### don't make eye contact - a way of the past?

Remember the nervous feeling in the pit of your stomach when you knew the teacher was about to call on someone to answer a question that you didn't know the answer too??? You know the drill - don't make eye contact, look thoughtful but not too thoughtful...I have some vivid memories of those feelings from my days at Wauconda High School.

Now some teachers are considering using handheld computers that randomly select the names of students to be called on. A U of Florida study showed that this was effective in increasing student participation and preparation for class. The technique was studied in high school math classes and was initially created as a response to the fact that some teachers tend to call on boys more often than girls. Read the University of Florida News story here.

Time will tell whether schools feel this is a worthwhile investment, but I'm glad it wasn't around when I was in school!

1. Although I am all for giving teachers gimmicky gadgets to play with, there is a low tech psuedo-random method for picking students that an education professor showed me.
First, pick a small number (like an integer from 3 to 10) at the beginning of class. Then, count down the rollsheet that number and when you finish call on that student. Next time, start at that student's name and count down the sheet again. When at the bottom of the list, rollover your counting to the top. Cost = \$0.

### How 4,000 Physicists Gave a Vegas Casino its Worst Week Ever

What happens when several thousand distinguished physicists, researchers, and students descend on the nation’s gambling capital for a conference? The answer is "a bad week for the casino"—but you'd never guess why.

### Ask a Physicist: Phone Flash Sharpie Shock!

Lexie and Xavier, from Orlando, FL want to know: "What's going on in this video ? Our science teacher claims that the pain comes from a small electrical shock, but we believe that this is due to the absorption of light. Please help us resolve this dispute!"

### The Science of Ice Cream: Part One

Even though it's been a warm couple of months already, it's officially summer. A delicious, science-filled way to beat the heat? Making homemade ice cream. (We've since updated this article to include the science behind vegan ice cream. To learn more about ice cream science, check out The Science of Ice Cream, Redux ) Image Credit: St0rmz via Flickr Over at Physics@Home there's an easy recipe for homemade ice cream. But what kind of milk should you use to make ice cream? And do you really need to chill the ice cream base before making it? Why do ice cream recipes always call for salt on ice?