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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.

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.

The Black Death’s genetic legacy

Students will read and answer questions about the online Science News article “Black Death immunity came at a cost to modern-day health.” A version of the article, “Plague immunity left a lasting mark,” appears in the November 19, 2022 issue of Science News.

Let population genetics be your guide to evolution

Population genetics bridges the basic concepts of genes and inheritance, often studied at the individual level, with the larger concept of how a species evolves. In this discussion, students will review basic genetics concepts and investigate an example of evolution within the human population.

Seeing faces everywhere

Ever seen a face in the moon? Or a slice of toast? What about the front of a car (and not just the characters in the movie Cars)? If so, you’re in good company. Many people see faces in commonplace objects. After learning about face pareidolia, the phenomenon of seeing faces in everyday objects, students will collect images of faces they find in nature and inanimate objects and then poll classmates on the perceived gender of the faces. Students will compare their results to results from a study reported in Science News and then design their own follow-up research on face pareidolia.
A child throwing a toy football to an older man standing in the driveway of a suburban neighborhood

Why Spiraling Footballs Sometimes Miss the Mark

Engage your students in science using sports! In this guide, students can explore the physics of football throws and apply the scientific method to a sport of their choice.  

Solving sports problems with science

Get your students exploring the scientific method by applying scientific problem-solving to their favorite sport. Learning outcomes: Scientific method.
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.

Too hot to handle

Heat waves are becoming more frequent around the globe, and scientists are studying humans’ ability to endure the extra heat. Get students thinking about what it means to handle heat and explore basic thermodynamic concepts through diagramming. Learning Outcomes: Diagramming

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.

Century of Science scavenger hunt

Students will use the clues provided and the Science News Century of Science website to explore how science advances. After making connections across scientific subtopics, student groups will research and present highlights of discoveries from an assigned decade.