Current Event October 9, 2014
Germany is one of the top three exporters of weapons but the new economy minister is working to curb exports by enforcing arms rules and stopping sales to countries not in the European Union or NATO. His actions have politicians, arms exporters and workers upset that he is risking German jobs, security and reputation. Critics argue that other countries will take over production from Germany. This public radio story looks at both sides of the issue and can spark debate about who is responsible for weapons falling into the hands of dangerous groups.
Current Event October 8, 2014
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.
Current Event October 3, 2014
It is apple picking season and apple lovers are gearing up to eat some tasty and unique apples. The apples we are used to seeing in the supermarket are the same basic size and shape. And they have the familiar flavor profiles. But there are more apple varieties than you might imagine. There's a whole world of biodiversity in apples. This public radio story takes you to a heirloom apple orchard in Vermont that specializes in grafting and maintaining historic varieties of apples. Get ready to visualize (and almost taste!) some unique looking apples.
Current Event September 30, 2014
Crickets are seen as a little but loud insect, some might think they are creepy, others cute, but most Americans don’t see crickets as food. This might start changing as the world searches for more environmentally sound sources of protein. Whether people fry crickets or use ground cricket flour to enrich their baked good - crickets are coming. This public radio story takes you to a farm that grows crickets in Ohio and provides a rich framework to understand the advantages to eating insects.
Current Event September 25, 2014
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.
Current Event September 24, 2014
This summer an unprecedented number of unaccompanied young people crossed the border illegally into the United States. Many came with hopes of reuniting with family in the U.S. and escaping violence in their home countries. Now, their futures are uncertain as they are put in detention centers while their cases are processed. In today’s public radio story you meet a 13-year-old migrant and his 11-year-old brother and hear from them about their journey across the border.
Current Event September 22, 2014
On Thursday Scottish citizens, 16 and above, turned out in record numbers to vote on the referendum on Scottish independence from the United Kingdom. Scotland and England joined to become the United Kingdom of Britain in 1707. Three-hundred and seven years later, 55% of Scottish voters voted No to independence and chose to remain in the United Kingdom. But this does not mean the status quo will remain the same. British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised Scots increased autonomy and decision making power over Scottish domestic policy. Listen to this public radio story with your class and discuss what the vote means for the future of unified United Kingdom.
Current Event September 12, 2014
This summer pork and beef prices are 11% higher than they were last summer. This rise in cost has not changed the buying habits of consumers. Today’s public radio story looks at the economics behind this rise in cost, and how supply and demand play into cost. It also features the perspective of farmers and people in the pork industry. Listen to learn why the supply of pork and beef is much lower this year than in years past.
Current Event September 11, 2014
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.
Current Event September 10, 2014
Last week Perdue became the first major poultry company to eliminate the use of antibiotics in its chicken hatcheries. This step has public health advocates and consumers cheering because the use of antibiotics in meat production increases the risk that bacteria will evolve to be resistant to antibiotics, which could make it more difficult to treat humans. This public radio story takes you directly to a hatchery and explores the reasons Perdue made this decision. Listen to learn more about the use and elimination of antibiotics in meat production
Current Event September 9, 2014
Atlantic City, New Jersey was once the only place to gamble on the East Coast. This monopoly is over, as other states have opened or planned to build casinos. Atlantic City and its residents are feeling the negative impacts of a more competitive gambling market. In today’s public radio story casino workers and public officials reflect on these changes and look forward to what is next for Atlantic City.
Current Event September 3, 2014
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.
Current Event September 1, 2014
High School students often begin class between 7 and 8 a.m. despite medical recommendations that schools start later to give student more time to sleep. The negative effects of sleep deprivation, including lower academic performance, has pushed some experts to argue that this is one of the least expensive ways to increase student performance. However, efforts to push back start times have a big roadblock: bus schedules. Listen to today’s public radio story to learn more about why the economics of an earlier school day might not work.
Current Event August 29, 2014
Schools haven’t changed much in the last hundred years but as more schools embrace digital tools in the classroom, the traditional school building is likely to change. Today’s public radio story examines what the school of the future might look like. And designers are predicting that more flexible school spaces will cost less money to build.
Current Event August 27, 2014
Sometimes you want what you want when you want it, and you will pay to get it quickly. This desire combined with smart phone and GPS technology has created a booming market of services that enable their users to get what they want, when they want it. The instant gratification these services enable has created an “Instant gratification economy” that changes the way people interact with the world and the way people work. Listen to learn more about these services and their impact.
Current Event August 12, 2014
Detroit's water department is going after past due bills by shutting of thousands of customers who haven't paid their water bills. Residents are responding by protesting saying that water is a basic human right. And they are turning to the internet to find ways to illegally turn the water back on. Listen to this story to learn the impact of water shut-offs.
Current Event August 12, 2014
Gaza is in the middle of a conflict with Israel. The fighting is weighing heavily on daily life in Gaza. Water has always been hard to get, but its even more difficult now that the price of water is going up because of the conflict. Gaza relies on electricity to desalinize their water and power is also a scarce resource during this conflict. Listen to this radio story to learn more.
Current Event August 7, 2014
A developer in New York is drawing criticism because he's building a skyscraper for residential housing that will have two different entrances. One will be for the tenants in the high priced condos, the other for low income subsidized housing residents. The so called "poor door" is raising complaints of segregation and inequality. Listen to this radio story to find out why.
Current Event August 6, 2014
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.
Current Event July 31, 2014
Many people make decisions based on the probability of a specific outcome. Every day, doctors have to decide to base their health care decisions on probability. Listen to this public radio story about how a man's health care choice went against probability.