This month’s Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE) goes to The Universe Online, a program developed by researchers M. Jordan Raddick and Alexander S. Szalay at Johns Hopkins University. An essay on the program can be found in this month’s issue of the journal Science. From the essay:
Modern science is advancing at an unprecedented rate, and the amount of scientific data is doubling every year (1). These data have sparked a revolution in the way astronomy is practiced. No longer are scientists forced to wait months for access to a telescope to learn about the night sky; instead, entire research projects can be accomplished with online data sources. Representing modern astronomy, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) has made its entire data set available through an online portal for public use as an educational resource and to invite volunteer contributions to scientific research.
I have been named to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) Technical Committee overseeing NFPA 1051, the Standard for Wildland Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications! The NFPA develops, updates, and distributes codes and standards focused on reducing the threat and impact of fire as well as other hazards. NFPA’s codes and regulations are adopted around the world, and are widely recognized as a professional standard. I’m excited about the opportunity to engage in the code development process. NFPA 1051 was last updated in 2007, and the next update cycle is scheduled for 2012.
Photo credit: NFPA
On August 20th, 1910, Ranger Ed Pulaski was working with forty-five men to try to stem the advance of the Great Idaho Fire, or the Big Blowup. After a hot, dry summer, there were wildfires burning throughout the west. Ranger Pulaski and his crew were overtaken by flames as they worked to control a fire. Pulaski led the crew to an abandoned mine shaft, where he famously stationed himself at the mouth of the shaft and drew a pistol, promising to shoot the first man who tried to escape. All but five men survived the fire, which went on to burn 3 million acres.
Photo credit: Rachel C. Smith 2004 All rights reserved
This month’s Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE) goes to MIT OpenCourseware. An essay on the program can be found in this month’s issue of the journal Science. From the essay:
As the global economy increasingly demands an educated workforce, school systems in the United States and abroad find themselves overwhelmed by student demand. Particularly in the developing world, there are not enough seats in classrooms with qualified teachers to make high-quality education opportunities available to every student. In places ranging from China to India to Turkey, only a small percentage of qualified students are accepted into university programs, especially those in science and technology fields. Existing institutions are under enormous pressure, and the needs of talented and motivated learners are not being met. Making headway against these formidable challenges will require rethinking traditional educational approaches and will call for the use of innovative technologies to scale up global capacity for providing high-quality education.
The Switzer fellowships for 2010 have just been publicly announced, and two other students from U.C. Berkeley also received fellowships. Congratulations to Stacy Jackson from the Energy and Resources Group and John Urgo from City Planning. We made the U.C. Berkeley website on the 29th.