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.
The Past, Present and Future of Spaceflight
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.
Fermentation and Pasteurization in the classroom
The multitalented Louis Pasteur was a chemist, biologist, the father of microbiology and the inventor of pasteurization. In this hands-on lab, students will learn about Pasteur’s contributions by conducting an inquiry-based yeast fermentation experiment that explores the concept of pasteurization. In this experiment, students will observe, calculate and graph the volume of carbon dioxide produced by yeast during fermentation at different temperatures and identify the point where the yeast have been killed and pasteurization occurs.
The Metric System Has Gained New Prefixes
In this guide, students will learn about new measurement prefixes, work with those prefixes in metric conversions and create their own units of measure.
Create your own unit of measure
In this quick activity, students will create their own unit of length to measure something in the classroom and use principles of dimensional analysis to convert their measurement to a partner’s unit. Learning Outcomes: Units of measurement, unit conversion.
New prefixes for the metric system
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.
Measuring up with metric prefixes
Students will review prefixes and their meanings, learn about the metric system’s newest prefixes and apply the definitions in metric conversions. Learning Outcomes: Proportion and scale, measurement and dimensional analysis, a deeper understanding of the metric prefixes.
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.
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.
All about outliers
Students will define what an outlier is and discuss why outliers occur, how to identify them and how they can be useful for science and society.
A Weird Solar System Cousin Makes Its Photographic Debut
In this guide, students will examine a photograph of a distant solar system, learn how astronomers captured the image and learn about the system’s inhabitants. Students will then discuss units of measure and create a scaled drawing of the distant solar system.