Category Archives: Back to School

Happy Pythagorean Theorem Day!

pythagoras-sketchDid you forget to get a card?  We don’t know if the card store will have something for today, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate!

Pythagorean Theorem Day or Pythagoras Theorem Day is celebrated when the sum of the squares of the first two digits in a date equals the square of the last digit in the date. In this case: August 15, 2017 (8/15/17 or 15/8/17): 8² + 15² = 17². The next instance of this special day won’t happen until December 16th, 2020…so don’t miss your chance to celebrate today!

So let’s refresh…what is the Pythagorean Theorem?

From Wikipediareal-life-applications-pythagorean-theorem_672e4a5e3a2f7d7 In mathematics, the Pythagorean theorem, also known as Pythagoras’s theorem, is a fundamental relation in Euclidean geometry among the three sides of a right triangle. It states that the square of the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle) is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. The theorem can be written as an equation relating the lengths of the sides a, b and c, often called the “Pythagorean equation”:  a2+b2=cwhere c represents the length of the hypotenuse and a and b the lengths of the triangle’s other two sides.

Although it is often argued that knowledge of the theorem predates him, the theorem is named after the ancient Greek mathematician Pythagoras (c. 570–495 BC) as it is he who, by tradition, is credited with its first recorded proof. There is some evidence that Babylonian mathematicians understood the formula, although little of it indicates an application within a mathematical framework. Mesopotamian, Indian and Chinese mathematicians all discovered the theorem independently and, in some cases, provided proofs for special cases.

The theorem has been given numerous proofs – possibly the most for any mathematical theorem. They are very diverse, including both geometric proofs and algebraic proofs, with some dating back thousands of years. The theorem can be generalized in various ways, including higher-dimensional spaces, to spaces that are not Euclidean, to objects that are not right triangles, and indeed, to objects that are not triangles at all, but n-dimensional solids. The Pythagorean theorem has attracted interest outside mathematics as a symbol of mathematical abstruseness, mystique, or intellectual power; popular references in literature, plays, musicals, songs, stamps and cartoons abound.

So how to celebrate?  Try these ideas:

  • earn more about the Pythagoras Theorem and its real life applications.
  • Celebrate the day by eating foods that are cut in right angle triangles. Make a pizza or bake a cake or cookies in the shape of a right triangle. Or just your PB&J will work too!
  • Since the holiday depends on a unique date pattern, why not spend the day learning about other special date patterns- sequential, repetitive, or palindrome for example?

These memes perfectly describe teachers going back to school

Well it’s that time of year again, a time where you can no longer lose track of the days and
use the restroom at your leisure. Yep, it’s back to school time. While some of you may have already started back (which is completely unfair, who changed the rule to starting before Labor Day anyways?) the rest of you may only have a couple more weeks before it’s back to the grind of grading papers and attending faculty meetings. To know that you are not alone in this journey, here is some humor to get you through the beginning of the school year.

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Cooking with NGSS

Despite only 13 states and the District of Columbia having formally adopted the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), many school classes_labdistricts in non-acting states are not waiting on their governments. We are hearing more and more reports from teachers in Florida, Pennsylvania and Wyoming that their schools have adopted NGSS in some format despite few (and sometimes abandoned) legislation discussion. Considering all of this, at Fisher Science Education, we thought it would be a good exercise to task ourselves with an assignment more and more science teachers across America are being asked to complete: rewrite an existing lab activity following the NGSS formula. How did we do it and what can we share? Read on to find out and then follow the web link to reference and use our developed lab in your classroom!

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STEM Career: Robotics Engineering

humanoid robotRobots are becoming ubiquitous in everyday life. Robots build cars, help us checkout at the grocery store, and complete millions of tasks which human beings used to do. Those who design robots must understand computer science, electrical systems, mechanical systems, and some aspects of human psychology. If you think that you can make better and more efficient robots, then perhaps pursuing a career in robotics engineering is your path.

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Return of an Extinct Congo Monkey!

First observed in the forests of the Republic of the Congo in 1887, the rare Old World Bouvier’scongo monkey red colobus monkeys (Pilicolobus bouvieri) were distinguished by their reddish fur, large eyes, white chin and whiskers and long tail. Originally considered a sub-species of Pennant’s Colobus monkeys native to Central Africa, they were reclassified as a distinct species in 2007.

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The Power of Positivity in Human Language

wordsTake a moment to think back to the past — to the events of last week, last year, or even back to your childhood. Are you more likely to describe these memories in positive or negative terms? For most people, the tendency is to fondly remember past events and to discuss things using positive language. Interestingly, this bias has been found in people across the world, bridging both culture and language. Psychologists have referred to this phenomenon as the “Pollyanna principle,” the inclination to describe things in a positive light, even when they are negative.

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3D Printing to Expand in Consumer Market

cube_cThe International Consumer Electronics Show (International CES) occurs annually in Las Vegas and showcases the latest prototypes consumers can look for in coming years. The 2015 show that concluded in January expanded the amount of space allotted to 3D printers from 7200 square feet to nearly double that amount of exhibit space. This year’s 57 vendors needed that kind of elbow room. For the first time, some vendors exhibited 3D-printed food and clothing, and many more companies displayed models targeted at hobbyists and people who would put 3D printers to personal use.

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Try These Fun Bubble Experiments At Home

Bubble ScienceIs your family bored and looking for something to do? Do you miss playing with bubbles now that it’s cold outside? If so, you have to try these fun and safe bubble experiments! These bubble experiments are fun and a great way for the whole family to learn about science!

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What I did on my Summer Vacation

The Fisher Science Education TeamThis post is very special to us as it deals with our summer intern! We had the opportunity to work with Ben for the summer as our marketing intern. He provided his insight and was imaginative enough to create his own videos that we feature on our ChemAssist App.  Are you curious to know what it’s like to be a Fisher Science Education marketing intern? Check out Ben’s summary report below!

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What’s Next for Technology in the Classroom?

Technology in the classroomThe amount of new technology in the field of science is growing at an astounding rate.  In the last year alone, scientists have thrown around the idea for bomb detecting plants, firefighting robots, and bulletproof gels.  Who knows which of these ideas, if any, will come to fruition.  One thing that’s for sure is that we are certainly innovating the way technology is used for learning.  From virtual dissection labs and interactive whiteboards to tablet applications for just about anything, the classroom environment has changed drastically in the last decade.

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