The Scout Report -- Volume 27, Number 29

The Scout Report -- Volume 27, Number 29
July 23, 2021
Volume 27, Number 29

General Interest

Theme: Architecture Education

Revisited

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General Interest

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TreeSheets
Science

TreeSheets calls itself a "free form hierarchical spreadsheet," that offers the intuitive usability of a spreadsheet or text editor combined with the organizational capabilities of an outline or mind map. From simple to-do lists and calendars to more complex data organization such as project management and requirements gathering, the hierarchical spreadsheet is astonishingly versatile. It is structured as a grid that will be familiar to spreadsheet users, but TreeSheets can also be easily divided into subgrids, allowing for nested organization and endless layout options. Users can change fonts or colors and insert images with a few clicks (also worth mentioning is the availability of unlimited "undo" functions). As evidenced by the simple website design, TreeSheets is compact and uses minimal memory (5MB for the equivalent of 100 pages of text on Windows 7, according to the developer). To see the tool in action and view a sampling of the style and layout options, readers can click the "Screenshots" link. Selecting the "Tutorials" link, readers will find how-tos for three types of learners: an in-app follow-along tutorial, a video, and a written tutorial. TreeSheets is free and open-source and is developed by Dutch programmer Wouter van Oortmerssen. [HCL]

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NASA Precipitation Education: Societal Applications
Science

Drinking water, agriculture, extreme weather survival, climate change resilience, and other essential aspects of life depend on the availability of water and understanding its movement around the globe. NASA's Societal Applications collection of detailed lesson plans and other resources is designed for learners to apply knowledge of precipitation and the water cycle to real-life problems. The curricula encourage students to use real data from NASA research for activities such as forecasting which regions of the world may experience a change in freshwater availability, creating a climatogram for a U.S. city, and designing a building that can withstand a hurricane. In the menu on the right side of the landing page, users can browse the materials by type, audience, age of learner, or subtopic (e.g., freshwater resources or world health). Or, users can scroll to the bottom of the landing page to browse featured resources. [HCL]

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Your Toolkit for Addressing Misinformation
Social studies

Individuals can take an active role in protecting themselves and others from misinformation (false and misleading information) and disinformation (intentionally deceptive misinformation). This toolkit is designed to help readers understand their role in stopping the spread of misinformation. The first part of the resource gives a brief overview of the risks and impacts of misinformation, why people fall for it, and what it looks like (pages 3-6). Then the toolkit outlines actionable techniques to combat misinformation, such as digital citizenship, the inoculation method, forewarnings, nudging, and the consensus effect (pages 7-10). There are also tips for effectively talking to others about misinformation (pages 11-12) and correcting or debunking false narratives (page 13). Readers who find they accidentally shared misinformation will learn how to correct it (page 14). The toolkit comes from Evidence for Democracy, a Canadian nonpartisan nonprofit that promotes transparent, evidence-based policymaking in Canada. It is partially funded by the government of Canada. [HCL]

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Cultural Survival Quarterly 45, no.1: Indigenous Women: The Strength of Our Communities
Social studies

Founded in 1972, Cultural Survival is a nonprofit dedicated to "advocat[ing] for Indigenous Peoples' rights and support[ing] Indigenous communities' self-determination, cultures and political resilience." In pursuit of this mission, the organization publishes Cultural Survival Quarterly, a magazine highlighting the experiences of Indigenous people. The March 2021 issue (45, no. 1) of Cultural Survival Quarterly focuses on stories of Indigenous women. Featured articles include "Living in Two Worlds in Sapmi," an interview with Saami climate change expert Jannie Staffansson; "Head Up, Pencil Down, No Longer Invisible: Being Queer and Indigenous in Academia," by Lindsey Balidoy (Bad River Ojibwe and Tiwa Pueblo) about their student experience at UC-Davis and Native Nest (NAASSC), the Native American Academic Student Success Center; and "The Auntie Effect," by journalist and educator Corinne Rice-Grey Cloud (Mohawk and Lakota), discussing how she uses social media to be an auntie to 32,000 nieces and nephews on Instagram. Prior installments of Cultural Survival Quarterly dating to 1981 can be viewed by opening the menu icon in the top-left corner of the site and clicking the Back Issues tab (under Our Publications). The magazine is available in both English and Spanish (found via the Revistas Pasadas en Espanol tab, under Our Publications in the site menu). [DS]

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Prevalence and characteristics of childfree adults in Michigan
Social studies

The joys of parenting are not for everyone, according to new research findings that show childfree people are equally satisfied with their lives as those with children. The study defines "childfree" individuals as those who intentionally decide not to have children, as opposed to parents, those who plan to have children, and childless people who would have liked to have children. The distinction between childfree people and other non-parents makes this study unique among similar studies. In addition to gauging life satisfaction, the study sought to estimate the prevalence of childfree people and looked for differences in political ideology and personality between childfree people, parents, and other types of non-parents. The researchers also studied how the different groups feel about each other, to determine if childfree people are viewed as an outgroup. Readers can scroll the full text of the article or use the links on the left side to skip to a certain section. In the Results section, the Population and Sample Characteristics subsection discusses the prevalence and demographic characteristics of childfree people in Michigan, where the study took place. The Discussion section provides the researchers' interpretation of the results and further thoughts on the study. The authors of the study are psychologists Dr. Jennifer Watling Neal and Dr. Zachary P. Neal of Michigan State University. The study was supported by a Michigan Applied Public Policy Research grant from the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research and by a Departmental Collaborative Grant from the Department of Psychology at Michigan State University. [HCL]

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Theme: Architecture Education

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Teaching by Design: Lesson Plans
Arts

Teaching by Design seeks to carry on the legacy of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright with lesson plans that bring art, design, and nature into the classroom. Wright's ideas, such as organic architecture and community design, are connected with cross-curricular themes including geometry, biology, visual art, and social studies. For example, the "Sprouting Design" activity, inspired by Wright's Robie House, lets students design the footprint of a building with geometric shapes and then germinate grass seeds to create a 3D model of their structure. On the Lesson Plans landing page, each resource is labeled with integrated subjects, as well as the target grade level. Filters at the top of the page let visitors search lesson plans by grade level or subject. Readers can click "View Lesson" for a downloadable PDF of the lesson plan. Teaching by Design is funded in part by the Terra Foundation for American Art and by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. [HCL]

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The Architectural Imagination
Arts

Architecture is both aesthetic expression and technical achievement, and it engages with history, culture, and society. Students in this free course from Harvard University will explore architecture from all of these perspectives, while learning about architectural design, theory, and history. Academics, hobbyists, and aspiring professional architects will learn hands-on skills such as modeling, perspective drawing, and typology while examining examples of both traditional and contemporary architecture. Readers can view the syllabus before enrolling by clicking "Take Course" and scrolling to the Syllabus section. The course is self-paced and estimated to take 3-5 hours each week over the course of 10 weeks. Auditing is free (students may also choose to pay a fee to receive a certificate upon completion). All video lessons include transcripts. A team of four faculty in architecture, architectural theory, and architectural history teach the course. Those interested in additional online classes can explore Harvard's full offerings by clicking the "view all courses" button in the top-left corner of the page. [HCL]

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IIT Roorkee: Sustainable Architecture
Arts

Those interested in sustainable building and urban planning should check out this free video course taught by Dr. Avlokita Agrawal of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee. The course begins with an overview of the concepts of sustainability and sustainable development from a historical perspective, considering how these ideas relate to architecture and other domains such as health, urban planning, and transportation. Dr. Agrawal discusses the meaning of sustainable architecture in relation to other concepts (e.g., green building, eco building, and climate-responsive building). The course delves into five parameters of the design and implementation of sustainable architecture: site development, energy, water, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. Students also learn how to use a whole building simulation tool to create models, forecast energy impacts, and more. The course is designed for undergraduate students, but is also useful for graduate students, faculty, and professionals interested in sustainable building concepts and design. The course comprises video lectures, most around 25-50 minutes in length. [HCL]

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Center for Architecture: K-12 Education
Arts

Little builders and future architects will love these short at-home design projects from the Center for Architecture at the American Institute of Architecture New York (AIANY). Architecture and urban planning concepts are explored in the context of New York City. Grown-ups will appreciate that all of the projects call for basic materials found at home. Many require nothing more than paper and a pencil (for example, "Complete the Missing Half of a Symmetrical Building"). Digital activities introduce kids to useful online resources and only need a device with internet access, such as "Then and Now Using the Urban Archive," which looks at historical images of New York City. To check out the site's offerings, readers should click the "Architecture at Home" link. Video demos of some of the activities are on the AIANY Center for Architecture's Instagram page (@centerforarch) in the K-12 education story highlight. The Center for Architecture is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, among other organizations. [HCL]

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Columbia GSAPP YouTube Channel
Arts

From office buildings to prisons to Mars settlements, what do we think about when we design spaces? How does planning influence urban society in the past, present, and future? All of these questions and more are ripe for exploration thanks to the YouTube channel of Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP). Most videos are recordings of live events such as lectures, panels, and presentations by faculty, students, and special guests. The most popular videos exemplify the breadth of cross-disciplinary content Columbia GSAPP offers, including talks from fashion designer Virgil Abloh (see the "Spring 2017 Core Lecture Series" playlist) and international architect Bjarke Ingels (see the "Spring 2020 Lecture Series" playlist), as well as a profile of 20th-century Turkish-Armenian brothel owner and real estate investor Matild Manukyan (see the "Studio-X Istanbul" playlist). Viewers can find the most popular videos by clicking the "Sort by" button on the right side and selecting "Most popular." Do not miss the recent four-part series of panels, "Planning Futures? On Decolonial, Postcolonial, and Abolitionist Planning" or the video "Space Settlements," a conversation about architecture in outer space. Historical preservation enthusiasts should check out the "Stonewall 50: Defining LGBTQ Site Preservation" panel (available in three videos from April 15, 2019). The channel hosts a decade's worth of more than 1200 videos, with more added weekly. [HCL]

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Revisited

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Ancient Rome in Chicago
Arts

What better way to learn about architecture than a virtual tour of Chicago, a city world-famous for its unique mix of architectural styles? Northwestern University classics professor Dr. Francesca Tataranni brings a classical antiquity perspective to some of the city's iconic landmarks and lesser-known historical gems. Some new sites have been added since the project was last featured in the 12-08-2019 issue of the Scout Report.

Launched in 2019, Ancient Rome in Chicago leads visitors on an "architectural tour showcasing the many ways in which Chicago's enduring, protean, and at times antagonistic dialogue with classical antiquity has shaped the city's look, reputation, and identity." Everyone from long-time residents to those who have yet to visit Chicago will find intriguing historical and architectural background information about the city in this virtual tour. Toggle over points on the map or use the arrow keys to explore some of the city's famous buildings, from Museum Campus to Soldier Field. Text, pictures, and videos bring the project to life, in addition to the interactive mapping tools. Users can return to the macroscaled map at any time by clicking the "Map Overview" button in the upper-left corner. Dr. Tataranni designed the project using StoryMap technology, and with the assistance of The Alumnae of Northwestern University, Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, Media and Design Studio, Classicizing Chicago Project, and the Department of Classics at Northwestern. [EMB] [HCL]

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