TEACHERS: Current events podcasts for the classroom!
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September 24, 2014
This summer an unprecedented number of unaccompanied young people crossed the border illegally into the United States. Many came with hopes of reuniting with family in the U.S. and escaping violence in their home countries. Now, their futures are uncertain as they are put in detention centers while their cases are processed. In today’s public radio story you meet a 13-year-old migrant and his 11-year-old brother and hear from them about their journey across the border.
September 23, 2014
A recent report shows carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rose at a record rate in 2013. Humans aren’t the only species affected by these changes. A new report by the National Audubon Society makes it clear that bird species in the U.S. and Canada are at risk of losing their habitats and potentially their lives due to climate change. Listen to this public radio story with your class to learn more about the links between changing temperatures and bird habitat and survival.
September 22, 2014
On Thursday Scottish citizens, 16 and above, turned out in record numbers to vote on the referendum on Scottish independence from the United Kingdom. Scotland and England joined to become the United Kingdom of Britain in 1707. Three-hundred and seven years later, 55% of Scottish voters voted No to independence and chose to remain in the United Kingdom. But this does not mean the status quo will remain the same. British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised Scots increased autonomy and decision making power over Scottish domestic policy. Listen to this public radio story with your class and discuss what the vote means for the future of unified United Kingdom.
September 19, 2014
Twenty years after Brown vs. The Board of Education ruled that racial segregation in schools was unconstitutional, Boston began to desegregate its school system through busing. The city’s plan to bus 18,000 students to schools outside of their neighborhoods met intense and violent resistance from the first day. The hostility and hatred radiated through Boston for months. Today’s public radio story features audio from that tumultuous period and testimonials from Boston residents who lived through the turbulent efforts to integrate public schools. NOTE: Story includes strong language from the protests.
September 18, 2014
In the last century, the coastline of Louisiana’s Lower Mississippi Delta has experienced an enormous loss of land. From man made levees, to hurricanes, to oil spills, the coastline and it’s communities have been negatively affected. In today’s public radio story as we hear from a fishing guide who has lived and worked in the area for 34 years. Listen to learn more about the societal impact of coastal erosion.
September 17, 2014
Today is Constitution Day. Help your students learn good citizenship with this story about an 11-year-old boy who loves politics. While reporting on the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri a reporter met Marquis Govan. This public radio story takes us to Marquis’ home and school in Missouri and tells the story of how he got involved in politics, how he stays engaged and what he hopes for in the future. Sharpen your listening skills and learn ways that young people can be engaged in politics well before they are old enough to vote.
September 16, 2014
A month ago, earthquakes below a volcano in Iceland alerted scientists that an eruption was beginning. Various eruptions have created ash, fire and lava at the Bardarbunga volcano. This spouting lava creates rolling fields of lava that scientists have had an opportunity to study up close. When you listen to this public radio story you will hear the sounds of the volcano recorded by a scientist who recently visited the Bardarbunga volcano.
September 15, 2014
Russian military intervention in Ukraine, one of Russia's former republics, has the international community on guard. At a summit last week, NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, reinforced its commitment to protect member states from Russian aggression and prepared for this possibility. Improve your listening skills with this public radio story that gives an overview of the NATO summit and its response to international threats.
September 12, 2014
This summer pork and beef prices are 11% higher than they were last summer. This rise in cost has not changed the buying habits of consumers. Today’s public radio story looks at the economics behind this rise in cost, and how supply and demand play into cost. It also features the perspective of farmers and people in the pork industry. Listen to learn why the supply of pork and beef is much lower this year than in years past.
September 11, 2014
The success of workers at the Massachusetts supermarket chain, Market Basket, is making labor movements across the country rethink their strategies. In this labor dispute, workers walked off the job to protest the CEO of the company being fired. They didn’t come back to work until he was reinstated by the board of directors. All this was accomplished without a union. This public radio story looks at the ways the Market Basket strike is unique and how it can and can’t be duplicated by other labor movements or unions. Listen to learn more about the power of using technology to organize and the importance of management joining collective action.
September 10, 2014
Last week Perdue became the first major poultry company to eliminate the use of antibiotics in its chicken hatcheries. This step has public health advocates and consumers cheering because the use of antibiotics in meat production increases the risk that bacteria will evolve to be resistant to antibiotics, which could make it more difficult to treat humans. This public radio story takes you directly to a hatchery and explores the reasons Perdue made this decision. Listen to learn more about the use and elimination of antibiotics in meat production
September 9, 2014
Atlantic City, New Jersey was once the only place to gamble on the East Coast. This monopoly is over, as other states have opened or planned to build casinos. Atlantic City and its residents are feeling the negative impacts of a more competitive gambling market. In today’s public radio story casino workers and public officials reflect on these changes and look forward to what is next for Atlantic City.
September 8, 2014
The gender gap in voting preferences in the 2012 election was the largest in history. Men voted overwhelmingly for Republican candidates, women voted Democratic. Men also vote less frequently than women. This has pushed politicians to focus on how they can effectively reach men, particularly young men. Today’s public radio story looks at ad placement and self-presentation as candidates try to reach more men.
September 5, 2014
Large rocks on the desert floor in California’s Death Valley have puzzled miners and scientists for years. These heavy rocks have long winding trails in the sand behind them but no one had ever seen the rocks move. For the last 60 years scientists have searched for answers but now with the use of GPS and video cameras they have solved the mystery. Listen to this public radio story to engage your student in the mystery and the science behind the moving rocks.
September 4, 2014
Earthquakes cause damage and create fear and uncertainty. But a new early warning system called Shake Alert is working to mitigate both. This phone app can rapidly detect earthquakes once they have begun, giving people time to prepare. The app is in the early testing stage but it successfully gave a warning before the recent earthquake in California. Listen to this public radio story to learn more about the technology and goals behind this early warning system.
September 3, 2014
This back-to-school season parents and economists alike are shocked by the costs associated with preparing students for school. Schools are increasingly asking families to buy supplies for the classroom and school, as well as personalized technology. The additional costs have some questioning whether it is reasonable. Listen to this public radio story to learn more about how families and schools are adjusting to increased technological costs.
September 2, 2014
More than a quarter of a million people in the United States have spinal cord injuries, and two million are in wheelchairs. A new technology from ReWalk Robotics brings some paraplegics the possibility of walking, with the help of a motorized exoskeleton. This radio story gives an inside look at the technology and the impact it can have on the lives of its users. Listen to learn more about the successes of the product as well as current obstacles and future goals.
September 1, 2014
High School students often begin class between 7 and 8 a.m. despite medical recommendations that schools start later to give student more time to sleep. The negative effects of sleep deprivation, including lower academic performance, has pushed some experts to argue that this is one of the least expensive ways to increase student performance. However, efforts to push back start times have a big roadblock: bus schedules. Listen to today’s public radio story to learn more about why the economics of an earlier school day might not work.
August 29, 2014
Schools haven’t changed much in the last hundred years but as more schools embrace digital tools in the classroom, the traditional school building is likely to change. Today’s public radio story examines what the school of the future might look like. And designers are predicting that more flexible school spaces will cost less money to build.
August 28, 2014
Immigration between Mexico and the United States is a hot button political issue. Much of the focus is on the border fence separating the two countries. Pedestrian Fence 225, brought 18 foot high walls separating Texas border towns from Mexico and along with it a lot of controversy. In today’s public radio story we hear opinions about the wall from local homeowners, politicians and border patrol agents.
August 27, 2014
Sometimes you want what you want when you want it, and you will pay to get it quickly. This desire combined with smart phone and GPS technology has created a booming market of services that enable their users to get what they want, when they want it. The instant gratification these services enable has created an “Instant gratification economy” that changes the way people interact with the world and the way people work. Listen to learn more about these services and their impact.
August 26, 2014
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been made more difficult by the lack of trained medical volunteers willing to help care for patients. In today’s public radio story we hear from a US medical specialist in infectious disease who bucked this trend and went to Sierra Leone to care for Ebola patients despite the risks. Listen to learn more about what compelled her to go and what she is doing to protect herself.
August 25, 2014
In 1993, the book The Giver made a splash in the world of young literature, 20 years later it has made it to the big screen. Author Lois Lowry discusses her inspirations for a world in which there are no memories or emotions but there are clear rules and regulations. We also hear from the movie’s screenwriter, who himself read the book as a fifth grader. Listen to this public radio story to learn more about what inspired the book and led to the film.
August 22, 2014
The Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania is coming to its end with the championship games this weekend. One team from Chicago, Jackie Robinson West, is making history as the first all-black team to make it to the Little League World Series in 31 years. In this radio story, we will hear from the Chicago community that is supporting them. Listen to learn more about this historic team and the impact their success might have on baseball.
August 21, 2014
Demonstrations and unrest in Ferguson Missouri continue in response to the shooting death of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager killed by local police on August 9th. This public radio story brings us sounds of these demonstrations and voices of Ferguson residents. Listen to learn more about the underlying racial tensions that exist between Ferguson residents and police.
August 20, 2014
Which has a bigger impact on brain development, time in the classroom or time on the playground? New scientific evidence shows that structured free play has a significant and positive effect on children's brain development and social interactions. Scientists who study the effect of play on rats have found that 1,200 genes are activated when rats engage in play and one-third of these genes are significantly altered. Listen to this public story to learn how recess and play could impact academic performance.
August 19, 2014
Lakes, rivers,and oceans are places we normally see water, but most of the water on Earth is actually stored underground. This groundwater supply is vital to food production and providing drinking water for American cities. A new study shows that the groundwater of the Colorado River Basin is disappearing at a shocking rate. Listen to this public radio story to learn more about the impacts of this disappearing water supply and the ways that it can be slowed.
August 18, 2014
Forty years ago President Richard Nixon resigned after getting caught obstructing the investigation of the Watergate break in. In today’s story we hear from a reporter who covered this investigation and resignation in 1974. She recalls the uncertainty and anxiety of the American people that the system may not hold up in this time of transition. We hear from politicians at the time and the reflections of citizens in the aftermath of Nixon’s resignation. Listen to this story to better understand how Americans felt during this unprecedented period of transition.
August 15, 2014
A generation ago, Israelis and Palestinians were able to mix and interact. Now with Israel's physical separation between Israelis and Palestinians, the two peoples don't understand each other well. This public radio story explores the lack of empathy among people in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza and how it fuels the conflict.
August 14, 2014
Polio is on the verge of eradication in all parts of the world, except for Pakistan. The Taliban is restricting people trained to give vaccinations who are going door-to-door. They are intimidated and sometimes killed for their efforts. The Taliban is banning the immunizations because they suspect the program could be a cover for CIA spying. Listen to this radio story to learn about the barriers to disease eradication.
August 12, 2014
Gaza is in the middle of a conflict with Israel. The fighting is weighing heavily on daily life in Gaza. Water has always been hard to get, but its even more difficult now that the price of water is going up because of the conflict. Gaza relies on electricity to desalinize their water and power is also a scarce resource during this conflict. Listen to this radio story to learn more.
August 12, 2014
Detroit's water department is going after past due bills by shutting of thousands of customers who haven't paid their water bills. Residents are responding by protesting saying that water is a basic human right. And they are turning to the internet to find ways to illegally turn the water back on. Listen to this story to learn the impact of water shut-offs.
August 11, 2014
The Ebola virus has killed nearly 900 people in West Africa since its outbreak. The virus actually lays dormant in its host, but with human contact, it causes mayhem. There has been increased human contact due to deforestation and mining. Listen to this radio story to learn about the next big virus.
August 8, 2014
Islamic extremists and Iraq's Army are fighting over control of the Mosul Dam on the Tigris River. Iraqi soldiers are guarding the dam because even a small attack could cause flooding and disrupt power. Water has been used before in the conflict and the effects are devastating on health and food. Listen to this radio story to learn more about the dam's importance.
August 7, 2014
A developer in New York is drawing criticism because he's building a skyscraper for residential housing that will have two different entrances. One will be for the tenants in the high priced condos, the other for low income subsidized housing residents. The so called "poor door" is raising complaints of segregation and inequality. Listen to this radio story to find out why.
August 6, 2014
What does a 20% chance of rain mean to you? For people around the country, it can mean many different things. So weather forecasters and meteorologists are trying to be more careful with their words to explain probability in weather predictions. Listen to this public radio story to learn how.
August 5, 2014
Lego pieces have been washing up along beaches for nearly two decades after a shipping container slipped its cargo. Now, these Legos that were accidentally dropped into the sea are traveling around the world and turning up in places like Holland and Australia. Listen to this story to learn how that's possible.
August 4, 2014
Birds like the Black-Throated Blue Warbler are migratory birds that travel from America to Mexico and Central America during the winter. The Bird Ambassadors Program recruits new American immigrants from the same area to plant bushes and flowers for the birds' "pit stop" in the United States. Listen to this public radio story to hear about the connection these immigrants make with the migratory birds.
August 2, 2014
Competitions come in all shapes and sizes. From the boxing ring to the beach, people love to use competition to inspire their best work. Sports have a long tradition of competition but we don’t often see or watch artists be competitive. Every summer just north of Boston, Massachusetts, beach goers to do just this at the Revere Beach National Sand Sculpting Festival. Listen to learn more about sand sculpting and how competition and art drive its creators.
August 1, 2014
Lionfish in Florida cause anxiety for fisherman because they are invasive and have no known predators. But until a sixth grader did a groundbreaking science fair project, scientists assumed lionfish couldn't survive in fresh water. Her project proved the fish can survive in fresh water and her results caught the attention of a large science publication. Listen to this public radio story to learn how she did it.