Topic: Technology

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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Current Event February 5, 2015

Empathy, War and Video Games

Technology World History II 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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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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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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4610367867 d965ac3769 z

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 September 3, 2014

Back to School Shopping

Economics Education Technology

This back-to-school season parents and economists alike are shocked by the costs associated with preparing students for school. Schools are increasingly asking families to buy supplies for the classroom and school, as well as personalized technology. The additional costs have some questioning whether it is reasonable. Listen to this public radio story to learn more about how families and schools are adjusting to increased technological costs.

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Current Event September 2, 2014

Helping Paralyzed People Walk

Life Science Technology Engineering

More than a quarter of a million people in the United States have spinal cord injuries, and two million are in wheelchairs. A new technology from ReWalk Robotics brings some paraplegics the possibility of walking, with the help of a motorized exoskeleton. This radio story gives an inside look at the technology and the impact it can have on the lives of its users. Listen to learn more about the successes of the product as well as current obstacles and future goals.

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Rare earth elements

Science Middle School


China Owns Most Rare Earth Elements Used in Electronics

Technology Environment Physical Science Geology Energy

Rare earth minerals are very important to today's electronics. Your iPod, laptop, and television use them. They make electronics light so they don't need much power. But the Chinese have a lock on the production of rare earth elements and this could become a problem for the US.

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Energy in the future

Science Middle School


Improving Battery Storage

Technology Engineering Physical Science Energy Electricity

Energy and how it converts to power is a never-ending exploration for scientists. The most significant issue concerning energy right now is how to store it, especially for long periods of time. It's possible to get solar energy from the sun, but what happens to the energy when it's not a sunny day? There's also the problem of having enough space to hold all of this energy. Listen to learn how scientists are trying to figure out how energy can be stored long-term to power the things we use every day.

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