All Social Studies

Current Event January 16, 2014

Political Parties Agree to Help Poor

Civics/Government Politics Economics

This month, 50 years after a war on poverty was declared by President Lyndon Johnson, politicians are still fighting over how to help alleviate poverty. This week the two major political parties in the U.S. agreed they need to do more to help the poor, but differ on how. Republicans call to repeal state aid and Democrats claim that those safety nets saved the economy.

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Current Event August 27, 2014

Getting It Fast: The Instant Economy

Economics Psychology

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.

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Current Event January 13, 2014

War on Poverty

Civics/Government US History II

50 years ago President Lyndon Johnson declared an “unconditional war on poverty in America.” The President and Congress created Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start and other programs for low-income Americans. But did we win the war on poverty? Listen to this story and then explore the question with your class.

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Current Event August 8, 2014

Water is a Weapon in the Iraq War

World History II

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.

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Current Event January 20, 2014

Martin Luther King's Boston Ties

US History II US History I

Martin Luther King Jr. had many ties to Boston in the 1960's. He donated his personal papers to his alma mater, Boston University. Listen to this story and hear how many people in Boston remember the young King.

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Current Event January 20, 2014

A Family's Slave History

US History I

The movie '12 Years a Slave' has inspired some people to uncover connections between their own families and slavery. A San Francisco man talks about how he felt when he discovered his ancestors had been slaves in North Carolina. He studied old documents and record books that revealed both struggle and resilience in his family’s past. These stories feel deeply personal to him, and they’ve affected him in powerful ways. Listen to learn more about what this man and others have learned about their ancestors.

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Current Event July 29, 2014

Supreme Court Sees Corporations as People, Given Individual Rights

US History II US History I

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.

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Current Event January 24, 2014

Mexican National Executed in U.S.

Civics/Government Immigration

There are 48 Mexican nationals on death row in the United States. The third Mexican national was executed this week in Texas, despite push back from Secretary of State John Kerry and the Mexican government. Listen to this story to learn why this precedent could be risky for US citizens living abroad.

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Current Event July 30, 2014

Learning Music Develops More Attentive, Skilled Students

Life Science

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.

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Current Event August 5, 2014

A Cargo of Lost Legos Tells the Story of Marine Trash

Earth and Space Science Environment

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.

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Current Event August 6, 2014

Should You Carry an Umbrella With a Small Probability of Rain?

Economics Earth and Space Science Weather and Climate

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.

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Current Event August 12, 2014

Is Water a Basic Human Right? Water Shut Offs in Detroit Spark Protests

Economics US History II

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.

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Current Event August 4, 2014

Migratory Birds Bring Immigrants Together

Life Science US History II

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.

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Current Event August 7, 2014

A Luxury High Rise Segregates by Class with a "Poor Door"

Economics

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.

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Current Event August 14, 2014

The Road Block to Eradicating Polio is Rumors

US History II World History II

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.

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Current Event January 30, 2014

Super Bowl Economics

Economics Mathematics

This year's Super Bowl will be held at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium—but many mistakenly believe it will be held in New York. This could have tremendous economic impact on New Jersey since business will flow to Manhattan rather than stay in New Jersey. Listen to this story to hear what the mayor of the host city has to say.

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Current Event January 29, 2014

State of the Union 2014

Civics/Government US History II US History I

President Obama laid out a sweeping agenda in his State of the Union address. He called for a "year of action" on many important government changes. He told Congress he wants to raise the minimum wage, extend unemployment, fix immigration laws and ensure equal pay for women. Listen to this story for a short wrap-up of the one hour speech and then discuss with your class.

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Current Event July 25, 2014

Getting It Right: The Story of How Scientists Measured a Meter

Mathematics

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.

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Current Event May 9, 2014

Affirmative Action Ban

Civics/Government Race Education

Affirmative action ensured that college applicants of color would have greater representation at universities. With the Supreme Court’s recent ruling, states now have the choice to uphold or ignore affirmative action.

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Current Event July 1, 2014

100 Years Ago, the Shot that Started WWI Fired

World History II Geography World War I

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.

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