Author Archives: Mark Calnon

About Mark Calnon

I am a PhD student in Computer Science at the University of Kansas.

Mars Mission!

Last week, the 8th-grade Earth Science students at Arrowhead Middle School continued to study our solar system. Since the week had focused primarily on the technology we use to explore space, I thought that Friday would be the perfect time … Continue reading

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The Phases of the Oreo Moon: Little Bite, Big Bite, New Moon

Today, the students at Arrowhead Middle School learned about the phases of the Moon. This lesson was bravely led by our new student teacher, who had designed three stations with Moon-related activities for the students. At the first station, the … Continue reading

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Student Teaching II (Without the Quotes!)

Last Friday, the students at Arrowhead Middle School finished their study of the Earth’s atmosphere with the Earth’s climate and climate change. Once again, the students split into several groups to study various factors that affect the Earth’s climate, ranging … Continue reading

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Software to the Rescue!

“How far apart were South America and Africa 60 million years ago?” That is one of the questions the 8th-grade Earth Science students at Arrowhead Middle School tried to answer on Friday using GPlates, an open-source research application that models … Continue reading

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Volcanologists, and Seismologists, and Geochronologists! Oh my!

This week, the 8th-grade Earth Science students at Arrowhead Middle School began studying volcanoes, earthquakes, mountains, and the layers of the Earth. To begin this lesson, each student was asked to define four different types of scientists: Volcanologist, Seismologist, Geologist, … Continue reading

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“Student Teaching”

This week, the 8th-grade Earth Science students at Arrowhead Middle School studied the Earth’s past. First, the class split into four groups to study different records of the Earth’s past, including fossils, original remains, and other natural evidence, such as … Continue reading

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I’m a Computer Scientist—I Don’t Mix Chemicals

On Friday, I gave my “I’m a Computer Scientist” introduction to the 8th grade Earth Science students at Arrowhead Middle School. I began by asking the students what a scientist does, and the answers ranged from the stereotypical “mixing chemicals” … Continue reading

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