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NERD ALERT!!!!

2 Feb

I recently went to the NYC transit museum and it was AWESOME. I absolutely LOVED it and will be going back very soon and quite often.

The adventure started with an awesome treat. I asked the guy selling the entrance tickets if there was a student discount to which he answered “no.” I then jokingly asked if there was a teacher discount, to which he chuckled and also answered “no.” As I went to pay for my ticket he said “Just go ahead, you made me laugh so it’s on me.” I couldn’t believe it! My awful sense of humor actually worked!!! Though I must say, at $7  a ticket, it’s a steal for what an amazing place it is.

All the old pictures of the beginnings of the construction of the tunnels were incredible. It was a bit spooky to see the black and white pictures of the construction workers in dark, dirty tunnels that are now the subway stations I ride through every day. After walking through the construction section of the exhibit, I ended up at the electricity section where I proceeded to spend about an hour getting ideas of how to teach electricity and magnetism to my class.

Electricity, the invisible force that moves over eight million New Yorkers a day - including me!

Electricity, the invisible force that moves over eight million New Yorkers a day – including me!

Got a brief demo of a homopolar motor demonstrating the Lorentz force. The way a a basic motor works is if you have an electric current flowing through a wire that happens to be in a magnetic field, it feels a force push on it. For a homopolar motor, if you have a straight piece of wire sitting in a magnetic field, the wire will feel a force pushing on it at right angles to both the wire and the magnetic field. The force the induces a torque around the axis of rotation which is seen when the magnets and nail rotate. I plan on making one of these when I teach magnetic fields to my class. SCIENCE!

Also got to take a sweet picture inside a NYC bus. Had to wait until all the little kids were done playing around until I got my turn, but it was well worth the wait. You can just see the excitement in my face!

NYC BUS DRIVER!!!!

NYC BUS DRIVER!!!! Watch out!!

Amy and Kristen in one of the first style subway cars

Amy and Kristen in one of the first style subway cars

 

Old subway map. Found my daily routes!

Old subway map. Found my daily routes!

Play on words. Etti-cat. My favorite subway ad on an old train

Play on words. Etti-cat. My favorite subway ad on an old train

This ad reminds me of the "if you see something, say smething" ads of today

This ad reminds me of the “if you see something, say smething” ads of today

 

 

Group Shot on in an old subway car

Group shot on in an old subway car. You can see how excited I was from the big cheesy smile on my face

Smart girl problems

23 Dec

One of my fellow science teachers sent me the following picture a few days ago. Somehow I have no contradicting argument since all evidence I have gathered seems to prove the point made. See for yourself.

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And on the topic of cats, here are the kitties that live with me!!

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Egg Drop!

28 Nov

Today in my 1st period class we did the classic egg drop project. We talked about free fall last week so I figured it would a good time to tie this in. Not to mention that I needed a project for them to work on for Thanksgiving break and thought this would be a fun to do that. It was a lot of fun and interesting to see the different ideas my students  came up with.

The way the drops worked was the following:

Each team gets 3 drops. First from 15 feet above ground. If the egg survives you move to the next round which is a drop from the balcony. If the egg survives you can go to the bonus round which involves me launching the container with the egg as hard and violently as I possibly can. Following are a few pictures of some of the final designs. The last picture was one of my favorites though incredibly messy when inspecting the egg for cracks.

Ballon Covered Box with Cotton Balls Inside – Survived mighty throw from auditorium balcony

Egg suspended by rubber bands inside a box – Did not survive 15 foot drop

Double cone shaped exterior with inflated latex gloves and an orange peel on the inside – Survived mighty throw from auditorium balcony

Sponge bed inside plastic tupperware Survived 15 foot drop but not balcony drop

 

Sponge bed inside metal case – Did not survive 15 foot drop

Cotton balls and padding inside swiffer box – Survived mighty throw from auditorium balcony

Sponge bed inside plastic case – Survived mighty throw from auditorium balcony

Shoe box with scarves – Survived mighty throw from auditorium balcony

Non Newtonian fluid (cornstarch and water) inside cup inside shoe box Survived mighty throw from auditorium balcony

A Story About Race

30 Oct

I think I have briefly mentioned before my reason(s) for leaving my awesome engineering job in the space systems industry to pursue an underrated career in education. I grew up being a part of the NYC public school system but was lucky enough to escape during high school and pursue an academically challenging education in Ecuador, a third world country. It was thanks to this third world education that I was able to succeed in my higher educational career and continue my education well beyond.

I am completely appalled with the elementary and high school level education in this country. The caliber of students that are produced in the public school system are far below what is necessary to compete at the college and especially at a global level. That’s not to say that all public high schools are terrible, but the vast majority, especially in inner cities, prove to be well below adequate.

When I returned from Ecuador, at the end of my junior year of high school, I enrolled in the high school 3 blocks from my house which I was zoned to go to. School administration reluctantly matriculated me into the honors and AP courses I requested to be in, thinking that I was educationally deficient because I was coming from abroad. This was not the only time my academic abilities were questioned while at this high school. Probably the most poignant memory of my high school career was when my guidance counselor attempted to convince me not to apply to attend Stevens Institute of Technology because I “would be better off attending a state school because of both my academic and financial level.”

Well, I guess at this point it’s safe to say….

Not only completed, but destroyed considering I graduated with high honors. In any case…that whole side story had a point. That one moment in my educational career had a giant and lasting impact on me. It has turned me into a lifelong student on a relentless pursuit to inspire and educate underprivileged youth to reach and exceed their maximum potential despite societal expectations. Part of that pursuit involves me trying to find different inspirational ways to showcase the importance of education to my students.

I think I have mentioned it quite a few times already, but probably one of my biggest heroes is Neil deGrasse Tyson (NDT) for so many reasons. I happened to stumble upon this video almost by accident but I couldn’t help being reminded of my story.

NDT hits the nail on the head about culturally doing “the right thing.” It’s a bit of a lengthy video at 12 minutes long, but I highly recommend taking the time to watch it.

[jwplayer mediaid=”1956″]

100,000 Student Classroom

24 Oct

After a frustrating week in the classroom, I stumbled upon a useful and motivating video on Ted talks.

About a year ago I was toying with the idea to not only to take my last few classes to complete my masters degree but to also sign up for two free online and world-wide offered classes from Stanford in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. I ended up deciding that taking 4 classes, especially two Stanford classes, while working full time was a bad idea.

Today however, the topic of those classes came up on a ted talks podcast I was listening to on my way home from school. As I continue along the slippery slope of teacher phases (see chart below) this lecture was quite refreshing

The Evolution of a Teacher

 

It’s true what they learned about Teach for America (4:50) because I try to implement these things in my class every day – “A class is not primarily about information more important is motivation and determination. It’s crucial that the students see that we are working hard for them and they’re all supporting each other.”

You better believe I am working hard for all 162 of my students.

 

Upgrade!

7 Oct

Not too long ago I dropped my phone face flat on concrete. Although at the fist glance it seemed as if nothing happened, a few days later I turned my phone on to see this…..

So after a few days of having difficult doing anything on my rainbow phone, I decided it was time for an upgrade. So after much debate, I decided that I would try the new iphone. So for now it’s good bye android, hello cult…I mean iphone.

If you have any iphone must have app suggestions, I’m listening!

Sad News

26 Aug

Having worked in the Space Industry and being a science lover, yesterday’s news came as a sad surprise.

RIP Neil Armstrong.

[audio: http://www.freeinfosociety.com/media/sounds/13.mp3|titles=One Small Step for Man|artists=Neil Armstrong]

Space Nostalgia

15 Jun

I realized I left my last day of work in such a hurry that I never shared what my awesome design co-workers gifted me. If you click on the image to expand there are some wonderful comments. I teared up reading through them once again.

It’s a concept image of the Orion Vehicle (part of the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle) approaching the space station. I worked on a team that designed, manufactured and will soon test components on this vehicle.

Space News!

5 Jun

So a few things have happened since I last posted. First let me talk about some history in the making.

Space X Succesfully Launched their Dragon capsule atop of the Falcon 9 Rocket

Then the Space Station robotic arm captured Dragon after its rendezvous

Then the Dragon hatch door was opened to the ISS

And finally, the historic splashdown

For me, having worked in the space industry, this is quite epic news. Hopefully Space X can continue to successfully continue to make progress in the commercial space race!

 

And in some of my own Space News….I was interviewed for a magazine article!!!

More to come on some more things that have happened in the last few days!

 

Holograms

20 Apr

Did you hear?! Tupac is back and he performed at Cochella with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre!

Pretty awesome use of technology if you ask me. Everyone keeps calling it a hologram but it was actually a projection on a semi transparent screen.

Still pretty cool in a creepy way. How bout them abs on Tupac and that slick moon-walk he’s got going on????

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dib1zFB4fYU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

 

And while we are on the topic of Tupac, I figured I would share one of his songs that I love, Changes. The lyrics, just like all of Tupac’s songs are so powerful.

It takes skill to be real, time to heal each other

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8Y9-JlSRXw&feature=youtube_gdata_player

2Pac%20-%20CHANGES.mp3

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