious amount of color. After the most stressful 2 days I managed to throw the most color intense bulletin boards ever. I was one of the few teachers who had an acceptable board according to our principle. I guess I lucked out when only being able to find supplies in all mismatching colors!

Bulletin Boards

Bulletin Boards

In other more serious news, my roommate Ari Spool is running for Mayor of New York City!! She is the smartest person I have ever met. She has an answer to ALL of my questions no matter what the topic. She was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal.

Write-In Brings ‘the Ruckus’Ari Spool knew her New York mayoral campaign was making headway when her Klout score, a measure of social-media influence, rocketed. Her marquee endorsement is John Lurie, the artist and founder of the Lounge Lizards jazz ensemble. Her centerpiece policy is mandating lilac uniforms for the police department.

Embedly Powered

via Wsj

 

Check out her awesome website, built by no other than my awesomely talented brother

 

Rocket Launching

24 Jun

I am happy to announce that I have practically survived my first year as a teacher. My students did better than expected on the physics regents exam and I am so proud of them for working so hard, they really made this an incredible first year for me! Aside from teaching, I have been taking graduate classes towards an education masters as well. I will hopefully be done with this degree by this time next year. However, I am enjoying the classes I am taking and had an awesome final project for my first summer session class that just ended.

My professor wanted us to create something that would be useful for us in our next year of teaching. After much debate and some  exceptionally boring ideas, he challenged me to build a bottle rocket launcher. So a week later and several trips to home depot, I present to you a very short compilation of what I have created

The best part of this first video is when I run in front of the camera post launch screaming “I lost my shoe!!!”

[jwplayer mediaid=”2408″]

This next one is a failed launch with my Assisstant Principal almost getting hit in the face with the launcher. Remember kids, safety first!

[jwplayer mediaid=”2410″]

Final launch where some students got interested in helping out!

[jwplayer mediaid=”2411″]

Thanks to the cameraman Ms. Monahan for some awesome commentary!

Here is a picture of the assembled rocket launcher
PVC Launcher

Sound and Fire

13 Apr

It’s been quite a while since my last post – being a teacher has consumed every free moment I might have. But I can’t complain, I am really loving it.

Spring break was a few weeks ago and before leaving for spring break I assigned a hefty amount of HW to my students. I told them the reason I give them so much work is because I want them truly practice and understand physics. I finished the argument by telling them that the amount of HW I assigned to them was directly proportional to how much I loved them! After class, I notice the following on my white board:

IMG_2192I guess my students disagree with my HW vs. logic, but I was ecstatic to see that they used correct mathematical language to express themselves! Teacher win!!!

This past week I started teaching the Unit on Waves in my physics class. We started with the basics of wave characteristics talking about thunder and lightning and explaining why even though its the same event, we hear and see these at different times (speed of light wave > speed of sound wave). Then we talked about the different types and parts of wave. Finally at the end of the week we derived the wave speed equation from the original equation of speed we had learned in the mechanics unit, v= d/t.

This week I am starting off with one of my favorite demonstrations, the Ruben’s Tube. Unfortunately I did not have time to build my own Ruben’s Tube but there are a bunch of cool videos all over the internet which show was this device does. I will definitely spend time this summer building my own Ruben’s Tube for next year.

The most basic description of what a Ruben’s Tube does is that it allows you to visualize sound. Sound travels in waves, compression waves specifically so this is a perfect demonstration for the waves unit.

Here is a very basic video of a functioning Ruben’s Tube with a wonderful explanation:

And here is a video combining two things I love – physics and dubstep

Drop the (pet) bass

18 Mar

Because blogging about my students work is more fun than planning, here is a post dedicated to my students’ awesome work

I am currently taking a class about teaching culturally diverse and English language learning students. In the class our professor had us create tri-fold books to summarize a paper we read for HW. I decided to take this idea and have my students make a tri-fold in my physics class. The task was this…

Pick a topic about physics
Pick three equations in that topic
Make a table listing the names of the variables in the equation and their related units
Come up with your own problem which would be solved using the equation (1 problem for each equation)
Solve said problem showing all work, including substitution with units

Well, needless to say I had a blast reading the problems my students came up with. Granted some of them just used problems from the old HW assignments but some got incredibly creative. This is my favorite. I must have laughed for 10 minutes straight after reading this….

Skrillex drop the (pet) bass

Skrillex drop the (pet) bass

So many awesome things about this one. The empire state is just about 433 meters tall, the artwork is incredible and well the humor is just amazing. I need to assign more creative projects to these kids.

Here are a few more projects I enjoyed very much

IMG_2059

Awesome artwork and incredibly thoughtful problems

And I happen to make a few appearances in some of the work….

IMG_2061

Hmmm, losing glasses and getting hit by apples?!?!

IMG_2062

Everyone knows I love my heels

 

IMG_2060

My kids know me so well!! Of course we had a dance off haha

The fun never ends while being a teacher!

Parent Teacher Conference

17 Mar

This past week was parent teacher conference (PTC) at my school! I always look forward to this night so I can congratulate the parents whose kids are awesome students and have serious discussions with those parents of my struggling students.

Since I was busy running around getting things set up for PTC I asked some of my students to write “Welcome Parents” on my smartboard. They began using the most brightly colored and obnoxious fonts so I asked them to please write it in a more serious font. This was the final product….

IMG_2049I guess I had that coming to me and I got a good laugh out of it. Luckily I had enough time to change it before parents came in.

Conferences with parents took place Thursday evening and Friday afternoon so Friday the students had a half day. I had a wonderful time talking to all the parents. One of my students parents gave me a huge hug and said to me “Our son talks about you all the time at home. Thank you for everything you have done. You are so beautiful and smart.” How can my heart not be filled with warmth after that?   Another one of my students told her mother I was her favorite teacher ever because I was so serious and she likes serious teachers.

Listening to the parents talk about how their sons/daughters feel about my class and how they talk about me at home all the time really makes all the effort, hard work and sleepless nights worth every single second. Although I am their teacher, they are teaching me so much too.

Friday I let my students use the smartboard before leaving school for the day. I should have learned my lesson from the day before but this was the result after my students left my classroom.

IMG_2058

 

Every now and then I get sad at the thought of having a new batch of students next year. Hopefully they will be just as wonderful as my current students.

 

Fun with Electrostatics!

10 Mar

A couple of weeks ago I started the unit on electricity and magnetism in my physics classes. I was really nervous about teaching this unit more than all the others because, although we are all familiar with electricity, the phenomenons behind what makes electricity possible are invisible to the naked eye. In a way, electricity just seems like magic.

Part of the unit involves talking about electroscopes. An electroscope is a device that detects any kind of charge. When I say charge, I am referring to an object that has gained or lost electrons, because in order to become charged (positive or negative) electrons must be moved. The most common example that we are used to when it comes to gaining some electrons, is sliding our sock covered feet on a carpeted floor. The shock we feel after touching a metal door knob is electrons jumping from our bodies to the door knob and eventually to ground.

Here is a picture of a typical electroscope:

electroscope

It is made of two metal leaves attached to a metal ball. These leaves are isolated from air currents, so that any movement is the result of electric charges and not random air fluctuations. If you touch an electroscope with a negatively-charged object, the electrons will flow down into the leaves, where they will accumulate on the leaf edges. This behavior is due to their repulsive nature, and the accumulation on the edges actually is how they are able to experience the least amount of repulsive force. The repulsive force experienced by the leaves will cause them to move apart. When the electroscope is grounded, the leaves will fall together again.

In class I used a balloon and my hair to move some electrons from my hair to the balloon. When I brought the balloon close to the top of the electroscope, the leaves at the bottom repelled. BAM…PHYSICS!

Since my students have been begging me for extra credit since the second day of school, I though this would be a great opportunity to stock up on supplies for my lab. You want extra credit in my class? You build something! So, I had m students make electroscopes for a HW pass or 5 points on any exam grade. I had about 15 students make electroscopes, and they all worked!

Electroscopes

The collection of electroscopes on display under my smartboard in the front of the class

 

Electroscopes

electroscopes

 

Electroscopes

I am so incredibly proud of my students who made some awesome electrscopes. It’s obvious the all used the same two youtube videos but they did it!!! I will be using these for labs I do in future years of teaching physics! Saved myself and my school a ton of money on lab supplies while simultaneously enriching my students learning experience outside my classroom =)

I will update this post tomorrow with a video of the electroscope working!

[jwplayer mediaid=”2327″]

 

Student Work

19 Feb

I recently started teaching a college level AutoCAD class at my school as part of a College Now program. One of the first in class assignments I had students work on was to come up with a procedure they believed was necessary to make an iPhone beginning with concept to having the iPhone in my hand. I got some interesting work but there was definitely one that stood out.

iphone 5 process

I have  a feeling I am going to love teaching this class.