All Social Studies

Current Event December 12, 2014

Cyberattack on Sony

Civics/Government Economics Technology World History II

Cyberattacks on businesses have the power to shut down day to day operations and compromise security. A recent cyberattack on Sony Pictures, in which five movies were leaked and sensitive information was disrupted, is believed to be a result of North Korea’s cyberwar capacity. Sony Picture’s upcoming comedy “The Interview” in which two American journalists go to North Korea to interview and kill its leader, is not considered funny by the North Korean government. The North Koreans are believed to have conducted the cyber attack on Sony to retaliate for the release of the movie. Listen to learn more about this attack and evidence that points to its North Korean origins.

UPDATE 12.18.14 - Sony Pictures has pulled the release of the movie "The Interview." In a statement Sony said "Sony has no further release plans for the film."

Read More

Current Event December 16, 2014

Hanukkah Coins

Economics Immigration Religion Geography

Today marks the first night of Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish festival of lights. Hanukkah comes with many traditions both ancient and modern. This story explores the historic origins of foil wrapped chocolate coins given during Hanukkah, known as gelt. Listen to hear how migration to urban areas to and to America changed the traditions of Hanukkah.

Read More

Current Event December 1, 2014

Ferguson Protests

Civics/Government US History II

On Sunday November 23rd, a grand jury in St. Louis, Missouri decided there was not enough evidence to indict, or bring a case against, Darren Wilson. Wilson is the white Ferguson police officer who killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown on August 9, 2014. The city and surrounding communities erupted into protests at the news that the police officer wouldn’t be charged. There were also peaceful protests around the country. Use this public radio story to discuss the decision and the protests.

Read More

Current Event January 8, 2015

Powdered Caffeine

Civics/Government Life Science Health

Many people use caffeine as a pick me up throughout the day. They drink coffee or tea in the morning, and maybe a soda at lunch. A new powdered form of caffeine has hit the market but it can be deadly. Listen to learn more about the health impacts of powdered caffeine and the effort by some people to ban it.

Read More

Current Event January 11, 2015

Solar Power Payments

Civics/Government Economics Climate Change

Solar power is becoming an attractive alternative to traditional electric as solar panels become more affordable. This shift away from traditional electricity is worrying utilities companies that provide energy and the electric grid itself. Listen to learn how this battle between electric and solar is playing out in sunny California and Colorado.

Read More

Current Event January 22, 2015

Time Capsule Opened

Civics/Government US History I Colonialism

Time capsules are used by communities across the United States to capture a moment in time and preserve artifacts for future generations. Colonial leaders in Boston, Massachusetts buried a time capsule under the Massachusetts State House in 1795. The contents from this time capsule have been removed and displayed. Listen to learn more about who buried the time capsule and what they found inside.

Read More

Current Event December 22, 2014

Divesting from Fossil Fuels

Life Science Economics Climate Change

College students are turning to a new way to fight global warming. They are encouraging their universities to take a stand against climate change and remove the school’s money from investments in fossil fuel companies - like coal and oil. Listen to hear from students at Harvard University why they are fighting for divestment.

Read More

Current Event December 23, 2014

Kindness: A Home

Economics Storytelling

What makes your house feel like home? What would you do if those things disappeared? How would you help a friend or stranger who lost their sense of home? Listen to hear how the kindness of new roommates helped one woman cope with death, divorce and losing her job.

Read More

Current Event December 30, 2014

Trucking Rules

Civics/Government Economics

Our economy relies on long haul truckers driving goods across the country. But the pressure to make deadlines and earn money can come at the expense of sleep. In 2012, 3,500 people died as a result of large truck crashes and in many cases it’s because the driver fell asleep. Congress recently rolled back a regulation that increases the sleep requirements for drivers. Do these regulations fight driver fatigue or do they just push truck traffic to rush hour? Listen to learn more about these regulations and their effect.

Read More

Current Event October 22, 2014

Breaking Barriers: The Navy's Highest Ranking Woman

Civics/Government Race Gender US History II

When Michelle Howard was growing up, women weren’t admitted to the Naval Academy. Now she is second in command of the Navy. And she is the first African American woman to earn the rank of a four-star admiral. This conversation with her will inspire listeners to pursue their dreams, overcome barriers, and find community no matter where you are.

Read More

Current Event November 13, 2014

Giving Directly to the Poor

Civics/Government Economics

Traditional charity models give people in need food, clothing, job training, or health care. But they don’t typically give cash. This is changing with a new charity called Give Directly, which gives money directly to recipients, no strings attached, and then lets them choose what to spend it on. This public radio story takes you to Kenya to hear how the process works and what people spend their money on.

Read More

Current Event November 23, 2014

Executive Action on Immigration

Civics/Government Immigration US History II

On Thursday November 20, 2014, President Obama announced an Executive Action to provide relief from deportation to some undocumented immigrants. Republicans argue that Obama doesn’t have the authority to take this action alone, while immigration activists are disappointed that the plan does not go further. This public radio story outlines the specifics of the Executive Action.

Read More

Current Event November 5, 2014

Homeless Student

Civics/Government Economics Education Psychology

Being the top student in your high school class is difficult under the best of circumstances. This audio tells the story of a remarkable young woman, Rashema Melson, who graduated as valedictorian of her high school, despite six years of homelessness. Listen to learn more directly from Rashema herself.

Read More

Current Event November 7, 2014

What is Quarantine?

Civics/Government Life Science Health

From New Jersey to Maine, there are ongoing discussions about how far quarantine should go to prevent the spread of Ebola disease. But what is quarantine? This public radio story explains the origins of government action to prevent the spread of infectious disease like the bubonic plague and influenza. It will get your students talking about the pros and cons of proactive government efforts.

Read More

Current Event October 23, 2014

Fixing Genes

Life Science Gender Genetics

Illness can be caused by viruses and bacteria, but some very serious illnesses come from your actual genes, your DNA. Scientist have been able to identify genes that cause illness but until now they haven’t been able to fix them. A new discovery creates the framework for editing these problematic genes. This public radio story tells the unlikely story of this discovery and discusses its potential.

Read More

Current Event October 28, 2014

Absentee Voting

Civics/Government

On Tuesday November 4th, there is a national mid-term election with all 435 seats in the US House of Representatives up for election and 33 of 100 Senate seats are contested. 38 states are electing governors. 33 states allow qualified voters to cast their ballots early. But that’s more complicated than it sounds. Listen to this public radio story to learn how voting early can be problematic.

Read More

Current Event November 20, 2014

Temple Mount

Civics/Government Religion World History II

In 1967, a brief war between Israeli and Palestinian forces led Israel to capture the Old City of Jerusalem, which included the holy of sites in both Jewish and Muslim religions. The Temple Mount has become a point of tension among Israeli and Palestinian communities. From who can visit and pray there to who controls the space, this is igniting conflict as right wing Jewish politicians fight for more control and access to the site.

Read More

Current Event November 26, 2014

Providing Programs to Curb Child Migration

Civics/Government Immigration World History II Geography

The number of child migrants coming to the United States from Central America has slowed, but efforts to stop the underlying violence in these countries is growing. The United States Agency for International Development (USAid) is partnering with local government and police forces in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to bring violence prevention efforts that have worked in the United States to these communities. Listen to learn more about this programming and its impact.

Read More

Current Event October 14, 2014

Protecting the White House

Civics/Government Economics

The Secret Service has been under scrutiny this month for high profile failures to protect President Obama and the First Family. First there was the successful attempt of fence jumper Omar Gonzalez to enter the White House with a knife. Then an armed man was found on an elevator with the president. Now there are calls for the Secret Service to tighten up its efforts to keep the President safe. Listen to this public radio story to learn more about these lapses and what can be done to strengthen the Secret Service.

Read More

Current Event November 2, 2014

Sunken U-Boat Tells Story

US History II World War II

World War II was full of battlefronts, Europe, Africa, Asia, but what about on the shores of America? Nautical archaeologists have found evidence of secretive fighting that was going off right off America’s East coast between German submarines, known as U-Boats, and American freight vessels carrying supplies to Europe. A new discovery of a sunken German U-Boat and U.S. freight vessel side by side is helping historians better understand this period of WWII history, known as The Battle of the Atlantic.

Read More