About This Blog

 Copyright 2011 | About this blog


This is why we tell stories. This is why we teach. To pass a piece of ourselves to the next generation—so that the young can aspire to cross frontiers none have crossed before.

—Dr. Jeff



This blog is for anyone who gets joy from learning and aspires to know. To visit this space, you just need to be open to the possibility that science, the majesty of the universe, and the nature of our home world Earth can be presented in an exciting new light.


Blog on the Universe (take a peek) was originally designed to help teachers of science and math—and parents—make science an adventure. But its broader appeal is obvious. If you’re human—and you’re willing to connect with the innate curiosity within you—this blog’s for you.


And please visit the Friends of the Blog page for comments from, and links to organizations that are excited about Blog on the Universe. (You might want to add your organization!)


The Approach

I’ve created five different flavors of Blog posts, each with its own spin on learning. Read about each of them: Dr. Jeff’s Weekly ChallengeDriving with JordiTeachable Moments in the NewsDr. Jeff’s Jeffisms, and Dr. Jeff Speaks Out. If it’s Monday you know you’ll get Dr. Jeff’s Weekly Challenge, or a solution to the previous week’s Challenge, and I’ll generously sprinkle the other flavors of posts in throughout the month.


Getting Emotional About Science

Whether you’re just an intrigued visitor, a grade K-12 classroom teacher, a museum or science center educator, or a parent exploring our world with your child at home, this blog is committed to conceptual understanding at an emotional level. It’s about getting you emotional about science, and providing experiences that might help you become a passionate advocate for both science education and good stewardship of our planet (if you’re not already.)


What? You don’t believe you can get emotional about science? You don’t believe that it can inspire, and launch the dreams of a next generation? You might want to hear from some parents, teachers, and kids I know.


Every week I’ll give you conceptual nuggets you can use to foster deep and inspiring discussions with friends, students in the classroom, and with family at home; that reflect the interdisciplinary nature of learning; and breathe life into science, math, and exploration. I’ll call on my 25 years of experience making the nature of the world understandable to students, and teachable by teachers, so we can take a ride to the frontiers of human exploration—together. Hang on!


Posts Versus Resource Pages

The Blog’s Posts are all accessible (arranged by subject and month) in the Archives of Posts found in the right column. An archive is also available for each of the five flavors of Posts, and provided at the bottom of these pages: Dr. Jeff’s Weekly ChallengeDriving with JordiTeachable Moments in the NewsDr. Jeff’s Jeffisms, and Dr. Jeff Speaks Out. These pages are also found in the right column in the section titled About This Blog.


Besides the Posts, this Blog also includes Resource Pages which are essays I’ve written to address larger topics than covered in a Post, e.g., The Nature of Our ExistenceThe Power of Models (my biased opinion—every teacher of science should read this one), Scientists and Engineers as Heroes, or The Art of Teaching. These Pages are all found in the right column in the section titled Dr. Jeff on Stuff—The BotU Resource Pages.


You’ll also find Cool Resources Lists in the right column with separate listings for teachers, parents, and community leaders.

Teachers’ Toolbox

This Blog is filled with wonderful content for the classroom and for experiences at home. To make the content as accessible and usable as possible I created the Teachers’ Toolbox. It includes a Teacher’s Lesson Planner where you’ll find a list of all the Posts sorted by general category, e.g., Solar System, and for each Post I’ve provided the essential question, the concepts covered, the learning objectives, required math skills, and any special features. The idea is that you can scan the Lesson Planner and right away see what Blog content is relevant to what you’re teaching in the classroom or at home, or just get great ideas for new lessons.


The Teachers’ Toolbox also includes Teachable Moments in the News—QuickLinks, allowing you to easily and rapidly bring current and compelling science news stories into the classroom—in a manner relevant to the curriculum—using the power of this Blog’s existing library of Posts and Resource Pages.

Subscribing or Registering

Subscribe to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post something new. If you Register to get an account on this Blog, you have more options for e-mail notifications, and you can also post a profile.


Following me on Web 2.0 and Presentations for Your Community

You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook for the low-down on posts to come, and what I’m up to—which might be something going on in your area. Also—if you’re interested in exploring a presentation for your community, read the Where in the Universe is Dr. Jeff? page.


Opportunities for Sustainable Programs for Your Entire Community

Finally, Blog on the Universe is an initiative of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, a Project of the Tides Center. I’m the Center’s Director. Our mantra—


We believe that it takes a community to educate a child,…

and a network of communities to reach a generation.


So … check out how you can bring one of our programs to your community through our To Earth and Beyond initiative—whether it’s a professional development workshop for teachers, visits by scientists and engineers to grade K-12 classrooms—where students hear firsthand about what it’s like on the frontiers of exploration, or an event for families and the public. You might also want to explore two of our national initiatives that provide programming for an entire community—the Voyage National Program for a permanently installed replica of the Voyage scale model Solar System on the National Mall in Washington, DC, (see our Facebook page with photo-albums of Voyage in different communities) and Journey through the Universe for sustainable programs to engage grade K-12 students, their families, and their teachers—across an entire school district.


Ready to have some fun?


Dr. Jeff Goldstein, Center Director




visit Store Galactica, supporting programs of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education

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