Topic: Earth and Space Science

Floodinghomes.square

Current Event October 8, 2014

Preparing for a Future of Flooding: Tearing Down Homes

Civics/Government Economics Earth and Space Science Climate Change

In recent years natural disasters have highlighted the dangers of living along the coast in a time of rising sea levels and unpredictable weather. People with homes on the coast face a difficult decision as their homes lose value. Should they try and sell their homes and move, or stay and hope for the best? State governments and environmental groups are increasingly supporting people moving away, so that land can be reclaimed as a storm buffer. Listen to this public radio story to hear from homeowners who are in this difficult position.

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Current Event October 7, 2014

Preparing for a Future of Flooding: Build Parks

Civics/Government Earth and Space Science Climate Change Weather and Climate Engineering

Nearly two years ago Hurricane Sandy devastated communities on the New Jersey coast, leaving governments, scientists, architects, and citizens looking for innovative solutions to protect against natural disasters. This public radio story looks at the design and thinking behind the New Meadowlands Project in New Jersey. From the appeal of a new Central Park, to the protection wetlands provide neighboring communities from flooding, this story will get your students thinking about the benefits and challenges of implementing big environmental protection projects.

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Commonloon.square

Current Event September 23, 2014

Birds Signal Climate Change

Life Science Earth and Space Science Climate Change Ecosystems Atmosphere

A recent report shows carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rose at a record rate in 2013. Humans aren’t the only species affected by these changes. A new report by the National Audubon Society makes it clear that bird species in the U.S. and Canada are at risk of losing their habitats and potentially their lives due to climate change. Listen to this public radio story with your class to learn more about the links between changing temperatures and bird habitat and survival.

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Bayou.square

Current Event September 18, 2014

Coastal Erosion Ends a Way of Life

Civics/Government Earth and Space Science Geography

In the last century, the coastline of Louisiana’s Lower Mississippi Delta has experienced an enormous loss of land. From man made levees, to hurricanes, to oil spills, the coastline and it’s communities have been negatively affected. In today’s public radio story as we hear from a fishing guide who has lived and worked in the area for 34 years. Listen to learn more about the societal impact of coastal erosion.

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Volcano.square

Current Event September 16, 2014

Close Up Look at an Active Volcano

Earth and Space Science Geology

A month ago, earthquakes below a volcano in Iceland alerted scientists that an eruption was beginning. Various eruptions have created ash, fire and lava at the Bardarbunga volcano. This spouting lava creates rolling fields of lava that scientists have had an opportunity to study up close. When you listen to this public radio story you will hear the sounds of the volcano recorded by a scientist who recently visited the Bardarbunga volcano.

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Rocks.square

Current Event September 5, 2014

The Mystery of the Moving Rocks

Earth and Space Science Technology Geology

Large rocks on the desert floor in California’s Death Valley have puzzled miners and scientists for years. These heavy rocks have long winding trails in the sand behind them but no one had ever seen the rocks move. For the last 60 years scientists have searched for answers but now with the use of GPS and video cameras they have solved the mystery. Listen to this public radio story to engage your student in the mystery and the science behind the moving rocks.

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Trainderailment.square

Current Event September 4, 2014

Earthquake Warning System on an App

Earth and Space Science Technology Engineering

Earthquakes cause damage and create fear and uncertainty. But a new early warning system called Shake Alert is working to mitigate both. This phone app can rapidly detect earthquakes once they have begun, giving people time to prepare. The app is in the early testing stage but it successfully gave a warning before the recent earthquake in California. Listen to this public radio story to learn more about the technology and goals behind this early warning system.

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Coloradoriversmall

Current Event August 19, 2014

Underground Water Sources are Drying Up Fast

Earth and Space Science Climate Change Geology

Lakes, rivers,and oceans are places we normally see water, but most of the water on Earth is actually stored underground. This groundwater supply is vital to food production and providing drinking water for American cities. A new study shows that the groundwater of the Colorado River Basin is disappearing at a shocking rate. Listen to this public radio story to learn more about the impacts of this disappearing water supply and the ways that it can be slowed.

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Ebola small

Current Event August 11, 2014

Ebola Outbreak Tests Medical Professionals

Life Science Earth and Space Science

The Ebola virus has killed nearly 900 people in West Africa since its outbreak. The virus actually lays dormant in its host, but with human contact, it causes mayhem. There has been increased human contact due to deforestation and mining. Listen to this radio story to learn about the next big virus.

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Weather small

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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512px lego 01

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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Microbial fuel cells

Science Middle School

Turning Sewage into Microbial Fuel Cells

Life Science Earth and Space Science Environment Energy Cells

Scientists are creating bacteria batteries in an effort to use waste water to create electricity. This public radio story is about how the microbes from sewage can be harnessed to create microbial fuel cells. The process could provide ways to provide energy in remote place for very little money.

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Shredding cars

Science Middle School

Recyling Old Cars

Earth and Space Science Environment Physical Science Human Impacts Air Pollution

The "cash for clunkers" program was a limited federal government program in the U.S. that gave people credits to trade in their old, gas guzzling, polluting cars for newer ones. The goal was to get older cars off the road to improve pollution. In this audio story we hear how these old cars are shredded and transformed into scrap metal. Because the “cash for clunkers” program did not allow the re-sale of old car engines, junkyards were forced to turn the cars into scrap metal.

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An imminent thaw

Science Middle School

The Changing Ecosystem of the Bering Sea

Earth and Space Science Environment Ecosystems Oceans

Ice is an essential component of the ecosystem of the Bering Sea region. For example, sea ice cover can dramatically affect the levels of phytoplankton which has enormous effects on the entire food web. In this public radio story we hear about the health of the Bering Sea ecology by studying scientific observations.

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Island nations in peril

Science Middle School

Rising Oceans put Island Nations in Peril

Earth and Space Science Climate Change Geography Weather and Climate Human Impacts

As the ocean rises, some island nations might actually disappear. This audio story considers the plight of island nations at risk of slipping under water as sea levels rise. The political, economic and personal consequences are considered as you hear what could be done to prevent catastrophic changes in our geography.

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Manatees

Science Middle School

Changing Ecosystem Threatens Florida's Manatees

Life Science Earth and Space Science Climate Change Weather and Climate Ecosystems Human Impacts

Manatees, the vegetarian aquatic mammals that inhabit the waters of Florida, depend on natural warm water springs to survive the winter. But as a consequence of greater development, those warm water sources have diminished over the years. So manatees have come to depend on the warm water discharge of power plants. But now, they face losing these man-made refuges as power plants strive to be more efficient and environmentally friendly.

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Heat islands

Science Middle School

Urban Concrete Creates Heat Islands

Earth and Space Science Health Climate Change Weather and Climate Human body

Global warming is expected to increase summer temperatures and cities will be even hotter, as concrete and asphalt retain heat. The combination is expected to increase health risks. This public radio story looks at how the sun mixes with city pollution to create ozone that's irritating to your lungs, especially if you have breathing problems like asthma.

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Diamond smal

Current Event July 24, 2014

Scientists Study Other Uses for Diamonds Because They Can Withstand High Pressure

Earth and Space Science Geology

Diamonds are the hardest materials on Earth—and in space. Neptune’s core is made out of diamonds and still survives the core’s intense pressure. Scientists now study diamond’s resistance to high pressure to see what else it’s useful for. Listen to this radio story to learn more about diamonds.

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Wind chill factor

Science Middle School

Calculating the Wind Chill Factor

Earth and Space Science Weather and Climate Physical Science

The first wind chill table and formula was developed before World War II. It was updated at the beginning of the 21st Century. This public radio story is about how scientists have changed how they calculate the wind chill factor. You hear from people about how they experience wind chill and why it doesn’t affect inanimate objects.

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Using grass for electricity

Science Middle School

Burning Grass for Alternative Electricity

Life Science Earth and Space Science Environment Ecosystems Physical Science

Energy experts are thinking about ways to replace coal that’s burned in American power stations. One alternative is to burn plants because they can produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions. This is called biomass power. This public radio story looks at a movement in the Midwest that uses millions of acres of grass for biomass power.

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