Blog link: Moving beyond ‘because I said so’ – motivation for thesis writing

I have spent the last few months re-writing my thesis. I feel like I am in a bubble with work and family life squashed in around my writing. This post, sent to me by one of my supervisors, resonates with thinking about ‘post-thesis’ life…something that seems very far away at the moment. It might be helpful for you too:

Source: Moving beyond ‘because I said so’ – motivation for thesis writing

Until next time – happy writing

Fiona T

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Books to promote STEAM ideas with kids

This year has gotten off to a rocketing start –  I have been working on my PhD and getting back into the swing of my working year. Over the December holidays I also launched my new site: My WISE Dolls. This site aims to curate and share resources to support children(7-15) to up-cycle dolls to make “Working In STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) Enterprise” Dolls. I have made under and up-cycled one doll: Mini Fi, the science teacher 🙂 The next one I will do is a Computer programmer doll for my Son.

Being a science teacher, I really want to promote opportunities for all children to access an understanding of what STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) careers/interests can be. One aspect of this is though books, and I have been amassing a small collection of books that claim to address aspects of STEAM for this age group.  The blog posts over the next few months on mypaperlessphd will be short reviews of these books.

The first book I will review is Nick and Tesla’s High Voltage Danger Lab by “Science Bob” Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith. wp-1455419545895.jpgThis book would suit children aged 9-12 years old, and has an interesting mystery storyline that keeps the pages turning. There are accessible activities for children to replicate- with assistance from their Adult at times.  The story is made up of one part real science, one part mystery, one part adventure and one part MacGyver! The children in the story, twins Nick and Tesla are sent to stay with their Uncle for the summer. Their adventure starts right at the airport, and we get a sense that these two are very resourceful characters. As the first book in the series it gives closure on the first mystery, and sets up for a longer story line that will unfold over the coming books.

Here is the blurb from the website:

“Nick and Tesla are bright 11-year-old siblings with a knack for science, electronics, and getting into trouble. When their parents mysteriously vanish, they’re sent to live with their Uncle Newt, a brilliant inventor.

But it’s not long before Nick and Tesla are embarking on adventures of their own—and engineering all kinds of outrageous contraptions to save their skin.

In Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab, we meet the characters and learn how to make everything from rocket launchers and burglar alarms to mobile tracking devices and more. Science has never been so dangerous—or so much fun!”

To read an excerpt pop over to the webpage: http://nickandtesla.com/book-1-high-voltage-danger-lab/.  This book can be read alone by children, but would be a lovely one to read aloud together too. It is also available as an audio book. As the main characters are a boy and a girl, this is a book promoting that science is accessible to everyone. I recommend it highly, and have just ordered the next in the series 🙂

I wonder if you have a STEAM book you would like to review- or would like me to review. Please let me know through the comments below, or through the facebook page.

Until next time

Fiona T

*All opinions are my own, and are unsolicited. I personally purchase all items reviewed on this blog and have received no payment from any supplier for promoting their goods. I am a student/teacher/academic and have no personal business affiliation or business motive on this blog. Opinions expressed are my own, and are not necessarily endorsed by my employer.

Neural Knitworks- the maker movement and crowd sourcing meets Science week

This year I have embraced Neural Knitworks again, and with a more timely introduction for my students we have had a good response this year. Today I finished hanging our display in our Science Foyer, and am excited to share this with you. Thanks to the students and staff who contributed- one learning to crochet to participate! If you would like to see what is happening on a bigger scale, or participate- here is a link to the Neural Knitworks site- and it’s call to crowd sourced making to improve our understanding and skills 🙂

2015-08-21 11 36 02 neural knitwork wall

This kind of hands on project and modelling of Biology can be a welcome invitation for teachers and students alike to develop new skills and contribute to a community project. There are no-knit options too, so there are differentiated entry points for anyone willing to give it a try.  Oh- and it is fun too!

Until next time, happy crafting and making.

Fiona T

Games and toys that promote creativity and thinking (Part 6.1) More on Goldiblox

A quick update for you all:

Lately I have been thinking more and more about STEM (Science technology Engineering and Math) promotion in schools and homes with our Children. While researching STEM and girls education for an upcoming workshop I found reference to the Goldiblox game and the now growing company promoting a wider range of toys for children to explore STEM ideas in fun ways. I was really pleased to see expansion packs too, that could be paired with any of the games to provide the much needed extension I thought was lacking in the first game.  Here is a link to the store: http://www.goldieblox.com/ and a link to my original blog about the first toy in the series.   I wonder if you have any STEM toys/games you think are a valuable part of your classroom/home? Please feel free to share them in the comments below.

Until next time

Fiona T

*All opinions are my own, and are unsolicited. I personally purchase all items reviewed on this blog and have received no payment from any supplier for promoting their goods. I am a student/teacher/academic and have no personal business affiliation or business motive on this blog. Opinions expressed are my own, and are not necessarily endorsed by my employer.

An exciting week…

What an exciting and busy week. As my teaching year winds down (and the last couple of months turn into marking) I also made sure that my application for my PhD went in on Friday. Unfortunately the process at the admissions office changed 4 months ago from online applications back to paper applications, so this first (and important) step of my PhD was not paperless. I did however have a soft copy to type on,  used Evernote to store it so I could work on it where ever I was, and only printed 2 copies of it…one to proof read properly and run past my BB and then the final copy which was submitted. I suppose I should generate a paper count, at this stage I am up to 40 pages.  So in 6-8 weeks I will be a student…I can’t wait 🙂
Now to the ethics application, which is partially online…wish me luck 🙂
Until next week
Fiona T

Welcome to: My Paperless PhD

Ok, I am new to blogging and new to a PhD. I am just about to submit my application to study and hope that using these fantastic tools now available (including web conferencing, the cloud and on-line journals etc) will make my PhD mostly paperless. The boxes of paper from my Master’s study still resides with us. I just can’t part with it. Hopefully keeping a USB with the files will be easier to store 🙂

Why am I blogging? I want this to be a record for the process and progress that is the PhD journey. I want to record and share the highs and lows of the next few years of my life. I also see this blog as a forum for procrastination…I have spent the last few weeks trying to find a proper title for this blog and looking at other PhD blogs out there….see I am a student at heart 😀

So please, join me if you dare….it will be a roller-coaster ride!

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