Showing posts from June, 2012

Response to "When Things Don’t Quite Line Up"

In response to @dougpete's "When Things Don’t Quite Line Up" post this morning, here is Niagara Falls' road challenge, what the locals refer to as "the five corners":

Not quite as many traffic lights as in Doug's post, but a nuisance intersection nonetheless!

Google Blockly - A Great Way to Introduce Basic CS Concepts

@dougpete sent me a message this morning telling me about this new visual programming environment called Google Blockly, recommending I add the site to my Google A-Z reference document (which I did - thanks Doug!).
I quickly tried out the Maze demo and produced the program shown in the picture. I know it's not as efficient as it could be, but I only had a few minutes to create it. Maybe someone reading this will show me up! (assuming the maze is always the same)
The website looks like it might be a fun way to get your students to start learning computer science concepts. 
I look forward to see what kinds of projects grow out of it, and how teachers incorporate it into their classrooms. I know I'll be showing it to all my students on Monday! 
To get started yourself with Blockly, visit

Update: here's a great article from Wired about it:

The Transit of Venus

The Transit of Venus will only happen once in our lifetime, occurring locally this Tuesday evening, June 5.

A great site to get started learning about this is, which is where I found a link to the simulation below. This simulation is centered on Toronto (but you can change it), and it shows that Venus will only be crossing the sun from 18:04 to 20:53.

Remember that it's not safe to look directly at the sun, so if you do want to watch the transit live, visit to learn some safe techniques.

I've bookmarked a few links related to the Transit of Venus, which you can find here. My list is not comprehensive, so I urge you to explore other sites and see what you can learn!

Will you be watching the transit? Will you be telling your students about it?