Thursday, November 25, 2010

It gets worse...

More "science" from the NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards:

5.3B: Matter and energy transformation: Food is required for energy and building cellular materials. Organisms in an ecosystem have different ways of obtaining food, and some organisms obtain their food directly from other organisms. [So far so, good...]
By the end of Grade 4


Almost all energy (food) and matter can be traced to the Sun.
No, it can't.

The sun is hydrogen busy fusing into helium. Maybe the committee meant "Almost all food (energy and matter) can be traced to the sun." Still not quite correct, but not blatantly wrong.

The sun is not massive enough to go supernova. It's not going to meld protons into carbon or oxygen or any number of other elements essential to life. It will make lots of helium, which is good for birthday parties, funny voices, and the Large Hadron Collider, but it's unlikely we'll ever get it, unless Earth getting eaten up by a red giant counts.

We are made of elements produced by unimaginably energetic events, exploding stars much more massive than our local sun.

Anybody in Trenton paying attention?

The photo shows the remnants of a supernova, a composite photo made using a 48" telescope,
found here at NASA's "Astronomy Photo of the Day"

Michael Heinz and Lisa Solmose have worked hard to improve things here in New Jersey.
I've met them both, and they both are bright and personable, faced with a daunting task.


Anonymous said...

it's not going to go well in your committee, is it? can we start a pool on how long you last? I give it 3 meetings. (it doesn't matter whether you leave in disgust or are ousted.)

doyle said...

Dear Anonymous,

I think it's going to be great!

I now have an idea what the elementary teachers are up against--we simply need to develop a curriculum that dodges the misconceptions. I think it will be fun!

3 meetings is plenty for solving anything, if done right. I won't leave in disgust--not my style. I'm a happy idiot.

None of us will be ousted--we have a common goal.

I rarely look forward to meetings, but I can't wait to get started with these.