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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.

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.

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.

Ready to rumble

Students will answer questions about the online Science News “Greece’s Santorini volcano erupts more often when sea level drops,” which describes how a computer simulation revealed a hidden relationship between sea level and a volcano’s explosive history. A version of the story, “Sea level dips spur volcanic eruptions,” appears in the August 28, 2021 issue of Science News.

Think like a science journalist

Students will learn how science journalists develop stories from scientific studies by analyzing a Science News article and the study on which it is based. Then, students will use a scientific study provided by the teacher to write their own news article.

A fair shot

Students will analyze a graph to identify inequities in COVID-19 vaccine access among nations based on wealth, discuss how affluence affects access to and distribution of vaccines as well as how disparities in vaccine distribution affect global pandemic recovery. Students will then work in groups to research COVID-19 vaccine access and distribution in their state or local area, identify potential inequities in vaccine access and distribution and construct a graph of their own.

A century of science podcast

Using the Science News archive for reference, students will make a podcast detailing the developments in an area of science over the last century.

Global problem solving gets personal

Students will think about how communities connect on local and global scales through the lens of COVID-19 vaccine distribution and consider why global collaboration in STEM is crucial for solving some large-scale issues.