ENSIWEB ANNUAL REPORT for 2014 - 17th Year of ENSIweb
What Did We Do in 2014?
2014 Was a very busy year

ensiweb.logo Science Surprises: Exploring the Nature of Sciencewas published in January. This was developed to provide a coherent student text providing a useful structure and context for the NOS lessons posted on the ENSI site. Given that virtually all secondary science texts lack a substantive (and accurate) intro to NOS, Science Surprises was written as a text supplement that could be used in any secondary science course. It is written at 8th grade reading level, so, with modifications, it could be adapted by teachers to most science classes for grades 6-12. It is easily available at low cost as an 80-page e-book. In addition, a format for a printed version is also available that can be printed by the teacher, district or local commercial printer. There is also a 130-page comprehensive teacher's guide called Teach. It includes many ancillary materials and details for the most effective teaching strategies that follow current research findings. Summer and Fall sales were very brisk. In December, significantly revised new editions of both books became available. Click here for more details and access information.

Look them over, might be something you missed, or forgot about.
All links have been checked and updated as necessary.

8 January: BECOMING WHALES: Posted with major revisions and additions to make it more useful. These included an animation of the India sub-continent rafting into Asia, scrunching up the sediments of the Tethys Sea, and creating the Himalayas. Also, added link to YouTube  video of PBS' Sarwin's Dangerous Idea series, part 2: "Great Transformations" showing studies of whale evolution. Added improved version of Darwin's Evolutionary Tree, and an intriguing whale cartoon.

12 January: The new Science Surprises: Exploring the Nature of Science was announced.

20 January: ENSI Annual Report for 2013 posted on the ENSI si te.

17 February: Review of new Evo-Devo book How the Snake Lost Its Legs by Lewis Held, Jr.

11 May: Review of Douglas Allchin's book Teaching the Nature of Science: Perspectives & Resources. Developing and using historical narratives to teach authentic science.

24 May: Active Learning tutorials a "must see." Especially how to "Think-Pair-Share."

14 July: New Evolution Survey Quiz available. Total of 172 requests for the Evo Survey for 2014 (111 in 2013). Started sending out the latest 2014 version 16 July. Less ambiguous, 7th grade reading level, random sequence, with near equal balance of true/false items.

23 August: Announced details of contents in the special issue of Scientific American on Human Evolution. Useful for teachers to  update their use of the Skulls Lab.

20 October: Posted Selected Summaries and Links from the Life Discovery Conference at San jose State University. Lots of exceptional resources for teaching evolution and NOS. Also posted Timely Information from Understanding Evolution on the evolution of Ebola, etc.

3 December: Announced Lab-Out-Loud podcast interview of the webmaster about his Science Surprises. Also announced new Bio-Science resource: Bio-Explorer site.

We saw about the same pattern of hits as we saw last year (2013), with a little higher high in the fall (3599, compared to 3422 in 2013), but the Average Hits per Day was a little lower (76 hits per day for 2014 vs 82 hits for 2013). These are hits just to our Home page; doesn’t include hits to other pages, by internet searches and teachers using direct links. Not too shabby. [IF TABLE AND GRAPH NOT SHOWN BELOW, SEE THE PDF VERSION].

hits.list.2014 hits.2014

The new "Japanese Connection" DNA extension to Karin Westerling's Origami Birds is being polished. A couple of teachers have tried it, and one of them developed a student worksheet and suggestions. Another teacher will be doing it soon, hoping to get a final product (student directions/worksheet and teacher instructions). We have found a good design for the random selection spinners (from the RAFT, as an alternative to the Roulette Wheels in Dr. Yomanoi's version). I will observe the lesson in action soon, and a final product will be announced when it's done.

Our lesson “When Milk Makes You Sick” still needs revision (lots of new information to be integrated).
. We are still looking for someone who would like to update Pseudogenes Suite: Vitamin C & Common Ancestry (part C) for doing online DNA searches.

As time allows, I am re-formatting ENSI lessons to be placed on the Understanding Science and Understanding Evolution (two excellent Berkeley sites). That will assure a long-term accessibility on two well-maintained websites. Several other projects are also waiting in the wings to be finished.

We are still looking for a science teacher familiar with the ENSI site and the ENSI mission. If you fit this description and have website maintenance experience, and are retired or anticipate retirement in the near future (to give you the time to work with the site), please contact webmaster Larry Flammer.

See the many ENSI lessons that already meet the standards of NGSS, Common Core, and STEM:
http://www.indiana.edu/~ensiweb/ENSI.Les.Standards.html If teachers use Science Surprises to teach a unit on NOS, using a selection of the ENSI NOS lessons, they will have satisfied ALL of the NOS expectations in the NGSS and Common Core!


Larry Flammer, ENSI Webmaster

CLICK HERE For PDF Version of This Report