Showing posts from April, 2011

Pohnpei campus open house

Pohnpei campus held an open house for programs on the their campus.
In the automotive area a student explains the inner workings of a transmission to a group of off-camera high school students.
 Over in the RAC area my son observes a circuit.
 My daughter was not as excited as I to get to see all of the inner workings of a refrigerator.
 The cabinetry program displayed furniture that they made.
The hospitality program had the kitchen in operation, students preparing sample foods for visitors.
The front desk for the mock hotel.
 The facility also includes a mock hotel room.
Students in the agriculture program were giving tours of the traditional plants of Pohnpei garden.

 My two touring the garden, still eating their food sample from the hospitality program.

Ethnobotany spring 2011 final review

Ethnobotany spring 2011 comes to a close with a final review of the plants of the ethnobotanical garden.
Isabella, Annjanette, and Elvira review notes
Marla, Julie Ann, Jackleen, Jasmine, Lewis
Jackleen and Lewis

Site swap notation

Laboratory fifteen in physical science sought to push the boundaries on the mathematical box for the students. Inlaboratory onea quote from Freeman Dyson was used to start a journey through the mathematical models  that explain physical systems. Dyson calculated how an electron ought to behave. Later someone went into a laboratory and the electron behaved as predicted by the mathematical model. 

Annalyn juggled from first try

Inlaboratory twoa linear model predicted the location of a rolling ball. In laboratory threea falling ball obeyed a quadratic mathematical relationship. The behavior of amarble rolling off of a banana leafobeyed a square root relationship. And inlaboratory fourthe marbles knew what to do in order to mathematically conserve momentum.Sound, therelative depth of an image, andOhm's lawall exhibited linear relationships.

Jermis dressed for success
There are other mathematical relationships that govern physical systems. There are systems that are modeled by exponential…

Dark Curse: Clidemia hirta

Clidemia hirta, known in English as Koster's curse, and locally named riahpen rot (dark curse) continues to spread in the forest across the road from the college. This term twenty-five of the twenty-eight SC/SS 115 Ethnobotany class students turned out to pull Clidemia hirta. Only the delegation from Yap was curiously absent.
Anthony launches into pulling a clump that is more than head high
The morning was ominous. While Pohnpei is rainy, lightning and thunder are rare. During the morning thundered boomed out across the open spaces of the campus. While thunderheads are rare on Pohnpei, apparently not on the day the class pulls Clidemia hirta. Fall 2010 a thunderstorm crossed campus that same afternoon that six students opted to pull the dark curse.

New plants spreading to the west of the original clumps
The hike into the dark, wet, muddy forest on a rainy day that had heard thunder earlier in the afternoon. The class first visited the Palikir Ethnobotanical Learning garden to lear…

Writing improvement in physical science

In the terms prior to spring 2011 students in SC 130 Physical Science wrote thirteen laboratory reports complete with an introduction, equipment list, procedure, data tables, data chart, analysis, and conclusion. The intent was to put writing into the core of the physical science curriculum. Small but significant gains were seen in writing skills as measured by a rubric.

Thirteen laboratory reports in a sixteen week term effectively means marking thirty-two laboratory reports each and every weekend. Marking includes content, grammar, vocabulary, organization, and cohesion. The work load   demanded of the instructor meant that time for work on other courses was limited. Writing was improving, but the intensity of the course was draining.

Spring 2011 I decided to experiment with having students only turn in the odd laboratory reports, dropping the number of marked reports to seven during spring 2011. The obvious question was whether gains would still be seen in writing as measured by th…

Good Friday Service

The Women's Christian Association of the Kosrae Congregational Church in Kolonia, Pohnpei, held their traditional Good Friday "black-out" service.

Opening with a prayer, the lights are then turned out.

In the darkness passages are read from the final moments of Jesus on the cross. With each passage a candle is lit and placed under the cross.

I know enough not to shoot with a flash during a black-out service, but others did not. On one of my long time exposures a flash went off. The FujiFilm XP30 handled the sudden illumination with aplomb. Shrue returns from placing her candle in the above image.

The service concluded with a prayer and a chance to greet each other at the start of the Easter weekend.

Statistics projects of interest

Each term there are a few student statistics projects of interest. Data samples are usually convenience samples, hence extrapolation is problematic. At best these provide anecdotal glimpses into the system being studied. The students are in their first and probably their only statistics course - an introduction to statistics. Four of the seventy reports contained data that I found interesting.

One student studied alcohol sales at a small family owned and operated local neighborhood store. The student found that 53% of their sales was of the highest proof alcohol available in the store. The top seller was not the cheapest of the high proof alcohols, just the strongest. Coupled with their own knowledge of their neighborhood, the student concluded that purchasers were "most likely drinking to get drunk, not drinking for flavor or an addition to a meal."

In a related vein, another student looking at cigarette sales in a local family store found that the top seller garnered 55% o…

Obtaining a valid HTML foreignObject in SVG in HTML5

For some time now I have used the SVG foreignObject in XHTML to control the layout of a combination table and graph that I sometimes use for physical science tests. The HTML foreignObject in XHTML requires the presence of the html, head, and body elements. In fact, the foreignObject carries its own XML namespace. A fragment of a valid XHTML file with an HTML foreignObject can be viewed in the source of quiz 114.

Note that the XHTML file includes the html element, the head element, and the body element. Recently I shifted from XHTML to HTML as I suspect that the future belongs to HTML.

Valid HTML requires removal of the namespace declarations. Removal of the namespace alone, however is not sufficient to obtain validation. To obtain valid HTML, currently referred to as HTML5, one has to remove the html, head, and body elements from the HTML foreignObject inside the SVG that is within the HTML.

Confusing? Maybe not to those new to HTML5. I was confused a few years ago when I found I had…

Ethnobotany cultural ceremony

The spring 2011 ethnbotany class visited Welianter "Oaulik" Samuel in Dien, Kitti to enact the Pohnpeian sakau ceremony.

 The moanindei (menindei) had to instruct students in proper positioning and sitting form.
Betsyna is oarir for "Nahnalek" Mae, Jackleen is oarir for "Nahnkeniei" Himena. Betsyna noted that her clan does not serve as oarir, hence her initial confusion as to how to sit.
After doffing his shirt, Jayheart brought in the sakau and cut the branches.
Cleaning the sakau. Under the direction of the menindei, Jayheart places the four pwoakoar. Each has their own name, and the order in which the four are laid down is prescribed. All is done under the direction of the menindei.
Jayheart and Anthony join to form a foursome for sukusuk. Four pounders is the right number.
Jayheart on wengweng, Anthony wie sak on the ngarangar.
Hertin and Arnold as oarir, Ceasar takes pwel as "Nahnmwarki."
Mallone as oarir serves "Nahnken" Lewis. 
The menin…