Newsletters | Newsletter Archive BLOSSOMS What's New? February 2011

February 2011

What's New?
A BLOSSOMS monthly newsletter

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MIT BLOSSOMS introduces two new lessons on DNA
Two new video lessons from educators at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have been added to the BLOSSOMS online video repository. These include “Using DNA to Identify People” by Dr. Megan Rokop and “Discovering Genes Associated with Diseases and Traits in Dogs” by Dr. Elinor Karlsson. These join an earlier lesson created by Dr. Rokop, “Classifying Animals by Appearance versus DNA sequence.”
Announcing a new BLOSSOMS partnership
MIT BLOSSOMS is pleased to announce a partnership with Saudi Aramco and the Sultan Bin AbdulAziz Science & Technology Center (Scitech). Over the coming year, participating Saudi educators will create twenty BLOSSOMS video lessons covering topics in mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics. These lessons will be produced in Arabic with English subtitles.
Some thoughts from the BLOSSOMS
STEM researcher, Mauricio Gomez Diaz

International comparisons between countries’ educational systems have taken the spotlight in recent years, largely based on standardized test results. The oft-cited story is that U.S. students are falling behind while their Asian counterparts excel in fields like math and science. Even though the U.S. educational system is far from ideal, an unfettered rush to improve international standing in these tests could do more harm than good. Critical thinking and creativity are vital strengths in the American system that government authorities in "top-performing" countries like Singapore are trying to emulate. They realize that such strengths are not only essential in education; they are pivotal for the continued advancement of society and economic prosperity. These features of U.S. education must be protected from reforms that could overshadow them in favor of test-taking skills.

Five more videos now available in Arabic voiced-over versions
Five video lessons created at MIT have recently been voiced over into Arabic. These are:

Facebook BLOSSOMS in now on Facebook,
be sure to visit.
Watch the latest
BLOSSOMS video lesson

Blood: The Stuff of Life

Look for these upcoming BLOSSOMS lessons

“ATP: Energy for Life”

“Gravity Assist, or Stealing a Planet’s Angular Momentum and Getting Away with It”

video teacher
Gilbert StrangGilbert Strang is a professor of Mathematics at MIT. He teaches Linear Algebra and Computational Science, and both of these classes are videotaped and available on MIT's OpenCourseWare. Professor Strang's Highlights of Calculus is a series of short videos that introduce the basic ideas of calculus — how it works and why it is important. The intended audience is high school students, college students, or anyone who might need help understanding the subject. Professor Strang also writes research papers and has published eight textbooks on these subjects. Click here to read more about Professor Strang and watch his BLOSSOMS video lesson, “Are Random Triangles Acute or Obtuse?