DB_3 Assignment

The new news DB #3

I grew up on radio and still use it more than any medium. I read less and less as I age, and I dont have a TV and don’t like screens in general. When TV first came out, folks said it wouldnt catch on cus folks would have to sit in front of it and wouldnt get things done as you can with radio and folks would just vegetate – well, they got the second half right, except they didn’t realize people want to do that – and hence the growth of the coach potato. As well, the pictures are better on radio, cus they are built out of your imagination. And imagination is the most critical skill to cultivate in children, as only with imagination can we empathize with others and understand their condition. If we judge the world from only our viewpoint, we will only judge and condemn others, not understand them. The TV (and subsequent visual platforms of the computer age) has destroyed our society. Just look at the damage done to politics, where people vote based on looks. The presidential debates have been a clear example, starting with the first televised debate between Kennedy and Nixon, where radio listeners said Nixon clearly won the debate cus of his grasp of content, but the TV viewers saw Nixon a sweaty used-car salesman and Kennedy as the pretty boy. With all of us glued to screens so much today, we must learn to close our eyes and listen.

So for this week, let’s explore some radio science. Here are some of my favorites (please add to the list any of your favorites). Visit each of the sites below and some of those further below in the summaries of last year’s DBs. Choose a show or two to listen to and report out. Or sample a range of shows. And do something useful while listening – do that pile of dishes or just close your eyes and relax, how about a nice walk.

https://www.deprogrammedradio.com/  has a number of sites, my favorite being https://www.deprogrammedradio.com/radio-shows/science/grok-science-show  – Grok science has real scientist in conversations that make them seem like ordinary people, which is great way to demystify science for your students. And many of them are young people who talk in the modern lingo.

http://web.archive.org/web/20200714170230/http://www.radiocurious.org/  – you will find science, environment, health, etc. subcatagories on the left.

a classic show: https://www.sciencefriday.com/

of course, NPR https://www.npr.org/sections/science/?t=1602867947190

Also, encourage your students to visit the world thru radio. You can listen to thousands of local radio stations from around the world via the internet. Great way to learn language and culture. Great way to prepare for visiting places. I listen to NZ radio for two years before visiting NZ, and when I got there I knew more about their current events than most of the kiwis. This really smooths your acceptance into a society.

So grab your Walkman or boom box – OK I am old (actually, in my day it was a transistor radio) – and head to the woods!

For part two of this DB, we are going off the screen resources we have discussed and look at objects for your classroom. Charts, picture books, nonfiction, some fiction, toys (equipment). Obviously your room should be full of living organisms (plants and fishbowls). By choosing succulents and hydroponics (plants rooting in water!) you can have plants that can survive for several weeks without you. Terrariums, like the plant fishbowls, can also last a month without you. Thus, these are the ways to go for schools where you cannot access your class over holidays. You will also never have a student that is allergic to plants, whereas many a science teacher’s hamster display has to be removed.

Unfortunately, most biology classrooms are dead and ugly. Your classroom should teach without you being there, thru fascinating items and beautiful student work. I will introduced you to fishbowls and weatherglasses and other metrological items, such as the Galileo thermometer and the Fitzroy weatherglass. Thus this is good time to get going on those projects in your ship’s log. Many many other items are also dynamic and interactive, not the dull posters of anatomy, plastic brains, pipe cleaner mitosis models, or whatever other dusty items junk up most class rooms. Why, just a simple metal puzzle can work their minds and can be a great behavior modification tools. Get things in their hands!! Magnets and compasses (yes they have a great deal to do with biology!) and hand lens can be bought cheaply in bulk and given to students to take home and explore the world with. Jumping beans are more fun for an opening day one lab than you can imagine, though I dont see them around anymore.

So, for this DB, find one toy and one book (dont forget all the great picture books) that you would have in your class and tell us why. For the second posting, come up with other ideas to make your classroom a fascinating place for a student to hang out, perhaps student designed and painted murals, etc. Find some references about classroom design (Feng sui) and the aesthetics of science education (it is a whole field). Remember, things that you are enthusiastic about let you model for students your joy of learning. So, what can you display from your hobbies – or perhaps nature hikes, camping, etc.?

And if all you do for nature is walk your dog, like most hominids these days, you certainly could expand a science class discussion that starts with something rather common and mostly uncontroversial, dog breeding and training (well actually, . . . ), and then expand it to humans: The USA and Europe had university chairs in eugenics; and it was mainstream science that lead to Nazi Germany’s policies and USA’s polices on immigration and sterilization and housing and virtually all social policies, like psychology and EDUCATION!! The expediency of science allows cruelty in all modern institutions. How can you argue with standardized tests that lead to the closing of a school? – it’s just science. How can you argue with ranking children? as you will soon do! So check out:


And if you want the opposite point of view on how to make social policy, check out what Casals says about the expediency of fascism under Franco – towards the end of:

Here are summaries of the discussion board suggestions of resources made last year in 475.20 by your colleagues. The summaries provided by Qasim and Adebowale.

Would y’all like to read the full DBs? Given there are so few of us, you could join last years class, so to speak? Do you want to continue these DBs as is? EVERYONE answer these questions please. I aint wed to anything, given there are so few of us.

Discussion Board Summary

This discussion board encouraged us to think about our classroom environment that we plan to set up. We thought about games to have in class, what our classroom library will be like, among other things. Below, I’ve listed the ideas of our classmates. Use this as inspiration for when you design your classroom!

Toys/Games for Class

  • Animal figurines
  • Fidget toys
  • Playdough
  • Bendable wires
  • Mysterium
  • Codenames
  • Rubik’s cube
  • Puzzles


  • Succulents
  • Air purifying plants
  • Low-light plants (if classroom doesn’t get much light)        
  • In-class garden
  • Hydroponics
  • Fishbowls


  • Large picture books (e.g. of nature, careers, marine life, Illinois wildlife and plants)
  • Magic School Bus
  • Jane Goodall
  • Henrietta Lacks
  • Dianne Fossey
  • Bill Bryson
  • Aldo Leopold
  • Carl Sagan
  • Theodore Gray: Molecules: The Elements and the Architecture of Everything and The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe
  • Birds of Illinois
  • Fish of the Great Lakes
  • Books by Mary Roach (“not a scientist by training, but she will become interested in a topic and basically do a deep dive into the field.  She interviews a huge range of experts and goes to every important location she can in order to learn as much as possible.”)

Décor, Lighting, etc.

  • Student work on walls
  • Paintings (of nature if a windowless classroom)
  • Full range lighting
  • Blue cloth over lights to mimic sky color
  • Maquetas (scaled models, e.g. of ecosystems made by students)

Discussion Board Summary

This discussion board was about radio and podcasts. Below I’ve listed the suggestions from our class, separated into general programs and specific episodes that were suggested.

General Podcasts and Links

Podcast/RadioNotes from post
https://www.deprogrammedradio.com/radio-shows/science/grok-science-show  “Grok science has real scientist in conversations that make them seem like ordinary people, which is great way to demystify science for your students. And many of them are young people who talk in the modern lingo.”
The MothA lot of amazing stories about people and their experiences. Great for learning about other point of views and to have laugh, cry a little or even get mad sometimes.
Radio Ambulante  A Spanish version of This American Life but the stories are about Latin America
NPR’s TED Radio Hourguests come in and discuss in more detail their TED talks

Specific Episodes

EpisodeNotes from post
Radiocurious episodeAbout Charles Darwin
Science Friday à Faster COVID-19 testing podcast“…discussion about how we are focusing on the wrong thing when it comes to COVID testing.”
http://s3.amazonaws.com/scifri-segments/scifri202007104.mp3“…recent work on how she is teaming with the Field museum to digitalize artifacts and stories that currently aren’t viewable during COVID times at the museums…”
Groks Science Show à “Pediatric Advances”“…the discussion on infant mortality was very interesting.”
Science Friday à The Monster At The Heart Of The Milky Way“…17 minute foray into what may lie at the heart of the milky way, relativity, and a brief discussion on the relationship between science and cultural history.”
Science Friday à Episode from 9/4/20“….implications and future treatment for HIV/AIDS….second topic of this episode delt with urban forests as a mitigation strategy to climate change.”
climate-change-migration-crisis“….perspective as to how the economic cost of climate change and weather disasters will affect people in the coming half-century.”
Science Friday à The Marvelous Microbiome of Shipwrecks”“….episode centers around a WWII era shipwreck, so this would be an excellent way to tie in how humans leave their mark (and garbage) all over the natural world and how our most serious conflicts are just blips on the Earth’s unfathomably large timescale.”
This American life à 408: Island Time“…focuses on Haiti, the poverty that is still rampant, and the thousands (literally over 10,000) of well-meaning NGOs that fail to address the real problems (and often pose new problems).”

Discussion #6 Podcast Summaries

Below are the names of the podcast shows that our class listened to or recommended for us to look more into. Every show has had at least an episode listened to. I would not say any are bad podcast at all. There are some that have more written, due to the fact I have listened to them before the discovery of my professor and classmates listening as well. Some are science related, and a lot if not all of them collectively are life related. A great list to start a podcast collection. One not listed below, that I would recommend while I’m writing this, would be “The Breakfast Club” A great show, that interviews athletes and celebrities unfiltered and unapologetically black. Enjoy!

  • Grok’s Science show – I will be listening to this show more often. In leisure time or whenever to be honest! This podcast has a variety of science and health topics from different doctors and scientist. It was put together and meant for anyone no matter their background to nerd out on. They only release new episodes so often, but its worth it. Listening will have you look up things on your own on certain topics or points discussed.
  • Radio Curious – The Podcasts on here are extremely broad! It’s not just held to science. There are 20+ categories that you can choose from. The unique thing about Radio Curious, are the years of podcast available. There are some from over 20 years ago. It lays out a perspective and gives information from a time where you think to yourself how things are still the same or incredibly different, how could they think like that?” 

  • NPR (Science) – This Podcast reminds me of Science Friday, but its every day. The podcasts are more like a complete conversation, than a complete show, if that makes sense. The shows are on the shorter side, so you could knock out multiple in a car ride depending how long you are driving. I like the idea that there’s flexibility in the what they talk about science related. 

  • Joe Rogan Podcast– This podcast is not just science based at all. This podcast is great in the fact that Joe Rogan brings on any and every kind of guest and talks with them on their experience on a topic and what their interpretation may be. So, you are always learning or hearing about anything. For example, he’ll interview someone who does research with the drug LSD. That person will tell them their findings, and then most likely their own experience with the drug. Another example could be Ronnie Coleman the body builder. He would bring him on and ask about steroid usage, food consumption, etc. There’s absolutely no filter on this podcast, but you learn from a wealth of people. From Doctors to a celebrity. 

  • NPR’s TED Radio Hour – This is just like a TED Talk. Someone in our class mentioned that it’s a more in-depth TED talk, and I agree. If you like TED Talks, or have questions about a certain topic, I would suggest checking for that specific topic here to see if someone can answer your questions, or have had the same thought process as you. This podcast along with the Joe Rogan show would be a great road trip podcast in the fact that you would have plenty of talking points for those driving with you. 

  • Science Friday – I interpret this podcast as the grown-ups Magic School Bus or Bill Nye. A lot of great topics discussed. Mainly on something that’s happening in modern day. I would recommend to anyone who just likes learning science facts, or wants to keep up to date on science in any context. 

  • The Moth – This podcast I have limited experience with, but it seems to be the equivalent of a biography or 60 minutes type show in podcast form. Individuals are brought in to talk about and elaborate on certain points in their life. I personally like these podcasts the best, because I’m an avid biography reader who likes to see through the lens through other people. With social media being as big as it is, we tend to draw conclusions on people through judgement. 

  • This American Life – The American life is essentially what the name suggests. Tis podcast deals with a central theme going on in American life and then uses their platform to share their opinion on details regarding it. 

  • Sword and Scale- This is a darker podcast suggested by Anthony. I have not dealt to far into it, but from his perspective and through one episode, it’s for those who like dark murder mystery type stories. 

  • Nice White Parents – This has become a very popular podcast this year in particular. For me at least. It deals with the American school system and the impact of white parents. It has gotten a lot of criticism from white parents as you can imagine, but is a good podcast to listen to and just think on. In all honesty anything that deals with organizational problems to any capacity is fascinating to me. I would recommend it to anyone who especially doesn’t know much going on in schools today. 

  • Blindspot – This podcast is for anyone who is super involved with 9/11 and likes conspiracy theories. 

  • The Skeptics guide to the Universe– I liked this podcast, because it’s meant to critically think on established ideas in science. Someone in our class mentioned that their friend said it’s made to guide people to having more interest in Science, but I personally think where it holds value and is great, is due to the fact that it makes us as people think in general. In today’s microwave society, this podcast holds value and will make you say “Hm?” to yourself a couple times an episode. 

  • Radio Ambulante – Spanish Version of “This American Life” but stories revolve around Latin America.