Join HAPS– for the conversations!

The HAPS Discussion group (also known as HAPS-L and before that as “the listserv”) is the place where the most interesting conversations in A&P are happening.  This discussion group has hundreds of members, is very active, and has often features amazingly high level conversations among leaders in the field.  This group was started in 1998 as an email listserv, and some still call it that, but it is a modern discussion group with email preferences and a web archive.  The HAPS discussion group is open to all current HAPS members and is one of the most valuable perks of membership.

This week, one discussion revolved around the most accurate classification of bone types. In this discussion, Mark Nielsen (University of Utah Anatomy Professor and winner of the 2017 HAPS-Theime Excellence in Teaching Award) shared multiple illuminating contributions to the conversation. Check out the excerpt below…and then imagine having content like THIS delivered to your email box on a regular basis.

WOW, there is a lot of interesting discussion going on here, this is one of the nice things about the HAPS listserve. It is always great to share and discuss. While I agree with many of the sage comments about classification and “does it really matter because the bones do not care or know where they fit in the scheme of things”, it is still important to recognize that there is correct and incorrect within a classification scheme. Following is the bases of the classification scheme:

Long bone = what is the one characteristic shared by long bones that none of the other bone types have, one thing and one thing only, a medullary cavity, and yes all the phalanges, even the small distal phalanges have a medullary cavity, as does the clavicle. The following bones have a medullary cavity:

  • clavicle
  • humerus
  • radius
  • ulna
  • metacarpals
  • proximal phalanges of hand
  • middle phalanges of hand
  • distal phalanges of hand
  • femur
  • tibia
  • fibula
  • metatarsals
  • proximal phalanges of foot
  • middle phalanges of foot
  • distal phalanges of foot

I believe someone stated that long bones are characterized because they have a diaphysis with proximal and distal epiphyses. This is not true. Many long bones only have epiphyses at one end and not the other. This is the case for many of the phalanges. Again, the characteristic that defines a long bone is the presence of a medullary cavity. Besides, many bones have epiphyses – for example, short bones and irregular bones have epiphyses.

Short bones = are characterized by a core of spongy bone with an outer covering of compact bone. They typically have a length, width, and depth that are approximately of equal dimensions. The carpal and tarsal bones are placed in this category.

Flat bones = the true flat bones of the body all reside in the skull, but the ribs are also often considered to fall in this category because their bone structure is similar to the flat bones of the skull. These are bones that are characterized by external and internal tables (laminae) of compact bone sandwiching dense trabecular diploe, the diploic spaces of the trabecular bone being filled with hemopoetic red marrow in the living subject. This would include the parietal bones, frontal bone, squamous portion of the occipital bone and temporal bone, sutural or wormian bones that are ossification centers that never fused with the fore mentioned bones.

Most of the remaining bones did not fit into one of these three categories. Like the short bones and flat bones all the remaining bones had an outer covering of compact bone and an internal core of spongy bone and no medullary cavity, but they were not short and they were not flat. This led to the next category that became the catch all:

Irregular bones = a variety of bone shapes consisting of an outer covering of compact bone and a central core of spongy bone, with some bone surfaces that are so flat and thin that they lack spongey bone completely e.g., the scapula, ethmoid. Most of the other bones fall in this category – vertebrae, the bones of the facial skeleton and inferior cranial vault bones, hyoid, malleus, incus, stapes, and the scapula and os coxae.

The final category is the sesamoid bones = these are bones that form within tendons. In human anatomy they are similar in bony structure to short bones but have a unique classification as sesamoid bones because of their location within tendons. In some other vertebrates they are very long slender bones within tendons.

One other recognized category is a pneumatized bone. These are bones that contain air spaces within their cores and can overlap with other categories. For example, the frontal bone is both a flat bone and a pneumatized bone. The ethmoid bone, sphenoid bone, and petromastoid part of the temporal bone are both irregular bones and pneumatized bones.

So there is a logic to classification and it is not a random thing that we can bend to our whims. We now have the choice to ignore it or teach it correctly.

So if you’re a HAPS member, by all means, join this discussion group. And if you’re not a member, JOIN HAPS so you can join the discussion group. (Then adjust your email settings, because most HAPSters have experienced the infamous “blown up email box” that results from some of the more rigorous conversations! Thankfully, executive director Peter English wrote a blog post with instructions for doing just that.)

Gene Targeting into the 21st Century: Mouse Models of Human Disease from Cancer to Neuropsychiatric Disorders

This post describes an update seminar delivered by Dr. Mario R Capecchi at the 2017 HAPS Annual Conference in Salt Lake City.


Update seminar VI was a special one, given by Nobel laureate, Mario Capecchi. Having survived World War II in Italy, in part as a homeless orphan, Mario’s life story is a fascinating one.  He went on to become a graduate student at Harvard in the lab of the Nobel Prize winner and co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, James Watson.  In 2007, Mario Capecchi, now at the University of Utah, won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly with Oliver Smithies and Martin Evans for their work on gene targeting. The ability to create knock-out mice is widely used to this day and has been a valuable means of mapping gene function.  Mario’s research talk at this year’s HAPS conference focussed on his current work which involves characterizing the different roles that the HOX gene family of transcription factors play during mouse development.  While most HOX (homeobox) gene members are involved in controlling embryonic body plan development in a cranio-caudal manner, Greer and Capecchi (2002) found that Hoxb8 plays a unique role in the mouse’s grooming behavior.

Most animals, including humans, perform some type of auto-grooming and in mice, a cephalocaudal pattern occurs, where the head is groomed first and the tail is groomed last.  Many regions of the brain including the brainstem appear to be involved.  Greer and Capecchi (2002) found that mice with a homozygous Hoxb8 complete loss-of-function knock-out, exhibited over-grooming to the point of hair loss and formation of deep lesions. The deep lesions suggest that the mice also may have reduced sensitivity to painful stimuli.  These mice spent twice as long grooming as wild type mice and also over-groomed their control littermates to the point of inducing hair loss.  Interestingly, in humans, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) often manifests as excessive cleanliness and grooming (e.g. trichotillomania).  Greer and Capecchi mapped the murine expression of Hoxb8 and found that expression began at E7.5 in the primitive streak and yolk sac, spreading through the developing spinal ganglia, spinal cord, and then throughout grooming regions of the CNS in the adult mouse.  In many animals, the basal ganglia has been shown to be involved in modulating grooming behaviour (Aldridge et al., 1993; Berridge, 1989; Berridge and Fentress, 1987; Cromwell and Berridge, 1996; MacLean, 1985a, 1985b; Stein et al., 1992; Wise and Rapoport 1989;).  

In 2008, Capecchi’s lab (Chen et. al., 2008) found that the Hoxb8 gene was normally expressed in microglia cells, and that this expression appears to be required for regulating normal grooming time.  Chen et al. (2008) found that grooming dysfunction in Hoxb8 knockout mice, could be rescued with wild-type bone marrow transplantation. This makes sense as microglia descend from hemocytoblasts.  In addition, Chen et. al. also found that the Hoxb8 gene was normally expressed in the spinal cord where it seems to be responsible for appropriate responses to nociceptive and thermal stimuli.  In fact, Holstege et al. (2008) proposed that the nociceptive recipient interneurons in the dorsal spinal cord laminae I and II are deficient and disorganized in Hoxb8 knockout mice leading to reduced sensation.  Furthermore, Chen et. al. (2008), found that bone marrow transplantation did not rescue sensory defects, indicating that these 2 pathways of dysfunction were due to separate deficiencies (i.e. microglia cell and sensory neurons). Chen et al. (2008) found that deletion of Hoxb8 only in the hematopoietic cells resulted in mice with excessive grooming, but normal sensory responsiveness.

It is unclear how microglia cells are involved in grooming behaviour, however “immunological dysfunction is linked to many psychiatric disorders including OCD, major depression, bipolar disorder, autism, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease” Ashwood et al., 2006; da Rocha et al., 2008; Kronfol and Remick, 2000; Leonard and Myit, 2009; Strous and Shoenfeld, 2006 (Chen et al., 2008).   In this study, Hoxb8 mutant mice were found to have a deficiency of microglia (i.e. fewer microglia in the adult brain).  In terms of how microglia may control behaviour, it is speculated that microglia may be involved in modulating synaptic transmission as they surround synapses, perhaps playing a role in adjusting levels of neurotransmitters (e.g. serotonin).  In addition, microglia cells can secrete cytokines that affect both neuronal activity and longevity.  

At first glance it may seem strange that immune system cells, such as microglia, are involved in grooming.  However, upon further reflection, it does make sense that grooming behaviours may be controlled by the immune system, as the purpose of grooming in animals is to reduce the number of harmful pathogens.

Finally, it was noted that the Hoxb8 mutant mice did exhibit high levels of anxiety.   Anti-anxiety drugs were found to reduce the anxiety-induced grooming behaviour in Hoxb8 mutant mice and also improved their ability to perform the open maze test (which is a frequent measure of anxiety).   

As you can see, a lot of really interesting data was relayed to us in this update seminar and I’d really like to thank Mario Capecchi for such a thought-provoking talk!


Post from Dr. Zoë Soon, School of Health and Exercise Sciences, University of British Columbia Okanagan, BC, Canada


Aldridge, J.W., Berridge, K.C., Herman, M., and Zimmer, L. (1993). Neuronal coding of serial order: Syntax of grooming in the neostratum. Psychol. Sci. 4, 391-395.

Ashwood, P., Wills, S., and Vand Water, J. (2006). The immune response in autism: a new frontier for autism research. J. Leukoc. Biol. 80, 1-15.

Berridge, K.C. (1989). Substantia nigra 6-OHDA lesions mimic striatopallidal disruption of syntactic grooming chains: a neural systems analysis of sequence control. Psychobiol. 17, 377-385.

Berridge and Fentress (1987). Disruption of natural grooming chains after stritopallidal lesions. Psychobiol. 15, 336-342.

Chen, S.-K., Tvrdki, P., Peden, E., Cho, S., Wu, S., Spangrude, G., and Capecchi, M.R. (2010) Hematopoietic origin of pathological grooming in Hoxb8 mutant mice. Cell 141, 775-785.

Cromwell, H.C., and Berridge, K.C. (1996). Implementation of action sequences by a neostriatal site: a lesion mapping study of grooming syntax. J. Neurosci. 16, 3444-3458.

da Rocha, F.F., Correa, H., and Teixeira, S.L. (2008). Obsessive-compulsive disorder and immunology: a review. Prog. Neuropsychopharmacol. Biol. Psychiatry 32, 1139-1146.

Greer, J.M. and Capecchi, M.R. (2002). Hoxb8 is required for normal grooming behavior in mice. Neuron 33, 23-34.

Holstege, J.C., de Graaf, W., Hossani,M., Cano, S.C., Jaarsma, D., van den Akker, E., and Deschamps, J. (2008). Loss of Hoxb8 alters spinal dorsal laminae and sensory responses in mice.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105, 6338-6343.

Kronfol, Z., and Remick, D.G. (200). Cytokines and the brain: implications for clinical psychiatry. Am. J. Psychiatry 157, 683-694.

Leonard, B.E., and Myint, A. (2009). The psychoneuroimmunology of depression. Hum. Psychopharmacol. 24, 165-175.

MacLean, P.D. (1985a). Brain evolution relating to family, play, and the separation call. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 42, 405-417.

MacLean, P.D. (1985b). Evolutionary psychiatry and the triune brain. Psychol. Med. 15, 219-221.

Stein, D.J., Shoulberg, N., Helton, K., and Hollander, E. (1992). The neuroethological approach to obsessive-compulsive disorder. Compr. Psychiatry 33, 274-281.

Strous, R.D., and Shoenfeld, Y. (2006). Schizophrenia, autoimmunity and immune system dysregulation: a comprehensive model updated and revisited.  J. Auoimmun. 27, 71-80.

Wise, S., and Rapoport, J. (1989). Obsessive-compulsive disorder: is it basal ganglia dysfunction? In Osbessive-Compulsive Disorders in Children and Adolsecents, J. Rapoport, Ed. (Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press), pp 327-344.

After the Annual – Utah Mountain Biking!

Bonneville Shore Trail
A message from HAPS Western Regional Director, Jon Jackson (left). Kerry Hull and Murray Jensen photobomb-ing.
A message from HAPS Western Regional Director, Jon Jackson (left). Photobomb by Kerry Hull and Murray Jensen.

Utah Mountain Biking is a bucket list option for interested HAPSters!

Although mountain biking is generally thought to have originated in the Marin County hills north of San Francisco, there is arguably no finer place to ride than Utah. If you have the time and inclination to hit the mountain trails and ride, there are lots of options awaiting you near the HAPS Conference this Spring.  Murray Jensen, Kerry Hull and I went out a day before the mid-year meeting to explore some biking options (and spend some time in Mark Nielsen’s lab). Here’s what we found.

Jon enforces a rest break...because rest breaks are cool.
Jon enforces a rest break…because rest breaks are cool.

Within a 10-15 minute walk up the hill from the Salt Palace (site of the HAPS Conference) you’ll find a number of shops that rent out mountain bikes.  For around $40, you will be able to rent a $2500 mountain bike for the afternoon!  Full suspensions, 29-inch wheels, and even more options can be had.  If you’re thinking or riding up in the foothills surrounding the city, you’ll have about a 20-minute uphill ride to hit the mountain trailheads that run along what was once the shore of glacial Lake Bonneville. The elevation gain from the hotel to the Bonneville Shelf is about 600-800 feet. The landscape is nothing short of spectacular, even on days with a smog layer.

Local Badger

The entire Great Basin opens up as you switch back up the foothills; it’s quiet enough that you can even surprise some locals along the way.  The uphill climbing ranges from mild to clutch-your-chest strenuous. [I suffered in particular because I was serving as the “untrained control subject,” trying to keep up with Kerry and Murray.] The altitude provided wondrous panoramic views and a kick-your-butt workout, but most importantly, it meant some SWEET downhill action.  On our segment of the Bonneville Shore Trail, the single-track path was 90-95% packed solid, and offered up a mostly smooth ride. But for those who have left their common sense behind, and seek a greater challenge, there are several advanced/expert routes down the hill that will rattle bones, loosen ligaments, and likely raise your health insurance deductibles more than Paul Ryan could.

5 Moose
Local Moose

But no fears, there are many moderate trails that can bring you back to town. Our ride lasted just under three hours, and left us euphoric, thirsty, and with a trace of sunburn (even in October).

 

6 Mid MountainIf the moderate to high euphoria levels of the HAPS meeting aren’t going to be enough — the next level up of mountain biking literally brings you up out of the Wasatch Valley to the mountains surrounding Park City, one of the nation’s premier mountain biking destinations. Lots of shops cater to people giving this level of biking a try, and so you’ll have no trouble finding a “29er” with full suspension. The uphill is even more strenuous, although some riding parks have ski-lifts 7 Elevationto take you up the mountainside. [I’m all for that, as it follows the law of conservation of energy.] This world famous Mid-Mountain Trail is definitely not for novices, but if you’re a reasonably solid mountain biker, this place is as good as it gets. Weather permitting, the miles of traversing trails running over these wooded ski hills will provide a relatively moderate-level (elevation-wise) riding experience. But the downhill can get tricky: you’re a mile and a half above sea-level, and “down” is long, long way away.

Olympic-level bikers who train in Park City power down the hills pedaling, and at high speed. Fortunately for those of us who don’t want to over-use our sympathetic nervous systems, we’re able to find more moderate slopes on which to descend.  Either way, though, it will be full-on fatigue at the finish. It was great that our intrepid riders had a “sag-wagon” to come and fetch them.

Tom Lehman joins post-ride
Tom Lehman joins post-ride

You too will probably may want to arrange for a ride, as you could be too tired and sore to drive back to SLC.  All in all, the beauty of the terrain and the challenge of the hills is a something for every mountain biker’s bucket list.  We’ll have some of the info from the bike places we used for our gear at this year’s annual conference.  We hope to see you there!

 

 


Author Jon Jackson is the HAPS Western Regional Director.

A full list of recommended post-conference activities is available on the HAPS website

Join Us at the HAPS 2017 Spring Regional

Get your taxes done early!  We are planning a full day of update speakers, workshops, and poster presentations for Saturday, April 15 in Tyler Texas.  Our morning update speaker will be Dr. Michael Beckstead, Associate Professor in the Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Dr. Beckstead will be speaking about dopamine neurons and Parkinson’s Disease.  In the afternoon, Dr. Lane Brunner, Dean of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Texas at Tyler, will talk about how team-based learning has been implemented in the Doctor of Pharmacy program.

As always, workshops will be given by HAPS members.  Do you have a unique approach to teaching a lab or a new angle to get complicated ideas across?  Have you found a solution to a common challenge or a new tool (or a new way to use an old tool) that helps your students?  If you need to practice your presentation for the national conference in Salt Lake City, or you won’t be able to attend the SLC conference, we’re here for you!  Submit your workshop proposal by March 24.

Posters will be set up adjacent to the workshop rooms. If you have an idea that suits a poster more than a workshop – even if it’s a poster you’ve already presented in another venue – we’ll have a place for you to share what you’ve done.  A simple idea, or an exploratory look at some new teaching tip, tool, or resource can easily be translated into a poster.  Poster submissions have the same deadline as workshop submissions, March 24.

We’ll be meeting in the newly-renovated A&P labs, so you can get some ideas from our faculty about how technology can be implemented in the lab. The use of overhead cameras to show specimens, iPads in the classroom, and structured group activities can be explored.

At the end of the day, we’ll have the opportunity to tour our new nursing and health science facility, including the simulation lab for nursing students (see image below). The first floor has an area that is set up basically as a hospital, so students get real-world training in LVN, surgical technology, and other fields. There is also a working dental clinic.

If you’re planning to come in Friday afternoon or stay over Saturday night, look for a link to the accommodations on the registration page. If you’re bringing family with you, they can explore our Center for Earth and Space Science Education (CESSE, http://sciencecenter.tjc.edu/) and the Tyler Museum of Art (http://www.tylermuseum.org/), both adjacent to the building where our conference will be held.  If there is enough interest, we can plan a social event for either Friday or Saturday evening. I look forward to seeing you all!

Betsy Ott, Conference Coordinator
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Journal of a New HAPster: Shani Golovay

HAPS is a society focused on the teaching and learning anatomy and physiology.  We’re always looking for new members to join the community.  Check out some thoughts from new HAPSter, Shani Golovay.  

Meet Shani Golovay, a new HAPSter.
Meet Shani Golovay, a new HAPSter.

“But I have a degree in Plant Biology.  I don’t really know anything about Human Physiology, except what I teach in General Biology.”  And this started my journey to HAPS.

I found the HAPS website to be helpful as soon as I joined. I hunted down the Course Guidelines  and Learning Outcomes right away because I needed a syllabus and some ideas on how much content to cover in the course.  Then I found the Guided Inquiry Activities by Murray Jensen. I tried out the activities with my students right away- and they loved them.  I was starting to feel like I could teach this class after all, and I felt like I had a giant community of people helping me that I didn’t even know.

I learn more from the HAPS email listserv then I do from most professional journals I receive.  I was amazed how open and helpful everyone was with each other.  I look forward to the listserv conversations and I learn so much. It was so refreshing to find a whole group of people willing to share their expertise with those of us way out of our area. If I emailed someone a question, they would explain things and even send me documents or ideas.  I am much more confident about teaching this Human Physiology class because of HAPS.  I think Human Physiology may be my new favorite class to teach because of all the awesome ideas I get from other HAPSters.  I was telling my colleagues about this society where everyone was nice and actually helpful and wanted to share ideas about teaching and everyone was impressed and a bit jealous that I had found such a group.

I am just so grateful to find a community of people where those with experience and lots of talent are willing to help those of us just starting out with these classes.  We need each other because we can’t talk about this sort of stuff over dinner except with each other, right?

The best part for me was the annual meeting, but that is another blog post…..

In Search of the Core Principles of Human Anatomy

A message from HAPS Central Regional Director, Murray Jensen.
A message from HAPS Central Regional Director, Murray Jensen.

HAPSters spend a lot of time discussing the teaching and learning of anatomy and physiology.  Check out this post from long time HAPSter and Central Regional Director, Murray Jensen.  Murray is trying to generate a bit of controversy about teaching anatomy and long hot lists that we require our students to memorize.  Just how important are all those names and structures?  Look forward to a retort from graduate student Bradley Barger next week.

After 25 years of teaching entry-level anatomy and physiology, I can safely say that I’ve begun to figure a few things out – like the importance of setting high expectations on the first day of class; you have to scare the kids a bit.  All HAPSters know that one.  Another thing I’ve begun to figure out is how to teach human physiology.  This is in large part due to the work of Joel Michael and his group who identified the core principals of physiology  (http://advan.physiology.org/content/33/1/10).    Energy flow, homeostasis, and a few other concepts set the stage for pretty much every topic in physiology.   I use Michael’s core principals to design my course, write curriculum, generate exam questions, etc.  It’s a powerful tool for those of us who teach entry-level physiology. Required Structures ListI also teach basic human anatomy, and after 25 years and a couple thousand students, I can say with confidence that I really don’t know what I’m doing.  I remember vividly the first human A & P course I taught.  Skeletal system .. skull anatomy…hmmm…what structures should be on the hot list?  Ethmoid? Of course. Sphenoid? Obviously.  How about the foramen spinosum?  Should that be on the list? To facilitate the decision process I used Rule One of Teaching – you teach the way you’ve been taught.  In deciding what structures to include on my own hot list, I simply went back to the notes I used as a student, “What did Dr. Ivan Johnson make me learn?” Turns out Dr. Johnson indeed had me learn the foramen spinosum; therefore it must be important, and so it went on my very first hot list for skull anatomy.   Twenty-five years later I still have my students learn the foramen spinosum.  Why?  The best I can do is “because I had to do it!” Blindly following Rule One is not professional.  I would like to do better.  Joel Michael’s core principles greatly improved my ability to teach physiology – his work established an epistemological foundation for physiology education.  Now when a student asks “why do we have to learn about vasopressin?” I can confidently answer that it fits into the bigger picture of how the body works, and vasopressin’s role in the homeostasis of sodium, water, and blood pressure.  Much, much more satisfying than responding, “Well…I had to learn it!” or even worse “Because it will be on the exam.” In the past few years I’ve been pushing my anatomy colleagues for answers.  What should kids learn about anatomy in my entry-level course? What should they learn first?  If a student wants a career in anatomy, what are the themes? What’s at the foundation of a conceptual understanding of human anatomy?  We’ve had some good beginning ideas: orientation, cavities, medical terminology, liquids and solids, layers have promise.  But there is nothing official at this stage – just some good conversations.  And nothing that helps me figure out if I should include the foramen spinosum on the hot list. Identifying the core principles of anatomy is a worthy quest, and HAPS leadership is looking into starting a task force to get things moving.  I’ve been working with Bradley Barger, PhD candidate in Anatomy and Cell Biology at Indiana University, and we’ll be hosting a workshop at San Antonio for others interested in the project. In pondering the task ahead, I think I’ve identified a significant question, but some background is needed first.  Dr. Ernest Rutherford, Nobel Prize winning physicist from way back, has a quote, “All science is either physics or stamp collecting.” I think Rutherford is correct – everything in science boils down to physics.  When teaching human physiology and thinking about Michael’s core principals, I see physics (e.g., diffusion, pumps, gradients, barriers, energy).  If students can comprehend some basic physics, then they can make some good strides toward understanding human physiology. My big question: Is there any physics in anatomy?   At this time I don’t see any physics.  I see terminology, orientation, embryology, and sometimes even design (gasp!) – but I don’t see physics. Disagree?  Disagree strongly? Well…make a list of your own core principles of human anatomy and come to the workshop in San Antonio.  Help me figure out if I should keep the foramen spinosum on my hot list.

HAPS + Education

I’m at that point in the semester when I really have to start planning for the next terms – both summer and fall – and that makes me dream big at the same time I’m addressing minutiae.  Can I develop the summer test schedule at the same time I’m designing new assignments that will spur deeper learning? Why, yes – yes, I can. In fact, if I don’t start it now, I wont’ have time to get the long-range plans accomplished.  I have to analyze now, while it’s still fresh,what doesn’t seem to be working in this semester’s initiatives, and tweak, or throw out and reinvent, for the brief summer term as well as the new students in the fall.  My first step is to survey this semester’s students to see what resonated with them and what fell flat.  They seem to appreciate videos more than text, and interactive assignments more than straight reading.  Of course, those types of assignments take more time to develop, and I’m constantly looking for inspiration – a new angle, or a new application – along with new technology to record, post, and assess online lessons.

I’ve perused the new edition of the HAPS Educator – a very fine online journal with a variety of articles produced to help us as educators and as science enthusiasts. I’m particularly impressed with examples of HAPS members sharing their tips with their colleagues.  I’ve also attended presentations given by HAPS members at our regional and national meetings, and I always get good ideas, not only from what they present, but also by how they present it.  I’m pondering how we can leverage that into a shared resource, something that we can all tap into when we feel tapped out.

So, I’m looking forward to the HAPS annual meeting in San Antonio at the end of May. We’ll not only get insight into educational research from recognized experts, but also those teaching tips that just smooth our presentations and get our students in the zone.  We’ll experience that electrifying synergy that energizes us all the way home.  We’ll gain lasting resources that will enrich our classes and satisfy our creative sides.  We might even find out what amazing app/software/website is the secret to our students’ success.  I hope to see you there!