Topic: Geology

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Science Middle School

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The Center of the Earth

Earth and Space Science Geology

There is no natural hole to the center of the planet Earth, so seeing what is in the center is difficult. University of Miami professor Ta-Shana Taylor talks about what is deep into the center of the Earth. Scientists haven’t ever drilled deeper than 2,000 feet into the Earth’s crust. Seismographs are used to measure earthquakes, which send waves of motion through the earth’s crust. Listen to hear about how scientists have tried to discover what is in the center of our planet.

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Current Event August 19, 2015

The History of a Former Slave

Earth and Space Science Race Geology Slavery

Historically slaves in the United States are depicted as uneducated farm hands on plantations in the South. But that wasn’t true for all slaves. One famous slave named Yarrow Mamout was an educated Muslim who earned his freedom and even had his portrait painted by a famous American painter. He was a entrepreneur, money-lender and stock-owner, as well as having a reputation for being honest and moral. Archaeologists are trying to find out more about Yarrow Mamout by excavating a plot of land in Georgetown where he owned a home from 1796 until his death in 1823. Listen to this story to learn why this former slave is so well-known and respected.

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Current Event April 22, 2015

The Epoch of Humans

Earth and Space Science Human Impacts Geology Human origins

When did humans begin to shape the earth? This is the debate happening among geologists who are determining whether the official timeline of the Earth should have a name for the current period of human domination. The concept of the “anthropocene” or the human era first emerged 15 years ago and a working group of scientists is determining whether to adopt it officially and when it should begin. Listen to learn more about the lively debate that surrounds this decision.

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Grand canyons age

Science Middle School

How Old is the Grand Canyon?

Earth and Space Science Geology

The Grand Canyon has amazed visitors and scientist alike since it was discovered. The debate over what created this geologic wonder has been reignited in recent years. Is the Grand Canyon 6 million years old or 70 million? Listen to learn more about this debate between two geologists who have very opposing viewpoints.

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Current Event October 16, 2014

Indonesian Cave Paintings

Life Science World History I Ancient Civilization Evolution Geology

Cave painting has long been thought to be developed by early humans in Europe. A new discovery of equally old cave paintings on an island in Indonesia has upset this perspective and is pushing scientists to look even farther back to our human origins in Africa. Listen to this public radio story to hear more about the cave paintings themselves and to learn how archeologists discovered their true age.

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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 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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Geology through sound

Science Middle School

Geological Data about Climate Change Turns into Music Through Sound

Life Science Environment Climate Change Human Impacts Geology Sound

What does climate change sound like? You will hear in this public radio story about a geologist who has turned decades worth of data into music. He created a multitrack sequencer for data instead of music. The data and music shows a tight correlation between the amount of carbon dioxide and the amount of ice on the earth.

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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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Rare earth elements

Science Middle School

Low

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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Fracking and earthquakes

Science Middle School

Research Shows Fracking Causes Earthquakes

Earth and Space Science Environment Ecosystems Geology Energy Forces and Newton's Laws

Hydraulic fracturing or fracking is the process of putting liquid into shale to remove natural gas. There's concern that waste water from fracking that is put back into the ground is causing earthquakes. This public radio story explores the relationship between fracking and earthquakes.

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Cooking up a super volcano

Science Middle School

Cooking Up a Supervolcano

Life Science Earth and Space Science Geology

Giant volcano eruptions are rare, but they are deadly. So scientists are studying two new suspected volcanic “hot spots.” By using seismic waves, a picture has emerged of large regions where intense volcanic activity could emerge in the distant future. This audio story looks at volcanic hot spots and supervolcanoes.

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Cracked dam impacts farming

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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Predicting landslides

Current Event March 28, 2014

Predicting Landslides

Earth and Space Science Environment Geology

In Washington state the clean up effort is still underway after a large mud slide killed at least two dozen people. Landslides are hard to predict. Scientists can determine which hills are most vulnerable, but getting the information to people that could use is it difficult.

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Grand canyon's real age

Current Event February 27, 2014

Grand Canyon’s Real Age

Earth and Space Science Geology

The Grand Canyon was thought to be around 6 billion years old, but new evidence proves that maybe only some parts are—and some parts are even older. Listen to this story to understand the confusion over the canyon’s age.

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