On Today's Show

September 24, 2021

Two bills aim to reduce the U.S. carbon footprint. What’s in them? Plus, how to decommission a nuclear power plant. And the aye-aye and opossum compete for the crown for the final round of the Charismatic Creature Carnival.

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Dean Kamen

He’s invented everything from an insulin pump to the Segway Transporter. He started the FIRST Robotics competitions for students. And now, he has his own television show.

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Flower Anatomy

In this activity, students will discuss the various methods by which pollination can occur in flowers or plants. Students will dissect and identify the different parts of a flower, hypothesize the function of each part, and discuss the importance or relevance of each part to pollination.

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The Once and Future Car

This week, news emerged of a self-driving car being researched by Google. We’ll look back at other ‘cars of the future’ and what happened—or didn’t happen—to them.

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Educational Resource

The Color Of Flowers

In this activity, students will perform an experiment to find out where flower colors come from. Students will extract petal juice, use acid and base indicators, and observe chemical reactions to investigate how the amount of acid or base influences the color of a petal.

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Educational Resource

Illuminating Luminescence

In this activity, students will compare and contrast different forms of luminescence by observing how chemiluminescence, phosphorescence, and fluorescence produce or emit light. Students will also compare these forms of luminescence to bioluminescence.

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Educational Resource

How Boulders Are Born

In this activity, students will review and discuss weathering, erosion and mass wasting, to gain a stronger understanding of how Hickory Run’s Boulder Field was formed after the Laurentide Continental Glacier receded. Using edible materials, students will model and demonstrate the geological processes that formed this unique feature.

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Educational Resource

Make a Chemical Clock

In this activity, students will perform three experiments using household ingredients to observe and record color changes, indicators that a chemical reaction has taken place. Students also will observe a chemical clock reaction and explore how reaction times can be sped up or slowed down.

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Educational Resource

Lilliputian Landscaping

In this activity, students will examine the different materials gardeners add to their soil, and discuss how these materials are important for plant growth. They will learn how to build a sustainable terrarium by adding a waterbed, mixing their own soil and transplanting a small plant into their terrarium.

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Educational Resource

Lighting Up Celery Stalks

In this activity, students will conduct a series of hands-on experiments that will demonstrate how the working of these veins, known as capillary action, enables water to travel throughout the length of a plant. Students will learn how the forces of water cohesion and adhesion contribute to the process of capillary action.

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Educational Resource

Cooking with Chemistry

Chef Wylie Dufresne, the owner of New York City restaurant wd~50, experiments with food, literally. He has lab notebooks detailing what certain chemicals do to certain dishes. One of his signature dishes is a spin on eggs Benedict: he found that creating the plate’s centerpiece–a cube of fried hollandaise sauce–required a lot of scientific testing. Science Friday stopped in at Dufresne’s kitchen to see how he prepares the dish.

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Educational Resource

Best Bubbles

Astronauts are allowed to bring special “crew preference” items when they go up in space. NASA astronaut Don Pettit chose candy corn for his five and a half month stint aboard the International Space Station. But these candy corn were more than a snack; Pettit used them for experimentation.

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Bad Days For Bats

The white nose syndrome disease affecting bat populations has put one species of bat at risk of “regional extinction” within the next 20 years.

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Educational Resource

Testing The Waters

Think oysters are good on the half shell? They may be even better whole. Oysters can restore marine habitats by cleaning water, creating homes for other sea life and preventing coastal erosion. But oyster populations around the world have declined, experts say. Find out how scientists in New York are working to replenish oyster populations in the waters around the city.

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Educational Resource

Capturing Carbon Dioxide

Basalt formations off the East Coast of the U.S. could hold a billion of tons of carbon dioxide, according to a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Paul Olsen, of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, takes us to a basalt quarry in New Jersey and explains what makes the rock ideal for soaking up emissions. Note: Another Teachers TalkingScience lesson, Sublime Sublimation, makes an excellent introduction to Capturing Carbon Dioxide, and to carbon dioxide itself.

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Educational Resource

Sublime Sublimation

Looking for ways to jazz up your party? Patrick Buckley, co-author of The Hungry Scientist Handbook, demonstrates how to make carbonated fruit. Materials required: fruit (the firmer the better), a pressure cooker and a handful of dry ice cubes. Note: This lesson provides a great introduction to another Teachers TalkingScience lesson, Capturing Carbon Dioxide.

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