Whales Eat More Than We Thought
In this guide, students will learn how scientists estimated the food intake of certain whale species and discuss nutrient cycling and conservation of matter within ecosystems.
Cycling through an ecosystem
Students will discuss nutrient cycling and conservation of matter, and how these concepts can be observed in an ecosystem.
Rethinking whale appetites
Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Baleen whales eat (and poop) a lot more than we realized,” which details scientists’ efforts to accurately estimate how much certain whale species eat and what that means for ecosystems. A version of the article, “Whales eat more than we thought,” appears in the December 4, 2021 issue of Science News.
Telling science stories with comics
Students will read and analyze a graphic tale from Science News for Students and then form groups to create their own graphic tale based on another article from the archive.
Marie Antoinette’s Letters Are Uncensored by X-rays
In this guide, students will learn how scientists used chemistry to unravel a historical mystery and discuss the uses and limitations of spectroscopy.
Solving a French Revolution mystery with chemistry
Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Ink analysis reveals Marie Antoinette’s letters’ hidden words and who censored them,” which details how scientists used chemistry to unravel a mystery from the French Revolution. A version of the article, “Marie Antoinette’s letters are uncensored by X-rays,” appears in the November 6, 2021 issue of Science News.
Revealing secrets with spectroscopy
Students will discuss how spectroscopy relates to atomic structure, how the technology can help solve historical mysteries and the limitations and ethics of such work.
Reimagining plastics recycling
Students will evaluate experimental methods for recycling plastics, gather data about the types of plastics they use at home, research plastics recycling in their community and write a letter to local officials that advocates for improving plastics recycling.
Dig into atomic models
Students will research how knowledge of the atom has changed over time, visually represent a historic atomic model and present that model to the class. Students can also explore the standard model of particle physics and discuss ways it could be depicted.
How Muscle Cells Keep Otters Warm
In this guide, students will learn about how mitochondria help the ocean’s smallest mammal generate body heat. Then, students will discuss cell structure and energy production, diagram how mitochondria function and brainstorm a research question.
Students will answer basic questions about cell structure and energy production, draw diagrams to visualize how mitochondria in sea otters may function differently than in other marine mammals and brainstorm a research question for further investigation.
Sea otters’ cellular surprise
Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Sea otters stay warm thanks to leaky mitochondria in their muscles,” which explores scientists’ efforts to figure out how the ocean’s smallest mammal maintains an extreme metabolism. A version of the story, “How muscles keep otters warm,” appears in the August 14, 2021 issue of Science News.