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Posts Tagged ‘Science’

The Launch

March 4th, 2009 2 comments

I’ve been teaching about “States of Matter” recently in our 1st grade science curriculum.  So, today we learned a bit more about gases, more specifically about hot and cold gases.  Since Albuquerque is famous for the balloon fiesta, what better way to learn about hot air then by launching our very own hot air balloon?

Each of the 1st graders helped make and decorate the balloon, as well as helped me tape it together.  Once it was ready to go, we brought it outside, and filled it up with hot air:

Filling with Hot Air

It didn’t go very high, but at least it did go up for a little while:

Floating Away

We ended up “launching” two balloons, the one we made, and another slightly smaller one that was already made in the kit I used for this lesson.  Got the kit from work – cool stuff :)

Colorful Balloon

The kids had fun chasing after this one after we let it loose.  This had to be one of the more exciting lessons this year:

The Chase

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First Grade Science

February 25th, 2009 2 comments

I often thought it would be fun and rewarding to be a teacher (still do in fact).  I have fond memories of several teachers that have influenced in many ways who I am today.  Unfortunately, to be a teacher means to live a life much closer to poverty than we are currently living.  I think teachers are easily one of the most underpaid positions in society today.  I’m certain that there are others that have similiar thoughts as I do – they’d love to make a difference in the lives of children through teaching, but worry how they’ll support their own family with the salary of a teacher.

Well, I took a path that has taken me to Sandia National Laboratories as a computer research scientist / engineer.  While I love working with computers, writing new algorithms, solving hard problems, I still find myself with a very strong motiviation to spend time helping and/or working with children and youth.  I’ve been fortunate this year, as I’ve been able to spend an hour or so each week teaching science in my daughter’s first grade class.  Sandia has a science and technology outreach program, where I can take time out of my work day each week to do this – its great!

I’ve been teaching since the start of the school year last September.  I’m known as “Mr. Todd” to the class, and I come in for one hour each Wednesday morning to teach a fun lesson in science ;)  The lessons are typically premade lessons provided by the school district, I just simply follow the syllabus (makes it nice and easy).  I really enjoy working with the kids, and it seems they enjoy my coming as well.  Here’s a class picture I took last week.

First Grade - Teaching Science - 2008-2009

First Grade - Teaching Science - 2008-2009

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