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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.

Get to know the SN 10

Students will answer questions about a scientist featured on Science News’ SN 10: Scientists to Watch list, which explores the work of 10 early- and mid-career researchers who are tackling some of science’s biggest questions.

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.

Visual models for how a virus spreads

Students will analyze visual displays of data about clusters of coronavirus cases and work in groups to develop their own visual model of virus spread. Then, students will discuss how the way data are displayed affect data interpretation, and how the displays might inform public health decisions.

Starting small to curb climate change

When it comes to fighting global warming, it’s hard to know where to start. How can individuals make meaningful contributions to this effort? This activity, designed for in-class or at-home learning, encourages students to find ways they can reduce their own carbon footprints, as well as help others work toward the same goal.
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 Editor’s Note: A study included in this guide has been retracted.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.

The home as laboratory

Science isn’t done just in a laboratory. Observing phenomena and collecting data in the real world are key parts of the scientific effort. This activity, designed for at-home learning, encourages students to collect and analyze data in their own homes to develop a research question for future exploration.
Egyptian fruit bat

Why Bat Viruses Are So Dangerous

This guide will help students understand how viruses in other animals can infect people, sometimes leading to epidemics or pandemics. In a group activity, students will imagine they are health officials developing action plans to prevent or stop an epidemic.

Collaborating to stop an epidemic

Students will imagine that they are officers at the World Health Organization and will work in groups to develop action plans to prevent the spread of a new virus, such as coronavirus.

The path from outbreak to pandemic

Students will explore the definitions of outbreak, epidemic and pandemic and research how an outbreak becomes an epidemic or pandemic.
Notre Dame fire

Saving Notre Dame’s Sound

This guide, based on the Science News article “Saving Notre Dame’s sound,” asks students to explore how scientists resurrect the acoustics of historic places, consider factors that affect how sound behaves to design a room with specific sound requirements, and measure and compare how sound changes in different environments.

Sound science at Notre Dame

Students will answer questions about the Science News article “Saving Notre Dame’s sound,” which explores how scientists resurrect acoustics of historic places.