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All About Science

120 Posts authored by: SIngraffea

National Park Week 2014

Posted by SIngraffea Apr 15, 2014

monumentvalley.jpg"Go Wild!" April 19-27 during National Park Week. National Parks are free Saturday, April 19, and Sunday, April 20, so get out there and explore some of the over 400 parks! They range from the tiny Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial in Pennsylvania, which comprises only .02 acres, to Alaska's massive Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, spanning a vast 13.2 million acres.

Uncover the history and breadth of our national parks and the diversity found within them using our collection of resources. Learn about the wolves in Yellowstone, the redwoods in California, and the invasive pythons in the Everglades. Your class also can find out how forces of nature have shaped the landscape.

library_225.jpgThink about all the ways “Lives change @ your library” during School Library Month and National Library Week, April 13-19. School libraries play a vital role in students' educational development, broadening their minds while promoting literacy. Libraries bring communities together, encourage lifelong learning, and provide free resources for everyone.

Inspire kids to visit their libraries by introducing them to great STEM books. This collection of resources is based on award-winning titles for all age groups. Read about citizen science projects, the ethics of medical research, or the science that goes into saving a species. Students also can discover hands-on experiments to try in A Taste of Exploratopia or The Book of Potentially Catastrophic Science. To find more reading recommendations, use the SB&F Recommended Books for the Science Classroom tool.


National Poetry Month

Posted by SIngraffea Apr 8, 2014

poetry_225.jpgPair your STEM with prose this April during National Poetry Month. The Academy of American Poets uses this event to increase the role of poetry in schools, honor the legacy of our poetic history, and bring poetry to the public in innovative ways. One way you could do this is by integrating poetry into your science classroom.

The Poetry Across the Sciences tool explores how poetry can complement science instruction and make it richer. Use poetry to teach students about camouflage with the Where in the Wild? lesson based on an award-winning book. For more, check out SB&F's reading recommendations that blend poetry and science. You can also find resources from all our partners at Thinkfinity with this collection.

stethoscope_225.jpgOrganized by the American Public Health Association, National Public Health Week, April 7-13, is designed to educate the public, government, and practitioners about public health issues. This year, there are daily themes to promote health and safety: "Be healthy from the start," "Don't panic," "Get out ahead," "Eath well," and "Be the healthiest nation in one generation."

Encourage your class to make good decisions about their well-being using our Health Literacy and Exercise and Nutrition collections. World Health Day will kick off the week, on April 7th. The focus this year is on protecting yourself from vector-borne diseases. Vectors are small organisms, including mosquitos and ticks, that carry serious diseases like malaria and dengue. To learn more about malaria, check out this blog post covering the AAAS Malaria: Blood, Sweat, and Tears exhibit. You can also hear how mosquitoes have a better sense of smell at night, how scientists predict West Nile outbreaks, how Lyme disease correlates with the waning fox population, and how invasive, disease-carrying tiger mosquitoes are adapting to new habitats.


BioBlitz 2014

Posted by SIngraffea Mar 24, 2014

sanfrangoldengate_225.jpgBioBlitz is a 24-hour event in which volunteer scientists, educators, students, and families conduct a natural census of a region. They team up to identify as many organisms as they can in the designated area. This year's BioBlitz will be held March 28-29 at the Golden Gate National Parks in California. AAAS's Bob Hirshon will be there to report back with a series of videos and blog posts throughout the event. Look for his coverage in Thinkfinity's Community Hub.

Bring the excitement into your class with our collection of related resources, including highlights from Bob's previous BioBlitz adventures. Give your students an introduction to animal diversity, skull diversity, and biodiversity. Talk about field investigation, explore local ecosystems, and learn about the importance of conservation biology. Plan your own census and collect data for citizen science projects with apps like iNaturalist, Project Noah, Leafsnap, and Project BudBurst. Interested in more citizen projects? Learn about making scientific discoveries in your own backyard with this lesson based on an award-winning book.


Earth Hour 2014

Posted by SIngraffea Mar 18, 2014


Join people from around the world in the fight against climate change during Earth Hour 2014! On Saturday, March 29, at 8:30 p.m. (local time), turn off your lights and be a part of a global, rolling blackout. This event, organized by the World Wildlife Fund, urges individuals, businesses, and governments to turn their lights off for one hour to show their commitment to protecting the planet.


Participating in Earth Hour is a small step your students can take in exploring conservation and ways to become good environmental citizens. Inspire your students to make a difference beyond the single hour with this collection of resources focused on energy conservation and global climate change. Your class will discover how our oceans are transforming, the benefits of urban greening, the dangers of light pollution, and the role of citizen scientists in studying the changing climate.


Music in our Schools Month

Posted by SIngraffea Mar 12, 2014

musicinourschools_225.jpgCelebrate the role that music plays in education during March as part of Music in our Schools Month. This event raises awareness of the importance of music education and acts as a reminder that all children should have access to music in schools. Not only does music help to stimulate creativity and offer a soundtrack to our lives, but it also causes interesting things to go on in our brains, as neuroscientists are now learning.

Discuss how sound works, learn about sound waves, and experiment with the movement of sound. Exlpore the ways sound travels—not just through air, but through liquids and solids, too. Wondering how quiet or loud noises compare to one another? This interactive sound ruler demonstrates real-world sounds ranging from 0-140 decibels.

Students also can listen to podcasts covering research in areas including how music interacts with our brain, our culture, and our technology: Bouncing Babies, Music & Intelligence, Music & IQ, Air Guitar, Browsing Music, Computer Composer, Driving Music, Musical Illusion, Perfect Pitch, 27 Club Myth, and Stone Age Tunes.

Find more classroom resources with Thinkfinity's March Is "Music in Our Schools" Month collection.

ride.jpgDid you know the original idea and first patent that led to cell phone technology belonged to a woman? The first solar-powered devices, windshield wipers, dishwashers, and Kevlar were all created by women. The work of female scientists led to the discovery of the chemical compostions of stars and the detection of dark matter in the universe. The world's original computer programmer was a woman and it was a woman who became the first person to receive two Nobel Prizes.

Women are amazing researchers, problem-solvers, inventors, and explorers. Inspire your students and celebrate the major scientific contributions of women throughout history with this collection of resources. You also can encourgage innovation with this collection focused on inventors and inventions. Explore the ways female scientists have impacted history and paved the way for women currently working in STEM fields.

Check out Thinkfinity's March is National Women's History Month for even more resources.

rollercoaster_225.jpg“Let's Make a Difference” February 16–22 during National Engineers Week! The theme calls on engineers, educators, and technologists to show kids (and adults!) all the ways that engineering improves our everyday lives and impacts the modern world. From advancing medicine, building the roads we drive on, and creating new forms of entertainment, engineering is everywhere.

Inspire your class with this collection of resources. Students can see how engineers are creating new materials with properties based on beetle scales, gecko feet, and spider legs. They also can watch a series of videos explaining materials like quasicrystals and graphene. Build a water clock, learn about chemical engineering, design a spacecraft, or hear how researchers have transmitted information from one person's brain to another.

You also can check out our collection on Inventors and Inventions for more resources. Thinkfinity has an Engineers Week 2014 collection and discussions on preparing students for careers in engineering and encouraging K-12 students to pursue engineering.


Darwin Day

Posted by SIngraffea Feb 7, 2014

Charles_Darwin_Standing.jpgCharles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809, and his birthday is celebrated around the world as a day of appreciation for the intersection of science and humanity. Darwin Day honors the discoveries made by this scientific giant and acknowledges the benefits that scientific progress has contributed to our society. This day was founded on the idea that science is an international language that all people can share.

Talk to your class about Darwin's incredible life and legacy with this collection of resources highlighting natural selection and evolutionary theory. Learn about fossils and dinosaurs, the evolution of feathers, and compare the theories of Darwin and Lamark. Your students also can play games focused on natural selection and classification.


2014 Winter Olympics

Posted by SIngraffea Feb 3, 2014

skate_225.jpgApproximately 6,000 athletes from more than 85 nations will converge upon Sochi, Russia, to take part in 89 events across seven different disciplines. An additional 1,650 athletes from 45 nations will take part in the Paralympics two weeks later. Without realizing it, athletes also will compete to see who can best make use of science. Science—be it the physics of a snowboarder's flips, the engineering of a luger's sled, or the biochemical makeup of a biathlete's pre-race meal—serves as a common strand tying the various competitors together. Science even comes into play with more negative aspects of the Games, such as the continual testing to prevent the use of illegal biochemical substances designed to boost athletes' performance.

Check out our collection of Olympics- and sports-related resources to show the excitement, hard work, and dedication that takes place not only in the snow and on the ice during the Games, but also in the laboratories and on computer screens beforehand. For even more materials, see Thinkfinity's Winter Olympics collection.


Digital Learning Day 2014

Posted by SIngraffea Jan 31, 2014

keyboard_225.jpgDigital Learning Day, February 5th, focuses on giving students the opportunity to learn in an increasingly digital environment everyday. The event raises awareness for digital learning instructional practices and the effective use of technology in K-12 classrooms, ensuring that every child has the opportunity to learn in an innovative, digital environment. Exposing students to a technologically enhanced education prepares them for a future in today's interconnected world beyond the school environment.

Wondering how to get started? We have a growing collection of reviewed STEM-related apps to keep science at your finger tips. Your class can explore the systems of the body, manipulate molecules, and pilot a spaceship. Check out this blog post about how a computer science education helps develop problem solving, computational thinking, and abstract reasoning. You'll find resources highlighting the intersections between technology and art, sports, and video games. We also have nearly 100 videos arranged by grade band (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12) that cover everything from science fairs and Pluto to endangered languages and solar cells. Did you know we have close to 400 podcasts for kids?

You also can find tips and advice from Thinkfinity's Going #MobileEdChat Series. Watch  videos from experts and find resources from the archived Twitter chats. Thinkfinity also has collections for Digital Learning Resources for Educators, Mobile Apps for Educators, and Mobile Learning Meets Common Core.


National Reading Day 2014

Posted by SIngraffea Jan 14, 2014

library_225.jpgEncourage a lifelong love of reading during National Reading Day, January 23. This literacy event promotes the importance of a strong reading foundation for Pre-K–3rd grade students. Help cultivate this critical educational tool and get your students excited about reading with this collection based on award-winning science books.

Using the SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books winners as inspiration, we create lessons, podcasts, and videos to help bring these books into the STEM classroom. Discover dinosaur eggs, learn to be a citizen scientist, and discuss climate change. Wondering about this year's winners? Visit SB&F to see the finalists for the 2014 book awards.

Find even more books using the tools, SB&F Recommended Books for the Science Classroom and Science Reading Suggestions. Share your thoughts and get ideas in discussions about science ebook recommendations and ways to partner with your school's librarians from Thinkfinity.


Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Posted by SIngraffea Jan 13, 2014

mlkjr_300.jpgCelebrate the remarkable life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. This pivotal figure in the Civil Rights Movement championed causes related to race, class, poverty, and human rights. The third Monday of January (1/20/14) is set aside to mark his birthday and often includes a call to public service in tribute to his memory.

Honor Martin Luther King, Jr., in your class with this collection of resources focused on social change, race, and confronting stereotypes. For more resources related to Dr. King, visit this collection from Thinkfinity.

carcrash_225.jpgLast year, drunk or drugged drivers killed 830 people in traffic crashes during the month of December. The holiday season is particularly dangerous on the roads due to more traffic and a high incidence of alcohol and drug-related traffic crashes. Help raise awareness about these preventable tragedies during National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month.

Talk to you students about problems that may occur when someone consumes alcohol or takes drugs—either legal or illegal—and then gets behind the wheel. Emphazise the importance of driving responsibly—even if that means choosing not to drive when impaired or not to get into a car with a driver who isn't clearheaded. We have a collection of resources explaining science behind alcohol with a focus on chemistry and neuroscience. The Science Inside Alcohol Project E-Book guides students through the effects of alcohol on the body and some of the physical and social consequences of underage drinking. Hear about teen brains and binge drinking, explore the social ramifications of alcohol abuse, and get advice on talking to kids about drinking. We also offer a number of resources related to impaired driving, including Driving and Talking, Cell Phones & Driving, Talking & Driving, and Driving while Distracted.

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