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Social Media Smarts

Social media is part of our everyday lives. It provides entertainment, news, reference information, and so much more. However, not all the content we find on social media is accurate. In this activity, students will investigate the prevalence of misinformation on popular social media platforms. In their investigation, students examine how platforms’ biases and algorithms influence the type of content social media users see and the level of misinformation displayed.

AI in bioacoustics research

Scientists recently used bioacoustics and AI to study whether certain bird species still exist in the wild. Use this lesson plan to teach students about bioacoustics and instruct them to think critically about the role of AI in the research process.

Solving Hard-to-Reach Problems with ROVs

Remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs, are often used in environments that would be unsafe or difficult for people to enter to explore. In this activity, students will think critically about how engineering practices can be used to monitor environmental issues or solve real-world problems before designing and modeling an ROV that could be used to investigate a real-world problem impacting their local environment.

Paint a clearer picture with AI

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.

Health Effects of Climate Extremes and Thermal Technology

Climate extremes are impacting human health and inspiring new technology. This guide provides lesson plans paired to recent news articles covering a new thermal fabric prototype and its ability to regulate temperature and how wildfire smoke impacts the air quality index and human health.

Not too hot. Not too cold

Staying cool in the summer and keeping warm in the winter may become easier. Learn about a new thermal fabric prototype and its ability to regulate temperature, answer questions about its design and function and discuss potential applications.

Homework Help? ChatGPT is Poised to Disrupt Education

Playing around with ChatGPT is enormously fun, and the technology can be useful. But there are pitfalls too. In this Guide, students will learn about AI and the benefits and challenges posed by the chatbot.

What can ChatGPT really do?

Students will answer questions about the online Science News Explores article “Think twice before using ChatGPT for help with homework,” which explains the pros and cons of using ChatGPT.

Can AI fool you?

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.

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.

Form fits function in extreme environments

From buildings to machines to household objects — and even in the natural world — the structure of something relates to its function. Sea urchin skeletons, for example, have a recurring geometric design called a Voronoi pattern that also shows up in honeycombs and dragonfly wings. The pattern probably strengthens the skeleton and could inspire the creation of strong, lightweight materials. In this activity, students will explore aspects of structure and function in everyday objects before applying the same concepts to the natural patterns found in sea urchin skeletons. Inspired by the sea urchin, students can use an engineering design process to brainstorm solutions to real-world problems.

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.