Thursday, May 21, 2009

National Board Certification Re-takes

Last Monday I retook two sections of my National Board Certification exam. And I think I did really well. Yay!

I retook the sections about Breadth of Knowledge and Connections in Science. In case you're in a similar position, here's what I did.

Some National Board Certified science teachers recommended that I read Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. It's wicked long and mostly focused on biological subjects, but it certainly felt thorough. I learned tons and felt like that was pretty decent studying. Another book that was recommended but didn't have time to read was Science Matters by James Trefil. Bill Bryson's book took me like three months to complete, but ironically some of the best studying I did was within 24hrs of the test.

I found a short list of "major themes" in science and then attempted to relate each of these themes to the three sciences I don't teach: bio, chem, and earth sci. Just this mental exercise helped immensely as some of the connections I thought of turned out to be exact questions on the test. So there we are. *whew*

Next November will tell if I was right!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Montpelier Public Wi-Fi

What if Montpelier provided free wireless access to the entire city? That'd be sweet, right? NYC can do it, why not us?

Well, if my memory serves me correctly, we already voted on it on town meeting day and gave approval for someone to go ahead and do it. My understanding is that there wasn't money set aside for the project, but that basically we gave them permission to include it in our taxes.

Only thing is, no one's done it yet.

Is this an opportunity for some highly geeky physics? This could be a super sweet project for a bunch of geeky kids to take on.
Where do you put wireless routers?
What signal strength would be needed, or what is the radius of each router?
Are there places that lend themselves more easily to router placements than others?
How much with this cost? and the biggie:
How much backlash will we get from Comcast?

What if it was a municipally own/regulated utility like water or electricity? It's like extending the library into people's homes.

Now we've just got to make sure that we're not inadvertently destroy bee populations with wireless devices, and maybe sort through the censorship issues raised by state-sponsored internet transfers of porn. Hmmm... this is sounding messier.