Topic: Technology

Us soldiers.square

Current Event June 10, 2015

A Computer Therapist

Technology Psychology Veterans

When veterans return from combat they bring with them memories of their service that can impact their mental health. Successfully screening returning veterans for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression is a challenge. The University of Southern California has designed a computer program, known as Ellie, that could help solve this problem. Ellie analyzes the tone and facial expressions of soldiers as they answer questions. It’s able to detect more than you might think. Listen to learn more about this promising new technology and how it can help veterans heal.

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Somalia.square

Current Event April 8, 2015

Instagram Somalia

World History II Technology Geography

Social media is used to post pictures, follow others, and communicate with friends and family. But it can also be used to share pictures of everyday life with people across the globe, changing perspectives and worldviews. This happened when Ugaaso Abukar Boocow, a Somali refugee living in Canada, returned to Somalia to explore her home country and spend time with her mother. The media often focus on civil war, violence and poverty that has plagued Somalia since the early 90’s, but Ugaaso is exposing the world to the beauty and small moment of everyday life in the Somali capital Mogadishu through her Instagram feed.

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Womencomputers.square2

Current Event April 2, 2015

Love Computers? Thank These Women

US History II Gender Technology

In the modern tech industry, computer programmers are predominantly male. The industry has even been accused of sexism and hostility towards female programmers. But you might be surprised to learn that it was women who made the breakthroughs that paved the way for modern programming. These women, though, didn’t get the credit. Listen to learn more about the origins of computers and the women who drove the industry in its early years.

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Understanding the amish and technology

ELA High School

Understanding the Amish and Technology

Religion Technology Culture

The Amish are a Christian religious group who are known for their isolation and rejection of modern technology. Popular culture has shaped our understanding of the Amish community, from the Harrison Ford movie Witness to TLC’s show Breaking Amish. But this lens on the Amish doesn’t show the complexities of their religious culture. Listen to learn more about the Amish and their complicated but thoughtful relationship with technology.

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Calculating a local carbon footprint

Science High School

Calculating a Local Carbon Footprint

Earth and Space Science Technology Climate Change Engineering Human Impacts

Discussion of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions often occur at the national level. Nations promise to lower emissions and scientists look for alternative energy sources. But new software is providing data for this emission reduction discussion at a local level. The software allows people to have a view into their carbon emissions on the level of a city, neighborhood, block and even household. Listen to learn how scientists and local officials are working together to track and understand emissions at the local level.

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Gps.square

Current Event February 19, 2015

Trusting Computers to Make Decisions

Technology Psychology

Complex computer algorithms designed to weigh options and make choices are consistently outperforming humans. The algorithms aren’t perfect, though, and many people have a hard time trusting them. Why do we feel this way? Would you trust a computer to make an important decision in your life? Listen to learn more about how algorithms work and why humans often mistrust them.

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Staples store.square

Current Event February 15, 2015

The End of Office Supply Stores?

Economics Technology

Two office supply giants are hoping to join together to increase their value. Staples is planning to buy Office Depot so that they can compete with the sale of inexpensive office supplies at stores like Walmart as well as online. This shift says something larger about the economy and the way we work, buy and use technology. Listen to learn how the market is changing as we digitize work

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Virtualreality.square

Current Event February 5, 2015

Empathy, War and Video Games

World History II Technology Engineering

People often play video games to escape reality or fight pretend wars. Journalists are combining video games and news to flip this reality - bringing real images of war to viewers through the virtual reality of video games. From the Syrian Civil War to conflict over oil, listen to learn how virtual reality is being used to generate empathy and support deeper understanding of existing conflicts and complex systems.

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Drone.square

Current Event January 25, 2015

Drones in Texas

Civics/Government Technology Engineering

Since 9/11 the military has been developing and using unmanned airplanes, known as drones, to fight the war on terror. Increased intelligence and electronic sophistication has transformed drones into powerful tools for surveillance and war. Drones can be small with cameras, or the size of fighter jets. The first all-drone airport is opening in Texas, marking a new era in drone development. Listen to learn more about this trend and its potential applications.

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Cells.square

Current Event January 16, 2015

Growing Cells

Life Science Technology

Human diseases such as cancer impact human cells differently depending on the person. This makes it important for scientific researchers to have access to a variety of human cells - healthy and infected - to find medicines that fight or cure disease. A new technique of growing cells uses a layer of mouse cells to fuel human cell growth. It’s changed the game in cancer research. Listen to learn how this technique developed and how it lead to a breakthrough in cervical cancer research.

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Current Event December 12, 2014

Cyberattack on Sony

Civics/Government Economics World History II Technology

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."

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Nasa's orion.square

Current Event December 11, 2014

NASA’s Plans for Deep Space

Earth and Space Science Technology Engineering Space Systems

Since the end of the space shuttle program and the beginning of independently funded space exploration, NASA hasn’t been launching many new spacecrafts. This is changing with a recent test flight for NASA’s new spacecraft Orion, which is designed to carry astronauts into deep space. Listen to this public radio story to learn more about Orion’s design and goals.

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Clock.square

Current Event December 4, 2014

Keeping Time

Technology Engineering

We use clocks throughout the day to mark the passage of time and organize our days, but what is time? For scientists who study time this is a surprisingly difficult question and it is becoming more complicated as even more accurate clocks are developed. Listen to learn more about a clock that is so accurate the passage of time varies based on where the clock is located.

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Bookshelf.square

Current Event November 27, 2014

Millennials and Reading

Literature Technology

It is hard for books to compete with the instant communication of Twitter or Facebook and the endless content on websites likes Buzzfeed. Book loving young people are now using these websites to create content honoring or inspired by books. Listen to learn more about these adaptations and their potential impact on literacy.

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Angrybirds.square

Current Event October 21, 2014

How Video Games Become Addictive

Technology Psychology Engineering

If you have ever had trouble putting down an addictive video game, you are not alone. Video games are actually designed using behavioral science to ensure that you will want to keep playing. This story gives you a behind the scenes look at how game designers plan to get you hooked.

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Mars.maven.square

Current Event September 29, 2014

A Look At Mars' Atmosphere

Technology Climate Change

Last week NASA’s MAVEN probe began orbiting Mars in an effort to measure and map the Martian atmosphere. Today, Mars, known as the red planet, is bone dry and it’s atmosphere is being broken down by the sun’s solar winds, but evidence shows that it was once much more like Earth. From liquid channels to lake beds, there is clear evidence that Mars once had water as well as a magnetic field. So what happened to this water? These are the answers the MAVEN is searching for by mapping Mars’ current atmosphere. Listen to learn more about this important mission.

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Expedition.square

Current Event September 26, 2014

Arctic Explorer from Franklin Expedition Found

Technology Climate Change World History I

In 1845 two ships led by Sir John Franklin left England searching for a northern route across the globe, known as the Northwest Passage. They never returned. 169 years later, a helicopter pilot found a clue that led the Canadian government to one of the missing ships. From sonar imaging to video cameras on submarines, archeologists have confirmed that this is one of the abandoned ships from the famous expedition. Listen to hear about the haunting story this discovery has unearthed.

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Scientists.square

Current Event September 25, 2014

The Future of Scientific Discoveries in Jeopardy

Civics/Government Life Science Economics Technology

In the last decade, increases in government funding to scientific research through the National Institute of Health (NIH) has spurred massive growth at universities across the country. Now, with congressional reductions in discretionary spending, inflation and increasing cost of research, scientists across the country have lost the NIH funding that was at the core of the research. Listen to this public radio story to hear how scientists at three different research institutes are dealing with this funding squeeze.

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Current Event September 11, 2014

Organizing Labor Movements Without Unions

Civics/Government Economics Technology Labor

The success of workers at the Massachusetts supermarket chain, Market Basket, is making labor movements across the country rethink their strategies. In this labor dispute, workers walked off the job to protest the CEO of the company being fired. They didn’t come back to work until he was reinstated by the board of directors. All this was accomplished without a union. This public radio story looks at the ways the Market Basket strike is unique and how it can and can’t be duplicated by other labor movements or unions. Listen to learn more about the power of using technology to organize and the importance of management joining collective action.

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