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Showing posts from February, 2019

Healing plant presentations

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Healing plant presentations

Diane covered the use of Aloe vera gel for the treatment of external burns.


Annielisa covered the popular use of soursop leaf tea as a treatment for diabetes. This particular treatment surfaces regularly in my class, but the leaves of soursop are associated with neurotoxicity and may induce Parkinson-like conditions. Some soursop leaf extracts were toxic to breast cancer cells, but the compounds were also toxic for humans and no clinical trials were conducted. The use of soursop leaves in tea is not currently recommended.


Darnick explained the use of tuhke en kilin wai to treat fungal skin disorders.


Yuki spoke of the use of a particular variety of green (unripe, not yet sweet) coconut juice to shut down diarrhea.


Mayson spoke of the use of unripe weipwul (Morinda citrifolia) fruit for stomachache.


Wadel detailed the use of the hard part of the front of a coconut frond petiole, split in half, pounded, and the juice produced used to treat pink eye.


Edson bro…

Measuring the conversion factor from arcminutes to meters

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Physical science laboratory seven measured the conversion factor from arcminutes of longitude to metric meters. The class began at N 06° 54.570’  E 158° 09.600’ and walked to N 06° 54.570’  E 158° 09.700’ noting the arcminutes every 30 meters.

Jesse, Praislyn, Swister, Patricia, Masabua, Junida, Brenda


Because Wednesday was an unguided discovery learning session, I used Thursday morning to explain more fully what the students had been working with.


Some of the morning material ahead of data gathering presaged the using of Google Earth to see what was at the prime meridian due west of Pohnpei. 

Upstairs in the laboratory I used a layout from last term in an attempt to illustrate that the data provided a way to convert from arcminutes to meters and meters to arcminutes.


1823 meters per arcminute is one percent away from the published value at seven degrees north of 1842 metres per arcminute. 

George, Vivian, Emerika, Kiokalani at E 158° 09.700’ 
Kiokalani writes down data values, Gina b…

Hide and GPS seek

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This term the GPS discovery learning - find the instructor, find the class location - exercise had me return to the north side of the road for the first time in years.


This term I scouted out crossing the bog from maintenance on Monday, but that proved not possible. The bog is wet under the grass despite the weak El Nino and relatively dry weather.


I wound up opting for a spot to the northwest of long gone location that was arbitrarily labelled "Philadephia" as a code name.


The new location has a nice view of Campnosperma brevipetiolata trees.



Coordinates the new location vary slightly by GPS.


The weather held for the class - sunny skies for over 24 hours. The location was at the very fringe of the WiFi, really too weak to send or receive data, but I did manage to get a 4G signal at the hide.



Mayson would be the first to find me
Harvey was right behind also with a GPS unit
Nemely was with them every step of the way
Close behind was the rest of the moving class, with Joshua t…

A visit with the Island Food Community of Pohnpei

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The ethnobotany class visited the Island Food Community of Pohnpei and learned about the benefits of local food.


Monalisa Tara covered the CHEEF benefits of local food. The growing and production of local food reinforces cultural agricultural practices and assists in passing knowledge to a new generation of young Micronesians. Culture is the C in CHEEF benefits.


Monalisa noted that many local varieties of food are high in vitamin A, micronutrients, and fiber. They are also complex carbohydrates that are slow to break down into sugars in the body.  Local foods are healthy foods, the H in the CHEEF benefits.


Local foods are usually produced without fertilizer or pesticides. Elsewhere food crops are produced with fertilizers and pesticides. Fertilizer production requires energy often from fossil fuels, and pesticides could leave harmful residues. The only fertilizer used on local food crops is local compost, and no pesticides are used here. Foreign food has to be transported by ship, gen…

Desmos dotplots, histograms, boxplots, and distributions

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Desmos online calculator has gained the ability to produce dotplots, histograms, and boxplots.



Data can be copied and pasted from a spreadsheet, just remember to copy only the number data and to not include the column label in the copy selection. As a real plus, the three plots can be displayed on the same chart showing the students the relationship between the data, the histogram, and the boxplot. This overlay capability of different chart types is generally not possible with spreadsheet charts.


All of these new functions can either be entered directly by typing the function name or from the new Distribution tab of the functions menu. All of the powerful capabilities such as sliders and their associated animations can be deployed, thus the impact of the class width can be dynamically demonstrated.


Desmos has followed the terminology used in Excel and has referred to the class width as the bin width. Google sheets refers to this metric as the bucket size. Some texts use the terminolog…

Newton's law of cooling

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Newton's law of cooling was approached differently this term, in part because tropical storm Wutip, then known as invest 92W, had cancelled classes on the day before the laboratory. I opted to lay out the mathematical theory via an example where the temperature fell by half of the temperature differential every ten minutes.


I framed the laboratory as a confirmational laboratory to check on whether Newton's law would be supported by experimental data or not.


I generated an example and manually ran all of the calculations. The result was an exponential decay curve on a sketched graph. I noted that the math is a pattern and a pattern is the math. Shapes provides clues to equations.


Two sets of data, not completely recorded, are shown above.

This approach actually seemed more functional that earlier approaches to this laboratory, and made the (Tstart-Troom) part of the equation perhaps more comprehensible, perhaps not. Although the theory was for solid objects cooling, not those ev…