Sign In

I Wonder, June 2016


What does wonder have to do with a magazine for middle school science teachers? Well, as biologist Richard Dawkins writes, wonder has for long been recognised as the ‘wellspring of all scientific inquiry’, motivating scientists to investigate rainbows, the night sky, and other strange phenomena. But, studies like those of primatologist Jane Goodall’s with wild chimpanzees indicate that they too are capable of this child-like wonder, for example, at the sight of a beautiful waterfall. Does this mean that our capacity for this emotion is no different from that of our closest relatives? Or that Francis Bacon was right in suggesting that wonder only arises out of a mystified ignorance that science alone can cure? Hardly! While we may share our sense of wonder for natural phenomena with higher primates; we now have reason to believe that as a culturally mature species, no longer preoccupied with the necessities of survival, we are also capable of a more evolved form of this emotion. One that is reflected in our craving to understand these phenomena through the unique process and perspective offered by science, or what Charles Darwin called ‘this view of life’. Thus, far from ‘curing’ us of wonder, scientific discoveries are themselves wondrous, deepening our excitement and delight in the mystery and grandeur of the natural world!
       Pdf format Click here

Middle school marks a period of remarkable transformation. Youngsters enter middle school as children, full of wonder and excitement. And leave as young adults, who with opportunities to discover the wonders of science, may be inspired by a lasting sense of meaning for its cause. One that, in conservationist Rachel Carson’s words, acts as ‘an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial’. We see I wonder as an attempt to bring together a community of writers and readers willing to share their experience of engaging with just such a cultural shift in school science. One that, as theoretical physicist Brian Greene urges, ‘places science in its rightful place alongside music, art and literature as an indispensable part of what makes life worth living’.

Our 2nd issue is book-ended by two themes that celebrate this sense of wonder. Interactions is all about perspective, inviting readers to view the world through the lens of scientific explanations that unify seemingly disparate phenomena into a seamless whole. We explore the underlying forces (The Fundamental Four and Material Interactions) and cues (Chemical Ecology: Talking in Nature’s Language and How to build a Nervous System) that shape the dynamics and behaviour of systems as distant as galaxies (Interactions in Outer Space) and as immediate as our immune system responding to the ubiquitous common cold (A Viral Handshake).

Emerging Trends in Biology, on the other hand, is more about process. How are the big questions in Biology and breakthroughs in method shaping the scope of future scientific inquiry and the nature of this discipline? We give you a peek into the latest in our understanding of memories (We are what we remember), relationship with gut bacteria (We have Company), and genetic clues to evolutionary history (Reconstructing the History of Life).

In an on-going effort to bring new perspectives and voices, this issue also presents nineteen new authors and three new sections – Research to Practice, The Science Teacher at Work, and Science Communication. Go ahead - dive in! And, don’t forget to send your feedback to us at [email protected].

   
Editorial



Editors Desk
 

Poster



Human Bones
 

Interactions


Interactions In Outer Space: How The Universe Reveals Itself
Anand Narayanan

 
 
Chemical Ecology: Talking In Nature's Language
Shannon Olsson

 


A Viral Handshake
Srikanth K.S.

 
 

The Fundamental Four
Srinivasan Krishnan

 


Material Interactions
Yasmin Jayathirtha

 
 
How To Build A Nervous System
Sonia Sen

 

Nature Of Science



Why Do Experiments
Bhas Bapat

 

In Here/Out There



Exploring The Second Brain
Vignesh Narayan

 
 

The Demotion Of Pluto
Ramgopal (RAMG) Vallath

 

I Am A Scientist



Interview With Lolitika Mandal
 

The Science Lab



Fun With Archimedes Principle
Manish Yadav

 
 
Let Students Ask And Investigate: The Case Of A Variegated Plant
Gurinder Singh & Karen Haydock

 


Sun Wonder Non Trival Concepts
Prajval Shastri

 

Research To Practice



Why Teachers Should Care About Beauty In Science Education
Rohit Mehta & Sarah Keenan

 

The Science Teacher At Work



Interview With Richard Fernandes
 

Annals Of History



Through The Looking Glass
Harini Barath

 

Science Communication



Igniting Curiosity In Young Minds With The Flame Challenge
Reeteka Sud

 

Life In Your Backyard


Pollinators Or Plant Munchers - The Butterflies
Geetha Iyer

 
 
Nature Calls: A Series Of Nature-Based Outdoor Activities
Nature Conservation Foundation

 

Book Review



Elementary My Dear Watson
Ishaan & Sangeetha Raj

 

Biography Of A Scientist



Oliver Sacks The Doc On The Bike And In The Brain
Thejaswi Shivanand

 

Emerging Trends In Biology


We Are What We Remember: Unravelling Memories
Bhaktee Dongaonkar

 
 
We Have Company: How Gut Bacteria Influence Health & Disease
Gagandeep Kang

 

Reconstructing The History Of Life: A Genetic Approach
Krishnapriya Tamma

 

Write For Us



Write For Us

 



> View Next: Student journal of Education and Development