Dr. Hand-Waver and I just finished a presentation at the Colorado Science Conference, which is run by the Colorado Association for Science Teachers. In a nutshell, we wanted to teach teachers how to explain biogeochemical cycles to their students.
Of course, most of the facts we used to explain the concepts to these teachers were not new–it was the approach we used, and sometimes the vocabulary, that was novel. For example, we used the term “steady state” (high-school-aged kids are usually more familiar “equilibrium”), and we demonstrated this by tossing tennis balls back and forth to each other at different rates.
Dr. Hand-Waver (and I, but mostly Dr. HW) actually came up with a demonstration that showed how positive feedback works; there really was nothing online, so I spent almost a week obsessing about this before coming up with the precursor of Dr. HW’s version.
We got very good feedback from the audience and some people expressed interest in doing a longer (1-2 day) class on biogeochemistry for teacher development credit! We’ll see if we pull that together.
Now that the presentation is over, I can stop obsessing about this–I really did do 95% of the work–and start focusing on my next deadline: I’m going on a research cruise in less than a month!