Imagine living a long, happy, healthy, and fulfilling life in harmony with all of nature. Imagine living every moment with the feeling of awe. The feeling that one sees in the bright eyes of very young children. Imagine life in which there is never a dull moment and each encounter is fresh and new.
That is my personal goal in life and my vision for my students. When we re-encounter the majesty of nature and take on the responsibility of caring for and growing living things, the awe and wonder that was present when we were young is given an opportunity to return.
Over the years, my teaching passion has consistently been focused on making my classes relevant and meaningful to the very real lives of my students. My scientific passion is ignited by the wonder and awe of the beauty found when I study the molecular basis of life. My other passions are described in more detail below.
Different philosophies for educational reform require flexibility of mind in order to meet the changing mandates required of teachers on a continuing basis. Thus this website has expanded and grown over the years.
What I have published represents a sample of my current and previous attempts to meet the needs and the requirements of all stakeholders, my students, their parents, my administrators, my fellow teachers and the greater community.
What you will find on this website
I've created this site to house student and teacher-friendly resources to learn science. AS my background is in protein chemistry and molecular biology, my website has a strong focus towards creating a progression of activities and lessons that serve as stepping stones to molecular literacy. Molecular literacy is a term coined to suggest a deep understanding of particle theory, interatomic and intermolecular attraction, kinetic-molecular theory, and how those all play a role in the self-assembly of biological macromolecules, in particular, DNA, RNA and proteins.
If you are a teacher, I hope you will find something you can use in your classroom.
If you are a student, I hope you will discover thing in science that will inspire a lifelong passion for learning.
If you are a parent, I hope you will find tools that can help you engage your children in one of the most fascinating subjects in science - the molecular basis of life!
It is vital for all of us to study and understand ecosystem concepts and sustainability. Anyone who has ever breathed in polluted air understands the need for fresh air. Anyone who has tasted foul water understands the need for clean fresh water. So it's not a far stretch to understand that since these are shared resources, our human species must cooperate in a way that allows earth's various life support systems to regenerate clean air and clean water sustainably.
These are fundamental to life and so is food. Unlike air and water, which are viewed as common shared resources, we have the ability to grow our own healthy food locally. That is why I have chosen to focus on this course on Sustainable Organic Food Production.
Authentic Science Research
Science consists of both content and practical knowledge. By taking on a problem from the real world, my students learn in an authentic way. Scientific content is not only discussed; it is also applied in practice.
As an example, in my courses, the study of chemistry and the nitrogen cycle comes alive in practice. Standard chemistry textbooks introduce the abstract notion of compound ionic species without of the context of the real world. Standard courses reinforce this abstracted information with paper and pencil activities involving the practice and repetition of writing ionic formulas. These exercises may lead to a memorized ability to write formulas, but do not guarantee a fundamental understanding of ionic species in water.
On the other hand, I have designed courses that introduce chemistry in context. For example, students use chemical tests to monitor water quality in order to keep fish alive. The ionic species they monitor include ionic species, such as, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate (NH4+ , NO2- , NO3-).
Beyond knowledge, I believe is important to develop a practical skill set that will allow my students to become self-reliant.
Humans have two basic needs: Shelter and food. Shelter allows the body to maintain it's internal body temperature. Food is needed to power up and repair of the living system. If you can provide both, you can become self-reliant. That is why farming has been one of the most successful human occupations throughout the history of humankind on earth.
However, farming requires lots of land and good soil. What if you live in the city? By understanding ecosystems, one can create a closed loop system that recycles water. A pump is used to circulate water between a fish (or shrimp) tank and a planting bed. Such systems convert fish wastes into fertilizer while creating a source of both animal protein and vegetables. These systems are compact, conserve water and grow food without soil.
As a social animal, to be truly happy, humans need to integrate into a human community, to be known, honored, loved and respected. Humans honor other humans when they recognize their status and contributions to the community. If you have a social purpose and contribute to the community, your status rises and you will find the respect we all desire.
Money helps as well. Money is a social signature of success and success is another avenue toward respect. However, money alone is unsatisfying especially if it is obtained at the expense of others. No one respects that, including oneself. On the other hand, money earned while contributing to the community is doubly rewarding.
All that to say, imagine growing an aquaponics business that provides food for yourself, for your family and/or your community. If done well, you'd make money and contribute to the lives of others? How would that make you feel?
And food production businesses are only one part of the aquaponics universe available for entrepreneurs. Think aquaponic landscapers, aquaponic system builders and installers, aquaponic scientists and engineers, aquaponic producers of floral essences, perfumes and herbal medicines. Why not? What is your passion? An entrepreneur converts their passion for life into a business with a healthy income stream.
So my dear friends, I teach with a strong purpose and vision in mind: Inspiring the next generation of problem solvers, who can use the practices of authentic science research in the context of living sustainably on earth.
I am designing my latest courses to expose students to ideas and practices for practical, healthy, joyful living. Ideas that have the potential for allowing each individual to achieve their life goals and reap the rewards of a satisfying life. Of course, a teacher can merely point the way, it is up to each and every one of us to travel our own road of life.
And so I leave you with the words from a beautiful Celtic song:
"May the long time sun shine upon you,
All love surround you,
And the pure light within you,
Guide your way on!"
Notice: Be aware that I no longer maintain the 9th Grade Honors Biology & Exploring Biotechnology section of this website.