Chicago_City_Hall_green_roof_180

photo by TonyTheTiger/raeky

It’s a Jungle Up There

Ever heard the term “it’s a jungle out there”? Cities of the future might be just that. Landscape architects are busy designing living walls and green roofs in cities around the world. And the benefits of doing so are extensive. (ASK magazine, July/August 2013) Download pdf: It’s a Jungle Up There

Download classroom activities: It’s a Jungle Up There supplement (Grades 1 to 5)

 

 

 

 

photo by Serenity

photo by Serenity

Some dirt won’t hurt

Not only is it okay to get dirty, it may even reduce risk of asthma and allergies. Find out why (and how to clean up properly after playing outdoors). (Online. July 17, 2013; reprinted in Muse, November/December 2014)

Classroom discussion questions (Grades 6 and up)

 

 

 

 

photo by Claire Fackler/NOAA

photo by Claire Fackler/NOAA

Caught in the act

How do species adapt to a changing environment? Scientists observe species  in the process of evolving. (Online. December 11, 2013)

Classroom discussion questions (Grades 6 and up)

 

 

 

 

 

photo by Healthnutlady

photo by Healthnutlady

Why are bees vanishing?

Scientists find a combination of threats, from pesticides to climate change, may explain declining bee populations.   (Online. January 10, 2014)

Classroom discussion questions (Grades 6 and up)

 

 

 

 

 

photo by Alan Murray-Rust

photo by Alan Murray-Rust

How people have been shaping the earth

Humans are now the biggest driving force shaping the planet. So much so that scientists are considering renaming our current time period to reflect that influence. (Online. October 17, 2014)

Classroom discussion questions (Grades 6 and up)

 

 

 

 

MexicoCity1_180

photo by christian von wissel

Nano air pollutants strike a blow to the brain

Scientists track super-small pollutants into the brain, where they can cause damage similar to that in people with Alzheimer’s disease. (Online. December 17, 2014)

Classroom discussion questions (Grades 6 and up)

 

 

 

 

photo by Jennyvids

Tiny plastic, big problem

Scientists find that tiny pieces of plastic travel great distances and wind up inside marine animals, threatening the ocean’s ecosystems. (Online. April 10, 2015)

Classroom discussion questions (Grades 6 and up)

 

 

 

 

healthy soil

photo by USDA NRCS South Dakota

The dirt on soil

What lies beneath your feet? More than you ever imagined. Get the dirt on soil and all of the important roles it plays in everything from food to floods to climate change. (Online. October 16, 2015)

Classroom discussion questions (Grades 6 and up)

 

 

 

 

 

Bio Bus

photo by Wessex Water

Powered by poop and pee?

Imagine riding on a bus powered by the stuff you flush down the toilet. One such bus actually exists. It’s just one possible use of human waste as a renewable source of energy. (Online. February 5, 2016)

Classroom discussion questions (Grades 6 and up)

 

 

 

 

photo by NASA Earth Obsservatory

Night lights have a dark side

Bright lights at night create light pollution, which alters animal behavior (including our own) and may even lead to diseases like cancer. The good news? It’s the easiest kind of pollution to control. (Online. July 27, 2017)

Classroom discussion questions (Grades 6 and up)