Middle school teachers!
If you don’t know about Science News for Students, it’s time to find out. From a regular user:
Just wanted to write that as a middle school science teacher, I am extremely grateful for the on-line publication of “Science News for Students”. I use it all the time in teaching science literacy! I love the great variety of articles, the truly readable writing skill of the authors, the appropriate reading level, and the fact that the resource is FREE! Thank you so very much!! It makes a HUGE difference to my teaching and my students!
See below for features I’ve contributed. Every SNS feature has classroom questions that touch on science, social studies, and math. The site also has daily snapshots—overviews of recent scientific studies, such as this one in which researchers used Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to learn what happens in our brains when we read, and this one about how barn owls with white feathers stun their prey when the moon is full. You can find a complete list of my SNS stories here.
Concussion: More than ‘getting your bell rung’
Think a head injury isn’t a big deal? Think again. This common brain injury can cause serious – and lasting – damage. (Online. February 20, 2013)
Stem cells: The secret to change
Recent discoveries in cellular research might just pave the way to restore sight to the blind, repair damaged spinal cords, or even overcome genetic disease. (Online. April 10, 2013)
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)
Caught in the act
How do species adapt to a changing environment? Scientists observe species in the process of evolving. (Online. December 11, 2013)
Why are bees vanishing?
Scientists find a combination of threats, from pesticides to climate change, may explain declining bee populations. (Online. January 10, 2014)
Saving the banana
Bananas are the world’s most popular fruit, but they might not be around for long without help from a hard-working team of scientists. (Online. August 28, 2014)
Learning rewires the brain
As we learn, our brains rewire. In the process, brain cells change shape and even fire backwards. (Online. September 2, 2014)
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)
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)
Stress for Success
Stress doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Find out how psychologists help anxious teens put their worries to good use. (Online. March 20, 2015)
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)
Big future for super small science
Heard of nanotechnology? Find out how scientists use nanotubes to overcome mechanical, environmental and optical obstacles. (Online. April 24, 2015)
Cool jobs: Finding new uses for nature’s poisons
Check out these cool jobs in science! These researchers use toxins from critters (including mites, frogs, and spiders) to fight pests and germs–all while keeping people safe. (Online. October 9, 2015)
The dirt on soil
What lies beneath your feet? Much, much 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)
When every face is a stranger’s face
You may find it easy to spot someone you know in a crowd, but for people with ‘face blindness’ every face looks the same: eyes, nose, mouth, ears. Learn more about this condition that affects as many as two in every 100 people. (Online. November 13, 2015)
Cool jobs: Getting in your head
Psychology isn’t just about lending a sympathetic ear. Come meet a trio of experimental psychologists who study the brain and behavior in everything from dogs to monkeys to people. Featuring some of my husband’s super-cool work on patience in primates! (Online. December 8, 2015)
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)
‘Mindfulness’ defuses stress in classrooms and teaching
Teachers, this one’s for you. Early studies show that mindfulness training can reduce stress and improve teaching performance, while also helping students learn. (Online. March 29, 2016)
What is IQ—and how much does it matter?
You may have heard of IQ or taken a IQ test. But what does your IQ score tell you about your ability to succeed? Maybe not as much as you think. (Online. October 13, 2016)
What makes a pretty face?
Beauty is only skin deep, or so the saying goes. And yet we have a hard time ignoring a pretty face. Why is that, and what is it that makes a face beautiful? Oddly enough, it has to do with being average.(Online. December 5, 2016)
Tattoos: The good, the bad and the bumpy
Some people treat skin like a canvas, “painting” it with tattoos. That permanent ink can cause allergic reactions, or it can boost the immune system. But beware: many inks aren’t meant to be used on the human body. (Online. May 11, 2017)
Think you’re not biased? Think again
Everyone has biases against other groups of people: blacks, women, and the obese for a start. But those biases can be changed. The first step? Recognizing that you have them. (Online. June 22, 2017)
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)
Mindfulness in eating pays the body big dividends
Savoring each bite of a meal helps us slow down when we eat, which improves the experience and makes smaller amounts of food more enjoyable. It can also lead to better health. (Online. August 17, 2017)
Social media: What’s not to like?
Social media interactions can help boost self-esteem for tweens and teens.But they can also contribute to ‘drama’ and even foster depression. Part 1 of Social Media story. (Online. October 12, 2017)
The power of ‘like’
‘Liking’ an online post is an easy way to show approval, but even a single ‘like’ can change the kinds of information people see and even affect their behavior. Part 2 of Social Media story. (Online. October 17, 2017)
Increasingly, chocolate-makers turn to science
Chocolate is more than just a sweet treat: It contains nutrients and other plant chemicals that may boost health. Scientists are working to grow stronger, healthier trees and make cocoa that’s rich in health-boosting chemicals. (Online. February 8, 2018)
Athletes’ head injuries can provoke surprisingly long-lasting harm
New research on concussions suggests that the brain may remain injured for months, even years, after a head injury. And long-term damage can occur even without a concussion. (Online. February 15, 2018)
Here’s what puts teen drivers at greatest risk of a crash
Teen drivers are more likely to get into car crashes than adult drivers. Inexperience and lack of attention to what’s happening on the road play a role in those youthful accidents. (Online. October 11, 2018)
What part of us knows right from wrong?
Pinocchio had Jiminy Cricket instead of a conscience, but the rest of us have an internal sense of right and wrong. Where does that sense come from and why do we have it? (Online. March 21, 2019)
Ocean energy could be the wave of the future
Scientists are harvesting the power of waves to generate clean, renewable energy. Find out how this new technology is making a splash. (Online. May 30, 2019)
Don’t snooze on getting enough sleep
Sleep boosts mood, regulates weight, and even helps you learn. If you’re not getting enough you’re probably feeling the effects. But be careful not to nap too much! (Online. September 19, 2019)
Classroom discussion questions (Grades 6 and up)
The color of body fat might affect how trim people are
Brown, beige, white? Not all body fat is the same. In fact, brown and beige fat burn calories, instead of storing them. Learn about these different types of fat, why they do what they do, and how adding beige fat could become a key to good health.
(Online. October 10, 2019)
Classroom discussion questions (Grades 6 and up)