What would your dream school be like?

I would love to be a teacher in a small, public school that serves the families in an urban neighborhood. The school would be exempt from standardized tests, and would use digital portfolios to promote and graduate students. The school would have about 432 K-12 students and about 40 staff members, which is small enough for these adults to meet and plan together as a whole group. There would be 6 teams with 4 full-time teachers, one team-leader, and one counselor. The remaining 4 staff members would share school-wide leadership responsibilities. The teams would be responsible for a range of four traditional grades: K-3, 2-4, 3-6, 5-8, 7-10, 9-12. Each team would be responsible for 72 from the 4 grads they are responsible for. Promotion from one team to another would be based on demonstration of specified outcomes at each of the six levels.

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
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We are heading for a New Cretaceous, not for a new normal

The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.

Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA
Surprising Science

A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.

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New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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