Here’s a fun scientific thought for you. A beer can (or soda can) one-third full of liquid will stand on its indented angle. The new fad in several microbreweries is to have glasses shaped like beer cans because it’s familiar to hold and can stand on this angle. Try it next time.
HAPS President-elect Tom Lehman reporting in, still traveling through the United States this summer in search of inner peace and balance, while also seeking out family, friends, bike trails, golf courses, and (of course) microbreweries. During weeks 3-6 of my 10-week summer trip, I drove from western Washington to central Minnesota. I didn’t run into many HAPSters during this part of the trip, but I did get to let my mind wander on a number of topics.
One topic is traditions. I visited several of my high school classmates this summer for our 30th class reunion in Fort Benton, Montana (“The Birthplace of Montana”). The town has created an annual tradition – Summer Celebration – where all of the class reunions are held the weekend before the 4th of July, surrounded by art shows, 5K run, town parade, golf tourney, fireworks over the Missouri River, and a street dance. It’s one of the best weekends that you could ever experience in small town Americana.
Small towns and big cities have their shares of traditions, but so do educational environments. We’ve experienced traditions of lab designs (e.g., dissection, microscopy), lecture modes (e.g.,PowerPoints, case studies), and course designs (face-to-face, online, hybrid). However, there are always new ideas coming up that may become traditions on their own. Murray Jensen is a leading HAPSter in field of POGIL (we had a very impressive seminar on this topic at the Vegas conference this summer). Our list-serv and even this blog have lit up with discussions of “flipping classes”. It’s rewarding to build new traditions while keeping an eye on current traditions. That’s one of the best things about HAPS to me; how we’re so excited about new ideas and how they can benefit our students.
As I’ve traveled across the upper stretch of the US, I’ve thought about seminars and workshops from the HAPS conference. I’ve become excited about how I can incorporate these ideas into my current curriculum, fueled by beautiful scenery and exercised-induced endorphins. This is so much better than stewing in my office.
As I head southward from Minnesota to Missouri, I leave you with this thought. Exercise your mind this summer. See what traditions you enjoy in your class, what traditions you can lose, and what traditions you can start. You might be surprised where the thoughts take you.