Thursday, May 24, 2012

Book recommendation for science educators....

A few years ago I did a blog entry about a book review I found in the Wall Street Journal about a book called The Wave Watcher's Companion. That book has been sitting on my shelf since then! With all that has happened in the last two years I never took the time to follow up and actually read this wonderful book.

In the last week or so I've mustered up my ambitious spirit and started to read the book. Why now? you might ask. Well, I'm going back to work in the fall! Yes, I've been confirmed to teach at Irvine Valley College starting Aug 19. I am so excited to return to work and yet I'm also nervous. Nervous thinking perhaps my knowledge of introductory chemistry has grown rusty in my time away....

So I made it my goal to digest this book for the next week, month, or however long it takes to really take it in.  In the first thirty-one pages I already have enough anecdotal stories to fill a new class about introductory physical science. Here is my favorite part of it so far. (He is using an analogy to describe the way waves travel)

"The crests appear in the calmer water at the back of the group, travel through it and disappear again in the calmer water at the front- rather like ghosts running through the train carriages. Isn't it nice when things are so straightforward?"  (obviously sarcastic remark here)

Why does this even matter? You might ask. Waves and energy are a critical part of introductory science in general. An understanding that spans deeper than just a textbook definition is important  early  in comprehension.