Today starts the 75th annual National Wildlife Week, themed “Branching out for Wildlife.” Check out the NIE Teacher Blog for activity guides from the National Wildlife Federation that will inspire your students to appreciate and sustain local wildlife and the environment.
A new study ranks Massachusetts 8th graders among the world’s top performers in math and science. A Trends in Mathematics and Science study found the Commonwealth’s students tied for 2nd place in science behind Singapore and 6th place in mathematics, behind South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan.
The academic performance tests were given to 2,075 students in 56 randomly selected public schools across the state, participating with 8 other states in the country. Students competed with over 600,000 students worldwide.
The United States ranked 9th overall in math and 10th overall in science.
This past weekend the world watched Austrian thrill seeker Felix Baumgartner land on his feet after a 24 mile jump from space. The 9 minute free fall reached speeds of 833.9 miles per hour and broke the sound barrier.
Read yesterday’s article in the Herald about “Fearless Felix” here.
Students can learn about the science behind Felix’s jump as well as the history of gravity and space travel. NIE teachers can access and download the “What’s up with Gravity?” curriculum guide at this NIE Resources page.
Harvard University graduate students are making math and science cool for students through their educational rap program EDUtainment. The video series combines education with fun raps, skits, and classroom activities. Lybroan James created the program to help students better relate to the material.
EDUtainment hopes to launch their website by next month and have content and guides for teachers by next year.
What does Hermione from Harry Potter and a fairy have to do with flying an airplane? Well, you probably won’t find them in a cockpit anytime soon. But Massachusetts Institute of Technology students are using characters like these to teach K-12 students science concepts. In a new project called MIT+K12, college students have made more than 30 online videos that teach important STEM topics from the Doppler Effect to chlorophyl.
When Patriots star Rob Gronkowsi “Gronk Spikes” a football after touchdowns, it has more force than a hockey slap shot. Students can learn the science behind Gronking, and compare their spikes with Gronkowski’s using this activity from the sports section of the Boston Herald.
Write Newspaper Poetry Have your students look through the newspaper for words and phrases that catch their eye. Students should cut them out and arrange them to form a poem. Then students can paste their newspaper poem on a new sheet of paper.
A Smart Way to Go Green
Another great way to reduce your carbon footprint is to read the online Boston Herald Smart Edition. It’s an exact replica of the Boston Herald print edition, but it never needs to be recycled. Teachers can order a free subscription here.
Don’t miss the Podcast Glowing Wounds because it’s a great way to connect science to history. When students listen to the podcast, they’ll find out how high school students discovered an explanation for Civil War soldiers with glow-in-the-dark battle wounds.
More than two weeks after Japan’s natural disaster that triggered a near nuclear disaster, radioactive rainwater has been discovered in Massachusetts. But according to today’s Boston Herald article “Radioactive Rain in Mass.,” the level of radiation found in Massachusetts water is low and cannot harm humans.
Read the Boston Herald story “Radioactive Rain in Mass.” by O’Ryan Johnson. Then discuss the article with your class, as well as the safety of nuclear power plants in our country.
Do you feel comfortable drinking tap water? Will you continue to use it after today’s findings?
Do you think people will rush to stock up on bottled water even though only low levels of radiation were found in Massachusetts?
Why do you think experts are not releasing the city where they found the radioactive water?
Did you expect the nuclear situation in Japan to affect Massachusetts?
After the disaster in Japan, some people are questioning the safety of nuclear power plants in the United States. Do you think we should review the safety of our nuclear power plants and determine if we need additional protection against natural disasters?
Do you think we should use nuclear power? If not, what other source of energy should we use?
This activity is designed for students in grades 9-12. It can complement science, English Language Arts, media criticism, and current events classes.
Please review the article prior to sharing it with your students, as the Boston Herald is written for all audiences.
Someday drivers might fill up their gas tanks with “liquid fuel from the sun,” thanks to a Cambridge-based biotech company.
An article in today’s Boston Herald says, “Joule Unlimited claims it’s genetically engineered microorganism can secrete pure diesel that’s interchangeable with the fuel that goes into trucks.” The company’s production process is unique because their microorganism does not require grass, algae, or corn.