Stories

Science Friday is your trusted source for news and entertaining stories about science.

How The Humble Asiatic Dayflower Revealed Clues To Blue Hues

This briefly-blooming plant gave Japanese artists a distinctive dye—and helped scientists answer a color chemistry mystery.

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Apples to Apples

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Spinning Eggs In Space

NASA astronaut Don Pettit did science experiments in Space that interested him–like testing whether raw and hard-boiled eggs spin differently in space (as they do on Earth).

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Educational Resource

Termite Symbiosis

In this activity, students will sort and classify interactions between pairs of organisms under the appropriate symbiotic relationship of commensalism, parasitism, and mutualism. Then students will observe mutualism in action, as they perform a termite dissection.

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Wind Power

In this activity, students will discuss the differences between the Bear Creek Wind Park and Bergey Windpower turbines. Students will learn the basic parts of a wind turbine and then build their own model wind turbine out of recyclable materials. Students will test their model wind turbines using three different-sized blades to determine which size harnesses the most wind.

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Colorful Chromosomes

In this activity, students review how human physical traits, such as eye color, are determined by specific segments of genes. Students will use basic crafts materials to build a simplified model of a pair of chromosomes that represents some of their own physical traits. Then students will compare and contrast their models, to determine which traits are most frequently found among their classmates and therefore can be called high frequency traits.

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Fossil Detectives

In this activity, students will learn about the two main types of fossils, body and trace fossils. Students will observe and examine a set of fossils to classify them as body fossils and trace fossils. Students also will act as paleontologists and try to identify each fossil.

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Solar Spotting

Using the Swedish Solar Telescope, a ground-based observatory, Goran Scharmer and colleagues probe the penumbra—that’s the stringy structure around the perimeter of the dark part of the sunspot.

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Delicious Smelling Chemistry

Use household materials to investigate and explore your ability to smell an odor, then compare and contrast results to determine if some individuals have a better sense of smell than others. Observe the Maillard reaction and how different odor molecules are released into the air.

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Make a Speaker

In this activity, students will learn how an electromagnet works by making a simple one. Using this knowledge, students will design a diagram to make a working speaker using household materials. Then students will follow instructions on one method of making a speaker, and test their own designs to compare results.

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