All Science

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Current Event December 15, 2017

Debate: Should Suspension Be In School or Out of School?

Education

Across the country there’s a debate over whether or not out-of-school suspensions are effective in dealing with a student’s disruptive behavior. A city council member in Washington D.C. believes they are not useful and that more money should be put toward in-school activities for disruptive students. This issue concerns teachers since dealing with disruptive behavior can take time out of classroom teaching and affect other students. Listen to hear more about the pros and cons of in-school suspensions and then debate: Should suspension be in school or out of school?

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Before the black death

Science High School

Plague Before the Black Death Led to Fall of Roman Empire

Life Science Human body Europe Viruses Heath

Scientists have now figured out the genetic code to one of the oldest known plagues. Eight hundred years before the Black Death struck in 1347, there was another plague that occurred in Europe in the 6th century CE. Scientists have now figured out the genetic code to the oldest known epidemic and discovered that the “Justinian plague” was the first outbreak of bubonic plague. Listen to hear about how a farmland gave scientists answers to centuries worth of questions.

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Cells role in cancer

Science Middle School

Preventing Cancer at a Cellular Level

Life Science Health Genetics Human body Cells

More money is spent on treating cancer than preventing it within the United States. However, scientists are getting closer to finding out if cell growth within our bodies promotes already existing cancer. Scientists are examining microscopic cells to test if certain spices and foods affect the reduction of cell growth. Listen to learn about the budget behind cancer research and how human behavior can increase the chance of cancer.

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Bees and electric fields

Science Middle School

Bees and Electric Fields

Life Science Earth and Space Science Ecosystems Evolution Electricity Reproduction

Flowers have many ways of attracting bees for pollination. Bees are looking for nectar and pollen when they visit plants and flowers, as well as various colors, patterns, and shapes. Recently scientists have discovered a new way that flowers attract bees. They can sense the electric fields around flowers. Listen to hear about the natural positive charges of bees, the negative charges of flowers, and how the electric attraction works for pollination to happen.

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Bee deaths and crop consequences

Science Middle School

Bee Deaths and Crop Consequences

Life Science Environment Ecosystems Reproduction

Over the past several years honeybee colonies have declined dramatically. There is no consensus over a single cause, and in fact, scientists point to multiple reasons for this problem. An important, yet often overlooked factor is basic land use decisions. Listen to learn about the importance of the symbiotic relationship between honeybees, flowers and humans, and what kids can do to help promote honeybees and other pollinators

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Cloud seeding

Science Middle School

Cloud Seeding for Weather Modification

Earth and Space Science Environment Weather and Climate Physical Science Agriculture Energy

There is a debate over whether cloud seeding is an efficient way to produce more snow and rain in places where droughts are the worst. Opponents claim that the chemicals that are sprayed into the air to create more water are toxic and could cause health issues in the future. Others believe this is the only way to for some gas and electric companies to obtain more energy. Listen to learn about the other concerns at hand and if this the history of this process.

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Fighting gravity

Science Middle School

Gravity's Strong Pull is Actually a Weak Force

Earth and Space Science Physical Science Forces and Newton's Laws

Even though it is the weakest of all forces, gravity is why we exist. Gravity keeps the earth, moon, and sun in orbit. It keeps us on the ground instead of floating in space. Listen to hear how gravity affects the velocity in rockets, the shapes of planets, the trajectories of baseballs, and even the strength of the human leg bones.

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Coaltrain

Science Middle School

Clearing Carbon From Our Air

Earth and Space Science Environment Climate Change Human Impacts Atmosphere

Carbon exists in all living things, including proteins, DNA, and fats. When living things exhale, the result is carbon dioxide. As our world develops, we produce more carbon dioxide with the burning of fossil fuels and the use of cars, trains, and planes. This gas is causing an imbalance in the atmosphere which affects the warming of the planet. Listen to hear how much carbon dioxide humans are responsible for and the effects of global warming.

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Current Event December 14, 2017

Light Pollution Increases Each Year

Space Electricity

Whether you’re on a plane or an astronaut in space, you can see cities around the world lit up at night. The amount of lighting increases every year and has affected wildlife and how we view the night sky. This is known as light pollution, and there’s probably more than we are aware. The way we measure light pollution does not pick up on LED lighting making the light not trackable to scientists. Listen to learn where the most and least light pollution is and why it should be considered a problem.

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Science Middle School

Flipping Cats

Animals Physical Science

Cats are mysterious creatures to us humans for many reasons. One of these reasons is that cats seem to always land on their feet whenever they fall. In fact, cats can be dropped upside down and still land on their feet, every time. But, how do they do this? It seems to defy the laws of physics. The answer has to do with momentum, and is explained by an expert. Listen to hear about how cats achieve this amazing feat.

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Gravity and the curveball

Science Middle School

Low

Gravity and the Curveball

Sports Physical Science Forces and Newton's Laws Motion

Throwing a curveball is one of the most difficult pitches in baseball. In this public radio story an expert in throwing the curve ball gives you a tutorial, but it’s also a lesson in physics and gravity as we look at how objects travel through space.

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Overfishing and bluefin tuna

Science Middle School

Low

Overfishing and Blue Fin Tuna

Life Science Environment Ecosystems Oceans Human Impacts

This public radio story takes you on a boat for some blue fin tuna tagging and fishing. It’s action packed but also filled with scientific data about the status of blue fin in our oceans.

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Losing weight while you sleep

Science Middle School

Low

Losing Weight While You Sleep

Life Science Health Nutrition Mathematics Human body

You are losing weight, just by breathing! This public radio story describes how people lose weight when sleeping, and that much of that lost weight comes simply from breathing. You will learn how matter is recycled and how everyone contains atoms from historical figures. The story also helps you visualize just how small and numerous atoms and molecules are.

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Why mammoths got wholly

Science Middle School

Why Woolly Mammoths Have Thick Furry Coats

Animals Genetics DNA

Woolly mammoths were large, elephant-like creatures that lived tens of thousands of years ago, during the last great ice age. The thick, furry coat is one of several traits that gave woolly mammoths an advantage in a very cold environment. Today, the closest biological relative is the Asian elephant, which prefers warmer climates. Scientists were curious about the genetic variations between the woolly mammoth and the Asian elephant, and what might account for the differences between the two species. In this audio story, we hear from a scientist who studied the DNA from the extinct mammoth and compared it to its contemporary descendant. Listen to learn more about what researchers discovered.

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Current Event December 8, 2017

Debate: What is a Parent's Role on the Sidelines of Kids’ Sports?

Sports

Soccer is played by more than 3 million kids in leagues across the United States. Most parents cheer respectfully for their children, but some parents don’t. One volunteer referee for the American Youth Soccer Organization wrote a letter to parents with his thoughts on parents’ behavior. He encourages parents to be civil and be a good example for their kids. Listen to this story and debate: What is a parent’s role on the sidelines of kids' sports?

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Science Middle School

Low

How Snow is Made

Climate Change Weather and Climate

The phrase “no two snowflakes are alike” is actually scientifically accurate. Snow forms high in the atmosphere, and despite its uniform appearance, each snowflake is different based upon where and how it was formed. Although snowflakes are non-living, they grow and change from the time they are formed to the time they reach the ground. Listen to learn how snow is formed, and why it exists in some places but not others.

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Boston famiy fits runners with prosthetics

Current Event April 21, 2014

Boston Family Fits Runners with Prosthetics

Life Science Sports

A family-owned prosthetics business in Dorchester, MA fitted more than half of the Boston Marathon bombing survivors with new limbs. New marathon runners look to them to fit them with legs that can run 26.2 miles.

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Cracked dam impacts farming

Current Event April 22, 2014

Cracked Dam Impacts Farming

Economics Earth and Space Science Geology

A cracked dam in Washington endangers farming near the area with lower water levels and the looming threat of a summer heat. Lowered water levels have caused a temporary increase in tourism in spots but also revealed old graves.

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Cilantro distaste

Current Event April 23, 2014

Cilantro Distaste

Life Science

The reason why some people dislike cilantro may not be due to taste, but to smell. This cilantro experiment indicates that certain people are genetically-inclined to “hate” cilantro.

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Starfish sickness

Current Event April 24, 2014

Starfish Sickness

Life Science Health

Starfish are mysteriously becoming infected by a deadly disease that causes their arms to fall off and makes regeneration impossible. Scientists are urgently trying to figure out how their sickness is affecting the rest of the marine environment.

Find any sick starfish? Be sure to use #sickstarfish to help scientists!

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