Welcome to sciencelearntech!


As a newbie blogger, the high-order intent of setting up the sciencelearntech site is to connect to the work I’ll be doing as I participate in the upcoming BlendKit 2012 course and share some of the instructional projects we’re doing at the Department of Physics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.  But, I’ll freely add material from farther afield, and any content that I find relevant and interesting, professionally and personally (for all values of “interesting”).

My background is Chemistry and Russian Language (double BA, no graduate work).  But after three years at The Ohio State University Medical Center, plus over ten years of supporting the instructional side for Physics – well, you pick up a few things along the way about science education and how students do (or do not) engage with content particular to the sciences.  Hopefully, what I’ve done and am doing will help others in the instructional community – and I’m a firm believer that when it comes to education and computing, I’ll share any information and experience I’ve managed to snag along the way.

Thanks for reading!


Team Buckeye/Cycling Club Training Ride – May 17, 2014

Please join Team Buckeye and Cycling Club for the next joint Saturday training ride!  We had about 60 riders at our first featured ride on April 19, so let’s make this one even bigger!!!  New launch location is courtesy New Albany Parks & Recreation, for which we are grateful!

RIDER SUPPORT is provided by the roll: bike shop— please thank their team members and patronize their stores in Upper Arlington, Bexley and Polaris!!!

WHEN:  Saturday, May 17, 2014

LAUNCH LOCATION – NEW!  – This ride will launch from Bevelhymer Park, north of New Albany.  This is a beautiful 145-acre complex for sports and recreation.  Please park in the RED ZONE, 7875 Peter Hoover Road, New Albany, OH  43054, on the EAST side of the Park.  Restrooms are available a short distance away.

LAUNCH TIME: Arrive 7:30AM for 8:00AM launch.  Pre-ride briefing at 7:50AM by ride leaders.

DETAILS:  Maps will be distributed at the start of the ride.

This ride will have two routes from which to choose:

RIDE #1:  26 miles.  We will ride to Johnstown, taking the bike path to Alexandria and return.  This is a primarily flat ride on country blacktop and partly on blacktop bike path.  Restrooms and stores for water and snacks are available in Johnstown and Alexandria.  This is a “Club” ride, which means no minimum speed, and no one left behind!

RIDE #2:  45 miles.  We will ride to Granville via Johnstown, returning via a southerly route on Hollow Road.  This is also a primarily flat ride, all on country blacktop.  Restrooms and stores for water and snacks are available in Johnstown and Granville.

We will support a “B” pace ride group (which means a riding pace of 18 mph+), and a “C” pace ride group (which means a riding pace of 15 mph+).   “A” riders are welcome as a self-supported ride.

Please RSVP to teambuckeye@osumc.edu with the following information:

  • Name
  • Cell phone # (for last-minute changes due to weather, emergencies, etc.)
  • Ride route choice (#1 to Alexandria or #2 to Granville)

May is a wonderful month to get out and ride – please join us!!

WHAT TO BRING:  RIDING HELMET IS REQUIRED.  Additionally, please bring your water bottles, driver’s license or other ID, health insurance card, emergency contact info, cell phone, sunscreen and sunglasses/eyewear.

SOCIAL MEDIA:  Please take pictures on your phones before and after the ride, and email them to TeamBuckeye@osumc.edu – we want to post them!

Thank you, from your ride organizer, Larry Lewellen (614-580-5040)

GPX Files:


NOTE: please download the file, change the extension from “.doc” to “.gpx” before uploading to your computer/GPS.

Team Buckeye/Team Huntington Training Ride – June 7, 2014

Please join Team Buckeye, Team Huntington and friends for a co-sponsored training ride, presented by Team Bob Evans.

These rides were a great success for 2013, so we’re scheduling these again!  This is a wonderful opportunity for training as well as a great way to meet fellow riders from both Huntington Banks and The James Cancer Hospital who are passionately involved with Pelotonia.  Let’s have a great Team Buckeye showing for this ride.

WHEN: Saturday, June 7, 2014. Registration from 7:00-7:45AM; please arrive at Bob Evans by 7:30AM; ride briefing starts at 7:45AM.

LAUNCH LOCATION:  8111 Smith’s Mill Road, New Albany, OH 43054 – turn right into West parking lot (this location is the Bob Evans Corporate Headquarters, site of the Pelotonia Saturday 100-mile Lunch Stop). (Map is here.).

DESCRIPTION:  Three route options for all Pelotonia Riders!  Full SAG support, water/rest stops ($5 SAG donation suggested)

  • 19-mile route (route map) – ride launches at 8:30AM
  • 39-mile route (route map) – ride launches at 8:15AM
  • 57-mile route (route map) – ride launches at 8:00AM

WHAT TO BRING:  RIDING HELMET IS REQUIRED.  Additionally, please bring your water bottles, driver’s license or other ID, health insurance card, emergency contact info, cell phone, sunscreen and sunglasses/eyewear.

CONTACT: Keith Hazelton, Team Huntington (keith.hazelton@huntington.com; 614-359-9717) or Larry Lewellen (Larry.Lewellen@osumc.edu;

RSVP:  [RSVP links will be provided closer to the actual ride date]


Go Read This …

I think I’m about to launch into a series of posts where I simply say, “Go read this!!”

First one – Elizabeth Coleman, President of Bennington College, absolutely nails it in the July/August, 2013 issue of “EDUCAUSE Review”  (yep, I know; I’m a bit behind on my reading material).  Her article, “Technology Innovation and Improvisation: Rhetoric and Reality” beautifully voices concerns I’ve had for years about our presumption that technology will always win out when it comes to changing the world.

Over the past years, I’ve shifted professionally from being a straight-up systems administrator into wearing learning technologist and project manager hats.  All along the way, I’ve been concerned that in too many instances, it’s been all about the technology, and not about actually solving evidence-based problems in how we teach at the higher-ed level.  So, I very much appreciate Dr. Coleman’s take on the issue.  I don’t think I’m a Luddite – far from it.  I appreciate technology, and take huge satisfaction in bringing a well-thought-out and well-executed plan (which happens to include technology) to bear on a task.  What I do want to see in my field is less oversimplification about the extent of issues to be addressed, and less reliance on technology as a great panacea.  (“Oh, just wait – we’ll get The Big Technology Solution in just a few years/months, and all those issues will be solved.”)

So, go read this article.  And, if you’re reading this post, tell me what you think!

Solstices, Equinoxes, and Astronomical Cross-Quarters – Oh, My!

I missed the actual date, but figured I’d post this anyway – this is sciencelearntech, after all….

diagram of astronomical cross-quarter daysFor 2013, October 31 was the o-feeshul midpoint between the Autumnal Equinox (which occurred on Sept. 22) and the Winter or Southern Solstice (which will occur on Dec. 22 of this year).


Simple explanation: equinoxes are the points in the calendar when the plane of the Earth’s equator passes the center of the sun.  It’s also the point when the earth’s axis isn’t tilted either toward or away from the sun.  Check out Wikipedia’s article on equinoxes – it’s decent reading.  And any planet with a significant tilt of its axis can have an equinox – it’s not an event restricted to the Big Blue Marble on which we live.

So what’s a solstice?  Solstices happen twice a year, too – when the sun reaches it’s “highest” or “lowest” point in the sky, above the horizon, when viewed at local solar noon.  (I’m using the terms highest and lowest, with the assumption that reference points have been defined – in physics, we always define our system of reference!)  As we chew through the calendar, there’s an observed movement of the sun’s path with the seasons – until it comes to a stop and then reverses direction.  That stopping point is one of the two solstices observed each year.  The annual equinoxes and solstices are tied to our observance of winter, spring, summer and fall.

… and that’s your bit of science for the day – carry on…

A Capella Science … Adele meets the Higgs…

Tim Blais of the YouTube A Capella Science channel has posted a nicely done clip with his own lyrics about the Higgs boson, done to Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” … hmm, makes me wonder if we could get Ryan Murphy to do a science-themed episode on Glee this season …