Topic: Earth and Space Science

Humans impact on climate change

Science High School

Human Impact on Climate Change

Life Science Earth and Space Science Climate Change Animals Weather and Climate Physical Science Human Impacts

A United Nations report in 2014 shows that human activities are changing the planet. The scientists are more confident in their conclusions that humans are causing global warming. There are rising sea levels, higher temperatures and impacts on wildlife. This conversation with a public radio reporter looks at the long term trend in global temperatures and what humans can do to reverse the trend.

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Current Event February 1, 2015

Nuclear Power in India

Civics/Government Economics Earth and Space Science World History II

The demand for electricity in India is rising, but India relies on coal for the majority of their power. The hope of a new deal with the United States is to help India transition from dirty coal to cleaner nuclear energy. U.S. companies will sell nuclear technology to Indian power companies so they can transition to a cleaner energy source. This might be good for the earth, but what about for security? Listen to learn about the pros and cons of this international energy deal.

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Current Event January 6, 2015

Life on Mars

Earth and Space Science Space Systems Atmosphere

NASA’s Curiosity Rover has found unexpected bursts of methane in the Martian atmosphere. Scientists don’t know where the methane is coming from but some see these bursts as evidence that there are or once were living microbes on the red planet. Listen to learn more about this important gas and the implications of its discovery on Mars.

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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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Current Event November 16, 2014

Comet Landing

Earth and Space Science

Man has made it to the moon, rovers have made it to Mars, and now a lander is on a comet. On Wednesday, November 12th the European Space Agency landed a probe on comet 67P, which is 300 million miles from Earth. Sticking the landing was a huge achievement and gives scientists an opportunity to better understand comets and their role in providing the foundations for life.

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Current Event October 29, 2014

Living in a Drought

Civics/Government Economics Earth and Space Science Environment Weather and Climate

California is in the middle of a four year drought. The city of Santa Cruz has stepped up its conservation efforts with tough water restrictions. Water use is rationed by household, pushing residents to conserve in every way possible. This public radio story takes you to Santa Cruz and sheds light on how the city uses high penalties and water school to get people on board with water conservation.

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Current Event October 15, 2014

India Goes to Mars Cheaply

Civics/Government Economics Earth and Space Science Space Systems

India successfully sent a spacecraft and probe to orbit Mars in September. The United States also has a probe orbiting Mars- but their mission costs ten times as much as the India mission. Why is that? From spacecraft, to orbit shape, to payroll - this public radio story explores why these price tags were so different.

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Current Event October 13, 2014

Recycling Food Waste

Civics/Government Earth and Space Science Climate Change

The Seattle City Council is launching a mandatory composting program to stop people from throwing food waste in the trash. Mandatory recycling has expanded from yard waste, to normal recyclables, and now to compostable food waste. With the addition of a third trash bin, the city hopes to collect 100,000 tons of food waste a year. Listen to this public radio story to hear about the motivations, logistics, and goals of the program.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 by using wastewater to generate electricity. The microbes from sewage can be harnessed to develop microbial fuel cells. The process could provide ways to provide energy in remote places for very little money. Listen to learn how scientists are developing this energy and what they are learning from it.

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