Cresting the wood planked deck of the Brooklyn Bridge on a bicycle is an experience to behold. The early dawn light illuminates the buildings of downtown Brooklyn. The multitude of steel cables rising to the top of the ominous stone tower ahead of me intersect and appear to reshuffle as I glide along the path. A glimmering Statue of Liberty can be seen on my right balancing the imposing structure of the Manhattan Bridge to my left.

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As I launch into the fast paced downhill portion of the bridge, the clacking of the wooden planks under my spinning tires jolts…


As a teacher I think a lot about what is worth teaching. Framing questions, allocating time for discussion, structuring projects, and designing assessments all involve value judgements where I weigh one use of time against another. Time is a limited resource in the classroom and as a teacher I want to make good use of it. How do you decide when a tangential discussion is worth pursuing and when it is time to move on? How do you ensure that the projects you assign are the best path of learning for your students. These days with a global pandemic going…


Being a father is one of the most important parts of my identity. So I am trying to make sense of fatherhood in this new blog series which I am calling Father Stories. I find value in writing about the things most important to me and that writing can lead to some clarity. Maybe I am writing this blog because I think of fatherhood as an accomplishment. But, being a father is very different from other life accomplishments like completing a degree program, getting a job, or winning an award. These accomplishments are framed by ambition and the tireless pursuit…


On a recent family trip we delayed our start of the day in a cabin for a few hours because of a morning rainstorm. I usually get antsy when I can’t get going first thing in the morning, but between the beautiful damp forest, the soothing sound of rainfall, and the fascinating accumulation of water on the bottom of the roof I was pretty content just sitting and experiencing the rain. I even took this video of it on my phone.

As I was sitting there admiring the beautiful artwork that nature was creating in front of me, I…


In previous articles I have sometimes used the word simulation to describe my p5.js sketches. But what is a simulation? What does it mean to create a simulation of a natural phenomena? Some movies such as the Matrix have portrayed the human condition as a simulation. The conspiracy theory of a higher set of beings who generated a contrived context for humans might be a bit much for me. But if you take out the conspiracy and the higher beings perhaps thinking of the world we live in as a simulation has some merit. According to Physics the universe is…


This Spring during the COVID-19 lockdown I was spending a lot of time in my home. Much of that time was dedicated to my school job and spending time with my family. But given that I stopped commuting, was living with teenage children who have their own lives, and was prevented from doing many of the activities that usually consume my time, I was on the lookout for a new project.

So I took up drawing and painting. I have always loved photography. Taking walks, looking closely at the world around me, and attempting to capture it in the camera…


When I was 17 years old I fell in love with Physics. School was not always an easy place for my teenage self. I was a slow reader and my diagnosis of attention deficit disorder came with frequent distractions in the classroom. But along came this body of extraordinary ideas within which my learning challenges seemingly disappeared. I immediately knew that Physics was the subject for me.

Over the past 30 years I have studied Physics, taught Physics and engaged in many debates about Physics. Lately I have been looking for new ways to explore creative expression on the computer…


Before I can do much of anything such as cook a meal, calculate the forces on a projectile, or solve a math puzzle, I first need to get some aspects of the world around me into my brain. This process can be called representation because the ideas in my head represent what I perceive to be in the world. Once they are in my head I can use them in my thinking and actions.

When you doing something with a computer you also do this, but you additionally need to represent things in ways that are amenable to the structure…


It has taken me a long time to write this blog post. One might be surprised given that the current pandemic is rich with computational applications. The major news outlets have been voraciously popularizing computational models and mathematical thinking like never before. Later in this post I will share some of my favorite examples. But given all these opportunities why am I struggling to start writing and coding on COVID-19? To add to the surprise, despite my fairly busy role supporting remote learning plan for a preK-12 private school, and spending extra time with my wife and two teenage children…


While preparing for Sensational Science with Scratch, a workshop at STEM Teachers NYC, I got into a conversation with @JulietteScience (co-presenter) about other ways to include coding in the science classroom. I found out she is running a Trout in the classroom project at her school with 4th graders. Trout in the classroom involves setting up a large tank where you raise trout eggs to be released into the wild. It is a trout repopulation strategy. I was immediately interested because setting up a tank of fish is essentially creating a model of a natural river system. You need to…

Greg Benedis-Grab

exploring the intersection of coding, education and disciplinary knowledge

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