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A line of wind turbines disappearing into the distance with an out of focus wheat field in the foreground.

The Road to Net-Zero

Human activities pump a lot of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and those emissions are driving climate change. In this guide, students will review greenhouse gases and their sources and learn about ways to reduce emissions.

Diagram the way to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions

Students will review, discuss and diagram atmospheric greenhouse gases and their impact on Earth. Then students will analyze a graph to begin thinking about what it will take to achieve net-zero emissions. Learning Outcomes: Reviewing greenhouses gases and their impact on Earth, diagramming human impact, understanding the idea of net-zero emissions.
photo of a crowd of people in New York City

Human Population Hits a Milestone

The world population has reached 8 billion people, according to the United Nations. In this guide, students will learn about how the human population has grown over time and how it is projected to grow in the future, then analyze a graph of world population data. In a quick activity, students will think about how a growing human population might impact various industries and how changes at the national or international level might help those industries support a larger population.

Preparing for population growth

In this quick activity, students will brainstorm the effects of population growth on industries such as agriculture and medicine, then will work collaboratively to come up with changes at the national or international level that will help those industries support the growing population.

Graphing global population trends

Students will explore a graphic representation of trends in the size of the global human population and analyze the importance and implications of projected data.

The human population sets a new record

Students will answer questions about the Science News article “The world population has now reached 8 billion,” which explores trends in human population growth. A version of the article, “Human population hits a milestone,” appears in the December 17, 2022 & December 31, 2022 issue of Science News.
a man in a red shirt and a black cap standing in front of a misting fan

How Much Heat Can We Handle?

Summers are getting hotter. Use this guide to help students explore the science of heat and its effects on the body, and then apply what they learn through diagramming.

Spread the word

In this quick activity, students will create a social media post to raise awareness of a public health issue. They will consider how to craft an engaging message that communicates the issue while also appealing to the public.

Feeling the heat

Students will answer questions about the Science News article “Humans may not be able to handle as much heat as scientists thought,” which explores the effects of extreme heat on the body and what that means for us as heat waves intensify around the globe. A version of the article, “How much heat can we handle?” appears in the August 27, 2022 issue of Science News.
an aerial view of a forest

Earth May Be Hiding Thousands of Tree Species

In this guide, students will learn about scientists’ efforts to estimate how many tree species Earth has, analyze a related data visualization and discuss the implications the research has for conservation.

Mapping biodiversity

Students will look at data from a primary research article to explore how tree biodiversity differs across continents and biomes.

Counting Earth’s tree species

Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Earth may have 9,200 more tree species than previously thought,” which describes researchers’ efforts to estimate the number of tree species on Earth. A version of the article, “Earth may be hiding thousands of tree species,” appears in the March 12, 2022 issue of Science News