Showing category "lab procedure explanations" (Show all posts)

Glitch in WHO Website

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Thursday, May 14, 2015, In : lab procedure explanations 
I am in the process of producing a video for navigating the WHO website, but there is a glitch in the Global Health Observatory website that does not filter the data when I download the excel file. For example, when I try to download life expectancy for 1990, the excel file gives me life expectancy for all the years form 1990 to 2013. This was not a problem with I published the manual so it probably can be fixed. I just filled out their feedback form to indicate the problem so they can hopefu...
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New Video on Collecting Data from the U.S. Department of Energy

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, In : lab procedure explanations 
I just posted a new video based on one of the activities in my lab manual. Specifically "The Fossil Fuel Costs of Electric Cars". It involves navigating the U.S. Energy Information Administration website in order to acquire data to calculate how much of each fossil fuel is needed to generate a given amount of electricity. This in turn is used to estimate the efficiency of electric cars in terms of how much fossil fuels they consume at the power plant.
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New Video on the CIA World Factbook

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Sunday, May 10, 2015, In : lab procedure explanations 
I just put out a new video showing students how to download and graph data from the CIA World Factbook. In the past, I had posted an entry about incorporating developmental-related issues in environmental science. I hope that by posting the video,the activity in my book titled Development and Quality of Life is more likely to get used.
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Video About My Lab Manual

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Friday, April 24, 2015, In : lab procedure explanations 
I have not been posting lately because I was very busy putting together this 8-minute video about the lab manual I wrote for environmental science. I was so obsessed with getting it right that I missed a credit card payment (it slipped my mind) and my kids started to think I was ignoring them. It's over now, I will pay the late penalty and make it up to my kids. Let's hope it was worth it!
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Update on Measuring Work Efficiency Video

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Thursday, January 22, 2015, In : lab procedure explanations 

I just made a significant update for this video on measuring work efficiency. To keep it low budget, I just included the option of using a power drill for measurement of work involving rotary motion. Since this option is barely described in the lab manual I decided to include it in the video. Most of you who teach environmental science may never use this activity because it seems more appropriate for physics or engineering. Nonetheless, I always use this activity when I teach...


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Algae Culture Update

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Tuesday, January 20, 2015, In : lab procedure explanations 
Here is an update on a post from December 9 based on this procedure where I applied different doses of carbon dioxide to pond water confined to plastic bottles. Note that after 14 weeks, the strongest color is found in the bottle with the highest dose of carbon dioxide. This is not at all evident in the early weeks because the high dose of CO2 seems to have an inhibitory effect on algae. However in the long run, I seems that this dose results on the highest algae density because the other bot...
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Using a Multimeter to Measure Conductivity in a Water Sample

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Friday, December 19, 2014, In : lab procedure explanations 
I just put out a new video showing an alternative means for measuring conductivity for those who do not have a conductivity meter. This procedure applies to Lab 1-4 (Solution Chemistry of Natural Waters). While making this video I first tried using a 9-volt battery to provide the current, but the amperage reading kept dropping. I learned later that this happens when the voltage drops. This is often a problem with zinc batteries that are not fresh. Only then I decided to switch to a lead acid ...
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Feed Conversion in Mealworms Video

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Saturday, December 13, 2014, In : lab procedure explanations 
I just put out a new video based on a procedure I included in the second edition. I first described how the idea for this procedure came about in this post back in July. The last portion of the video provides more equations than most instructors will need, but keep in mind that these videos are also for student use.
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Dose-Response to Carbon Dioxide

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Tuesday, December 9, 2014, In : lab procedure explanations 
This semester I am not teaching environmental science, but for display purposes I have been setting up a few experiments. One which got a lot of attention at the booth I rented at the Pennsylvania Science Teacher Association conference last week was the algae culture I produced by applying different doses of carbon dioxide. Below are the I got after 3 and 8 weeks. The bottles in each picture are placed in order of decreasing doses of carbon dioxide (the last bottle on the right is the control...
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Presenting at the Maryland Association of Science Teacher's Conference

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Saturday, September 6, 2014, In : lab procedure explanations 
I will be presenting one of my lab activities at a conference for the Maryland Association of Science Teachers (MAST). My presentation will be on Saturday, October 18 from 9:30-10:30 AM. In addition to presenting, I will also be at a table where I will be selling copies of the newest edition of the lab manual. Since this table space will be much more than I need, I will use most of this space to do demonstrations that will hopefully get people's attention.
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Water heating efficiency

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, In : lab procedure explanations 
One of my less popular videos involves using a wattmeter to measure the efficiency of an immersion heater. In response to someone's request, I recently wrote it out. Immediately below is the letter I sent to this instructor and further below is the written procedure. I am posting a copy on the vimeo website:

I did this lab for the first time last week with students by just talking them through it and writing things on the board. However, since I have to write it up sooner or later I just wrote...


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Why Development?

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Sunday, April 21, 2013, In : lab procedure explanations 

The One of my most unusual activities involves the creation of spreadsheets from the CIA Factbook comparing different countries in their levels of socioeconomic development and quality of life (Lab 2-3: Development and Quality of Life). When I first tried this activity on my students I made them create the whole spreadsheet from scratch, and split the work rather inefficiently. There was a lot of groaning, but the long-term rewards more than made up for it. The worldly per...


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AP Course Audit

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Saturday, April 6, 2013, In : lab procedure explanations 
Yesterday I attended a job fair and used this opportunity to promote my manual in person. One of the school representatives asked me if these labs had been approved by the College Board. I told her that I based my labs on topics from the textbook by Richard Wright ("Environmental Science: Towards a Sustainable Future" ISBN-10: 0132302659 • ISBN-13: 9780132302654). This is helpful, but I forgot to tell her that the College Board approved a syllabus I submitted in 2009 with labs that came exc...
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Teaching About Fuel Cells

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Tuesday, March 26, 2013, In : lab procedure explanations 

Some of you who are mostly trained in biology will see the Lab 3-6 (Fuel Cell Dynamics) and get turned off before you even purchase the lab manual. For the record, my doctorate is in zoology, and the title of my dissertation is “The Hormonal Control of Vitellogenesis in Decapod Crustacea” (are your eyes glazing over?). I teach classes peripherally related to my specialty because my post-doc did not take me anywhere (mostly my fault). In fact, I never heard of environmenta...


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About this blog

This blog was originally created in January 2013 to serve as a means for providing updates on science activities from the environmental science lab manual Ecology, Development, and Sustainability. I have now expanded its purpose to include other items of interest to science teachers. 

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