Media Guide – November 11, 2016

Media Guide – November 11, 2016

Grade Level

6-12

minutes

15 minutes or fewer

subject

Media Guide

Activity Type: , ,

Each week we provide a rundown of the latest Science Friday stories, ready for classroom use. Last week Science Friday discussed tackling an invasive species by eating it, looked at art that captures the patterns created by sound, and learned about how a single giant impact could have created the moon.

Also check out our newest Science Club, where we are asking you to Break It Down. Get some ideas for breaking it down here, then share your ideas with #Ibrokeitdown or submit your project with our form.

We are still beta-testing this resource and would love your feedback.

A lionfish, via Shutterstock
A lionfish, via Shutterstock

Fighting an Invasive Species By Adding It to the Menu

Lionfish—a black and orange tropical fish with spiky venomous fins—are generally native to the Indo-Pacific. Thanks in part to human involvement, though, a population along the southern U.S coast and into the Caribbean has exploded over the past decade, devastating native populations. In the wake of this ecological crisis, Florida conservationists have begun promoting the invasive species to restaurants, showing that they’re safe to eat if their venomous spines are removed (carefully). Maia Mcguire joins us to discuss the good and the bad of getting the lionfish out of the water and onto your plate.

Vocabulary: invasive species, carnivorous, native populations, conservation, abundant, competition

Audio Excerpt “Fighting an Invasive Species By Adding It to the Menu” Nov. 11, 2016. (Original Segment)

Audio Transcript

Listening Questions

  • Describe the factors that contribute to the growing lionfish population.
  • Why aren’t more lionfish on our menus?
  • Check out the features and habits of the lionfish using the resource on this . Working with a group, pick out details that would be useful for designing a trap to catch them. How do you ensure that your trap doesn’t capture native fish?

Activity Suggestions

  • How do we track invasive species? Sampling! Conduct an activity, like this one, where students model sampling marine populations. Then have students look at and analyze sampling data to decide where to concentrate efforts to eradicate Lionfish. Is that even possible in the ocean?
  • Elementary teachers, try this sampling activity that integrates math and science for grades 3-5.
Created using USGS Lionfish Sightings map.
Created using USGS Lionfish Sightings map.

Also, check out these lionfish classroom resources from NOAA on the Lionfish.

We are still beta-testing this resource and would love your feedback.

Related Educational Resource

#TakeASample

Vibrations of D. Credit: Louviere + Vanessa
Vibrations of D. Credit: Louviere + Vanessa

Seeing the Patterns in Sound

In the late 18th century, German physicist and musician Ernst Chladni demonstrated how vibrations could be used to create striking imagery. By spreading fine sand across the top of a metal plate and running a violin bow alongside, Chladni showed that the sand would settle into distinct patterns, depending on the frequencies of the sound waves produced by the bow.

Centuries later, in the 1960s, a Swiss physician named Hans Jenny built on Chladni’s experiments in an effort to study vibrational phenomena—what he called “cymatics.” Visual artist Jeff Louviere happened upon the works of Jenny and Chladni while researching another project, and he and his partner, photographer Vanessa Brown, became inspired to conduct their own experiments to see what sound could look like. The resulting work became Resonantia (Latin for “echo”), a multimedia project centered around 12 images produced by vibrations.

Vocabulary:vibrations, frequencies, sound waves, cymatics, Chladni plate,

Access the full article here.

Questions

  • What creates the patterns in the water or sand on a Chladni plate?
  • How do Brown and Louviere’s experiments demonstrate that sound travels through liquid?
  • There are areas in the images that don’t show light. What do these areas tell you about the movement of sound?
  • Why do you need to use a frequency generator to produce these patterns? Why can’t you just playing a song?

Project Ideas

  • Create a model eardrum and illustrate sound waves using the ear buds students have on them right now.
  • Have students experiment with Chladni plates and Eidophones that they construct. Students can document the patterns produced by taking photos, and then draw conclusions about the way sound travels based on their investigation.

We are still beta-testing this resource and would love your feedback.

This composite image of the moon using Clementine data from 1994 is the view we are most likely to see when the moon is full. Credit: NASA
This composite image of the moon using Clementine data from 1994 is the view we are most likely to see when the moon is full. Credit: NASA

A Glancing Blow: How the Earth Got Its Moon

Looking up into the night sky, one can determine exactly where and when the moon will appear—the moon and the Earth are locked in a predictable pattern. Scientists still debate how this lock-step pattern evolved.
One longstanding hypothesis, called the Giant Impact Theory, says that the moon formed in a collision between the Earth and another planetary body. The theory explains certain aspects of the system, but it doesn’t explain why the moon orbits the Earth at an angle. Planetary scientist Sarah Stewart and her colleagues wanted to address this detail. Reporting in the journal Nature, the team says that at the time of impact, the Earth may have been tilted—sending the moon off into its current orbit.

Vocabulary: Giant Impact Theory, impact, orbit, computer modeling, theory, tilt

Audio Excerpt “A Glancing Blow: How the Earth Got Its Moon” Nov. 4, 2016. (Original Segment)

Audio Transcript

Listening Questions

  • What evidence led these researchers to challenge the Giant Impact Theory?
  • Describe the impact of gravity on the current tilt of the Moon. What interactions occurred?
  • What evidence still needs to be collected to prove the findings of this paper?

Activity Suggestion
Have students create a diagram that illustrates the difference between the standard model of the Giant Impact Theory and the new proposal by Sarah Stewart and her colleagues. Dig deeper with this article about the Giant Impact Theory and the interaction between the Moon and Earth.

Explore the moon more with these activities from International Observe the Moon Night.

We are still beta-testing this resource and would love your feedback.

Educator's Toolbox

Meet the Writer

About Xochitl Garcia

Xochitl Garcia is Science Friday’s education program assistant. She is a former teacher who loves hanging out with her fat-tailed gecko, which, despite the efforts of students, family, friends, and a fantasy football league to name it, is still only referred to as “the gecko.”

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