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two humpback whales emerging from the ocean to feed

Whales Eat More Than We Thought

In this guide, students will learn how scientists estimated the food intake of certain whale species and discuss nutrient cycling and conservation of matter within ecosystems.

Cycling through an ecosystem

Students will discuss nutrient cycling and conservation of matter, and how these concepts can be observed in an ecosystem.

Rethinking whale appetites

Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Baleen whales eat (and poop) a lot more than we realized,” which details scientists’ efforts to accurately estimate how much certain whale species eat and what that means for ecosystems. A version of the article, “Whales eat more than we thought,” appears in the December 4, 2021 issue of Science News.

Telling science stories with comics

Students will read and analyze a graphic tale from Science News for Students and then form groups to create their own graphic tale based on another article from the archive.

How ducklings dodge drag

Students will discuss the physics of drag using real-world examples.

Quacking the physics of duckling swimming

Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Here’s the physics of why ducklings swim in a row behind their mother,” which details how baby ducks save energy by surfing their mom’s waves. A version of the article, “Why baby ducks swim in a line,” appears in the November 20, 2021 issue of Science News.
two sea otters in water

How Muscle Cells Keep Otters Warm

In this guide, students will learn about how mitochondria help the ocean’s smallest mammal generate body heat. Then, students will discuss cell structure and energy production, diagram how mitochondria function and brainstorm a research question.

Mighty mitochondria

Students will answer basic questions about cell structure and energy production, draw diagrams to visualize how mitochondria in sea otters may function differently than in other marine mammals and brainstorm a research question for further investigation.

Sea otters’ cellular surprise

Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Sea otters stay warm thanks to leaky mitochondria in their muscles,” which explores scientists’ efforts to figure out how the ocean’s smallest mammal maintains an extreme metabolism. A version of the story, “How muscles keep otters warm,” appears in the August 14, 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.
two bald eagles in a tree

Elusive Killer in Eagle Die-Offs ID’d

In this guide, students will learn about scientists’ quest to solve mysterious bird deaths, discuss how invasive species affect ecosystems and research an invasive species in their region.

Investigating invasive species

Students will define invasive species and discuss how certain species affect ecosystems and human society. Then, students will research invasive species in their region and devise an invasiveness rating scale.