What does it take to be a ballerina? Why would a scientist collect poop? How might a Black, female police officer feel about the state of policing today? No two jobs require the same set of skills and interests. This elementary collection features the voices of workers as they describe various aspects of their jobs, including why they chose their work, what tasks their job requires, and what it takes to be successful. These stories detailing the passion many workers feel toward their jobs, as well as the teamwork and determination they bring to the workplace, will open students’ minds to some of the many possible career paths ahead of them.
Populations of migrating birds have declined sharply, and scientists are trying to figure out why. This audio story features an interview with a biologist and bird expert about how and why scientists are tracking migratory birds and what people can do to help them. Listen to hear about how tagging birds with radio transmitters can help wildlife biologists understand their behavior and discover why migratory birds are disappearing.
Paleontologists learn about dinosaurs by searching for and studying fossils, which provide evidence about how a living dinosaur would have looked or acted. They use what they learn to teach others. Occasionally, paleontologists make a discovery that changes a previously accepted idea. Listen to hear more about what paleontologists do, and to learn about some of the dinosaurs that have been discovered and named.
A biologist was curious to know what he could learn about the bacteria living inside of us, so he decided to collect his poop every day for a year. The focus of his study was the microbiome, or collection of microorganisms, found in our bodies. An experiment he thought would be simple turned out to be quite complex. Listen to learn about the challenges the scientist faced and what his study revealed about the human microbiome.
Police officers have been a part of communities in America for a long time. Their job is to help keep people safe and ensure that citizens are following the laws. However, there have been many protests recently across the country because of how some police officers treat people of color, particularly those who are Black. There are many different ideas about how to improve police departments. Listen to hear a Black female police officer talk about her career and her thoughts about policing today.
Weather is constantly changing, and it affects peoples’ lives every day. Meteorologists study the weather and help people prepare for what is coming by giving weather forecasts. In this audio story, a meteorologist describes his fascination with weather from a young age and how his fear of extreme weather inspired him to learn more about it. Listen to a meteorologist discuss his job and why he loves it, and hear him answer questions about extreme weather, waves, and climate.
Pets are an important part of many people’s lives. Different types of animals have different needs, and some are more difficult to care for than others. It is important that pet owners know the appropriate way to care for their pet to ensure they are living a healthy and well-balanced life. Listen to an interview with a veterinarian as he talks about his passion for animals, answers questions about pet care, and discusses how he feels the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the animals living in people's homes.
Many people have a negative reaction to the sound of a buzzing insect. Past experience or an allergic reaction may inspire a person to run from or even swat at a bee. However, bumblebees actually help humans, and right now they need the help of humans to maintain their survival. Listen to learn more about bees and hear a conservationist talk about what can be done to keep the population thriving.
Practice makes perfect–especially for a ballerina. The more ballerinas practice, the stronger they become and the more they can learn. Ballet is an art form that allows dancers to express themselves and share their talents with others. It can seem like pure magic every time a ballerina takes the stage. However, it takes years of dedication and practice in order for a dancer to perform at this level. Listen to the artistic director of the Washington Ballet talk about her love of the arts and ballet, and what it takes to be a ballerina.
When a reader sees him or herself reflected in a character, that character can come to life. Some children, however, never find a character they can relate to. Pakistani and Muslim author Hena Khan had this unfortunate experience growing up, but it did not destroy her passion for reading and writing. Listen to hear how Khan infuses her Pakistani and Muslim roots into her stories and characters to fill the gap she experienced as a young reader.
Oceans are home to millions of sea creatures, but not everyone is lucky enough to be able to take a trip to the ocean to see these creatures up close. This is where aquariums come in. Aquariums allow people to connect with nature and learn about many different species of ocean animals. But aquariums may not always be the best place for those animals to live. Listen to the president of Baltimore’s National Aquarium discuss some of the amazing animals in his care and the challenges of providing them with everything they need.
What would you do if you spotted a rattlesnake? A Texan man is in the business of removing unwanted snakes from underneath people’s houses. He has been fascinated with snakes all his life, and he has figured out a way to earn a living helping people and snakes at the same time. Listen to this interview with the man to learn about his passion for snakes and how it inspired his work.
A traveling museum is inspiring future scientists, engineers, and innovators. When the Perot Museum of Nature and Science sent their Tech Truck to visit a Texas high school, it brought learning stations and “wonder kits” that provided materials for students to engage in creative STEM projects. The school’s leader believes that bringing this museum field trip experience to her students will help bring the joy back to learning after extensive virtual school during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Listen to learn about the students’ projects and how experiences like exploring the museum truck can last a lifetime.
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