Sunday, July 31, 2016

Science Education : Exploring the Big Dipper

credits: EarthSky Communication Inc

Tomorrow night, looking to the sky, two outer stars in the bowl of the Big Dipper : Dubhe and Merak. They always point to Polaris, the North Star. 
How to find the Big Dipper?
To find the Dipper at this time of year, look toward the northwest in the evening. Once you’ve found it, after locating Polaris, look carefully at the second star from the end of the Big Dipper’s handle. 

If your sky is dark enough, and your eyesight is good, you’ll see that this star, Mizar, has a nearby companion, called Alcor.
To know more:
Arabian stargazers called Mizar and Alcor the “horse and rider.” These stars are a good test of the night’s viewing conditions: if you can’t see Alcor, there might be some clouds.
These two stars are what’s called “naked-eye double star,” appearing double from our earthly vantage point. But do they orbit each other? Astronomers aren’t sure. The distances to these stars (as to most stars) aren’t precisely known. 

credits: John Chumack
If Mizar and Alcor make up a true binary star, it’s a very wide one says Bruce McClure of EarthSky.

If they do lie at the same distance from Earth, their separation is 0.27 light-years, that’s in contrast to eight light-minutes for Earth’s distance from our sun or several light-hours for the distance to our sun of the most distant worlds in our solar system. 
Still, it’s possible that Mizar and Alcor could be this far apart and still be orbiting one another, with a very long orbital period of three-quarters of a million years.
Mizar and its fainter companion star Alcor are one of the most famous double stars in the sky. You’ll spot Mizar first, as the middle star of the Big Dipper’s handle. Look closely, and you’ll see Alcor right next to Mizar.

Mizar and Alcor are one of the most famous double stars in the sky. You can spot them easily in the handle of the Big Dipper. Mizar is really four stars, and Alcor is really two stars. So what we see as two stars are really six in one!

The 3 August
, 2016, we might (not sure) catch the moon and Venus says Bruce McClure of EarthSky.

But now we talking about the Big Dipper and Little Dipper for tomorrow night.
Of course most of us are enjoying summer break, teachers and students. But for schools in much of the world the beginning of August means that school will be starting soon. 

In my country, school will be starting in September.

However students will be sky watchers if they are at summer camps. And they will be excited to catch the Big Dipper and Little Dipper. 

As teachers start to think about the resources that they might use in their classroom this year, science teachers can snap some amazing videos to explain the Big Dipper and Little Dipper in one of your lessons, after school summer holiday... if they are lucky.

This year, last May, I worte about the Eta Aquarid Meteor shower


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Science education : Exploring the Big Dipper bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Source: EarthSky

Friday, July 29, 2016

Education : Go to the theater : Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
J.K. Rowling

Tomorrow! Get ready for the new play and book: Harry Potter And The Cursed Child

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child in print and digital tomorrow 30 July 2016 at world bookshops. Only two days and one night. Oh ! So good, another big event to 'potterheads'! 

Saturday 30 July will see the official opening night of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two. The public preview of the play took place last 26 July. Fans react to first performances!

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, 
play at Palace Theater, London
University fans
credits:   Tim Jamieson/ NYTimes
"It is out of this world. It's Magic and it's a Hit."
Last Tuesday, the 26 July, Harry Potter lucky fans have seen the play and they are in love. Fans went out very touched and excited. The reviews are amazing. And media reviews are amazing as well. 

"It's a proper theatrical blockbuster. Not just at the box office, but onstage as well: a captivating story given a spectacular staging and — Rowling’s specialty — a big, big heart. Twenty years ago, Harry Potter turned a generation onto reading. “The Cursed Child” could do the same for theater."

Matt Trueman, Variety

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, play
credits: Manuel Harnan
The eighth installment of the Harry Potter series was presented on Tuesday evening at the Palace Theater. It was the play, not the book. “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” The Potter saga continues with unabated interest: fans dressed in Hogwarts costumes, curiosity about the fate of long-beloved characters and the allure of magic.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is one play presented in two parts, which are intended to be seen in order on the same day (matinee and evening) or on two consecutive evenings.

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, play
Jamie Parker/ Harry Potter
credits: : Manuel Harlan
The critcs are very good.  Dramatist Jack Thorne has written a pair of instalments, each two and a half hours long, based on several major characters in JK Rowling’s seven novels, which became eight movies. While still about the superstar wizard, the plays introduce multiple new figures and plot lines wrote Michael Billington.

Words can’t describe how delighted I was to see Albus’ and Scorpius’ relationship gently developing from friendship to something more, without the narrative making a plot point or a problem about their sexualities, making it incidental rather than focusing on it. The stage came to life when the two characters were on it together. Finally, finally I could see kids like me at Hogwarts. By the end of the first part I was in tears.

Anna, London, harrypotterhead

And tomorrow, 30 July, at midnight following those first, opening night performances, the Special Rehearsal Edition script will be available to buy around the world, in print at the bookshops and digitally on Pottermore.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
J.K. Rowling

But let's talk about the book. The Special Rehearsal Edition of the script will be available for a limited time, and will give readers the earliest opportunity to read the eighth story – just after the play has opened at London’s Palace Theatre

In this edition, readers will have access to the script used by the cast and creative team during rehearsals and previews.

During the preview period, in front of a live audience, the script will be fine-tuned by the creative team. It’s a chance to make tweaks outside the rehearsal room and based on the reactions of a real audience.
A later, Definitive Edition of the script is set for release in early 2017. This final and complete edition will replace the Special Rehearsal Edition in bookshops, both in print and digitally.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play
The Definitive Edition will contain the perfected, definitive script with final stage directions and annotations, as seen on opening night and beyond. This edition will also include extra content, such as writing from the play’s creative team.

The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later. Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. 

The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End tomorrow 30th July 2016. 

"It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places."

Education: Books & Theater

This is the big buzz of the summer break at schools. Potterheads of the world will not miss this event, the book at bookshops or Pottermore and those who are lucky enough the play at Palace Theater in London.

Going at bookshop, it promotes the love of printed books and enhance reading skills of the youngest potterheaders' don't you think? And if they aren't native English language, they will empower the foreign language.

J.K. Rowling and the 'Harry Potter mania' brought enormous number of new readers into Languages curriculum. Teachers understood the importance of reading Harry Potter books into the curricula.

Rowling managed to get a large swath of young people reading books at a time when it looked as though they weren't going to be reading anything.

Kids and adults (the first generation of potterheads) don't loose this opportunity to read another Harry Potter book.

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child
The four houses of the Hogwarts wizarding school mass on stage
credits: Manuel Harnen

But J.K. Rowling promotes now the love of theater.  Twenty years ago, (1977) Harry Potter turned a generation onto reading. “The Cursed Child” could do the same for theater.

Theatre in education will encourage effective learning at school. It calls for careful consideration of the audience's age and requirements in order to engage them and get the message across.

It complements school curriculum and illustrate the dynamic relationship between the performing arts and literature, history, science and world cultures. 

So potterheads are all so excited. They go to the theater and will be at a bookshop near on 30 July by midnight. Every bookshop will open to receive the new book and Harry Potter fans.

Some extra activities are prepared to captivate the new potterheads. It will be a special night this summer break.


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Education : Go to the theater : Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


video credits: The Guardian | Pottermore

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Education & disability : Francesca Jones, the power of a dream

Francesca Jones
credits: Getty Images

Francesca Jones, fifteen-year-old, got through the first round at Junior Wimbledon 2016 despite a rare condition that has left her without all her fingers and toes.

Francesca Jones was born with ectrodactyly ectodermal dysplasia syndrome – a rare condition that causes development problems with hands and feet.
Despite leaving her with an abnormally small right hand – her racket hand – and fewer fingers and toes than is usual, she has not allowed her condition to prevent her reaching her first junior grand slam tournament.

"I have three toes on my right foot, which is obviously my dominant foot, so balance had always been a weakness of mine. As I matured, as I got older, I have just worked on that, day in, day out.” 

Francesca Jones

But that has not stopped the determined teenager from reaching the second round of her first junior Grand Slam tournament or being ranked "number four" in the world when she was under-14.

Francesca Jones/ ©PA credits
Francesca got to Wimbledon following three operations on her wrists in the last year alone and, although she was beaten in her second round match by American teenager Kayla Day, she remains in the doubles.

She battled her way to Junior Wimbledon despite having just three fingers and a thumb on each hand has described her determination to succeed in the game.

Ectrodactyly Ectodermal Dysplasia is caused by a mutated gene, and Jones has had three operations this year alone.
"If I have to do the operations again, I'll do them again," (...) "Everything's mental and everything's work, so if you keep at it then eventually it's going to work out for you."
Francesca Jones
Francesca Jones who has battled her way to Junior Wimbledon despite having just three fingers and a thumb on each hand has described her determination to succeed in the game.

Since the age of nine, she has been living by herself at a tennis academy in Barcelona, hundreds of miles away from her parents in Oxenhope in Bradford, hundreds of miles away from her parents

Francesca Jones/  © PA credits


"I’m 100% into doing this and giving it everything to get to where I want to be in the world.” 

Francesca Jones

Having EEC syndrome, making her rise up the junior rankings even more impressive.

Children with special disabilities can be exceptional athletes. Francesca Jones is wonderful exemple to talk with your 'special' students.

One of the most important curriculum is Sports. Kids with disabilities might have wonderful performances. They are enthusiastic because they can participate at big sports event - Wimbledon or Special Olympic Games - feeling their great effort to beat their handicap difficulties. 

A victory at Junior Wimbledon is just the the best that Francesca Jones deserves for her courage and hard work.  She could realize her potential for growth.

Educators (teachers and parents) have a crucial role helping the integration of children with disabilities in all kind of activities when they have a dream.

“People say that I can’t grip the racket properly and I get called names. I don’t take much notice of it, but again it is using it as a positive. If people can see that I am where I am now and hopefully where I will be in the future with my condition then I am proving a point that I have always wanted to.”

Francesca Jones

Wow! You deserve the sky! Sky is the limit to a girl like you. Congratulations!


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Education & disability : Francesca Jones, the power of a dream bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.