No: 220

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


Hello Everyone,

I love this twitter from Kendall Wong. Join m
e on VT Twitter and you will also read these amazing
But it's not just the student's it's TEACHERS too, who are OVERWORKED & UNDERPLAYED, too much paperwork, reporting, accountability documentation, testing, marking and not enough play, invention and creativity.

TAKE a look at the EM Drive and find out if Newton was wrong. This is a great way too investigate Newton's Laws.
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Have a great week, make it count.



Try this out with a string of adjectives and see what the students can come up with.

Another great twitter feed.

This is why you really do need to check your spelling

Progressive societies outgrow institutions as children outgrow clothes.
Henry George, economist, journalist, and philosopher (2 Sep 1839-1897)

I have been working with BOXFiSH now for over 2 months and found I have found the program pretty amazing.

Below is a screen shot showing a Chinese student in frame while we both proceed through the prepared lesson.

BOXFiSH provides a great insight to how students in China think and work. Amazingly they start school at 7.00 - 7.30am and most don't finish school until 5.30 - 6.30pm they are all keen to do well and believe they must try hard to secure a place at University or a good position in the future.
Students often go to evening classes which seem to run from 7.30 - 9.30pm. Some students seem to find this quite difficult others while others are bright and chatty and enthusiastic and love their school. Just like students in Australia. The students seem to do a lot of homework even on the weekends, and most say this is can be quite daunting.
Class sizes in China seem large some students mention 50 pupils in class. A lot of students mention their love of learning English, and also that they like their English teacher the best, which is interesting,

All students seem to be driven by a desire to do well and succeed, very much supported by their parents and their schools.

If you are interested in this opportunity just click here to watch a video about BOXFish and sign-up.
Or you click through to Virtual Teacher and take a look at some of my experiences and also the Video I made from my balcony in Sliema Malta.
BOXFiSH are currently recruiting teachers internationally with a massive undertaking to line up one native English speaking tutor with one Chinese student in Mainland China. It is really a lot of fun. You just have normal conversations with Chinese children helping them practice listening to and speaking native English.


Star Trek - Warp Drive IXS Enterprise - Check out the video
A "warp drive" or EM Drive could transport humans to Mars in just 10 weeks. While critics and skeptics alike were quick to claim that the idea is nothing but the stuff of science fiction, NASA has seemed to be clearing all the challenges in making it a reality. Read about it here.
About 10 years ago, a little-known aerospace engineer called Roger Shawyer made an extraordinary claim. Take a truncated cone, he said, bounce microwaves back and forth inside it and the result will be a thrust toward the narrow end of the cone. Voila … a revolutionary thruster capable of sending spacecraft to the planets and beyond. Shawyer called it the EM Drive.
  • EM Drive (Electro Magnetic) drive Was Newton wrong?
    - this is a great research question for your students. hat a fabulous research question to investigate Newton's Laws.
    As Newton's Third Law states, "To each action there's an equal and opposite reaction," and many physicists say the EM Drive categorically violates that law.

    Does the EM Drive violate physics?
    At a first glance, you’d be hard tempted to say ‘yes’. Basically, in order for a thruster to push in a certain direction, it needs to eject something in another direction. But EM doesn’t use any propellant, it doesn’t push anything out, so how can it work?

  • The concept of an EM Drive engine is relatively simple.
  • It provides thrust to a spacecraft by bouncing microwaves around in a closed container.
  • Solar energy provides the electricity to power the microwaves, which means that no propellant is needed.
  • The implications for this could be huge.
  • For instance:
    Current satellites could be half the size they are today without the need to carry fuel.
  • Humans could also travel further into space, generating their own propulsion on the way.
  • But when the concept was first proposed it was considered implausible because it went against the laws of physics. Its allegedly fuel-free nature also means that the drive may directly contradict the law of conservation of momentum. - NEWTONS'S THIRD LAW
  • It suggests it would produce a forward-facing force without an equal and opposite force acting in the other direction. DAILY MAIL

  • A new paper, suggest the EM Drive produces an exhaust
  • like every other rocket. The exhaust is produced but the photons cannot be seen and they cancel each other out like water waves travelling in opposite directions
  • And the BIG News is
    The 'impossible' EM Drive is about to be tested in space
    An actual EM Drive is about to be launched into space for the first time, so scientists can finally figure out - once and for all - if it really is possible for a rocket engine to generate thrust without any kind of exhaust or propellant. It will be built by American inventor and chemical engineer, Guido Fetta.



    In space, electromagnetic vibrations exist and can be mapped as sound. These electromagnetic vibrations pulsate in different wavelengths and can be recorded by special equipment in NASA's spacecrafts. The recordings are then translated into sounds that our ears could hear.
    Check out Hashem Al-Ghaili video here This video has had 1.7m views. WOW!
    This is a great video to go with a study of the Solar System - you'll love it.

    Here, you can explore the planets, moons, asteroids, dwarf planets, and comets in our solar system, and learn about the spacecraft that travel great distances to study them. A great resource.

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

    What a great idea the Boxfish App is. I have often thought that there should be something like this.
    I enjoy reading your emails but as I am retired now, I cannot usually use much of the information, however, this time I was particularly interested in the idea of Boxfish.

    As I used to teach in Hong Kong, I traveled extensively in China and ran programs in many schools. For the last two years, I have also initiated some teacher training in rural China.(English and Teaching Strategies). This to me has been the most beneficial.

    I am interested in finding out more about the Boxfish program


    Hi Lorraine,
    Yes I think it is a great idea too. I am living in Sliema at the moment where the average wage is €7.00 per hour - teachers pay its around €20,000 per year so this extra cash makes a lot of sense. I love the fact it goes into my paypal and I can order things online as well.

    I also look forward to my sessions with the Chinese students - it is most interesting to hear what they have to say.

    I will forward your CV onto Stephen and Anuo. Let me know how you go with it.

    Also If you know of any other retired teachers who would be interested please send the info through to them, they can forward their CVs to me or go onto the website and read about it from there - and watch my little video. If you know of any organisations for retired teachers let me know and I will send this info on to them.

    I AM hoping you do some of the things in the newsletters I send out - you should have a shot at adobe spark, and also the coding ideas are just fun to play with.

    Have a great evening.


    Hi Cathy
    Thought you might like this page of Calculators.
    TITLE: Good Calculators
    DESCRIPTION: This website provides a variety of online calculators, math and physics, engineering and conversion calculators.

    Hi John,

    Thanks for this - site looks to be a really useful tool. I will put it in the next newsletter.
    Is it your site? It's such a good idea.

    Good luck with your calculators.


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    Editor: Cathy Brown

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