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Debbie Mickle

Articles by Debbie Mickle

Nature: Survivors of the Firestorm

The bushfires that tore through the Australian state of Victoria in February 2009 incinerated over a million acres of land, including key mountain ash forest ecosystems. Fires are a natural force of nature which spur regeneration, but the immediate aftermath of this giant firestorm was devastation. By the time the fires subsided, 173 people had lost their lives, over one million acres of mountain ash forest had been destroyed, and countless animals had perished. The overwhelming firestorm was one of the worst in the country’s history, and came to be known as Black Saturday.

Celebrate Pi Day, March 14th - What’s Pi All About?

The Science Museum of Virginia is ready to get a little irrational about Pi in hopes to make your knowledge of this tasty number a bit more well rounded. On Wednesday, March 14, from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. celebrate the first three digits of Pi, 3.14, on March 14 – also known as 3/14 with a day filled with some pie science.

She shoots! She scores! Rat Basketball?

She has the hoop in sight, she runs, she shoots she scores! The basketball flies through the hoop and so does the small furry player, one of the stars of Rat Basketball at The Science Museum of Virginia. Amazing basketball skills are not something rats are born with, so how does Laura Kramer, the Chief Rat Wrangler, and her team of trainers use science to get these small basketball players to compete in the game?

Watch the video to learn about the science of rat basketball.

Problems can be FUN!

Ever thought that solving a problem could be fun? The Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement (VISTA) uses problems – and how we can solve them – as a fun and effective way to engage teachers of grades 4, 5, and 6 and their students in studying science. This approach is called problem-based learning and is the focus of several VISTA summer teacher training programs at universities across Virginia.

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