Artificial intelligence, or AI, provides a new way to focus a camera’s lens! Researchers have now used AI to overcome limitations in thermal-imaging technology — and they didn’t stop there. Learn how applying this AI to existing technology, such as self-driving cars, might solve safety problems and help transform what had been science fiction into reality. Apply knowledge to new applications and answer questions that confront the nuance sometimes lost by dichotomies as literary devices.
Gardens have many functions ranging from vegetable and fruit production to flood mitigation and erosion control. Gardens also can be a haven for pollinators and a repository for native plants. Over the course of a year, students will design a garden for their school or a community organization using scientific concepts they learn in class.
How clever! Bees use geometry tricks to make the most of their hive’s space. Learn how bees, wasps and other hive-makers accommodate changes in their colony’s needs, answer questions about evolution’s approach to problem-solving and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of analogies as literary devices.
In this quick activity, students will discuss confounding factors in their own lives and in scientific research to determine why it is important to identify and control for those factors. Learning Outcomes: Reviewing confounding factors and learning why it is important to identify them in science.
Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Baseball’s home run boom is due, in part, to climate change,” which explores how increases in temperatures boost home run numbers. A version of the article, “Climate change spikes baseball homers,” appears in the May 6, 2023 & May 20, 2023 print issue of Science News.
Students will discuss the meaning of AI and its uses before testing their ability to distinguish between answers written by students and answers written by ChatGPT. After taking a ChatGPT quiz produced by Science News Explores, students will talk about their results and the educational and ethical implications of using the chatbot. Learning Outcomes: Develop an understanding of artificial intelligence and apply that knowledge to current technologies that use AI.
In the face of habitat loss and pollution, more species around the world are threatened by extinction. But how should conservation resources be allocated? In this activity, students will debate whether the allocation of conservation resources should consider the cultural significance of a species.
Most of us drive across bridges every day and never question their structural integrity. We trust that the bridge will stand. In this activity, students will study a famous bridge collapse and consider how it could have been prevented. They also will learn how engineers are testing whether crowdsourced cell phone data could be used to determine when bridges need repairs. Using simulated data of bridge vibration frequencies, students will identify whether an imaginary bridge might be unstable. Students have the option of creating model bridges and testing their structural integrity.
Have you ever wondered how the people who get to fly in space are chosen? The path to becoming an astronaut has changed a lot over the years. In this activity, students will learn about the space travelers of the past and present — and consider a future where the diversity of astronauts better reflects the diversity of all of humankind. Students will use their creative writing skills to imagine this future.
Students will answer questions about a Science News article that explores new prefixes for the metric system. A version of the article, “The metric system gains new prefixes,” appears in the January 14, 2023 issue of Science News.