Topic: Elementary

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Current Event October 23, 2015

Debate: Are Kids Too Stressed Today?

Life Science Psychology Elementary biology

How much stress we experience growing up can affect our health later in life. This was discovered during a study which assessed the emotional health, diet and habits of hundreds of people from childhood through adulthood. They analyzed the relationship between stress and disease and found people who had persistent stress were at the highest risk for disease. But surprisingly, people who had periods of high stress when they were between the ages of 7 and 16 showed a high risk for chronic illness, even if they were not stressed as adults. Listen to this story and start a debate in your class about whether stress is helpful or harmful to students.

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Man reading

Current Event October 14, 2015

An Immigrant's Journey

Immigration Elementary

Many immigrants came to the United States years ago when immigration laws made it easier for people from non-European countries to arrive. This story looks back on the journey of one family who left Bolivia when conditions became intolerable and settled in America. The father spent most of his free time in the library, learning English and reading repair manuals. By teaching himself new skills he was able to take on small jobs, move his family out of poverty and get a start on the American dream by buying a house. Listen to hear more about one legal immigrant’s journey.

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Current Event August 28, 2015

Endangered Pangolins

Life Science Animals Elementary

The animal that tops the illegal wildlife trade is surprising. It’s not an elephant or tiger, but an exotic anteater called a Pangolin. This animal is a mammal with scales, has a tongue the size of its body, and an unfortunate self-defense mechanism. They are on their way to becoming extinct because their scales are used in Asian medicine and their meat is considered delicious in some countries. Some organizations are petitioning to list the Pangolin as endangered in the U.S. Listen to hear more about the efforts to save the Pangolin.

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Current Event July 26, 2015

Marine Mammal Friends

Life Science Environment Elementary

Summer camp is usually a time to swim, play and make new friends. But at a special summer camp in California, kids get to take care of sick and stranded baby seals. Kids learn to rescue and care for the injured baby elephant seals and sea lion pups. They cut up fish to make them nutritious smoothies. The last day of this camp is similar to other camps since the kids are both happy and sad as they say goodbye to their new friends. But at this camp, the healthy new friends are released into the Ocean. Listen to learn more about how this camp helps kids learn about seals.

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Current Event June 18, 2015

Chimps Can Cook

Psychology Animals Elementary Evolution

Scientists have long debated when early humans learned that they could use fire to cook their food. Some believe this occurred soon after humans learned to control fire, others argue there isn’t enough evidence. A scientific study in a chimpanzee sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has shed new light on these persistent questions. The experiment gave chimps a machine to “cook” their food and tracked their preference for cooked food and how it changed their eating behaviors. Listen to learn more about this experiment and how it plays into the debate about when early humans began to cook.

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Toys for elephants

Science Middle School

Animal Behavior in Captivity: Toys for Elephants

Life Science Animals Elementary Evolution

Toys play an important role in children's development. They are also important to animals, even elephants. This public radio story is about how artists designed and built toys of elephants that were based on animal behavior and their environment. You’ll be inside the zoo with the elephants, hearing their joy when playing with the new toys.

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Recycled toilet water is the solution for one drought stricken town

Current Event May 22, 2014

Recycled Toilet Water is the Solution for One Drought-Stricken Town

Earth and Space Science Weather and Climate Elementary Engineering

A Texas town has been living in severe drought conditions for three years and decided to recycle water from toilets, sinks, and other wash to meet their water needs. Water plant officials say that the water is completely clean of bacteria, but residents would rather drink bottled water. Listen to this public radio story and discuss with your students.

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Current Event April 18, 2014

Keeping Goats Local

Economics Animals Elementary

Many refugees who have settled in Vermont are used to eating lots of goat meat back in their home countries. However, until recently, this meat has been expensive and hard to find in New England. Now, the Vermont Goat Collaborative is helping refugees find the meat they want. The project makes use of male baby goats are often disposed of because they can’t produce milk. Listen to hear more about this initiative and how it is benefiting local populations.

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3 d printing creates affordable prosthetics

Current Event March 17, 2014

3-D Printing Creates Affordable Prosthetics

Technology Elementary Engineering

Children can outgrow prosthetics quickly and it is also very expensive. 3-D printing can be used as a replacement since printed prosthetics are cheap to produce and sizing can easily be adjusted when the printer sits at home.

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The income gap  illustrated with candy corn

Current Event October 31, 2013

The Income Gap, Illustrated with Candy Corn

Civics/Government Economics Elementary Mathematics

In the last 30 years the rich have become richer. Lower-income earners gained 18%, the middle class earned 40%, and the top 1% of wage earners gained 275%. What's a good way to illustrate to students how the gap as widened? Candy Corn! Listen to this story to hear an audio graph of the income gap. Then discuss with students what it means for an economy and society with a large income gap and possible alternatives to redistribute wealth more evenly.

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