Archive for Education

Albuquerque: Fractal Capital Of The World

Fractal Art: Positronica 1

“Positronica 1,” created with Mandelbulb 3D – available for free via the Fractal Forums website.

By John Weckerle

Today, we take a short break from our usual fare to give a “shout out” to Albuquerque, Fractal Capital of the World. The Duke City is home to the Fractal Foundation, an organization dedicated to spreading the word about fractals and their value in the areas of science, math and art. The Fractal Foundation presents two fractal-based planetarium shows at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science – First Friday Fractals and Fractals Rock – on the first Friday of each month. We’ve seen both shows, and in our opinion they are worth far more than the price of admission. Fantastic Fractals can be seen in the planetarium at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The Fractal Foundation conducts a variety of education and outreach activities, and the website contains a number of interesting fractal videos.

Readers interested in fractals should also take a look at the Fractal Forums website, which provides a great deal of information on fractals, fractal art galleries, and the free Mandelbulb 3D software.

Just A Few Days Left For Scholarship Opportunities

by John Weckerle

As reported by the Mountainview Telegraph, the deadline is fast approaching to apply for scholarships awarded by Purina Mills and the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association’s (NMCGA) Young Cattlemen’s Leadership Committee (YCLC).  As the Telegraph reports, The Purina Mills scholarship will go to “a New Mexico student who is a member of the NMCGA, the New Mexico Junior Cattle Growers Association, or the child of an NMCGA member.” Additional scholarships are available to a successful high school senior and a continuing college student, with no reported membership requirements.  For more information, visit the Telegraph’s article.

Monkeys On Trial In The Estancia Valley?

by John Weckerle

We found ourselves not-too-terribly surprised to read recent articles (“Charter School Warned,” “PED warns charter school against religious teachings“) regarding accusations by the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) that the Estancia Valley Classical Academy (ECVA) may have strayed over the line between religious and secular education.  Our lack of surprise – and, to some extent, our amusement – stems from the fact that both articles mention an individual who was featured in the context of his views on “science” (including an apparent bent toward creationism or, at least, anti-evolutionism) in one of our previous articles (See our August 11, 2011 article, An Article About Articles).  That individual, Roger Lenard, is variously described as “one of the school’s founders” and the president of the school’s governing council.

Given the subject of these stories and the concerns reportedly expressed by parents regarding what their children are being taught about science, we find ourselves perplexed that Mr. Lenard’s fame in the creationist universe has thus far been ignored by the journalistic community.  In addition to our article and the New Mexicans for Science and Reason (NMSR) article cited therein, we find references to Mr. Lenard as a “creation scientist” (here), and a “celebrated creationist,” (here).  He is prominently figured in the NMSR article Creationism In New Mexico, and quoted here as saying “Creation scientists hold revealed Truth as supreme, other forms are subordinate.”

Given the many references to Mr. Lenard’s reported creationist beliefs and purported attempts to insert them into academic curricula, we certainly understand why parents would be concerned about what may be taught in science classes at a school over whose curriculum Mr. Lenard likely wields substantial influence.  We urge parents to get involved and continue to engage the PED on this issue and get to the bottom of the matter.

 

PSA: Junior Zookeepers Day Camp Schedule

Received from Karen Mahalick, Edgewood Town Administrator

THE TOWN OF EDGEWOOD
and
WILDLIFE WEST NATURE PARK
are
SPONSORING A JUNIOR ZOOKEEPERS DAY CAMP
WHEN: Session – June 4th through 8lh
Session – June 25th through 29th WFIERE: Wildlife West Nature Park
TIME: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Ages 7 through 15 at $25.00 per student, only 30 students per session. Sign up now as the sessions are filling up fast. Snacks and water provided. On the last day, enjoy a family barbecue, receive a certificate.
Learn details of basic animal care, gain knowledge about New Mexico’s wildlife and natural resources. Watch a live raptor presentation. Participate in various activities, projects, and environmental games.
For more information, please contact Roger Alink, Founder at 281-7655