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Chemicals cue behavior

Students will explore the chemical makeup of pheromones, how the chemicals may cue species behavior and why it’s important for scientists to study such information. Students will answer questions related to the pheromone discussed in the Science News article before applying the same questions to a pheromone of their choice.

The science of locust swarms

Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “A single molecule may entice normally solitary locusts to form massive swarms,” which describes a compound used in locust congregation that might also be used to control the pests. A version of the story, “Chemical coaxes locusts to swarm,” can be found in the September 12, 2020 issue of Science News.
beets and blue dye made from beets

Beets Bleed Red, But Chemists Turn It Blue

In this guide, students will learn how light and chemical structures affect color and how chemists apply that knowledge to create pigments. Students will then pair up to research a pigment of their choice.

Creating the blues with chemistry

Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Beets bleed red but a chemistry tweak can create a blue hue,” which explores how scientists altered the molecular structure of a pigment molecule from beets. A version of the story, “Beets bleed red, but chemists turn it blue,” can be found in the May 9 & May 23, 2020 issue of Science News.

Colorful chemistry

Students will review concepts of light and chemical structures to explore color. Then, students will partner up to research a pigment of their choice and present their findings to the class.
small dinosaur

A Tiny Dino and Iron Rain

In this guide, students will learn about the smallest-known Mesozoic dinosaur and use phase diagrams to explore meteorology on an exoplanet. In an activity, students will collect and analyze data in their own homes. Editor’s Note: A study included in this guide has been retracted. Please see the comprehension questions for more detail.

Phase changes: cloudy with a chance of iron rain

Students will use phase diagrams to explore how changes in temperature and pressure affect a substance’s phase of matter before applying the concepts to meteorology on Earth and the exoplanet WASP 76b.
neutron star merger

Strontium Found in Neutron Star Crash

This guide, based on the Science News article “Strontium found in neutron star crash,” asks students to explore how elements are created. An activity from the Digital Library will help students understand the life cycle of stars and how stars produce various elements.

How are elements created?

Students will explore how elements are created — in nature and in the lab — while focusing on the concepts of atomic structure, stability and stellar evolution.

Stellar smashup creates elements

Students will answer questions based on the Science News article “Strontium found in neutron star crash.”

Unbalancing the carbon cycle

This activity covers where carbon is stored in the Earth, how carbon moves through Earth’s various spheres and how humans are impacting that carbon flow.
lithium-ion battery

Nobel Prize Winners Announced

This guide, based on Science News’ article “Nobel prize winners announced,” asks students to summarize the discoveries that won the prizes, create a timeline that puts one prize in context and explore activities related to batteries from our Digital Library.