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Planning ahead to prevent future disasters

Students will take on the role of a planning board for a region identified as having an increased risk for natural hazards — wildfires, floods, droughts, heatwaves or hurricanes — due to climate change. After proposing regulations and other strategies to reduce the natural hazard’s impact, the students will discuss the merits of the proposed solutions before voting on a disaster plan and budget for their region.
illustration of a science fiction nanobot brain mesh interface

Our Brains, Our Futures

In this guide, students will explore how brain science has progressed over the last century and how that progress could inform the field’s future. Then, students will discuss the ethics of advancements in neurotechnology.

Neuroscience fiction and fact

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.

Building better brains?

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.
masked students on the UC Boulder campus

COVID-19 On Campus

In this guide, students will learn about strategies that five universities used to monitor coronavirus cases on campuses, analyze the strategies’ effectiveness at minimizing spread and reflect on the strategies used at their own school.

COVID-19 lessons for colleges

Students will explore and analyze various approaches some universities have taken to manage the COVID-19 pandemic on their campuses before comparing the strategies to those used at their own school.

Diversity in science

Students will explore diversity in the STEM community and discuss how future textbooks might highlight the scientific contributions of the women who won the 2020 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Students also will research and present on the achievements of women in STEM throughout history.
SEM image of SARS-CoV-2

2020 Year in Review

This guide asks students to reflect on the scientific highs and lows of the last year as reported by Science News. Students will analyze summaries of awe-inspiring discoveries and reflect on the COVID-19 pandemic, including their lingering questions, personal experiences and hopes for the future.

Pandemic reflection

Students will review a timeline of major events related to the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss lingering questions about the pandemic. With a partner, students will reflect on how the pandemic has affected their life and what changes the near future may bring.

How bias affects scientific research

Students will study types of bias in scientific research and in applications of science and engineering, and will identify the effects of bias on research conclusions and on society. Then, students will discuss how biases can be eliminated — or at least recognized and addressed — and develop bias prevention guidelines of their own.

The SN 10: Scientists to Watch

In this guide, students will learn about 10 early- and mid-career scientists, analyze the scientists’ pathways to STEM success and reflect on their own journeys.

Forging paths to STEM success

Students will explore careers in STEM by analyzing and comparing a profile of an SN 10 scientist with that of a scientist highlighted in the Science News for Students “Cool Jobs” collection. Students will think about how the profiles cover the scientists’ personal histories, research and other factors that led the scientists to successful careers in STEM. Then students will reflect on their own STEM goals and possible journey.