[ASC-list] Fwd: A science communication challenge austscicomm13.bloodnok at recursor.net exclusive)

Marina Hurley info at writingclearscience.com.au
Mon Dec 9 22:58:03 UTC 2013


Thanks for the comments and advice (both off and on list).

It is a good principle that if you can explain something to a four year
old, you can explain it to anyone. Yes we need more school teachers! Would
someone with a background in quantum electrodynamics be a good teacher of
pre-school children? Different people can teach in different ways. Also a
parent is always a teacher bringing different skills to the process. I
worked as a research scientist for 20 years (zoology and ecology) and my
son was eight while I was doing my PhD (on stinging trees) and I really
enjoyed explaining how plants and animals work. However physics is not my
background and I struggle with the concept of explaining how a mirror works
to my grandson because I don't really know myself.

Over the weekend we chose some xmas tree baubles and talked about the
difference between the shiny one and how it worked better as a mirror than
the opaque red one and we also talked about how come mirrors dont work at
night. He enjoyed the conversation but I felt that I hadn't answered his
question sufficiently. My xmas holiday project perhaps.

cheers

Marina

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <austscicomm13.bloodnok at recursor.net>
Date: 10 December 2013 08:33
Subject: Re: [ASC-list] A science communication challenge
austscicomm13.bloodnok at recursor.net exclusive)
To: marinahurley at gmail.com



Apologies, Arran, but I don't think your response helps.

I'm not sure how to respond to someone who seemingly has little
understanding of teaching/learning and developmental progression, or of
communication fit for audience and purpose.

We are referring to a 4 yr-old in this instance but my comment holds good
for other levels too. I've actually written such activities.

...and I'll refrain from responding to your generalised comment about
teachers; I tend to be bit sensitive at this time of the morning!


Anne


Sent from my ASUS MeMO Pad

austscicomm13.bloodnok at recursor.net wrote:

Hi,

I can't post to the list unfortunately.

I definitely agree with Anne that we need good science teachers; but
explaining _how_ mirrors work is probably beyond the (technical and science
communications) abilities of many physics graduates; it's unlikely a
schoolteacher would have the background to explain it.

Most science teachers can probably give the (descriptive) laws of optics,
but explaining why these laws hold requires a good knowledge of quantum
electrodynamics (QED).

If I recall correctly, Feynman gives a good explanation of mirrors, using
QED, in the *Feynman Lectures on Physics*.

Hope that helps.

Cheers,

Arran



On 8 December 2013 21:24, Anne - asemple at netspace.net.au <
austscicomm13.bloodnok.3403a58e7f.asemple#netspace.net.au at ob.0sg.net> wrote:

> ...another good reason why we need good teachers who can teach science &
> of course hands on!
>
> Sent from my ASUS MeMO Pad
>
> Chris Forbes-EWan <forbes-ewan at tassie.net.au> wrote:
>
> Or you could take the angle of Star Trek technical adviser Michael Okuda
> when he was asked by Time magazine: ‘How does the Heisenberg compensator
> work?’
>
>
>
> He responded: ‘It works very well, thank you’.
>
>
>
> Chris Forbes-Ewan
>
>
>
> 19 Hedley St
>
> Scottsdale Tas 7260
>
>
>
> *From:* ASC-list [mailto:asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au] *On Behalf Of
> *Justin Coleman
> *Sent:* Sunday, 8 December 2013 12:46 AM
> *To:* asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
> *Subject:* Re: [ASC-list] A science communication challenge
>
>
>
> Indeed, a tricky one to answer, Marina.
>
>
>
> My angle for these incidents is usually self-reflection.
>
>
>
> Cheers
>
> Justin
>
>
>
> Dr Justin Coleman MBBS FRACGP MPH
>
> President, Australasian Medical Writers Association
>
> +61 433 824931
>
> president at medicalwriters.org
>
>
>
>
>
> Message: 1
>
> Date: Sat, 7 Dec 2013 12:10:22 +1100
>
> From: Marina Hurley <marinahurley at gmail.com>
>
> To: asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
>
> Subject: [ASC-list] A science communication challenge
>
> Message-ID: <EBB444D0-6F65-42EC-B8CD-889F63C75A2D at gmail.com>
>
> Content-Type: text/plain;            charset=us-ascii
>
>
>
> Hi there,
>
>
>
> Yesterday my 4 year old grandson asked "how do mirrors work"? Any takers?
>
>
>
> Cheers
>
>
>
> Marina
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> ASC-list mailing list
> list at asc.asn.au
>
> http://www.asc.asn.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=97&Itemid=115
>




-- 
Dr Marina Hurley
Lecturer & Consultant
*Writing Clear Science *
Visiting Fellow, Faculty of Science, UNSW
P.O. Box 2373
Richmond South
Victoria 3121
Mobile +61-416-09-7979, Fax +61-3-9421-3472,

info at writingclearscience.com.au
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