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All About Science

120 Posts authored by: SIngraffea

citylights_225.jpgLittle differences can make a big change. Wherever you are on Saturday, March 23, at 8:30 p.m. (local time) turn off your lights for Earth Hour 2013! This international event, organized by the World Wildlife Fund, urges individuals, businesses, and governments to turn their lights off for one hour to unite against climate change. The hope is to create a proactive, rolling blackout around the globe.

Inspire your students to participate and discuss ways to make a difference beyond those 60 minutes. This collection of resources focuses on energy conservation and global climate change. Students will learn about light pollution, urban greening, the lifespan of human-made products, and the differences between renewable and nonrenewable energy sources.

Check out Thinkfinity's Energy Management collection for more ways to help your class become good environmental citizens.

Art programs in schools are often the first to get cut when budgets are tight. Some advocates believe that arts enhance learning in all areas, including math and science. Do you think changing STEM to STEAM will help students’ academic performance in school? What about beyond the classroom?


This week's ScienceLive Chat guests, Daniel Levitin and Keith Oatley, study the relationship between arts and intelligence.


While this live chat may be taking place after students have left for the day, you can submit questions early and an archive podcast and transcript of the show will be available on the show page.


ScienceLive Chat starts at 3pm EST on Thursday, March 14th on this page.




Science NetLinks and AAAS have a number of resources that focus on STEM and art including:


Discover how sound travels—not just through air, but through liquids and solids, too.

A hands-on experiment using paper chromatography to demonstrate color separation.

Explore how bees communicate and see if your class can reenact these dances.

Hear how researchers have developed mathematical algorithms to fill in holes, scratches, and creases in damaged masterpieces.

A neurobiologist explains why Mona Lisa’s famous smile changes depending on where you look.

Learn how studies suggest that music classes can benefit children not only culturally, but intellectually as well.

Take a virtual tour of the cave’s extraordinary Paleolithic art.

“Some of science's most remarkable statements aren't made in words.” This is a collection of unusual or striking images from Science, including the International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenges.


March is Music in our Schools Month! Visit Thinkfinity’s “Orchestrating Success" collection for suggestions on how to bring music into your class.


Wondering how can the STEM movement converge with the Arts? Join the discussion for resources and add your voice to the conversation. How are you integrating technology into your art education? Need ideas for science projects that your artsy kids will like? Here are ideas from ARTSEDGE.


For more science posts and discussions, join the All About Science group.


National Wildlife Week 2013

Posted by SIngraffea Mar 12, 2013

tree_225.jpgSponsored by the National Wildlife Federation, National Wildlife Week encourages kids to learn about the wide array of fascinating wildlife in our world. Your class can work on "Branching Out for Wildlife"—celebrating trees and their importance to wildlife and people, March 18-24, using this collection of related resources.

Follow the story of researchers studying redwoods or learn how these old growth forests formed interdependent relationship with birds. Did you know that deforestation can lead to droughts hundreds of miles away? Or that walnut trees release an aspirin-like compound when under stress? Wondering what type of tree that is near your house or school? There is an app for that!

Need more suggestions? Join the Thinkfinity discussions on citizen science opportunities, ways to encourage kids to learn from nature, and which live webcams you can follow when you can't get outside.


Women's History Month 2013

Posted by SIngraffea Feb 28, 2013

sallyride_225.jpgWomen are amazing inventors, explorers, and problem-solvers. Did you know that windshield wipers, Kevlar, and the first solar-powered devices were all created by women? The world's first computer programmer was Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie was the first person to receive two Nobel Prizes.

Celebrate the scientific work of remarkable women and inspire your class with this collection of Science NetLinks and AAAS resources. Students will discover how female scientists have shaped history and hear from young women currently working in STEM fields. From nanotechnology and engineering to green science and ecology, women are at forefront of science and technology.

We want to know: How Are You Encouraging Girls to Love Science? Join the discussion at Thinkfinity and check out their Women's History Month collection.

On Valentine's Day, almost 300 kids, ages 4-13, from Boston area schools, Boys and Girls Clubs, and afterschool programs visited the Harvard Museum of Natural History for AAAS Public Science Day 2013.  Harvard grad students and museum staff took small groups through different areas of the museum to conduct hands-on science experiments and explore the exhibits.  Kids had the opportunity to build gliders, learn about the different ways nature uses color to communicate, construct towers out of every day materials, uncover animal bones, look at meteorites, and much more.








It was a great success and the kids had a blast!  They also loved the valentines we gave them.



engineering.jpg“Celebrate Awesome” February 17–23 during National Engineers Week! Foster interest in the myriad of ways that engineering helps shape the modern world. From the roads we drive on to our entertainment options and from the wonders of the world to the lure of the unknown, engineering touches our lives daily and holds the promise of discoveries yet to come. Get your class involved with this collection of related resources from Science NetLinks. Students can design a spacecraft for a mission to Mercury or watch how engineers transform kinetic energy into thrilling roller coaster rides. Watch videos featuring nanotechnology or hear how scientists are trying to create artificial microfibers that imitate the properties of gecko's feet.


You also can add your thoughts to the Thinkfinity discussions on preparing students for careers in engineering, how are technological advancements impacting the field of engineering?, and how do you encourage K-12 students to pursue engineering?




Celebrate Darwin Day

Posted by SIngraffea Feb 7, 2013

darwin_225.jpg__225x1000_q85.jpgCelebrate the incredible life and legacy of Charles Darwin on his birthday, February 12th. Darwin Day is an international appreciation of science and humanity, paying homage to the discoveries of this scientific giant, and acknowledging the benefits that scientific progress has contributed to our society. This collection of resources focuses on Darwin, natural selection, and evolutionary theory. Your class can play a classification game, explore animal adaptations, and follow the history of our hominid ancestors.


Black History Month

Posted by SIngraffea Feb 6, 2013

blackhistorymonth.jpgHonor the achievements and major scientific contributions made by African Americans during Black History Month. This collection of Science NetLinks resources highlights prominent scientists and explores issues of race and identity. Discover the story of Henrietta Lacks and the powerful mark she left on modern medical research. Discuss factors that control variation in human skin color and how stereotypes and biases affect our lives. Inspire students by following the careers of a select group of African Americans in the STEM fields. They will learn about the diversity of science, both in terms of the work and the people engaged in the work.


For more resources, check out Thinkfinity’s collection here.


National Green Week 2014

Posted by SIngraffea Jan 28, 2013

leaf.jpgSustainability issues, green living, and energy challenges are all big news these days. Why not use National Green Week, February 3–7, to help kick off a new year of environmental education and start a conversation in your classroom? Motivate your students to get involved with environmental issues and highlight ways they can make a difference. For resources, check out our collections on Earth Day, disposable culture, and the science of energy. Play a game to see how you would deal with positive and negative consequences of various types of power. Show students that products have lifespans and when we’re through with them, we need to recycle, reuse, and re-imagine new purposes for them. 


Find more lesson plans, activities, and participation challenges from the Green Education Foundation. Join in Thinkfinity’s discussion about “going green” and visit our partners at Wonderopolis for an answer to kids wondering what happens to recycled items.


National Reading Day

Posted by SIngraffea Jan 14, 2013

boyreading_225.jpgAn early love of reading helps foster a lifetime of learning. National Reading Day, celebrated on January 23rd, is a literacy event designed to encourage Pre-K–3rd grade students to develop a strong reading foundation. Help cultivate this critical educational tool with a collection of resources Science NetLinks has created using award-winning science books. Since 2006, we have used the SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books winners as inspiration for lessons for all grade levels. Uncover picture books exploring seabirds and animal camouflage, hands-on books with daring experiments, and books for older students about ethics and evolution.


Check out our tool, SB&F Recommended Books for the Science Classroom, and visit SB&F to see the finalists for the 2013 book awards, including the feature in Science. Share your thoughts and get ideas in discussions about science ebook recommendations and ways to partner with your school's librarians.

mlkjr.jpgMartin Luther King, Jr., is one of the United States most celebrated civil rights activists. A minister, Dr. King championed causes related to race, class, and human rights. He worked tirelessly to help bring civil rights to minorities and spent the years before his assassination focusing on anti-war and anti-poverty issues. Modern memorials to Dr. King often include a public service component on the day set aside to mark his birth, the third Monday of January (1/21/13).

Honor the remarkable life and legacy of Dr King with your classroom using this collection of resources. Your class can discuss poverty and social change, explore the evolving classifications of race, and confront stereotypes.

For more resources related to Dr King, visit Thinkfinity’s collection.

snowtrees_225.jpgKeep kids busy and engaged over the break by doing fun, informal experiments at home. Check out our collection of afterschool resources for ideas. You can build a model geyser using household items, do chemistry experiments with ice and salt, or put gravity to the test. Our collection of Summer Science Fun resources extends well beyond the warmer months with reading suggestions, educational computer games, and more hands-on activites. Play around with static electricity, compare the size of planets, and test the strength of magnets.

If you're looking for resources related to winter and the holidays, visit Thinkfinity's Special Holiday Resource collection. Find out how Frosty the Snowman Meets His Demise, why you get the chills, the science behind winter sports, and much more.

Happy Holidays!

DrivingPhone_225.jpgEvery 30 minutes, someone in the United States dies as a result of impaired driving. Every two minutes, someone is injured in an alcohol-related accident. In order to raise awareness about this serious problem, December has been designated National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month. This month is particularly dangerous on the roads due to more traffic and a high incidence of alcohol and drug-related traffic crashes. During December 2009, drunk or drugged drivers killed 753 people in traffic crashes.


First designated so in 1982 by President Ronald Reagan, National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month highlights the problems that may occur when someone consumes alcohol or takes drugs—either legal or illegal—and then gets behind the wheel. Encourage everyone to drive responsibly—even if that means choosing not to drive when impaired or not to get into a car with a driver who isn't clear-headed. Science NetLinks has a great collection of resources related to alcohol, including The Science Inside Alcohol Project E-Book. We also offer a number of resources related to impaired driving including Driving and Talking, Cell Phones & Driving, and Talking & Driving.


On the Origin of Species

Posted by SIngraffea Nov 19, 2012

darwin_225.jpgNo conversation about evolution is complete without a discussion of British naturalist Charles Darwin and his seminal science text, On the Origin of Species. Published on November 24,1859, this text introduced evolution to the general public and became an instant best seller. Start a discussion in your class using our collection of resources focused on Darwin, evolutionary theory, and natural selection. Students will explore what can be learned from fossils, how they are formed, and the difference between fact and theory. Compare the theories of Jean Baptiste Lamarck and Charles Darwin, follow the evolution of feathers, and play a game based on natural selection

nativeamerican.jpgNovember marks Native American Heritage Month to highlight and honor the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of this nation. Explore this rich history using related Science NetLinks resources. Introduce students to the science of linguistics, endangered languages, and how some cultures are using technology to help preserve their language. Follow one project trying to save a dying language native to Alaska and another that reconstructed an extinct Algonquian language for a Hollywood movie. Your class can develop an understanding of the interrelatedness of technology, culture, and environment as illustrated by the Chumash culture or explore the 20-year effort to learn what happened to the ancient residents of the American Southwest.

For more resources, check out Thinkfinity's collection.

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