Community members of all ages are invited to hear guest speaker and textbook author Dr. Jeffrey Bennett give free presentations at JJC April 24 and 25 at the JJC Main Campus, 1215 Houbolt Road in Joliet.
- “Global Warming Demystified”: April 24, 5-7 p.m., U-building Auditorium
Dr. Bennett will give a presentation and then hold an audience Q&A on the topic of climate change. Is human-induced global warming real or a hoax? Most people will express an opinion on this question, but relatively few can back their opinions with solid evidence. This is true on both sides, as most “believers” are no better able to explain the scientific case for global warming than “skeptics” are able to make a case against it. Many times we’ve even heard politicians and media pundits say “I am not a scientist” to avoid the issue altogether. But the truth is, the basic science is not that difficult. In this presentation, noted educator Jeffrey Bennett will give you the foundation you need to speak intelligently about the science behind global warming, and show you why the solutions to this important problem are ones that people of all political persuasions can agree on. If you have any questions or doubts about the reality of global warming or what we should do about it as a nation, you’re sure to come away enlightened. Refreshments will be available at the reception which runs from 5-6 p.m., and the presentation will begin at 6 p.m. This presentation is part of JJC’s Earth Month activities.
- “Strategies for Teaching Science”: April 25, 3:30-4:30 p.m., D-2001
What does it take to be a successful science teacher? In this presentation, Dr. Bennett will focus on the idea that the key to success lies in finding ways to get students to put in the study and effort necessary for true learning. Following a brief introduction on teaching philosophy, he will provide concrete examples of principles and strategies that should help in your teaching, regardless of the particular science subject, grade level, or number of students you teach. All are invited to attend this talk, though it is oriented toward K-12 and college science teachers as well as future science teachers. Prior to the presentation, refreshments will be available for guests at 3:15 p.m.
- “Math for Life: Crucial Skills You Didn’t Learn in School”: April 25, 5- 6 p.m., D-2001
In this presentation, Dr. Jeffrey Bennett will offer a series of examples of why “Math for Life” is so important to our future. How can we solve the national debt crisis? Should you or your child take on a student loan? Is it safe to talk on a cell phone while driving? Are there viable energy alternatives to fossil fuels? What could you do with a billion dollars? Could simple policy changes reduce political polarization? These questions may all seem very different, but they share two things in common. First, they are all questions with important implications for either personal success or our success as a nation. Second, they all concern topics that we can fully understand only with the aid of clear quantitative or mathematical thinking. In other words, they are topics for which we need math for life—a kind of math that looks quite different from most of the math that we learn in school, but that is just as (and often more) important. Prior to the presentation, refreshments will be available for guests at 4:45 p.m.
Dr. Jeffrey Bennett, a recipient of the American Institute of Physics Science Communication Award, holds a B.A. in biophysics (UC San Diego), and M.S. and Ph.D. in astrophysics (U Colorado). He specializes in science and math education and has taught at every level from preschool through graduate school. He is the lead author of textbooks in astronomy, astrobiology, mathematics and statistics, and of critically acclaimed books for the public. He has also written six science picture books for children, all of which have been launched to the International Space Station and read aloud by astronauts for NASA’s Story Time from Space program. He has served as a visiting senior scientist at NASA headquarters for two years, where he developed programs to build stronger links between research and education. He also proposed and helped to develop the Voyage scale solar system on the National Mall in Washington D.C. His personal website is www.jeffreybennett.com
Dr. Bennett’s visit is being funded by the Office of Student Activities, the Department of Natural Sciences and the Dean of Academic Excellence and Support.
For more information about these presentations, contact Professor Noella Dcruz at (815) 280-2572, or firstname.lastname@example.org.