Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Schools : The Geminid shower ? Let's talk about & much more !

2012 Geminid Meteor Shower over the Canary Islands 
© StarryEarth / Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias
Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 50.0 mm, ISO 3200 – composite
via American Meteor Society

The Geminid Meteor Shower is one of the best (if not the best) meteor shower of the year. Geminid Meteors are bright with a (seasonally festive) greenish hue that leave long lasting dust trails in the sky. 

Active now! Year in and year out the Geminids are currently the most dependable meteor shower. Unfortunately, they are active in December when temperatures are often cold and skies cloudy in the northern hemisphere.

Last year Google celebrated the Geminids meteor shower with a slideshow Doodle on 13 December.

Don't forget to talk about it in the classroom. It's lovely! Young students will enjoy it and will understand better the meteor shower.

Some information:

The Geminids can be annually observed between December 4 and December 17, with its peak activity being around December 14. The shower owes its name to the constellation Gemini from where the meteors seem to emerge from in the sky.

This year it started 7 December. However there will be a nearly full moon in the sky as the Geminids peak on the night of December 13/14

December's full moon is known as the Cold Moon, though it has many other nicknames by different cultures:  Oak Moon, Moon before Yule, Long Night Moon, Uduvapa Poya, the Karthikai Deepam Moon and the Chang'e Moon.

credits: American Meteor Society

The Moon will appear full for about three days centered on this time, from Tuesday 12 December evening through Friday morning.

Unfortunately this means that the fainter meteors will be obscured by the bright moonlight and that total counts will be reduced drastically.

Though the Geminid shower is a quite lively producing frequent bright meteors, which should outshine the copious moonlight.

Then is this display worth viewing this year? Certainly! So it may be chilly out, but if you and your students step outside over the next week, you’ll be able to enjoy one of the most active meteor showers of the year! 

Instead of seeing 60 or more Geminids per hour one may still be able to count roughly 20 per hour. Is 20 per hour worth viewing on a cold December night? Yes!

credits: Dinah Ruth Angot


Next 13/14 December, the spectacular Geminid meteor shower will be back with its spectacular show. 

The winter, cold temperatures contribute in making this shower neglected by the public, while it offer bright, very enjoyable meteors. 

But most of us are excited about the Geminids shower. Science teachers and students. They will join sky watchers at an observatory in the town or simply outside.

This time teachers and students are just ending school time before Christmas season. But they will have the time - forget the tests - to watch the sky and sciences curriculum will be enhanced with the awesome event in the sky.

Do you want a better science lesson ? Two nights on live science. Wow!

Annie Jump Cannon
Portrait, 1922

Annie Jump Cannon:

Annie Jump Cannon was a pioneering astronomer responsible for the classification of hundreds of thousands of stars.

She was born on this day, 11 December  1863, in Dover, Delaware. Annie Jump Cannon studied physics and astronomy at Wellesley College and went on to work at Harvard Observatory. 

A trailblazer for women in science, she discovered hundreds of variable stars and devised a unique system of classification that became the universal standard, in which she listed hundreds of thousands of stars. 

Cannon died in Massachusetts in 1941.

Google Doodle 151st birthday (2014)
Annie Jump Cannon, American astronomer

Google celebrated Anna Jump Cannon in 2014 with a Doodle for her 151st birthday.

A pioneer in astronomy, Cannon developed the Harvard Classification Scheme with Edward C. Pickering, which organized and categorized stars based on their temperatures.

It would be interesting to include this women scientist into your lesson to motivate girls to science.

Apollo 17 prime crew
credits NASA

By the way on this day 11 December 1972, Apollo 17 land on the moon. Apollo 17 became the last mission to land humans on the moon. The first mission was Apollo 11 50 years ago.

Commander Gene Cernan was the last person to set foot on the lunar surface as he followed the lunar module pilot, Harrison Schmitt, back into the spacecraft on the last day. Ronald Evans, the command module pilot, never got the chance to walk on the moon like his crewmates did, because he had to hang out by himself in lunar orbit.

You see! How many subjects can you as a teacher enhance your sciences lesson! Students will be so excited to learn about.

Time to back to the Geminids meteor shower...

© David Trood /GettyImages

How and when to view?

To best see the Geminids you need to view as close to December 14th as possible. 
Like all meteors showers, there are many more faint meteors than bright ones. Eyes that had just stared at the moon or just came outside from indoors will not be able to see these fainter meteors. Say your students to give their eyes time at adjust to the darkness. 
There will be periods when little activity is seen and then other periods when meteors are falling constantly. 
These periods often last as long as 15 minutes so it is advisable to watch for an hour or more so that students witness several peaks and valleys and get a real feel of the meteor activity. 
Invite them to go at the observatory in town for a confortable night of meteor watching. They will be with some interested sky watchers and astronomers from the observatory who will guide during the sky watching.
They can face in any direction as Geminid meteors can be seen in any part of the sky. 

credits: Bronberg Weather Station 
Pretoria, South Africa

No matter what part of the sky they appear, they will all trace back to the radiant near the bright star known as Castor.
Hey ! Don't forget ! The peak of the Geminid meteor shower will be the night of December 13-14. Unfortunately this means that the fainter meteors will be obscured by the bright moonlight and that total counts will be reduced drastically.But don't give up to watch the sky!The full-moon can obtrude too greatly on the great celestial light show. 

Grab those binoculars, dust off that telescope, and join astronomers under the beautiful dark Geminid skies at the observatory at your town!

Hoping you will have great lessons including all these resources!



Copyright © 2019G-Souto'sBlog,®

Useful Links

NASA Science : 2019 Full Moons Calendar

American Meteor Society

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

November in Review & Youth Stand Up for Human Rights !

credits: UN

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 
This year, it celebrates the contribution and promise of young people who change the world for the better.
"There are more adolescents and young adults alive today than at any other time in human history and they are generally better educated, healthier and have greater access to technology and information that can be leveraged to stand up for human rights."

credits: UN

Youth participation is essential to achieve sustainable development for all. Empowering youth to better know and claim their rights will generate global benefits.
This Human Rights Day highlights the role of young people and their participation in social movements to stand up for human rights and bring change.

Teachers can find UN materials here and some resources and activities in posts of mine written on this blog to celebrate Human Rights Day!

My usual readers know I usually write in English, French and Portuguese. In November, my posts were written in English and French.
And now, time to the review of the most popular posts of November.

Here are the most popular posts of the last month:
Christmas season is there. Hoping you are enjoying to teach your new students! Oh! I see! Time for tests! Remember, students are much more than tests! Be kind, they are fighting for our rights!
"Never too Young to Save the World."

Copyright © 2019G-Souto'sBlog,®

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November in Review & Youth Stand Up for Human Rights ! by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Schools : E.T. Holiday Reunion : a commercial ? Why not !

A Holiday Reunion
XFinity, 2019

Christmas Season approaches. So well, this Thanksgiving, E.T. did more than  a 'phone home', he came home - at least for a little while...

The iconic extraterrestrial from Steven Spielberg's 1982 hit movie E.T. appeared in a new nostalgic Xfinity commercial shown last Thursday. And at over four minutes long, it's a lot like a super-short sequel to the Oscar-winning movie.

A Holiday Reunion
XFinity, 2019

The short film brings E.T. back to Earth, where he shows up at the home of his old pal Elliott, played by a now-grown Henry Thomas, 37 years after the two met in the film. 

"A lot has changed since you were here," Elliott says, and that's an understatement.

After 37 years, E.T. comes back to visit his friend, Elliott, for the holidays. During his stay, E.T. learns that Elliott now has a family of his own and that technology has completely changed on Earth since his last visit.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Steven Spielberg, 1082

E.T. was the most popular movie of the 1980s. Me and my kids went to the movies. And everyone cried at the end with this touching story between Elliot and the lovely allien E.T. (called E.T., condensing Elliott’s own name).

It humorously and movingly portrayed grade-school kid Elliott (Henry Thomas), feeling lonely during his parents’ separation, as he develops a friendship with an alien from outer space.

A Holiday Reunion
XFinity, 2019

E.T. meets Elliott's family and learns about Earth's new technology (XFinity commercial), including a freaky virtual-reality dinosaur game. 

Using a device of his own, E.T. shows his Elliot an image of his own far-off family. 

And there are plenty of nods to the original film, including E.T. maintaining his love for Reese's Pieces, the flying bike scene, and Elliott's son wearing pajamas that look like those his dad wore in E.T. 

A Holiday Reunion
XFinity, 2019

The ending, while a bit sad, is a sweet completion of the holidays are for reuniting with family theme that runs through the ad.

"The audience is going to get everything they want out of a sequel without the messy bits that could destroy the beauty of the original and the special place it has in people's minds and hearts," (...) "It's really a win-win."

Henry Thomas

Fans seem to think so, too. In 16 hours, the YouTube version of the ad had been watched more than 1.8 million times.

A Holiday Reunion
XFinity, 2019

The extra-terrestrial is a squat, brown-skinned, wide-eyed creature with whom white-American suburban-boy Elliott experiences telepathic empathy: psychological projection made real.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Steven Spielberg, 1082

E.T. was instantly beloved. Coming after the cornball antics of Star Wars, "it raised the stakes of what popular cinema could express and tapped the universal need to be understood." 
Spielberg film made the process of identification that accompanies a child’s personal growth and maturation seem almost magical.
However, there are some critics. No matter the commercial, will be a lovely resource to bring back the real E.T. to our days children at school

Although some criticism, the commercial brought back some of the magical of the real movie E.T. by Steve Spielberg.
Why not to include it into your school curriculum as a motivation to explore the Narrative into E.T. by Steven Spielberg. 
It will be a lovely resource to bring back the real E.T. to our days children at school and watch how Steven Spielberg’s iconic movie came back to life for Xfinity’s holiday short story after 37 years.
Teens love technology, right?! It will be interesting to complete the narrative in E.T. with the make of Family Reunion.

Remember, everything is possible when we want to have the attention of our students into the school curriculum! The important is how you will introduce new staff into your lessons and how to explore it in a pedagogical way. 


Copyright © 2019G-Souto'sBlog,®

Creative Commons License
Schools : E.T. Holiday Reunion : a commercial ? Why not ? bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.