Tag Archives: science

Liked: Pl@ntNet is the world’s best social network⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Liked Pl@ntNet is the world’s best social network by Michael J. Coren (Quartz)
The only that will make you feel better every time you use it.

Pl@ntNet is the world’s best social network is an interesting article and leads to a useful looking app.

Pl@ntNet is a plant identifier that combines algorithmic and social tools to identify plants.

An algorithm matches the digital image against a massive plant database and presents its best guesses as to what type of plant it is. The user who submitted the original image picks from a list of the most likely candidates, and ranks the probability the image is a match on a five-star scale. The community then vets each image, validating the identification or suggesting a new one.

The post has lots of interesting angles on the possible future of social networks, the indieweb and a nice personal touch. Highly recommended.

Last week I crowd sourced a flower identification, I ran the same image through Pl@ntNet this morning and had confirmation of the conclusion ‘we’ had reached1.

I made a couple more tests on the app and it seems to work really well. My one problem was that submitting photos uses the location you are at at the time of submission, not where I took the image (as far as I can see). Often I want to take a picture and bring it home to identify. I don’t want to give the impression that a Scottish hill flower is at home in Glasgow city! I can of course just id flowers without uploading them but the organisation wants people to add to the collection in the name of citizen science.

I’d recommend the app itself too, it seems to work very well, could be useful for outdoor learning and Pl@ntNet’s practices and principles sound great: open and thoughtful.

fn1. It took me a long time to get to the obvious, Wood Sorrel, as I found them half way up a mountain and couldn’t see the giveaway leaves.

You are getting older – combining history with numeracy in the classroom⤴

from @ ICT for Learning & Teaching in Falkirk Schools

You’re getting old! This a an online tool where you enter a date, such as a birthdate, and the site presents a whole range of calculations related to that day by comparison to the current date and time.

The calculations presented include (if it’s for a birthdate) exactly how old at that moment in time that person would be in years, months and days, then presents that as a total number of days, as well as the total number since birth for that date of candles on a birthday cake, the approximate number of times that person’s heart would have beaten, total number of breaths, number of times the moon has orbited the earth in that time, and the number of people who were alive on earth on that birthdate compared to the number today.

As a bit of fun it has some entertainment value, but for a classroom it can also help introduce the concept of comparisons of time in history, or other curricular areas related to specific pieces of information (such as science when looking at heartbeats, breaths or moon orbits).

Another calculation included is in making a comparison to the length of time elapsed from the birthdate until today compared to something in history  from that same birthdate but going backwards in time by nearly as far back. Thus as an example for a child in a class whose birthdate might have been 29 January 2010, thus comparison calculation on that date in 2019 would be “When you were born was nearer to the 9/11 terror attacks than today.” This can highlight something that to people who have that earlier event in their own lifetime perhaps reflecting the passage of time between people of different ages and their perceptions of how long ago something happened.

There are links to social subjects when it comes to comparing, for the length of time which has elapsed since the birthdate selected, how far a single location on the planet has travelled as it rotates, the distance travelled as the Earth revolves around the Sun, and more.

Then the site picks out selected historical events from the birth year, from early childhood, later years as appropriate. And it notes the dates on which that child will reach certain milestones – in a classroom context when numbers start to get large when you can no longer actually picture them in your mind, this site can be used to get children to try to guess the number of days until certain landmark dates before revealing the site’s calculations.

For birthdates of adults (you can use those of celebrities known to pupils) there are additional comparison calculations (they won’t appear for children’s ages since it relies on information comparing the ages of two other well-known people) – such as taking an adult’s age and showing it as the sum of two younger people (so that could be an older named actor being the same age as two other named child-actors.

One last comparison displayed is a pie chart showing the number of people born on the same birthdate as that selected and highlighting the number who are still living. This, like many of the other calculations, can provide the starting point for discussions for social studies subjects.

Give it a go http://you.regettingold.com and please do share in the comments below how you’ve used this tool in the classroom,

wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display 2018-11-16 18:02:41⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Liked QAHS Digital Learn on Twitter (Twitter)
“Science Club we’re doing all things ‘Digital’ today and how these tools are used in Science. Great fun, we will do it all again next week too. Have a look at what we did today @Craig_R_Martin @FifeDLT @qahsinfo https://t.co/GvFb8C1EzB”

wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display 2018-11-16 18:02:41⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Liked QAHS Digital Learn on Twitter (Twitter)
“Science Club we’re doing all things ‘Digital’ today and how these tools are used in Science. Great fun, we will do it all again next week too. Have a look at what we did today @Craig_R_Martin @FifeDLT @qahsinfo https://t.co/GvFb8C1EzB”

Explorathon is coming!⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Explorathon is a set of interactive ‘Meet the Researcher’ events happening all over Scotland on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th September. It’s part of a Europe-wide programme called European Researchers’ Night, there’s a particular emphasis on European funded research but any researchers can take part.
Check out the link below to see what is happening near you!
http://www.explorathon.co.uk/

Guest blog from Maths Olympiad Agnijo Banerjee⤴

from @ Engage for Education

As Maths Week 2018 draws to a close, we welcome a guest blog from Maths Olympiad Agnijo Banerjee.

Agnijo won gold at this year’s International Mathematical Olympiad in Romania receiving a perfect score of 42 out of 42 in the 2-day/nine hour-long competition, he was one of only two out of 594 contestants to achieve a perfect score. This was the UK’s first perfect score in 24 years. A truly remarkable achievement.

Last week Agnijo met the Deputy First Minister for lunch at Holyrood, after which he reflected on his achievement at the Olympiad and his hopes for the future.

I knew I had a passion for mathematics from a very early age. In primary school, I was always moved up several years until eventually they contacted Grove Academy and I ended up going there for maths. I was taught one-to-one by one of the maths teachers from Grove Academy and I did my Standard Grade in Primary 7.

Grove Academy has been extremely supportive of me throughout, and has always ensured that I am adequately challenged. In the last two years of school, I went to Dundee University to try some of their modules (third year in S5, fifth year in S6).

Grove Academy has also encouraged me to take part in a number of mathematics competitions and I have been doing the British Mathematical Olympiad ever since S2. The British Mathematical Olympiad is part of the long selection process that ultimately leads to the International Mathematical Olympiad, which I did this year .

It was a wonderful experience to go to the International Mathematical Olympiad. The actual competition was over two days. On each day there were 3 questions to solve in 4 1/2 hours, with the first question on each day being “easy” (they are all extremely difficult, but these were easy relative to the others), the second being “medium”, and the third being “hard”. The two hard questions were extremely difficult but I managed to solve both of them. It was amazing to be the first UK contestant in 24 years to achieve a perfect score. ie 100%.

It was a great honour to meet the Scotland’s Education Minister Mr. John Swinney . I was invited to Holyrood to meet him during the Scottish Maths Week. I was very pleasantly surprised when he took a keen interest and asked me questions about the IMO and my other academic achievements. I felt greatly motivated by being recognised by the minister. I presented him a copy of my book Weird Maths , which hopefully he will enjoy reading.

In the future I want to reach the top of my chosen field- Mathematics and hope to able to make Scotland proud.

Reflecting on his meeting with Agnijo, Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, said:

“It was a pleasure to meet Agnijo and his father today and Maths Week Scotland 2018 is the perfect opportunity to celebrate his astonishing achievements in the Maths Olympiad.

“Agnijo is a credit to Grove Academy and a shining example of how Scotland’s state school education can nurture ability and help talent flourish.

“We need to make sure that as a country we have all of the skills that we require for the future and in schools we need to ensure that young people are equipped with the skills that will serve them well for life.”

The post Guest blog from Maths Olympiad Agnijo Banerjee appeared first on Engage for Education.

DFM joins Pitlochry pupils for magical maths show⤴

from @ Engage for Education

Deputy First Minister John Swinney visited Pitlochry High School today for a special Maths Week Scotland performance by ‘International Mathemagian’ Andrew Jeffrey.

A professional magic show with a twist, the show was entirely based around mathematics and learning with tricks using numbers, shapes, money, mind-reading and illusions.

Speaking after the show, Mr Swinney said:

“Andrew’s entertaining performance completely embodied the spirit of Maths Week Scotland and our ambition to show people the beauty, accessibility and possibilities of maths. His interactive style, mixed with humour and intrigue, combined to create the perfect formula for engaging both those who love maths as well as pupils who sometimes lack confidence to engage in the classroom.

” It was fantastic to see the young people in the audience completely captivated by Andrew’s tricks and illusions. After the show I met with some of the pupils and I was interested to hear their individual experiences of maths and how events like this can help to bring the subject to life.”

Mathemagian Andrew Jeffrey said:

“I get a sense that there’s a real buzz about Maths Week Scotland which is brilliant to see. Events like this show us that we can start to enjoy and have fun with maths and we all know that we work harder at things we enjoy.”

Hundreds of events, activities and lectures are taking place across the country this week as part of Maths Week Scotland 2018. Join the conversation on Twitter with #MathsWeekScot

The post DFM joins Pitlochry pupils for magical maths show appeared first on Engage for Education.

Enigma legacy lives on in codebreaking challenges⤴

from @ Engage for Education

More than 70 years after Alan Turing and his colleagues cracked the Enigma code, helping to save many millions of lives during World War II, their story remains an inspiration to budding mathematicians around the world.

Throughout Maths Week Scotland students in Angus will be given the chance to step into Turing’s famous shoes and learn more about his team’s vital work.

Practical workshops run by the education team from Bletchley Park will test their problem solving skills and show them the fundamentals of codebreaking. Students will also have the rare opportunity to see a real, working Enigma machine.

Speaking after meeting students involved in one of the workshops at Monifieth High School, Science Minister Richard Lochhead said:

“From cyber security to artificial intelligence, maths provides the essential framework for the life-changing advances that are re-shaping our world.

 “Technology has clearly developed considerably since the 1940s but today’s event was a reminder that the logical and computational thinking processes used by the original Bletchley Park codebreakers are now more relevant than ever.

“It was fantastic to have the opportunity so see an original Enigma machine in action and hear how maths provided the vital framework for cracking the code while providing a fun and interesting way to learn maths. 

“As we face the digital challenges of the 21st century there are countless opportunities for young people with maths skills. I hope Maths Week Scotland will help to spread that message and encourage more people to think positively about maths.”

Hundreds of events, activities and lectures are taking place across the country this week as part of Maths Week Scotland 2018. Join the conversation on Twitter with #MathsWeekScot

The post Enigma legacy lives on in codebreaking challenges appeared first on Engage for Education.

Numbers add up as Maths Week kicks off with hundreds of events⤴

from @ Engage for Education

A maths magician, a guitar physicist and a codebreaking team from Bletchley Park are among the highlights of Maths Week Scotland, which starts across the country today.

There are hundreds of events, activities and lectures lined up with the aim of bringing numeracy to life and showing the fun side of maths.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney will share a new maths challenge on Twitter every day, created for him by the Scottish Mathematical Council, and BBC Learning have teamed up with Scottish Teacher of the Year Chris Smith to create videos demonstrating how to solve the puzzles.

Mr Swinney said:

“Maths is an essential life skill for everyone to use, enjoy and to be successful – it underpins all aspects of life. Raising awareness about the importance and relevance of maths is vital – particularly as our society is becoming increasingly underpinned by data analysis, science and technology.

“Undoubtedly maths provides the framework for life-changing advances in all of these fields and celebrations like Maths Week Scotland challenge misconceptions and negative attitudes that discourage learners by demonstrating the accessibility, relevance and beauty of maths.

“Maths Week is at the heart of our drive to make Scotland more positive in its attitude towards numeracy and maths. Whether you’re a maths whizz, or haven’t thought about it since your last lesson at school, there is something for everyone, with hundreds of events covering all parts of Scotland, all ages and all sectors of society. I’m looking forward to visiting schools taking part this week and getting involved in the celebrations.”

Excellence and equity in maths and numeracy attainment is central to the Scottish Government’s ambition for continuous improvement in education and to close the poverty-related attainment gap. 

Programme highlights:

 ·         The Bletchley Park Education team visiting all secondary schools in Angus to explore maths and code breaking during the Week.

·         Maths ‘magician’ Kjartan Poskitt performing in primary schools in Wick, Thurso, Shetland and Orkney (as well as Orkney Library and Orkney Science Festival).

·         Maths performer Andrew Jeffrey performing in secondary schools in Perth, Pitlochry, Kingussie and Inverness.

·         An event for S5 girls in Edinburgh on the importance of maths from Heriot Watt and Edinburgh Universities and the International Centre for Mathematical Studies.

·         A Maths Circle for children, families and young people at Edinburgh University on Saturday 15 September.

·         The UK Mathematical Trust 2-day maths event for secondary pupils in partnership with Strathclyde University.

·         The Strathclyde Science Scouts will be visiting schools during the week for maths games and adventures.

·         The University of Glasgow have created a day of maths activities and talks activities for s3-6 pupils to attend.

·         Learning Links and Heather Reid will present to adult education practitioners at Glasgow Science Centre on exploring climate change using numbers and maths.

·         Heriot Watt University are holding a session on the Maths of Social Media for higher and advanced higher pupils.

·         The West Partnership are holding a numeracy and maths all-day staff conference to launch Maths Week on Saturday 8 September.  It’s fully booked.

·         University of Edinburgh are hosting an evening event for maths teachers with a range of speakers including Scottish Teacher of the Year 2018 Chris Smith and the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney MSP.

·         St Andrews University are giving lectures in 3 local schools and will also be hosting a viewing of their special collection of ancient mathematical texts and pairing this with a lecture. 

·         Dr Emily Grossman, an expert in molecular biology and genetics, will visit Grange Academy in Kilmarnock to inspire a group of S3 students about the exciting opportunities for young people (and especially girls) following careers in Maths and Science.

·         The National Museum have built maths into their solar and wind power workshop for p5-7 pupils and created an associated maths resource for teachers.

The post Numbers add up as Maths Week kicks off with hundreds of events appeared first on Engage for Education.

Developing the digital skills to change career⤴

from @ Engage for Education

Last week Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science Shirley-Anne Somerville visited CodeClan, the UK’s first accredited digital skills academy.

Claire Smith, a graduate of CodeClan’s 16-week software development course, writes about her experiences as a career changer moving into the digital sector.

“After University I was lucky enough to get work in an industry that was relevant to my degree, Japanese Studies. However it didn’t pan out for several reasons. I found myself at a loss as to what to do next, and spent my free time working with a local Food Waste charity. Through this charity’s need to digitise their logistics I became involved in developing an app.

“From there, it was a natural process of wanting to push my skills further so I applied for CodeClan, although this involved some big risks that I had to consider, including money, time commitment and the big question of whether I would be able to get a job after doing the course. But I weighed it up and it seemed worth it.

 

“CodeClan is a 16-week intensive course covering the basics of web development. One thing I knew from the start was that it would not be a spoon-feeding course where your graduation present is a job. It involves your full commitment and pushing your learning further outside of class hours. However, the support of my instructors and teamwork with classmates kept me motivated through the course.

 

“Assignments were handed out daily as well as a mini project to cover each weekend. This led on to group projects, which I loved. The course highlighted that a successful project depends not just on technical knowledge but also learning about Agile methodology and the workflow process. But it’s not all work and no play. I was often in the ping pong room or having a game of Werewolf with other students.

 

“CodeClan organised Employer Sessions, where various companies would come in and give an insight of what it would be like to work for them. And by the end of the course, I had a portfolio covering a range of languages including Ruby, Java and Javascript to aid in getting a job.

 

“CodeClan put a lot of time into creating opportunities to meet employers, and it was through this that I got a job as a Backend Developer at Signal where I’ve  been working for just over a year.

 

“As a Backend Developer, I work mostly in PHP, a language that was not covered by CodeClan. But the experience of picking up various languages in just 16 weeks taught me the skills needed to get going with PHP. After a year working in the industry, I look back on the risk I took and I’m glad I was in the position to take it.

 

“One of the major learning curves I’ve had, and will continue to have, is being comfortable not knowing the answer – and having the curiosity to explore and research until I do. I am also lucky that my curiosity is supported and encouraged by my fellow colleagues. Working in a digital agency like Signal offers plenty of exciting challenges which helps keep me motivated to improve my skills.”

For more information about digital careers in Scotland visit digitalworld.net

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