Above, a tsunami surged over a seawall and deluged the Japanese city of Miyako.
From earthquake-resistant buildings to tsunami warnings, few nations are better prepared for disaster than Japan. Now, engineers have a central role in coping with nuclear plant meltdowns, seawall breaches, and widespread devastation caused by last week's huge temblor and destructive wave. The resilient Japanese can tap ideas both new--a giant robot that rescues victims from rubble--and old, such as using the venerable abacus to teach math. Our lesson brings tsunami and earthquake science close to home. See how well your engineers' structures shake, rattle, and roll.
|Lesson: Battling the Great Wave |
In these lessons and activities, students learn what causes a tsunami, the physics behind its movement, and how scientists know when one is forming. They can also study its impact on a model town, view tsunami-resistant house designs and learn about a young girl credited with saving lives when a tsunami struck Samoa.
Lesson: Tsunami Survival
Class Activity: Build an Earthquake-Proof Structure
|Feature: Revival of a Classic |
Forget graphing calculators. In Japan, a powerhouse of high tech, the hottest tool for learning math is a relic from Asia's preindustrial past: the venerable abacus. At a time when digital devices are blamed for making us "dumber," this original calculating device is more essential than ever, advocates say.
|K-12 News: Schools Flunk Under 'No Child' |
Education Secretary Arne Duncan warned last week that 82 percent of the country's schools soon could be considered failing if "No Child Left Behind" is not changed: "The law has created dozens of ways for schools to fail and very few ways to help them succeed," Duncan said.
To follow the Elementary and Secondary Education Act's overhaul, visit ESEA Watch.
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|Coming in June: ASEE's K-12 Teachers' Workshop
Saturday, June 25, 2011 in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. This day-long program for teachers and engineering educators from Canada and the United States offers a fast-paced and exciting overview of engineering education resources for the classroom. You'll discover valuable best practices, new contacts for collaboration, and the latest take-away tools for effective teaching about engineering education. Count on a full, fun and motivating day!
Our Facebook page for teachers is a great way to learn about contests, web resources, K-12 education news and lesson plans. It also offers a great way to interact with other STEM teachers across the nation--and around the world. Whether you're looking for a cool activity to engage your students or wrestling with rubrics, our Facebook community can help.
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