For the New School Year – Repost of the “Art Of Teaching” as a Personal Thank You to Teachers

 Posted by DrJeff on September 5th, 2011

 Copyright 2011  |  About this blog


Jordi (from Driving with Jordi fame) learning how to skate a few years ago. He could count on his dad. He showed me when I should lead, and when he needed me to get out of his way. Now they call him rocket man.


This is crossposted at the Huffington Post HERE.


This essay “The Art of Teaching” was originally published April 15, 2009. I just revised it in support of the release of the music video  ‘We’ve Got to be That Light – A Gift For America’s Teachers”, which was the subject of the last post here at Blog on the Universe.


Let me know what you think of this essay! Leave a comment below or send me an email at


-dr. jeff



So here’s a thought. Track down an old teacher
that meant the world to you and tell them just that.



It’s a new school year and teachers are now back in classrooms across America. During these tough times I wanted to write something that might help inspire the new teacher, reaffirm to the seasoned professional why we went into teaching in the first place, and recognize the remarkable gift that teachers in our lives give to us all.


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Music Video: We’ve Got To Be That Light – A Gift to America’s Teachers

 Posted by DrJeff on August 25th, 2011

 Copyright 2011  |  About this blog




A heartfelt thank you to

teachers across America

for their unwavering dedication

to the next generation.


Teaching is the eternal bond between young and old that is at its heart—joy.







Symphony of Science Remix
Keynote Address “Science – It’s Not a Book of Knowledge … It’s a Journey”
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) National Conference
March 2011, San Francisco, CA


Dr. Jeff Goldstein, Center Director
National Center for Earth and Space Science Education


John Boswell
Symphony of Science



Is YouTube Blocked For You?
The video below is ported from YouTube, which is the best way to view it. But if you’re blocked from watching YouTube, you can download the video to your computer.
Download mp4 file (87.5 MB):



If this video moves you, and you have a desire to say how, you’re invited to leave a comment at the bottom of the page:)


Accompanying essay The Art of Teaching


Why We Made We’ve Got To Be That Light
America, what has happened to joyful learning for our children? Should that not be their birthright? What has happened to joyful teaching for our teachers? Have we as a nation lost sight of this noblest of professions, and its selfless calling?


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Tweetisms for the 21st Century – The Education Edition Part 2

 Posted by DrJeff on October 6th, 2010

 Copyright 2010  |  About this blog


I liked the “In our classrooms …” series of Tweets on October 4 so much that I came up with a few more:)


I wanted to share—


In our classrooms, the experience should mirror the interdisciplinary nature of life, and not the subject of the hour. 

In our classrooms, the joys of learning should wash over student AND teacher. 

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Tweetisms for the 21st Century – The Education Edition

 Posted by DrJeff on October 5th, 2010

 Copyright 2010  |  About this blog


Hi all-


I’m now back from the intensity of months spent creating and launching the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), with 25,000 students across the U.S. now designing real experiments to fly aboard the second to last Space Shuttle flight, STS-134, the flight of Endeavour in February 2011. Pretty cool, huh. The SSEP is designed to provide regular student access to SPACE for grades 5-12, and leverage that exciting opportunity across entire school districts. SSEP embraces the notion of STUDENT AS SCIENTIST.


A big favor to ask—PLEASE help us spread the word on the SSEP via your social networks. We want to make sure that the nation knows about this bold new national STEM education initiative. If you’re on Twitter, here are two Tweets you can just cut and paste!


UPDATE: Student Spaceflight Experiments Program Now in Full Swing, GO FOR LAUNCH –


How do you get kids excited about #science? LET THEM *BE* SCIENTISTS. And why not on the #SPACE SHUTTLE. #nasa


Speaking of Twitter, and to help me ease back into Blog on the Universe, below is a steady stream of consciousness on education that I unleashed on my PLN (Personal Learning Network) last night (October 4, 2010). I thought I’d share. If you’re a Tweep, by all means feel free to Re-Tweet any and all to your PLN. And if you think Twitter is not about education, and really just for folks that want to broadcast what they had for lunch (I call them lunchies), read my post at Huffington Post titled The Remarkable Power of Twitter—A Water Cooler for the 21st Century. I think it does a great job of providing a real understanding of social media for education, and the means by which these online environments allows us to reach out in meaningful ways to the world.


One review: “Kudos, Jeff. This is one of the best posts about Twitter I’ve read in a long time. You really describe it well, especially the best that it has to offer.”


Here now my Tweets last night—


In our classrooms, let’s not lecture, but instead, entice the gift of a question. #education #teacher #science #school

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September 8 and September 11: Joy, Pain, and Hope

 Posted by DrJeff on September 11th, 2009

 Copyright 2009  |  About this blog


This post is a Teachable Moment in the News.

This is crossposted at the Huffington Post HERE.


12:01 am, September 11, 2009


I’ll remember Tuesday September 8, 2009 for quite a long time. My Jordi turned 7. How can that be? It seems like only yesterday I took my wife Kathy to the hospital, both of us thankful that he wasn’t going to be born on September 11. And now he’s 7! —looking for experiences under every rock, challenging his mom and dad to keep up. He is just a joy to behold. He inspired this blog.


Last Tuesday, it wasn’t just his birthday, it was his first day back at school. He was giddy with excitement when I drove him to school. He was going to see all his classmates he’d missed all summer. I walked him to class and he was bouncing off the walls. He also was given a gift that day. He sat down with his school and listened to the President of the United States, who spoke of the power of education.  He spoke of a student’s obligation to themselves, to their family, and to their country. He spoke to Jordi and his generation, and challenged them to reach within themselves and aspire to do great things. I believe deeply in those words. I also believe in those that tirelessly and patiently nurture our children so they can indeed aspire to great things. I believe in teachers. I am so very thankful for Jordi’s teachers, and my daughter Jada’s (an important future post for me). And I remember my own teachers that long ago invited me on a journey of a lifetime. So I did what I could do as well. I’m not sure how (it wasn’t planned that way), but an hour after the President spoke, my essay appeared at Huffington Post, titled The Art of Teaching – In Tough Times, a Thank You to Teachers Everywhere. It was my way of saying thanks.


There are threads through moments of time.


Today is September 11, 2009. It was 8 years ago that I watched President Bush talking to an elementary school class in Florida at the beginning of their school year. I remember that moment when he was interrupted with news beyond comprehension.


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THE SOLUTION TO Weekly Challenge 3: What Can You Do With a Humongous Piece of Xerox Paper?

 Posted by DrJeff on June 23rd, 2009

 Copyright 2009  |  About this blog


Read Original Challenge HERE.


This post is a Dr. Jeff’s Weekly Challenge and a Dr. Jeff’s Jeffism.

Last week on BotU, your challenge was to take an imaginary, truly humongous piece of xerox paper—but with normal xerox paper thickness—and figure out how many times you’d need to fold it in half so the folded thickness is the height of you, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and Mount Everest. For those that really wanted to challenge themselves, I invited you to keep folding so it would be thick enough to reach the Moon, the Sun, the nearest star, and beyond.

How’d you do?

BUT WAIT! If you haven’t yet read Weekly Challenge 3, DON’T LOOK AT THE SOLUTION HERE JUST YET! First read Weekly Challenge 3, or I’ll take back my paper.

First, a word from our sponsor—

You Want Me To Do What With a Bathroom Scale?

Weekly Challenge 4 to be posted Monday, June 29, 2009

Other Posts coming soon:

A Voyage in Corpus Christi

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, History Tells How Far You Are

Lessons of Earth

MESSENGER: Target Mercury

And now the answers—

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Weekly Challenge 3: What Can You Do With a Humongous Piece of Xerox Paper?

 Posted by DrJeff on June 15th, 2009

 Copyright 2009  |  About this blog



This post is a Dr. Jeff’s Weekly Challenge and a Dr. Jeff’s Jeffism.


Math is the language of nature. If you yearn to know

how she operates, you must speak her language.


Before getting to the awesome challenge this week, I need to get something off my chest. It’s something very relevant to the challenge, but you might not think so at first—


My first language is English. I have very strong beliefs about how English should be taught in schools. I guess I’m a traditionalist. I also think that my views apply to how any language should be taught in schools around the world.


I think English belongs in English class. Period. You want to speak and read and write English, well do it in an English class. It doesn’t belong in a history class, or a science class, or for that matter a class on economics, art, sociology, psychology, or the law. Let’s keep English where it belongs. It’s just a language. So no English in those other classes. Just sit there and learn the concepts, nuances, big ideas, and emotional content of those subjects through …. osmosis. Think your thoughts toward other members of the class and share brain waves. And please, please … when you do this—DO NOT THINK YOUR THOUGHTS IN ENGLISH!


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