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The Drake Equation | Posted in Earth and Space Science

The Drake equation is not directly used by scientists in their research. Rather it is often used when talking about life in the universe to non-scientists, such as in astrobiology courses, as James mentioned. One of the keynote addresses I sometimes deliver is on astrobiology, and I discuss the Drake equation quite a lot, as it relates to many fascinating topics regarding the development of life in the universe, where we would expect to find life, and how common we might expect life to be.

The purpose of the Drake equation is not to give a precise answer to that fundamental question -- How many technological civilizations are in our galaxy? -- but to form the basis of discussions by presenting various types of information that we would need to know, if we wanted to answer that question.

So basically the Drake equation is a statement that "stimulates intellectual curiosity about the universe around us, for helping us to understand that life as we know it is the end product of a natural, cosmic evolution, and for helping us realize how much we are a part of that universe." (https://www.seti.org/drakeequation)

What the equation and the search for life has done is focus science on some of the issues concerning life in the universe, specifically the development of life starting with chemical processes, the development of multi-cellular life, and the development of intelligence.

Matt


Matthew Bobrowsky

STEM and Fairy Tales | Posted in STEM

Wendy, I absolutely loved the article. I think as educators, we often forget that kids can use their imagination in science as well! Imagination is not only for the art or music room. I think it is wonderful that there is a way to let their creativity shine through an amazing subject. As a student teacher, I do notice that sometimes we (educators) get so caught up in teaching them right from wrong that we forget that they have an imagination and creative juices that need to flow every once in a while! A question I am pondering is; how often would you recommend using this in the classroom? Would this count as a warm-up or hook activity before the lesson? Or a fun Friday type play? I would love to incorporate this into my future classroom as a STEM activity. Best, Megan Bradburn


Megan Bradburn

Physiology/Anatomy Project Ideas? | Posted in Life Science

Another idea is to have the students embark on a "Fantastic Voyage" based on the movie/book from the 60s. They have to "travel" through a patients body to destroy a blood clot in the patient's brain. Students can write a dramatic narrative or dialogue that incorporates factual information about body systems, they could write a computer program or animation about a voyage through the body, write a newspaper article, etc.


Eric Roth

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