Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Growing locally -- really locally -- with MyFarm.

Aired on Marketplace Morning Report on November 4,2008.


"San Francisco start-up business MyFarm helps locals who aren't savvy about gardening grow their own veggies at home. Lisa Morehouse has more on the company's success and fans throughout the organic world."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Measure Q: the SMART train proposal

Aired on KQED Radio News October 29, 2008


One of the most hotly contested ballot measures in the North Bay, Measure Q would levy a one quarter cent sales tax for the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit train. Supporters say SMART offers an alternative to gridlocked highway. Opponents question the proposal's efficiency and its $1 billion price tag.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Downtown High School

Published in Edutopia Magazine and on Edutopia.org in October, 2008.

Diplomas for (Would-Be) Dropouts: Project Learning Serves the Most At-Risk Students

How To: Design Assessments for Project Learning

Audio slideshow -- Sky Rocket: Celestial Lessons Turn Truant Into Graduate

Field Report

Aired on The California Report Magazine Friday October 3, 2008.


A new website based in California is giving away hundreds of thousands of dollars for people's true-life stories. FieldReport.com is also trying to shake up the publishing model, with community-based story selection replacing editors.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Art at the Dump

Aired on National Public Radio's All Things Considered on Monday, September 22, 2008.


San Francisco recycles or diverts 69 percent of its trash, but sends 1,800 tons of garbage to the landfill each day. One way the city makes a dent in its landfill load is through an unusual program — sponsoring artists who turn garbage into art.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Ft. Bragg Mill Site Cleanup

Aired on KQED's The California Report Magazine on Friday, September 5, 2008.


For almost 120 years, the coastal town of Fort Bragg in Mendocino County was home to one of the country’s largest redwood mills. When it closed in 2002, the town began to dream about its future with 3 ½ miles of rocky coastline no longer an industrial site. But the land is contaminated with dioxin and other pollutants. Last week, Fort Bragg’s city council approved an unusual plan to deal with the problem.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Birds Gone Wild

Aired on KQED Radio's The California Report Magazine on Friday, August 22, 2008.


Yes, there’s yellow police tape blocking off Memorial Park in Willows, CA. But it’s not indicative of anything sinister. Just something loud. And really smelly. For the past three years, this farm town in the Sacramento Valley has been overwhelmed by birds -- egrets, and their black-crested night heron friends. This year, about 2,000 birds nested in the park’s trees. The lawn is turning gray, the guano is killing the trees, and the birds are definitely annoying Willows’ residents, who’ve stopped using the park for lunch breaks and Easter egg hunts.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Silver Girl

It's not made of Plexiglass, it's not made of fiberglass, it's not square...

Julie Caine and I made this piece for the Third Coast Festival audio challenge called Radio Ephemera, posted August 5th, 2008.


Listen to all the Radio Ephemera entries here:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Real Learning Curve: Catapults Demonstrate the Quadratic Equation

Published on Edutopia.org on July 16, 2008.


My friend Manny Medina's a rock star math teacher. In this piece, I write about visiting his class when they present learning about quadratic equations (yawn) through catapults (yipee!).

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Model Projects: Maker Faire

Published on July 3, 2008 on Edutopia.org.


Five hundred students and their teachers flocked to Maker Faire Education Day, where two dozen inventors shared their ideas and creations -- from electronic gadgets to homemade instruments -- and discussed the scientific principles that make their work possible.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Rigor and (Civil) Rights: Helping Mississippi Students See Beyond the Delta

Published on June 1, 2008, in Edutopia Magazine, with audio slide show published on edutopia.org.


In the landscape of the Mississippi Delta, where transportation, field trip destinations, volunteers, guest speakers, and funding are in short supply, the Freedom Project is something very special. Using Sunflower County's unique history as a hotbed of civil rights activity in the 1960s as an inspiration and program model, the Freedom Project attempts what to some may seem impossible: to raise Sunflower County's estimated 52.4 percent graduation rate and ensure that each of its participants goes to college -- and succeeds there.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Maker Faire

Aired on KQED's The California Report Magazine on Friday, May 2, 2008


For many of us, the county fair conjures up images of carnival rides, the sweet taste of cotton candy and the earthy smells of farm animals. San Mateo County offers a different twist on the tradition. The attractions at this weekend's Maker Faire aren't objects that you'd find on store shelves. The fair is a celebration of creativity and imagination -- and that's why mainstream manufacturers are among those checking it out.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Good Day Sunshine: Students Rise to Solar-Car Challenge

Published on Edutopia.org on April 18, 2008.

In the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, one high school's new project-learning program is piquing students' interest in higher education and building their critical-thinking skills.


Friday, April 4, 2008

Crowning the Best Barista

Aired on KQED's The California Report Friday, April 4, 2008


It's said that across the world, coffee is the second-most consumed beverage after water. For baristas -- experts in making espresso drinks -- coffee is second to none. Thirty-five of the best baristas from California and Hawaii faced off in Berkeley last weekend at the Western Regional Barista Competition.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Treasured Island: Giving Students Real Skills and Real Responsibilities

Published on April 1, 2008 in Edutopia Magazine, with audio slide show published on edutopia.org.


Located on an island twelve miles off the coast of Maine, North Haven Community School is the smallest K-12 school in the state. But this scrappy school has, often out of necessity, developed innovations that can inspire schools of any size, anywhere.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Teaching With Passion: Advice for Young Educators

Published on March 25, 2008 on edutopia.org


I write about Jonathan Kozol, a hero to many teachers and advocate for students in high-poverty schools. In Letters to A Young Teacher and in talks to educators at the New Teacher Center Symposium, Kozol talks about building relationships, fostering creativity, and standing up for students.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Living Legends: Oral History Projects Bring Core Subjects to Life

Published on March 4, 2008 on edutopia.org


I get to talk to some of my favorite educators, and discuss one of my favorite student projects, in this month's project based learning article.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Modeling Wilderness Management: Build Your Own National Park

Published on February 20, 2008 on edutopia.org


I hang out with 7th graders from Santa Monica in Yosemite National Park as they learn about balancing enjoyment with preservation in this adaptable lesson from the Yosemite Institute.

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Whole Hog

Aired on KQED's The California Report Friday, February 8, 2008.


California restaurateurs are bending over backwards these days to include words like "local" and "organic" on their menus. But what about "pig cheeks," "back fat" and "trotters?" The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park recently hosted a gathering of California chefs known for pushing the culinary envelope.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Golden State: Dell' Arte International Theater

Aired on KQED's The California Report, Friday, January 25, 2008.


Nestled beneath redwoods trees, the Humboldt County town of Blue Lake is home to about 300 families and a few stores. But since the early 1970s, Blue Lake has also been home to Dell'Arte International, a world-renowned theater company and school. The inspiration for their latest play is the not-so-sunny side of California.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Traveler's Checks: Teacher-Tested Travel Grants

Published on January 9, 2008 on edutopia.org.


Educators enrich their profession with globe-trotting experience -- and get funding to do it.