PSN-L Email List Message

Subject: Re: Instument Quality
From: "Geoffrey" gmvoeth@...........
Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2009 01:08:43 -0700

I always thought some kind of etchasketch
would make a good a graphic device
since when your done you can
erase the thing over and over again.
But unless you photographed it
or something you would loose the
graph forever.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Randy Pratt" 
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2009 11:29 PM
Subject: Re: Instument Quality


I apologize for misreading your tone and intent.  It's an unfortunate attribute of email that it loses personality.  I agree that a 
school purchasing an instrument for instruction should have a high quality but I don't see that our schools are at that point or 
that caveman is recommending this as a school solution.

Let me try to explain my sensitivity.  My son's middle school dropped earth science to meet state mandates for an increase in 
physical education hours.  We moved shortly after that to another state.  Here I became involved with the science fair and to my 
shock the largest middle school in the region did not participate.  When I inquired I found no contract for extra work outside the 
classroom hours so no science projects.  One high school science teacher explained to me that there is no time to fit any extra 
topics in order to meet federal and state curriculum guidelines.  The one teacher that did let me demonstrate a seismograph left the 
area and her job was cut.  A German exchange student I am hosting is near the top of the English class and shows better 
understanding than most others according to her teacher.  She has only been in the US since August so what does that tell you.  Our 
political mandates are dumbing down the best students.  It really is approved and budgeted science only and that leaves only 
individual interest.

An old magazine article from 1960 something about a smoked drum seismograph stuck in my mind until I started to research in 1995 and 
build my first.  The Lehman article has been the basis for many on this list but few of us are using pipe fittings on a board 
anymore.  Maybe something simple like the caveman web page will spark other individual interest.  How well it functions doesn't 
matter if thinking is set in motion and the steps to reach something better follow.  That's where learning starts.  Think about what 
percent of aeronautical engineers started with paper airplanes looping into the ground and being refolded?



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