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origami satellite james webb

The Origami Satellite

In this guide, students will learn about NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope and discuss how scientific advances have shaped the telescope’s mission.

Unlocking universal questions

Students will discuss the mission of the James Webb Space Telescope and explore how scientific discoveries over the last few decades have shaped the telescope’s to-do list.

Getting ready for lift-off

Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “When James Webb launches, it will have a bigger to-do list than 1980s researchers suspected,” which details the long journey of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to make it into space to explore other galaxies. A version of the story, “The origami satellite,” appears in the October 9, 2021 & October 23, 2021 issue of Science News.

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.
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.
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.
satellite image of Santorini

Sea Level Dips Spur Volcanic Eruptions

In this guide, students will learn about how scientists used a computer simulation to show that sea level might influence volcanic eruptions. Then, students will discuss computer simulations and brainstorm a simulation that they could use to investigate a real-world issue.

The significance of simulations

Students will discuss the purpose, benefits and challenges of using computer simulations in scientific research. Then, students will brainstorm a real-world issue that could be investigated with a computer simulation and think about how the simulation would work.