Topic: Earth and Space Science

Science

Microscopic Marine Organisms Can be Beautiful and Deadly

Life Science Earth and Space Science Ecosystems

Dinoflagellates are tiny marine microbes that make up the foundation of the aquatic ecosystems. They often go unnoticed because of how small they are, but any seafood you've eaten has eaten a dinoflagellate. A theater group has developed a musical centered around dinoflagellates and through song and dance reveal a lot that is unknown about the sea creature. Listen to learn from the musical numbers and find out how dinoflagellates have the potential to be more dangerous than sharks.

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Science

Cooking Up a Supervolcano

Life Science Earth and Space Science Geology

Giant volcanoes appear every few million years, and their eruptions are rare, but they are deadly. The ash and gas released into the atmosphere have the potential for significant harm. So scientists are studying two new suspected volcanic “hot spots" and are trying to figure out why they erupt. Listen to learn how seismic waves give scientists a picture of the large regions where intense volcanic activity could develop in the distant future.

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Science

Cloud Seeding for Weather Modification

Earth and Space Science Environment Weather and Climate Energy Agriculture Physical Science

There is a debate over whether cloud seeding is an efficient way to produce more snow and rain in places where droughts are the worst. Opponents claim that the chemicals that are sprayed into the air to create more water are toxic and could cause health issues in the future. Others believe this is the only way to for some gas and electric companies to obtain more energy. Listen to learn about the other concerns at hand and if this the history of this process.

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Science

Bees and Electric Fields

Life Science Earth and Space Science Ecosystems Evolution Electricity Reproduction

Flowers have many ways of attracting bees for pollination. Bees are looking for nectar and pollen when they visit plants and flowers, as well as various colors, patterns, and shapes. Recently scientists have discovered a new way that flowers attract bees. They can sense the electric fields around flowers. Listen to hear about the natural positive charges of bees, the negative charges of flowers, and how the electric attraction works for pollination to happen.

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Science

A Delicious Solution to Our Energy Problems

Earth and Space Science Environment Energy Electricity chemistry

A new source of energy is being developed by using Michigan's industrial food waste. Using existing technology for converting manure into electricity, these anaerobic digesters are doing their work on pudding packs and canned peaches, among other delicacies. Listen to learn how they are turning waste into electricity.

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Current Event June 26, 2014

Drought in the South has the Cattle Industry Booming in the Midwest

Economics Earth and Space Science Climate Change Weather and Climate

The drought in California and Texas has meant cattle herders have little pasture to graze their herds. Instead, cattle herding is moving north to Colorado and Nebraska. The midwestern states are feeding the cattle with the byproduct of ethanol production. Use this public radio story with your class to discuss how these changes affect the price of a hamburger.

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Current Event June 18, 2014

Sexism in Storm Names - Gender Makes a Difference

Earth and Space Science Gender Weather and Climate

Studies show that people react differently to male and female named storms. There is more preparation and fear of storms with male names, such as Victor, versus a storm named Christina. As a result, there are serious implications of this unconscious gender bias. Listen to this audio story to learn more.

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Science

Gravity's Strong Pull is Actually a Weak Force

Earth and Space Science Physical Science Forces and Newton's Laws

Even though it is the weakest of all forces, gravity is why we exist. Gravity keeps the earth, moon, and sun in orbit. It keeps us on the ground instead of floating in space. Listen to hear how gravity affects the velocity in rockets, the shapes of planets, the trajectories of baseballs, and even the strength of the human leg bones.

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Current Event June 11, 2014

Some Californians Want to Make Water Available to the Highest Bidder

Economics Earth and Space Science Weather and Climate

California's drought is causing water prices to vary region to region. This makes some farmers want to sell their water—but they're worried that it might negatively affect their water allotment. Economists say the answer is a better engineered irrigation canal and use of the free market. Listen to this radio story to learn why.

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Current Event June 4, 2014

Cap-and-Trade Carbon Emissions Policy Aimed at Using the Free Market

Earth and Space Science Climate Change Engineering

Cap and Trade is the new carbon emissions policy aimed at regulating emissions from various factories based on a "token" system. When an entity runs out of tokens, they can turn to the free market to buy more. This story clearly explains what Cap and Trade is and why Republicans don't like it. Listen to this radio story to learn why.

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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 May 12, 2014

Climate Change to Stay

Earth and Space Science Climate Change

A recent report by the U.S. government shows the most definitive evidence so far that climate change is happening and it’s being driven by people. Extreme weather and rising sea levels are just some of the consequences. Communities are trying to build preventative infrastructure, but it is costly.

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Current Event May 8, 2014

Space Thief

Earth and Space Science Engineering Space Systems

An American scientist was able to beat other countries to reach a comet first by “stealing” another scientist’s space craft. 31 years later, he’s on a mission to restore it to its original mission.

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Current Event May 3, 2014

‘Star Wars’ Movies and Beyond

Earth and Space Science Literature Space Systems entertainment

George Lucas’s Star Wars films are an empire unto themselves. With two movie trilogies and another on the way, the films are prolific, as are the universe they build. This is matched and raised by hundreds of Star Wars books that mirror and expand the narrative of the movies. Some hardcore fans even prefer the books, which cover 25,000 years and include 17,000 characters. Listen to learn more about the unprecedented success of this movie based book franchise.

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Current Event April 30, 2014

Earth-Like Planets

Life Science Earth and Space Science Space Systems

Is there a possibility for humans to live on another Earth-like planet? Scientists claim that there are potential candidates out there, and for the first time can estimate how many. Listen to this story to learn more about other planets that could sustain life.

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Current Event April 29, 2014

Atomic Clock Precision

Earth and Space Science Matter

A few seconds lost over millions of years seem irrelevant, but atomic clock scientists say that better clock precision will help us study and feel the heartbeat of the universe.

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Science

Clearing Carbon From Our Air

Earth and Space Science Environment Climate Change Human Impacts Atmosphere

Carbon exists in all living things, including proteins, DNA, and fats. When living things exhale, the result is carbon dioxide. As our world develops, we produce more carbon dioxide with the burning of fossil fuels and the use of cars, trains, and planes. This gas is causing an imbalance in the atmosphere which affects the warming of the planet. Listen to hear how much carbon dioxide humans are responsible for and the effects of global warming.

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Current Event April 22, 2014

Cracked Dam Impacts Farming

Economics Earth and Space Science Geology

A cracked dam in Washington endangers farming near the area with lower water levels and the looming threat of a summer heat. Lowered water levels have caused a temporary increase in tourism in spots but also revealed old graves.

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Current Event April 3, 2014

Hubble Telescope Celebrates 24 Years in Space

Earth and Space Science Engineering Space Systems

The Hubble Telescope has been transmitting data from space for 24 years. It has endured several changes in U.S. Presidents and it will continue to stay in space until at least 2020. What have we learned from the Hubble Telescope over the last two decades?

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Current Event April 1, 2014

Salmon Migration Affected by Drought

Life Science Earth and Space Science Environment

The severe drought in California has affected the usual salmon migration. Typically the fish swim 270 miles from fresh water in Northern California to the Pacific Ocean. But because of low water levels, California hatcheries are ensuring their migration by transporting them in climate-controlled trucks to the ocean.

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