# Blogs

## Science Blogs

In math or science we come across terms such as inverse proportion and direct proportion. When two variables are directly proportional an increase in one variable causes an increase in the other variable. When two variables are inversely proportional an increase in one variable causes a decrease in the other variable.    Inverse Proportion: To illustrate inverse proportionality, I will use a common physics problem. Two golf balls are thrown down from a tall building at the same time and one ball has twice the velocity of the other ball. Which ball hits the ground first assuming only velocity is different?  We already know that velocity is approximately equal to distance / time. Let the velocity of the slower ball be v. Assuming only the velocity of the two balls is different, we can say approximately v = d / t. We can eliminate wind force, atmospheric force, and force of gravity since both balls will be affected equally. If you increase v,... read more

As the school year ramps up again, I wanted to put out a modified version of a Memo of Understanding http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memo_of_understanding for parents and students. It seems each year in the rush to get through the first weeks of school parents and students forget the basic first good steps and then the spiral downwards occurs and then the need for obtaining a tutor and then the ‘wish for promises’ from a tutor. Pay attention to your child’s folder or agenda book. A student is generally not able to self regulate until well into high school. Some people never quite figure it out. Be the best person you can be by helping your child check for due dates, completeness, work turned in on time. Not only will this help your child learn to create and regulate a schedule, it prevents the following types of conversations I always disliked as a teacher ("Can you just give my child one big assignment to make up for the D/F so they can pass"; "I am going to talk to... read more

Hi!   If you are interested in a healthcare career, I definitely encourage you to pursue it! Don't let the fact that you may still be in high school or that you already may have a career in another field, stop you from exploring the possibilities in healthcare. If you want to succeed in the competitive environment surrounding most healthcare careers, academic preparation is very important. If you have any questions related to healthcare, please let me know, and I will answer them or refer you to other resources. I love helping students in science and healthcare related studies!

Times are definitely changing in the world of education. Today, as with all things twenty-first century, there are no limits to a student's education. This is absolutely exciting since so many 'schools without walls' have adopted various technologies during the past few years to enable students excel academically. As an advanced tutor, it makes me dance in my shoes. Universities such as Harvard, Princeton, and MIT have posted several free virtual lectures for the average student on education applications via android devices, iPads, iPhones, and iPods. Today, I want to introduce some fantastic techniques to approach tutoring that will benefit the student who cannot meet physically with a tutor, or maybe a student who is in a town on one end of the United States while their tutor is at the opposite end of the map. Yes, tutoring can now be employed with the use of fantastic applications such as Skype and Scribblar. Skype: This is a tool by which a tutor can see his/her student... read more

I remember going to school and feeling like something was wrong with me because I was good at mathematics. Especially, since nearly every teacher felt the need to re-iterate how girls were not as good at mathematics as boys based on what ever random statistics at the time.   However, I excelled and kept going. I got a degree in mathematics. So, what made me different from all the other girls that got discouraged. Natural ability for mathematics; however, when I reflect that's not the whole story. As I went to college, there were other girls that were great at mathematics, but once again got discouraged. So, what made go on to pursue degrees is Computer Science, Mathematics, and Computer Engineering.   I got the same discouraging information as everyone else, but I kept going. Why?  1) "Fighter" Personality My personality is such that when someone tells me that I can not do something, then I wanted to fight that much harder to prove them... read more

I was just thinking about this questions yesterday. Being a scientist, the comment was made that when you love science, you love the exciting and you love the tedious. So, I have my five things... 1. Make it personal. I start by listening to the student and what gets them excited and what they are fearful of in that environment. For example: I have a Math student who loves basketball. He hates math and is very athletic. I ask him "what would you do to increase your free-throw percentage from 52% to 91%?" His response, "I would do anything!" But, he is bad at math on paper, so we come up with a way for him to track his free-throws, shooting percentage, overall efficiency, etc and he calculates these items. 2. Use Analogies. After listening to my student, I start putting all my questions in form that they will understand and love. The student starts forming their own questions because they have learned how to think rather than have a blank... read more

As you may know, I am a big fan of the well-known author and brain specialist, Dr. Daniel Amen. He mentions in several of his books that Physical Exercise is good for the brain. I have read of research studies that showed a clear correlation between IMPROVEMENT in students' test scores in math and science, and their level of physical activity (for example, when math class followed PE class, the students had significantly higher scores). Maybe we should schedule PE before all math classes in our schools. What do you think about that idea? This morning I read an online article on the myhealthnewsdaily site, entitled "6 Foods That Are Good for Your Brain," and another article about how Physical Exercise helps maintain healthy brain in older adults too. The second article, "For a Healthy Brain, Physical Exercise Trumps Mental Workout" was found under Yahoo News. The remainder of this note is quoted from that article: Regular physical exercise appears to... read more

We all have one: that one subject that our brains just refuse to understand, and no matter how much we study or how hard we work, we never feel like we really truly GET what is going on.   For me, that subject was always Physics. No junior high or high school teacher could ever answer the unending string of "...but WHY?" questions that I needed answered before I could understand even the most basic concepts of our Introductory course. It wasn't that I couldn't understand, but rather that I wasn't being taught these ideas in a way that made sense to me.    As an adult, Physics is now actually one of my favorite subjects to read about because I have found some books written for people just like me, people who need explanations fulls of examples and explanations and lots of pictures! I may never discover black holes or split an atom, but I now know enough that I can understand the people who do those things. :-)     So,... read more

1. No one was born to lose. The best of my students understand this principle like the backs of their hands. No, there is no inherent genetic formula or organic compound you can use to get an A in a class. We are all products of our hardwork and investments. Whoever decides to put in excellent work will definitely reap excellent results. 2. Always aim for gold. Have you heard that there is a pot of gold lying somewhere at the end of the rainbow? It's true! Okay, I'm just joking, but my best students always aim for the gold. The very best. As, not Bs, or Cs, or Ds. Just the very best. The one thing people don't think they are capable of achieving is the best. The top of the class. Or the valedictorian. 3. Never settle for less. My best students are innovative, inquisitive thinkers. They tend to think outside the box, never settling for "just what they got from class." They love to use real life examples and explore how theory comes alive in their personal experiences... read more

A few years ago, I began to teach a noncredit science class at a local community college. One of the lessons was how to solve word problems. This is what the material gave us to teach the students. 1.Read questions carefully 2.Define terms, think about relationships 3.Identify key or clue words 4.Identify the problem to be answered 5.Analyze the problem 6.Plan a solution 7.Answer the question 8.Evaluate the solution Over time I began to realize that this was too much info to give, so I began looking for better ways to explain the process. I finally stumbled on an acronym that was simple and yet explain the steps in a concise way. The acronym was WORD which stood for: W- What does the question give you and does it want for answer (covers points 1, 3, 4) O- Organize the information. Most science questions have a distinct order to them that can either be organized or diagrammed to assist in ‘seeing the problem’... read more

Alegbra: http://www.nysedregents.org/algebraone/   Algebra 2/Trigonometry: http://www.nysedregents.org/a2trig/home.html   Geometry: http://www.nysedregents.org/geometrycc/   Math A, Math B, Integrated Algebra, Other Math: http://www.nysedregents.org/regents_math.html   Chemistry: http://www.nysedregents.org/Chemistry/   Earth Science: http://www.nysedregents.org/EarthScience/   Physics: http://www.nysedregents.org/Physics/

I am a High School Science Teacher and we deal with a lot of word problems that contain many variables that could fit into many different equations. Here is how I break down the content step by step for my students.      Physics Problem A box is accelerating across a frictionless surface. It is being pushed with 75 newtons of force and the has a mass of 10 kilograms. What is the magnitude of the box's acceleration?   1) You want to identify and label all variables presented to you in the problem.      Ex: F = 75 N, m = 10 kg   2) Identify and Label the Variable the question is asking you to find.      Ex: a = ?   3) List possible known equations that have the variable you need to solve for.      Ex: a = v/t            F = ma   4) Choose the equation that has variables that are known from the problem.  ... read more

My emerging tutoring passion is assisting ESL college students with their coursework. Most of them must also hold full-time jobs to support themselves and often their families as well. Many require online courses to get college educations. They could not earn a college degree any other way. Do textbook publishing companies realize how much cultural bias is written into their online ancillary (supplemental) materials? Do teachers of online college courses realize how hopeless these students feel about merely passing a class when their grades depend on online multiple-choice exams consisting of 60 items to be completed in 60 minutes (60 in 60), for example? This may be a subtle form of cultural bias, but bias it is. Frankly, as a native speaker of American English with a master’s degree in journalism from University of Wisconsin—Madison, I’m not sure I could pass a 60 in 60 exam. I would like to challenge the instructors who teach these online courses and college administrators... read more

I am new to WyzAnt.com and now I want to tutor you! For about 10 years now, I have been teaching subjects such as mathematics, physics, test preparation, and astronomy in higher education. I have helped students of various backgrounds understand these subjects. I have also used multimedia and technology to help students visualize some of the complex ideas that can come up in these fields.

Sometimes the same procedure shows up in two different contexts. This is especially common in the fields of math and science, as science employs in real-world application many of the techniques we learn in their abstract form in math class. For some reason, the principle as shown in a high-school science class is often much harder for students to understand than it was in the math class. (My personal theory is that science teachers are applying the concept in a way that changes how they explain how it works, and they probably have not collaborated with the student's math teacher to ensure they're reinforcing the same terminology.) Last week one of my students ran into this phenomenon in her own work; a concept from last year's math class showed up in her physics class. To help her understand it, we went back to the original math concept and talked about proportions. The science homework she was struggling with was the old chestnut about unit conversions; rows and rows of fractions... read more

I was asked this question recently by several mothers about which book (singular, not plural) they should get for their sons for their upcoming tests. To both of them I replied: "Get the Princeton Review edition of the book." And while I believe this to be the CORRECT answer, this answer unfortunately is misleading because what I actually want to say is, "Get ALL editions of the book." For example if there is a Barron's version, a Kaplan version, a Princeton Review version, etc. etc. of AP Chemistry, then I would advise the moms to get ALL of these books for their sons (assuming of course that they'll read them). The reason is because one book doesn't have enough practice problems. From experience, after reading the first test preparation book or textbook, the student will have a rather hazy outline of the subject material. Books 2-5 make the outline clearer. Most students don't begin to really understand the subject until around Book 7. And that's the reason... read more

Are you having some difficulties with your math or science class? Many students have this feeling at some point during the semester. Unfortunately, most of them think that the new chapter will be starting soon and then everything will be ok. While this might be the case, math and science are two subjects where the material builds from chapter to chapter. Missing a key formula or concept in one chapter can really affect how the rest of the semester goes. So don't wait too long to get some help. Maybe all you need is one or two sessions with a tutor to clear up a concept. Hiring a tutor doesn't have to be a long term commitment. But if it turns out that more help is necessary, you've made a great decision in starting early. Remember, it is better to have a tutoring session early and clear up any misconceptions than to feel like you need to learn a whole semester of material in a day or two before the final.

Math is all around us. We use math to calculate the speed of the earth rotating about its axis. We use math to calculate the radius and height of a water tank to store enough water for a town. We use math to calculate the amount of carpeting material to purchase for our houses, and we use math to calculate the amount of fabric material to purchase to sew a pillowcase for our pillows. This means that you cannot run away from math. Even the dosage of painkiller medicine that your body needs depends on your weight and the use of math. I have another example of the applications of math in our everyday lives. Movie theaters like any other for-profit business, have a budget with expenses and income columns. In order for the movie theater to break even, it needs to sell a minimum amount of tickets. This movie theater needs to sell a minimum of 100 tickets as the sum of the of tickets purchased. Also it needs to make a minimum of \$100 from the sum of the tickets purchased in order to break... read more