The material science of building a light sail to take us to Alpha Centauri


It has been about two years since Yuri Milner announced his most audacious piece of science-focused philanthropy: Breakthrough Starshot, an attempt to send hardware to Alpha Centauri by mid-century. Although the technology involved is a reasonable extrapolation of things we already know how to make, being able to create materials and technology that create that extrapolation is a serious challenge. So much of Breakthrough Starshot’s early funding has gone to figuring out what improvements on current technology are needed.

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A fascinating article about how science students can benefit from courses in the humanities.

science and humanities

Monday was the first day of Dartmouth’s Spring term. So, as I often do at this time, I started teaching my course for non-science majors called “Understanding the Universe: From Atoms to the Big Bang.”

This is what students like to call a “physics for poets” class — a class that explores the history of how humanity has confronted some of the deepest questions we can ask about the material world and our place in it, without the math. It is a class that tries to capture the true spirit of the liberal-arts education, mixing the sciences, the humanities, and the social sciences as different and complementary ways of knowing the world and why we matter. In fancier words, as an intellectual history of physics and astronomy, the class requires that scientific thinking be contextualized culturally, so that students can situate the ways in which some of the most revolutionary ideas in the past 2,000 years emerged when they did.

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5 Simple Strategies to Save More Money This Year


Money doesn’t come easy, and unfortunately, neither does understanding it. Whether it’s a past-due bill or a mountain of student-loan debt, most of us have to contend with financial issues on a daily basis.

And our savings rates are looking pretty dismal. At the end of last year, the personal savings rate in America dropped to just 2.4 percent,its lowest level in more than a decade. With economic issues like wage stagnation and a shaky stock market, people might be less inclined to save, but saving is still important.

There are plenty of methods, strategies, and rules of thumb to help you reach your money goals. That said, all of the options might be overwhelming — perhaps you don’t even know where to start. Don’t worry, we have you covered.

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Kids Learn Why Bees Are Awesome


Bees are vital to the world’s food supply. To educate schoolchildren about the importance of honeybees, the Sweet Virginia Foundation is using a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on experience. The kids get up close and personal with the insects, donning beekeeper suits and actually interacting with a buzzing hive.

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Helpful information for people considering teaching school as a career.



Teachers and professors have a wide variety of responsibilities, including developing classroom curricula, teaching courses, proctoring exams and helping guide students toward academic success. Although all teachers have the same basic work functions, their jobs may vary significantly depending on their classroom placement and specialty.

Teachers can choose between several classroom settings, and the students’ age helps determine the direction of their instruction. The most common teaching levels are elementary, middle school, high school, early education, special education and post-secondary education. Some teachers might also choose to work with students in online courses.

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Retired instructors reflect on changes in nursing education

Connie Meloun

For 50 years, Gadsden State Community College has been a leader in nursing education in northeast Alabama. During this time, the College has seen a lot of changes – cutting-edge technology; a competitive program; an increase in student applications; and a rise in the number of faculty required to teach nursing practices.

In 1967, Gadsden State had a class of 11 students who were taught by two faculty members – Sister Anne Joachim Hogan and Gayle Adams Hawkins. Today, the nursing program has a total enrollment of 353 students and a faculty of 18 instructors.

“There have been many changes at Gadsden State,” said Brenda Holman, a retired nursing instructor. “During my time, campuses changed; names changed. We saw a lot of growth but, what stands out to me is how proud the community has always been of Gadsden State. We have always been a community-based school. Everyone has a connection to Gadsden State, and everyone loves Gadsden State.”

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An intriguing way that science is being taught to elementary school students in Florida.


In elementary schools throughout Miami-Dade County, students snack on cranberry hibiscus during class and eat lemongrass-infused rice in the cafeteria.

They help grow the fresh fruits and vegetables themselves in on-campus gardens.

School staff incorporate the crops into lunch menus and send them home with the kids in “harvest bags.”

But the gardens don’t just feed the community. They also help improve students’ science achievement, according to the Education Fund, the nonprofit in charge of the project.

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A fascinating article detailing the best scientific pictures of 2017.


The spectacular total solar eclipse that swept the United States dominated headlines as it delighted scientists and the public alike in August 2017 (the above image of the Moon transiting across the Sun was taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft in the extreme ultraviolet spectrum). The year also brought innovations in spaceflight and surprising insights into species past. Here are the striking shots from science and the natural world that caught the eyes of Nature’s editors.

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Preparing for kindergarten, and beyond: Early education meets a variety of needs


There are a number of reasons people choose to put their young children in child care. For some, it’s about preparing children for kindergarten and beyond. For others, it’s about ensuring children are cared for while parents and guardians are at work.

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What is innovation, and how can we awaken its dormant traits and cultivate them?


While education may not be able to create innovative traits in individuals, education may improve the ability of individuals to utilize the traits they already possess. To that end, the authors begin by defining innovation and identifying the characteristics, traits, and thought processes of innovative individuals or groups of individuals and the environments that they exist in. The ultimate goal will be to develop an educational process whereby individuals would learn how to fully utilize the traits they have and awaken traits that are dormant.

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