Showing category "modified lab procedures" (Show all posts)

Lab Manual Addendum

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Friday, August 21, 2015, In : modified lab procedures 
I have just written an addendum with updates and improvements to four of the lab activities. If you already have a copy of the lab manual, please download a copy to keep your book up to date.

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WHO Glitch Resolved & New Video About Using the WHO Website

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Friday, May 22, 2015, In : modified lab procedures 
The glitch at the WHO website has been resolved. The filtering system does not work for downloading data to so that downloading is quicker. This means I had to change the procedure from what was written in the lab manual. Another part of the problem was that the Safari browser was not downloading the excel file in a usable format, so I used Google Chrome. Now that these problems have been solved I was able to complete the video so that those who are using this lab activity know what changes n...
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Measuring Electricity from a Photovoltaic

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Sunday, November 30, 2014, In : modified lab procedures 
I just posted a new video. The main difference with the lab manual is that instead of using a DC wattmeter I use two multimeters: One is set up to measure amps and the other is set up to measure volts. Most high schools and colleges already have multimeters (used is physics) so this can save you money. This is the same way I measured electricity generated from a cordless drill. In this new video I also incorporated a slightly more simplified equation for calculating the cost-effectiveness of ...
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New Edition Excerpts Posted

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, In : modified lab procedures 
I am in the process of adding finishing touches to the second edition of the lab manual. To give you some idea of what it looks like, I have made some excerpts available. Some of them will be removed in a few weeks because I do not want students downloading answers from the instructor's guide.
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Second Edition Update

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, In : modified lab procedures 
I have not been much of a blogger because I am concentrating all my efforts on getting the new edition out before the end of the summer. The most important change I am doing is making many of the activities easier and more uniform in the amount of effort needed. I had to do this to deal with my new teaching situation. I am also trying to incorporate new activities and fix some glitches in some old activities. One significant glitch involves the use of thiosulfate to neutralize the toxic effec...
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Department of Energy Website Overhaul

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Friday, March 22, 2013, In : modified lab procedures 
Someone totally redesigned the Department of Energy website making the information that you need for the Lab 2-2 (Transportation) is harder to find. Worst of all, the links on the main website (which has been renamed www.energy.gov) are little more than window dressing for impressing impressionable taxpayers. This page is useless to us because we cannot use it to navigate to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Even putting this name in the "search" box does not work! So here it the li...

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Quick and Dirty Spreadsheets

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Friday, March 15, 2013, In : modified lab procedures 

Lab 2-3 (Development and Quality of Life) entails the construction of a large spreadsheet from scratch. If you have plenty of time (as in my case when I worked at Saint Anselm’s) you can apply it as a cooperative assignment in which students are assigned different sections. This does not work if you are pressed for time (as I am in my current job), so I used a different strategy: I took the students to the computer room and had them navigate the CIA fact...
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Quick and Dirty Conductivity Readings

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Monday, March 4, 2013, In : modified lab procedures 
Last week we carried out Lab 1-5 (Solution Chemistry of Natural Waters) without the benefit of the conductivity meter I had in my previous job. Though I probably could have borrowed one from the chemistry department, I chose to use my digital multimeter (easily available in most electronics hobby shops and hardware stores). A physics instructor had told me that all I needed to do was to set the multimeter for measuring ohms, then simply measure the electrical resistance of the solution (which...
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New Carbon Cycling Calculations

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Monday, February 18, 2013, In : modified lab procedures 

Two weeks ago we performed Lab 3.1 (Carbon Cycling Between Goldfish and Elodea) using Spirogyra and zebra fish. Even though the procedure went smoothly, I did not realize that the manual had failed to provide formulas for properly answering questions 5 and 7. Below are the formulas with explanations:

5) If you divide the numbers in column I (fish) by column I (plants), you will have the reciprocal of the ratio of fish to plants needed to provide a 1:1 ratio...
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Spirogyra to the rescue!

Posted by Antonio Chaves on Wednesday, January 30, 2013, In : modified lab procedures 
Last week I needed green water in order to do Lab 1-2 (Net Primary Productivity & Biological Oxygen Demand). It's not easy finding it in the middle of January, but on the day of the lab I drove to my most reliable source: a 1-acre pond in a small park heavily trafficked by waterfowl. To my dismay, the pond had been drained for cleaning! With little time to spare, I needed a substitute, so I used the filamentous algae that was invading my fish tank. I distributed the algae equally into light a...
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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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