Good News

I am so glad a friend on Facebook posted a link for a different kind of newspaper.

I don’t watch television due to all the ads I would have to watch. I really don’t have the patience for it any more. But now a new world has opened up to me. The world of good news, positive news. In order to feel better and make the world a better place it is important to keep up morale. I had stopped reading magazines years ago due to the demeaning ways it portrays women and the intent for shock articles. I also stopped reading the news as my morale seemed to slump but now I am glad to report that I have been reading inspiring articles and would like to inspire you to do the same.

I am sure there are more. This is an important step to take for everyone. We need to be inspired by the news not brought down. If you believe in quantum physics and that thoughts paints your future then make sure you feed your mind with positivity.

Happy reading to all!

The Powers of 10 by Kees Boeke (1957)

Cosmic View: The Universe in 40 Jumps

4th graders Solve all the worlds problems

Divergent Thinking

3D Printing Will Transform Education

By TJ McCue. 2011.

Never mind the computer on every desktop, that’s a given. In the near future, teachers and students will want or have a 3D printer on the desk to help them learn core Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) principles.

Bre Pettis, of MakerBot Industries, in a grand but practical vision sees a 3D printer on every school desk in America.  Imagine if you had a 3D printer instead of a Lego® set when you were a kid; what would life be like now, asks Mr. Pettis. You could print your own mini-figures, your own blocks, and you could iterate on new designs as quickly as your imagination (and your printer) would allow.

The Atlantic Council of the United States (ACUS) also sees a coming renaissance in innovation, design, IP exports, and manufacturing as 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, grows and expands. A recent October 2011 report from ACUS outlines how this emerging technology is transforming everything from medical to education, music to manufacturing.

Back in 2009, you had to be able to solder and be on the bleeding edge of technology to manage building a 3D printer, or close to it. Now, it is much easier to get started and the 3D printer technology is far more accessible to the non-techie, so MakerBot is seeing schoolteachers and students using it more.

In fact, MakerBot Industries has developed 3D student curriculums as part of a test rollout in New York City schools. Mr. Pettis wants students to have an “invention engine” in the classroom. Students can have an idea, design it, print it, and if it doesn’t work, make it again. “The make it again part – that’s the powerful part,” adds Pettis.

In addition to education, MakerBot is involved in a whole range of interesting crowd-sourced solutions via their Thingiverse community. Thingiverse is a digital design library where you can upload or download a 3D design and print it on a 3D printer.

One of the interesting new projects from Thingiverse is the Operation Shellter project to save hermit crabs. Saving a crab may seem an unlikely use for a 3D printer, but a handful of concerned citizens are testing a solution that might help the lowly crab. There’s an informative interview about the crab shell 3D printing at the living on earth ™ radio program (via Public Radio International-PRI). Read the interview transcript for details about how they plan to use these shells with hermit crabs in captivity first (thus saving the real shells for wild crabs), then possibly using in the wild with biodegradable materials, and numbering to track crabs as well.

The power in Thingiverse? It is an online community of 6,000 MakerBot printers (officially called Thing-o-Matic). Not all projects are collaborative, but many are and there is increasingly an opportunity to leverage the widespread 3D printers on initiatives such as Project Shellter.

If the MakerBot Industries team and Bre Pettis have their way, there will indeed be a 3D printer on every desktop in the United States. With a community focus, there are many passionate users and fans that will likely help them make that vision a reality.

Spirals, Fibonacci and being a Plant

Literature about Global Issues for Primary School Children

The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) published several stories about Global Issues between 2005 and 2008. These stories are great to use in the classroom for awareness or teach English (Content and Language Integrated Learning).

Here is a list of stories I found from their website TUNZA (Tunza means to treat with care or affection in Swahili). You can download these stories for free in PDF or you can purchase these books from their website:

  1. Ting and the Possible Futures
  2. Togu and the Trees of Life
  3. Tore and the Town of Thin Ice
  4. Tessa and the Fishy Mystery
  5. Tina and the Green City
  6. Theo and the Giant Plastic Ball
  7. and more

CLIL Content and Language Integrated Learning

I had never heard of the term CLIL but whilst researching the subject I realised that I do know about it. The Netherlands already have bilingual secondary schools where the children are taught English through subject matter.

Content and Language Integrated Learning means that you learn about a subject in another language. This mainly concerns students whom don’t speak English and have to go to an English speaking school (international school). Think about bilingual schools. In bilingual school students don’t just get taught all subjects in a language but rather in two languages. Usually Art, Gym and Geography will be given in de secondary language.

So instead of focusing on learning the grammar of a language you learn about a subject in that language and parts of the language will pop up and taught as well. This is a great way of learning about a subject and you are immersed in that language.


ImageCover for educational book published by Scholastic.

When Harvard students were asked to explain why we have seasons, they gave the following answers:

That is why I would like to insert this picture and explain why we have seasons:

The earth is tilted on its axis and follows its path around the sun in nearly a perfect circle. But because it is tilted and the sun rotates on its axis (the axis never changes) at different times of the year the northern hemisphere receives more warmth and light from the sun.


Fun facts: The earth rotates on its axis every 24 hours. The earth revolves around the sun once every 365 days and a 1/4. The moon travels around the earth in 28 days. The moon always shows the same side towards the earth.