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November 25, 2022

Find out about the year’s best science books for kids. Plus, an indigenous scientist on what it might mean to heal, rather than conserve, endangered landscapes. And the winners of this year’s silliest science awards show.

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Stars: They’re Just Like Us! Stargazing Celebration In The Bronx

On Saturday December 3, meet the SciFri team at Jerome Park in the Bronx to stargaze on the future home of NYC’s first public observatory!

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Educational Resource

Glowing in the Dark

In this activity, students will learn about phosphorescence and how certain materials can absorb and store energy from a light source. Students will use critical thinking skills to hypothesize which type of light — incandescent, ultraviolet, infrared or fluorescent — will produce the brightest glow from a glow-in-the-dark star. Students will perform an experiment using cameras to observe the intensity of the resulting glow from each type of light source.

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Educational Resource

How to Cultivate Moss

In this activity, to learn about the biological needs of mosses, students will grow and maintain their own moss terrarium. Through daily maintenance and observation, students will identify those factors necessary for the successful cultivation of moss.

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Educational Resource

Building A Solar House

Buildings that are called “green” or “environmentally sustainable” are designed to use energy as efficiently as possible. In Missouri, Washington University’s Tyson Living Learning Center achieves sustainability by incorporating green technologies in different ways, including the use of solar panels. In this activity, students will explore how solar panels work by building a simple circuit, a series circuit and a parallel circuit, using a solar panel to light a bulb and comparing which method yields the brightest light. Then students will build a solar-powered house using a shoebox, and test some variables to determine the most efficient way to harness solar energy to power a model home.

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Educational Resource

Explosive Science

In this activity, students will use household materials to investigate and explore how the release of carbon dioxide gas from a chemical reaction can cause a small-scale explosion. Students then will experiment with variables to determine which factors launch a film canister the highest.

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Educational Resource

Grabbing a Bite to Eat

In this activity, students will perform an experiment that replicates the dilemma that birds face in acquiring food from a confined area. Students will be given a variety of objects to use as “tools,” and will explore various ways of extracting the food item from an enclosed shoebox without directly using their hands. Students will compare and contrast which tools worked best, and use problem-solving skills to design and develop unique methods for extracting the food item from the shoebox.

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Educational Resource

Stream Table

In this activity, students will use a stream table to investigate river formations in two different landscape scenarios. Students will compare and contrast how the formation of the river differs if the topography of the land is changed from a flat plain to a terrain with hills and valleys.

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Educational Resource

Ugh, a Bug!

In this activity, students will familiarize themselves with the distinguishing physical characteristics of an insect. Students will observe and maintain live crickets to learn the function of various body parts of a cricket. Further, students will have the opportunity to change their negative feelings or thoughts about insects by observing cricket behavior, collecting data and taking care of crickets for one week.

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Segment

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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Educational Resource

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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Segment

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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