Newsletters | Newsletter Archive BLOSSOMS What's New? December 2014

November/December 2014

What's New?

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Boston High School Teacher Develops “Ecological Tipping Points” Lesson on Case Study from his Native Philippines
Ecological Tipping PointsFred Pontillas, a biology teacher at the John D. O’Bryant School of Math and Science in Boston, MA, has created an MIT BLOSSOMS lesson on efforts to develop a sustainable fishing industry in his native Taytay, Palawan in the Philippines. This lesson, entitled “Ecological Tipping Points: When Is Late Too Late?”, looks at a specific case study of the Live Reef Fish Trade now threatening survival of the Coral Reef Triangle of Southeast Asia. Live reef fish have long been traded around Southeast Asia as a luxury food item, but in recent decades trade in fish captured on coral reefs has expanded rapidly. Although the trade has provided communities with additional income, these benefits are unsustainable and have come at considerable cost to the environment. In this lesson, Mr. Pontillas asks students to use Flow Charts and Feedback Diagrams to analyze this very complex problem of ecological sustainability. His major goal for the lesson is to provide students with some of the tools they will need to analyze and solve the many complex problems they will face during their lifetimes. Watch the lesson here.

BLOSSOMS Lesson on “How to Estimate the Value of Pi” Now Accessible in English Voice-Over
The Ecological Cost of DinnerImagine you wake up one day and have no knowledge of the mathematical value of Pi! This new BLOSSOMS lesson gives students the opportunity—based on previous knowledge—to try to estimate Pi value using different methods, such as: direct physical measurements; a geometric probability model; and computer technology. It was created by Renyong Feng, a teacher of mathematics at the Verakin High School in Chonqing, China and was designed to stimulate the learning interests of students, to enrich their experience of solving practical problems, and to develop their critical thinking ability. Watch the lesson here.

Applications Now Available for the MIT Women’s Technology Summer Program
MIT Women's Technolgoy Summer ProgramThe MIT Women's Technology Program (WTP) is a four-week intense summer academic program and residential experience where female high school students explore engineering through hands-on classes, labs, homework problems, and team-based projects in the summer after 11th grade. Students attend WTP in either: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) or Mechanical Engineering (ME).  The curriculum is designed for girls who excel at math and science in their high school classes, but who have no prior background (or very little) in engineering or computer science. Applicants must currently be high school juniors (grade 11) and must attend high school in the U.S. (or be U.S. citizens if living outside the U.S.).  Apply by January 1. Read more here.

Malaysian BLOSSOMS Partners Win E-Learning Awards for BLOSSOMS Lesson

Malaysian imageThe Malaysian BLOSSOMS lesson - "Is There A Connection Between Computer Network Topologies and a Malaysian Wedding?" - won a gold medal under the category of Invention, Innovation & Design at the National University Carnival on E-Learning 2014 (NUCEL 2014), initiated by the Malaysian Public Universities e-Learning Council (MEIPTA). Read more.

17 More BLOSSOMS Lessons Available with Portuguese Subtitles

FuturaCanal Futura, Brazil’s first educational TV channel, has added 17 new Portuguese-subtitled BLOSSOMS lessons to their programming, bringing the total to 42 BLOSSOMS lessons. Read more.

Meet an MIT BLOSSOMS Teacher
ThermodynamicsHayati Abdullah is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. She is Deputy Director of the Centre of Academic Leadership Professional Development (CALPD) and was appointed as the Chairman of The Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (Southern Branch) for session 2014-2015. Professor Abdullah has expertise and experience in the areas of heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and fire fighting. Her BLOSSOMS lesson, “Thermodynamics: Energy Conversion in Generating Electricity”, is designed to support students in visualizing the conversion of energy and its importance in real world applications. Watch the lesson here.