September 10, 2005

1 Pitch 4 Science Zone

Doctor Lenny Howdt is a professional chemist, educator, and general chaotic nutcase. He is downright dangerous, because he will say whatever he thinks whenever he thinks, whether it is politically correct or absolutely uncertain. His life point of view is to take it as it comes and to trust people at their word, tho the latter has become very difficult in this day and age.

Dr. Lenny's background is in inorganic chemistry - all the elements of the periodic table - what they do, how they can be used and abused. After completing a fud and slaving thru the post-fud world on a graduate salary in Bahstan - i joined an R&D firm doing water purification chemistry for NASAs Mars planning. then i moved to a nickel mine as the laboratory supervisor - keep 13 people happy 24/7 doing assays on metal and ore. NAFTA ended that job.

Dr. Lenny joined the local watershed council in 2000 and saw the lack of measurement involved in land management strategy. So he volunteered to monitor the land at a 700 acre drive through zoo. We maintained composting operations and developed the initial flora and fauna around a wetlands, while setting a plan for continuous monitoring of water quality parameters by local area high school students. We acquired grants (and low pay) and empowered Redile - Research Directed Learning Environments. Our group of scientists get kids doing meaningful things, so they have meaningful lives. We've been building community values rather than bank account values.

But since everybody requires support for their families, their lifestyles and their 'pursuit of happiness', Doctor Lenny needs to have employment beyond the bloggosphere. So beginning on October 1st - The Online School Enrichment Network will offer chemistry based classes in anything that has a critical mass that makes it worth teaching. The course will be attuned to the 9th grade high school level based on Doctor Lenny's ninth grade standards - not some educrats bureaucratic system. (There will be a cost $10-20, tbd)

The first class will be on salinity - salt and water mixed together. If you sign up on-line at YC.C, , we will let you sit in on the on-line lectures on salinity in an Oceanography Course for seniors and juniors offered by teacher Ron Frakes at Reedsport High School. The students will visit the South Slough Estuary, learn about Pacific tidal influences and physically measure the extent of the mixing zone in the Umpqua River Estuary. Successfully accredited students will work as volunteers with the Coos Bay BLM next summer, counting fish in Dean Creek and beyond.

This is a pyramid class - the student are competing for the ability to take part in four field trips schedules seasonally for the next year where a small research group will drive up-river and measure the extent of salt water into the tributaries. This research project is designed for my own edification - my real persona is the researcher working on this component with the class.

If one of the many readers would care to sponsor the course and make a contribution to ONRRI - we can expand the capabilities of the system to educate that much faster. The Redile science program is designed to create students that are capable monitors of public lands using accepted protocols and proper instrumentation. Funding for development came from the Title II Award of the Roseburg BLM RAC - a citizen panel created to enable federal/local cooperation in directing development funds to communities. The legislation is up for renewal for 2007 - but is a federal program like this the responsibility of the government. Only when there is an education monopoly and the federal standards force a one size fits all approach to education in public schools.

So if you want to teach a course on any topic at all - we should be able to set it up if we can get the infra-structure of our non-profit Tall-P set and going. We have contracts to just barely start - one sugar mommy or daddy that wants to see kids succeed can make all the difference. (Hey - pro-athletes - wanna give back to the fan base?) Youth like our sports based scoring systems.

This spring will start full scale on-line classes with a grant to 10 teachers, thanks again to a Roseburg BLM RAC Rural Schools Initiative grant. The core areas in natural resources Carbon Research are - Water Quality Monitoring, Forestry, Bugs, Aquatic Systems, Animal Studies and Compost. If somebody wishes to sponsor a chemistry of Katrina class - i'd bet i could find some folks that can make a significant difference in peoples understanding of the water system.

No comments: