What adults can learn from kids …

“A child prodigy is someone who, typically before 15 years old, shows abilities comparable to those of highly skilled adults in specific fields.” – Adora Svitak, TedEd

Andrew Solomon, a writer and lecturer on psychology, politics and culture, wrote an article in the New York Times entitled “How Do You Raise a Prodigy?”.

Andrew Solomon

Anne Frank was one of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust. She gained international fame posthumously after her diary was published which documents her experiences hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II.

Ruby Bridges is known as the first black child to attend an all-white school, William Frantz Elementary School, in the South.

A seven-year-old boy, Charlie Simpson, raised £120,000 in donations and gift aid for Haiti earthquake relief by cycling five miles around a local park in London.

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Kids Design Glass Program at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington invites children 12 and under to stretch their imaginations and create original designs based on the artwork displayed at the Museum. Utopia is the state of a perfect world. It is also a work of fiction and political philosophy by Thomas More published in 1516 that pictures an ideal state where all is ordered for the best for humanity as a whole and where the evils of society, such as poverty and misery, have been eliminated.




To this day … for the bullied and beautiful

Shane Koyczan is an award-winning Canadian poet, author and performer. You may recognize him from the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics where he wowed a live audience of over 60,000 people (over 1 billion world wide) with his piece “We Are More.”

Opening ceremonies Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

We Are More

Did you know that there is actually a day designated for anti-bullying awareness?

Anti-Bullying Day (a.k.a. Pink Shirt Day) originated in Canada and is best known in North America. It takes place on the last Wednesday of February or the second Thursday in September. It originally started as a protest against a bullying incident at Central Kings Rural High School in Nova Scotia, when a grade nine student, Charles McNeill, arrived at school wearing a pink shirt. On Anti-Bullying Day, many of those who participate wear pink to symbolize a stand against bullying.

Bullying.org‘s purpose is to prevent bullying through education and awareness. It provides educational programs and resources to individuals, families, educational institutions and organizations. It makes online learning and educational resources available in order to help people deal effectively and positively with the act of bullying and its long-lasting negative consequences. Be more than a bystander. Learn how you can confront bullying and teach others to do the same. Much of bullying stems from a widely misunderstood sense of self and others (especially where sexual orientation is concerned).

The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. The It Gets Better Project‘s mission is to communicate to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth around the world that it gets better and to create and inspire the changes needed to make it better for them.

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Read the New York Times article which says, “One way to better identify real bullying is to listen to how teenagers themselves describe their interpersonal conflicts.

“Bullying is a particular form of harmful aggression, linked to real psychological damage, both short and long term. There are concrete strategies that can succeed in addressing it — and they all begin with shifting the social norm so that bullying moves from being shrugged off to being treated as unacceptable. But we can’t do that if we believe, and tell our children, that it’s everywhere.” – The New York Times

Most teenagers can identify bullying, but they can also distinguish it from what they often call “drama,” which, the researchers Danah Boyd and Alice Marwick have shown, is an accurate and common name for the ordinary skirmishes that mark most children’s lives. In fact, it’s drama that’s common, and bullying, properly defined, that’s less so. “Sometimes, bullying stops when we all become just a little more open minded.

Havard Commencement – J.K.Rowling

To learn about J.K. Rowling’s life, her presence in the press, her honors and awards, and her charities, visit her website: http://www.jkrowling.com/

To learn about Harry Potter, visit J.K. Rowling’s newest site, Pottermore: http://www.pottermore.com/

You can also read this in-depth interview conducted by Oprah Winfrey: http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/The-Brilliant-Mind-Behind-Harry-Potter

Rowling admits that one of the most formative experiences of her life came from her earliest day job working in the African Research Office at Amnesty International.  Visit the website to learn more about the organization that informed much of what she would later write in Harry Potter:  http://www.amnesty.org/en

Questioning the universe: Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking is the former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge and author of A Brief History of Time, which was an international bestseller. Now Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at Cambridge, his other books for the general reader include A Briefer History of Time, the essay collection Black Holes and Baby Universe and The Universe in a Nutshell.

Could there be intelligent life on other planets? This question has piqued imagination and curiosity for decades. Explore the answer with the Drake Equation — a mathematical formula that calculates the possibility of undiscovered life.

On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched the satellite Sputnik and, with it, an international space race. The United States and the Soviet Union rushed to declare dominance of space for 18 years, until the two countries agreed to a more collaborative model. The real winner? Science. Jeff Steers describes the history — and the benefits — of the space race.

If you were to orbit the Earth, you’d experience the feeling of free fall, not unlike what your stomach feels before a big dive on a roller coaster. With a little help from Sir Isaac Newton, Matt J. Carlson explains the basic forces acting on an astronaut and why you probably shouldn’t try this one at home.

Before the lesson, you can watch Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscars Acceptance Speech.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s 2016 Oscar Acceptance Speech

Climate change and global warming have significant observable effects on the environment. Learn how reducing, reusing, and recycling can help you, your community, and the environment by saving money, energy, and natural resources.Top climate scientist James Hansen tells the story of his involvement in the science of and debate over global climate change. Watch his TED talk about his key insights into our global climate — and how he inspired a generation of activists and scientists.

James Hansen: Why I must speak out about climate change

An Inconvenient Truth is a 2006 documentary film directed by Davis Guggenheim about former United States Vice President Al Gore’s campaign to educate citizens about global warming. Learn how an organization can develop a greener culture.

Do clouds increase the effects of climate change or decrease the effects of climate change? Watch this from Princeton Science Action and find out! Do aerosols affect precipitation? Can you create your own Sketchnotes on this video?

Here are some great websites you can visit to learn more about climate change:

Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (EPA)

Climate Kids: NASA’s Eyes on the Earth

A Student’s Guide to Global Climate Change (EPA)

Here are some great videos to watch to learn more about climate change.

Climate 101 with Bill Nye (Climate Reality)

Formation of Fossil Fuels (Earth: The Operators’ Manual)

Six Decades of a Warming Earth (NASA)

Arctic Sea Ice 1979-2012 (NSIDC)

Climate Change is Simple: David Roberts (TEDx Talk)

Here are more TED-Ed Lessons about climate change and the environment:

Our Changing Climate

The unexpected math behind Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”

Students can learn recursion algorithms to create the Koch curve using Scratch for free. Educational technologist Dylan Ryder has also written about creating fractals.

“Recursion is the process of repeating items in a self-similar way. Recursion can be implemented in Scratch by making a block that uses itself. This can be used to create fractals. A fractal is pattern that produces a picture, which contains an infinite amount of copies of itself.”

A beautiful app worth checking out is Starry Night Interactive App by media artist Petros Vrellis. Download it to your tablet and create your own version of Starry Night.

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Turbulence, unlike painting, is mostly a time-dependent phenomenon, and after some time, breaks statistical self-similarity that Kolmogorov predicted in the 1960s. To learn more about Kolmogorov’s predictions, Terry Tao provides a great overview of Kolmogorov’s power laws for turbulence.

“Many fluid equations are expected to exhibit turbulence in their solutions, in which a significant portion of their energy ends up in high frequency modes.” – Kolmogorov’s power laws for turbulence

In fluid mechanics, since we can’t often solve the equation for flow patterns, we develop a system of scaling between the physical properties. This is called dimensional analysis.

There are a few articles that outline patterns of turbulence in Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

Flow by Philip Ball (p. 164-178) provides an excellent overview of the concept for a broad audience.



“The book describes fascinating phenomena such as turbulence, which still defies complete scientific understanding; the principles of symmetry-breaking; and how chaotic behavior emerges in systems.” – Goodreads.com

Nature.com featured this article: Van Gogh painted perfect turbulence.

“Physicist Jose Luis Aragon of the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Queretaro and his co-workers have found that the Dutch artist’s works have a pattern of light and dark that closely follows the deep mathematical structure of turbulent flow.” –  by Philip Ball, published on Nature.com

Discover Magazine in 2006 featured another article on this topic called A Turbulent Mind. Learn how accurate Van Gogh’s turbulence was in his paintings.

“According to José Luis Aragón of the National Autonomous University in Mexico, Van Gogh’s famous spiral brushstrokes are near-perfect renderings of turbulence. From the largest visible swaths of paint to the tiniest strokes, Van Gogh’s brushwork seems instinctually guided to simulate river eddies and cloud rotations.” – by Kathryn Garfield, published on discovermagazine.com

Finally, this article entitled: Troubled Mind and Perfect Turbulence, gives a great description of several of Van Gogh’s paintings. It also discusses how the impact of the painting on the viewer was measured using the concept of luminosity.