in 1991, when I was still at Bell Labs, we organized a primitive help
line to support science teachers in the state of New Jersey. Many of
these noble instructors languish quietly in schools. Often the lone
science teacher in a school of 1000- they frequently lack any support
group to consult when wrestling with a tough question.
especially with the Internet, there are many useful on-line resources
back in 1991 we partly filled that role by accepting inquiries via an
800 number (1-800-CLEARUP NO LONGER
IN OPERATION), and circulating the question by email to a few
dozen volunteers at the Labs. Then we contacted the teachers by email
best questions were saved for publication in a newsletter and mailed
out to hundreds of teachers state wide. However, as friends told friends
of the newsletters we started getting requests from around the country,
and soon the demand for help outstripped our ability to reply. The line
was discontinued in late 1992, though even today a small group of teachers
still "tunnel through" for advice. Enjoy.
is the Sky Blue?
is the difference between a glass, a solid and a liquid?
Zebra mussels a problem in Europe?
do we divide the day into 24 hours, an hour into 60 minutes,...?
flies and power lines.
Earth's atmosphere looks like a lens- why doesn't the sun focus on
is the atomic structure of noble gases?
happens when an electron collides with another electron?
to make a strong model of a bridge?
and the Spring Equinox
gravity gives weight?
Calculations: Tire and Laundry Wear
- Do fish
have salivary glands?
we sponsored a contest to design a "personal communicator".
Hundred of students from around the world sent in ideas scribbled on
paper, glued on cardboard and taped on plastic for the ideal communicator-computer-assistant. Their
inventions were always charming and appropriate to a child's daily
life- cleverly incorporating the technology of today with the dreams
of tomorrow. Silicon Valley could
learn a lot from the creative minds of children.