Category Archives: Science Education

How to create a science literate population and citizenry.

This Week at Hilton Pond (22-31 December 2013)—#587—“2013 Bird Banding Results: Better Than Last Year, But Still Below Average”

Figure 1. A male Prothonotary Warbler—only our 17th banded at Hilton Pond since 1982—was the most uncommon species banded locally in 2013. (Photo copyright Bill Hilton Jr.)

I was away from Hilton Pond Center on many occasions during 2013 and that—coupled with bander illness and a general dearth of birds—led to a year of below average banding success. Continue reading…

Posted in Biology, Environment, Nature Study, Ornithology, Photography, Science Education, This Week at Hilton Pond, Wildlife | Leave a comment

Report: New Visions in Citizen Science


“New Visions in Citizen Science” showcases seventeen case studies that offer a mosaic view of federally-sponsored citizen science and open innovation projects, from in-the-field data collection to online games for collective problem-solving. Continue reading…

Posted in Best Practices, Community, Education, Publishing, Science Education | Leave a comment

Why Science Deserves Its Popularity

Which brings us back to the happy announcement from the folks at Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary that its word of the year for 2013 is, yes, science, based on the increase in look-ups it registered on the dictionary’s website, a cool 176% more than in 2012. Continue reading…

Posted in Breaking News, Education, History of Science, Science Education, Stories, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Citizen Science Musings: Don’t Wait!

I had picked somewhere a pair of special filters mounted in cardboard eyewear frames that would let me safely observe the transit without frying my retinas over easy. As the day drew closer, the weather looked iffy, but the chances of seeing something were still there. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Astronomy, Best Practices, Citizen Science Musings, Education, Observation, Photography, Science Education, Space, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Citizen Science Musings: Making Amateur Scientists

One of the telescopes featured in Ingall's inaugural column,made by E. L. Worbois, 127 Adam Street, Tonawanda, New York.

This past week I was graciously invited to speak to a local astronomical club, the Peninsula Astronomical Society. After some consideration, I decided to talk about the role of Scientific American’s famous, much-loved and equally-missed column, “The Amateur Scientist” in the growth of amateur astronomy. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Astronomy, Citizen Science Musings, DIY, History of Science, Invention, Machine Shop, Makers and Making, Observation, Optics, Physics, Projects, Science Education, Software, Space | 1 Comment

The Doppler Shift

Most of us have used the Doppler effect unconsciously to estimate the speed of a car that approached quickly from behind. The sound of the approaching car has a higher pitch than the sound as the car leaves you behind. Continue reading…

Posted in Acoustics, Experimentation, History of Science, Physics, Science Education, Tools | Leave a comment

This Week at Hilton Pond (11-20 October 2013)—#582—“Schweinitz’s Sunflower: Endangered Species Revisited”

Since 2006 I’ve been following ups and downs of the Center’s solitary specimen of Schweinitz’s Sunflower—a federally endangered species that once flourished on the vast Piedmont Prairie of the Carolinas. Continue reading…

Posted in Biology, Botany, Education, Environment, Nature Study, Photography, Science Education, This Week at Hilton Pond | Leave a comment

Citizen Science Musings: Care and Feeding of the Idea Stream


It was a stimulating evening, with wide-ranging conversation; something that my current situation does not allow as often as I could wish. One of the more pleasant aspects was that several thoughts occurred to me that might not have done so otherwise. Continue reading…

Posted in Best Practices, Citizen Science Musings, Community, General Interest, Makers and Making, Psychology, Science Education | 1 Comment

Shutting Down Science

As the government shutdown slouches toward its second week, government science programs face delays, shuttering, or cancellation. Continue reading…

Posted in Astronomy, Biology, Breaking News, Climate, Entomology, Environment, Exploration, General Interest, Medicine, Science Education, Space | 1 Comment

Creating Effective Camera Obscuras


The earliest form of ‘photography’ and use of a pinhole was the camera obscura (latin for ‘better than the telly’). Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, DIY, History of Science, Makers and Making, Optics, Photography, Physics, Science Education, Science Fair | Leave a comment