TEACHERS: Current events podcasts for the classroom!
New current events added daily. Get Our Weekly Roundup.
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.
July 31, 2014
Many people make decisions based on the probability of a specific outcome. Every day, doctors have to decide to base their health care decisions on probability. Listen to this public radio story about how a man's health care choice went against probability.
July 30, 2014
Recent studies show that when students are taught to play an instrument or sing, their ability to pay attention and multitask in other parts of their life, including school, increases. Music students are also better at reading, writing and learning new languages. Listen to this public radio story to learn more about music neuroscience and what's going on in the brain when you study music.
July 29, 2014
When corporations were first created, they were given one right and that was to the right to make a contract. But as the country industrialized, they received more rights under the Bill of Rights, like individual people. Listen to this radio story to learn how rights for corporations have changed over time and how the most recent Supreme Court ruling about Hobby Lobby gives corporations more rights than ever before.
July 28, 2014
The fighting between Israel and the Palestinians is disrupting normal life for people living in both areas. Daily life looks very different on both sides, as the West Bank looks like a village and Israel proper looks like California. One man who is walking around the world following the path of ancient man stops to reflect what he saw while passing through the West Bank and Israel. Listen to this public radio story to hear what he saw.
July 25, 2014
The United States is one of only a handful of countries that doesn't use the metric system. Most of the world calculates distances in meters. The creation of the meter in 1792 was based on the need to agree on a uniform system of measurement. But the first time scientists tried to determine the length of a meter, they made some mistakes. Listen to this public radio story to learn why accuracy is necessary.
July 24, 2014
Diamonds are the hardest materials on Earth—and in space. Neptune’s core is made out of diamonds and still survives the core’s intense pressure. Scientists now study diamond’s resistance to high pressure to see what else it’s useful for. Listen to this radio story to learn more about diamonds.
July 23, 2014
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently lost track of dangerous samples of anthrax and the flu. Investigation into lab safety shows a breach of protocol, especially since scientists continue to experiment with more dangerous types of viruses. Listen to this public radio story to learn why lab safety is important.
July 22, 2014
Fort Stevens in Washington DC is the site of an attempted assassination on President Abraham Lincoln. It was Lincoln's height that saved his life. This site was also a place that could have changed the outcome of the Civil War if not for timely reinforcements. Listen to this public radio story and learn more about the "What Ifs" of the first attempt on Lincoln's life.
July 21, 2014
Nadine Gordimer was a white South African who was also an observer of the everyday experience of 'Blacks under Apartheid'. She wrote 15 novels including 'Lying Days,' 'A World of Strangers,' 'A Sport of Nature,' and 'The Conservationist.' She won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1991 and died in 2014 at the age of 90. Listen to learn more about this influential writer.
July 18, 2014
The number of minors from Central America who are crossing the boarder illegally has jumped lately due to rumors about the United States' immigration policies. The rumors are false, but that hasn't stopped solo children from leaving their families and countries to find a better opportunity in the U.S. Listen to this radio story with your students to learn more about what is driving this surge of minor immigrants.
July 17, 2014
Tensions between the U.S. and Germany are on the rise as another alleged spy is caught selling German secrets to the U.S. The Germans would like a no-spying agreement, but the U.S. doesn't appear to be interested. Listen to this radio story to learn why.
July 15, 2014
The tension between Israelis and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip has been going on for years. However despite peace talks, the tension has escalated into bomb attacks following the deaths of teenagers from Israel and the Gaza Strip. Residents from both sides are deeply affected by constant rocket attacks. Listen to this radio story to learn how the conflict has affected daily life.
July 14, 2014
Paul Cezanne, celebrated still life artist, decided to do the unthinkable and refused to paint popular subjects of the time like biblical scenes and historical figures. He used simple objects like apples, pears, and oranges to elevate the lowest rung of the art hierarchy, still life. Listen to this radio story with students to learn why.
July 12, 2014
In 1855, American poet Walt Whitman published the first edition of “Leaves of Grass.” This poetry collection, which began as twelve poems, was written and re-written by Whitman throughout his life, with the final version containing 400 poems. The free verse poems present Whitman’s philosophy of life, from pleasure to the human mind and nature. Whitman explores and presents humanity through his poetry. Listen to learn why modern poet Rowan Ricardo Phillips recommends the Whitman collection and then interpret the poem “I Hear America Singing” for yourself.
July 11, 2014
A teacher in Georgia was fired from his position teaching music at a Catholic school because of his sexual orientation. He is now suing the school for discrimination based on his sex. The case has some subtlety because it's not illegal to discriminate against gays in Georgia, but it is illegal to discriminate against someone because of their sex. Listen to this public radio story with your class to learn about this interesting discrimination case.
July 10, 2014
As healthcare costs rise and obesity becomes a national problem, companies look for innovative ways to encourage employees to stay thin and healthy at work. But some have gone overboard and employees complain they are interfering with their freedoms. Listen to this public radio story to learn what compares are doing to try to control their health care costs.
July 9, 2014
Tourism in Cuba makes up 10% of the island nation's gross domestic product. If America ever lifts its ban on travel to Cuba, its expected there could be a surge of at least a million Americans visiting. But tourism also brings wage disparity to the Communist country. Those who work in the tourism industry earn much more than other professions. Listen to this public radio story to learn why tourism is important to Cuba's survival.
July 8, 2014
Fire ants are known as nature's "engineers" for their ability to morph, heal, and flow through continuous team work. They can build bridges as well as self-sustaining water rafts that can float for weeks. Listen to this public radio story to learn how they do it.
July 7, 2014
The creator of America’s much-loved anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner" was not only a poet, but a celebrated lawyer, known for settling controversial disputes with oratorical skill. However, Francis Scott Key never mentioned the anthem after writing it again. He was also known for his adamant representation of African Americans and their rights. Listen to this public radio story to learn more about the man who is best known for writing “The Star Spangled Banner.”
July 3, 2014
The Magna Carta is a single document that outlines the origins of American freedom and equality. It was created in 1215 by British subjects who wanted to limit King John’s power and protect their rights. The Magna Carta inspired American democracy. Listen to this story to learn more about why it survived so many years and its special significance to Boston.
July 2, 2014
40 years ago, Boston Judge W. Arthur Garrity ruled to desegregate Boston’s starkly divided schools. The ruling was met with an uproar from white families, where many of them refused to let their children attend school. Now, four decades since the historic ruling some feel it did not do enough to fix the integration problem.
July 1, 2014
100 years ago, the shot that was heard around the world and started World War I was fired. It fatally wounded Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austrian-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sophie. The assassins did not realize it would unleash a world war. Listen to this radio story to find out why.
June 30, 2014
Poetry and song have always been related and some say that poetry loses its power without the rhythm and song to carry the message. Today, spoken word performance comes back with both poetry and song. Listen to this radio story to learn more about the power of poetry.
June 27, 2014
Tourists to Baltimore’s harbor say that it is “disgusting” because so much trash is floating in it. So one resident built a Water Wheel to efficiently clear the trash out of the water. It has been lauded as a much better method of cleaning of trash from water than by hand. Listen to this public radio story to learn more about this unique recycling effort.
June 26, 2014
The drought in California and Texas has meant cattle herders have little pasture to graze their herds. Instead, cattle herding is moving north to Colorado and Nebraska. The midwestern states are feeding the cattle with the byproduct of ethanol production. Use this public radio story with your class to discuss how these changes affect the price of a hamburger.
June 25, 2014
The Supreme Court is weighing in on threats posted on Facebook. So far courts have ruled threatening statements made on Facebook, including death threats, are true threats and punishable. Facebook says that they’re looking for conflict resolution strategies instead of always going straight to the authorities when they spot threats. Listen to this audio story to learn about threat made on social media.
June 24, 2014
The last of World War II’s Navajo Code Talkers died at 93 years old. Americans collaborated with the Native American Navajo tribe to create a code that was unbreakable to Japanese forces during WWII. Listen to this story to learn why the Navajo fear their language may disappear.
June 23, 2014
A new research article has ruffled the feathers of some scientists. The study questions whether it’s damaging endangered populations of birds and other species to collect them for scientific study. Many scientists see the collection of rare animals as a way to discover diseases and understand the past, while some ethicists see collection as a threat to small endangered animal populations. Listen to this audio story to learn more.
June 19, 2014
The Second Amendment is only one sentence long. It allows for individuals to own and use guns. But since its inception, the meaning has been debated. There is still no public consensus around its meaning. Listen to this public radio story to learn more.
June 18, 2014
Studies show that people react differently to male and female named storms. There is more preparation and fear of storms with male names, such as Victor, versus a storm named Christina. As a result, there are serious implications of this unconscious gender bias. Listen to this audio story to learn more.
June 17, 2014
The number of unaccompanied minors crossing the Mexican-American border has increased dramatically and sources say that it's due to a failing immigration system. Although a large number of children are found by border patrol, many evade authorities and cross into a country by themselves. Listen to this public radio story to learn what happens to them.