Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Stanford University’

Do you ever read Kevin Lewis’s Sunday Globe column, “Uncommon Knowledge”? He covers new research in the social sciences. Thanks to him, I learned about this study on helping minority boys get engaged in education.

“A disproportionate number of students struggling academically are minorities, ” he writes. “Can we do better?

“In what they claim is the first credible study of the effect of an ethnically grounded education, researchers at Stanford analyzed the effect of a ninth-grade course offered in several San Francisco public schools covering ‘themes of social justice, discrimination, stereotypes, and social movements from US history spanning the late 18th century until the 1970s’ and requiring students ‘to design and implement service-learning projects based on their study of their local community.’…

“The researchers found that taking the course ‘increased attendance by 21 percentage points, GPA by 1.4 grade points, and credits earned by 23 credits (or roughly four courses).’ They call the results ‘surprisingly large effects,’ which were concentrated among boys.”

The paper, by Thomas S. Dee, and Emily Penner, is The Causal Effects of Cultural Relevance: Evidence from an Ethnic Studies Curriculum.” It was posted at the National Bureau of Economic Research in January.

More here.

Photo: Stanford University
Teacher David Ko instructs an ethnic studies class at Washington High School in San Francisco. A Stanford study found students benefit from such courses. Here, Ko is explaining an assignment about the role of advertising in reinforcing cultural stereotypes.

Read Full Post »

If you happen to be in the jungle with nothing but paper, a ball lens, a button battery, an LED, a switch, 3 cents worth of copper tape, and a need to see if there is E. coli in the drinking water, you’re in luck! You can make your own microscope.

Writes Keith Hartnett at the Boston Globe, “In recent years there’s been a trend in international development work towards building low-cost versions of key tools for widespread dissemination—inexpensive computers that let Indonesian fisherman check the weather before they go out to sea, or clean-burning stoves that replace coal and improve air quality in family huts.

“Now a laboratory at Stanford University has introduced a microscope that’s made of paper, assembled using principles of origami, and costs less than $1 to manufacture. It’s called Foldscope. …

“Despite the simple construction, Foldscope is a capable tool of real science. Users can adjust the focus using paper tabs, and the engineering team, led by bioengineer Manu Prakash and funded in part by the Gates Foundation, explained in a paper [PDF] that Foldscope ‘can provide over 2,000X magnification with submicron resolution.’ ” More. Hat tip to MIT Technology Review.

I wonder if I could get a gig folding paper at John’s Optics for Hire. I just made an origami fortune-teller for John’s son on Saturday, after all.

 

 

Read Full Post »