No: 209

VT's FREE Newsletter for Educators - Insight, Inspiration and Ideas that Work!

This newsletter be inspired by Science Fiction.
Many of the things it predicts are invented. Many young science fiction lovers become inventors and scientists, inspired by this genre

Martin Cooper, chief engineer at Motorola - 1970s, described the tricorder in Star Trek by saying "that was not fantasy to us, that was an objective".
The result invention of the handheld mobile phone.
Craig Baty used to love a TV show called The Time Tunnel.
"There were these guys in white coats walking around a control room full of magnetic tape machines, "he remembers. "I said 'that's a computer, I'd love to work with one of those."

Today Baty is Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand's chief technology officer. Part of his role is promoting Fujitsu's efforts to bring about the future, and as a sci-fi aficionado, Baty understands how much of our world was born in TV serials, comic books and Hollywood.
Take a look at Cesar Harada's video inspiring young scientists to invent solutions for real world problems. Amazing.
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The REGGIO EMILIA Approach - Future of Education ?
is an innovative and inspiring approach to early childhood education
which values the child as strong, capable and resilient; rich with wonder and knowledge. Every child brings with them deep curiosity and potential and this innate curiosity drives their interest to understand their world and their place within it. Check out the main Principles here
This is a great site - I use it often as a quick read and discussion, maybe some writing in upper primary. Today's quote seems particularly appropriate.

The novelist Evelyn Waugh once said, “One forgets words as one forgets names. One’s vocabulary needs constant fertilizing or it will die.” Here at we do our best to fertilize, water, and refresh your vocabulary.
I like to think I do my best fertilize, water, and refresh my student's vocabulary.
Here's today's word:



1. Relieving pain; soothing.
2. Bland or insipid: not likely to provoke or offend.

1. Something that soothes or comforts.
2. A medicine that relieves pain.

From Latin anodynos, from Greek anodynos, from a- (not) + odyne (pain). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ed- (to eat, to bite), which also gave us edible, comestible, obese, etch, fret, postprandial, esurient, and edacity. Earliest documented use: 1543.

“The interview, while engaging, was anodyne and strangely emollient, entirely without any edge.”
TV: Shelving the Misery Memoirs; Sunday Business Post (Cork, Ireland); May 18, 2014.

See more usage examples of anodyne in’s dictionary.

I have a trunk containing continents. - Beryl Markham, adventurer (26 Oct 1902-1986)
This quote is particularly pertinent for me at the moment. As I pack to move to Europe for at least the forseeable future:
I have a trunk containing my entire life.
How I teach kids to love Science
At the Harbour School in Hong Kong, Cesar Harada teaches citizen science and invention to the next generation of environmentalists. He's moved his classroom into an industrial mega-space where imaginative kids work with wood, metal, chemistry, biology, optics and, occasionally, power tools to create solutions to the threats facing the world's oceans.
There, he instills a universal lesson that his own parents taught him at a young age: "You can make a mess, but you have to clean up after yourself."
Watch the Video and discuss with your kids.This is real science, applied to real and real world problems, utilising the amazing creativity of kids.

Gary emailed me to say that BACK to the FUTURE's Marty and Doc went thirty years ahead to 21.10.2015. As Gary says its a great opportunity for students to invent the(ir) futur
e and predict how things might be...

What else has come true

What is the real tech from a future dreamed up 30 years ago? What was it like 30 years ago? Ask your kids to dream up future tech that will be here in 21.10.2045. Let them be inspired by science fiction to invent the future. This is real science and maybe they will be inspired to become real scientists.

14 Things from Back to the Future II That Actually Came True, and 5 That Haven't... Yet

Back to the Future: What will the world look like 30 years from now? Four experts take their guesses. from the ABC

Back to the Future: What will the world look like 30 years from now? Four experts take their guesses.from the ABC

What will the future be like in 30 years time? BBC

Back to the Future, again...2045
In another 30 years we'll have 'talking' buildings, self-driving planes but will return to using pens and paper

Design, draw, build describe construct your vision of the future.
The CHINESE National Animal
The Giant Panda is the National
Animal of China.
It's a mammal classified in the bear family, native to central and southern China. It is easily known by its large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, ears and on its rotund body.
10 facts About Pandas - You-tube Video The Kids loved the fact that Pandas can poop up to 40 times a day.
This is a great activity - a demonstration of How To Draw a Panda, at right is a kindergarten version of a Panda. (4mins)
Live action Panda Bears This is a YouTube video of Pandas in a zoo. Panda's spend 60% of their time eating, and the rest taking naps and just a little hanging out while being lazy. What a life, eat, sleep and having the humans do everything for you! (4mins)
Finish of the lesson with a little Panda Dancing Dancing Pandas - we had a great time with this.

I do answer all emails so send them along with your questions ideas and great sites.

To Cathy
I was expecting a 'Back to the Future' edition!
You may recall Marty and Doc went thirty years ahead to 21.10.2015

A great opportunity for students to invent the(ir) future
Predict how things might be...


Hi Gary
Would have been great - I didn't think of it. Just the Martin Gardner stuff which I have been having a lot of fun with. So decided to do a bit on it this newsletter - ENJOY


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The opinions expressed here are purely those of the editor, Cathy Brown. All other small print clauses apply. Such as: Use at your own risk. Nothing in life is guaranteed. If it doesn't work for you send an email or tweet me.
Editor: Cathy Brown

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