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Exploring materials

After reading a journalistic article about materials science and engineering over the last century, students will discuss and research why and how new materials are developed and how they transform society. Student groups will develop museum-style exhibits to communicate what they learned to the rest of the class.
Castleton Tower, a sandstone formation near Moab, Utah

Climbers Help Scientists Vibe With Utah’s Rocks

In this guide, students will learn about a citizen science project that is helping scientists better understand the physical properties of rock formations. Students will then explore other citizen science projects that they could participate in based on their hobbies and interests.

Citizens for science

Students will explore the concept of citizen science and use their hobbies and interests to find a citizen science project they could participate in.

Exploring STEM career paths

After considering their interests and skills, students will identify potential STEM careers that they might want to pursue and create a map or flowchart showing how they might reach that goal. Students will then use the Science News archive and other online resources to research a STEM professional whose career resembles one that students might choose for themselves.

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.
illustration of one human figure standing separate from a group of figures

Look to the Outliers

In this guide, students will learn about outliers and why some social scientists study them in an effort to improve people’s lives.

Defying expectations

Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Why do some people succeed when others fail? Outliers provide clues,” which describes how research into communities that defy expectations can reveal ways to help others.

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.

Examining bias through fossils

Students will learn about early evidence for human evolution, discuss how interpretations of data can be influenced by scientists’ biases and develop a framework for analyzing the physical features of hominin fossils.
a referee holds up a yellow card amid during a soccer game in Germany

When Fans Are Away, Home Teams Lose Their Sway

In this guide, students will learn about scientific research into bias in sporting events that was made possible by the coronavirus pandemic. Then, students will define and discuss the role of questions in the scientific method before brainstorming a scientific question of their own.

Investigating bias with ‘ghost games’

Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “‘Ghost games’ spotlight the psychological effect fans have on referees,” which describes research into a phenomenon in sports known as home field advantage. A version of the story, “When fans are away, home teams lose their sway,” appears in the September 25, 2021 issue of Science News.

Why ask scientific questions?

Students will discuss the definition and importance of scientific questions, explore questions that scientists were able to investigate because of the coronavirus pandemic and brainstorm their own scientific questions.