All Social Studies

3968140855 469b71010e o

Current Event May 15, 2018

Texas' Shifting Demographics Preview Changes in America

Politics Immigration US government KERA

The demographic shifts in Texas may preview changes in all of America. More Americans being born and growing up in Texas today are people of color. These populations have experienced economic inequality and lack of opportunities. Making changes and investing in education may help reduce some effects of these inequalities. The growing numbers of Latinos, African Americans and Asians may also change Texas politically as young people become more active in speaking up and voting. Listen to hear about the changes that are seen in Texas demographics and the changes that could help to ensure the success of all Americans.

Read More
8353020678 5039fe6c0f o

Current Event May 20, 2017

Veterans Help After Hurricane Sandy

Earth and Space Science Weather and Climate Veterans

Resuming civilian life can be difficult for military veterans. Disaster relief volunteer groups like Team Rubicon allow veterans to use their specialized skills and work in cooperative teams while helping those suffering from the aftermath of natural catastrophes. Team Rubicon sent hundreds of volunteers in 2012, when superstorm Hurricane Sandy hit the East coast of the United States. Natural disaster victims are grateful to benefit from veterans’ expert assistance. Likewise, veterans enjoy the sense of purpose and community this work gives them. Listen to hear veterans’ stories of volunteering during Hurricane Sandy.

Read More
4225738839 4e0445ee42 o

Current Event May 11, 2018

Debate: Should We Repeal the Second Amendment?

Politics Constitution

After recent mass shootings there has been a lot of talk about guns. In this country, it's hard to restrict guns because of the Second Amendment. There is a large divide between people supporting gun rights and people supporting gun control. The current politics in the United States do not support changing our Constitution, even after many mass shootings. But, the Supreme Court has said that the individual right to bear arms may be regulated. Listen to this story and then debate: Should we repeal the Second Amendment?

Read More
117156379 607059e0a4 q

Current Event May 9, 2018

Lynching Memorial

Race Civil War Slavery

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice opened in Montgomery, Alabama. This memorial is devoted to the more than 4,000 African Americans who were lynched between 1877 and 1950. Killing for an alleged offense and without a legal trial was allowed in some parts of the South during this time period. Visitors are reminded of what happened in our past and encouraged to confront America’s continued racial divide. Listen to this story about this memorial that helps us to remember the thousands of Americans who were killed because of racism.

Read More
4063640521 fd4f83926e o

Current Event May 8, 2018

Financial Simulation of Poverty

Economics KERA Empathy Macroeconomics

A workshop in North Texas aims to give people who have money the experience of what it’s like for people who live in poverty. Whether it's cashing a check, sending money to family, or trying to borrow money, people living in poverty have a different experience from others. This workshop simulation has people cash checks and complete other tasks without a bank account, social security number or a car. Listen to what they learn.

Read More
Korea

Current Event May 7, 2018

Historic Meeting of North and South Korea

Politics Asia

The leaders of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, and South Korea, Moon Jae-in, have agreed to seek elimination of nuclear weapons from Korea. They met during an historic summit where they discussed a potential peace deal to end the Korean war. During this meeting, they also signed a declaration and made a joint announcement standing side by side. Moon and Kim also had a private conversation with each other, without cameras or their aides. Listen to hear more about these steps toward peace in the Korean peninsula.

Read More
466705603 06b3ae46a8 z

Current Event September 13, 2017

Fewer Jobs for Teens in the Summer

Economy

The rate of summer jobs for teenagers has significantly decreased from the previous generation. There is a lot of disagreement about whether this decline is due to an overall lack of opportunity in the workforce, or laziness on behalf of the current generation. Listen to this story to hear from two struggling teenagers, a skeptical mother, and an economist as they discuss the many factors that go into the severe decline in summer jobs for high school students.

Read More
3429841208 75c8b2f094 z

Current Event May 4, 2018

Debate: Should Schools Keep Using Classroom Skeletons?

Life Science Education Ethics

A lot of classroom skeletons, in high schools, universities and medical schools, are real human bones. A former student investigated the skeleton that hung in the back of her high school classroom. She consulted with the Smithsonian, and with a lab at Penn State and analyzed the skeleton to find out where it was from, how old it was and even what the person ate. In the 1800s there was a legal trade in human bones, which leads to some tricky questions about whether skeletons should be used in classrooms at all. Listen to this story and then debate: Should schools keep using classroom skeletons?

Read More
4991576126 7c9b36dcac z

Current Event May 2, 2018

College Wait Lists Keep Student Guessing

Education

High school seniors applying for college often hear from schools in April. It’s a stressful time and students are eager to hear from their first choice colleges. More and more colleges are putting students on a waitlist instead of giving a ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ This gives the colleges more options and a wider pool of students to choose from. But it also can be misleading if only one or two percent of the students on the waitlist are actually accepted to attend the college. Listen to hear from a college admissions adviser who criticizes this practice.

Read More
122870019 b718238f72 z

Current Event May 1, 2018

Gold Mining in California Today

Politics Environment

The rules for mining on public land, which have been around since the 1870s, were used by miners during the Gold Rush. Since then the mining law has not changed. The law doesn’t require mining companies to pay royalties for mining on federal land. Some lawmakers object to the law and say the government is losing out. They’ve sponsored a new bill, but it hasn’t passed. Meanwhile, President Trump has opened more public land to mining in California and Utah. Listen to hear about mining rights on public land.

Read More
6965828514 cd3a3d80b7 z

Current Event April 30, 2018

Racial Bias Training

Race Education

Two black men were arrested at a Starbucks store in Philadelphia. They were there for a business meeting and when they didn’t order drinks, the manager called the police. The men were arrested on suspicion of trespassing and were later released. Starbucks is now conducting racial bias education for all employees at their 8,000 stores. Implicit bias is our automatic processing of negative stereotypes that become embedded in our brains. The workshop is hoping to take a step toward retraining people’s brains to see others differently. Listen to hear more about the ways people can override our racial bias.

Read More
17381341296 3f8f3e16ae z

Current Event April 27, 2018

Debate: Should the Voting Age Be Lowered?

Civics/Government Politics US government

Youth organizers want the voting age lowered to 16. There have been some successes and some setbacks in this effort. People who want to keep the voting age at 18 cite issues with maturity and think this might support Democrats only, however 50 percent of millennials self-identify as political independents. Other say that many issues affect 16 and 17 year olds, so they should be allowed to vote on them. Listen to hear from a youth advisory board member for Vote16USA and then debate: Should the voting age be lowered?

Read More
40420284994 cf37dfb1fa z

Current Event April 26, 2018

Racial Equity and Stephon Clark

Economics Race

The shooting of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man killed by police in Sacramento, California, sparked outrage and demands for police reform. In Sacramento there is a call to rebuild communities of color. Stephon’s brother, Ste’Vante Clark is part of a group of new activists, called Build. Black. Coalition. They want to lessen the disparity around education, job opportunity, and housing, which affects the people living in predominantly black neighborhoods. Listen to hear more about how this tragic event is sparking activism to try to transform black communities.

Read More
7407960926 a32903f804 z

Current Event April 9, 2016

The Role of Slaves During the War of 1812

American Revolution Slavery

The War of 1812 between the United States and Britain is typically framed as a second war for independence. Less commonly known is the story of American slaves who were able to use the war as an opportunity to negotiate their freedom. Slaves in Maryland immediately recognized the British invasion as a chance to escape slavery. Initially, the British offered land in Canada or the West Indies to escaped slaves who were willing to offer intelligence or help as guides. Listen to learn more about how enslaved African Americans were able to negotiate their freedom during the War of 1812, and how this impacted the institution of slavery in the United States.

Read More
1024px thumbnail

Current Event April 25, 2018

Kerner Report 50 Years Later

Race

In 1967, President Johnson addressed the nation after five days of rioting that was motivated by racial inequality in Detroit. Johnson announced a commission on civil disorders, which would attempt to explain why so many of the country’s cities erupted in riots. The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, called "The Kerner Report," determined that white racism and the black frustration at lack of economic opportunity was the cause of the riots. Many people at the time disagreed with the conclusions. Listen to learn more about the Kerner Report and what this report can tell us about racial tensions today.

Read More