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.
Students will learn how science journalists develop stories from scientific studies by analyzing a Science News article and the study on which it is based. Then, students will use a scientific study provided by the teacher to write their own news article.
Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “A toxin behind mysterious eagle die-offs may have finally been found,” which explores scientists’ quest to ID a suspect in mass bird deaths. A version of the story, “Elusive killer in eagle die-offs ID’d,” appears in the April 24, 2021 issue of Science News.
Students will investigate animals that regenerate, discuss how energy plays a role in the process and think about why scientists might be interested in studying animal regeneration. Students will use what they’ve learned to write a script and narrate a Science News video of regenerating sea slugs.
Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “A sea slug’s detached head can crawl around and grow a whole new body,” which explores how some sea slugs regenerate. A version of the story, “No body is no problem for detached sea slug heads,” appears in the April 10, 2021 issue of Science News.
Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Three visions of the future, inspired by neuroscience’s past and present,” which explores how advances in the field of neuroscience are bringing scientists closer to expanding, linking and healing human brains. A version of the story, “Our brains, our futures,” can be found in the March 13, 2021 issue of Science News.
Students will explore advances in neurotechnology by making connections between examples they’ve seen in popular culture and what is currently possible. Students will then think critically about positive and negative effects of advancements in this area of science.
In this activity, students will learn about the seemingly indestructible diabolical ironclad beetle and review Newton’s laws of motion and force diagrams. Then, students will design, build and test crush-resistant packaging using biomimetics, the practice of solving problems using solutions inspired by biological structures and systems.
Students will research the conditions necessary for the formation of organic molecules and living things. Working in groups, students will then develop a “recipe” for life based on physical, chemical, geological, astronomical and biological principles. Class discussions will cover the role of interdisciplinary research in studying the origins of life on Earth and searching for life beyond our solar system.