THOUGHTS on STEM EDUCATION


When one enters the technical field (also known as STEM), there are certain guiding principles that are significant for one’s success. The biggest factor is having appropriate and good role models or mentors. Truth being, it is very hard to lift oneself with one’s bootstraps. The worst is the ‘dumbing down’ that mainstream media portrays as real science or who scientists really are.

For a lot of us, our teachers throughout the formal education process are and were good role models. It isn’t too hard to find a good role model—the main trick is to overlook what you or I might perceive as flaws. In my years of observing human behavior, everyone has ‘clay feet.’ No matter how perfect on the outside, we all battle demons or will fall prey to fads or fallacies from time to time.

To borrow an ‘oft-turned phrase,’ we should keep our eyes on the prize. All too often, that prize resembles an ideal that is ‘borrowed’ from dreams, goals, aspirations and noblest part of ourselves. Once one loses sight of the prize, you or I will find the flaws and discouragements inherent to any undertaking.

The reasons for my seeking and attaining my BA—are fairly mundane in hindsight: I wanted to make a difference. However, as young man or any young person, it is too easy to lose sight. Life is full of distractions and our current media-driven society makes it very difficult to keep a long chain of thought on anything but tomorrow—let alone how one can make a difference in life.

Perhaps, it is best put—what would you want your best friends to say about you after all is said and done—

 

John

SilentAstronomerII

Panspermia is a topic that falls into and out of favor often. It is not that there is no substance to the paradigm, revolutionary and normal science will find other ‘grails’ worthy for investigation. However, the present research problems surrounding panspermia deal in areas of survivability–can life survive long periods of radiation and an extreme cold–or can life survive the multi-megaton impact upon reaching Earth?

Perhaps one measure of how life’s molecularity can survive cometary impacts is the near-extinction event of early Earth history. Dinosaurs became extinct when a large NEO impacted the Yucatan peninsula. Generations afterward, the first mammals took over the Earth–life didn’t quite resemble the previous generations. Genetic analysis seemingly points towards an abrupt but distinct lineage. Thus–it may be posited that life’s molecular nature, once established, is not readily displaced from its ‘beachhead.’

With this prefatory comment in place, I now discuss the issue of comets…

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