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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.

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
image of wildfire haze over the Golden Gate bridge and the San Francisco skyline

Wildfires May Boost Urban Ozone Levels

In this guide, students will explore chemical interactions within wildfire smoke and how urban air pollution can influence the reactions.

Chemistry of wildfire smoke

Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Wildfire smoke may ramp up toxic ozone production in cities,” which explores new research into the interactions between wildfire smoke and air pollution in cities. A version of the article, “Wildfires may boost urban ozone levels,” appears in the January 15, 2022 issue of Science News.

Where there’s smoke, there’s science

Students will discuss the composition and properties of air and wildfire smoke, and explore how substances in smoke react to ramp up a certain type of air pollution.

Reimagining plastics recycling

Students will evaluate experimental methods for recycling plastics, gather data about the types of plastics they use at home, research plastics recycling in their community and write a letter to local officials that advocates for improving plastics recycling.
people riding in a backhoe amid flooding in China

Earth Cannot Avoid a Warmer Future

In this guide, students will learn about a United Nations assessment that concludes human-caused climate change is behind extreme weather events. Then, students will discuss and compare climate scenarios and visualize some of the data.

Visualizing climate change scenarios

Students will learn about climate scenarios, analyze a chart of climate change impacts under four scenarios and create a data visualization for one climate change impact.

Looking ahead to a hotter future

Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “The new UN climate change report shows there’s no time for denial or delay,” which describes a massive scientific assessment that concludes human-caused climate change is behind extreme weather events. A version of the story, “Earth cannot avoid a warmer future,” appears in the September 11, 2021 issue of Science News.
Hainan gibbon on a rope bridge

A Rope Bridge Restored an Ape Highway

In this guide, students will learn about how researchers used engineering to help an endangered species navigate its habitat after a natural disaster. Then, students will explore other examples of solutions to habitat fragmentation and discuss the importance of conservation.

A bridge to conservation

Students will learn about the effects of habitat fragmentation on a critically endangered species, explore scientists’ process for designing and engineering a solution to the problem, and discuss the importance of conservation.

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.