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thousands of distant galaxies captured by the James Webb Space Telescope

Postcards From a New Space Telescope

Have you heard about the James Webb Space Telescope’s stunning first images of deep space? Use this Guide to help students explore the science behind pictures of exploding stars, dancing galaxies, cosmic cliffs and more, and discuss how images can be thought of as data.

Pushing the boundaries of outer space

Students will answer questions about the Science News article “Here are the James Webb Space Telescope’s stunning first pictures,” which highlights dazzling cosmic wonders seen in farthest and clearest views yet of deep space. A version of the article, “Postcards from a new space telescope,” appears in the August 13, 2022 issue of Science News.

New space images dazzle with data

Share a universal celebration in science with images of deep space from the James Webb Space Telescope. Have students collaborate to think about the science shown in the images and the implications of images as data. Learning Outcomes: Observe, interpret and compare data in images; explore universal questions about science.

Exploring materials

After reading a journalistic article about materials science and engineering over the last century, students will discuss and research why and how new materials are developed and how they transform society. Student groups will develop museum-style exhibits to communicate what they learned to the rest of the class.
image of a scoop of ice cream

Cellulose Helps Ice Cream Go Down Smooth

In this guide, students will learn about how food scientists are using chemistry to improve the texture of ice cream, discuss the science of ice cream on a molecular level and brainstorm testable scientific questions about favorite frozen desserts.

Ice cream under the microscope

Students will analyze and write a caption for microscope images of crystals in an ice cream–like solution, discuss how molecules behave as ice cream freezes and thaws, and pose scientific questions about one of their favorite frozen desserts.

The scoop on ice cream science

Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Grainy ice cream is unpleasant. Plant-based nanocrystals might help,” which describes new research into improving the shelf life of ice cream. A version of the article, “Cellulose helps ice cream go down smooth,” appears in the May 7, 2022 & May 21, 2022 issue of Science News.

Making sense of animal worlds

In this activity, students will discuss how literary devices can be used to convey scientific concepts, research how an animal of their choice senses the world and compose a piece of creative writing based on what they find.
Castleton Tower, a sandstone formation near Moab, Utah

Climbers Help Scientists Vibe With Utah’s Rocks

In this guide, students will learn about a citizen science project that is helping scientists better understand the physical properties of rock formations. Students will then explore other citizen science projects that they could participate in based on their hobbies and interests.

Citizens for science

Students will explore the concept of citizen science and use their hobbies and interests to find a citizen science project they could participate in.

Joining forces for rock science

Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “How climbers help scientists vibe with Utah’s famous red rock formations,” which describes how researchers teamed up with rock climbers to collect data that can help assess the seismic stability of red rock formations in Utah. A version of the article, “Climbers help scientists vibe with Utah’s rocks,” appears in the April 23, 2022 issue of Science News.

Exploring STEM career paths

After considering their interests and skills, students will identify potential STEM careers that they might want to pursue and create a map or flowchart showing how they might reach that goal. Students will then use the Science News archive and other online resources to research a STEM professional whose career resembles one that students might choose for themselves.